Meet the 2022 George Orley Student Mental Health Advocate Award Winners

Two outstanding students will be presented with the George Orley Student Mental Health Advocate Award at the 2022 Depression on College Campuses Conference on March 9-10 (virtual event)

The 2022 awardees, Brandon Bond, a graduate student of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Taylor White of the University of North Carolina Greensboro, will each receive a certificate and $1,000 for a project or organization of their choice. Both students have demonstrated excellence in finding ways to combat mental health crises on college campuses.

2022 Orley Award Recipient Brandon Bond Headshot

Brandon Bond

Graduate Student, University of Michigan, School of Public Health & School of Social Work

Nominated by Dani Koel, Student Life Program Manger at University of Michigan School of Public Health; Laura Blake Jones, Dean of Students at U-M’s School of Public Health; Marsha Benz, Wellness Coaching/Brief Intervention and Motivational Interviewing Lead at University of Michigan Wolverine Wellness; Jevon Moore, Health Educator University of Michigan Wolverine Wellness

Brandon Bond is a mental health advocate on a global scale. His diverse education background and international experience ignites his passion for helping organizations and policy makers take a humanitarian, equitable, and culturally-inclusive approach to mental healthcare.

As an undergrad, Bond engaged in several experiential learning opportunities—from LGBTQ awareness work in Detroit and London to social justice initiatives in Brazil to conducting LGBTQ+ mental health assessments in Zambia. Starting graduate school during a pandemic only magnified Brandon’s drive to make an impact. At U-M’s Wolverine Wellness, Bond serves as a wellness coach for students of underrepresented identities. He is also an intervention facilitation coordinator for the Young Black Men project where among many things, he organizes barbershops on campus to integrate health and environmental well-being for students of color. Laura Blake Jones, Dean of Students at U-M’s School of Public Health states that “Brandon is an outstanding role model for others. He has empathy for those in need and is compassionate and resolute in voicing his concerns on important issues. In my tenure of over 12 years at U-M, I can think of no other student as well suited for this award than Brandon.”

Bond is pursuing an MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education with an Injury Science Certificate and an MSW in Global Social Work Practice with an Anti-Racist Trauma-Informed Care Certificate. Bond currently serves as a Social Work Intern in the National Network for Arab American Communities where he performs health and education policy analysis and works with their Infectious Disease Program.


Taylor White

Senior, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Major: Psychology

Nominated by: Rev/ Chesley Kennedy, Coordinator, Spartan Recovery Program, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Taylor White has raised awareness of mental health issues on her campus as an outspoken member of the University of North Carolina Greensboro Collegiate Recovery Program (Spartan Recovery Program). She represents the program in the community and on campus, speaking to groups about her own life challenges that led her to seek treatment and inspired her interest in mental health. 

Taylor is certified in North Carolina as a Peer Support Specialist, allowing her to extend her knowledge about substance abuse to persons struggling with mental health challenges. Taylor has been invited by numerous organizations to share her personal life challenges and recovery process with their communities. She is often asked to speak to Crisis Intervention Trainings on her experience with the judicial system as a teen, and her subsequent experiences as a person in long-term recovery from substance use disorder. Additionally, Taylor is a Mental Health First Aid Trainer, helping to teach faculty, staff, and students how to be aware of signs and symptoms of individuals experiencing mental health challenges. 

Reverend Chesley Kennedy, Coordinator at the Spartan Recovery Program comments that “Taylor’s personal story includes dramatic and long-lasting impacts on how a young person’s life can change in the blink of an eye. Her story tells of triumph over mental health crises, and redemption as a person who eventually helps others in their own times of difficulty. She is an exemplary student, helping others advocate for themselves when experiencing their own mental health challenges.”

The George Orley Student Mental Health Advocate Award is made possible through the generous support of Randy and Diane Orley of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, along with their children Amanda and Sam Orley. Undergraduate and graduate students are nominated from across the country for this prestigious award, which recognizes outstanding student leadership in the area of campus mental health. The award is named to honor the memory of Randy and Diane’s son and Amanda and Sam’s brother George, who lost his battle with depression prior to his junior year at the University of Michigan in August 2013. 


About the Eisenberg Family Depression Center’s Depression on College Campuses Conference

Established in 2001, the Eisenberg Family Depression Center is the first of its kind devoted entirely to bringing depression into the mainstream of medical research, translational care and education. The Center is at the forefront in changing the paradigm of how depression and bipolar disorders are understood and treated. 

Each year, the Center hosts the Depression on College Campuses Conference (DoCC), which brings together hundreds of social workers, health education specialists, student advisors and students for a two-day event focused on mental health work. Through expert presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and more, the DoCC helps disseminate new research findings, model programs, and innovative strategies to improve college mental health. The annual conference aims to address important issues on campus, shape service delivery, promote the use of resources to improve college mental health, and, in the process, enhance both educational and mental health objectives.