About the Team

Wellnest was founded by four University of Michigan students who are working tirelessly to improve student mental health.


Thomas Searle

CEO & Software Engineer

Since losing my Dad in 2016, I've been passionate about creating better mental health resources for everyone.


Marissa Hovasse

CMO & Head of Content

Wellnest excites me because I get to combine my interests in cognitive psychology, journaling, and content creation to design a tool that can help others reach peace of mind.


Jack Kornet

Head of Product and Visual Design

Wellnest to me represents a way of thinking that everyone should learn. It is a truly exciting product for me to work on.


Drew Pilat

Head of Operations & Finance

I think it's essential that students have the right tools to manage and improve their mental health.

ali merkel

Ali Merkl


I joined Wellnest because I am passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health and encouraging people to be more mindful in their day to day life.


Noah Talerman

Web Developer

I believe that Wellnest will provide all people, with varying levels of experience in mental health, the ability to connect feeling and thought.

ali mahoney

Ali Mahoney


I believe everyone’s mental health can benefit from the journaling practice Wellnest offers. I’m excited to work with such a passionate team to offer an effective mindfulness resource to all people.


Kian Sahrai

Strategic Partnerships & Growth

I am working on Wellnest to bring student mental wellness to the forefront of the conversation and develop a powerful and innovative solution that allows students to incorporate the development of mindfulness consistently.


Kameron Shute

Outreach Specialist

I’m a big journaler myself and wanted to help create an easy to use journal for the masses. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with such a talented and driven team on a product that I really believe in.


Reade Plunkett

iOS Developer

As an advocate of mental health and meditation, Wellnest’s mission has inspired me to contribute to the product’s growth.

We have a mental health crisis among college students.

Today,  students are more stressed, anxious and lonely than any other time in America’s history.

Despite increased awareness and destigmatization efforts, mental illness and suicide rates among students continue to rise.

One cause is a lack of innovation in the mental health space - the options students currently have are practically unchanged over the last decade.

That’s where Wellnest comes in. It was created by a team of University of Michigan students whose goal is to enhance student mental health. We started by exploring the pros and cons of the tools & resources currently available, then worked to incorporate the positive aspects into an app while discarding the drawbacks of each.

Many iterations and a couple pivots later, we finally launched Wellnest. By integrating the most effective aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness apps (e.g. Headspace) and traditional journaling, we created a uniquely powerful mobile wellness tool.