Meet the Staff

Kerry Howell, M.S., ACSM EP, ACSM/ACS CET

Specializing in:

Kerry is the Director for Cornell Wellness. She uses her knowledge of exercise physiology and nutrition to help improve the lives of not just the members but all of the Cornell community. Kerry graduated cum laude with a B. S. in Fitness & Cardiac Rehabilitation/Exercise Science from Ithaca College and received her Master's degree in Exercise Physiology. She is a certified Health Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine, a certified Cancer Exercise Trainer through ACSM/ACS, a certified Intrinsic Coach through Totally Coached, and she has completed over 25 credit hours in nutrition through Central Arizona College. Kerry co-hosts two large annual fitness-based events, creates educational exercise videos, manages Wellness marketing, and lectures on and off-campus on a variety of wellness topics. In addition, Kerry helps to support the fitness goals of others through offering fitness consultations, general fitness & nutrition education sessions, life coaching sessions, and physical fitness testing meetings. Personally, Kerry enjoys running, kayaking, biking, swimming, skiing, hiking, strength training, fishing and hunting. Contact Kerry at

Ruth Merle-Doyle, M.S., ACSM Exercise Specialist, ACSM RCEP

Specializing in:

Ruth is the Associate Director for Cornell Wellness. She is no stranger to Ithaca and attended Ithaca College from 1994 through 1998, earning a B.S. in Fitness & Cardiac Rehabilitation with a minor in Nutrition Promotion. While in Oregon, Ruth completed her Master's work in Exercise Physiology from the University of Oregon, as well as gained certification as an ACSM Exercise Specialist and ACSM Registered Clinic Exercise Physiologist. Recently, Ruth became certified as a Prenatal/Postnatal Exercise Specialist and finds working with those who are pregnant or returning to work after having their baby very rewarding. Ruth brings enthusiasm, expertise, and excitement to all of her individual meetings with members. At home Ruth loves being with her husband and two children, and simply enjoying life in Ithaca. And if you want to talk about the best places to eat locally, she is all ears! Contact Ruth at

Jeremy Stewart, B.S., ACE CPT, ACE FNS, NYS LMT

Specializing in:

Jeremy is the Nutrition and General Health Outreach Educator for Cornell Wellness. Jeremy graduated with a B.S. in Human Performance & Health Promotion from Morrisville State College, along with being a four-year starter on the football team. Jeremy has been a personal trainer and group exercise coach for the last five years, and has provided a plethora of nutritional knowledge to his clients during that time. Jeremy provides general fitness and nutrition education sessions, and also performs lectures and workshops on health, fitness, and nutrition. He enjoys pushing himself in strength training and interval training in his spare time, along with coaching football, and spending time with his family. Contact Jeremy at

Keri Johnson, A.A.S., NASM-PT, LMT, CrossFit-L1

Specializing in:

Keri is a Wellness & Fitness Specialist for Cornell Wellness providing individual fitness & life coaching consultations, lectures & workshops, and coordinating the Healthy Living Program. She has 17 years in the health and wellness industry. Keri holds a degree in Applied Sciences and Integrated Health Care, plus she is a NYS licensed massage therapist, personal trainer, and aroma therapist. Currently Keri is continuing her education, part-time, at Cornell University in International Health Management. One of her passions is group fitness and over the years she has acquired many certifications and taken several workshops - these include becoming a: registered yoga teacher, certified Stott Pilates Instructor, CrossFit level 1 instructor, and Tac Fit Commando trainer, along with becoming a certified intrinsic life coach. Her personal philosophies on training include "nothing is impossible, it just takes dedication" and "the body can only achieve what the mind believes, keep it positive!". Contact Keri at

Erin Harner, M.S., RDN, CHC

Specializing in:

  • Nutrition Consultations
  • Health Coaching
  • Culinary Nutrition
  • Healthy Eating
  • Weight Loss
  • Digestive Issues
  • Gluten Free Diet
  • Sports Nutrition

Erin is a Wellness Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Cornell Wellness. She received her B.S. from Alfred University and M.S. from the University of Rochester in Biomedical Engineering before shifting focus to nutrition. She attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City where she earned a Certificate in Health Coaching and then pursued a second M.S. in Human Nutrition from Colorado State University with a focus on community nutrition and wellness. Erin looks at each person as an individual and takes an integrative and holistic approach to health and nutrition. Erin has been in nutrition private practice since 2009 where she has helped hundreds of individuals to achieve their goals and overcome health challenges through nutrition education, counseling, workshops, cooking demos, group classes and programs. With Cornell Wellness, Erin offers one-on-one nutrition counseling, cooking demos, and classes for departments and groups throughout campus. Personally, Erin loves to hike, cycle, ski, snowboard, camp, shop at farmers’ markets, cook, bake, garden, eat veggies, and spend time with her husband and two little boys. Contact Erin at

Debbie Gatch

Specializing in: 

  • Customer Service
  • Membership Registrations and Renewals
  • Database Management

Debbie is the administrative assistant for Cornell Wellness and the entire Recreation Services department. She graduated from the Elmira Business Institute and has been working in Helen Newman Hall’s main office for over 30 years. Debbie is the first point of contact when signing up for a Recreation Membership, whether it is in person or online, and she is the main source for Cornell Wellness information. She prides herself in making people feel welcome and comfortable no matter what the request. Outside of work, Debbie enjoys baking, working outdoors, and spending time with her husband Tim, and their two children, Sarah and Nathan. Contact Debbie at