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 course work through Central Arizona College receiving her Nutrition and Health Promotion certificate. Kerry co-hosts two large annual fitness-based events, creates educational exercise videos, co-manages Wellness marketing, and lectures on 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, general health & wellness 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 Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist

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

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

Specializing in:

Keri is a Wellness & Fitness Specialist for Cornell Wellness providing multiple types of wellness consultations, lectures & workshops, and coordinating Wellness' 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. And, she is a Certified Nutritionist through ISSA, holds a Plant Based Nutrition Certificate through the Center For Nutritional Sciences through eCornell, and a Nutrition and Healthy Living Certificate through eCornell. 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

Mary Beth Tierney, PhD, M.S., RDN, CDN

Specializing in:

  • Blood sugar management
  • Weight management
  • Digestive health
  • Pregnancy
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Healthy eating on a budget
  • Menu ideas
  • Culinary skills
  • Nutrition Consultations

Mary Beth is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Cornell Wellness. Mary Beth is thrilled to join the team of wellness practitioners at Cornell! She has provided nutrition consulting in a wide range of settings, from private practices, community clinics, home visits, and hospitals to international corporations. She has experience treating a wide range of conditions. Formerly, Mary Beth was an Assistant Professor at Ithaca College, a Visiting Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a co-instructor for one of the largest courses on campus, Nutrition, Health, and Society. Some of her best professional memories were formed while working with a team of volunteers at summer camps for children with diabetes. She is a proud parent of two Cornellians. Contact Mary Beth for an individual nutrition consultation at

Cathryn Lucas, PhD(c), M.Ed, AFAA CPT

Specializing in:

  • Teaching proper movements and techniques for exercise and everyday life
  • Creating relationships with clients and building community
  • Working with people with a variety of bodies and abilities
  • Working with people who feel uncomfortable in typical fitness spaces
  • Working with older adults
  • Running, triathlon, and hiking programming
  • Strength training programming
  • Fitness Consultations
  • Physical Fitness Testing 
  • Functional Movement Screen

Cathryn is a Fitness Professional for Cornell Wellness. Cathryn graduated from Purdue University with a double B.A. in Neuroscience and Human Movement, earned a M.Ed. from Bowling Green State University in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Psychology, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa in Health & Sport Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies. Cathryn has been a personal trainer and group exercise instructor for nearly ten years, and along the way found their passion for creating accessible and approachable fitness programming that meets people’s individual needs no matter what those needs are. Cathryn has a certificate in Functional Aging from the Functional Aging Institute, and they are pursuing affiliation as a Fit2point0 Professional with the Body Positive Fitness Alliance. Cathryn believes in the socio-cultural power of fitness and movement, and they have dedicated their work to creating intentional communities and inclusive fitness practices. A recent arrival to Ithaca, Cathryn enjoys exploring the outdoors by foot, boat, bicycle, or motorcycle. Cathryn’s passion lies in working with a wide range of individuals from elite athletes to those just getting started with exercise, older adults, and those who are a part of historically marginalized communities. Contact Cathryn for an individual fitness consultation or fitness assessment at

Ashley Wallace, B.A.

Specializing in: 

  • Customer Service
  • Membership Registrations and Renewals
  • Database Management
  • Monetary Transactions

Ashley is the Administrative Assistant for Cornell Wellness and the entire Recreation Services Department. She graduated cum laude from Johnson C. Smith University, an HBCU in Charlotte, NC, with a B.A. in criminology. Ashley has worked for Cornell University for 7 years and enjoys being the first point of contact for all faculty, staff, retirees, spouses and partners that sign up for a Wellness Recreation Membership. She is also the main source for Cornell Wellness information. Providing exemplary customer service is something Ashley prides herself on, having been in the hospitality industry for 9 years and she’s worked in the customer service sector her entire working career. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys advocating for animal rights, touring and volunteering at farm sanctuaries, maintaining a workout regime, preparing plant based meals, writing her own music and taking road trips and vacations with her partner Kari, who is also a Cornell employee. Contact Ashley at