Meet the Coaches
We, the wellness coaches, are committed to providing motivation, education, and support for your wellness and fitness goals. It is our honor and pleasure to assist you in understanding your journey to optimum physical health, by using science-based approaches and techniques, while also learning from you.
Our Wellness Coaches come from a number of educational and professional backgrounds. We felt this diversity would lead to the acquisition of a passionate, motivated, and competent staff. To assure our coaches ability to convey a consistency in approach to exercise programming, each coach has completed a vigorous, comprehensive pre-service training program incorporating the University of Miami’s finest experts in health education, national fitness industry leaders, and a renowned certification organization.
We are pleased that you have taken the time to meet the coaches that will hopefully, one day, guide you in your goals to optimum fitness.
Pedro Calcines was born and raised in Miami, FL. In 1999, he was offered a job at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. His interest for fitness and weight training began during this time. For the past 3 years, he educated many individuals on health and weight management. He also attended Miami Dade Community College to pursue a certificate as an Emergency Medical Technician. Pedro has always had a passion in helping and changing people’s lives. He always wanted to work in a field that he can use his personal touch in order change people’s lives for better well being. He looks forward to achieving his goals as a Wellness Center Coach at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Janelle has always had a passion for sports and fitness since she was born. Through her high school years she became actively involved in sports by participating in a variety of team sports for her high school, as well as coached summer league basketball for children of all ages. In May 2006, Janelle graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Sports Management. At FSU, she was a manager on the Women’s Basketball team, participated in majority of intramural sports, volunteered at sporting events, and attended games for all sports FSU has to offer. Janelle started her journey here at the Medical Wellness Center as a Customer Service Representative attending to our members firsthand. She then was given the opportunity to take on more responsibility, and was promoted to Floor Manager. With her eagerness to move forward, she took it upon herself to plan, prepare, and complete the NASM Personal Trainer Certification. As our latest addition to our Wellness Instructor staff, her willingness to succeed, work-ethic, determination, and being versatile allow her to fit right in with our team. Janelle is certified through NASM as well as American Heart CPR/First Aid and AED certified. She specializes in sport-specific training, functional training, weight-training, speed/agility training, and training for individual exercise needs. Her future endeavors include certifications for American Red Cross Lifeguard, AFAA Group Exercise Instructor, and NSCA Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
Miguel was born in Cuba and has been a Miami native for 27 years. Since 1999, he has enjoyed working for the University of Miami in various departments. His fitness interest began at a young age and continuously increased throughout his adolescence in playing sports. It grew even more when he joined the U.S. Marines. His sports interests are football, basketball, and Jia Alai. Miguel’s laid-back, down-to-earth personality makes him a very personable and approachable coach. As part of the wellness team, he looks forward to introducing individuals to a path of fitness-related wellbeing. Miguel is certified by NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) as a personal trainer.
Mark comes to the University of Miami Medical Wellness Center from Tallahassee, Florida where he was the Assistant Aquatic Director at Florida A&M University. Florida A&M University is also where Mark completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Physical Education and is in the process of completing his Master’s Degree in Sports Management. Additionally, he is a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer. During the past decade, Mark has coached collegiate division 1 and high school swimming, served as a recreation guest service manager at Walt Disney World Resorts, and assisted the Chicago Cubs Cactus League team as a student-athletic trainer intern. Mark is also an active volunteer with the American Red Cross where he instructs Lifeguard Training, CPR, and swim lesson courses. He has also spent the past few summers working with the National Youth Sports Program as a lifeguard and golf instructor.
Prior to obtaining her physical education degree, Sonia Nistal was an aerobics instructor and personal trainer in Puerto Rico. Her interest in the fitness industry began through her development as a 10K runner and progressed as she achieved her BA degree in Physical Education, specializing in Special Populations. As a Physical Education for individuals with multiple impairments, Sonia implemented Self-Defense, Dance, and Fitness programs. After directing the fitness and massage program at a major hotel spa, Sonia became an independent contractor for personal training and massage therapy and led yoga classes. The Wellness Coach position offers Sonia the opportunity to combine her skills and utilize them in the assistance of others toward improvement of their quality of life in addition to applying her personal experiences to her work with clients. She plans to continue competing in triathalons.
Dunia’s passion for helping others and her conviction that fitness is as an essential part of a healthier lifestyle were the inspirations for becoming a U Wellness Center and Programs Wellness Instructor. She is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a personal trainer (CPT), a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES), and American Heart Association CPR instructor. She incorporates her expertise as a Licensed Massage Therapist to help members understand the importance of proper posture when exercising to maximize results and prevent injuries. A passionate dancer, Dunia is a Zumba instructor and currently teaches "Zumba Sculpt" and regular "Zumba" classes at the Wellness Center. Dunia’s fitness experiences include gymnastics, ballet, professional dance, and sports conditioning training. She graduated from a Sport Academy high school in Cuba. With an outgoing personality, Dunia can always be found with a smile on her face, demonstrating exercises as a fun and enjoyable part of every member’s routine. She is dedicated to the health and fitness education of the members and continually motivates them on the life journey of Wellness.
Joanna Torrens is a Miami native of Cuban descent, who has a passion for movement. She has been involved in sports, such as cheerleading, softball, swimming and track, since a very young age, and has participated in many different types of cultural dance, such as salsa, swing, belly dance and merengue. For over five years, Joanna has been involved in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, aerobics instructor, dance enthusiast and massage therapist. She enjoys reaching out to people and spreading the word about wellness and how it affects one's daily living. Joanna is known for her energy and out-going personality which comes through in all facets of her life. Her main goals include making wellness an enjoyable part of people's everyday life instead of an obligation. She wants people to realize that wellness not only encompasses exercise but many other aspects of one's well being including social, spiritual, mental and emotional, among others.
Fernanda’s strong background and experience for over 15 years in fitness and performance (athletics), and public relations (broadcasting) has taught her that a key part to reach any goal in life is education and consistency. She often says, “Take care of your health today or you will take care of your illness tomorrow; it is your choice, Exercise.” This positive outlook and knowledge inspired her to lead a Wellness Seminar Series at the University of Miami Medical Wellness Center. With her fun, and energetic personality she creates fitness programs and seminars to motivate and educate members to make sustainable lifestyle changes. Fernanda is in the last year of her Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management; having acquired an NASM-CPT (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certification, Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES), Performance Enhance Specialist (PES) and AFAA, (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) instructor, she wants to put her knowledge and talent to make positive contributions to the multicultural community of South Florida at the Medical Wellness Center. Leading by example, Fernanda proves wellness is a balance of physical, mental and spiritual elements everyone can achieve.