Meet MOASH's staff:
Taryn Gal - Executive director
Taryn Gal, MPH, CPH, CHES (Ann Arbor) is the Executive Director at the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH), where she has held various roles since 2011. During her time at MOASH, she has worked alongside youth to break down the siloed approach to adolescent sexual health issues, in order to effectively address all that intersects with sexual and reproductive health among young people in Michigan. Taryn has worked in the field of sexual health for over 17 years and, prior to her work at MOASH, worked as a sexuality educator, HIV test counselor, and research assistant in HIV-prevention curriculum development. Currently, she is a board member for GLSEN Southeast Michigan Chapter and is the co-chair of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Sexual Health Education Advisory Committee. Contact Taryn at: email@example.com
brittany batell - program director
Brittany Batell, MPH, MSW (she/her) is the Program Director at MOASH. She graduated with her dual master’s from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work (Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health concentration) and School of Public Health (Health Behavior and Health Education program), with additional specializations in gender and sexuality health and health communications. She has worked and volunteered for over 10 years in the field as a sex educator, reproductive justice advocate, and manager/health consultant at the S3 Safe Sex Store in Ann Arbor. Some particular areas of interest include comprehensive sex education; healthy relationships and communication; and the use of creative expression and improv techniques in health education and care settings. She also serves on the Coordinating Council of the Sex Education Collaborative and serves as co-chair of Ann Arbor's Sexual Health Education Advisory Committee. Contact Brittany at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAROLYN HERRMANN - FINANCE DIRECTOR
Carolyn Herrmann (Ann Arbor) is the Finance Director for MOASH. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BBA in Accounting. Carolyn and her husband are raising two teen sons, one of whom is part of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to working as a part-time accountant, she is a volunteer facilitator for Stand with Trans at their Ann Arbor location. Carolyn has a long history of volunteering within Ann Arbor Public Schools, including as School Garden Coordinator at several schools. As a native Michigander, she is very excited to be helping support the great work being done by MOASH. Contact Carolyn at: email@example.com
shakti rambarran - advocacy director
Shakti Rambarran, MPH, MS (she/her) is an advocate and educator for LGBTQ+ inclusive, racially diverse, culturally competent, and evidence-based sexual and reproductive health. She holds a Master's in Public Health (MPH) and certificate in Sexuality, Sexual & Reproductive Health from Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, and a Masters of Science (MS) in Social Psychology, with a focus on intergroup stigma and discrimination, from Ohio University. Briefly, some of her experience includes teaching comprehensive sex-ed to middle school students, writing for the award-winning health promotion website, Go Ask Alice!, researching prejudice and discrimination towards bisexual and transgender* individuals within interpersonal relationships, and program evaluation for PPFA's Chat/Text pilot program at Ohio University. Her passion and deep understanding for promoting sexual and reproductive health has led her to extensively engage in activism and advocacy in various forms, including meeting with political leaders, testifying against anti-choice bills, and utilizing relational organizing to encourage others to exercise their political privileges with those most marginalized in mind. She prioritizes keeping her work intersectional, culturally-competent, accessible, and evidence-based as failure to do so only promotes erasure, misinformation, and further harm against marginalized individuals. Likewise, she recognizes that we are beyond one individual or small group of political figures, and that real power lies within grassroots organizing, engagement, and mass movements. With all this in mind, she is thrilled to join the MOASH team to continue her advocacy efforts! Contact Shakti at: firstname.lastname@example.org
LORI RASMUSSEN - HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
Lori Rasmussen (she/her) is the HR Director with MOASH. Lori has worked 17+ years non-profit sector and the last year in the HR field. Lori graduated from Michigan State with her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and from Grand Valley with her Master’s in Public Administration In 2018 she attained the coveted SHRM-SCP credential. Her work includes spearheading successful change management processes, overseeing recruitment and talent management, creating improved processes and procedures to increase efficiency, managing teams, board governance, overseeing complex budgets of up to $4 million, conducting needs assessments, and program evaluation. Lori serves on the board of Family Promise of the Lakeshore, a local organization providing support to homeless families. Lori lives in Muskegon with her husband, twins, dog, cat and a bunch of wildlife. She is excited to be on the MOASH team supporting the great work being done! Lori can be reached at email@example.com
CHARDAE BROCKMAN - PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Chardae Brockman: Through her professional and volunteer experiences, Chardae has worked with thousands of youth in the Metro Detroit area, including adjudicated youth, pregnant and parenting teens, as well as young women exiting the commercial sex industry. As an advocate for youth, she has developed multiple social integration activities to help build stronger support systems for adolescents. Chardae completed her undergraduate education at Michigan State University, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism. She continued her educational journey by completing the Sexual Health Education Certificate Program through the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Community Based Health Education from Wayne State University. Chardae is excited to bring her experiences, energy, and enthusiasm to the MOASH team. Contact Chardae at: firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHANIE DIPONIO - Program and outreach manager
Stephanie DiPonio, MSW (White Lake) is the Program and Outreach Manager for MOASH. Stephanie graduated from Michigan State University with a BA degree in Anthropology, minor in Women and Gender Studies, and a specialization in Peace and Justice Studies. Thereafter, Stephanie received a MSW from the University of Michigan focusing on Community Organizing. In addition, she has a strong background in gender and sexuality issues, women’s health, as well as sexual and interpersonal violence issues. She looks forward to bring her passion and interests to the MOASH team. Contact Stephanie at: email@example.com
tenIEce dobbins - yeah project facilitator
TeNiece Dobbins, MEd is native of Detroit, a Spartan and natural born educator. She currently serves as an YEAH Facilitator for the YEAH Project with MOASH. Educating others is no stranger to TeNiece. She has served in an educational role with several AIDS services organizations and CBO’s in Detroit over the last 10 years. She also spent time as a Physician Detailer with the Detroit Health Department, providing targeted 1-on-1 education with physicians in efforts to increase PrEP uptake and the collection of sexual histories with all patients. HIV/STD prevention is her passion and helping to create change by increasing access to services and in the delivery of prevention education to the most vulnerable populations is a priority.
JAMIE ERDHEIM - SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Jamie Erdheim, M.Ed. (she/they) is a queer nonbinary cat mom, Capricorn apologist, sexuality educator, and youth worker. She has over ten years of experience across systems and settings focusing on youth empowerment, community-based harm reduction, and anti-oppression education. Formerly an intern and MY Voice advisor at MOASH, she is thrilled to return to Michigan and engage in statewide work around shifting culture and climate in schools. If you visit Lansing, you'll find her reading thinkpieces on the Great British Bake-Off, traveling far and wide for greasy food, and convincing friends to start a pop punk cover band. Contact Jamie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEVIN GOLDSTEIN - DISABILITY ACCESS COORDINATOR
Devin Goldstein (he/him) is a Deaf Disabled trans man. He is the Disability Access Coordinator and Disability Pride Youth Advisory Council facilitator. A former YAC member, Devin brings a youth's voice to MOASH's staff. Leading using both personal and professional experiences, he is working to standardize approaches to accessibility and inclusion throughout MOASH and sex education for youth in Michigan. A student at Gallaudet University, Devin studies the 'epistemology of intersectionality: gender, sexuality, and disability.' This gives him the educational background to empower Disabled Michigan youth to learn about and advocate for sexual health services and education for the Disabled community. Devin is a fierce advocate for youth and has volunteered in a mentor capacity working with hundreds of LGBT+ and Disabled youth since high school years. Devin is so excited to take this next step in creating accessible and Disability-focused sex education with MOASH. You can contact Devin at: email@example.com
NOELLE KELLOGG - PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
Noelle Kellogg, CHES (Lansing) graduated from Central Michigan University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education, which was where she first facilitated a sexuality education program as an intern in the Office of LGBTQ Services. Since then, she has continued to work and volunteer in the fields of sexual and mental health as an educator, facilitator, and advocate, both in Oklahoma City and in her home state of Michigan. Her areas of interest include comprehensive and affirming sexuality education, healthy relationships and violence prevention, and LGBTQ+ health and wellness. She is particularly passionate about fostering authentic youth partnerships to build a safer and healthier future for all, and is so excited to be a part of the MOASH team. Contact Noelle at: firstname.lastname@example.org
kelly stec - promoting protective policy (P3) Coordinator
Kelly Stec is the P3 Coordinator at MOASH. She began her work in the legislature in 2016 on affirmative consent legislation, and her educational background is in education policy and administration. Kelly is passionate about including those most affected by legislation in its inception and development, encouraging LGBTQA+ youth to find queer mentorship in their career paths, and ensuring access to quality P-16 Education for all Michigan residents. Kelly has previously served on both state and national boards for the American Federation of Teachers, written as a featured contributor on the GovLoop Blog, and most recently worked as a Legislative Director at the Michigan House of Representatives. She is delighted to serve her beloved Mitten State in this capacity.
natasha thomas - program coordinator
Natasha Thomas is a writer, youth advocate, and artist-activist. From 2009-2018, she served as co-founder and Executive Director of RAISE IT UP! Youth Arts & Awareness (RIU), an award-winning organization that promoted youth engagement, expression, and empowerment through performance, literary art, and social activism. In 2018, she became a Regional Organizing Director for NextGen America’s NextGen Rising initiative, the youth organizing and voter mobilization and of NextGen America. Her writing has been featured in digital publications and academic journals such as the Hollywood Reporter, The Body is Not an Apology (TBINAA), AlterNet, and Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies. Natasha has performed/presented at various venues, conferences, and festivals including Harry Belafonte’s inaugural Many Rivers to Cross Music and Social Justice Festival in Atlanta, at the African-American Policy Forum’s (AAPF) Breaking the Silence Retreat at Vassar College, and for the #SayHerName Campaign at the African American Women and the Law Conference in Washington, DC. As a poet and speaker, she has had the honor of sharing the stage with artists and activists such as Stevie Wonder, Kimberle’ Crenshaw, bell hooks, Janelle Monae, Barbara Smith, Ryan Coogler, Sonia Sanchez, Jessie Williams, John Legend and more. Contact Natasha at: email@example.com
Meet MOASH's Board of Directors:
Colby spencer cesaro - BOARD CO-CHAIR
Colby Spencer Cesaro, MPA, (Ann Arbor) is Vice President at the Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities association (MICU). In her role, she focuses her time analyzing data on the contributions of higher education institutions, their students, and graduates to the economy, enhancing awareness of the importance of higher education to policymakers and the public. Outside of MICU, Ms. Spencer Cesaro is Board Co-Chair of the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH). MOASH’s work is focused on mobilizing youth voices, engaging community partners, and educating decision-makers to advance sexual health, identities, and rights for youth. Ms. Spencer Cesaro is also Board Chair of The Arts Alliance, a non-profit focused on arts advocacy throughout Washtenaw County and the State of Michigan. The Arts Alliance works collaboratively with National Endowment for the Arts and other organizations nationally. Ms. Spencer Cesaro holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary and special education from New York University with a concentration on vocal performance and music. She holds a Master of Public Administration in urban/social policy and econometric/quantitative analysis from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York City.
Craig VanKempen - Board Co-Chair
Craig VanKempen, LMSW, MPH (Ypsilanti) is a Program Specialist with the Adolescent Health Initiative at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. He is also a clinical therapist in private practice at Integrative Empowerment Group in Ypsilanti, specializing in working with members of the LGBTQ, poly, and kink communities. He has been working on improving the sexual health of adolescents for over two decades. He lives in Ypsilanti with his wife Angela where they spend most of their free time working on theatrical endeavors with the Neighborhood Theatre Group.
Heather alberda - BOARD SEcretary
Heather Alberda, BA (Holland), has been a Sexuality Educator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health for the past 17 years. She received her BA in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University and recently completed the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. Heather received her AASECT certification as a sexuality educator in 2014, and is one of five certified sexuality educators in Michigan. Her focus over the years has included STI/teen pregnancy prevention, providing parents with the power and information to encourage healthy sexual conversations as well as chairing the local sexual health coalition. Heather’s passion lies within empowering youth and encouraging them to seek correct information about sexuality. In August 2017 Heather was recognized for her work in expanding Wear One (a condom distribution program) at the MI State STD Conference with an Outstanding Innovations Award. Wear One is now covers 40 counties in MI, including the U. P and 3 college campuses…providing access to more than 25% of Michigan’s population. She has written for Juicebox, a sexual health app and was recently featured in Bustle highlighting STI testing, The Atlantic speaking about the 20th Anniversary of “The Care and Keeping of You” and in West Michigan Woman, adding to the conversation on #metoo.
Naomi Khalil - BOARD TREasurer
Naomi Khalil, (Farmington) is in the eighth year of serving as Director of Instructional Equity for the Farmington Public Schools. In this role, Ms. Khalil leads a number of initiatives, including but not limited to: district diversity initiatives (student lead diversity program, activities for staff and parents, Social Justice training, Minority Student Achievement Network representative, Farmington/Farmington Hills Multicultural Multiracial Council representative, Civil Rights compliance officer); federal programs and grants coordinator; section 504 district coordinator; career focused/career tech education director; and district student assistance program coordinator. Prior to coming to FPS, Ms. Khalil worked for two years as a Spanish HS teacher in Utica Community Schools before spending 11 years as a teacher, curriculum coordinator and principal of the Academy of the Americas school, a dual language immersion K-8 school in the Detroit Public School system. Ms. Khalil also develops and delivers professional development to educators in a number of areas, including privilege & oppression, whiteness, race politics, and gender identity. She roots these sessions in the needs of students as she works diligently to be an advocate for and ally to student voice. In addition to her educational experience, Ms. Khalil is a champion of her middle eastern heritage, has native fluency in Spanish, and has lived and traveled extensively abroad. This vast experience, coupled with her life experiences that she shares with her wife and two children, allows Ms. Khalil to bring a unique, yet powerful perspective to the world of diversity work.
Laurie Bechhofer, MPH, (Lansing) has been an advocate, champion and change agent on adolescent sexual health and effective HIV/STD and sex education programs for the past 25 years. She believes in the power and strength of young people to make informed decisions about their relationships, their sexual health, and their future. She has been the HIV/STD Education Consultant with the Michigan Department of Education since 1996, working closely with schools, parents, and communities to promote HIV/STD programs for youth that are consistent with student needs, community norms, the law, and research and best practice. Laurie is committed to acknowledging and addressing the structural barriers that impede equitable health and education outcomes for young people. She has been the project director for a federally-funded grant to promote exemplary sexual health education, access to sexual health services, and safe and supportive school environments for all students. Laurie leads a statewide initiative, A Silent Crisis: Creating Safe and Supportive Schools for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students. In 2008, she co-founded the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH). She has been invited to serve on numerous national panels including the National Sexuality Education Standards Committee, and to speak at a sex education briefing on Capitol Hill. Laurie is a past president for the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, a Fellow with the American School Health Association, and co-author of a chapter in the book, Case Studies in Global School Health Promotion. She earned her M.P.H. from the University of Michigan and her B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University.
Jen Hsu-Bishop (Grand Rapids) currently serves as Director of the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center at Grand Valley State University. Previously, she served as Director of LBGT Student Services at Western Michigan University and Executive Director of the OutCenter in Benton Harbor, Michigan. With over ten years of experience in higher education and non-profit leadership and administration, Jen has dedicated her career to centering the voices of LGBTQIA+ people and all historically marginalized communities. She is inspired by the resilience, agency, and creativity that comes from community building and co-creating anti-oppressive spaces. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan and Master of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University. In her free time she loves to explore new places, food, and ideas, especially with her partner, Kat.
Micaela Stevenson (Ann Arbor) is a medical student at the University of Michigan. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Women’s Studies with a minor in Health and Illness Interdisciplinary Studies. Micaela served on the MY Voice Board for 3 years before becoming a member of the Board of Directors. Currently, Micaela acts as the Executive Director of the Health Equity Scholars Program at the University of Michigan and is the social services coordinator for the University of Michigan Student Run Free Clinic. Micaela currently conducts a wide variety of research, much of which deals with adolescent health. Micaela hopes to become an obstetrician gynecologist in underserved urban communities the future. In her free time, Micaela loves to read and bake cookies.
MAE LEXI ZURITA
Mae Lexi Zurita is a 18 year old transgender woman from west Michigan. She's worked with MOASH on the MY Voice and MY Trans Voice groups as liaison to bridge communications. MOASH has given her the wonderful opportunity to be on the MOASH board as a youth member, and she will not squander the opportunity. While she is young, she hopes to make the most change possible for young queer students all over the United States of America. Politics, policies and law are a few of her side interests as she climbs the mountain of advocacy in America. She's currently studying Organizational Leadership at Davenport University with the goal of making her own LGBT+ focused company after college. You can find her on social media as DuarfS.
Dr. clyde barnett, III
Dr. Clyde Barnett, III, is an educational consultant and an adjunct professor of the Leading for Equity and Justice program at Eastern Michigan University. Dr. B focuses on investigating the possibilities of and barriers to advising through a transformative leadership lens in P-20 education spaces. This investigation occurs through the collection, exploration, and analysis of community voices in both K-12 schools and higher education institutions to inform advising, policy, and practice. To further this work, Dr. B established an educational consulting agency, Discover Without Barriers, where he works on challenging educators through reflective, transformative, and continuous learning. Here, he's fostered numerous partnerships with public schools, charter schools, and government agencies to develop educational professionals into scholar-practitioners. His work is centered on incorporating the voices of students, parents, and community stakeholders who have been historically excluded from decision-making in P-20 spaces. To turn the tide, Dr. Barnett is currently leading numerous student and community voice projects throughout the state of Michigan.
Jenny Wein, CPA, PMP (southeast Michigan) is an IT Manager for the Great Lakes Water Authority. She has over 20 years of experience in business, technology improvement, and organizational change management. Jenny joined MOASH in order to help improve people’s sexual and reproductive confidence and to increase the quality and quantity of resources available to welcome their unique desires. Jenny has a Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Science in global sustainability from the University of Michigan and a Bachelors of Arts in accounting from Michigan State University with a specialization in international business. Outside of her full-time work and volunteering Jenny owns and manages a handful of rental properties and she enjoys creating gardens and habitat for native wildlife.
Nkenge Burkhead is the Organizing Director of Mothering Justice. As organizing director I coordinate community conversations with mothers of color to understand what the community needs are, using their life experience to determine what we ask of legislators. Nkenge has an extensive background in community organizing. She served as fundraising chair for Black Live Matter Detroit. She co-organizes a national community baby shower that specifically serves black mothers. Before coming to Mothering Justice, Nkenge was employed as a prevention specialist for Intimate Partner Violence and advocated for trafficking survivors who experienced homelessness in Detroit. Nkenge believes that being a black woman is a political experience within itself and organizing mothers of color will create the equitable society activists dream of.
Daniel Vander ley
Daniel Vander Ley, MsE, BSEE (Detroit) works in the semiconductor industry as an Applications Program Manager at Osram Opto. Daniel has spent his professional life designing, developing, marketing and selling components in the fields of: Autonomous Systems, Braking, Batteries, Air Bags, and Light-based safety products. With his community engagement Daniel focuses his efforts on building opportunities for youths. In addition to MOASH, he presently serves as the Board VP at a Detroit charter school and has served on the board of the Ruth Ellis Center, a Detroit LGBTQ+ homeless services organization. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Daniel is particularly sensitive to the challenges of sexual education and cultural acceptance of sexual and gender minority youths.