The Together Study

Community Advisory Board

Klint Jaramillo


Klint (he, him, his) is a social justice educator and student affairs professional currently serving as Director of the LGBT Resource Center at UC San Francisco. Previously, he served as Associate Director of the Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity at UC Santa Barbara.  

Spencer Ruelos


Spencer (he, him, his) is a queer gamer and geeky academic who specializes in queer theory and technology studies. Spencer received his MA in Sexuality Studies from SFSU. He is currently a PhD candidate at UC Irvine. Spencer likes long weekend hikes, (re)playing Pokémon and Legend of Zelda, singing in his car, and taking afternoon naps with his cat.

Alex Medina


Alex (he, him, his) is a digital health strategist with 10 years of experience in sexual health education for youth. He currently serves as Communication Manager at the California School-Based Health Alliance. A Jersey boy through and through, Alex loves video games, dancing, and exploring the Bay Area.  

Rob Yaeger


Rob (he, him, his) has worked in the HIV/STD prevention and sexual health field for over 20 years as an educator, trainer, and contract manager. He has worked at community-based HIV/AIDS service organizations and State Health departments. His experience in Bi activism, the Trans community, disability access rights, and stand-up comedy have served him well in all of these endeavors. After a lifetime of shivering and shoveling in New England and Minnesota, Rob and his dog are happy to have recently moved to snow-less Oakland. 

Patric Prado


Patric Prado (he, him, his) is a Public Health Informatician focused on global HIV/Tb work. When he's not traveling for work, he enjoys spending his time around POC queers and food. He hopes to get involved in more domestic HIV studies and work.  

Denmark Diaz


Denmark (he, him, his) is a Men’s Health Educator for the Health Promotion & Wellness unit at San Francisco State University. His work focuses on promoting healthy masculinity and collaborating with different campus entities to prevent sexual violence in the SF State community. Denmark is an ardent lover of cat Vines, French Fries, and Shoegaze.

Study Team

Colleen Hoff


Colleen (she, her, hers) is a Co-Principal Investigator of the Together Study and the Director of the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality (CREGS). In her spare time Colleen loves hanging out with her dogs and having some white wine.

Lynae Darbes


Lynae (she, her, hers) is a Co-Principal Investigator of the Together Study and an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. 

Dee Chakravarty


Dee (she, her, hers) is the statistician, programmer and data manager for the Together study. For over a decade, she has been a contributor to HIV prevention research on gay male couples, along with other members of this study team. She was part of the two longitudinal Gay Couples Studies, the You and Me study, and (e)PRIDE. She also works on research studies at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at UCSF. In addition to gay couples, her HIV research also focuses on transgender women. Dee considers herself an eternal student, fascinated by and learning from life in all its multi-hued splendor.

Tor Neilands


Tor (he, him, his) is the project’s statistical and methodological co-investigator. He previously worked as a statistical consultant at UT Austin before coming to UCSF’s Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. There he directs the research methods core, co-directs a training program, and provides biostatistical support to projects. Tor has been a part of the gay couples research group since 2002. In this spare time he enjoys spending time with his spouse and dog in the redwoods.

Nate O'Brien


 Nate (He, Him, His) is the Study Director of the Together Study. He is originally from Upstate NY, but made his way across the country to obtain a Master's Degree in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State. His research in the program focused on gay dating applications and sexual racism. Nate is a big advocate for social justice and hopes to see some change in our current political system. In his off time, Nate is a hardcore movie buff, and loves to enjoy the west coast's hella chill vibes. 

Ilse Gonzalez


 Ilse  (she, her, hers) is a Research Assistant for the Together Study. She is originally from Jalisco, Mexico but has been raised in the Bay area. She is a big advocate for immigration rights.  She is currently an undergraduate student at SFSU majoring with a BA in psychology and a minor in human sexuality. As a member of both the Lantinx and LGBTQIA community, she hopes to give back to her community by becoming a sex therapist. She is interested in all aspects of sexuality and gender but is particularity drawn to LGBTQIA, Latinx, and disability studies and how they intersect with sexuality. In her free time, Ilse enjoys swimming, reading, crafting, and interior design.    



  Q (she/her/hers) is a Research Assistant for the Together Study. She has a BA in Psychology from Humboldt State University, and is a recent graduate of the MA program in Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University. Her thesis work focused on generational trauma, identity development and art as a modality for healing and resistance. She is currently studying Tarot and its connection to Jung's archetypes and plans to pursue a PhD in Jungian Psychology or Mythological studies. In her spare time she enjoys reading Tarot, writing and knitting.  

Elaika Celemen


  Elaika (she,her, hers) is a Research Assistant for the Together Study. She immigrated from Manila, Philippines at 8 years old and grew up in the Bay Area. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Portland. In the future, she plans to pursue an MA in Public Health because she would like to further learn about how determinants of health affect minorities. Through this, she hopes to make healthcare more accessible for all communities. In her free time, Elaika likes to sew, make memes, go to concerts, visit the newest boba shops, and spend time with her friends. 

Cesar Torres


   Cesar (any pronouns) is a recruiter for the Together Study. Cesar is currently an undergraduate student at San Francisco State University and is pursuing a B.A. in Sociology. They hope to become an educator in the near future so they can educate the next generation of radical leaders. In their free time, Cesar enjoys reading poetry, cooking, going to museums, and discovering new music throughout the sonic soundscape.  

Alicia Jimenez


   Alicia (she, her, hers) is an interventionist with the Together Study. You'll probably see her out and about letting couples know of the study!  Previously, she has volunteered at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco and with [[Ssex Bbox]] International. She is deeply committed to LGBTQ rights. In her spare time, she's a reality TV junkie and enjoys cooking and spending time with her cat.     

Avry Schellenbach


 Avry (she, her, hers) is an interventionist for the Together Study. She works as a Health Educator with the nonprofit Health Connected, where she teaches comprehensive sexuality and relationship education to 5th-12th graders. Over the past five years, she has facilitated workshops on sexuality, pleasure, body image, fat positivity, and consent throughout the Bay Area. She loves rock climbing and doing acroyoga with her partner.    

Darin Witkovic


Darin Witkovic (he, him, his) is an interventionist with the Together Study. Darin is currently a Ph.D. student at Palo Alto University and serves as a research assistant in PAU’s Personality and Social Norms Research Lab. His research focuses on LGBTQ psychology, including issues relating to intersectionality, substance use behaviors, sexual racism, and HIV/AIDS prevention. Darin received his Master’s in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. He has previously worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Heads Up Research Lab at Loyola Marymount University. He is conversational in Mandarin Chinese and Japanese, and previously taught English in public elementary schools in Japan. 

Past Members

Thank you to our previous team members who helped make the Together Study possible:

Maya Desai, Emma Carnes, Tavi C, Juan Chihuahua, Kenna Cook, Molly Silvestrini, Bex MacFife, Jae Cripe, Eri Virgen, Michelle Segura, Cameron Michels, Crystal  Madriles, Kendra Twenter, James Lykens, Alé Vazquez, Colin Fyfe, Allan Flores, Cilantro Flores.