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.  

Denmark Diaz

Denmark (he, him, his) is as 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.

Jay Lykens

Jay (he, him, his) is the Study Director of the Together Study. He worked previously as the Program Coordinator at YTH leading projects like TECHsex, PrEPTECH, and they2ze. He was also a research technician on Project AFFIRM and Project SHARe at the Health Equity Institute. Jay has focused on LGBTQ health research for the past five years. He is a huge sci-fi/fantasy nerd and enjoys cooking and playing video games with his partner.

Cameron Michels

Cameron (she, her, hers) is the Research Manager of the Together Study. She is a graduate of the Sexuality Studies MA program at SFSU and has worked as a research assistant on The Generations Study, the Our Stories Study, and Project Wameru. Cameron is also passionate about reproductive justice and is a practical support volunteer for ACCESS. Cameron loves cats, watching sports, and reading fiction.   

Jae Cripe

Jae Cripe (he, him, his) is a Research Assistant for the Together Study. He worked previously with the Our Stories Study and has worked in LGBTQ sexual health education and advocacy for the past 7 years. He is a nature enthusiast and enjoys biking and hanging out with animals. 

Cilantro Flores

Cilantro (they, them, their) is a Research Assistant with the Together Study. This is their first time working on a study of this kind, but has past experience working in this field when they were an HIV peer test counselor during college. Cilantro is dedicated to the empowerment of queer people of color in their hometown of Oakland and the larger Bay Area. 

Tavi C.

Tavi (they, them, their) is a queer counseling graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation, Tavi plans to work at a community college to help underserved populations navigate the higher education system as a college counselor. Tavi is deeply committed to the mental and physical well being of the LGBTQIA community, and is excited to serve in the role of recruiter for the Together Study at CREGS. While not working or at school, Tavi enjoys many outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, and has a passion for live theater. 

Alé Vazquez

 Alé (he, him, his) is a recruiter with the Together Study. He grew up in Los Angeles, but came out to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley. After graduating, he is now working full time at a clinic in Oakland. He hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Public Health. He also hopes his involvement with this research, paired with his clinical experience, will broaden his ability to serve LGBTQ populations. In his free time, Ale is building a poetry manuscript and exercising. 

Alicia Jimenez

Alicia (she, her, hers) is a recruiter and 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. 

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. 

Michelle Segura

Michelle (she, her, hers) is an Interventionist for the Together Study. She is also an associate at a sensory deprivation center in Oakland. She previously worked as a Behavioral Therapist for children with Autism and a Substitute Teacher with at-risk children and youth. Michelle was a nutritional consultant in the health food industry for over 5 years. Her undergrad research explored the toxic effects of traditional masculinity in heterosexual relationships and its role in the underreporting of male child sexual abuse. She is a photographer, mother to many plants, and loves to have a good laugh.  

Kenna Cook

Kenna (she, her, hers) is an Interventionist for the Together Study. She is a sex educator and pleasure professional in Sacramento, focusing on inclusive and accurate sex education for the LGBTQ community. She is a pop culture nerd and a super fan of Rupaul's Drag Race, trying to catch up on episodes between raising her two rad sons with her partner.

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.  

Past Members

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

Allan Flores, Cilantro Flores