Our Team


Jenn Leiferman PhD

Professor, Chair (CBH Dept.), Director (RMPRC), Founder (PMHW)

Jini Puma PhD

Associate Director (RMPRC), Clinical Associate Professor

Core directors and advisors

Glen Mays PhD, MPH

Professor, Chair (HSMP Dept)

Elaine Scallan Walter PhD, MA

Associate Professor, Director (RMPHTC), Co-Director (Colorado Integrated Food Safety CoE)

Faculty and research associates

Center administration and project staff

Veronica Cisneros BA

Early Childhood Educational Coach

Kendra Gilmour MEd

Senior Health Promotion Coordinator

Lisa Gonzales MPH

Senior Health Promotion Coordinator

Angela Haynie

Valley Manager, Professional Research Assistant

Mara Hsu BA

Early Childhood Education Coach

Rachael Lacy MPH

Professional Research Assistant

Dave LaRocca MS

Senior Professional Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant

Kathleen Leedom MA

Senior Health Promotion Coordinator

Lorena Luna

Health Promotion Facilitator

Marlayna Martinez

San Luis Valley Community Research Liaison, Professional Research Assistant

Jaime Powers MPH

Senior Health Promotion Coordinator

Jodeen Relph BA

Center Administration Manager

Angelina Riggs BS

Health Promotion Facilitator

Sharon Scarbro MS

Center Biostatistician, Senior Professional Research Assistant

BreAnna Teeters

Special Projects Coordinator

Visit the directory for all members of our team, including affiliated staff. To find out more about our local and academic partnerships, check out our partners page

Denver team member highlight

Dave LaRocca
David LaRocca, Senior Professional Research Assistant, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Tell me a little about your background and previous experience.

Prior to coming to the RMPRC, I worked for Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City and the Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care in Denver. At Harlem Children’s Zone, I helped direct a school-based health and wellness program for 25 early childhood, school, and afterschool programs across Central Harlem. While at the Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care, I managed quality improvement projects focusing on trauma-informed care, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and tobacco cessation in urban and rural school-based health centers while also supporting emerging school-based health centers through community health assessments, policy development, and advocacy.

Why did you decide to work at CU and with the RMPRC?

In 2018, I began the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program at the Colorado School of Public Health. Due to my interest in continuing to develop, implement, and evaluate community health and wellness programs, I chose the Community and Behavioral Health (CBH) concentration. After learning about community-based participatory research (CBPR) through my courses, I wanted to work with the RMPRC to grow my CBPR skillset and work with CBPR experts. I was lucky to join the RMPRC in 2019 and have since worked on the Center’s core research project, entitled STANCE (Linking Systems To address ACEs iN Childhood Early on), and the COVID-19 Vaccine Supplement project.

What do you enjoy most in your role?

I am grateful to work with so many amazing people at the RMPRC and be at the forefront of public health practice and research. The Center is full of talented investigators and project staff who I learn from every day, and through the Center, I also have the privilege of working with passionate community partners. I am also continually impressed with the Center’s commitment to community-engaged research and the development, testing, and evaluation of new public health interventions.

San Luis Valley (SLV) team member highlight

Angela Haynie
Angela Haynie, SLV Professional Research Assistant, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, SLV Satellite Office

How long have you been in the San Luis Valley (SLV)? Are you a native? If not, what brought you there?

I have lived in the San Luis Valley for most of my life. I was born in Monte Vista and have lived in several areas of the valley before settling in Alamosa. I moved to Phoenix briefly in my mid-twenties but came back the first chance I could, as I feel deeply connected to the San Luis Valley. My family roots are here--my paternal lineage has resided in the San Luis Valley for generations. I have great love and appreciation for the people, the land, and it’s history.

Tell me a little about your background and previous experience.

I grew up as a country girl with 5 siblings on a farm/ranch. We had the privilege of roaming wild & free on our land as well as in the mountains that surround the valley. When I was young, we would go on family horseback camping trips filled with adventure and the best scenery nature has to offer. While times were often tough living off the land, it gave me grit and a resiliency that I will never take for granted. When I attended school, I was heavily involved with sports and played volleyball, basketball, and track every year. I attended college at Adams State University but did not graduate as I had no direction at that time in my life. I felt it was not the right time for me. I opted to work instead. I threw myself into learning any work-related skills that I could, as well as nourishing my hobbies with photography, writing, and cosplay.

Presently, I live in Alamosa and have for the last 15 years with my husband. We have 2 daughters, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a magical secret garden. When I became a mother, there was no other role in life that meant more to me. It has been the sole focus of my adult life. My biggest accomplishments are healing my own childhood trauma and giving my children a safe, loving, stable, magical childhood, as well as reconnecting with my Indigenous and Hispanic heritage. BLM, Indigenous rights, and food sovereignty are passionate causes I hold. I have a spontaneous and eclectic approach to life which keeps me excited to dabble in lots of activities. Lately, I love kayaking, gardening (outdoor and indoor), down-hill and cross country skiing, full-moon hikes, knitting, and reading. Always reading. Books are life.

I have a varied background in regards to work experience. I have long sought after jobs that gave me growth and an array of strong skills that are hands-on, computer-related, and people centered. My background consists of corporate office work, sales, real estate, working with forensic populations in community corrections, providing nutrition education in a non-profit organization, and presently… community-based research. I’m one of those people who did not know what they wanted to do as soon as they graduated high school or college, so I’ve experimented. Each step brought me closer to where I am today, a career path that suits me, as it’s work that contributes to scientific research while serving my beloved communities across the valley at the same time. I am incredibly grateful for the myriad of experiences I have had and I am very excited for future possibilities.

Why did you decide to work at CU and with the RMPRC?

I started working for CU and the RMPRC when I was offered a part-time position doing parent recruitment for the Integrated Nutrition Education Program (INEP). I had just re-entered the work-force after being a stay-at-home mom for a few years and it was the perfect part-time job that allowed me to ease back into working with a flexible schedule which was highly appealing to me at that time in my life. As I got to know the INEP and RMPRC teams, I knew I had found something special that would give me the best employment growth experience and opportunities. The INEP part-time Parent Recruiter position led me to a full-time Program Coordinator which eventually led me to my current position, a RMPRC Professional Research Assistant on the STANCE Project researching Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s). My life has taken interesting twists and turns but has led me to the amazing place I am today. I am so grateful for the ability to work for CU/RMPRC and be a part of incredible teams who are bettering our world.

What do you enjoy most in your role?

The people. Hands down. The pandemic has made this part harder as we handle everything virtually but the people are the stars of this show—my colleagues, the schools I work with, the parents/communities we serve, and the partnerships we make and maintain. It’s always the people who are at the heart of work like this. On the back-end, I really enjoy independent work such as creating and improving systems and anything that allows me to bring out my own brand of creativity.