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

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

Affiliated faculty

Center administration and project staff

Rosalina Balleza

Health Promotion Facilitator

Diane Brogden MA

Program Manager; Senior PRA

Lilia Chavez Bernal

Parent Engagement & Outreach Manager

Kelsey Crossman

Health Promotion Facilitator

Kendra Gilmour MEd

Senior Health Promotion Coordinator

Lisa Gonzales MPH

Senior Health Promotion Coordinator

Mara Hsu BA

Early Childhood Education Coach, Professional Research Assistant

Ashley Hurst

Health Promotion Facilitator, SLV Area Coordinator

Kathleen Leedom MA

School Wellness Program Trainer

Marlayna Martinez BA

San Luis Valley Community Research Liaison, Professional Research Assistant

Peter Medina

Health Promotion Facilitator

Jaime Powers MPH

Senior Health Promotion Coordinator, Senior Professional Research Assistant

Angelina Riggs BS

Health Promotion Facilitator

Sharon Scarbro MS

Center Biostatistician, Senior Professional Research Assistant

Luke Shealy

Community Policy, Systems, and Environment Program Manager

Abby Smith

Program Support Handler

Ethan Tietze

Academic Services Professional

Mikayla Valentine

Health Promotion Facilitator

Jessica Walls MPH

Professional Research Assistant

Elizabeth Watts MPH

Senior Professional Research Assistant

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

Rachael Lacy
Rachael Lacy, Professional Research Assistant, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Tell me a little about your background and previous experience.

In March of 2020, I received my Master of Public Health (MPH) in Community and Behavioral Health from The Colorado School of Public Health. While receiving my master’s degree, I interned at the RMPRC under Director Jenn Leiferman, PhD and aided in the development and evaluation of a prenatal program aimed to enhance the mental and physical health of pregnant women. This kindled my passion for advancing women’s health and confirmed my desire to work at the center. Prior to this, I attended Virginia Tech where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences.

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

While interning at the RMPRC from 2019-2020, I learned of the numerous projects enhancing the quality of life of families and particularly women across Colorado. One of my interests lay in helping coordinate a research project aimed at increasing physical health and reducing mental illnesses in pregnant women called “My Baby, My Move+” (PI: Leiferman). This project allowed me to utilize the evaluation skills gained from my internship while advancing my data management and data literacy skills. In addition to the day-to-day work, the investigators, and researchers at the RMPRC create a welcoming and positive work environment where colleagues are supported and encouraged to pursue their passions.

What do you enjoy most in your role?

I enjoy many aspects of my role as a PRA. I am grateful for the dedicated colleagues I work alongside, who are truly enhancing Coloradan’s quality of life, and their passion to spearhead changes in the mental health and well-being sectors. Additionally, I enjoy participating in community-based participatory research and creating connections with the women and families we serve, as well as learning from the incredible communities we partner with. This role allows me the ability to refine my skillsets and offers opportunities to grow professionally and personally.

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.