Faculty and Staff
Dianne Berg, PhD, is an assistant professor, licensed psychologist, Co-Director of the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health, and coordinator of Child and Adolescent Gender Health. She is involved in providing clinical services to adults, adolescents and children with sexuality concerns. Her areas of interest are transgender issues – including gender creative children, compulsive sexual behavior – including the unique needs of partners of people with compulsive sexual behavior. Dr. Berg and her colleague, Dr. Katie Spencer, are the authors of the Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach of Psychotherapy and Education that is the theoretical framework for the clinical-research program of the Gender Health Services at PHS. Dr. Berg is an invited speaker both nationally and internationally, including appearances on PBS and in scientific American Mind magazine as well as presentations at the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) symposium and the national conference of the American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). She is a published author with more recent work being a chapter co-author for an APA book on Assessment for Children within a Gender Affirmative Model of Care. She is currently developing a group therapy curriculum for trans-identified youth and their parent/s and is exploring clinical innovations to enrich supportive therapy experiences for gender creative children. She is a member of the Child and Adolescent Committee of WPATH, as well as an AASECT certified sex therapist and AASECT certified supervisor. Dr. Berg works in conjunction with pediatric endocrinology, urology, genetics and MDH Newborn Screening to provide a multidisciplinary clinic for children/adolescents with Disorders of Sex Development (DSD). Dr. Berg received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Program in Human Sexuality.
Katie Spencer, PhD, is an assistant professor, licensed psychologist, Co-Director of the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health, and coordinator of the Adult Transgender Health Services Program at PHS. Her primary clinical practice is working with transgender and gender non-conforming, adolescents, and adults, women’s sexuality and sexual health, and LGBT sexuality and well-being. Dr. Spencer has written, presented and published scholarship on transgender sexuality, queer femininities, and gender affirmative approaches to transgender healthcare. She provides training and education of therapists and medical providers in sexual health and transgender health care competency. She is developing a curriculum of pleasure based sexuality for people on the transfeminine spectrum and working, with her colleagues, to revise existing measures of gendered experience to improve congruence with transaffirmative philosophies. She is the founder and chair of the Minnesota Transgender Health Insurance Taskforce and often provides consultation and advocacy on insurance and policy issues in transgender health. Dr. Spencer and her colleague, Dr. Dianne Berg are the authors of the Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach (GALA™) of Psychotherapy and Education that is the theoretical framework for the clinical-research program of the Gender Health Services at PHS. Dr. Spencer received her PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and she was a postdoctoral fellow in human sexuality at PHS. She is passionate about social justice and feminist approaches to academic scholarship and clinical practice.
Staff and Volunteers
Graduate Research Assistant
Nova J. Bradford is a Graduate Research Assistant for the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health and a graduate student in the Department of Social Work at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Her research interests include victimization experiences of transgender adolescents and young adults in relation to identity development trajectories and mental and sexual health outcomes. In her work at NCGSH, she has been involved in the development and validation of measures, grant-writing, program evaluation, and clinical chart review. She has utilized her training in mixed methodologies to conduct analyses on the topics of genderqueer identities, sex education in transgender adolescents, and mental health in gender-creative children. Outside of her time at the National Center, she conducts training for attorneys, physicians, and therapists on cultural responsiveness in working with the transgender community, and is passionate about advocating within municipal government for the empowerment of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming Minnesotans.
Jory M. Catalpa, M.A., is a doctoral student and teaching and research assistant in the Family Social Science department and at the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health (CGSH) at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Jory’s areas of research include transgender youth and their families, queer theory and methodology, and social justice associated with sexuality, gender, race, and social class. Their queer theoretical methodology seeks to apply an anti-normative framework to collecting data, and interpreting and disseminating research.
Jory has professional experience in both qualitative and quantitative research with transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, gender-fluid persons. They have published and presented in the areas of queer methods and measurement, body image, resilience, ambiguous loss, family boundary ambiguity, trans family theory, transgender community belongingness, transgender sexuality, and transgender identity development.
Their research and community-oriented scholarship centers resilience among transgender youth and their families. Due to discrimination and harassment, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer/fluid, questioning (TNBGQQ) persons are likely to report internalizing and externalizing mental and behavioral health problems. Yet, they remain underrepresented in related research and interventions aimed at promoting resilience and ameliorating their stress and risk.
Through their role as research assistant for the CGSH, Jory examines the needs and experiences of transpersons with the goal of promoting research, discovery, and community empowerment. They bring passion for social justice to research through a queer theoretical paradigm that seeks to explain complexity, nuance, interstices, and intersections of sexuality, gender, and other axes of identification.
Pronouns: they/them/theirs and she/her/hers.
Administrative Assistant/Graphic Designer
Ashley Finch is an administrative assistant and graphic designer at the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health at the University of Minnesota's Program in Human Sexuality. After receiving her BFA at the College of Visual Arts in 2013, she began using print and web design as a way to better engage with her community, and as a means of self-healing. Coming to NCGSH seemed like a natural step, as her work has primarily focused on promoting positive social change for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming populations. Outside of her work at NCGSH, and when she’s not designing, Ashley builds guitars and is working on her second book: a science-fiction epic that places transgender, non-binary, and other gender-creative characters into the story’s heroic roles.
Pronouns: she/her/hers and they/them/theirs
Co-Associate Director of Research
Jenifer McGuire, PhD, is Associate Professor with CEHD Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Her research focus has been on the health and well-being of transgender youth. Specifically, she focuses on gender development among adolescents and young adults and how social contexts like schools and families influence the well-being of trans and gender non-conforming young people. Dr. McGuire's current focus is on gender identity development across a broad spectrum and family relationships among transgender and genderqueer identified youth and young adults. She has collaborated closely with the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health over the last several years in the development of new assessment and research protocols.
Co-Associate Director of Research
Nic Rider, Ph.D. was the inaugural Randi and Fred Ettner Postdoctoral Fellow at the Program in Human Sexuality and affiliated with the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health. Dr. Rider provides clinical services to adults, adolescents, and children. Dr. Rider has professional interests in the areas of gender and sexual identity development, intersections of identities, discrimination and microaggressions, sexual trauma/abuse recovery, and social justice advocacy. Dr. Rider and colleagues are involved in revising and analyzing measures of gender-related experiences. Dr. Rider is also on a NIH-funded grant examining health needs as well as risk and protective factors of transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents. Dr. Rider is a founding member and Co-Chair of the Asian American Psychological Association’s Division on LGBTQQ Issues and participates in other regional and national committees consulting and advocating for issues relevant to LGBTQ individuals, particularly those of color. Dr. Rider received a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Howard University in Washington, D.C.