Faculty and Staff
Staff and Volunteers
Nova J. Bradford, MSW, is a Research Assistant for the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health. Nova's research interests lie at the intersection of sexual health, gender, and healthcare systems. She conducts research on sexual and gender identity development, mental health trajectories, and sexual health across the lifespan, as well as applied research on the practice of psychotherapy and sex therapy, inter-professional teamwork, and healthcare delivery. In addition to her work at NCGSH, Nova works as a psychotherapist at JustUs Health.
Ashley Finch is the Communications Specialist for the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health. 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
Ghazel Tellawi, PhD, is the current Randi and Fred Ettner Postdoctoral Fellow in Transgender Health. Dr. Tellawi received clinical training in psychotherapy and assessment in a variety of settings, including a university counseling center, hospital settings, private practice, and a university clinic that served both students and members of the community. She has clinical interests in the following areas: sexual and gender identity, the role that microaggressions play in the experiences of LGBTQ individuals, and sources of coping and resilience in LGBTQ individuals.
Co-Associate Director of Research
Nic Rider, Ph.D. was the first Randi and Fred Ettner Postdoctoral Fellow at the Program in Human Sexuality, with research and clinical work focused on transgender health. Dr. Rider’s clinical training has included psychotherapy and assessment experiences in a university counseling center, hospital settings, private practice, community clinic, residential treatment, and juvenile justice settings.
Assistant Professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
Aren Aizura is assistant professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Mobile Subjects: travel, transnationality and transgender lives (Duke University Press, 2018) and the co-editor of the Transgender Studies Reader 2 (New York: Routledge, 2013). He co-edited the special Decolonizing the Transgender Imaginary issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly in 2014.
Marci Bowers, M.D. of Burlingame, California, is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of Genital Reassignment Surgery and is the first woman worldwide to hold a personal transgender history while performing transgender surgery. She is a pelvic and gynecologic surgeon with more than 28 years’ experience and has now performed more than 1800 primary MTF Genital Reassignment Surgeries. She has established a transgender surgical education program at Mt. Sinai-Beth Israel in New York, is a board member of WPATH, and previously served on the board of directors for both GLAAD and the Transgender Law Center.
Leonardo Candelario-Perez PhD is a, licensed clinical psychologist, sexual health consultant and provider under Urology and Gynecology, as well as gender specialist for Health Partners and Co-Educational Consultant for the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health.
Pronouns: he/him and they/them
Jory M. Catalpa, M.A., is a doctoral candidate and teaching and research assistant in the department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Jory’s areas of research include working with transgender youth and their families, exploring the theoretical influences on qualitative methodology, and “queering” quantitative research as a means of advocating for gender and sexual minorities within academia and society. Their queer theoretical methodology seeks to apply an anti-normative framework to collecting data and interpreting and disseminating research.
Pronouns: they/them/theirs and she/her/hers
Eli Coleman, PhD, is professor and director of the Program in Human Sexuality and Academic Chair in Sexual Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He has written numerous articles and books on a variety of sexual health topics, including compulsive sexual behavior, sexual dysfunction, sexual orientation, and gender dysphoria. He is founding editor of the International Journal of Transgenderism and International Journal of Sexual Health.
Tera is a licensed psychologist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. She has a wide range of experiences working with a variety of mental health and substance use concerns. She has also received advanced training in working with a broad range of sexual health and gender concerns, including the completion of a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota's Program in Human Sexuality.
Tera has experience working with adults and adolescents in individual, couple, family, and group therapy contexts. Her goal as a therapist is to aid clients in confronting fears, developing self-acceptance, creating and maintaining meaningful relationships, and finding strategies for living an authentic life. Dr. Jansen practices at Natalis Counseling & Psychology Solutions.
Post doctoral Fellow
Dr. Kovic provides individual, family, couples, and group psychotherapy at Natalis Counseling & Psychology Solutions, where he specializes in gender diversity and sexual orientation issues, relationship and sexual problems, and sexual compulsivity.
Co-Executive Director of Family Tree Clinic
Alissa Light has served as the Executive Director of Family Tree Clinic since 2010. During her tenure Alissa has helped to lead the 47 year old organization’s transformation from a St. Paul family planning clinic, to a regional leader in LGBTQ health, evidence-informed comprehensive sex education, and culturally responsive care.