Faculty and Staff
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.
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
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.
Graduate Research Assistant
Zhamin Yelgezekova joined National Center for Gender Spectrum Health (NCGSH) in September 2019. At NCGSH, she is assisting in the evaluation of current measures used in care for transgender/gender non-conforming individuals. She is currently studying towards her Master's degree in Development Practice at Humphrey School of Public Affairs, focusing on the aspect of gender in global health interventions.
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.
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.
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.
Trans Sex Zine is a collaborative, ongoing sex ed project by and for TGNC folks that tells stories of sex, bodies, & desire. We think trans people of every age, identity, attraction, and relationship status are experts of our own experience and have valuable things to share with each other.