2022 Speaker Bios

  • Keynote Speakers and Panelists

    Tanya M. Bass, PhD, CHES®, CSE
    Dr. Bass (she/her/hers) is the Foundress of the North Carolina Sexual Health Conference (NCSEXCON). She is also an award-winning sexuality educator and subject matter expert in reproductive health/health equity. She currently serves as the Director of Health Equity for a national organization. Dr. Bass is an alumna of North Carolina Central University’s (NCCU) Department of Public Health Education, where she has served as an adjunct instructor for several years and is currently the lead instructor for Human Sexuality.

    She completed her PhD in Education at Widener University in the Center for Human Sexuality Studies. Dr. Bass is a member of American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), the NC Society for Public Health Educators (NCSOPHE), the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WoCSHN), and the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians (ABSC). She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE). Tanya is the Vice President of Membership of AASECT and a member of the editorial board for the American Journal of Sexuality Education.

    Senator Cory Booker
    Cory Booker believes that the American dream isn’t real for anyone unless it’s within reach of everyone. Booker has dedicated his life to fighting for those who have been left out, left behind, or left without a voice.

    Booker grew up in northern New Jersey and received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University. At Stanford, Booker played varsity football, volunteered for the campus peer counseling center, and wrote for the student newspaper. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and went on to study at the University of Oxford, and then Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1997.

    After graduating law school, Booker moved to Newark and started a nonprofit organization to provide legal services for low-income families, helping tenants take on slumlords. In 1998, Booker moved into the Brick Towers housing project in Newark, where he lived until its demolition in 2006. Booker still lives in Newark’s Central Ward today, where the median household income is less than $15,000.

    At 29, Booker was elected to the Newark City Council, where he challenged the city’s entrenched political machine and fought to improve living conditions for city residents, increase public safety, and reduce crime.

    Starting in 2006, Booker served as Newark’s mayor for more than seven years. During his tenure, the city entered its largest period of economic growth since the 1960s. In addition, overall crime declined and the quality of life for residents improved due to initiatives such as more affordable housing, new green spaces and parks, increased educational opportunities, and more efficient city services.

    In October 2013, Booker won a special election to represent New Jersey in the United States Senate. In November 2014, Senator Booker was re-elected to a full six-year term.

    As New Jersey’s junior Senator, Cory Booker has brought an innovative and consensus-building approach to tackling some of the most difficult problems facing New Jersey and our country. He has emerged as a national leader in the effort to fix our broken criminal justice system and end mass incarceration, helping craft the most sweeping set of criminal justice reforms in a generation, the First Step Act, which became law in December 2018. Booker has also worked to reform America’s broken food system, address our nation’s nutrition crisis, and end food insecurity.

    Booker sits on the Judiciary Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and the Small Business Committee.

    Dianne R. Browne, PhD, CFLE, AASECT CSE
    Dr. Browne is a trainer/educator and certified family life educator, sexuality educator, and family development specialist. She is a consultant to Camden Healthy Start a project of the Southern NJ Perinatal Cooperative and chairperson for the Anti-Racism Team in the New Jersey Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    Dianne began her studies at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) a historically Black University in Hampton, VA. She transferred to Trenton State College (now the College of NJ) and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Dianne began her career as an elementary school teacher but later switched to adult education. She earned her Master of Arts in Administration and Supervision in Training/Education from Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ. Dianne retired from the State of New Jersey after 25 years. During her career she worked in a variety of departments including Corrections, Health, Education, Human Services and then finally at the Department of Children & Families developing youth and family centers in New Jersey.

    In 2010 she completed a course of study earning a Master of Education in Human Sexuality Education and a PhD in Human Service Professions from Widener University, Chester PA. She taught at Widener as a full-time professor for two years then moved on to work in the community. Her work included teen age pregnancy prevention at Access Matters in Philadelphia and Healthy Start in Camden NJ under the Southern NJ Perinatal Cooperative.

    Dianne’s work focuses on reproductive justice for people of color including women, men, young unmarried people, and people experiencing the birthing process. Dianne has published articles in peer reviewed journals and has presented in numerous conferences, webinars, and seminars. Her goal is to be active in the movement toward equity and justice to dismantle systems where structural racism thrives.

    Crystal D. Charley, MBA, CD
    Crystal, reproductive justice and civil rights activist, is a respected community organizer and advocate. The proud mother is also a patient advocate for Black maternal health, and the Founder of Melanin and Maternal Wellness (formerly, Melanin and Motherhood). She is a Shafia Monroe Consulting (SMC) Full Circle Doula Birth Companion, providing perinatal doula services including, prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. A graduate of the Commonsense Childbirth Institute, Crystal is also a Childbirth Educator.

    Crystal is also a Senior Organizer, for Salvation and Social Justice, leading the Organization’s campaigns around Black health equity, environmental, and economic justice. It is also through Salvation and Social Justice, she advocates for policies and legislation to address the tremendous disparities in Black maternal and infant health.

    Crystal is a member of the Board of Directors for the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, as well
    as Fair Share Housing Center. She is also the former Maternal Justice Subcommittee Co-Chair for Thrive
    NJ.

    Grounded in her activism, Crystal, a Silver Life Member, is currently serving in her second term as the
    2nd Vice-President of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference.

    Esther Corona-Vargas, PhD
    Dr. Corona-Vargas is Mexican, trained as clinical psychologist, and has worked in sexuality education, sexual and reproductive health and gender for over 50 years. She is the Founder (1972) and President of the Mexican Association for Sexuality Education (AMES), first NGO in the field in Mexico and pioneer institution in Latin America.

    Dr. Corona-Vargas is the Ex-President of the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for Sexuality Education, first Vice President of the Mexican Federation of Sexology and Sex Education (FEMESS), President of the Latin American Federation of Sexology and Sex Education Associations (FLASSES) during 1998-2002, and WAS Vice President (2017-2021). She currently serves as WAS Chair of the International Liaison Committee and member of the Executive Committee .

    Dr. Corona-Vargas is an Independent Consultant for UNESCO, UNFPA, WHO and other United Nations Agencies as well as international and national NGOs.

    Sara C. Flowers DrPH, Vice President, Education & Training (she/her/hers)
    Dr. Sara C. Flowers is the Vice President of Education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of sex education, providing expert information, resources, and guidance to parents, caregivers, and young people, both online and in communities across the country. 

    Dr. Flowers’ passion for sex education began as a high school student, when she led the Annual AIDS Awareness Day for her peers at Spring Valley Senior High School in the late 1990s. Since then, she has written, implemented, and evaluated sex education programs and curricula for Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, The George Washington University Student Health Service, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, and Cornell University Cooperative Extension — New York City.

    Prior to joining PPFA, Dr. Flowers was Director of Youth Initiatives for Love Heals Center for Youth & Families at GMHC. In this role, she expanded existing and launched new programs, as well as oversaw sex education and leadership program curriculum development and revision. She also coordinated quantitative and qualitative program evaluation and reporting; cultivated and maintained community partnerships; and hired, trained, and managed staff and a freelance health education team. Concurrently, Dr. Flowers was an adjunct assistant professor for York College, CUNY while serving as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow for the college’s Collaborative Research Group on Health Policy & Promotion + the UrbanHealth Lab.

    Dr. Flowers has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) and SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. She is also an active member of Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN), a trainer on emotional intelligence with Equilibrium Dynamics in San Francisco, and a published author. Her most recent publication is “Enacting Our Multidimensional Power: Black Women Sex Educators Demonstrate the Value of an Intersectional Sexuality Education Framework” (2018).

    Dr. Flowers holds a Doctorate in Public Health from The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY, as well as a BA in Psychology and a Master of Public Health degree, both from The George Washington University.

    Mariotta Gary-Smith, MPH, CSE
    Mariotta is a 3rd generation Oregonian & social justice agitator. Her passion for social justice and human sexuality was rooted during high school, where she was an active youth health advocate and peer educator, serving on local and national organizations as a Youth Board Representative.

    In 2009, Mariotta co-founded the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WoCSHN; pronounced ‘wok-shyn’), an online-based, collective organization for women/femme-identifying and gender expansive sexuality professionals of color. Mariotta remains committed to curating, facilitating & sustaining accountable learning experiences on social justice, sexual health, health equity and “actionable agitation”.

    Nora Gelperin, MEd
    Nora is the Director of Sex Education and Training at Advocates for Youth and one of the co-authors of the Rights, Respect, Responsibility (3Rs) curriculum. Nora was part of the core team that developed the National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills K-12 (2012 & 2020), the National Teacher Preparation Standards for Sexuality Education, (Journal of School Health, 2014) and the Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education. She has over twenty years of experience in sex education. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, Medium, Salon, National Public Radio, Boston Magazine and The New York Times.

    Dylan Kapit, MA
    Dylan (they/them), MA is a queer, trans, nonbinary, Jewish, #actuallyautistic educator and researcher. They hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology and education from Barnard College of Columbia University, and a MA in Special Education from Teachers College of Columbia University. They are currently a third year doctoral student in special education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, where they do LGBTQ+ and autism focused sex education research, with the hope of eventually creating a queer and trans inclusive, autism focused sex education curriculum. Their work exists at the intersection of queer and trans liberation and disability justice.

    Jatesha “Jaye” Madden-Wilson, LPN
    Jaye is a multifaceted social entrepreneur. She is a Community Health Nurse (LPN), dynamic public speaker, published author, thought leader and the Founding President and CEO of Melinated Moms. In her professional career, Jaye applied the power of advocacy through lobbying on the state and federal level as a community health advocate for marginalized communities. Gaining a strong understanding of the importance of advocacy, Jaye applied these principles to grow the community of Melinated Moms. Of all of her titles and accolades, the proudest title she holds is mother. She is the mother to two brilliant girls who motivate her to continue to change the world every day. That desire continues to serve as the organization’s foundation and legacy.

    Alison McKee, MEd
    Alison (she/her) is an accomplished sexuality educator with over 15 years leadership experience. Alison currently serves as the Executive Director of Answer, a national sex ed organization at Rutgers University. Alison previously served as the Director of Temple University’s Wellness Resource Center and before that as the Senior Director of Education & Training at Planned Parenthood Keystone. Alison has taught thousands of individuals in a variety of settings, including undergraduate and graduate level human sexuality courses. Alison earned her undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies at Temple University, and her Master of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University.

    Tara Norman
    Tara (she/her) currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity for Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern NJ. Tara is a passionate advocate for the communities that Planned Parenthood serves, and for the exceptional staff that advances access to essential health care each and every day. She takes great pride in her efforts to ensure that all individuals receive the equitable resources necessary to lead healthy and empowered lives. Tara’s wide-ranging experience has provided her with the tools to uphold diversity, equity, and inclusion as a core priority within organizational culture, health care delivery, education curriculum, and legislative advocacy. She is a devoted advocate, educator, and leader in the fight to disrupt systemic barriers and improve health outcomes.

    Grace Schoenberger, MNO
    As the Northern Ohio Community Health Education Manager for the Ohio Center for Sex Education at Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Grace has been planning and delivering inclusive, comprehensive sexuality education for more than 6 years, and acted as the project and instructional design lead for the sexuality education curriculum Get Connected: Virtual Sex Ed for High School using her experience adapting existing curricula to virtual audiences. As an education leader, she is committed expanding access to sexuality education through learner-focused online education spaces. Her vision is that by empowering people to make informed decisions about their reproductive and sexual health, they can begin to develop and advocate for safer and healthier relationships in their own lives.

    Tory Sparks
    Tory is a Michigan-based independent sex educator, facilitator, consultant and trainer. Tory is also a current student at Widener University in the dual degree MSW/ MEd in Human Sexuality Program. Additionally, Tory does work as a gynecological teaching associate, substitute teacher, queer trivia host, volunteer library book sorter, and zine maker.

    Tory graduated with highest honors from Oberlin College in 2017 with majors in anthropology and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. Tory has written and contributed to academic work on queer spaces and gay bars, including the forthcoming Who Needs Gay Bars? and the Oxford Bibliography in Sociology on LGBTQ+ Spaces, both with Dr. Greggor Mattson. Tory worked as a community outreach educator and youth engagement coordinator at Planned Parenthood of Michigan from 2017-2022. They have also worked at the Michigan Organization for Adolescent Health and taught the Our Whole Lives curriculum.

    Tory lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with their spouse, dog, and two cats. You can learn more about Tory’s work at torysparks.com.

    Marlene K. Tappe, PhD
    Dr. Tappe is a Professor in the Department of Health Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. Tappe served as a member of the Development Group for the National Consensus on School Health Education and co-chaired the Standards Writing Group. Additionally, she was a member of the Joint Committee on National Health Education Standards in both 1995 and 2007 and has engaged in the training activities for pre-service teachers as well as teachers, curriculum directors, and other health and education personnel at the local, state, and national levels.

    Bill Taverner, MA, CSE
    Bill is the executive director of The Center for Sex Education, where he has begun his 25th year. He is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Sexuality Education, founder and president of the Sex Ed Lecture Series, and has served as author or editor of more than 85 publications, including chapters, college readers, journal articles, teaching manuals and curricula, lesson plans, and other contributions to sexuality education. His newest book is Sex Education Research: A Look Between the Sheets, a collection of 24 essays written by 70 contributing authors in an accessible, jargon-free style.

    Bill has twice advocated for sexuality education at US Congressional briefings and has received national awards for his leadership in sexuality education, including several awards from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists and the Academy for Adolescent Health’s Social Justice Award for commitment to racial and social justice.

    Sex Ed Games Facilitator

    Kelly Gainor, MA

    Kelly Jean Gainor is the Training Manager for ETR, focusing on the development and implementation of virtual Training of Educators in a variety of evidence-based interventions. Prior to working at ETR, Kelly has worked at several non-profit organizations delivering evidence-based education directly to youth, training and providing professional development for educators and youth-serving professionals, and writing/designing lesson plans for group of all ages, orientations and identities. Kelly attended Cornell University for her undergraduate work in Communications, then enrolled at Widener University where she received her master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education in 2012. Since then, she has focused primarily on HIV prevention education throughout her professional career. Her favorite topics to teach and train about include body image and LGBTQ+ education. In 2020, Kelly had four lesson plans published in the teaching manual Orientation: Teaching about Identity, Attraction and Behavior.

    Webinar Speakers

    Kelly Ace, PhD, JD, AASECT
    Kelly is an AASECT-Certified Sexuality Educator, professional counselor, attorney, and program director at a nonprofit agency that runs a Child Advocacy Center (CAC).

    Sadia Arshad, MPH, MSN, WHNP-BC
    Sadia is a reproductive justice advocate, women’s health nurse practitioner, and digital health strategist.

    Sarah Baillie, MS
    Sarah currently works for the Center for Biological Diversity on the Endangered Species Condoms project. Before joining the center, she worked as an environmental educator.

    Mackenzie Bartlett
    Mackenzie Bartlett is the marketing and communications coordinator with Speak About It.

    Nathan Bowman, MA
    Nathan Bowman is a progressive political consultant working with the College of Marin to develop an open-source textbook on human sexuality.

    Andrea Brand, MPH, MSW, ACC
    Andrea is a public health researcher turned life coach who helps parents overcome their fears of talking with their kids about sex.

    Jazmine Brazier
    Jazmine has trained 1,500+ youth in family planning. She holds 10+ social services certifications, including MPC Trainer of Trainers, LARC facilitator, and SiHLE facilitator.

    Courtney Ciervo, MPH
    Courtney has worked in sexual health and trauma education in a crisis center environment and citywide Hepatitis C and HIV education.

    Syd Cole
    Syd is currently a full-time student at Florida State. She is pursuing majors in English and sociology and a minor in social welfare.

    Oronde Cruger
    Oronde is the program director of Speak About It. He develops consent and assault prevention education to be innovative, expansive, and rooted in intersectionality.

    Mary Cupelo
    Mary works at an LGBTQ+ youth center, teaches sex education to youth, educates caregivers on how to talk to youth about sex, and is a human sexuality graduate student.

    Kelley Dennings, MPH, FPHW
    Kelley currently works for the Center for Biological Diversity. She has a master’s degree in public health and is a certified family planning counselor.

    Jessica Dennison, CHES®
    Jessica works at a youth center for LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults, provides case management services for LGBTQIA+ youth, and teaches comprehensive sex education to youth and caregivers.

    Catherine Dukes, LCSW, PhD
    Dr. Dukes is a sex therapist in private practice and a national award-winning sex educator with more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience.

    Calvin Early

    Calvin “madeS.O.N.” Early is an internationally recognized speaker/spoken word artist with more than 15 years’ experience in public speaking, sexuality education, and implementing arts-based programming. 

    Regine Elie, MEd
    Regine has 25+ years of experience managing successful sex education, youth services, and youth development programs. She has 19 training certifications in varying social services disciplines.

    Aurélie Gilen, MSc
    Aurélie has an MSc in human sexuality and is currently investigating image-based sexual abuse within the context of a PhD project.

    Kehaunani Gunderson
    Kehaunani is an author of three Health Connected sexual health curricula and has delivered sex education and training to thousands of youth and teachers.

    Anna Hayek, RYT
    Anna is an educator with Mad Hatter Wellness, focusing on health and sexuality education primarily for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    Nathalie Huitema, PhD
    Nathalie worked with aging people, developed training for long-term care staff for MDs, and has provided training for people in care settings.

    Coi Jones
    Coi is a comprehensive sex educator and program manager of a local Birmingham teen sexual health program who is committed to reproductive justice, inclusiveness, and positive pregnancy experiences.

    Kaela Joseph, PhD
    Dr. Joseph works at the San Francisco Veterans Administration as a staff psychologist, women veterans program manager, and the director of the Trans Health Clinic.

    Rachel Kaplan, MPH
    Rachel holds a master’s degree in public health. She specializes in inclusion and accessibility for youth with disabilities within sexual health education.

    Zoe King
    Zoe is a health educator working with youth in foster care to deliver interactive online sex education through the California Reproductive Health Equity Project.

    Breanna Lewis, MPH
    Breanna attended Liberty University, where she received her master’s degree in public health. She currently works in South Florida as a sexual health program coordinator.

    Nicholas Maio-Aether, MS, MA, LBA, CSC, BCBA
    Nicholas is a sexual behavior analyst in St Louis, MO, working via telehealth to assist applied behavioral analysis teams around the United States and Canada to empower and affirm.

    Maddy Magnuson, MS
    Maddy (they/them) is a prevention coordinator at Maine Family Planning, supporting schools and community organizations in implementing comprehensive sex education in Maine.

    Philip McCabe, CSW, CAS, DRCC
    Phil McCabe is a health educator for Rutgers University School of Public Health and is the president of NALGAP: The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals & their Allies.

    Jessica Melear
    Jessica is an experienced full-spectrum sexuality educator and program manager specializing in comprehensive and inclusive sex, prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum education.

    Ivan Monforte, MFA
    Ivan (he/they) is currently a training specialist with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, providing HIV related-education and training.

    Christopher Moore
    Christopher is the director of community education and engagement at the Office of Health Equity at ChristianaCare and an instructor of English at Delaware Technical Community College.

    Joleen Nevers, MAEd, CHES®, CSE, CSES
    Joleen has over 20 years of experience in sexuality education with youth, college students, and aspiring sexuality educators. She has several sexuality publications.

    Abigail Newell, MA
    Abigail is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in sociology who studies sexuality education, gender, and politics and is an instructor in gender and sexuality.

    Remi Newman, MA
    Remi is a sexuality educator and writer with 20+ years empowering people from various backgrounds and cultures to feel comfortable as sexual beings.

    Sara Oswalt, PhD, MPH, AASECT CSE
    Sara Oswalt has been teaching sexuality education for over twenty years on college campuses and has numerous publications in the field of sexuality.

    Quinn Pellerito, BFA, SAC
    Quinn Pellerito is the LGBTQ+ Education Specialist at WOAR. They train on: trauma-informed care, LGBTQ affirming care, consent, and the LGBTQ SV support group.

    Victoria Preston
    Victoria has been a sexual health educator, trainer, and consultant for over twenty-five years and has designed curricula for puberty through high school.

    Susan Rahman, PhD
    Dr. Rahman has taught college-level human sexuality in California for 10 years and is co-authoring an open-source textbook on the subject.

    Anna Richards
    Anna Richards is the CEO and founder of FrolicMe.com, an erotic pleasure platform that ethically produces exclusive erotic adult entertainment and promotes healthy sexuality.

    Stacy Robustelli, PhD
    Dr. Robustelli is the director of education at HiTOPPS, which provides sexual health education and LGBTQ support to adolescents ages 11-21.

    Deborah Roffman, MS, CSE, CFLE
    Having entered the field of sexuality education in the 1970s, Deborah has worked at the cutting edge of the profession since its inception.

    Stacey Rose, MA
    Stacey has worked in sexuality education for over twelve years, focusing on sexual violence prevention and Title IX education in higher education.

    Wendy Sellers, RN, MA, CSE, FASHA
    Wendy, a certified sexuality educator and the author of Puberty: The Wonder Years, has equipped thousands of educators to provide sex education for over 35+ years.

    Gillian Singer, MPH, CSE
    Gigi (she/her) is a certified sexuality educator, holds a master’s degree in public health specializing in sexuality, sexual and reproductive Health, and is the founder of The Gigi Spot.

    Conor Smith, PsyD
    Conor is a clinical psychology resident at the San Francisco Veterans Administration, specializing in working with LGBTQ+ veterans.

    Katie Thune, MEd
    Katie founded Mad Hatter Wellness in 2013. She specializes in health and sexuality education, focusing her work on supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    Joyee Washington, PhD, MS, MPH, CHES®
    Dr. Washington has experience in community-based participatory research and evaluation of sex education, and is a sex education instructor.

    Suzannah Weiss, CSE
    Suzannah is a certified sex educator, sex/love coach, and sex/relationship writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

    Steph Zapata
    Steph is a Diaspora-NuyoRican, sex educator, and space creator. As a long-term catalyst for change within sexuality education, they center sexual and reproductive freedom for all.

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