Faculty and Staff

HEI faculty and staff are a diverse group representing a wide array of disciplines, perspectives and backgrounds. We are united in our commitment to research, practice and policy that foster health equity:

HEI Core Team 

Allen LeBlanc


Allen LeBlanc, PhD

Interim Director

Professor of Sociology

Email: aleblanc@sfsu.edu


Jason Chang


Jason Chang, MS  

Statistical Analyst

Email: ykjason@sfsu.edu


Charmayne Hughes, PhD


Charmayne Hughes, PhD

Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Email: cmhughes@sfsu.edu


Laura Mamo


Laura Mamo, PhD

Professor of Health Education

Email: lmamo@sfsu.edu


Angelica Martinez


Angelica Martinez

Associate Director of Administration

Email: angelmar@sfsu.edu


Sepideh Modrek


Sepideh Modrek, PhD

Assistant Professor of Economics

Email: smodrek@sfsu.edu






Mirna Vasquez


Mirna Vasquez, MA

Administrative Coordinator

Email: hei@sfsu.edu


Jessica Wolin


Jessica Wolin, MPH, MCRP

Associate Director of Community Practice 

Email: jwolin@sfsu.edu



Affiliate Faculty


Alison Cerezo


Alison Cerezo
Assistant Professor of Counseling
website: http://counseling.sfsu.edu/people/faculty/alison-cerezo-0


Anoshua Chaudhuri


Anoshua Chaudhuri
Professor of Economics, College of Business
website: http://online.sfsu.edu/anoshua/


Steve Choe


Steve Choe
Associate Professor of Cinema
website: http://cinema.sfsu.edu/people/faculty/steven-choe


Carmen Domingo


Carmen Domingo
Professor of Biology
website: http://biology.sfsu.edu/people/carmen-domingo


Courtney Donovan


Courtney Donovan
Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Science
website: http://geog.sfsu.edu/person/courtney


Jessica Fields


Jessica Fields
Professor of Sociology and Sexuality Studies
website: http://sociology.sfsu.edu/people/faculty/jessica-fields


Melissa Hagan


Melissa Hagan
Assistant Professor of Psychology
website: http://www.sfsustarlab.com/


Colleen Hoff


Colleen Hoff
Professor of Sexuality Studies
Director of the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality
website: http://cregs.sfsu.edu/about-us/whoweare/colleen-hoff/


Martha Kenney


Martha Kenney
Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies
website: http://wgsdept.sfsu.edu/people/25283/martha-kenney



Wen-Wen Li
Associate Professor of Nursing
website: http://www.nursing.sfsu.edu/people/faculty/wen-wen-li


Leticia Magaña-Marquez


Leticia Magaña-Marquez
Professor of Biology
SF BUILD Lead Principal Investigator and Core Leader
website: http://sfbuild.sfsu.edu/content/leticia-márquez-magaña


Rita Melendez


Rita Melendez
Associate Professor of Sexuality Studies
website: http://sxs.sfsu.edu/people/faculty/rita-melendez


Raquel Pinderhughes


Raquel Pinderhughes
Professor of Urban Studies and Planning
website: http://online.sfsu.edu/raquelrp/


James Quesada


James Quesada
Professor of Anthropology
website: http://anthropology.sfsu.edu/people/faculty/james-quesada


David Rebanal


David Rebanal
Assistant Professor of Health Education


Rori Rohlfs


Rori Rohlfs
Assistant Professor of Biology
website: http://rohlfslab.weebly.com/


Emma Sanchez


Emma Sanchez-Vaznaugh
Associate Professor of Health Education
website: http://healthed.sfsu.edu/people/faculty/emma-sanchez-suet


Grace Yoo


Grace Yoo
Professor of Asian American Studies
website: http://aas.sfsu.edu/yoo-grace


Susan Zieff


Susan Zieff
Professor of Kinesiology
website: http://kin.sfsu.edu/people/faculty/susan-zieff





Ugo Edu


Ugo Edu, PhD
Science, Justice and Health Equity Post-Doctoral Fellow
website: https://healthequity.sfsu.edu/content/ugo-edu



Health Equity Student Scholars 

 Student Scholars Spring 2017


Maria Acosta is currently attending San Francisco State ‘s Master of Public Health Graduate program.  After getting her BA in Political Science and Women Studies (Cal Poly 1999-2003) she began to pursue community health education starting with her service in Peace Corps (Turkmenistan 2003-2005) and most recently with San Francisco Unified School District in School Health Programs Department (2006-2016).  Her interests include: community health education, children’s health, youth development and environmental health.  Maria is excited to be working on the Convening Community Organizers project with HEI affiliate faculty, Assistant Professor David Rebanal (Health Education), underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Claire De Leon is a current Masters of Public Health student at San Francisco State University, focusing on community health education. Claire graduated with a BA in sociology and minor in women's studies from CSULB, and since moving to San Francisco in 2008 has led community programs, development and communications for the Y of San Francisco. Claire is an engaging facilitator and trainer and a CA certified rape crisis counselor. Her research interests include gendered health inequities, reproductive justice, youth development, and the role of communications in public health. As a scholar intern for the Health Equity Institute Claire will work on the Zika Social Sciences Network research initiatives with HEI Associate Director, Professor Laura Mamo.


Tatiana Mariscal is a first year graduate student from the Kinesiology Department at San Francisco State University studying Movement Science. She graduated magna cum laude from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (Special Education minor). Tatiana works as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Health Equity Institute’s NeuroTech Lab working on Project Iceberg. Tatiana’s research interest involves determining current assessment and management guidelines used by Bay Area Emergency Department (ED) directors when examining individual who exhibit mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) due to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Tatiana will work with the Violence, Trauma, and Health initiative with HEI Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Charmayne Hughes.


Melinda Prieto is a current Master of Public Health student at SF State. She earned a BA in Psychology from San Francisco State with a concentration in child development.  Melinda has been working in the public health field in San Francisco since 2004, first as a Domestic Violence Advocate at W.O.M.A.N. Inc. providing crisis counseling and resource coordination for victims of domestic violence then joining the Pomeroy Recreation Rehabilitation Center providing service coordination for people with physical and developmental disabilities as well as survivors of traumatic brain injury where primary services provided were with employment and medical care management. In 2013 Melinda joined the Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco as the hospital liaison where she managed hospital programming and partnerships to service inpatient families. Her primary research interests are in healthcare systems and processes to reach health equity within medical institutions. Melinda will work on the Structural Competency Project with HEI affiliate faculty, Professor James Quesada (Anthropology).


Maureen Rees is a current Master of Public Health student at SF State. She earned a BA in sociology with a concentration in gender studies at Kenyon College. Maureen has been working in the public health field in San Francisco since 2011, first at Lyon-Martin Health Services, a community clinic serving women and transgender clients, as a medical care coordinator.  Since 2014, she has worked at San Francisco Health Plan, the county’s public managed Medi-Cal plan, first as a case manager with high utilizers of emergency department and inpatient services and now in project management for the same program. Her primary research interests include LGBTQ health, medical care integration for people with complex conditions, housing and health, and substance use and harm reduction. Maureen will work on the NSF funded IT Catalyst Project with HEI affiliate faculty, Professor Carmen Domingo (Biology).


Julabien Suitos is a current undergraduate at San Francisco State University. She will be graduating by Spring 2017 with a BS in Health Education with an emphasis on community-based public health. Julabien’s main goal in public health is to uplift underrepresented communities by empowering youth to enact a change in their communities. She has interests in environmental health, women’s health, and youth education. She is an undergraduate intern at the Health Equity Institute managing the various social media platforms for the institute.


Affiliated Project Staff

To see affiliated project staff, please visit the specific project page


Katherine Kim, PhD, MPH, MBA

HEI Professor in Residence

Sonja Mackenzie, DrPH, MSc

Adjunct Assistant Professor