Our passionate, resourceful, and talented team in Chicago (in alphabetical order): Jane Hereth (Clinical Research Coordinator), Amy Johnson (Project Coordinator/Data Manager), Lark Mulligan (Research Associate), Ebonii Warren-Watts (Research Associate). Investigators: Rob Garofalo and Lisa Kuhns.
Chicago LifeSkills Staff Bios
Jane Hereth, Clinical Research Coordinator
Jane Hereth joined the Life Skills team as the Clinical Research Coordinator in April of 2012. Jane received a M.S.W. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in sociology from Grinnell College. Previously, Jane worked as a program coordinator at an organization serving women living with HIV. She also worked as a crisis counselor and advocate for survivors of sexual assault. Jane began working with LGBTQ youth in Chicago four years ago, when she interned at the Broadway Youth Center. She continues to volunteer at both the BYC and The Crib, a drop-in overnight shelter for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. In June of 2011, Jane was named one of “30 under 30” individuals making significant contributions to Chicago’s LGBTQ community by The Windy City Times.
Amy Johnson, Project Coordinator/Data Manager
Amy Johnson is a Senior Coordinator at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She completed a BA in English and Sociology at DePaul University and a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Amy is currently a PhD student in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been involved in HIV-related research since 2003. Her research interests include infectious disease epidemiology, HIV prevention and the impact of health disparities on vulnerable youth populations.
Lark Mulligan, Research Associate
Lark Mulligan has been a Research Associate for the LifeSkills team since October of 2011. She received her BA in Philosophy from Middlebury College in 2011, where she worked to institute all-gender housing and bathrooms, and facilitated workshops on reproductive justice, the prison-industrial complex, and trans solidarity. Lark is currently a collective member at the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois (TJLP), where she does organizing and holistic advocacy with low-income and street-based transgender and gender nonconforming people who are incarcerated or otherwise targeted by the legal system. Along with other members of TJLP, she edits and publishes an annual ‘zine entitled Hidden Expressions, which compiles artwork, essays, poetry, and how-to guides created by and for incarcerated trans and gender nonconforming folks. She brings to her work a deep respect and admiration for all trans communities, and dreams of a loving world without cages.
Ebonii Warren-Watts, Research Associate
Ebonii Warren-Watts is a research associate for the Project Lifeskills study. Ebonii has been an strong advocate for the LGBTQ community for at least 11 years, being introduced into the work as an attendee of Horizons Youth Center. Horizons is where she began to develop an interest in doing advocacy for trans individuals, and where she saw first-hand that trans issues weren’t well addressed or even considered by the community other than as a sub-category under the “gay umbrella.” So she started volunteering for LGBT organizations, but this wasn’t enough, so she spoke with the pastor of Church of The Open Door, where she was a member, about her concerns. Months later the church and other members of the congregation formed a small house organization for young LGBT youth, where Ebonii worked on trans issues and advocacy. The small house group didn’t last long but it didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream of trans empowerment. Later, in 2006/2007 Ebonii became a co-facilitator for a trans-based demonstration intervention (DEBI) called TWISTA (Trans Women Informing SISTA Trans women on AIDS) where she worked closely and one-on-one with young trans women of color. Ebonii continues in the struggle and fight for trans sisterhood and empowerment.
About the Chicago Investigators
Robert Garofalo, Principal Investigator
Appointment: Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Director, Adolescent HIV Services and Director of the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Degrees: New York University School of Medicine, MD; Harvard School of Public Health, MPH
Areas of Research: HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment, LGBT Youth Health and Mental Health, Transgender Health
Lisa M. Kuhns, Co-Investigator
Appointment: Research Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Degrees: University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Division of Community Health Sciences, PhD and MPH
Areas of Research: LGBT health disparities and LGBT population health; developmental and social determinants of mental and physical health of LGBT youth; primary and secondary HIV/AIDS prevention; Latino Health