Meet the Team

MEET THE TEAM


Brittany Kiyoko Badger

Director
 BBadger@sa.utah.edu

Brittany Kiyoko Badger

Director
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: Ph.D. Candidate, CHES (University of Utah Health Promotion and Education)
Where are you from? Kaysville, Utah.
What part of your position/job do you value most? I love my team and the work we do to for this campus. Every day there are new opportunities for us to work together as a campus community to truly make a positive impact.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? Narcos, OITNB and random documentaries.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Street tacos. Real ones. What is your dream vacation destination? Machu Picchu, explore Southeast Asia, Greek Islands, backpack to Havasupai Falls– so many!
 BBadger@sa.utah.edu

Ellie Goldberg

Assistant Director of Advocacy and Victim-Survivor Advocate
 EGoldberg@sa.utah.edu

Ellie Goldberg

Assistant Director of Advocacy and Victim-Survivor Advocate
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: MSW, 2012 (University of Utah College of Social Work)
Where are you from? West Bountiful, Utah
What part of your position/job do you value most? I am continually impressed and in awe of the resilience, courage, bravery, and strength of survivors.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge?I prefer the fascinating Bravo universe. Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck….
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Nicoise Salad
What is your dream vacation destination? A journey through the Baltic states
 EGoldberg@sa.utah.edu

Jenna Templeton

Assistant Director of Health Education
 JTempleton@sa.utah.edu

Jenna Templeton

Assistant Director of Health Education
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education BS in Chemistry (Virginia Tech), MS in Health Promotion & Education (University of Utah)
Where are you from? Virginia & California.
What part of your position/job do you value most? I appreciate the many hats I get to wear – educator, facilitator, researcher, collaborator, etc. It keeps each day different and interesting. But nothing beats the moments of connection that allow a student to feel heard, to feel supported, to feel human!
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? Historical fiction shows or Jeopardy.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Neapolitan pizza!
What is your dream vacation destination? Anywhere in Italy to eat, eat, eat.
 JTempleton@sa.utah.edu

Vivean Smith

Executive Secretary
 v.smith@sa.utah.edu

Vivean Smith

Executive Secretary
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education/Training: Cal State University at Long Beach & UC San Diego
Where are you from? San Diego, California
What part of your position/job do you value most? I enjoy taking on the department’s administrative tasks which allows the advocates and educators to focus on the students who require their expertise.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? Father Brown
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Eggs, bacon, and home fries. Yum!
What is your dream vacation destination? I would love to go to Belize - Beaches, jungles, Mayan ruins, a barrier reef and lots of marine life.
 v.smith@sa.utah.edu

Benta Opiyo

Victim-Survivor Advocate
 BOpiyo@sa.utah.edu

Benta Opiyo

Victim-Survivor Advocate
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: AAS - Executive Medical Assisting (LDS Business College), BS - Public Health (BYU), MSW - Mental Health (University of Utah)
Where are you from? Originally from Kenya. Now UT resident.
What part of your position/job do you value most? I find joy and satisfaction in helping victim/survivors in their recovery process--by providing guidance to the optimal services and referrals they need at their most vulnerable time. I am fully cognizant of the fact that during trauma, a person's psychological well-being is significantly compromised--which may pose a challenge to maneuver even the simplest situation. Therefore, they need someone to guide and direct them to the most effective resources that would meaningfully influence their quick and beneficial recovery.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? Whenever I have some time, I watch Designated Survivor.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? I love greens! Veggies provide great benefits e.g., I can eat as much as I desire, without encountering major issues. However, I'm not a vegetarian!
What is your dream vacation destination? My dream is to one day be able to visit Dubai and experience the feeling of eating at and sleeping in one of the hotels under water! I can't just wait to experience that feeling of being surrounded all over by water--sounds quite therapeutic (as part of self-care)!
 BOpiyo@sa.utah.edu

Mahalia Lotz

Victim-Survivor Advocate
 MLotz@sa.utah.edu

Mahalia Lotz

Victim-Survivor Advocate
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education BS in Sociology (University of Utah); BA Gender Studies (University of Utah)
Where are you from? West Valley, Utah
What part of your position/job do you value most? I love how my job as an advocate is never consistent; each day I discover a new resource, and innovative approach, or an inspiring story from a survivor. It gives me a lot of hope.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? Parks & Rec, Disenchantment, Jane the Virgin, anything lighthearted and funny.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Burritos...There’s something so comforting about warm beans and cheese wrapped in flour tortilla!
What is your dream vacation destination? First to Germany to visit family, and then to nearby Paris and Amsterdam for some new adventures!
 MLotz@sa.utah.edu

Char Leary

Victim-Survivor Advocate
 cleary@sa.utah.edu

Char Leary

Victim-Survivor Advocate
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: BSW, MSW, University of Utah
Where are you from? Salt Lake City, Utah
What part of your position/job do you value most? I love being a part of a community that values equality, advocates for survivors and who is actively working to eradicate sexual violence.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? Everything from Gilmore Girls to Criminal Minds
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Tacos.
What is your dream vacation destination? Barcelona Spain, Greece, Ireland... the list goes on and on.
 cleary@sa.utah.edu

TeMerae Blackwater

Health Educator
 tblackwater@sa.utah.edu

TeMerae Blackwater

Health Educator
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education B.S. in Health Promotion and Education with a Community Health Emphasis (University of Utah), Pursuing MPH (University of Utah)
Where are you from? Kirtland, New Mexico
What part of your position/job do you value most? I am grateful for the opportunities to engage/connect with an individual/community. It fills my heart knowing I made a small impact in their livelihood by being a decent human-being, being compassionate and having empathy.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge?Death Note, Down to Earth, K-drama, Naruto, The Office, Vampire Knight, and Health/Violence Documentaries
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Roasted lamb sandwich with green chili and frybread
What is your dream vacation destination?Exploring Indigenous People’s land across the world
 tblackwater@sa.utah.edu

Myra Gerst

Engagement Coordinator
 MGerst@sa.utah.edu

Myra Gerst

Engagement Coordinator
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: Bachelors of Public Health (University of Kentucky)
Where are you from? St. Louis, Missouri
What part of your position/job do you value most? I love having hard conversations, challenging social norms, and continuously questioning myself and others. I find what fills my cup up the most is building relationships with students, my colleagues, and partners across campus.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? I am not a big Netflix person, but I did recently get into Schitts Creek.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Probably a big hearty breakfast with pancakes, a breakfast burrito, potatoes, coffee, the works.
What is your dream vacation destination? Right now I am dreaming of buying a van and driving to Alaska with my family.
 MGerst@sa.utah.edu

Matt Downes

Recovery Program Coordinator
 MDownes@sa.utah.edu

Matt Downes

Recovery Program Coordinator
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Education: Currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology as well as an ASUDC (Advanced Substance Use Disorder Counselor) certificate.
Where are you from? He was born and raised in Dallas Texas.
What part of your position/job do you value most? He values and believes in the capacity of others for greatness by exceeding expectations. When someone has an epiphany followed by a desire to better themselves, he has the utmost joy in being a part of that person’s journey.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? Documentaries. Documentaries are always enhancing his understanding of the world we live in and helps him to feel more connected to all it has to offer.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Sushi
What is your dream vacation destination? Norway
 MDownes@sa.utah.edu

Kay Collins

Marketing & Communications Program Assistant
 KCollins@sa.utah.edu

Kay Collins

Marketing & Communications Program Assistant
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: BA in Exercise Science (Hendrix College), pursuing MS in Health and Kinesiology (University of Utah)
Where are you from? Raised in Arkansas, yet spent my adulthood in SF and SLC
What part of your position/job do you value most? Everyone is so friendly and inviting. We prioritize students’ wellbeing, and if we don’t provide the exact service you are looking for, by golly, we will connect to a place that does.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? BoJack Horseman. Despite the characters being highly unlikeable, there’s a likeability in the way go through their raw struggles. Life is full of many challenges and uncomfortable situations, and though you may not tackle every one with grace, there’s always the ability to become better.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? I am loyal to the foil. Burritos are the perfect meal wrapped up in a tortilla.
What is your dream vacation destination? Japan. I really want to experience the bathhouses and spas. Make a day of relaxation!
 KCollins@sa.utah.edu

Yocia Abney

ACES Coordinator
 y.abney@utah.edu

Yocia Abney

ACES Coordinator
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: Current M.Ed. Student
Where are you from? Florida
What part of your position/job do you value most? I value the connections I am able to make within the office and between multiple offices on campus.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? New Girl.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? One meal for the rest of my life would be breakfast sausage with eggs and biscuits and gravy.
What is your dream vacation destination? My dream vacation destination is New Zealand
 y.abney@utah.edu

Rebekah Rees

Graduate Assistant, Wellness Coach
 rebekah.rees@utah.edu

Rebekah Rees

Graduate Assistant, Wellness Coach
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: 2nd year grad student in the Health Education Specialist and Wellness Coaching Program
Where are you from? Tremonton, UT (the Pearl of the West)
What part of your position/job do you value most? I like having conversations that help individuals recognize the power they have to make positive changes in their own life.
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? I love watching Making It; it's a craft competition hosted my Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman and it is the most wholesome thing ever
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Waffles/breakfast would be my forever food
What is your dream vacation destination? I want to go see the northern lights and sleep in one of those bougie cabins with a glass ceiling
 rebekah.rees@utah.edu

Karly Ackley

Graduate Assistant, Wellness Coach
 karly.ackley@utah.edu

Karly Ackley

Graduate Assistant, Wellness Coach
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Education: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health at Iowa State University, currently pursuing my master’s in Health Education and Wellness Coaching
Where are you from? Manvel, North Dakota
What part of your position/job do you value most? Being able to help people reach the healthiest version of themselves
What is your favorite thing on Netflix to binge? Good Place. I have watched it completely through at least 5 times.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Any form of pasta.
What is your dream vacation destination? Paris!
 karly.ackley@utah.edu

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