Research and Education Community Advisory Board (RECAB) Members
Active RECAB Members
Sharon Chandler is the founder and executive director of Yes2Kollege Education Resources, Inc., a Sacramento nonprofit dedicated to the early preparation of minority families raising college-bound students and family health and wellness. She is the mother of two college graduates, a son who is a deputy district attorney and a daughter who is a human resources training professional with her Master’s degrees in Sociology and in Education.
Chandler is a past executive director of community centers, affordable housing programs, and an entrepreneur. She is also a former social marketing project coordinator of the California Black Health Networks campaign against second-hand smoke and community blogger keeping the Bay Area abreast of minority health news in South Sacramento and through San Francisco Public Radio, KQED. She also has extensive experience as an advocate and writer of numerous newspaper and magazine articles on health, education, and diversity for the Sacramento Observer Newspaper and Media Group. She is the proud author of the book, Say Yes to College: A Practical and Inspirational Guide to Raising College-Bound Kids. She is also a commissioned artist.
Elijah Cherkez is a student, community member, and researcher. Growing up near Oak Park he has seen the good changes in the community and has experienced their challenges. He loves representing this community and all fellow humans as a member of the Research and Education Community Advisory Board (RECAB). Cherkez graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He is a clinical research professional certified through the Society of Clinical Research Association (SOCRA), and is familiar with the Code of Federal Regulations and human subject protection in research.
Cherkez has worked in clinical research for over 6 years, both in scientific research, laboratory work, as well as clinical trials research in the areas of breast cancer, genetic research (craniosynostosis, Lysosomal storage disease), heart devices, autism, and fragile-X. His passion is to find out about new research that is done at UC Davis and elsewhere in the scientific community and to translate the technical published findings into something which the community can understand and use, toward preventative health, access to new information, and healing. He is also committed to helping researchers with consultation in ethical dilemmas, good clinical practice knowledge, expertise in research design, and regulatory document formulation for maximum protection and beneficence while minimizing the research risks for participants.
Lillian Clements, M.P.H.
Lillian Clements is a project manager for Sacramento Covered's Pathways to Health and Home program, a Medicaid pilot project to improve health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. Prior to this position, Clements completed her Master's practicum with the California Department of Public Health's Oral Health Program and implemented harm reduction skills as a methadone counselor in Monterey County. She holds three Bachelor's degrees (Women's and Gender Studies, Spanish, and Psychology) from Sonoma State University, a Master of Public Health from University of California Davis, and a sexual health educator training certification from San Francisco Sex Information. Clements has a passion for reproductive justice and health equity and is an advocate for eliminating health disparities based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, immigration status, insurance type and income.
Edward T. Lewis, M.A., M.S.W.
Edward Lewis is an 18-year resident of Sacramento (CA) and the associate project manager for Urban Strategies, Inc. and the Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant in the Twin Rivers (Dos Rios) Community in Sacramento. Prior to this position he was an enforcement investigator with the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education from 2014–2017, and a Manager with California Health & Wellness from 2013–2014. He received both his B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from CSU Chico (Chico State), while employed with Butte County from 1992–2000. He later received a second Master’s degree in social work (M.S.W.) from California State University Sacramento (Sac State) from 2000–2002, all while working for Yuba County DHHS - CPS.
In 2005, Lewis transitioned to the California Department of Social Services and worked as a consultant in the Kinship Care Policy & Support Unit. He later accepted an adjunct lecturer position in the Division of Social Work at Sac State and served in that position for five years from 2007–2012. Currently he is an active member of the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center’s Research, Education and Community Advisory Board (RECAB) and the Chico State Alumni Association Board of Directors, and a former member of Alta California Regional Center’s Board of Directors from 2009–2015.
Nassarine Noureddine serves as an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). She has over 22 years of teaching experience in the US and overseas. She also serves as the founder and director of Saha Health Center, a community clinic serving the uninsured and the underserved public. She is the co-founder of the California Interprofessional Education Research Academy and presents nationally and internationally on interprofessional education design, development, and assessment. Her research work focuses on diversity in nursing, cultural competence, interprofessional collaboration in education, simulation in nursing education, and Middle Eastern refugees in the U.S.
Carolina Rojas-Gore is one of the original members of the Research and Education Community Engagement Advisory Board (RECAB) at the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center. She was born and raised in Mexico City. Since her arrival in Sacramento in 1969, her commitment and willingness to help the community has been clearly demonstrated, as she has embraced and actively served in the following organizations: as anchor and co-producer of Vistas Community Program, as a member of the board of directors of the Sacramento YMCA and the Bishop Gallegos Memorial, and as a two-term president of the Mexican Cultural Center of Northern California. For the last 13 years, she has served as director of community empowerment of Univision Channel 19 in the greater Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto area. While at Univision, she was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Sacramento County Fair Board of Directors. Prior to joining Univision, she successfully worked in human resources management for several years.
Rojas-Gore is also a member of the Parish Council of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. While serving several terms as a board member for the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce she chaired the 23rd Annual Installation Dinner and the Cultural Arts Committee. She also served on Senator Darryl Steinberg’s Hispanic Advisory Committee and on the CARE’s Hispanic Advisory Board. She has received several awards such as the 2007 Outstanding Women Leader, the 2011 Molina Champions Award, the 2013 Leadership in Advocacy Award, and the 2016 Spirit of Latina Award.
Anna Rosenbaum, M.S.W., M.P.H.
Anna Rosenbaum is a senior manager of primary care systems for the American Cancer Society (ACS), in the Cancer Control division of the ACS West Region. In this role, she manages staff serving Northern California, Northern Nevada, the Central Valley and the Central Coast, working with community clinics and partners to implement evidence-based interventions for reducing cancer health disparities.
Rosenbaum is a public health and social work professional with over 10 years of experience as a senior-level manager, program director, researcher, and bilingual health educator focused on eliminating health disparities. She has successfully developed, implemented, monitored, evaluated and improved a wide array of health programs and initiatives in diverse communities across California since 2002. She holds two master’s degrees from the University of Washington, Seattle – one in Public Health (in Community-Based Public Health Practice) and the other in Social Work (in Community-Centered Integrative Practice).
Nancy Zarenda has assisted government agencies, as well as educational and non-profit organizations with language and cross cultural programs. She is a policy consultant at the California Department of Education on school safety planning and serves as liaison to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction on school safety initiatives. She previously held consultant positions in language policy, English learners, and migrant education.
Zarenda’s teaching experience spans K-12, community colleges, adult schools, police agencies, and health care institutions. She is an adjunct instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College and designed and directed Spanish for Law Enforcement at Rio Hondo Police Academy. She also maintains leadership positions on diversity councils and a national non-profit.
Zarenda fulfilled two terms as a gubernatorial appointee to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and received special Congressional recognition as Outstanding Hispanic American Educator. She is a mentor to youth in county detention facilities and a member of the Sacramento FBI Citizens Academy.
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola is the Director of the CTSC Community Engagement program. He also directs the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and is a professor of Clinical Internal Medicine.
Jose “Jojo” Melendres, B.S.P.H, M.D., B.S.N., RN, WCC, CCM
Jojo Melendres has been a healthcare professional for nearly 10 years in the United States, practicing as an RN at UC Davis Medical Center. He works as an inpatient clinical case manager and is certified by the Commission of Case Managers.
Mary Nakamura, LCSW, is a Human Services program planner with Sacramento County and works in the Mental Health Cultural Competence unit of the Division of Behavioral Health Services.
Alan Lombard, Ph.D.
Alan Lombard is a cancer researcher actively engaged in the study of urological cancers at the University of California, Davis. He received his doctorate in molecular and cellular biology from the University of California, Davis in the summer of 2015.