Justin A. Sitron – Director
PhD Human Sexuality – Widener University
BA Spanish Language and Literature; B.S. Education – Villanova University
Certified Sexuality Educator – AASECT
Diplomado, Monitor de Educación Sexual y Especialista en Terápia Sexual – Sociedad Sexológica de Madrid
Dr. Sitron is an Associate Professor in Widener’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies. He began his career in South Philadelphia as a teacher of Spanish, and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), and also spent 3 years at Abington Junior High School teaching Spanish and advising the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. For 2 years he worked for Planned Parenthood of Bucks County (PA) as a Male Involvement Community Health Educator and Coordinator of LGBTQ Services, after which he worked for a time as an adjunct professor before joining the Center for Health Behavior and Communications Research (CHBR) at the University of Pennsylvania in as an Intervention Specialist, under the direction of Dr. John Jemmott. The CHBR specialized in developing health behavior interventions for African-American populations, including additional work in Southern Africa. Dr. Sitron joined the Widener faculty as an adjunct in 2005 and full-time in 2008.
Brooke Wells – Associate Director
PhD Social Psychology – The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
MA Psychology – San Diego State University
BA Psychology – Knox College
Dr. Wells is a social psychologist who conducted NIH-funded HIV prevention research at the Center for HIV Education, Studies, and Training (CHEST) at Hunter College in New York City for many years before becoming an Associate Professor in the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University in 2015. Her research largely focuses on HIV prevention among gay and bisexual men, and also addresses substance use and abuse, the connections between substance use and sexual risk behavior, social and cultural changes in sexuality over time, sexuality in the media, expressive writing as a behavioral health and psychological intervention, and alternative sexual communities (kink and sex party communities).
Don Dyson – Principal Investigator, Sex Talk Study
PhD Human Sexuality – University of Pennsylvania
MSS Clinical Social Work – Bryn Mawr College
BA Communications: Speech and Theater – Eastern University
Dr. Dyson is an AASECT-certified sexuality educator and an associate professor at Widener’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies. His research interests include best practices in the training of sexologists, intercultural issues in sexuality education, and identity intersections in sexuality. He is currently also the Principal Investigator of the Sex Talk Study, which seeks to examine the unique ways in which 18-24 year-olds think and talk about sex and relationships.
PhD Human Development & Human Sexuality – Widener University
MSEd Psychological Services – University of Pennsylvania
BS Speech and Hearing Sciences – University of Washington
Dr. Hawkins is an Adjunct Professor with Widener’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies. Her work focuses on counseling and sexuality education in the medical setting. She works predominantly with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and has a strong passion for the education and sexual health of adolescents and young adults.
Megan Simmons – Research Scientist
Javontae L. Williams – Applied Research Scientist
MPH – West Chester University
BA Sociology – Temple University
Practical Nursing – Florida State College
Javontae Lee Williams is an applied research scientist at Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative. Supported by the largest active grant given to Widener University, his team translates theoretical perspectives about LGBT communities into curricula. Through a community-based participatory research approach, this work aims to reduce men’s risk for HIV, improve communication between provider and patient and reduce stigma by educating communities most impacted by HIV. He brings to the ISRC more than 10 years of healthcare experience in various nursing and clinical capacities. He graduated from Temple University with honors distinction in Sociology and earned a Master’s of Public Health at West Chester University.
Lindsay Lock – Graduate Assistant, Program Research and Development Specialist
MS Couple and Family Therapy – University of Rhode Island
BS Psychology; A.B. Classical Culture – University of Georgia
Lindsay Lock is currently a student in the PhD program in Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University. Her research interests include sex while using substances, alternative relationship styles, BDSM/kink, and gender. She conducted a qualitative study of polyamory for her master’s research project. Before beginning the PhD program, she worked as a research assistant at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. Lindsay has been assisting with studies through the ISRC since beginning her matriculation at Widener in Fall 2014.
Tyler Burns – Graduate Assistant, Millennial Research Panel Project Manager
Tyler is currently a PhD level student in the Human Sexuality Studies program at Widener University. His research interests includes LGBTA issues, non-monogamies, and the intersection of technology and sexuality. He has held several teaching assistant positions, across a broad range of psychological topics including Theories of Learning and Cognition as well as Biological Psychology. Tyler has the officer position of Treasurer and Vice President in Psi Chi (International Psychological Honor Society). He has also held a position as an Administrative Assistant at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Learning and Behavior Clinic.
Kimberly Huggins – Graduate Assistant, Recruitment Manager
MPH – SUNY Downstate Medical Center
BA Psychology – Syracuse University
Kimberly is currently a dual degree student in the Master of Social Work and PhD in Human Sexuality Studies programs at Widener University. Her research interests include stigma, HIV and STD prevention, adolescent sexual health, and older adult sexuality. Before beginning at Widener, she worked as an Adolescent Health Educator in Brooklyn, NY, and obtained her Master of Public Health, focusing on HIV among the aging population. As an undergraduate, she served her campus community as a sexual health educator and conducted a qualitative research study that focused on the sexual behaviors and attitudes of African American college-enrolled women at Syracuse University.
Erinn Hoel – Data Manager
Erinn is currently a dual student in the MSW and MEd in Social Work and Human Sexuality Studies programs at Widener University. Her research interests include sexual objectification in the media, sexual assault, and sexual offenders. Before beginning at Widener, she completed a year of service at a domestic violence shelter in Eastern Kentucky. As an undergraduate she collected oral histories of rape survivors and conducted research on the prenatal effects of methamphetamine and postnatal effects of cocaine on precocial fowl, as well as the effects of violent video games on participants’ self perception.
Tara Johnson – Administrative and Social Media Coordinator
Tara is currently a student in the MEd in Human Sexuality Studies program at Widener University. Prior to attending Widener and working with the ISRC, she taught English/Language Arts for two years at Lanett Junior High School in Alabama. Her research interests include regional effects on sexuality, gender identity and socialization, language in sexuality, and adolescent sexual health. Tara has been assisting with the ISRC since December 2015.
Esther Bird – Project Manager
Esther is currently a dual student in the MSW in Social Work and MEd in Human Sexuality Programs. She has been involved in addiction treatment for the last six years and works closely with individuals living with HIV and Hep C. Her research interests are bi-directional intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, and sex addiction among the LGBTQ population.
Sarah Hoover – Data Analyst
MA Applied Medical Anthropology – University of Memphis
BA Cultural Anthropology – East Tennessee State University
Sarah is currently pursuing her MEd in Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University. When earning her previous degrees, Sarah assisted with ethnographic research on mental health stigma in southern Appalachia, conducted a program evaluation for the Shelby County Teen Pregnancy and Parenting Support program, and directed a study examining condom access in Memphis, TN. Before coming to Widener, Sarah was the research and evaluation assistant with the Amputee Coalition, where she helped develop and evaluate programs to assist individuals as they reintegrate into their communities and lead full lives after amputation. Sarah’s current research and advocacy interests in sexuality include cross-cultural perceptions of sexuality, sexual assault and rape culture, reproductive healthcare access, and the inclusion of pleasure in sexuality education.
Shuyi Wang – Research Assistant
Shuyi is currently a graduate student in Hospitality and Tourism at Widener University. She has worked in the provincial statistical department in China for several years.