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Community Mentors

Community Mentors serve on each UHAND Scholar mentoring team to help develop and refine mentoring plans, provide feedback on research from the community perspective, and participate in mentoring team meetings. They enable access to at risk populations and identify local opportunities for scholars to share research findings.
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Linda Civallero

Linda Civallero is the Associate Director for BridgeUp at Menninger. She provides leadership for the BridgeUp Magic Grants, including grant management, communications with grant partners and evaluation. Linda is a native Houstonian and is committed to improving health and education in underserved communities. She spent 18 years at MD Anderson Cancer Center, managing and directing federally-funded cancer prevention projects, in Public Education and the Department of Health Disparities Research. Linda’s experience includes grant development, project planning and implementation and community engagement.

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Claire W. Shynett

Claire W. Shynett, MA, is Founder of Partners 4 Inclusion, a comprehensive recovery initiative leveraging employment opportunities for individuals with mental illness and intellectual developmental disorders. She is a former Board Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Houston, and currently serves as a Board Director for Special Kids Inc.

Dr. Beverly J. Gor

Dr. Beverly J. “Jeanie” Gor is a registered dietitian who completed her bachelor’s and doctoral degree at the University of Houston, and master’s degree in nutrition and food science at Texas Woman’s University. In 1994, she and her colleagues established the Asian American Health Coalition and in 2002, created the HOPE Clinic, a federally qualified health center providing culturally and linguistically appropriate care to more than 30 language groups, including many Asian American groups.

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Elizabeth Perez, MPH

Elizabeth Perez joined Harris County Public Health Department (HCPH) as the Director of Communications, Education, and Engagement (OCEE) in 2015. Her responsibilities include overseeing the overall communication and engagement methods of HCPH, both internally and externally. Whether it be through the creation of educational videos and materials, marketing, and all forms of media, her office and staff serve as the supportive foundation to all of HCPH and the community.

Gustavo A. Molinar

Gustavo A. Molinar is the Literacy Specialist at Mental Health America of Greater Houston where he educates and advocates for positive mental health across the Houston community. Gustavo has hosted a variety of panels ranging in topics such as BIPOC Mental Health and collegiate mental health in partnership with a variety of organizations, with the goal of increasing understanding of mental health topics and destigmatizing mental illnesses. Additionally, Gustavo delivers trainings that provide mental health information and self-care management strategies.

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Elia Chino

Founder/CEO of FLAS, Inc. (Fundación Latinoamericana de Acción Social, Inc.), Ms. Elia Chino works tirelessly to educate people about preventable diseases, behavioral health, and mental illness. She’s a former member of the City of Houston’s Community Planning Group (CPG) and the former chair of the City’s Latino HIV Task Force. In 2016, she received the “Premio Revolución” award by the Government of Mexico; that same year she also received the “Jefferson Foundation Award” in recognition of her outstanding public service.

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Marlen Trujillo

Marlen Trujillo, PhD, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Spring Branch Community Health Center. She oversees the overall operations of the health center and maintains compliance with grant deliverables and is responsible for the supervision and administration of all staff and functions.

Karen Jackson

Karen Jackson is Founder/CEO of Sisters Network Inc., the nation’s only African American breast cancer survivorship organization. Jackson leads Sisters Network’s nationwide effort to focus the spotlight on increasing breast cancer awareness in the African American community.

Lisa Helfman

Lisa Helfmen, JD, is Director of Real Estate at H-E-B Grocers. Prior to joining H-E-B, Lisa served as Director of Real Estate Services at Texas Children’s Hospital where she created the Real Estate Services Department in order to centralize the hospital’s real estate operations.

Reverend Francene Young

Rev. Francene Young is the current Vicar at St. Luke the Evangelist. While working as a Vice President of Talent, Development and Diversity for a global energy company, she attended the Episcopal Diocese of Texas' Iona School for Ministry. After successfully completing the three-year program, Francene was ordained a Transitional Deacon in 2011 and a Priest in January 2012. 

Trinell Davis

Trinell Davis is the Volunteer Coordinator & Mentor Program Case Manager at Change Happens!  

In this capacity, she supervises the day-to-day operations of the Volunteer Program and is responsible for recruitment, outreach, training, case management, data collection, evaluation, donations, and project/event planning, for both the Volunteer Program and the Mentoring Program


a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and


— John Crosby


Paulina Linares presenting her project “The Impact of Flavor & Nicotine dose on Electronic Cigarette Use” to the UHAND Community Mentors


Community Mentor Linda Civallero from Menninger Clinic and UHAND Scholars Sean and Paulina during the Community Mentors Session


“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill


Community Mentors Claire Shynett and Sharon Livingston having fun while providing great feedback on the scholars projects


Basant Gamal presenting her project “Vibrant lives: a weight loss program for employees of the Pasadena ISD” at MD Anderson Cancer Center during the UHAND Community Mentors Session


“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sean Reuven at the UHAND Community Mentors Session presenting his poster “Comparing diet, body mass index, and perceived cancer risk in African-American men and women”

CM mtg3 Oct2018

UHAND Scholars and Community Mentors working hard to address cancer disparities


“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

CM mtg2. oct2018

Our UHAND Scholars learning from their Community Mentors how link their research projects with the Houston community


“In learning you will teach, in teaching you will learn.” — Phil Collins

CM mtg Oct2018

UHAND Scholars and Community Mentors working hard to address cancer disparities

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