photo of Susan Kegeles

Susan M. Kegeles, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Susan was trained in social psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. She has been a leader in the field of HIV prevention research since 1985 and is well known for her research in conducting behavioral interventions regarding AIDS-risk behavior. She was the co-developer of the Mpowerment Project and the Principal Investigator on the original study that demonstrated the efficacy of the Mpowerment Project.

She has also been the Principal Investigator on several grants to adapt and tailor the Mpowerment Project for young Black MSM. She has also collaborated with the Unity Fellowship Church Movement to design a faith-based HIV prevention intervention for Black MSM. She has also been the Principal Investigator of a study adapting counseling and testing methods for heterosexually-identified Black MSM, and was a Co-investigator on an NIMH-funded international trial focusing on mobilizing young (18-35 year old) men and women in Peru to reduce their sexual risk behavior. Dr. Kegeles is also known for her work in replicating HIV prevention interventions, AIDS-risk assessment, and she has been a principal investigator in the development of the AIDS Risk Reduction Model. This model of AIDS risk combines elements from the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Health Belief Model, Social Learning Theory and theories of emotion and communication. Susan is the proud mom of 2 children who are fast becoming adults and lives the happy life in the People’s Republic of Berkeley.

Greg M. Rebchook, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Greg received his doctorate at the University of Colorado, Boulder in Sociocultural Psychology. He has been working in the HIV prevention field since 1987. In 1989 he worked as the Education Director at a local CBO (the Boulder County AIDS Project) where he implemented community-based HIV prevention efforts. Later he became the AIDS Coordinator at the Boulder County Health Department, and he held that position for five years.

He was part of the HIV Prevention Community Planning process in Colorado. He served as the Project Director in the most recent Mpowerment Project efficacy study. Greg was the Principal Investigator of a pilot study of MSM who use Internet chatrooms, and he was the Principal Investigator on a CDC multi-site, web-based behavioral surveillance project of MSM. Greg was also the Co-Principal Investigator on a community collaborative project to design and evaluate a structural, online HIV prevention program for MSM in California.  He has also been the Co-Principal Investigator on the studies to tailor and adapt the Mpowerment Project for young, Black MSM, and he is currently Co-Principal Investigator on the faith-based intervention study for young African American MSM.  After many years of single life, Greg is happily partnered and even had a commitment ceremony in June 2009, much to his amazement.

photo of John Hamiga

John D. Hamiga

Technology Exchange Specialist, UCSF

John has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of New Mexico and he has been a trainer and technical assistance specialist at CAPS since 2003. He began his work in HIV in 1991 as a volunteer with the National Association of People Living with AIDS.

Later, he worked as the volunteer coordinator at the first showing of the Names Project Quilt in Albuquerque in 1994. John began working as an Mpowerment Project Coordinator in Albuquerque, NM in 1997 and became the Mpowerment Project team leader in 1998. As such, he was responsible for the day to day operations of the Mpowerment Project including organizing a Core Group, managing formal outreach activities, facilitating and recruiting for M-groups, promoting informal outreach, publicizing the program, and coordinating volunteers. He has made presentations on the Mpowerment Project model at national conferences and was featured in a 2000 CDC teleconference on HIV prevention for gay men. He has experience working on the Mpowerment Project under the supervision of the researchers and working at CBOs once the original study concluded. Therefore, he is intimately familiar with the issues faced by CBOs when implementing this prevention model. Mr. Hamiga was also a trainer at the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center, and has also worked on a project to assist CBOs to adapt the Mpowerment Project and other community level HIV prevention models to the transgender community. John lives in San Francisco and loves the liberal environment, but he still misses the New Mexican lifestyle.

photo of Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Technology Exchange Specialist, UCSF

Robert Williams is the newest member of the Mpowerment Team. He is a native of San Francisco and was raised in Oakland, CA which is where he still calls home, and where he remains closely connected to his family, friends and community.

As a Black gay man, he has been working on the HIV prevention needs of men since 1993, but even before then he was personally impacted by HIV as he saw close friends pass from the devastation of this disease. The memory of those friends and seeing other friends still contracting HIV fosters his ongoing commitment to this work.   Most recently, Robert was the Deputy Director of SMAAC (Sexual Minority Alliance of Alameda County) Youth Center in Oakland, CA. He also worked at AMASSI (African American Men Support Services and Survival Institute) in Oakland and has served as the Community Co-Chair of the Alameda County HIV/AIDS Prevention Planning Council. He was a part of the CAPS Mpowerment Translation Project study funded by the Universitywide AIDS Research Project to tailor the Mpowerment Project to the unique needs of young, Black gay men.  In addition to being a Technical Assistance Specialist, his other current work at CAPS is supervising United Black Ellument (U-BE), a CDC-funded research project studying the effectiveness of an adapted Mpowerment for young Black gay men in Dallas, Texas.

In June 2010 Robert was invited to the White House by the Office of National AIDS Policy for a discussion on Black Men and HIV.

photo of Scott Tebbetts

Scott Tebbetts

Research Analyst, UCSF

Scott completed undergraduate work at the University of Colorado, Boulder and obtained a graduate certificate in Health Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine. He has been involved in HIV prevention for 17 years.

He started as a volunteer at an AIDS service organization, where he later became the MSM Outreach Coordinator. He then became an HIV test counselor and then coordinator of testing and counseling clinics for the Boulder County Health Department in Boulder, Colorado. At CAPS, he acquired expertise on program evaluation through his work assessing strategies for CBOs to use when evaluating the Mpowerment Project. He was part of the CAPS team that studied how a local CBO used the Replication Package to implement the Mpowerment Project. His role as Research Analyst requires him to conduct hundreds of interviews each year with agencies across the US. He is very familiar with issues that arise as CBOs attempt to implement, tailor, and adapt the Mpowerment Project and other science-based HIV prevention interventions.

photo of Ben Zovod

Ben Zovod

Research Analyst, UCSF

Ben completed his undergraduate work at Humboldt State University where he studied psychology with an emphasis in counseling and African American studies. He began researching HIV risk and prevention issues while attending college. Ben then moved to San Francisco to do an internship with the AIDS Health Project.

After researching youth services in San Francisco, Ben joined the Mpowerment team at the University of California San Francisco. Ben has been working with Susan and Greg for the past 12 years, looking at the needs of young gay/bisexual men and the development of the Mpowerment Project, an HIV prevention project designed for young gay/bisexual men. Ben’s current role as research coordinator has him being the contact person for all inquires from community based organizations and health departments in regards to their interest into the Mpowerment Project. He also coordinates regional Mpowerment trainings. Ben is married and raising a 3 year old son and border collie.

UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies

The Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is a productive, vibrant, and innovative organization committed to conducting cutting-edge, high-impact HIV prevention research. It is the largest research center in the world devoted to social, behavioral, and policy-based approaches to HIV prevention.

UCSF Capacity Building Assistance Partnership

The Mpowerment project is part of the UCSF Capacity Building Assistance Partnership. Our Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) team includes expert CBA providers from UCSF’s Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), Center of Excellence for Transgender Health (CoE), and Alliance Health Project (AHP—formerly AIDS Health Project). Additionally, we collaborate with the Bridging Group.