Research Program Team
Research Director: Dr. Lindsay Edwards
Lindsay Edwards (she, her, hers) earned her Ph.D. in Couples and Family Therapy through the University of Connecticut. As the research program director, Lindsay’s work focuses on studying the effects of discrimination on individuals in the transgender and gender non-conforming communities. Lindsay is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and teaches in the Couples and Family Therapy program at Regis University. Before completing her degree on the East Coast, Lindsay completed her MS in Couples and Family Therapy at Kansas State University and her BS in Family Studies at the University of Arizona. Lindsay loves being outside in her garden and in and around water whenever possible.
Scotty Hanley (she, her, hers) is originally from Sparks, Maryland, she has three older brothers and grew up playing sports and trying to keep up with her siblings. She completed her undergraduate degree at Amherst College where she double majored in psychology and history and she played lacrosse and squash there as well. After a few years sailing in the Caribbean and a few years teaching in Baltimore she pursued her master’s degree in Sport and Performance Psychology at the University of Denver. Scotty first became involved at the Gender Identity Center as a volunteer in May 2013, then became an independent intern the following year, and since her graduation in June 2015 has become a pro bono clinician. When not working Scotty is volunteering for Colorado Adaptive Sports, exploring Colorado, cooking, or reading.
Communications and Marketing Team
Ben Aiken (he, him, his) holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver. In 2014, he completed a clinical internship at a prominent social service agency serving the greater South Florida LGBTQ community where he advocated for and worked closely with his caseload of gender nonconforming clients and their loved ones. He also co-facilitated a process group for transgender persons and a support group for their significant others, friends, families and allies. He’s received extensive training in the Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Ben is registered with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies as a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate and is a National Certified Counselor by the National Board for Certified Counselors. He also holds an MBA from California State University. He’s lived abroad in South Africa and Israel and has a rich multicultural perspective toward his self and others in the world.
Sequoia Carpenter (she, her, hers) is a Metaphysician with 50+ years of life experience and has devoted the last 3 decades to self-improvement, motivational, inspirational, and metaphysical studies. She was ordained a Spiritual Peacemaker Minister in 2007 and received her Masters in Adult Education and Training in 2010. Her experience in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (GLBTQ) world began around 1979 when she realized she is transgender and went into the closet. She came out in 2004 and has been living her life as a transsexual woman 24/7 since 2008. She has been volunteering with the Gender Identity Center since 2009.
Melissa Chollar (she, her, hers) spent most of her life in the tech industry, including 17 years at Ultimate Electronics helping to construct and administer company-wide IT networks. Most of her other tech experience involved professional audio systems. This job lead to some very interesting experiences, such as setting up and running the audio for the White House Communications Agency at the airport arrival of the president for a campaign swing through the area, being sent to George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch to learn the THX theater sound system from its developer, and a stint in both commercial and public radio broadcasting. The radio broadcasting job also led to meeting and sometimes interviewing famous people. Lastly, she moved to home theater/home automation and other systems. This also brought her close to people (athletes, former presidential cabinet members, celebrities in general) because she was working in their homes for days.
Melissa is most grateful to have found the GIC, and is constantly amazed by the kindness and support that she and others find here, and the selflessness of the staff. Melissa wants to do whatever she can to help it flourish.
Ersin (air-sin) Sulukioglu (he, him, his) is currently pursuing his masters degree in Counseling through Adams State University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado Denver, majoring in English and Political Science. He has worked in many different settings, and throughout his career and life his passion has always remained one of service – to his fellow human beings, to animals, and to this earth we all share. His future plans include starting a community center that provides services for underrepresented populations and communities. He is a Colorado native and is very proud of it. He loves to spend time outdoors, relaxing with friends and family, and enjoying the adventures that life presents each and every day.
Shawn Turk (Chair) – Profile currently not available.
Elizabeth Barber (she, her, hers) holds a BA in Psychology from San Diego State University, a Master of Arts in Counseling and MBA from Regis University, Denver. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor candidate. She completed internships at ARTS-Addiction Research & Treatment Services, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Denver and at the Gender Identity Center. She is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Sand Tray Therapy, EMDR therapy for trauma, and Neurofeedback, a type of EEG biofeedback used to treat neurological conditions. She loves working with the gender-variant community and helping individuals uncover their true self. She has a private practice in Greenwood Village, CO.
Lucas Jordan Thacker (He, Him, His) attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. While there he also worked to create the university’s first Gay-Straight Alliance and make the campus a safe place for LGBTQ people. Originally from Alabama, he developed a passion for social justice and advocacy early on and has worked as a tutor for low-income families and in refugee services. He also organizes a queer social meetup group. When he is not working, he also enjoys trying craft beers, performing improv comedy, and enjoying various types of comic book based entertainment.
Shayna Hill (she, her, hers) is currently pursuing a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a multicultural emphasis from CU Denver. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in 2010, and moved to Denver in 2013. She is passionate about social justice issues, and is building a counseling career that works for social change through empowerment and advocacy. She strongly believes in the GIC’s mission of empowering and affirming all gender identities, and is excited to be a part of the work. She is honored to work with and learn from the unique voices of the trans* community. Some of Shayna’s other passions and interests include animal welfare, hip hop & blues, American Sign Language, and Native American rights.
Program Evaluation Team
Jess Fear – Profile currently not available.
Dionisia DeLaCerda (she, her, hers) – Profile currently not available.
TIP Program (Trans in Prison) Team