WELL for Life Staff

Sandra J. Winter

Sandra earned a Masters in Health Administration in May 2006 and a PhD in Public Administration (Health Policy Track) in December 2009, both from the University of Kentucky. Her graduate research work focused on the health care that is provided to prison inmates in Kentucky.

Under the mentorship of Abby C. King, PhD, she did her postdoctoral training with the Stanford Prevention Research Center from 2012-2014. During this time her research focused on using technology to promote physical activity in tech-naïve older adults and using a citizen science engagement model to empower community residents to advocate for changes in their neighborhood to better support healthy, active living.

Naina  Ahuja
Research Assistant

Naina earned her Bachelor in Science in Public Health Science and Psychology with a minor in Biology at Santa Clara University. Her previous research concentrated on increasing physical activity amongst low socioeconomic mothers. Naina exhibits a passion for creating effective and targeted physical activity interventions and helping improve the lives of others.

She also has experience working with children in different realms and applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Currently, Naina is assisting with the citizen science work in Santa Clara County within the Wellness Living Laboratory.

Erin Avery
Research Assistant

After earning her Bachelor of Science in Ecology from University of California, Santa Cruz, Erin earned her Master of Science in Nutritional Science from San Jose State University.  Her graduate research focused on nutrient intake, disordered eating behaviors, and nutrition knowledge within female endurance athletes. 

Erin started her career as a clinical research coordinator at Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford School of Medicine, studying the relationship between genotype, insulin resistance and weight loss.  She also studied salt intake among different ethnic groups in the U.S.

Matthew Grason
Research and Administrative Coordinator

Grason obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the College of Charleston, South Carolina. His previous research concentrated on performance and stereotype threat, specifically focused on women in the sciences. He has worked with Trident United Way's 2-1-1 Hotline and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), leading one of ten national centers dedicated to explore the delivery of crisis management and suicide prevention counseling across a web-based platform.

Grason also has experience with advanced behavior analysis, and is currently engaged in a research with Stanford's Psychology Department to examine communication methods that may improve acceptance and performance in groups experiencing stereotype threat.

Julia Gustafson
Community Partner Program Administrator 

Julia earned a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a BS in Public Health and Community Health from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. Her graduate research focused on the cost sustainability of behavioral economic interventions in food shelves.

Julia's previous work experience includes community engagement, childhood obesity, mental health and program evaluation. 


Katy Peng
IT System Analyst

Katy has more than thirteen years of experience working in large high-tech corporations including DELL and HP. She started as a programmer analyst, working on building enterprise integration platform to reduce cost and complexity for data integration within businesses. She then held a project manager position, responsible for team building, coaching team members in multi-culture global areas, and managing large-scale EAI projects through all phases of project lifecycles.

Katy earned Master of Arts in Biological Science from University of Texas at Austin, and Master of Science in Computer Science from Texas State University.

Yan Min
Research Assistant

Yan obtained her Bachelor of Medicine from Peking University Health Science Center, and Master of Arts in health policy from Stanford University. Her research was focused on health inequity, population aging and long-term care in developing countries.  

Yan has worked at the World Health Organization Department of Health care System Financing. Her research there included investigations of long-term care insurance programs, and analysis of healthcare system efficiencies within Eight East Asian Countries. As a visiting researcher, Yan was involved in two fieldworks conducted by National Taiwan University School of Public Health with a focus on the elderly’s living arrangements in Taipei.

Tia Rich
Senior Research Assistant

Tia Rich earned a PhD and MSW in Social Welfare form the University of California, Berkeley and a MA in Health Psychology and BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. In 1981, Dr. Rich completed fifteen months of full time residential training as a mindfulness yoga and meditation teacher while living at the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy.

Dr. Rich’s education also includes training and experience in Chinese Medicine, Buddhism and Christianity, and Chinese brush painting and pastel portraiture.