Meet the Staff

Julia Tomassilli, PhD

Dr. Tomassilli received her Ph.D. in Social & Personality Psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2010. She has conducted public health research at the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training in New York City and The Fenway Institute in Boston. Since 2005, Dr. Tomassilli has worked on a variety of public health research projects exploring substance use/abuse, HIV transmission and prevention, the health and well-being of sexual and gender minorities and people living with HIV, and the effect of stigma and discrimination on risk behaviors and physical and mental health.

Jessica Gollaher, MA
Operations Coordinator

Mrs. Gollaher received her Master’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in research methodology. She has over 6 years of experience in survey research working with CSUS’s Institute for Social Research as well as the Public Health Institute. Mrs. Gollaher has worked in many aspects of applied research including survey and sampling design, data analysis, and report writing. Her research interests include reproductive health and adolescent health.

Leigh Powell, MA
Project Coordinator

Ms. Powell joined the Public Health Survey Research Program in 2015 as a graduate student interviewer, survey call monitor, and research assistant. She became a full-time Project Coordinator with PHSRP in 2017, working primarily on the Champions for Healthy Change and California Family Health Studies. She earned her Master of Arts in Psychology from Sacramento State University in 2018.

Rick Mason, MA
Project Coodinator

Mr. Mason received his Master’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in applied research methods from San Diego State University. He has over 15 years of experience in survey research, having worked with SDSU’s Social Science Research Laboratory as well as the Cal State San Marcos Social & Behavioral Research Institute. At both facilities, he has overseen studies for various community-based organizations, government agencies and national health organizations such as The Centers for Disease Control. Mr. Mason has worked in a variety of roles within applied research including survey design, data collection as well as data analysis and reporting. Mr. Mason’s primary research interests include LGBT youth research as well as health and wellness research.

Mayra Villarreal, MA
Project Coodinator

Ms. Villarreal received her Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Sacramento State. She has over six years of experience working in project coordination within higher education, having worked at Sacramento State as well as Los Rios Community College District. Ms. Villarreal has also worked in various capacities within applied research including survey design, data collection and analysis, and report writing. Her research interests include race and gender relations within higher education and within labor.

Ross Wise, BS
Information Technology Support Coordinator

Mr. Wise is a Sacramento State alum, having received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science here in 1986. He has worked in the social services area for many years; including building the Information Technology department at WEAVE, Inc. He developed and supported the Statistical Tracking and Reporting (STAR) system used at WEAVE and 90 other Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault programs throughout California.

Linda Jensen, MA
Administrative Support Coordinator

Ms. Jensen received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology here at Sac State. Her thesis was on family size and its relationship to depression and locus of control. After graduating, she spent many years as a technical writer, business analyst, and security analyst in IT primarily at Delta Dental of CA. After leaving the IT world, she decided to return to the academic world and work in administrative support.