Meet the Research Team
Julie A. Beans, MPH
Julie Beans was born in Anchorage and raised on the lower Yukon in St. Mary’s and Pilot Station and on the Oneida Nation reservation in Wisconsin. She is Yup’ik (Yupiit of the Andreafski) and Oneida from Wisconsin. She has a research background in toxicology, analytical chemistry and genetics research support. At SCF, Beans has worked on a wide range of research projects covering topics including: diabetes, chronic illness, pharmacogenetics and suicide. She is involved with SCF Research projects on many levels, including: grant writing support, data collection, data management, data analysis, results dissemination and study coordination. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, road trips and reading. View Beans’ Curriculum Vitae
Annie Collier, originally from Los Angeles and most recently from Flagstaff, Arizona, returned this year to live in Anchorage and work for Southcentral Foundation for the second time. Collier completed her Doctrine in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles and postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York. She has worked in the areas of biobehavioral health, wellness program development and health evaluation with Tribal communities and refugees throughout the Southwest, Pacific Rim, and Alaska for over 25 years. Outside of work, she spends time with her family, loves to hike, and is an avid fiber artist that promotes social practice art.
Lorna David is an Athabascan born in Anchorage and raised in Mentasta Lake. She lived in Fairbanks and Anchorage after high school. David is the youngest sibling of six. She previously attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks for Tribal management and construction core management. Her previous work was office manager for multiple villages served by the Alaska Native Medical Center and Southcentral Foundation. She appreciates working with Southcentral Foundation and would like to learn more and strive forward with the company. She enjoys traveling, boat rides, swimming, berry picking, gaming, skiing, and spending as much time with her family as she can.
Denise A. Dillard, PhD
Denise Dillard is Inupiaq Eskimo and was born in Fairbanks and raised in Anchorage. She has conducted post-doctoral quantitative and qualitative research since 1998 and is a licensed psychologist. She oversees the direction of research projects in behavioral health, cancer, pharmacogenetics, health disparities, patient-centered outcomes, and other areas. She works with SCF’s Board of Directors as they review research involving the Alaska Native community and serves on the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board. She has a son, Reid, and is close to her family. She enjoys spending time camping, fishing, quilting, going to hot yoga, and attending her son’s baseball games. View Dillard’s Curriculum Vitae
Michele P. Freeman joined SCF as a researcher in May of 2020. She has extensive experience in conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. She has an Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Washington, where her research focused on racial disparities in breast cancer survival. She is Filipino American and is originally from Washington, D.C. For her bachelor’s degree, she studied natural science at Johns Hopkins University with a minor in music at Peabody Conservatory. She is active as a classical pianist, vocalist, and harpist, and enjoys snowboarding and sailing with her two teenage sons.
Brianna M. Goins
Brianna Goins was born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula. She moved to Anchorage to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage. She graduated from UAA in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Brianna joined SCF in 2019 as a Program Coordinator with a focus in grant administration. She looks forward to advancing her knowledge about research and continuing to take courses in pursuit of her master’s degree. Brianna enjoys taking classes to learn more about yoga, coffee, and cooking. Her hobbies include spending time with her cats, performing arts, traveling to new places, and exploring Alaska.
Kelley J. Jansen, MS, MAC
Kelley Jansen is of Aleut and Dutch descent and grew up in Mukilteo, Washington. She comes from a multi-generational fishing family with deep roots in Alaska. Kelley began working at SCF in July 2011. She holds a BA in Psychology, a MS in Clinical Mental Health, and is a nationally certified addictions counselor. She has experience in treating substance abuse and mental health disorders and a research background in systemic, social, and behavioral health issues. Kelly and her husband live in Anchorage with their four dogs. She enjoys competing in endurance sports and making art.
Scott Labrie was born and raised in Sacramento, California, and is a Tribal member of the Cherokee Nation. Labrie attended Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in environmental science. While in Kansas, he met and married his wife, Carol. Labrie is currently finishing his Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences at the University of Kansas. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, disc golf, and spending all the time that he can with his wife and two dogs.
Ryan Mortenson, who is Yup’ik Eskimo, was born in Lakewood, Washington, and raised in Bethel, Alaska. Mortenson moved to Anchorage in 2003 and later graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with his Associate of Arts and his Bachelor of Business Administration. He worked with Southcentral Foundation while earning a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in general management. He worked at SCF as a case management support in OB-GYN before transitioning into the Research Department in July 2021. Mortenson is currently attending Trident University International for his Doctorates in Business Administration, focusing on health care administration. He enjoys listening to podcasts, working on cars, traveling, trading stocks, and learning new cultures.
Krista R. Schaefer, MPH
Krista Schaefer grew up in the Midwest and moved to Alaska in 2016 when she joined the SCF Research Department. Schaefer’s research experience includes broad subject matter on Alzheimer’s, tobacco cessation, pharmacogenomics, and blood pressure all within the Alaska Native community. Prior she did program evaluation, mathematical modeling, and women’s health initiatives. She enjoys all outdoor activities along with books, travel, and cooking.
Aliassa L. Shane
Aliassa Shane is Shoshone-Paiute and Aleut. She was born in Boise, Idaho, and grew up near San Diego, California, while her father served in the military. She worked with the California Native American Research Center for Health while earning a bachelor’s degree in American Indian Studies at San Diego State University. At SCF, she supports the department manager on grant administration. She is currently attending the University of Alaska Anchorage for her Master’s in Public Health. Her hobbies include traveling, listening to live music and trying new things.
Jennifer L. Shaw, PhD
Jennifer Shaw is from Lawrence, Kansas and has lived in Alaska since 2003. She is of Ashkenazi Jewish and French-Canadian descent. Since 1998, Jennifer has conducted mixed-methods and applied health research on diverse topics as a medical anthropologist. She joined the SCF Research department in 2010 and is now a Senior Researcher. Her team works closely with behavioral services and has led research efforts on suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention and treatment, palliative care, and depression management. Jennifer loves camping, hiking, traveling, and exploring Alaska with her husband and their two giant Bernese Mountain Dogs, Princess Buttercup and Kismet. View Shaw’s Curriculum Vitae
Devon T. Sigourney
Devon Sigourney is of Athabascan decent and was born at the Elmendorf Air Force Base and raised in Anchorage. He graduated from Bartlett High School in 2016. Devon started working for SCF in January 2017 through the Administrative Support Training Program. Since joining research, Devon has worked on multiple projects assisting with recruitment and data collection, processing specimens in the lab, as well as, working on his regular administrative duties. He is close with his family and enjoys spending time with them during his free time. Devon enjoys soccer, traveling, going to the movies, and finding the perfect shoes.
R. Brian Woodbury
R. Brian Woodbury grew up in northern Michigan, but has traveled broadly—first as a practical nurse in the U.S. Army and later as a manager of community health projects in Nepal. Brian has supported basic science research on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying addiction, and public health and health policy research on the treatment of cardiac arrest, vision impairment and eye disease, and the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. Brian joined Southcentral Foundation in 2017 and will be supporting projects related to community-based participatory research. Brian is an avid reader and outdoorsman, and enjoys spending his weekends exploring the natural beauty of Alaska. View Woodbury’s Curriculum Vitae
Kyle A. Wark, MA
Kyle Wark was born and raised in Hoonah, Alaska. His mother’s family is Tlingit (Deisheetaan Raven/Beaver clan), and his father is non-Native from Seattle (later adopted into the Chookaneidi Eagle/Wolf clan). He became an anthropologist to study his Tlingit people, and has primarily researched the impacts of colonization on Alaska Native health and wellbeing. Kyle joined SCF in July 2017, and will be working on projects related to genomics, genetics, and social determinants of health. He has lived in Anchorage since 2008, and enjoys reading, playing Go (an ancient Chinese strategy game), picking berries, and spending time with his family. View Wark’s Curriculum Vitae