Barbara is the Director of the Center on Domestic Violence at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver). Barbara has worked on behalf of survivors of gender-based violence and their children for more than thirty years, as an advocate, administrator and activist.
Prior to her position at CU Denver, she served as the Director of Domestic Violence Programs for the Sunshine Lady Foundation of North Carolina. For twelve years, from 1985-1997, Barbara was the Executive Director of Boulder County Safehouse.
She has participated in a variety of boards and commissions including the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, the YWCA of Boulder County and the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Ms. Paradiso received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver.
She has presented and provided consultation to organizations on a state, local and national level on topics related to violence against women and children, as well as, effective non-profit administration.
Monica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20+ years of experience working in Boston, MA and now Denver, CO in partnership with public school systems. In her role at the Center on Domestic Violence, Monica oversees the END Violence Project in K-12 schools, provides training and technical assistance to youth providers and supervises Master’s of Social Work Interns as they develop in their careers.
Her previous work as the Assistant Director of Wediko Children’s Services, in partnership with Boston Public Schools, focused on school-based mental health work, including the development, implementation and provision of services and leading initiatives to create positive and trauma-informed school environments.
Monica considers herself a champion for children and youth. She is committed to collaborative work with school systems, students, families, community providers and legislative entities to make prevention, intervention, treatment and advocacy services accessible to students affected by interpersonal violence and mental health challenges.
Monica serves as Affiliate Faculty in Metropolitan State University Masters of Social Work Program. As a promoter of the statewide Stand-Up Colorado Campaign to end domestic violence, Monica participates on a committee that is developing guidelines for the treatment of youth offenders. Nature, gardening, friends, pets, hiking, kayaking and crafting are treasured activities that provide just the right balance in life.
Shannon is a licensed clinical social worker with 20 years of experience working to end gender-based violence through advocacy, response, prevention and education in university settings.
In her current role, she serves as the Campus Training & Technical Assistance Program Manager at the Center on Domestic Violence in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. In this capacity, she has provided training and technical assistance to over 200 institutions of higher education on the development of trauma-informed, culturally relevant, campus-based coordinated community response teams funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women’s Campus Program.
Shannon serves as an adjunct faculty member and course coordinator for the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, where she teaches courses on evidence-based practice, gender-based violence and feminist advocacy for social change. She also serves as faculty for the National Organization for Victim Assistance Campus Advocacy Training Academy where she trains on the ethics of campus-based victim advocacy.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, a Master of Social Work degree and a Women’s Studies Certificate of Graduate Study from the University of South Carolina, as well as an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. When she is not seeking to bring more peace and justice into the world by lifting the voices of survivors, she enjoys exploring the wild west with her partner in life and two adorable, rowdy children.
María’s work to end gender-based violence began when she witnessed the links between economic, cultural and environmental violence affecting communities, and the violence people experience in their personal relationships.
María’s experience as a community organizer prepared her for her current position where she puts public health theory into practice that indicates connection is the strongest protective factor. She supports rural domestic and sexual violence programs, establishing coordinated community responses. As a skilled and experienced facilitator, María is trained in adult education and facilitation practices including Freire’s popular education, Vella’s Dialogue Education and Liberating Structures.
Previously, María was the Prevention Coordinator for the Texas Council on Family Violence, providing technical assistance and training to prevention educators throughout the state. As Training Coordinator for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Love is Respect, the teen dating abuse helpline, María prepared volunteer and staff advocates to respond to callers.
María’s greatest teachers are the community organizers working to support queer Latina/o communities being decimated by AIDS in the 1980s; successfully stopping the construction of a nuclear waste facility in an impoverished border community; and addressing the displacement caused by gentrification.
Rebecca Tiell-Krekeler has a Master of Social Work from the University of Denver and is a Licensed Social Worker. Throughout her career she has worked with survivors of rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, child abuse and intimate partner violence.
She worked as an advocate and then as a Case Manager for The Blue Bench, Denver’s only comprehensive rape crisis center.
At The Blue Bench, Rebecca worked with survivors of sexual assault providing crisis intervention and long term support and advocacy through the criminal justice system. She has also worked for the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT) as the Action Plan Team Lead. At LCHT, she helped to train and educate professionals and community members across the state of Colorado and assist communities in implementing effective strategies for combating human trafficking.
As the END Violence School Specialist, Rebecca provides direct services for survivors and supports schools to build responses to issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and intimate partner violence.
Rebecca is passionate about social justice advocacy, education, and creating a safer, more equal world for all. In her spare time, she loves being with her family, hanging out with friends, hiking, yoga and reading.
Sarah Staron is pursuing a dual Masters in Public Administration and Criminal Justice with a concentration in Gender-Based Violence through the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. Sarah completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies, focusing on gender rights and advocacy along the US-Mexico borderlands in 2016. During her time as a student she also interned with the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence in London and assisted in creating and managing workplace domestic violence support groups in large corporations and government agencies throughout the UK. In 2019, Sarah moved to Colorado with her very handsome pup and began working with the Center on Domestic Violence.
Rachael Cohen Hamilton is in her second year at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs’ MPA program, with a concentration in gender-based violence. Rachael graduated with her B.A. in Political Science from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2018, where she completed a 60+ hour training program in Healthy Relationships as part of her job with the Women’s Center. Rachael has served as president of a university FMLA chapter, and was the recipient of an Andrew Goodman Foundation Hidden Heroes Award for her work on campus voting rights. Rachael loves reading autobiographies of political personalities and listening to political podcasts. In addition to her Graduate Assistant position at the CU Denver Center on Domestic Violence, Rachael is also employed part time in the field of domestic violence.