Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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Executive Director

Nicole Cushman is passionate about empowering young people through honest, relevant and effective sexuality education. She has nearly 15 years of experience as an educator and trainer in sexual and reproductive health and has worked to strengthen sexuality education policies and programs across the U.S. Nicole oversees Answer’s sexuality education programs, finances and fundraising. She also manages Answer’s relationship with Rutgers University and represents Answer in the media.

Nicole’s research and writing appear in peer-reviewed journals, including an article on promising sexuality education programs across the U.S. published in the journal Sex Education. Her most recent publication is "Community-based Sexuality Education," a textbook chapter in Evidence-based Approaches to Sexuality Education. She also serves as co-chair of the Sexuality Task Force at the American Public Health Association.

Most recently, Nicole served as Director of Education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She began her career as a sexuality educator with Planned Parenthood in the San Francisco Bay Area, working directly with teens and parents in school and community settings. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.


Digital Media Associate

Rugved Deshpande coordinates content for Answer's organizational website and its award-winning teen website, He also engages diverse online communities through Answer's and Sex, Etc.'s social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. In addition, he is responsible for tracking web and social media analytics. Rugved worked in Rutgers University Undergraduate Admissions, engaging prospective students through video, email and social media. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a bachelor's degree in English.




Office Manager

Maryhelen Dzuban manages all aspects of daily office operations and procedures and has provided finance and administrative support to Answer for over 12 years. Ms. Dzuban also monitors grants, creates and analyzes budget reports, and implements and tracks all purchases. She brings strong professional and administrative skills to the position from her years of experience as a senior administrative assistant at AT&T Bell Labs/Bellcore and a medical records assistant to the executive vice president at Health/ROI.



Director of Communications

Lucinda Holt oversees Answer’s media relationships and external communications, including all aspects of Sex, Etc., our national, award-winning print and online resource produced by the organization’s teen editorial staff. In addition to overseeing the editing and design of Sex, Etc., Ms. Holt ensures that teen voices are kept in the forefront of our national work by providing the teen staff with writing and media training. She has worked for Condé Nast Publications and youth organizations such as Prep for Prep and the Columbia University Liberty Partnership Program. Ms. Holt holds a Master of Arts in anthropology from Columbia University.



Erica Pass works directly with Answer's teen editorial staff to develop stories and blog posts for Sex, Etc., our and teen-written, sexual health magazine and website. In the past, Erica worked as an editor and writer (most notably for Nickelodeon, a division of Viacom). She is the author of several books for children. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist who works in private practice. Erica has also worked at the counseling center at Rutgers University, where she was a key liaison to the RU Center for Social Justice, working closely with the campus LGBTQ student population. Erica is thrilled to be back at Answer, where she can combine her professional interests of editing, writing and working to develop sexual health content that is accessible to teens. She holds a B.A. in English from Binghamton University and a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from
Rutgers University.



Director of Training

Dan Rice has worked directly with youth in public and private schools, community-based organizations, foster programs, the juvenile justice system and communities of faith as well as advised teen-to-teen leadership and mentor groups. Through years of experience, Mr. Rice knows the powerful impact sexuality education can have on the lives of young people, and he has worked for almost 15 years to train educators to provide the high-quality sexuality education that young people deserve. Mr. Rice oversees Answer's Sexuality Education Training Initiative, including the Training Institute in Sexual Health Education (TISHE) and the development of Answer's newest online workshops. Mr. Rice also manages all of Answer's relationships with strategic partners in the field and contributes to the Future of Sex Education (FoSE) partnership. Mr. Rice holds a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from
Western New England University.




Blythe Ulrich develops, pilots and implements a broad spectrum of online and in-person professional development opportunities; provides age-appropriate, medically accurate training for Answer’s teen editorial staff; and responds to teens’ sexual health questions through various online venues. Throughout her career, Ms. Ulrich has worked in many areas of health education, including reproductive/sexual health, substance abuse prevention/treatment, tobacco prevention/treatment, nutrition and physical activity. She has also worked directly with many diverse populations, including youth (K-12), college students, parents, teachers and people with mental health and substance use disorders. Ms. Ulrich is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and a Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS). She holds a B.A. in international studies and political science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an M.A. in health education and graduate
certificate in substance abuse studies from
East Carolina University.

 Answer's Senior Advisor