Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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Answer Staff


Executive Director

Nicole Cushman is passionate about empowering young people through honest, relevant and effective sex education. She has 18 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 appears frequently in the media, commenting on the state of sex education and young people's access to sexual health information. She has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, NPR, Yahoo! Parenting, The Huffington Post and Teen Vogue, among other publications. Her research and writing appear in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. She is an adjunct instructor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a founding board member of the nonprofit start-up MyHealthEd, Inc.

Previously, Nicole served as Director of Education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and co-chair of the Sexuality Task Force at the American Public Health Association. 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.



Development & Marketing Manager

Tiffany Culley manages Answer’s grants, fundraising and marketing projects. Prior to joining Answer, she oversaw foundation and government grants aimed at providing nonprofits and government agencies with the capacity to conduct evaluations and research. Tiffany brings diverse research, communications and project management expertise and has a background in social justice issues such as juvenile justice, education, public defense and corrections. Tiffany received her undergraduate degree in English with high honors from Princeton University and her Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University.




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.




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.




Administrative Assistant

Jessica Mazzeo oversees administration of Answer’s trainings and educational resources, including managing Answer’s online workshop enrollments and Sex, Etc. subscriptions. She provides administrative support to the Answer leadership team and supports educators and other adult professionals in accessing trainings and educational resources. Jessica honed her organizational and administrative skills as an administrative assistant at the Rutgers Women’s and Gender Studies Department. She was also a volunteer coordinator at the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. Most recently, she served as an editing and event-planning intern for the annual Rutgers Undergraduate Research Writing Conference and Dialogues@RU journal publication. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rutgers University and is an Institute for Women’s Leadership Scholar Program alumna.



Erica Pass works directly with Answer's teen editorial staff to develop stories and blog posts for Sex, Etc., our 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.



Social Media and Marketing Manager

Shazmin Taylor manages the youth-facing social media and web presence for AMAZE, Answer’s animated video series for 10-to 14-year-olds created in partnership with Advocates for Youth and YTH. In addition, she is responsible for tracking social media analytics and strategizing digital marketing efforts. Prior to joining the AMAZE project, she managed digital content and social strategy for a variety of publications and B2C clients that include The Knot magazine, HarperCollins Publishers and IHOP. Shazmin earned her B.A. in journalism and media studies at Rutgers University and earned her M.A. in multimedia communications at Academy of Art University.



 Answer's Senior Advisor