Meet Our Staff

Shelley Eriksen – Project Director

Shelley EriksenDr. Shelley Eriksen is Professor of Sociology in the Departments of Human Development & Sociology. She uses intersectional feminist frameworks to explore the social factors that shape health experience for adults, children and families. Dr. Eriksen began her work at Not Alone @ the Beach (NATB) in 2015 as its primary program evaluator. In 2018 she took over as Project Director to lead its ongoing program initiatives, grant management and strategic planning. She oversees the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT), supervises undergraduate and graduate project activities, and acts as primary liaison to NATB campus and community partners.

Dr. Eriksen is a life-long anti-violence and social justice educator and activist. In high school and college, she volunteered at rape crisis centers, acted as a sexual health peer educator, worked in a feminist health clinic, and volunteered as a (CASA) court-appointed special advocate for children. As a former department chair and director of women’s studies, her expertise remains in program development and campus and community partnerships that foster student leadership opportunities and authentic engagement with community agencies. She believes firmly that providing a safe and inclusive campus is central to any student success initiative. Under her leadership, NATB offers prevention and confidential advocacy services and works to coordinate campus and community efforts that safeguard a safe learning environment for everyone. Please contact her to get involved and to make sure that no one is ever “alone at The Beach.”

Jacqueline Urtez – Campus Confidential Advocate

Jacqueline UrtezJacqueline graduated from California State University, Long Beach where she received a B.A. in Human Development with a minor in Criminal Justice.  In 2022, she earned her Master’s in Education with a concentration in Counseling from San Diego State University. She is a Latinx, first generation college student who has been dedicated to working with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking since 2013. Jacqueline is passionate about advocacy, providing trauma-informed care, and empowering survivors to make informed decisions through education around their rights/options. She has supported survivors within community-based and higher education settings in Southern California.

Rocio Telumbre – Campus Confidential Advocate

Rocio TelumbreRocio, a proud Mexican immigrant, graduated from California State University, Fullerton where she received a B.A in Psychology. For the past 5 years, she has worked at community-based organizations that provide legal advocacy resources to survivors of intimate partner violence, stalking, harassment, and sexual assault. Rocio has become passionate about the intersectionality, trauma informed approach in supporting and empowering survivors to create their own journey to healing.

Jafra Millner, Patrol Operations Sergeant – University Police

Jafra MillnerJafra graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2007 where she received her B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Africana Studies. She became a police officer with the University Police Department (UPD) in 2008 to fulfill her passion to help people and give back to her community. During her time at UPD, she became a Field Training Officer and a member of the statewide CSU Critical Response Unit. In 2014, she earned her Instructor Certification for R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense), a national standard in women’s self-defense education and training. She joined the NATB Project team in 2019 as a Detective specializing in sexual assault investigations and survivor wellness. Jafra works closely with the Office of Equity and Diversity and assists with Title IX matters, hoping to make police services more approachable/accessible for survivors.

Courtney Ahrens – Faculty Affiliate 

Courtney AhrensCourtney Ahrens is a Professor in the Psychology Department who has worked with Not Alone @ the Beach since its inception.  She began working in the field of gender-based violence as an undergraduate at Smith College where she volunteered as a rape victim advocate.  After graduation, she accepted a job at the Palo Alto VA and continued to volunteer as a domestic violence advocate in San Francisco.  She then attended graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the field of Community Psychology where she conducted research on the community response to sexual assault and helped train advocacy centers to evaluate their services.  She continued to work with advocacy centers and conduct research on disclosure and help-seeking among survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence after joining the faculty at CSULB in 2002. At CSULB, she regularly teaches classes on Interpersonal Violence, Psychology of Women, and internships in Psychology.  She is passionate about social change and looks forward to a future free from violence.

Ebony Utley – Faculty Affiliate

Dr. Ebony UtleyDr. Ebony Utley is a professorpreneur. As a Professor of Communication Studies at California State University Long Beach, her interpersonal communication research has explored male resistance to rape prevention programs, the dark side of intimate relationships, the coexistence of infidelity and intimate partner abuse, and the sexual violations of black boys. In addition to her publications, Dr. Utley uses the findings from her research to curate experiences and develop technology products for social impact. As an entrepreneur, her contributions include but are not limited to raising awareness about the dark side of technology, improving romantic relationship communication, supporting women recovering from infidelity, preventing domestic violence through entrepreneurship, supporting BIPOC techpreneurs, and healing via She brings her knack for innovating research for public access to NATB.

Leena Bowman – Lead Graduate Assistant 

Leena BowmanLeena Bowman graduated from the University of California, Irvine with two bachelor’s degrees in Psychological Science and Criminology, Law & Society. She has volunteered as a Child Advocate with the Child Abuse Services Team in Orange and is passionate about building on research to inform evidence-based prevention programs for family violence and child abuse. Currently, she is working towards her master’s in Psychology from CSULB and training to be a prevention program facilitator for Flip the Script with EAAA. Under the guidance of Dr. Courtney Ahrens, Leena is researching the relationship between facilitator characteristics and sexual assault prevention programs. Her future goals are to continue researching effective interventions to help create positive change for families and children. She looks forward to being involved in the CSULB community and working with Not Alone @ the Beach.

Krista Goddard – Intern Coordinator

Krista GoddardKrista will graduate from Cal State University Long Beach this Fall with a BA in Sociology with a minor in Child Development and Family Studies. She is a certified Domestic Violence Advocate passionate about providing education as a primary source of abuse prevention. After graduation, she hopes to continue her education to pursue a master’s in counseling. Currently, she works at a community-based organization that provides shelter for those fleeing intimate partner violence.

Audrey Stallings – Program Coordinator

Audrey StallingsAudrey Stallings is a 4th year student pursuing a BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Queer Studies. She previously conducted research as an assistant to Dr. Sarah Taylor, studying intimate partner violence and reproductive coercion and abuse among racially and ethnically diverse populations. Her own research interests include power-based violence and the experiences of incarcerated and LGBTQ+ individuals. Her future goals include going on to graduate study and continuing to work on research that is grounded in restorative principles as a means to enact positive social change. She is excited to join NATB in bringing empowering and survivor-focused programming to the CSULB community.

Joshua Diaz – Ambassador Intern

Joshua Diaz

My name is Joshua Diaz, and I am an ambassador at NATB. I am excited to aid in the promotion of the organization’s services, focusing particularly on indigenous community outreach. I am currently in my fourth year of undergraduate study at California State University of Long Beach where I am pursuing a BA in psychology with a double minor in History and American Indian Studies. I am an assistant in Dr. Warrens lab where we research and study social influence, interactions, and perceptions of minority and marginalized communities. I have also landed a research assistant position in Dr. Halim’s lab, where I will be aiding in research regarding children’s gender and ethnic identity development across various cultural groups. My independent research project focuses on the minority influence of African Americans in comics during the Civil rights era as well as the Black Power movement era. 

Anneka Van Aken – Ambassador Intern

Anneka Van AkenAnneka Van Aken is currently a fourth year at CSULB pursuing a BA in Psychology. She has partnered with Not Alone at The Beach as an ambassador to promote our services with a focus on outreach to fraternity sorority life and the associated student body. She has taken courses in the department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies to further educate herself on these topics. As well, she has been an international volunteer in the Philippines and Spain to strengthen her cultural competence. She is a graduate of the Leadership Academy at The Beach and is devoted to being a well-rounded figure on campus. She is passionate about the mission of NATB and is excited to support the organization.

Claire Marie Naz – Social Media Intern

Claire Marie NazClaire Marie Naz finished her undergraduate studies at CSULB with a BA in psychology last year. She’s now a part of the NATB team as a social media intern. During her last year as a student, she was a peer facilitator for Flip the Script w/EAAA, a sexual assault prevention program under NATB that aims to empower female identifying students in their ability to resist sexual assault if they were to be faced with such situations in the future. She is thrilled to be able to promote NATB’s fantastic programs and services and to collaborate with students in creating a safer peer culture on campus.

Maeve Allen – Volunteer

Maeve AllenMy name is Maeve Allen, and after being an ambassador at NATB for a year I am now volunteering my time. I am a senior at CSULB and an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Ahrens’ lab in the Psychology Department, where we study sexual assault on college campuses. My independent research project focuses on intimate partner violence. I am also a BUILD scholar, which means I am funded by the NIH to conduct undergraduate research.