Kimberlee Homer Vagadori, MPH is the Project Director for the California Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN). In tobacco control for 14 years, she is a national expert on college tobacco-free policy, college advocacy, and tobacco industry sponsorship issues and has successfully coordinated systemwide policy initiatives in California. Ms. Homer Vagadori also provides technical assistance and training to local, state, and national organizations on issues such as tobacco and the environment, emerging tobacco products, campus-based cessation services, and tobacco industry targeting of young adults.
The Managing Director and founder of CYAN, Vicki Webster has 21 years of tobacco control experience, working at the local, regional, and statewide level. Ms. Webster has been responsible for: developing and implementing a statewide 76-agency assessment on youth advocacy; coordinating local, regional, and statewide youth advocacy coalitions; organizing regional and statewide college and youth advocacy conferences, conducting trainings on youth and college advocacy throughout California and the nation; researching and creating educational materials; and managing every aspect of CYAN including budgets, personnel, subcontracts, consultants, progress reports, and evaluation.
Katie Moose, MA is the College Program Coordinator and has been working in tobacco control since 2012. During that time, she has worked as a Local Tobacco Control Program Evaluator, also providing Evaluation Technical Assistance for the Tobacco Control Evaluation Center, and as a Program Consultant for the California Tobacco Control Program. She has experience coordinating statewide tobacco control conferences, writing final evaluation reports, developing tobacco control grant applications, and conducting trainings and webinars on a variety of tobacco control-related topics. As the College Program Coordinator for CYAN, she will be providing in-depth technical assistance and training to colleges and universities that are interested in creating smoke and/or tobacco-free campuses.
Marcelina Marquez is the Program Coordinator for CYAN’s Military Program, Project UNIFORM (Undoing Nicotine Influence From Our Respected Military). Prior to working for CYAN, Marcelina worked with service members in San Diego in their pursuit of higher education and career paths. Additionally, she has worked with the Marine Corps Forces Reserve to provide support to Reservists and their family members. Marcelina received her BA from SDSU and a MSW from USC. While at USC, she focused her studies on military culture and providing support to service members and Veterans who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. At CYAN, Ms. Marquez is responsible for building military-civilian public health partnerships to address tobacco use.
Pegah Shahmirzadi works closely with the College Program in addressing Young Adult tobacco use. She has spent the last 5 years working in the non-profit healthcare sector where her roles have included working with diverse communities on health issues at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Northern California, and grassroots organizing and assisting with the planning and implementation of California State Lobby Days for the American Cancer Society. Prior to her role at CYAN, Pegah worked nationally in Washington, DC where she continued her role in cancer advocacy for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Her alma mater include California State University, Sacramento where she earned her degree in Government and International Relations and Georgetown University where she earned a Certificate in International Affairs.
College Program Coordinator (Enforcement and Compliance)
Salvador (Sal) Ramirez is the College Program Coordinator focusing on smoke/tobacco-free policy compliance and enforcement. A California native, published author and youth advocate for health justice, Sal brings unique knowledge in the spectrum of community-based engagement and enjoys recounting stories from his service in the Peace Corps. Sal has worked in New York City with the This Free Life campaign, which helps LGBT young adults live tobacco-free, by providing outreach education on issues such as tobacco’s culture of poverty and the industry targeting of young adults.
Kidan Araya is the Youth Program Coordinator where she is responsible for implementing all aspects of the agency workplan that focus on youth advocacy, youth engagement, and research. Kidan received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Environmental Studies from Beloit College and her Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Washington at Seattle where she focused on food policy, health, and research evaluation methods. Kidan has received fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education, the Weissberg Foundation, and the University of Washington to conduct environmental, food, and social justice projects in the United States, Cameroon, and Sweden. In 2016, Kidan brought her expertise in global health and public health issues into her coordination of the UNICEF Kid Power program in Sacramento where she worked with public and private partners to build active youth engagement in child health and hunger advocacy. Right before coming to CYAN, Kidan coordinated training activities and project operations for sub-Saharan Africa partners for USAID PREDICT, the world’s largest virus surveillance program. Kidan is thrilled to be returning to her policy advocacy and youth engagement roots in the Youth Program Coordinator position, and to collaborate with youth and government agencies to build capacity for youth to address issues of tobacco control in their communities.
Nicole Morgan is the CYAN Youth Program Assistant and is responsible for helping to implement all aspects of the agency work plan that focus on youth advocacy, engagement, and development. Nicole has been formally working with youth since 2014. Much of her previous experience includes working with the diverse, often rural populations in California’s Central Valley to reduce health disparities. Nicole has worked as the Lead Program Aide for the Boys and Girls Club of Merced County to increase youth literacy rates. She also worked for the CDC’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health to reduce the chronic disease burden and risk factors associated with tobacco use and exposure. Prior to joining CYAN’s team, Nicole worked as a Research Assistant for the Flavored and Mentholated Tobacco Project, an Instructional Assistant with the UC Merced Merritt Writing Program, and as a Health Sciences Research Assistant with the UC Merced Health Sciences Research Institute. Nicole earned her degree in Public Health from the University of California, Merced.