Faculty and Advising

The Human Sexuality program is supported and directed by skilled, engaged professionals at every level. Their experience and knowledge will help you navigate an educational and career path that works for you.

Director of Graduate Studies

Michael Ross

Michael Ross

PhD, MD, MPH, MHPEd, MSt, Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education

Michael Ross is a faculty member in the University of Minnesota Program in Human Sexuality. He holds 11 degrees in cross-cultural health psychology, criminology, public health, and health education. Ross has studied sexuality and sexual and mental health for more than 30 years in India, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam. He has practiced as a clinical psychologist and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the British Psychological Society. In addition to publishing more than 500 scientific papers and books, Ross was a coauthor of the Surgeon General’s 2001 Report of Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior.


Read more about Dr. Ross.


Sonya Laddon Rahders

Sonya Laddon Rahders, JD, is an attorney in California, where she does state policy and regulatory work on issues of health care access, public insurance, and provider support, with an emphasis on reproductive health. She has additional experience working at the federal level on sex education policy, HIV awareness, youth rights, and LGBTQ health access in Washington, DC. Prior to her legal career, she worked for several years in environmental nonprofit administration and human resources, and volunteered as a youth sexual health educator. She earned her JD (UC Hastings College of the Law) and a BA in Sociology & Gender Studies (UCLA).

Jennifer A. Vencill

Jennifer A. Vencill, PhD, is an assistant professor, licensed psychologist and AASECT-certified sex therapist at the Mayo Clinic, where she practices in the Menopause and Women's Sexual Health and Transgender and Intersex Specialty Care clinics. Her clinical interests include sexual health and functioning, sexuality and aging, gender and sexual identity development, couples/relationship concerns, alternative relationship models, and LGBTQ mental and sexual health. Dr. Vencill’s research interests include health disparities and minority stress in marginalized sexual and gender communities, mixed orientation relationships, and sexual health. Dr. Vencill received her PhD in counseling psychology from Texas Tech University and was the first Michael E. Metz Postdoctoral Fellow in Couples' Sexual Health at the University of Minnesota’s Program in Human Sexuality.  


Margo Gray

Margo Gray

Margo has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit and arts communities and believes in building relationships between disciplines and demographics to create more equitable opportunities for learning and advancement. She has served as Director of Member Services at Donors Forum, where she led professional development programming and networking for grant makers. She is the founder of Playable Artworks, a sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts, chaired the Gender Equity Committee at the Chicago Storefront Summit, and has developed equity and sensitivity procedures. Margo holds a BA from Grinnell College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and she was a Fulbright Fellow at the Moscow Art Theatre School.