Predoctoral Fellows

Current Fellows 


Laura Cox, MS, RN

Predoctoral Fellow, 2022-present

Hello!  I’m originally from Salinas in the Monterey Bay Area.  I moved to Oakland in the early 2000’s where I met my husband.  We have since started a brewery (Ale Industries), a small dance company and a family.  Now, my husband and I live in beautiful Vallejo where we raise our 2 wonderful children with a dog, cat, bees, 8 chickens, and 3 ducks. 

In 2010 I became a certified lactation educator and counselor which, little did I know, would be the start of my nursing profession. In 2019, I was accepted into UCSF’s Masters Entry Program where I received my RN license and a MS in Health Policy. I currently work as a RN at UCSF’s Birth Center on the Mission Bay campus, teach lactation to medical students, nursing students, and doulas as well as counsel families in the community setting on their lactation journey, and work as a graduate student researcher with UCSF’s MILK lab. My research interests include reproductive justice with a focus on reducing maternal mortality and increasing lactation rates. I love dance, gardening, running, spending time with my family and talking human milk infant feeding.

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Bethany Golden, MSN, RN, CNM

Predoctoral Fellow, 2020-present

Bethany Golden is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Nurse Midwife with deep clinical experience and knowledge of comprehensive reproductive and maternal health, family planning, and abortion. As a clinician, consultant, and lecturer, and as part of research teams, she has worked in clinics, hospitals, universities, and villages in New York City, SF Bay Area, Chicago, Fiji, and Nicaragua. She consults in non-profit reproductive healthcare and tech companies around operations, strategy, and partnership formation. For the last three months, on behalf of ANSIRH/Bixby Center, she interviewed front-line abortion providers about their capacity and readiness for clinical expansion in "protected" access states, as neighboring states further restrict abortion services and in anticipation of the protections under Roe v Wade may be weakened. In 2002, she co-founded and continues to operate ICAS/Juntos Adelante, a not-for-profit that focuses on health and human rights in Nicaragua. She was awarded the Martin Luther King award and 90 nurses in 90 years by the Yale School of Nursing. Most importantly, she officiated 7 weddings, loves the great outdoors with family and friends, and enjoys dancing.


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Brenda Lopez, MSN, RN, PNP-PC

Predoctoral Fellow, 2020-present

Brenda Lopez (she/her/hers) is native to the San Francisco Bay Area and is a proud and passionate first-generation Latinx woman. Brenda is the first in her family to have the opportunity to pursue higher education, graduating in 2018 from the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing Master of Science program with a focus in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care (PNP-PC). While pursuing her Master’s at UCSF, Brenda worked as a graduate research student on the Saving Our Ladies And Reducing Stress (SOLARS) Oakland a UCSF study with the California Preterm Birth Initiative. This study ignited her passion for research and solidified her desire to return to UCSF as a nursing scientist to design evidence-based solutions. Advanced research skills will strengthen her commitment to continuously create access to care and advocate for reproductive health and justice for all. With Brenda’s clinical background in pediatric primary care and adolescent school-based health, she currently practices as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at a Federally Qualified Health Center in San Leandro, serving diverse and vulnerable communities in her hometown. Brenda is thrilled to come back to UCSF in Fall 2020 for the SON’s Ph.D. in Nursing program and ACTIONS fellowship. With her studies, Brenda continues to advocate for patients by contributing to research that will help optimize policy and maximize health outcomes in a way that enacts transformational change that encompasses and focuses on reproductive justice. During her free time, Brenda loves playing with her energetic 6-year-old son, spending time with family and friends, enjoying a not-rushed cup of coffee, traveling, and Orange Theory Fitness classes.


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Celestine Yayra Ofori-Parku, Dip., RM., BSc 

Predoctoral Fellow, 2021-present

Celestine is a First Generation student and a nurse-midwife with more than a decade of progressive clinical and leadership experience in client care as part of obstetric and gynecological healthcare provider teams in challenging low-resource contexts. She has spent most of her life in Ashaiman, Ghana, and has worked exclusively in marginalized communities. She is super excited to be an ACTIONS Fellow. Celestine graduated from the Nursing and Midwifery Training College, Korle-Bu, Ghana, with a Diploma in Midwifery and also holds a BSc in Midwifery from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She is passionate about respectful maternal care and addressing the global maternal mortality challenge. In her role as a clinical preceptor, examiner, and peer practice coordinator, she has enjoyed working with nursing/midwifery students and her colleagues to meet these goals. A critical point in her academic journey occurred when she worked as a team member of WHO’s Global Maternal Sepsis Study (GLOSS) from 2017-2018 in Ghana. This further fueled her research interest in reproductive justice geared toward reducing maternal mortality and morbidity in marginalized populations.