Carolina Bejarano, MA

Graduate Research Assistant


Carolina earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Tulane University in New Orleans. She joined the Clinical Child Psychology Program at the University of Kansas in 2015 where she earned her master’s degree and is currently working on her PhD. Her research interests include health promotion in children in adolescents, pediatric obesity, physical activity, and dietary behavior. She enjoys high intensity interval training, jogging, and yoga.

Chelsea Steel, MPH

Research Assistant



Chelsea earned a Bachelor’s of Science in biology from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree in Public Health--Epidemiology from The University of Kansas Medical Center. Her research interests include health equity and implementation science. She enjoys cooking, crossword puzzles, and going to the dog park.

Jordan Carlson, PhD

Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Children’s Mercy Kansas City &

University of Missouri-Kansas City



Dr. Carlson received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in Psychology from San Diego State University, and a PhD in Public Health from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. He completed a 2-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, and joined the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Mercy Kansas City in 2015. His favorite physical activities are biking to work, walking the dog, and working in the garden.

MacKenzie Koester, BSE, MPH

Research Assistant


MacKenzie earned her bachelor of science in education in community health from the University of Kansas in 2016 and her Master of Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2019. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Ms. Koester has a background working in rural health, with underserved populations, and urban health disparities among the youth population. She enjoys running and watching movies.

Ashleigh Reddy, BS

Research Data Coordinator



Ashleigh received her bachelor’s degree in Health Science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2018. Currently Ashleigh is working on her Master’s degree in Public Health—Social and Behavioral Health at the University of Kansas. She enjoys long distance running and traveling.

Adrian Ortega, MA

Graduate Research Assistant


Adrian earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and a master's degree in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Kansas. He is particularly interested in the situational, contextual, and temporal factors that influence healthy decision-making in youth, such as engaging in physical activity. In his free time, Adrian enjoys weight lifting, exploring Kansas City, and watching movies.