Jeni Pirtle was born in Korea and raised in Dallas, Texas. She moved to Austin in 2006 and holds a degree in sociology. Jeni’s 17 years of nonprofit experience include advocacy in mental health, victim services, and organ, eye, and tissue donation. Addressing similar barriers to access among voters while coordinating transportation in the 2020 election sparked a passion for vaccine accessibility. In December 2021, Jeni began volunteering with VaxTogetherAustin. She is excited to continue promoting vaccine equity with the team through clinic and communications support. In her free time, Jeni enjoys reading, playing music, and swimming.
Katie Moncivais is a life-long resident of Central Texas. She holds a marketing degree from University of Texas at Austin. Throughout the past 15 years, she has earned valuable work experience in retail, real estate and volunteering with her local elementary school and PTA. In late February 2021, she joined Kendra’s Covid Coaches in order to help Central Texans navigate the barriers of obtaining a Covid-19 Vaccine appointment. As Kendra’s Covid Coaches naturally came to an end, she was eager to continue helping with VaxTogetherAustin as there was still work to be done! Katie is honored to serve the community at VaxTogetherAustin clinics. She lives in Round Rock with her husband, two elementary-aged children and their dog. They love spending time together, playing games and watching movies.
Rachel Palmarozzi grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin. After a career pivot, she currently works as a Senior Analyst for a gaming company. In February 2021, Rachel joined Kendra’s COVID Coaches, a team of volunteers who ultimately connected thousands of Texans to vaccine appointments. When appointments became easier to book, she was excited to join VaxTogetherAustin to help with clinics and data analytics. She and her husband had wanted to live in Austin since high school, and delight in running, hiking, and enjoying all that Austin has to offer (including some amazing knitting shops).
Tanvi Reddy is currently a freshman in high school, and has been interning with VaxTogether Austin since June 2021. She enjoys dancing as part of her school’s ensemble dance team and loves getting involved in her community through Girl Scouts, leadership and service events, and raising awareness of important issues. In her free time, she unwinds with vanilla milkshakes, reading Webtoons, watching The Office, and trying new crafts like embroidery. Predictably, Tanvi’s favorite subjects are creative writing and visual arts, so she is so grateful for the opportunity to do what she’s most passionate about to contribute to VTA!
Daniel Jaramillo was born in Colombia and moved to Austin after graduating from Universidad EAFIT in 2001. He is a software engineer and currently works part time, enjoys live music and homebrewing beer. As a native Spanish speaker Daniel helps handling Spanish translation for VaxTogetherAustin.
Kori Whitnener Fellows, Ph.D., is currently the owner of KWF Solutions, a Human Resource Development (HRD) consulting firm specializing in organizational, career and leadership development. She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy and a Masters of Science degree in HRD from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. Kori has spent her career helping people grow in order achieve their goals. Personally she is just as passionate about helping others. Kori is driven to make a difference locally, regionally and nationally through philanthropy with a focus on fundraising. Kori currently serves in various capacities on multiple committees and boards with organizations primarily focused on raising awareness for domestic and family violence prevention and support; cancer research, support and prevention; and women’s leadership development. In late January 2021, Kori began working with Kendra’s Covid Coaches to help people in Austin get vaccinated after recognizing the need to help demystify the COVID-19 vaccination system. For VaxTogetherAustin, Kori’s primary focus is on facilitating communications between the VTA team and the communities it serves.
Katie Van Winkle, PhD, grew up in Austin, and is a college professor and theatre-maker. Katie completed two terms of national service as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Literacy First, and serves on the board of the B. Iden Payne Awards Council. She and her husband welcomed their first child in November 2020. Soon after, she began volunteering to secure vaccine appointments for Texans. She loves swimming and reading, and has made three quilts so far.
Raji Parameswaran has been building communities for over 3 decades, from before the Internet! She does consulting for non-profit organizations, most recently she was COO of Best for Babes, a breastfeeding advocacy and support organization. She has degrees in Computer Science from the University of Manitoba and an MBA from UT-Austin. A Canadian at heart, she has been in Texas 25 years, and has 17 year old twins. Her latest passion has been in getting seniors vaccinated in the confusing and chaotic vaccine rollout. Her vast networks in the Asian and Indian communities enabled her to reach thousands of people via her vaccine WhatsApp groups. Now her focus has broadened to outreach to make sure everyone has access to appointments and is able to get them without technological or other obstacles.
Kanaka Sathasivan, M.P.H., joined the VaxTogetherAustin team in 2021 to further vaccine education initiatives and increase health equity in the Central Texas area where she grew up. She has a background in strategic planning, writing, graphic design, and health education. She is an advocate for person-centered communications and trains health care professionals on best practices for writing about health topics. Kanaka sits on the Board of Directors for Its Time Texas and also owns a stage production company, Natya Sabhai Arts. She enjoys being cozy at home, watching movies, playing video games, and reading.
Choni Hajibashi was born in Spain and raised in Australia. Choni studied at the University of Wollongong and has been living in Austin for over 20 years. She is an active community volunteer and proud mother of two. Her son Darius is studying at Colorado School of Mines and her daughter Soraya is currently a junior in high school. Choni is a strong child advocate and believes in empowering others to advocate for children and their families. She has been involved with PTA at the local levels, council and state level and was the ACPTAs president 3 years ago. She has served on the board of Texas PTA as a Director at Large. Choni handles Spanish translation for VaxTogetherAustin.
Alex Bass grew up in Houston, earned a B.S. in Engineering from Trinity University in 2008 and became a Professional Engineer (P.E.) in 2014. She worked as a project manager in the energy sector for 12+ years, including an expat assignment in Malaysia which fueled her passion for connecting with people of different cultures and striving for global good. Alex moved to Austin in 2014 and lives with her husband, Davis, and an active toddler, Harris. In February 2021, Alex joined Kendra’s COVID Coaches, a team of volunteers who ultimately connected thousands of Texans to vaccine appointments. She was an early assistant with Sharon’s vaccine efforts, even before VaxTogetherAustin was official, and is extremely excited to be part of the impressive VTA team!
Sharon Wolfman Cohan, M.A.C, is a native Texan and proud Longhorn. She holds an undergraduate degree from University of Texas at Austin, Plan II Honors program and also a Masters in Counseling from St Edward’s University. In addition to training as a therapist, she has worked in Human Resources for PricewaterhouseCoopers and also in the non-profit sector. For the past 20 years, she has been focused on work as a community volunteer and “working at home” with her husband, three children Alex, Katie and Emily and two canine fur babies. Sharon has served as a volunteer on various board and committees within AISD schools, Temple Beth Shalom and Shalom Austin. Her current passion is the vaccine equity effort and she looks forward to expanding capabilities to reach more people and continue to break down barriers to vaccine access.