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Board of Directors

Meet the team that has made this program possible! Our board of directors are research scientists that are passionate about the health risks concerning vaping.


Olga Rohrer

Founder & President

Olga Rohrer is an aspiring physician with a passion in public health, education, and research. With a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences from UTEP, she is committed to evidence-based approaches to understanding health issues. Her interest in pursuing medicine reflects her dedication to advancing medical knowledge and improving community health outcomes. Olga's aim is to leverage her experience to educate students about the dangers of vaping and empower them to make healthy choices. 


Dr. Ian Mendez

Vice President

Dr. Mendez is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso School of Pharmacy. The primary aim of the Mendez Laboratory is to elucidate the structures and circuits of the brain that become dysregulated following repeated exposure to nicotine and how these changes ultimately drive impairments in motivational, hedonic, and cognitive processing. Dr. Mendez is dedicated to establishing excellence in teaching and mentorship, while enhancing research training opportunities for students.


Liliana Maynez-Anchondo


Liliana Maynez-Anchondo is a Behavioral Neuroscience Ph.D. Student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). 


Marlo Holguin


Marlo Holguin is a fronterizo son of immigrants, passionate about the nature of drugs. Pursuing a Neuroscience degree at UTEP, Marlo advocates for sensible drug policy reforms and harm reduction. They bring valuable experience in leading ambassadorship programs and nonprofit work within the community. Their previous involvement in such initiatives adds depth to inspiring community engagement.


Dr. Gabriel Frietze


Dr. Gabriel Frietze is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences within the School of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Dr. Frietze is a research health psychologist with expertise in human subjects research, survey development, and implementation of behavioral health interventions to reduce risky behaviors and/or promote healthy behaviors. 

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Mendez Lab at UTEP

Meet the Mendez Lab! We are a group of undergraduate and graduate students that conduct experiments to study the effects of nicotine vapor exposure on drug seeking behavior. Our research work provides the scientific evidence for NOVA Initiative's program to reinforce their message.

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