Heather is a survivor of domestic violence, and a deaf mother of two CODA (Children of Deaf Adults). Her days are spent serving as the communications specialist for the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind. Heather attended Mesa State College (now known as Colorado Mesa University) and graduated in 2004 with her bachelors in mass communications with a dual concentration in public relations and print media.
Heather returns to the Board of Directors almost 20 years after previously serving in 2004. She has also served on the Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition, as well as Colorado’s Deaf Awareness Month in the Media Director role. Heather has volunteered with Colorado Rockers for Kids, Rocky Mountain Cochlear Implant Camp, and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Heather is passionate about helping survivors, and mentors single mothers leaving abusive relationships.
Heather is enthusiastic about promoting equity, diversity and inclusion. She has participated in V-Day worldwide and college campaigns that focus on ending violence against women and even represented Colorado colleges at an exclusive conference with the author and creator of V-Day, Eve Ensler. She participates and volunteers in LGBTQIA and other alternative lifestyle organizations to support her communities.You will often find Heather in a support role for any event she attends.
In her free time, Heather likes to explore Colorado looking for unique rocks and crystals. She enjoys independent coffee shops, DIY projects, and spending time with her partner, her children, and their many pets.
Dr. Jose “Joey” Tapia Jr.
Dr. Jose Luis Tapia Jr. (he, him, his) is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He graduated with his PhD in counseling at the University of North Texas. His research is focused on disability-responsive care across the lifespan. Dr. Tapia-Fuselier has published in peer-reviewed journals in serving children with disabilities using play therapy, trauma-informed ethical decision making, and serving interabled relationships in counseling. He has served the community in public and private rehabilitation settings as well as, in private and community practice for 8 years. He has provided individual, relationship, play, and family therapy with a special focus in serving people with disabilities in three languages (English, Spanish, and American Sign Language). He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and National Certified Counselor. Additionally, he is a Certified Child-Centered Play Therapist-Supervisor, and Certified Child-Parent Relationship Therapy-Supervisor and has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy. Dr. Tapia-Fuselier has led trainings and workshops centered around ableism and its impact on service delivery and disability-responsive practices for helping professionals.
Lisa (she/hers) was formerly a professor/Instructor teaching ASL (American Sign Language) at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), Southwest Community College (SWC) in San Diego, CA., and Grossmont Community College (GC) in San Diego, CA. Currently, Lisa teaches at Colorado Mesa University (CMU).
Lisa is also a Board member of Western Slope Deaf Initiatives/Bridge Communication (WSDI/BC) and is thrilled to also join the DOVE team of Board members.
Lisa’s hobbies include: sports, reading books, playing with my children, watching TV/Movies, getting involved in Bible studies with groups, and traveling. Lisa loves spending time with her family of 4, her husband and her 2 bilingual Children of Deaf Adults (CODAs).
Gwen (she/hers) brings her previous Board experience, willingness to serve, and commitment to survivor advocacy to the DOVE Board. Social justice and equity are among her many interests and values, and she hopes to embrace these perspectives not only in her service to DOVE, but in all aspects of her life. Gwen feels in many ways she was shaped by the Deaf Community in Colorado and feels tremendous gratitude for all the gifts she received from the community over the years.
She currently is a Certified Sign Language Interpreter in the Western Slope of Colorado, and she loves to mountain bike, hike, read, travel, camp and swim in rivers and lakes as much as possible.
Brian (he/him) is proud and honored to have the opportunity to participate on the DOVE Board of Directors. He recently moved to Colorado from Baltimore, MD to pursue his Medical Doctorate at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and is looking forward to growing with and serving his new community. Brian hopes to utilize some of his past professional and board member experiences to contribute to the ongoing implementation of DOVE’s mission. Likewise, he looks forward to the opportunity to learn from the DOVE community and carry these lessons with him into his future medical career.
When he’s not busy being a student, Brian enjoys playing music, as well as exploring all that Colorado has to offer, including hiking, running, skiing, and climbing.
Rachel (she/they) has long been passionate and involved within the DV field, since her senior year in high school. During her undergraduate years at Gallaudet, she spent an internship at DAWN in Washington, DC, and when she lived in Austin, TX years later, she was a volunteer as well as a Board member with SafePlace Deaf Services (now known as Deaf SHARE). She also performed on stage twice with The Vagina Monologues (under Eve Ensler’s global organization V-Day). Rachel is excited to continue giving back to the Deaf community by serving as a Board member for DOVE, using her interpersonal and community building skills. Rachel loved to travel a lot back then, and is now settled as a Mama of two young children while working as a Birth and Postpartum Doula on the side. She looks forward to sharing empowerment and building relationships with the local community!