The Mendoza lab's team includes full-time staff members and part-time employees who assist with studies. Learn more about part-time opportunities.

Trina Colburn, PhD

ColburnDr. Trina Colburn is the research manager for Dr. Jason Mendoza's projects. She is a Seattle native and received her PhD in clinical psychology from Seattle Pacific University and her BA in psychology from the University of Washington. She has been actively involved in various projects focused on the treatment and prevention of childhood obesity since 2007. She loves music, movies and spending time outdoors.

Jason Mendoza, MD, MPH

Jason Mendoza Dr. Jason Mendoza has devoted his career to studying the promotion of physical activity and healthy eating among low-income and racial/ethnic minority children. He conducts community and school-based research on reducing sedentary activities, such as television viewing, and increasing physical activity, such as through the "walking school bus" and other "safe routes to school" programs. He also leads research on the influence of food insecurity on chronic diseases in children, such as HIV and diabetes.

Alan Waite, BA

WaiteAlan Waite is the clinical research associate for the walking school bus study at Seattle Children's Research Institute. Having grown up as a student in Seattle Public Schools, he enjoys the partnership with the district on the study. Alan received his BA in psychology from Whitworth University. Prior to joining Children's, he was the lead coordinator for a study focused on the criminal justice process in King County.

Part-Time Staff

More than a dozen part-time workers supervise kids as they walk and bike to school, for studies examining how those modes of transportation affect a child's weight and physical activity. Visit Seattle Children's careers page to learn more about available opportunities in the following areas:

Research Assistants

Marissa Ogren

Marissa Ogren

Nasira Sharma

Nasira Sharma

Garry Alcedo

Garry Alcedo


The research assistants are trained members of the research team and are involved in many parts of the research process. The research assistants are in charge of recruiting students and their parents to be part of the study, collecting data during assessments and managing data to ensure everything is complete and accurate. While research assistants may take on specific roles and responsibilities, they all work together as a team to ensure the study runs smoothly.

Health Promotion Specialists

Health Promotion SpecialistsThe health promotion specialists' (HPS) primary responsibility is walking students to and from school. This includes picking up students at designated stops in the neighborhood, teaching the students pedestrian safety and being a good role model - in particular of the safety behaviors that they are teaching the children. The health promotion specialists may also assist with recruitment and assessment alongside the research assessment specialists at the baseline assessments.