Sarah Ettman-Sterner joins the Institute as the Director of Communications responsible for marketing, public relations, donor/sponsor cultivation and volunteer coordination. She has 20 years of non-profit marketing management experience, in addition to expertise working in the for-profit biomedical and software industries. She was most recently the producer responsible for web, marketing and communications for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, where she created content for the PBS television series Ocean Adventures, now in international broadcast. In addition Ettman-Sterner forged co-branding relationships with Dow Chemical Company, Paramount Movie Studios, Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, La Prairie Cosmetics, Under Armour and Tilley Collectibles. Ettman-Sterner also serves as the pro-bono public relations director for the Santa Barbara Music & Arts Conservatory.

MJ Bakove has been appointed as the Institute’s Associate Administrator. She is responsible for Human Resources, foundation grants, scientific grant administration and regulatory compliance. In addition she provides administrative support for the Objectivity and Integrity in Science compliance committee. She has 19 years of experience in the customer service division of Ogilvy-Hill Insurance (now Hub International Insurance Services,) most recently serving as the firm’s general manager, overseeing human resources and operations. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Santa Barbara Human Resources Association (SBHRA.) Bakove also serves as an administrative volunteer for Heal the Ocean in Santa Barbara.

Dulce Cueva Barrera has been appointed as the Seeds of Change (Semillas de Cambio) Project Coordinator for the Education and Outreach Department. She specializes in Bilingual/Bicultural English-Spanish communication and is fluent in German and Italian, in addition to possessing expertise in community referrals, educational life improvement programs and nutritional counseling for individuals and families, developed through her tenure at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.

Ms. Barrera will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Semillas de Cambio, which focuses on post-partum health education and advocacy. It is designed to engage low-income, medically underserved women with or at risk for diabetes and lack access to medical care and health education. The program provides activities on diabetes prevention health education and encourages personal physical fitness, healthy eating, healthy weight, and self confidence. A second goal of the project is for some participants to teach later classes using the “promotoras” model. Semillas de Cambio, funded by a grant from the California Chapter of the March of Dimes, is intended to impact the lives of these women and many future generations in a low-cost, peer-led, self-sustaining manner.

About Sansum Diabetes Research Institute

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute ( is an internationally recognized research center devoted to the prevention, treatment and cure of diabetes. Dr. William D. Sansum, who brought renown to Santa Barbara in 1922 as the first physician in the U.S. to produce and administer life-saving insulin to patients with diabetes, founded the nonprofit organization in 1944. Today, under the leadership of Lois Jovanovič, M.D., Sansum Diabetes Research Institute remains an extraordinary place, where diabetes research, nutrition, education, and diabetes prevention have improved the lives of people worldwide who suffer from this serious disease.

The Institute has gained global acclaim for its work to develop an artificial pancreas, its success in developing protocols to increase the incidence of healthy babies born to women with diabetes, and its work with people with and at risk for type 2 diabetes. Physicians and researchers continue to develop new treatment protocols for people with diabetes, including new drugs and medical devices.

It is our intention to use our past and present accomplishments to guide us into the future – to tap into the energy and commitment that made Sansum Diabetes Research Institute what it is today – a worldwide leader in diabetes research, prevention, and treatment. For more information on Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, contact Sarah Ettman-Sterner at (805) 682-7638 or


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