Meet Our Staff
Afuah is the Center's Building Coordinator. She is a C'15 Urban Studies graduate from MIami, FL. During her time at Penn, she was a member of the African American Arts Alliance and Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity. Afuah is excited to be back on campus around familiar faces and getting to know new ones. She loves anything design-relate, making jewelry, and learning about a city through its public art and built environment.
Daniel is a sophomore in the College studing economics, math, and sustainability. He is from Wilton, CT, althogh he has since moved to a suburt of Dallas, TX. Daniel is passionate about environmentalism, and writes for 34th Street Magazine. He enjoys hiking, free food, and dogs.
Desteni is currently a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. Originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Desteni has been taking advantage of the city of Philadelphia and its close location to other cities. She is currently pre-med with the hopes of majoring in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies with a double minor in biology and chemistry. Desteni is an active member of GlobelMed, Robeson Cooper Scholars, Model Congress, and PennFems. In her freetime Desteni enjoys finding new restaurants around the city and binge-watching Netflix with friends.
Erin, the Center's Director, is a Cleveland, Ohio native who now calls Philadelphia home. Before coming to Penn she held various jobs after earning her B.A. in History and Political Science from The College of Wooster, M.A. in Political Science from The Pennsylvania State University, and Ph.D. from Penn's Graduate School of Education (GSE) specializing in queer, gender, and learning theories in out of school contexts. In addition to her duties at the Center, Erin is a faculty fellow at Stouffer College House, a Senior Fellow at Penn Nursing's Center for Global Women's Health, Affiliated Faculty with Penn's Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program, Pre-Major Advisor in the College, Anti-Violence Advocate, and sits on the Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force, the Division of Public Safety's Advisory Board, International Student and Scholar Service's International Partners Outreach Group, and the Vice Provost's Sexual Assault Working Group. She regularly teaches at GSE, has taught at the School of Social Policy and Practice, and has been honored as a Model of Excellence by Penn thrice. Erin also co-chairs the University's LGBTQ+ Sexual Assault Working Group, is a co-primary investigator on a Provost's Excellence through Diversity Fund grant around inclusion of LGBTQ students and topics in professional education, and is part of a Penn Futures grant looking to prepare students at GSE, SP2, and SON to better serve LGBTQ+ youth, particularly those of color. Outside of work she enjoys learning new things on NHK World, reading for fun, finding restaurants where she can actually eat, playing tennis, and staying connected with friends and family, near and far. Erin loves spending time with her partner, Amy, and all the cool kids in her life.
Felipe is a freshman in the college, planning on double majoring in Mathematical Economics and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. Originally from Medellin, Colombia, Felipe immigrated to the US when he was 6 years old. Since then, Felipe has lived in Miami, FL with his mother. In his free time, Felipe enjoys playing volleyball, going to the beach, watching movies, hanging out with friends, and most importantly, trying new food.
Joao CamposJoao is a freshman in the College from a city in central Brazil called Belo Horizonte. He is still undecided as to his major, but plans on studying International Relations and Political Science in the hopes of actually doing some good in the world. In his free time, he likes to eat good food and watch good Netflix shows. __________________________________________________________________________
Kai Kornegay, the Center's Senior Program Assistant, is a senior in the College studying English and Urban Education. She's passionate about the implications that identity has on the educational experiences of young people, and she's committed to creating learning environments that are challenging, yet supportive, for her future students. Kai is also interested in using the arts as a tool to form community and create social change. Her academic interests extend beyond the classroom through her work with the Lambda Alliance, the African American Arts Alliance, Onyx Honor Society, and the Penn Anti-Violence Educator program. In her free time, Kai enjoys hosting brunches, cackling with her roommates, and bugging her parents to send her pictures of her dog.
Kandyce is a pre-med Junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is currently deciding between a major in Biological Basis of Behavior and the delight that is Creative Writing. She originally hails from small town suburbia just outside of Houston, Texas but is thrilled to be in a place that occasionally drops below 50 degrees (seeing snow for the first time last year changed her life). Kandyce is a second year member of the Penn dance group Strictly Funk and is excited to be dabbling in her own choreography this year. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, writing, and visiting local puppy adoption shops to dream about someday adopting a puppy of her own. For now, Kandyce remains the proud sister of a majestic blind poodle named Georgie who stays in Texas (and also of a human brother who is not quite as cute).
Kristin is a Sophomore in SEAS, studying Digital Media Design. She was born and raised in Carlsbad, a small seaside city in Southern California (home to LegoLand and warm weather year round-she fears she will not survive the winter). Kristin is very excited to be part of the Penn group Sparks Dance Company this year. In her free time, you can find her dancing, drawing, knitting and face-timing with her bird Gunther, or running around campus trying to find free food. ___________________________________________________________________________
Matt is a Junior in Wharton from Newton Square, PA (Philly suburbs). He is planning to concentrate in Finance and Health Care Management with a possible minor in Spanish. Some of the organizations he is involved with on campus include QSA, Black Wharton, Penn Student Federal Credit Union, and Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault. Matt loves to travel and has lived in both Mexico and Spain. He is also a brother in the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He loves to play tennis competitively and explore Philadelphia in his spare time.
Michael Williams is a freshman in the College from Brooklyn, New York. He was originally born in Tampa, Florida and spent most of his childhood in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. He is considering majoring in Political Science or Sociology and pursuing a career in journalism, politics or law. In his spare time he enjoys listening to music, particularly Erykah Badu, Solange, SZA and Janet Jackson toname a few. He also writes poetry and acts. He hopes to bring his passion for advocacy to the Center.
Stacey is a sophomore in the College studying English. Hailing from the small town of Connelly Springs, North Carolina, they are forever thankful for the change of pace and scenery Philadelphia has to offer. When not studying for classes, Stacey enjoys spending their time reading comics, checking out the DIY music scene, and pestering their friends. They also spend too much time planning tabletop campaigns that never come together.
Tathagat (Vlad) Bhatia
Tathagat is a freshman from Lucknow, India studying Math and Philosophy in the College. He has an undying love for ice skating, Russian, and just about anything with Meryl Streep in it. When he's not busy calculating derivatives and telling people about how culturally shocking he finds the US, he can be found in one of the quieter spots in Van Pelt, studying and missing Appa, a very cute beagle who's waiting for him back home.
Taylor is a Master of Social Work Candidate at The School of Social Policy & Practice. She completed her Bachelor's of Social Work at Abilene Christian University where she worked in refugee resettlement focused on advocacy, case management, and community gardening. Prior to the LGBT Center, she interned at Project HOME in their Advocacy department where she chaired the planning committee for Homeless Memorial Day for the City of Philadelphia, conducted voter engagement and registration efforts, and authored advocacy actions over local, state, and federal policies related to affordable housing and healthcare. Taylor is excited to bring her advocacy and collaborative skills to the Center.
Teresa is the Center's Project Manager. She came to Penn with an arts background, passion for working with nonprofits, and excitement about graduate studies at The School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2). A Philly-area native, she loves living in West Philly and all things ART. She also works at CHOP Primary Care as a Social Work Intern, is a Managing Editor for Collectivist SP2 Journal, and volunteers at Penn's United Community Clinc (UCC). ___________________________________________________________________________
Tiffany, an Associate Director of the LGBT Center, has over 15 years of experience in sexual and reproductive health, homelessness, trauma, youth and young adults, and LGBTQ advocacy. She attended Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business where she received her BA in International Business and Marketing, as well as a minor in Japanese. Later, Sher earned a MS in Strategic Communications form the School of Media and Communications at Temple University. Even though Tiffany is native to Philadelphia and proudly adores her city, she also studied and worked in Japan for 5 years learning Japanese language and culture. Prior to Penn, Tiffany worked as the Director of Program Strategy and Integration at the Philadelphia Youth Network, the Director of Philadelphia FIGHT's Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP), the Community Education Coordinator for CHOICE, and served as the Interim Executive Director of GALAEI. Tiffany has served as a board member of the Equality Forum, Vice President of GALAEI's board, and Treasurer for CHOICE's board. She is an active board member of Philly Black Pride and a member of the planning committee for the Philly Dyke March where she coordinates Dykes on Bikes. She is currently on the Training and Facilitation Team of the Brown Boi Project, a national group of masculine of center womyn, men, two-spirit people, and transmen, who are committed to changing the way society handles gender. Whatever role she plays, Tiffany always brings her passion for presenting and critquing the intersection of race, gender, sex, and queer identities through work that bridges theory and realness. Tiffany also finds joy in projects that involve mason jars, Legos, or cross-stitching because Real Butches Craft!
Vlasta is a sophomore from Seattle, Washington studying Mechanical Engineering. She is an active member of Penn Aerospace Club's rocketry team, the Government and Politics Association, and the Advancing Women in Engineering Board. In the free time she loves to sew, cook, explore Philadelphia, and hang out with cute animals. ___________________________________________________________________________