Meet Our Staff
Daniel is a junior 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 Junior 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.
Ellie is a second year MSW student atSP2 and is serving as the Center's social work intern for the academic year.Originally from San Diego, CA, Ellie has B.A.'s in Feminist Studies and TheatreArts, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Theatre Arts from U.C. Santa Cruz.Having spent many years in many jobs across the United States, Ellie felt thepull to social work and moved to Philly to pursue their MSW. Ellie also servesas the Communications Chair with the SP2 student government, and in their sparetime enjoys riding bikes, hanging out with the best dog in the world, andmaking stuff with their hands.
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 sophomore 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 sophomore 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 senior in the College studying Biological Basisof Behavior with a minor in Creative Writing. She is originally from asmall town outside of Houston, TX, but she has enjoyed traveling during hertime at Penn and hopes to continue doing so after graduation. She iscurrently the co-director for Strictly Funk, and you can also catch her waitingtables at Clarkville, the cutest place on Baltimore Ave. Kandyce alsopassionately enjoys reading and writing, hiding from responsibilities inPhiladelphia's parks, and petting Kari Cat who greets her at her front doorevery morning/night (sadly Kari is her neighbor's cat�"and probably not named Kari). Kandyce's greatestaspiration at the moment is to adopt a cat. That, and graduation. And ajob. But mostly the cat. *Note: The cat pictured is not Kari Cat.
Kristin is a junior 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. ___________________________________________________________________________
A. Malik Muhammad
A. Malik Muhammad joins us as a new Associate Director of the LGBT Center! A Philly native, Malik completed his Bachelor's in Psychology with a Theater Arts Minor at West Chester University (WCU) of Pennsylvania. Immediately following, he diligently pursued his Master's for an additional two years at WCU to receive a degree in Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs. A proud brother of the Pennsylvania Tau Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Malik's passion for social justice bloomed throughout his time working as a Male Peer Educator at the Women's Center of WCU during his undergraduate career. That passion continued to flourish as he started working with LGBTQA Services at WCU during his graduate career. There he truly came to realize the deep significance of LGBTQA advocacy, education, and working from a true intersectional lens at the higher education level. After graduate school, Malik went on to serve as the Coordinator of Sexual and Gender Diversity at Bloomsburg University (BU) of Pennsylvania. Within that role, he had the honor of functioning as the LGBTQA Resource Center's Director; serving both the campus and surrounding communities. After two years at BU, Malik is graciously transitioning into his new role. When asked about his new position here at Penn, Malik had this to say, "As I continue to grow as a young professional I have quickly come to realize that the college experience for students, especially those within marginalized populations like the queer community, is profoundly dependent upon the professionals within Student Affairs and Student Services. The LGBT Center at UPenn is essential in helping students feel safe, welcomed, and included on our campus. I am more than ready to be a part of that remarkable process. If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to pop by the center to say hello please do not hesitate to come on by or reach out. My door is always open!"
Matt is a Senior 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 sophomore 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 junior 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 sophomore 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.
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 critiquing 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!
Trent is a sophomore in the College from Lenexa, Kansas. Through the Vagelos Molecular Life Sciences Program, he is planning on majoring in chemistry and biochemistry and submatriculating in chemistry. Outside of classes and lab, Trent is the social director for the West Philly Swingers and loves dancing and spending time with them. He is also a proud member of the Penn Band.