Our Staff




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Alberto Rodriguez (he/him)

Alberto is the Center's Housekeeper originally from Miami, FL. You can catch him on a coast lying on the beach or somewhere across the globe experiencing different cultures. Heis passionate about baseball, running track, and food -- all of which have taken him to parts of the world he could never imagine (18 US states and three countries!). Alberto's ultimate goal is to make an impact on younger generations from all walks of life by sharing his experiences, encouraging themto keep an open mind, and helping them find the "beautiful" about every person, place, or thing in life.
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Daniel Bulpitt (he/him)

Daniel is a senior in the College studing economics, math, and sustainability.  He is from Wilton, CT, although 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.

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Destini Rivers (she/her)

Desteni is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. Originally from Murfreesboro, TN, Desteni has been taking advantage of the city of Philadelphia and its close location to other cities. She is pre-med 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.

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Emilia Soto (she/her)

Bio Coming Soon!
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Emily Orengo (she/her)

Emily is a sophomore in the College majoring in the Biological Basis of Behavior with a minor in Psychology. She works as a research assistant at the Penn Child Development Labs and volunteers at HUP. In her free time, you can find her curating Spotify playlists, playing piano, and exploring the city.

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Erin Cross (she/her)

Erin, the Center's Director, is a Cleveland, OH 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, Affiliate Faculty with Penn's Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program, Pre-Major Advisor in the College, Anti-Violence Advocate, and sits on the Provost's Wellness Advisory Committee, Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force, 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 four times.  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 a good night's sleep, reading for fun, finding restaurants where she can actually eat, watching NHK World, 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.

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Felipe Gomez (he/him)

Felipe is a junior in the college, majoring in Marketing at Wharton. 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.

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Jarek Azim (he/him)

Jarek is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in International Relations. Jarek is active with the Pan Asian American Community House, Penn AAPI Politics, and is continuing to explore more communities along the way. He hopes to bridge the gaps in his identities and help those struggling with their polarizing identities in the future. In his free time, he enjoys studying languages and playing video games!

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Joao Campos (he/him)

 Joao is a junior in the College from a city in central Brazil called Belo Horizonte. He is an International Relations and Political Science major 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.

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Loren Grishow-Schade (they/them)


Loran Grishow-Schade is the Center's Social Work Intern for the 2019-2020 academic school year through Penn's School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2). Loran is a recent graduate of Temple University's School of Social Work. Previously, they graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. In their undergraduate work, Loran served as an Affiliated Researcher in SP2's SexGen Policy Lab. Through SexGen, they researched the implementation of the School District of Philadelphia's Policy 252: Safety, Justice, and Equity for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students and bathroom access disparities throughout Temple University's Main Campus. Before returning to school, Loran was a direct service provider and case manager for LGBTQ youth and young adults at The Attic Youth Center, Philadelphia's only independent LGBTQ youth center. In their work at The Attic, Loran created and implemented 19 distinct programs around LGBTQ history ,leadership, film production, public speaking, performance, media literacy, and media representations, while simultaneously providing direct-service life skills support. In 2019, Loran was invited by the International Federation of Social Workers to speak at Social Worker Day at the United Nations. They spoke on global social protections for TGNC and intersex populations. Outside of school and work, '"which is rare,'" Loran is usually found playing MMORTS videogames, eating Taco Bell, and alternating between Steven Universe and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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A. Malik Muhammad (he/him)

A. Malik Muhammad is one of the Center's Associate Directors. A Philly native, Malik completed his Bachelor's in Psychology with a Theater Arts Minor at West Chester University (WCU). Immediately following, he pursued his Master's 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 WCU's Women's Center during his undergraduate career. That passion continued to flourish as he started working with LGBTQA Services during his graduate career. There he realized the deep significance of LGBTQA advocacy, education, and working from an intersectional lens at the higher education level. After graduate school, Malik was the Coordinator of Sexual and Gender Diversity at Bloomsburg University (BU). 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 came to Penn. When asked about his position, Malik has said, "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 VPUL. Penn's LGBT Center is essential in helping students feel safe, welcome, and included on our campus." Malik's door is always open.

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Michael Williams (he/him)
(Studying Abroad)

Michael Williams is a junior in the College from Brooklyn, NY. He was originally born in Tampa, FL and spent most of his childhood in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. He ismajoring in Political Science and will pursue a career in journalism, politics or law. In his spare time he enjoys listening to music, particularly Erykah Badu, Solange, SZA and Janet Jackson to name a few. He also writes poetry and acts. He hopes to bring his passion for advocacy to the Center.

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Stacey Fox (they/them)


Stacey is a senior in the College studying English. Hailing from the small town of Connelly Springs, NC, 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.

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Tathagat Bhatia (he/him)
(Studying Abroad)

Tathagat is a junior 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.

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Trent McHenry (he/him)

Trent is a junior in the College from Lenexa, KS. 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.

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Kandyceis a pre-med sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is currentlydeciding between a major in Biological Basis of Behavior and the delight thatis Creative Writing.  She originallyhails from small town suburbia just outside of Houston, Texas but is thrilledto be in a place that occasionally drops below 50 degrees (seeing snow for thefirst time last year changed her life). Kandyce is a second year member of the Penn dance group Strictly Funkand is excited to be dabbling in her own choreography this year.  In her free time, she enjoys listening tomusic, writing, and visiting local puppy adoption shops