SIVAGAMI SUBBARAMAN - DIRECTOR
Sivagami (“Shiva”) Subbaraman is the first Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center, one of the first institutionally funded Centers in a Jesuit university in the country. Since she came on board in the Fall of 2008, she has worked to establish the Center as an integral and integrated part of the Hilltop community by building across differing communities and groups. We seek to align the work of the Center with institutional mission, identity, and values. The Center now offers a full range of intersectional student- centered academic programming, support services, educational programs, and seminars and workshops.
In partnership with colleagues, she has envisioned and created a retreat program, Journeys: Understanding Self & Building Community, which builds on Jesuit educational values centered around reflection and community.
Under her leadership, the Center was honored to receive an one million dollar endowment from Paul & Chan Tagliabue that has established the The Tagliabue Initiative for LGBTQ Life: Fostering Formation & Transformation (“Initiative”). This is a significant endorsement of the educational value and scope of the work, and is one of the largest for any LGBTQ Center in the country.
The Tagliabue Initiative has now made possible a Faculty Research Award to support academic work related to LGBTQ life (https://lgbtq.georgetown.edu/tagliabue-initiative/facultyaward); works with campus-wide initiatives to promote, enhance, and deepen our understanding of LGBTQ issues in the context of larger diversity issues. We have also created a new year-long Institute/Seminar for LGBTQ students, Gatherings: Towards Flourishing, Formation, & Transformation.
Shiva serves on several key campus committees, including the LGBT Campus Committee, the Safety Net, Women's & Gender Studies Steering Committee, the Sexual Assault Working Group, the Disability Justice Working Group, committee on A Different Dialogue and the Provost’s committee on Diversity among several others.
Prior to Georgetown, she worked at the University of Maryland, at the LGBT Equity Center, and the Office of Human Relations Programs (now Office of Diversity Education). While there, Shiva co-developed and implemented the Rainbow Terrapin Training program, and the LGBT Peer Education program. She also worked extensively with the Words of Engagement: an Intergroup Dialogue program. Shiva worked on the two-year Ford Foundation funded INTERACT (Intergroup Dialogue as Pedagogy Across the Curriculum) project which integrates dialogues in curricula.
She has taught at Macalester College, Drake University, and University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Her primary areas of research are African American & American literature, feminist, and queer literature and theories.
She has keynoted and presented at several national conferences (ACPA, NASPA, JASPA, Expanding the Circle, Creating Change), on social and racial justice, LGBTQ and faith, and race and gender. She has presented several day-long institutes, colloquia, and seminars on how to envision and implement LGBTQ work that is intersectional; how to do LGBTQ work in faith-based institutions with creativity and sensitivity; and to create campus-wide templates for work that is centered on race, gender, class, and equity. She has been invited to several campuses in a consulting and advisory capacity.
She is a feminist activist, and serves on the board of several local community organizations. In her varied career, she is most happy to report that she also managed a coffee shop for several years that allowed her to continue her scholarship in a way that being an adjunct professor could not. She has also realized, much to her consternation, that there lurks "a geek" in her humanities soul.
More on her work:
- Interview with Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs
- “In Dreams Begins Responsibility: Doing LGBTQ Work in Jesuit Higher Education”
- Award for Intersectionality in Higher Education LGBTQ Services
- Queer Ragas: Coming Out, Coming Together
- Cataloging Ethnicity: Clothing as Cultural Citizenship
JULIAN HAAS- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Julian Haas joined the LGBTQ Resource Center in 2014 as the Assistant Director. Prior to coming to Georgetown Julian spent six years working and studying at The Pennsylvania State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a Masters in Higher Education and College Student Affairs, and Certification in Collegiate Instruction.
While at Penn State Julian worked in the LGBTA Student Resource Center, the Office of Student Conduct, the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs, and the World in Conversation Project as part of the Center for Public Diplomacy. Prior to joining us here at Georgetown, Julian served as an At-Large member of the National Board of Directors for Delta Lambda Phi Fraternity Inc., and the Student Concerns Committee Chair of Penn State's Presidential Commission for LGBT Equity.
Julian is happy to call Georgetown home and looks forward to an exciting semester, facilitating programming, supporting initiatives, and working with students. He is passionate about social justice, cross-cultural experiences, intersectionality, and empowering others. In his spare time he enjoys camping, traveling, and volunteering with local charities.
Coordinator of Operations
Name: Caitlin Opperman
Passions: Mental health advocacy, sexual assault prevention, consent education and bystander intervention training, racial and economic justice, writing/poetry, chicken fingers
Bio: Caitlin Opperman is a proud Cuban-American born and raised in Miami, FL. She is a senior at Georgetown majoring in Mathematics with minors in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is also a part of the Accelerated M.S. Program in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Georgetown. Caitlin serves as the Coordinator of Operations at the LGBTQ Resource Center, is a teaching assistant in the Sociology department, and is involved in organizations focused on sexual assault prevention and mental health. She is most active in Project Lighthouse, where she serves as Director of Outreach. Caitlin is most passionate about social justice work, and hopes to contribute to a more equitable society for everyone.
Fun Fact: Caitlin is the youngest of 6 kids.
Coordinator of Programming
Name: Ghenesis Mendez
Passions: Food, Allyship, Intersectional Feminism, Immigration Reform, and Afro-Latinidad
Bio: Ghenesis Mendez is a senior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in Culture and Politics with a focus on the radicalization of Latinxs and how that has impacted immigration policy. She was born and raised in in New York City. On campus, she is the coordinator of programs at the LGBTQ Resource Center. She is also the co-President of GU Riqueza Dominicana. Ghenesis has also been a peer leader and a participant of the pre-orientation program, Young Leaders in Education about Diversity (YLEAD). Additionally, she has been involved with the Center for Student Justice through her work with the DC Reads program. After Georgetown, Ghenesis plans to attend law school and focus on immigration.
Fun Fact: Ghenesis finished the entire Gilmore Girls series in one month.
Name: Jose Ramos
Passions: The arts, especially drawing and dancing
Bio: Jose, often referred to as Josie, is a sophomore in the MSB but planning to transfer into the College to major in Sociology with Minors in Computer Science and Film/Media Studies. He holds an open mind as he explores the many activities he can get involved in around school. Jose was born and raised in the city of Santa Ana located in Southern California. Apart from sleeping and eating, Jose loves to dance, binge-watch TV shows, and enjoys going out on new adventures.
Fun Fact: Jose is obsessed with The Vampire Diaries and can/will binge-watch it over and over without getting bored.
Name: Sierra Campbell
Passions: Intersectional feminism, prison abolition and reform, and mental health advocacy
Bio: Sierra is a junior in the College, majoring in Women's and Gender Studies and Psychology and is new to the LGBTQ Center this year. In addition to working at the Center, she is on the board of Active Minds, acts as Social Coordinator and Drumline Section Leader of the Pep Band, and is a member of the Nash House, the mental health-focused Magis Row. Sierra is originally from York, Pennsylvania, and she enjoys spending way too much time at Yates and attending events on prison reform and intersectional feminism.
Name: Zackary Abu-Akeel
Passions: Electronic music, interfaith and anti-Islamophobia work, cooking with a cast-iron skillet, reading about the history of the colonial gender system
Bio: Zack is a junior in the School of Foreign Service, originally from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. He focuses academically on international political economy, specifically with regards to labor. Zack is also an RA in Alumni Square and leads the Muslim Interest Living Community (MILC), serves as head of interfaith and social justice programming for our Muslim Students Association, and is leading an Alternative Spring Break trip on Worker Justice in the District.
Fun Fact: Zack has never broken a bone.
Name: Christian Morris
Bio: Christian is a sophomore double-majoring in psychology and African-American studies to assist him in pursuing his passions for institutional diversity work, social activism, and community organizing. He hopes to spend his career organizing around the mental and psychological healing and liberation of all peoples with a focus on advocacy and empowerment for queer people of color. His experiences living in the South motivate him to find and help build progressive and inclusive spaces wherever he goes.
Fun Fact: The town he went to high school in in Alabama only had one traffic light.
Name: Allen Lane Easterling
Passions: Social justice, international affairs and politics, eating, traveling, Netflix.
Bio: Allen is from Baltimore, MD. He is a sophomore in the SFS, planning on majoring in Regional and Comparative Studies, focusing on the Middle East, with a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. He is very passionate about international politics and social justice, and he hopes to find some life path that can combine them both. He is a member of the Philodemic Society, the International Relations Society, and Leaders in Education About Diversity (LEAD). He enjoys food, traveling, political debates, and roller coasters, as well as watching Netflix to avoid work.
Fun Fact: Allen wanted to be an astronaut until he took high school physics. Also, he doesn’t like heights but loves roller coasters.