SIVAGAMI SUBBARAMAN - Special Assistant to the VP of Student Affairs & Director, LGBTQ resource center
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
- Faith, Diversity, & Sexual Orientation
Key Conference Presentations
Name: Jose Ramos
Passions: The arts, especially drawing and dancing
Bio: Jose, often referred to as Josie, is a Junior in the Double Majoring in Economics and Sociology. He was born and raised in the city of Santa Ana located in Southern California. Apart from working at the Center, Jose is the Co-Chair for MEChA de Georgetown and the Financial Secretary for GUMSA. Other than that, Jose loves to dance, sleep, eat, 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: A senior in the College, Sierra is majoring in Women's and Gender Studies and Psychology. In addition to working at the Center, she is on the board of Active Minds, plays percussion in the Pep Band, and loves organizing on campus. Sierra is originally from York, Pennsylvania and loves visiting new coffee shops, bookstores, and museums in the city.
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.
Bio: MacKenzie (Macky) is a freshman in the college planning to study government. She also enjoys history, linguistics, and english. She grew up in Hampton, Virginia doing gymnastics and working for her local government. Macky is also passionate about LGBTQ rights and is excited to be working at the center. She is an avid sleeper but also spends her time watching the Office, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, funny animal videos, and nature documentaries. Macky really likes whales and unicorns.
Bio: A freshman in the School of Foreign Service, Teak plans on majoring in International Politics with a concentration in International Law. Although he is new to the Hilltop, Teak is already on the board of the NAACP, involved with the ACLU, and Prison Outreach Program, yet plans to increase his involvement as the years progress. Originally from San Diego, California, Teak has embraced the newness of D.C and plans to experience all it has to offer.