About The Staff
Craig Leets Jr.,
Craig has been doing queer advocacy work on college campuses since 2006. He came to PSU in October 2013 to lead the QRC. Before PSU, Craig worked at Penn State University ("the other PSU") as the Assistant Director for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally (LGBTA) Student Resource Center. Before working at Penn State, Craig was a Resident Director at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), where he worked on gender-inclusive housing, an inclusive language campaign, and a coming out support group for students. Also, he completed his Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Personnel Services with a focus in College Student Personnel while at UMD. Before moving to Maryland, he attended Chapman University in Orange, CA, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Leadership and Organizational Studies. Craig is originally from Las Vegas, NV, and is so excited to be living on the west after four years on the east coast.
Kirsten Keith has been working within queer communities for six years and is proud that the past four years have been with Portland State's Queer Resource Center. After graduating in 2012, Kirsten feels blessed to work with the engaging student population on campus as the Assistant Coordinator fothe QRC. When not at work Kirsten spends their time with their partner and two dogs.
Transgender & Interpersonal Violence Resources Coordinator
Maria Bonacci is a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at PSU. She has lived and worked in queer and trans communities in Portland for 12 years. She is psyched to join the QRC staff as the Trans and Interpersonal Violence Resources Coordinator.
Queer Students of Color Retention & Resources Coordinator
Samantha is Black, sober & queer; she's a writer, artist, scholar, agitator. As well as a Freshmen Inquiry Peer Mentor with University Studies and a McNair Scholar. Samantha is committed to the holistic success of queer and trans students of color at Portland State. She loves to crochet and read sci-fi.
Queeries Program Coordinator
Tessara is a writer, artist, educator, and activist. While pursuing a BA in Black Studies, Tessara has worked for PSU's student government, served as a co-chair for the Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance (an LGBTQ rights-oriented board of the Oregon Student Association), sat on the planning committee for the Queer Students of Colour Conference, interviewed local community members about Portland's history, supported LGBTQ youth advocacy and empowerment, organised racial justice efforts on both a local and national scale, and presented workshops on topics ranging from media representation of marginalised communities to running campaigns about state legislation. In the role of Queeries Coordinator, Tessara looks forward to providing PSU and the larger Portland community with an LGBTQ speakers panel that represents and examines the experiences of LGBTQ folks with an intersectional lens geared towards greater understanding and social justice.
Tessara uses spare time for freelance writing and editing, and frequently wishes there were 28 hours in a day.
Queer Veterans Outreach Peer Mentor
Jill is a US Navy veteran and a proud transgender and queer woman. She began her work in the queer/trans community in 2012 with the TransActive Gender Center and has since canvassed in support of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), participated in numerous community activist events, and provided valuable support and resources to individuals in the community. She is dedicated to listening, learning, and striving for compassionate action.
Jill will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. She hopes to continue on to grad school where she will refine the tools needed to become a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in working with queer/trans and gender non-conforming youth and their families. Jill spends her scant free time making peculiar, emotional text-based adventure games and providing freelance cuddling to those in need.
Design & Marketing Coordinator
Melanie became involved in queer community work in 2004 with the No On 36 campaign, and continues involvement in Salem as a Group Facilitator and Board Member at Salem Rainbow Youth. Other affiliations have included Outside in, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Just Out, Oregon Students Equal Rights Alliance (a division of the Oregon Student Association), and Sacramento LGBT Community Center.
Melanie focuses on Communications and Media Studies at Portland State University and occasionally finds time for their favorite activities: brunch-eating and taking their dog on outdoor adventures. They strive to apply theories of social justice directly to the work they do, to empower youth, and to allow each person to be an expert on their own experience.
DeskCore Staff Member
Kevin is an amazing luminous fountain. They appreciate art and music, but he struggles sometimes to make those things. At the QRC, you’ll find them either DJing or messing around on Microsoft Office and talking about pizza. He also enjoys seeing all the wonderful students that come to the QRC, and would love to share a “Hello!” with everyone. If they're not at PSU, then he’s probably riding the MAX.
DeskCore Staff Member
I am so excited and honored to be joining the Queer Resource Center staff as one of the members of the DeskCore which are the group of four people who serve as the first form of contact when guests arrive at the QRC. Originally from the Los Angeles area, I came to Portland because of its liberal climate towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* community. In addition, as an openly-gay Mexican-American, I hope to begin developing some form of a Queer/Trans* Latin@/Hispanic group to help bridge the gap between these two communities. I hope to spend a good portion of my time between the QRC and La Casa Latina, so please feel more than welcome to say hello!
Estoy muy emocionado y honrado de ser parte del Centro de Recursos Queer (pronunciado "cuír") como uno de los miembros del DeskCore que son el grupo de cuatro personas que sirven como la primera forma de contacto cuando gente llegue al centro, especialmente por primer vez. Originalmente de Los Ángeles, llegué a Portland por su actitud liberal hacia la comunidad lesbiana, gay, bisexual y transgénero. Además, como una persona mexicano-estadounidense abiertamente gay, deseo comenzar un grupo entre personas LGBT y Latin@/Hispan@ para ayudar a cerrar la brecha entre las dos comunidades. Espero pasar una buena parte de mi tiempo entre el QRC y La Casa Latina, ¡así que no seas tímido y salúdame!
DeskCore Staff Member
Hi, I'm Cate. This is my third and final year at PSU and at the end of it I will have completed a Bachelor's degree with a major in Women's Studies and minor in Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies. After graduation, I plan to explore the possibility of Grad School with the goal of a career in education. Last year, as an intern, I got to work on updating and reorganizing the QRC Library which is home to over 1000 books/films with Queer subject matter and continues to grow. I am super excited to be back at the QRC this year as part of the DeskCore Staff and continue to work on making the QRC Library accessable and beneficial to students. I invite you to come in and check it out! In my free time, I enjoy Netflix marathons and cuddles with my dog, as well as working on home improvement and yard projects.
DeskCore Staff Member
Eli is a new member to the QRC DeskCORE team. The are currently studying Health Science, Psychology, and Judaic Studies. They are honored to be a part of the QRC staff and being given the ability to hone their professional skills. Eli works towards burning down the patriarchy as well as destroying the gender binary. They work towards providing inclusive health resources for POC and queer folks along with all of the glorious intersections of that. In their free time they can be found doing more work, studying, rage blogging on tumblr, or taking a nap in various places within the QRC.