About The Staff
Our staff is here to support queer & trans students, and we'd like to share a bit about ourselves!
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 loves coffee, movies, and spending time with Pumpkin, his French bulldog.
Kirsten Keith has been working within queer communities for seven 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 for the QRC. Kirsten works with the Trans Justice Working Group for Basic Rights Oregon to ensure that all trans Oregonians experience equity. When not at work Kirsten spends their time with their partner and two dogs.
Melanie is a PSU alum, having graduated with concentrations in Liberal Studies and Communications. Melanie is excited to start their professional life at the QRC, and occasionally finds time for their favorite activities: brunch-eating with their sweetie and taking their dog Zoë on outdoor adventures.
Melanie's other affiliations have included Outside In, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Just Out, Oregon Students Equal Rights Alliance (a division of the Oregon Student Association), Sacramento LGBT Community Center, and QDoc Queer Documentary Film Festival. Melanie also serves as the Vice President of Rainbow Youth in Salem, Oregon.
Maria T. Bonacci,
Transgender & Interpersonal Violence Resources Coordinator
Maria Bonacci is a dyke jock, dog-lover, gardener, crafter, and agitator who has been living and working in queer and trans communities in Portland since 2001. She brings a history of work in HIV care and prevention, harm reduction, mental health and social justice work to her position as the Trans and Interpersonal Violence Resources Coordinator.
Maria is a Graduate Assistant at the Queer Resource Center, and is currently entering her third year of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at PSU. In her space time, you can find her free-form dancing in her living room, running, eating, working in the yard, adventuring with her partner and/or dear friend-family, and petting her dogs.
Samantha L. Taylor,
Queer Students of Color Retention & Resources Coordinator
Samantha L. Taylor is a writer, artist, scholar, agitator. Pronouns: she/her; they/them. This is Samantha's second year in this position with the QRC, and she's stoked to continue to elevate the visibility and representation of queer and trans people of color at and around Portland State through the annual Queer Students of Color Conference. Samantha drinks copious amounts of black tea to get through the days, and consumes a fair amount of sci-fi to get through the nights.
Queeries Program Coordinator
Jill is returning to the QRC from her previous position as the Queer Veterans Peer Mentor. 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. Jill 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 sad video games about being trans and providing freelance cuddling to those in need.
Kevin is an amazing luminous fountain. They appreciate art and music, but struggle sometimes to make those things. Even though they write newsletters and edit documents on a Mac most of the time, they enjoy meeting all the amazing faces that enter the QRC. If they’re not at PSU, then they’re probably riding the Max. Kevin’s goal is to one day own a dog named Furrcault and a cat named Purrcault.
Desk Staff Member
This is Eli’s second year as a part of QRC staff and they are very excited to be here! They are honored to be a part of the QRC staff and being given the ability to further hone their professional skills. They are a junior majoring in Health Science with a minor in Biology, because learning pointless facts about cells and spouting off random health stats perfectly fits their vaguely pretentious aesthetic. They moonlight (daylight??) as a non-professional DJ, by the name of DJ Goth Peanut. Eli works towards burning down the patriarchy as well as destroying the gender binary. They work towards providing inclusive health resources for queer and trans students, along with their glorious intersections. 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. Drop by the QRC anytime to say hello!
Julian Bugarín Quezada,
Desk Staff Member
Hi everybody! I’m Julian, and I will be returning as part of the front desk staff for a second year at the QRC. Currently, I am majoring in Social Science with a Chicano/Latino Studies certificate in addition to a Spanish minor. Also, I will be part of the Cultural Centers Programming Team for the first time which will such an exciting experience and opportunity to be able to serve as an advocate for my community and identity as a gay Latino. In the future, I plan on graduating from PSU next year, and move back home to California to earn my Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Chicano Studies at either Cal State LA or UCLA, continue my advocacy for social justice for queer and trans Latin@s, and write a series of books on my family’s migration story from Mexico to the U.S. In what free time I manage to find, I absolutely love to cook and bake! This year will definitely be busy for me, but I can’t wait to be a part in helping create a safer campus for intersectionally marginalized communities. ¡Con ganas!
Desk Staff Member
Originally from Philadelphia, Kristen Carangi has been a part of the Queer Resource Center community for four years. Her activism focuses on sex worker rights, reproductive justice, and strengthening queer collectives. She spends her free time playing games, watching anime, and thinking about getting a cat.
Desk Staff Member
Grace is in her third year as a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major and plans to pursue a career in education. Grace has been volunteering with the QRC for two years and is excited to join the QRC desk staff. When she isn't working, she likes to spend her time improving her extensive sock collection, writing poetry, following the Portland Thorns soccer team, and dressing her cat up in various outfits.