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About The Staff

Our staff is here to support queer & trans students, and we'd like to share a bit about ourselves!

photo of Craig Leets

Craig Leets Jr.,
Director

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,
Assistant Director

Kirsten 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 Director 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. 

 

photo of Melanie Altaras

Melanie Altaras,
Office Manager

Melanie is a PSU alum, having graduated with concentrations in Liberal Studies and Communications. Melanie is excited to continue their professional life at the QRC, and occasionally finds time for their favorite activities: kayaking, brunch-eating, and road trip adventures!

Melanie's other affiliations include serving as the Vice President of Rainbow Youth in Salem, Oregon and as the Web Manager for QDoc Queer Documentary Film Festival.

Jill Seale,
Transgender Resources & Retention Coordinator (TReC)

Jill has worked with the QRC for nearly 2 years as the Queer Veteran's Peer Mentor and the Queeries Program Coordinator. 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 playing World of Warcraft.

Brianna C. Bragg,
Queer Students of Color Retention & Resources Coordinator

Brianna is an avid social justice advocate and can frequently be found protesting, in a deep discussion, crafting, or at a local coffee shop. As a two-spirit, queer/lesbian, womyn of color and size, with years in the social service and education fields, Brianna practices using her experiences to forge safe spaces for folks at the intersection of multiple targeted identities and to advocate for more inclusivity in policies.She has dedicated her work to community organizing, partnering with targeted communities in a variety of capacities and is stoked to continue that work at the QRC. Brianna is thrilled to get to know all the QTSoC's this year and collaborate on consistent programming that represents all the fabulous identities we hold! She welcomes friends to join her in her never-ending quest for coffee or a laughter-filled time at Fat Yoga!

Eli Matz,
Volunteer Coordinator

This is Eli’s third 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, because 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, blasting fantastic music in the back office, or taking a nap in various places within the QRC. Drop by the QRC anytime to say hello!

Grace Piper,
Marketing Coordinator

Failed textbook model, Grace, is finishing their final year of undergrad at PSU with a degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In addition to working in marketing at the QRC, Grace is a UNST FRINQ mentor, has had hand in queer-feminist event planning around campus, and is a prior QRC desk staff employee. Grace has an interest in education and equity work, cooking food for all of their pals, and being very high key about their instagram filters. Even though they spend a lot of time in the back office, they want to meet all the faces of the QRC so they welcome folks to come say hi!

Olive Murauskas,
Queeries Program Coordinator

Olive is an artist, activist, and programmer with a strong interest in empowering our myriad queer and trans communities. They are pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, but have a background in performance, illustration and storytelling. Olive is thrilled to work on community education with her peers and the wider Portland community in an effort to make our city a safer place for everyone.

Other past affiliations include In Other Words, NOLA Community Kitchen, Crescent City Childcare Collective, The Iron Rail Book Collective, Endless Gaycation Poetry Slam, and the Ursinus Queer and Hillel Houses.

Amandeep Sohi,
Desk Staff Member

Amandeep Sohi is a budding activist and educator studying French and Secondary Education at Portland State University. They have been integral to the Queer Students of Color Conference Planning Committee since 2014, a member of the Queer Advisory Board since 2015, and a French Club co-president since 2015. Amandeep is an avid Pokémon Go player with a passion for social justice, cats, and a penchant for vintage Bollywood films.

 

Leo,
Desk Staff Member

Leo Ariel is a nonbinary Latinx majoring in Women’s Studies. They are an interpersonal violence peer advocate on campus. They are a co-chair of Feminists for Environmental Justice (FEM-EJ) action team, and have volunteered extensively through the Women’s Resource Center on campus, including providing support in planning Take Back the Night. When they aren’t reading or studying for class, they are either hanging out with their cat, cooking, or having solo dance parties. They always have music playing and identify as that perpetually heartbroken poet in your life. Hailing from the swamp land that is Florida, they love sitting under the sun and spending time on the beach.

 

Shel Pomerantz,
Desk Staff Member

Shel is in their third year studying Sociology with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Queer Studies. This is their second year as a QRC volunteer and their first year as front desk staff. Shel is passionate about supporting and amplifying the voices of queers with disabilities and promoting a culture of collaboration rather than competition.

In his rare free time, Shel enjoys spending quiet time at home with his partners, cooing over tiny plants, and testing out new recipes. He aspires to one day own a very snuggly cat.

Come by and see us!