Our Staff

Erin Cross (she/her)

Erin, the Center’s Director, is a Cleveland, OH native who now calls Philadelphia home. Before coming to Penn she held various jobs after earning her B.A. in History and Political Science from The College of Wooster, M.A. in Political Science from The Pennsylvania State University, and Ph.D. from Penn’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) specializing in queer, gender, and learning theories in out of school contexts. In addition to her duties at the Center, Erin is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at GSE, Affiliate Faculty with Penn’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, Pre-Major Advisor in the College, Restorative Practices at Penn facilitator, Anti-Violence Advocate, and sits on the Provost’s Wellness Advisory Committee, Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force, International Student and Scholar Service’s International Partners Outreach Group, Penn Athletics’ Racial and Social Justice Task Force, and the Vice Provost’s Sexual Assault Working Group. She has been honored as a Model of Excellence, Penn’s highest staff honor, four times, teaches annually at GSE, and was a co-primary investigator on a Provost’s Excellence through Diversity Fund grant around inclusion of LGBTQ students and topics in professional education, and is part of a Penn Futures grant looking to prepare students at GSE, SP2, and SON to better serve LGBTQ+ youth, particularly those of color. Outside of work she enjoys a good night’s sleep, reading for fun, finding restaurants where she can actually eat, watching NHK World, and staying connected with friends and family, near and far.  Erin loves spending time with her wife, Amy, and all the cool kids in her life.


Malik Muhammad (he/him)

Malik Muhammad is an Associate Director at the LGBT Center. A Philadelphia native, Malik holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well a Master’s degree in Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs from West Chester University (WCU) of Pennsylvania. A proud brother of the Pennsylvania Tau Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Malik’s passion for social justice began at an early age as  the son and grandson of phenomenal change agents in the Philadelphia African American Muslim community. That passion was reignited and started to flourish during his six-year academic and para-professional career at WCU. There he came to realize the deep significance of LGBTQ+ advocacy, education, and working with an intersectional lens at the higher education level and in all walks of life. Now, years later, Malik is a change agent himself. At Penn, he diligently works to support students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members spearheading the Center’s educational programs, advising LGBTQ+ student groups, and fostering collaboration across the University with various other roles. Malik also serves the Philadelphia community as a member of the Penn Center for AIDS Research Community Advisory Board, the Colours Organization Board, and as a talented local artist/entertainer. From the moment you meet him, Malik’s genuine, energetic, and optimistic nature is undeniable and often, quite contagious. If you haven’t already, find out for yourself!


Emily Orengo (she/her)

Emily is a Junior in the College majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. She is a pre-med student who wants to use her passion for science to help others. A South Jersey native, she enjoys going to the beach and walking her dog on the boardwalk. She also enjoys baking, working out, watching medical dramas, and playing video games on her Switch.


Felipe Gomez (he/him)

Hello! My name is Felipe Gomez and I am a senior at the Wharton School at Penn, studying Marketing and Hispanic Studies. I am a first-generation low-income student raised in a single-parent household, so if anyone wants to reach out to me with a similar background feel free to do so! I was born in Colombia but raised in Miami, FL. I love playing volleyball, going on a run and binge-watching America’s Next Top Model.

Jan Kee-Scott (she/her)

Jan in the Center’s Business Administrator. She takes amazing care of us and ensures the money goes where it needs to go.  Although her office is in the Office of Student Affairs because she works with other Penn officestoo, we could not function without her knowledge and expertise.  Jan is also an early bird who enjoys traveling and hot yoga.

João Campos (he/him)

 Joao is a senior in the College from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He is an International Relations  major and a French minor, but his main academic interests are the environment and environmental policy. Outside of working at the Center, he is involved with Penn Violence Prevention.  In his free time, he likes to cook and eat good food and watch good Netflix shows.


Michael Williams (he/him)

Michael Williams is a senior studying Political Science and pursuing a Master of Science in Social Policy. He is originally from Tampa, Florida but now lives in Brooklyn, New York after spending seven years in Jamaica. In the future he hopes to get into advocacy work in the areas of criminal justice, immigration and LGBTQ+ rights among other causes. Outside of school and work he enjoys spending time outdoors, music and writing.


Tayondra Williams (she/her)

Philly native Tayondra, also known as Tay, is our building’sservice mechanic. She has been employed  at Penn for ten years and lovesfixing things. Outside of work Tay enjoys spending time with her wife and son.If she’s not at work or with her family, she’s probably somewhere reading abook. Her all time favorite novel is “The Great Gatsby ” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Trent McHenry (he/him)

Trent is a senior in the College from Lenexa, KS. Through the Vagelos Molecular Life Sciences Program, he is planning on majoring in chemistry and biochemistry and submatriculating in chemistry. Outside of lab, he enjoys contributing to the Penn Queer community as treasurer of Queer Students Alliance. He loves watching Netflix, playing with dogs, and hanging out with his friends.

Minnie Jung (she, her, hers):

Minnie is a first-year graduate student at the School of Social Policy and Practice. Her professional passions involve APIA (Asian Pacific Islander American) advocacy, grassroots organizing, and coalition building, but she is also involved in community uplift and children’s accessibility to books/stories/education in West Philadelphia through a local organization, A Book A Day. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes and spending time with her poodle, Micki.

Elle Kirsch (she, her, hers):

Elle is a junior in the College, majoring in Philosophy with a minor in Cognitive Science. She plays flute in the Penn Symphony Orchestra and helps take care of service pups through the club STEP-UP. In her free time she loves to listen to indie music and explore Philly’s coffee shop scene.

Jarek Azim (he, him, his):

Jarek is a sophomore from Harrisburg, PA in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is majoring in International Relations and East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He is also involved with PAACH, Penn AAPI Politics, 7|8, and APALI. During his time as an LGBT Center member, Jarek hopes to unify the LGBTQ+ communities in the Asian/Asian American community through sharing experiences and creating bonds. He hopes to bridge the gaps in his own polarizing identities and is excited to be friends with anyone who might be going through similar situations. In his free time, he likes learning languages, writing, and playing music on his clarinet and/or violin. He also really likes video games. 🙂




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Kandyceis a pre-med sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is currentlydeciding between a major in Biological Basis of Behavior and the delight thatis Creative Writing.  She originallyhails from small town suburbia just outside of Houston, Texas but is thrilledto be in a place that occasionally drops below 50 degrees (seeing snow for thefirst time last year changed her life). Kandyce is a second year member of the Penn dance group Strictly Funkand is excited to be dabbling in her own choreography this year.  In her free time, she enjoys listening tomusic, writing, and visiting local puppy adoption shops