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Meet Our Staff

Chris Purcell, Director

Chris Purcell has worked for LGBTQI equity in higher education throughout his career. After graduating from Western New England University with a degree in political science, he went on to get his M.Ed. in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont. At Vermont, Chris served as the graduate assistant for LGBTQA Services and worked with orientation and new student programs. He then served as the program coordinator in the Center for LGBT Life at Duke University and most recently as the associate director of student activities at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in higher education policy and leadership at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. Outside of work, Chris enjoys playing tennis, watching basketball, volunteering for political campaigns, as well as taking in concerts and spoken word poetry.

Petey Peterson, Program Coordinator
Petey’s last day at Vanderbilt is June 24, 2015

Petey Peterson earned their M.Ed. in Higher Education & Student Affairs from Iowa State University in 2012, and a B.S. in Child, Adult, and Family Services & Communication Studies from Iowa State as well. For two years, Petey served as conference co-chair to the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference (attracting over 1700 students from 22 states). During this time Petey also advised the Iowa State LGBT and Ally Alliance and was a Graduate Assistant and Equity and Social Justice Educator at the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center. Petey is a member of ACPA and currently serves on the Standing Committee for LGBT Awareness as the Equity Officer. They are also a member of the Consortium of Higher Education currently serving as the South/Southeast Regional Representative. Petey has been a program coordinator with LGBTQI Life since July of 2012. Outside of work they enjoy spending time with their two dogs, golfing, kayaking, and playing rec league softball and kickball.

Francesca Walker, Graduate Assistant

Francesca cultivated a passion for studying the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and socio-economic class while earning her B.A. in English and American Literature at New York University. During her tenure at NYU, she worked at the LGBTQ Student Center, where she co-implemented programming that highlighted the experiences of queer people of color. In addition, Francesca served as the coordinator for a peer education group that focused on LGBTQ education, outreach and advocacy on NYU’s campus. She was a member of the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program for two years while serving as co-chairs for NYU’s MLK Week Student Engagement Committee and Women’s HERstory Month. Francesca is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

Sara Green, Graduate Student Staff

Sara Green has immersed herself in the Vanderbilt and Nashville social justice community since she began her graduate degree in community development in 2013. Using theology, community development and social justice principles and practices, she places holistic wellness and self-care in LGBTQI and People of Color (POC) communities at the center of her research and community work. She received her B.A. from Bennington College where she studied dance and was heavily involved in student life and academic affairs as the Chair of the Student Educational Policies Committee. Sara is currently pursing her M.Ed in Community Development at Peabody College and M.Div at the Divinity School.

Terrie Barrow, Administrative Assistant

Terrie Barrow serves as administrative assistant for LGBTQI Life, the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, and the Project Safe Center. She has had many fascinating careers, including professional ballroom dance teacher, process technician at a chemical plant, and a professional baker and cook. Terrie is most proud of being a stay-at-home mom for ten years to her two sons, Ethan and Noah. She is also an active member and volunteer for Gilda’s Club Nashville. Terrie enjoys being at home with her husband Richard, kids, cats, and chickens; she and her family are interested in urban farming and living sustainably.

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