Home » About Us » Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Chris Purcell, Director

Chris Purcell has made a career of supporting LGBTQI students in colleges and universities. 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 extensively with orientation and new student programs. He then served as the Program Coordinator in the Center for LGBT Life at Duke University for three years. He comes to us most recently from Berklee College of Music in Boston where he served as the Associate Director for Student Activities and a steering committee member of the Berklee Faculty/Staff GLBT Allies. Throughout his career he has presented across campuses and at national conferences on topics from LGBTQI inclusion in student organizations, building supportive allies, and LGBTQI inclusion in multicultural student services. 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, taking in concerts and spoken word poetry.

Image of Stephen LovelessStephen Loveless, Program Coordinator

Stephen Loveless earned a M.Ed in College Student Personnel Administration in 2012, and a B.A. in Educational Studies at the University of West Florida. Since 2010, Stephen has worked as the graduate assistant in Student Transition Programs, overseeing living-learning communities for first-year students, running commuter student initiatives, and serving on the executive leadership team for Orientation and Family Programs. Stephen served as president of the Gay-Straight Alliance as an undergraduate, and has been involved in many local and national campaigns for LGBTQI equality.

Petey Peterson photoPetey Peterson, Program Coordinator

Petey Peterson earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education from Iowa State 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 was a NODA intern in the summer of 2011 at Macalester College, working with orientation and first-year students.

megan van der toornMegan Van Der Toorn, Graduate Assistant

Megan van der Toorn earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Furman University in 2011. At Furman, she served as president of the school’s LGBT student organization — increasing student engagement in LGBT issues on campus -as well as being a student representative of both Furman’s LGBT and Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention administrative committees. Megan is currently enrolled in Vanderbilt’s M.Ed of Higher Education Administration program at Peabody College.

Terrie BarrowTerrie Barrow, Administrative Assistant

Terrie Barrow serves as administrative assistant for both LGBTQI Life and the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center. Previously she worked in the Dean of Students Office at Vanderbilt, where she was the receptionist. 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, 15, and Noah,13. 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.

About Us