LGBTQ+ Center Action Team (LSAC)

Spring 2021 LGBTQ+ Center Staff/Faculty/Student/Community Action Team (LSAC) Members


Headshot of Lawrence Carter

Lawrence Carter

  • Lawrence (he/him/his) has been a part of the KSU Community since 2013.  He brings 35 years of hospitality industry experience to his position with the KSU Foundation as their Asset Manager for the KSU Hotel & Conference Center.  While serving as a member of LSAC , he has also enjoyed supporting the Rainbow Run, Lavgrad and other LGBTQ+ Center initiatives and events.  Lawrence is also a member of the KSU Hospitality Advisory Board serving the program from which he earned his Master's degree in 2019.  In his spare time he enjoys proudly owning a gay small business (pet retail) with his husband, working with pet rescues toward adoptions, and volunteering for LGBTQ+ community events such as Pride and The Gay Games. 
Headshot of Cristin Compton

Cristin A. Compton

  • Cristin A. Compton (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies at Kent State. Her academic research explores how people communicatively organize around identities in various contexts. In her free time, she enjoys biking and hiking across northeast Ohio, listening to podcasts, attempting home improvement projects, and all things sci-fi/fantasy. 
Headshot of Kristan Dolan

Kristan Dolan

  • Kristan Dolan (she/her/hers) serves as the Assistant Director, Marketing for the Division of Student Affairs. She is in charge of all division level marketing and communication efforts and works closely with University Communications and Marketing, along with other marketing units at the university, to advance division level objectives. Kristan has been at Kent State since 2011 working at times with Kent State Athletics and the Center for Student Involvement. She is an eternally optimistic, die-hard Cleveland sports fan and mom of two boys, Rocco and Dominic. She completed her undergraduate degree in Sports Management from Campbell University in North Carolina.  
Headshot of Serena Gestring

Serena Gestring

  • Serena Gestring (she/her/hers) is a senior high school student at Bio-Med Science Academy and an intern at the Kent State LGBTQ+ Center. Through this internship she has learned a lot more about the LGBTQ+ community and has met many new and interesting people. Once she graduates, Serena will attend Kent State and major in Emerging Media and Technology to pursue a career in web development. In her free time, Serena enjoys spending time with her pit bull (Deimos) and her family, reading all kinds of books, doing jigsaw puzzles, watching movies/tv with her sister, and going on walks.
Headshot of Linda Hoeptner-Poling

Linda Hoeptner-Poling

  • Linda Hoeptner-Poling, PhD, (she/her/hers) Associate Professor of Art Education at Kent State University, is past president of the NAEA Women’s Caucus, past president of the Society for Educating Women, Distinguished Fellow for the Ohio Art Education Association, a HERS Institute Alum class of 2018, a Brain Health Research Institute member at Kent State University, the 2018 Ohio Art Education Association Ohio Art Teacher of the Year Awardee, and the 2021 NAEA Women’s Caucus Maryl Fletcher De Jong Awardee. She also holds a certificate in Gerontology and has been a reviewer for various art education journals. Her research threads include feminist activism, narrative inquiry, the symbiotic relationship of motherhood and academia, inclusion, and art education for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 
Headshot of John Hummell

John Hummell

  • John (he/him/his) is the Assistant Director for the Office of Safety & Security within the Department of Residence Services here at Kent State University, and is originally from Canton, Ohio. He has worked with Residence Services since 2012. John regularly collaborates with the LGBTQ+ Center. He was the recipient of the LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Award in 2019, and is proud to be a member of LSAC!
Headshot of Tricia Knoles

Tricia Knoles

  • Tricia Knoles (she/her/hers) has been a police officer with Kent State University for just over 15 years.  She has an amazing family with a husband, five daughters, and a 150lb. German Shepherd. 
Headshot of AJ Leu

AJ Leu

  • AJ Leu (they/them/their) is the Diversity and Career Development Director in the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. Leu is a Kent State alumna who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2012, a Master’s in Education in Higher Education and Student Personnel in 2014, a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching in 2015, and a Graduate Certificate in Institutional Research and Assessment in 2016. Leu has a demonstrated passion and commitment for various topics related to diversity and inclusion, including identity development, competency and best practice trainings, and student success and retention initiatives.
Headshot of Katie Mattise

Katie Mattise

  • Katie (they/them/their) serves as a director in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. They work with others to create, provide and facilitate opportunities for people to engage in meaningful conversation around various social justice topics. Outside of their position, Katie enjoys playing video games, reading books and spending time outside. They love connecting with people, so please reach out to say hi!
Headshot of Mahli Xuan Mechenbier

Mahli Xuan Mechenbier

  • Mahli Xuan Mechenbier (she/her/hers) is a Senior Lecturer in English at Kent State University: Twinsburg Academic Center where she teaches Technical Writing, Professional Writing, Introduction to LGBT Literature, and College Writing I & II.  Mahli was adopted from South Vietnam by German-American parents after a Catholic missionary nun found her next to a road outside of Saigon.  She has three cats: Freyja, Hyperion, and Tyr. 
Headshot of Angela Molina

Angela Molina

  • Angela (she/her/hers) is a second-year graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program at Kent State University and is originally from Brimfield, Ohio. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Fusion Magazine and the president of PRIDE! Kent. She is also a student worker with Arts & Sciences Online Learning and a graduate intern for Queer Britain. In her spare time, she enjoys talking to friends on Zoom, going for long walks, and cooking delicious food. She is thrilled to be involved with LSAC and is looking forward to graduation in August!
Headshot of Julie Paskiet

Julie Paskiet

  • Julie Paskiet (she/her/hers) is a Senior Career Advisor in Career Exploration and Development at Kent State University. She specializes in working with students seeking careers in K-12 education and members of the LGBTQ+ population. Julie is the coordinator of the Professionals with Pride career fair at KSU and seeks to connect students and alumni with inclusive and affirming employers for meaningful careers. She enjoys being outdoors, gardening, hiking, camping and spending time with her three dogs.
Headshot of Cassandra Pegg-Kirby

Cassandra Pegg-Kirby

  • Cassie (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of the Women's Center. She has worked at Kent State for 20 years in a variety of capacities including advising, admissions and the KSU PD. She has a M.Ed in Higher Education from Kent State and is currently working on her Masters in Public Health. She is originally from Erie, PA but currently lives in Kent with her husband, 4 boys, 2 dogs and a cat. She enjoys gardening, yoga and loves finding new ways for creative expression. 
Headshot of Erica Pelz

Erica Pelz

  • Erica (she/her/hers) is the Facilities Mechanical Systems Specialist for Laboratories on the Kent Campus, and has 18 years with Kent State University.  She is the advisor to both Trans*fusion and oSTEM@KSU as well as serving as Vice President of Spectrum, the LGBTQ+ and ally employee resource group.  Erica was one of the driving forces in securing transgender inclusive health insurance for faculty and staff.   In her spare time she enjoys writing for her blog, building crazy holiday lights, and spending time with her wife and three cats.
Headshot of Emily Ribnik

Emily Ribnik, LPCC-S

  • Emily Ribnik, LPCC-S (she/her/hers) is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in Counseling Services at the Kent State University at Stark campus.  She has been at the Stark campus for almost 10 years and previously worked at the Kent campus in Residence Services for 7 years.  She is one of the Ally Safe Space trainers.  Outside of her work as a counselor, she is completing her Ph.D. at Kent State University.  Emily enjoys relaxing with crochet and TV show marathons (there's always a good reason to watch Parks and Rec again!), spending time with her family, playing with her cats, and reading.
Headshot of Julie Vandegrift

Julie Vandegrift

  • Julie (she/her/hers) is the Associate Director of Data Intelligence & Technology in the Division of Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement and has been with Kent State University since 2014.  She is an alumna who graduated with her BIS in 2018 and is currently pursuing her Masters in Higher Ed Administration.  She has served in leadership on various committees on campus with a concentration on those that pertain to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids and their dogs.  She enjoys hiking, reading and enjoying the outdoors in Northeast Ohio.
Headshot of Morgan Woodin

Morgan Woodin

  • Morgan (he/him/his) is an Admissions Counselor at the Ashtabula campus. He’s always had a passion for working with the LGBTQ+ community, and enjoys volunteering with the QYou youth initiative at the LGBT Community Center for Greater Cleveland and being as involved as possible with the LGBTQ+ Center at Kent State! Morgan has always been a sucker for a good pun, quality pizza, and the serenity of a Lake Erie sunset in the summer.
Headshot of Steve Young

Steve Young

  • Steve (he/him/his) is working toward his Ph.D. in the Higher Education Administration program an Kent State and works in the Division on Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement as an Associate Director of Advancement. He is extremely excited to be able to support the LGTBQ+ Center and looks forward to learning and growing from the experience.