Scholars We're Proud of: Pride Month 2022 Edition

June 1, 2022

During Pride Month, we're celebrating our scholars who are breaking new ground in LGBTQ studies.

Pride Listicle Image 2022
Clockwise from upper left: Juan Battle, Max Osborn, Paisley Currah, and Angelique Harris

Graduate Center scholars are forging new paths in LGBTQ studies, from a professor who takes a scholarly look at the classification of trans people to a student who explores the politics of transgender pediatrics. 


Paisley Currah
Paisley Currah (Photo courtesy of Currah)

Professor Paisley Currah (Political Science, Women's and Gender Studies), who recently published Sex Is as Sex Does: Governing Transgender Identity, explains why he thinks the ongoing battles over gender identity and rights aren’t matters of concern only to the transgender community.


Angelique Harris
Angelique Harris (Photo courtesy of Harris)

Angelique Harris (Ph.D. ’07, Sociology) is applying both her personal experience and academic expertise to her new role as the ad interim associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Boston University School of Medicine.


Class of 2022: Max Osborn to Villanova
Max Osborn (Photo courtesy of Osborn)

Max Osborn (Ph.D. ’22, Criminal Justice), who is transgender, plans to continue his research on how LGBTQ individuals are affected by the criminal justice system, an area known broadly as queer criminology, in a tenure-track assistant professor role at Villanova University this fall. 


CUNY Graduate Center · Promoting Pride at CUNY

Jacqueline Brashears and JC Carlson discuss the history and recent expansion of the CUNY LGBTQI+ Consortium, which began at Queens College in 2017 and now includes 14 CUNY campuses across all five boroughs. 

Juan Battle professor photo
Juan Battle

When Presidential Professor Juan Battle (GC/CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies; Sociology, Urban Education, Social Welfare/Urban Studies) learned that a mentor of his, an LGBTQ person of color and an activist, had suddenly died, he started a collaborative oral history project to capture the stories of 150 LGBTQ people of color over the age of 50.


Class of '22 Shay Culpepper
Shay Culpepper (Photo courtesy of Culpepper)

Alumna Shay Culpepper, who recently completed a master’s degree in Data Analysis and Visualization, explains that she is proud of her bisexual identity because “being really honest about who you are makes the people around you more comfortable being honest about who they are.” 


Mikey Elster Student photo
Mikey Elster (Photo courtesy of Elster)

Ph.D. candidate Mikey Elster (Anthropology) was named a 2022 Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellow by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars for their research into the ethics and politics of transgender pediatric medicine


CUNY Graduate Center · Stepping Forward as an LGBTQ Role Model in Tech

Elaine Montilla, assistant vice president of information technology and the chief information officer, was included in the 2021 Outstanding 100 Role Model LGBT+ Executives list sponsored by Yahoo Finance, showcasing leaders who are breaking down barriers and creating more inclusive workplaces.


Claudia M. Astorino
Claudia M. Astorino (Photo courtesy of Astorino)

Ph.D. candidate Claudia M. Astorino (Anthropology) is a leader in the intersex rights movement, along with LGBTQIA+ rights in general, especially in STEM fields. She’s starting a postdoc at UC Berkley where she’ll continue her research into variations in the human skull that are due to differences in sex. 


Lo Ferguson (Photo courtesy of Ferguson)
Lo Ferguson (Photo courtesy of Ferguson)

Lo Ferguson (M.A. 20, Women’s and Gender Studies), whose research focuses on transgender college students, wants to work "on things like access to health care and housing for the LGBTQ community, and at a level that will enact more systematic change" as a Toll Public Interest Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School.


Anne Valk
Anne Valk (Photo courtesy of Valk) 

Professor Anne Valk (History), executive director of the American Social History Project and the Center for Media and Learning, was awarded $190,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to launch LGBTQ+ Histories of the United States, a two-week summer institute for about two dozen middle and high school teachers, to take place at the Graduate Center this summer. 


Headshot: matt Brim
Matt Brim (Photo courtesy of Brim) 

Professor Matt Brim’s award-winning book, Poor Queer Studies, describes how the field has been molded by wealthy, elitist institutions, leaving out students from working-class backgrounds and creating a set of ideas that is often irrelevant to them.