Facilitator Bios

The Safe Zone Training Program is made possible through the extraordinary efforts of our volunteer facilitators. Facilitators are responsible for presenting our trainings to participants and for generating the meaninful dialogue that Safe Zone is known for. Our facilitators come from every area of campus.  They strive both personally and professionally to create an environment ripe for inclusion and ally development through their involvement with social justice education programs on campus and in our local Tucson community.

AJ Born

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Co-Director, Pride Alliance

I am a fifth year senior majoring in public health with a minor in chemistry. I use xe/xem/xrys/xyrself pronouns and am excited to be a director after two years as a Pride Alliance intern. I am very passionate about asexual awareness, transgender issues, and health and wellness within the LGBTQA+ community, particularly mental health. My favorite things include superheroes, baking, pineapple pizza, and Tegan and Sara. I am committed to making the UA a safe and welcoming place for all LGBTQA+ individuals! You can contact me at aborn@email.arizona.edu

Andrew Campbell

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Assistant Director for Residential Education, Residence Life

I’ve been facilitating since fall 2010. I became a facilitator because I firmly believe in the Safe Zone program and how important the visibility of those Safe Zone placards are to LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff. What I love most about facilitating is being able to have those great conversations around heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia and the action that can be taken to combat those things.

Melanie Fleck, MPH

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Outreach Specialist, Campus Health Service- Health Promotion and Preventive Services Office

I work on a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant aimed at reducing suicide among students on the University of Arizona campus and have been a Safe Zone facilitator since March 2012. I am passionate about promoting health, wellness and inclusivity on college campuses, and Safe Zone is an important way to spread those valuable messages across campus. My favorite part of being a facilitator is meeting new people and watching participants grow during the training!

Jessie K Finch

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PhD Candidate, School of Sociology

I began the process of becoming a SafeZone facilitator immediately after completing the General Education Workshop in 2012 because I was so moved and excited by the way SafeZone Trainings offer a space for open and honest dialogue about privilege and oppression as related to LGBTQ issues. Attendees range from people who know very little about these topics to those who have undergone them personally. Everyone who attends a SafeZone workshop can learn, grow, and do their part in improving the campus climate. 

Liz Kelley

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Coordinator, International Admissions

Hi, my name is Liz and I have been a Safe Zone facilitator since fall 2012 when I worked for LGBTQ Affairs as a Graduate Assistant. I am drawn to social justice advocacy work and grassroots efforts having volunteered for several political campaigns championing rights for Maine’s LGBTQ community. I remain involved with Safe Zone because I believe that equality for the LGBTQ community will only be achieved through education. The best part about facilitating Safe Zone trainings are the “ah-ha!” moments- not just those shared by participants, but mine too! I am grateful for the countless opportunities to learn and grow through my involvement with this program.

Jacqueline Larriva

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Career Development Coordinator, Family Studies and Human Development

My name is Jacqueline and I am drawn to advocacy and education because of my own lived experience. At the age of fourteen I began my coming out process; first I came out to friends at school and then to my family. All went smoothly, but I was fortunate to be supported and accepted by all those around me. I knew that not all experienced the same kind of affirmation. As a young person I co-founded the first GSA in Arizona, the Pink Triangle Alliance (PTA) at Tucson High. As a social scientist my research foci is transgender people and their sexual and romantic relationship.  Given my personal experience and my research background, I sought out becoming a Safe Zone facilitator. As a facilitator, I am able to reach out to others, raise awareness, and give back to my community.  There are so many things that I get back from being a facilitator, but I think the thing I love most is learning from others in the room.  Having discussions and hearing other people’s stories are one of the things I enjoy the most.

Hannah Lozon

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Coordinator of Social Justice Education, Residence Life

Hello, my name is Hannah Lozon and I have been a Safe Zone facilitator for 4 years. I love serving as a Safe Zone facilitator. As a heterosexual, cisgendered person educating others about heterosexism and cisgenderism is one way I can make a difference as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. In Residence Life we have over 500 professional and student staff who work with the students living in our halls, so it’s important that as many of us as possible are Safe Zone trained. We want to make sure all our students feel safe, valued, and affirmed in their home, and LGBTQ+ competency is a huge part of creating an inclusive environment. I’m excited that a number of my Res Life colleagues are Safe Zone trainers too!  What I love most about facilitating Safe Zone is helping other students, staff, and faculty increase their knowledge on LGBTQ identity and how to be an effective ally. At the same time, every time I facilitate Safe Zone, I learn something new. The dialogue we have with participants is such an integral part of the training – when we are able to create spaces for people to share their authentic selves in the training, I know we’re on the right track.

Justin Lukasewicz

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Community Director Senior, Residence Life

I have been facilitating Safe Zone for over 5 years, and love how each section of the facilitation is different based on the people in attendance. I became a Safe Zone facilitator so I can work to end the systems of oppression around identity based issues, and to help create a more inclusive and understanding campus community. What I love most about facilitating is talking with people about social justice topics, and helping them to learn new things about the LGBTQ community.

John Nguyen

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Family Medicine Resident Physician, Department of Family and Community Medicine

I’m John, a native Seattleite that moved to Tucson to complete my medical residency training at the University of Arizona. I’ve just started becoming a Safe Zone Facilitator in Spring 2014. I have a particular interest in health and health care for the underserved, including the LGBTQ community. In particular, I’ve participated with Safe Zone training for medicals students and for faculty and staff within the school of medicine.

Juan Pereyra

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Graduate Assistant Intern Supervisor, Office of LGBTQ Affairs

My name is Juan and I am a 1st year Master's student in the Higher Education Administration program. I became a facilitator in August 2012 to be a good role model to the students I supervise in student run Pride Alliance, and also to gain better knowledge and a more well-rounded understanding of the community I work so closely with. In addition, becoming a Safe Zone facilitator allows me to create a visible message for others on campus that I am a resource to LGBTQ students, faculty, staff, and their allies. What I love most about facilitating is the opportunity to get to know people on a deeper level through tough but necessary conversations. It's always amazing to listen to the topics that get brought up during Safe Zone trainings because it's an environment that fosters the type of dialogue necessary for personal growth.

Lauren Pring

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Evaluation Specialist, Campus Health

I have been a Safe Zone facilitator at the University of Arizona since the fall of 2010. I work at Campus Health Service in the Health Promotion and Preventive Services division where I'm involved in several projects that work to improve campus climate and wellness for LGBTQ students at the University of Arizona and statewide. I also facilitate trainings of trainers using University of Arizona's Safe Zone curriculum at community colleges throughout the state. My favorite aspect of facilitating Safe Zone is working with a wide array of people and hearing stories, experiences, and thoughts from participants that enrich the whole group experience.

Chris Sogge

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Graduate Assistant, Office of LGBTQ Affairs

I am entering my second year into our amazing Higher Education program, and plan to be part of the social activism happening around queer issues at higher education institutions. I have been a Safe Zone facilitator since August 2012, and originally became involved with the program through Pride Alliance, first as an intern and then as one of the directors. I've also had the good fortune to coordinate the program as the Ally Development GA from 2014-15. My favorite parts about facilitating are the fantastic discourses that arise during the trainings, and the ability to touch so many people's lives from such discussions. The lightbulb moment as people understand why this knowledge matters and the frameworks we use to talk about LGBTQ issues is incredible. My personal queer interests are combating femmephobia in the queer community, especially among gay men, and the appropriation of Black culture by queer individuals.

Diana Wilson

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Senior Academic Advisor, Dept of Biomedical Engineering

My passion for educating others about issues around LGBTQ acceptance and equality dates back to my time as a counselor for Anytown.  I really enjoy helping others expand their thinking around new ideas with a nonthreatening approach.  I founded Camp Born This Way here in southern Arizona in 2012, which is a long weekend camp for gender creative and transgender children ages 5-12, and their families, completely funded by grants and fundraising.  I'm a mom to two great kids, one of whom is a gender creative boy who loves all things beautiful and sparkly.  I want to help create a world where a camp like this isn't needed, but there is much work to be done.  I co-facilitate a local support group for families with gender creative/trans kids and have done several trainings around town for preschools and elementary schools who want to learn how to support their children who may express themselves differently than the gender binary. All LGBTQ youth, and adults, deserve to live a life free from judgement, bullying and fear.I look forward to working more with the UA SafeZone community around these issues as well.

C. Michael Woodward, MPH

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Alumnus, Master of Public Health Policy and Management, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, 2014
 
Hey, Wildcats!  I really enjoy helping people understand sexual orientation and gender identity (everybody has one!) and how that understanding changes hearts and minds--and in turn saves lives.
 
I've worked in LGBTQ advocacy for more than a decade. I served as Graduate Assistant for Ally Development in the Office of LGBTQ Affairs in 2013-14. Prior to that, I was Mayor Robert Walkup's appointee to the City of Tucson Commission on GLBT Issues for five years, and I am a charter member of The University of Arizona LGBT Community Advisory Council. I currently serve on the Boards of Directors of Equality Arizona and the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance. In 2013, I received the Skip Schrader "Spirit of Activism" Award from Equality Arizona.
 
I'm also a writer; my work has been featured in books, magazines, blogs, and other media. I contributed the title essay to the anthology Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family and Themselves (Transgress Press, 2014).
 
By night, I perform as the lead vocalist in the classic rock cover bands Too Much Information and Black Magic: A Tribute to Carlos Santana, and I'm a cast member of the musical comedy troupe Musical Mayhem Cabaret.

Cazandra Zaragoza

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Program Coordinator, Senior in Student Affairs at the College of Medicine

I have been a facilitator since the reinvigoration of the Safe Zone training program in 2010. I am deeply committed to the education of future healthcare professionals on LGBT health issues.  I became a Safe Zone facilitator after attending the Ally Development workshop because I felt the need to proceed along the ally continuum and bring others with me. I humbly hope to help fulfill a huge need and in the process continue to learn and grow.

Jeremy Zilmer

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Coordinator, Fraternity & Sorority Programs

My name is Jeremy Zilmer and I have worked professionally in the areas of Greek Life, Student Conduct, and Residence Life. I have been a Safe Zone facilitator at the University of Arizona since fall 2011 and have been through variations of Safe Zone at four different campuses. I originally got involved with Safe Zone because inclusion and equality should be expected rather than something we have to ask for. As an individual who has mostly dominant group identities, I understand that I have a responsibility to utilize my unearned privileges to educate and to help shine a light on issues of inequality.