Greg Lewis, CLAS ’15
Greg Lewis is a fourth-year student and Echols Scholar double majoring in Media Studies and Women, Gender & Sexuality. During the Spring 2014 semester, he worked to re-establish the previously defunct Queer & Allied Activism (QuAA), bringing a focus on social justice back to the University’s queer community. Greg helped plan QuAA’s Queering Spaces project, a visual campaign and open discussion which called out places at UVA that are unsafe for queer students and students of color. QuAA also partnered with the Middle Eastern Leadership Council (MELC) to organize a joint event called “Being Middle Eastern Has No Sexuality,” which brought together the vibrant Middle Eastern and queer communities for the first time in both organizations’ history. Under the mentorship of Professor Andre Cavalcante, Greg is currently researching gender-nonconforming, queer hip-hop performers, specifically focusing on New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia. Greg served as the LGBTQ Center’s Marketing and Community Outreach intern for the 2013-2014 academic year, developing a unified visual brand and increasing the Center’s reach across the University. He helped plan and curate Reel Colors, a new queer film series hosted at the Center. At UVA, Greg is a Senior Resident in UVA’s Housing & Residence Life program and the 2014 recipient of the program’s DeSantis Family Scholarship. He has worked for an array of nonprofit organizations, including The Cavalier Daily, American Documentary | POV, the Century Foundation, and the Times Square Alliance. He has been recognized by the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, the Virginia Press Association, and the Institute for Practical Ethics. Greg hopes to pursue a career that combines his deep interest in queer theory, cultural studies, investigative journalism, and radical politics to further causes of social and economic justice.
Wo Chan is a very recent graduate of UVA who now lives in Brooklyn, New York, pursuing passions in poetry, drag, and LGBT community enrichment. While a student at UVA, Wo was involved in a number of student groups, including serving as vice-President of the Queer Student Union, directing Live Homosexual Acts with Queer and Allied Activism, and helping form the very (un)official drag queen sisterhood known as the Proud University Sisters for Service. Beyond the University, Wo made himself known in Charlottesville and the surrounding area as well, making a strong effort to network with other LGBT groups like Charlottesville Pride, PFLAG, and Madison Equality. After a member of the LGBT community was assaulted on Grounds last November, Wo and many other leaders of the queer community led a Rally Against Hate Crimes that united many segments of the queer community under the same Rotunda, both literally and figuratively. As a drag queen, Wo has found himself representing the community in another totally unexpected way, performing at the first Charlottesvile Pride Festival and many other benefit shows including acts for Charlottesville’s AIDS Services Group and Lynchburg’s Pride Night. Academically, Wo’s poetry is very queer-centric, often exploring themes of performitivity, closetedness, the personal, complex intersectionality of biculturalism, gayness, and gender expression. Wo intends to pursue an MFA in Poetry in the following year, and hopes to add to the grand historic queerness of the American poetic cannon.
Katherine Mayfield ’12
Katie Mayfield is a fourth year studying fiction-writing and theatre. She’s been involved in a variety of LGBT organizations and causes since her first year, and is currently one of two presidents of the Queer Student Union. Since arriving at UVa, Katie has organized educational meetings, protests, counter-protests, vigils, queer monologue shows, and Oscar Wilde plays infused with drag queens. Otherwise, Katie volunteers with VISAS an an ESL assistant to employees in the UVa hospital system, co-coordinates The Undergraduate Reading Series, works with elementary, middle, and high school students to help them develop their creative writing skills, and delights in conducting games of bingo for the residents of a local hospice. After she graduates, Katie hopes to write professionally and work to improve the lives of LGBT refugees, homeless youth, and veterans.
Marcus Hall ’11
Marcus Hall is a 4th year in the College of Arts and Science, majoring in Spanish and Anthropology. He studied abroad twice, in Spain and Argentina. He co-coordinated two discussions/presentations at UVA relating to Africa-American queer identity and race as well as transgender issues. He has been a Peer Advisor and writer for the Office of African American Affairs. He worked in fundraising for the University, through the Phon-a-thon for two years. Currently he is working as a research assistant in the Curry School of Education under the Youth-Nex (UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development). Outside of academics he enjoy athletic activities like rowing and dance, plus experiencing the world through international foods. He wants to work in Youth Development in the future, particularly in the area of literacy enhancement for low-income minority students. He has enjoy his experience at UVA and continues to learn, grow, and persevere.