The Penn LGBT Center appointed a new director and associate director following a six-month search.
Eric Anglero was named the Center's director and Wesley Alvers was named associate director in a Jan. 24 announcement by Penn University Life. The Center has been without a director since June, when its longtime Director Erin Cross and Associate Director Malik Muhammad departed their positions only weeks apart from one another.
The resignations left Associate Director Jake Muscato as the Center’s only full-time staff member. Muhammad, now Penn’s director for social justice and inclusion initiatives, led the search to fill both jobs, according to the announcement.
“I am deeply honored to serve as the LGBT Center’s next director and look forward to collaborating with our Penn community, providing critical LBGTQ+ resources on campus, and promoting a space for students to be their authentic selves regardless of gender or sexual identity," Anglero wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Anglero comes to Penn from Princeton University, where they served as the associate director of Princeton's Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. They were promoted internally at Princeton, and started their career as the LGBT Center’s program coordinator.
According to Anglero’s LGBT Center biography, they act as an alumni board member at Stockton University, where they received a bachelor's degree in historical studies and a master's degree in American studies. They also sit on the executive board of COLAGE, an organization which describes itself as “the only national org for people with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer parent/caregiver.”
April Callis, director of Princeton’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, called Anglero “a consistent advocate for students” and a “leader in the field” in an email to the DP.
In her email, Callis credited Anglero with the creation of Princeton’s Gender and Sexuality Basic Needs Fund. That fund, according to a Princeton webpage, provides “financial support to students based on needs in regard to their gender or sexuality.”
Associate Vice Provost for University Life Will Atkins told the DP that he was “confident" that Anglero will contribute to the "continued growth and inclusivity of the LGBT Center’s mission.”
Alvers, who received their M.A. in social work at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, worked in Oregon as a counselor at an abortion clinic before coming to Penn. While a student at Penn and the LGBT Center’s social work intern, Alvers helped create a clothing closet at the Center in 2022.
After former LGBT Center Director Erin Cross’s departure, colleagues and administrators pointed to her lasting contributions and valued leadership. She was awarded the “Model of Excellence,” Penn’s highest staff award, four separate times over her 25-year tenure.
Alvers’ predecessor, Malik Muhammad, was a prominent voice in the Penn community, leading the Center’s educational programs and events with actresses Stephanie Hsu and Hunter Schafer and filmmaker Spike Lee.
Penn’s LGBT Center is the second-oldest organization of its kind in the United States, and Campus Pride named Penn one of the “Best of the Best” colleges and universities for LGBTQ students in 2023 — a designation it has achieved for the past several years.
University Life, under which the LGBT Center operates, announced on Wednesday that Anglero and Alvers began their positions effective Jan. 8.