The Committee

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BatsonCharles Batson is Professor of French and Francophone Studies and teaches a wide variety of classes, often including texts that have queer flavors in the interesting discussions that always happen when students get really involved.  His published research has explored queer themes, from the performances in Paris’s dance theaters of the early part of the 20th century to the queer productions of a contemporary Québec, including its circus.  He has also put in appearances in Union’s own Drag Balls.


Personal Webpage:




BenitezAs the Director of Multicultural Affairs, Jason works closely with the Chief Diversity Officer, as well as students, faculty, administrators and staff to advance Union’s goal of “actively cultivating and appreciating diversity in all its forms”. Jason does this by engaging the college and surrounding community in a number of innovative programs and initiatives which seek to develop cultural competency, religious fluency, and global awareness. He is also one of four Title IX Deputies for the college.

Joining the Union College family in the fall of 2011, Jason holds a B.A. in Sociology, and a M.S. and C.A.S. in Educational Administration; all from the University at Albany. Before coming to Union, Jason worked at the University at Albany and Schenectady County Community College in Opportunity Programs and Multicultural Affairs.





amanda-bingelAmanda Bingel is the Director of Residential Life.  She oversees the five professional residence directors and staff of RAs.  She joined the Union community in 2013, and has a career history of working in residential life and housing.Amanda is active in local and national housing organizations and has helped start and maintain the Next Step Social Justice Retreat at Union.  Outside her professional interests, Amanda enjoys outdoor activities like cycling, hiking and kayaking.




HathawayGretchel Hathaway, Ph.D. currently serves as the Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Union College, NY. Reporting to the President, Dr. Hathaway is responsible for leading the college’s strategic plan diversity initiatives with the board of trustees, faculty and administrators. In addition, she supervises the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Religous and Spiritual Life Office. Dr. Hathaway’s responsibilities includes the implementation of college policy related to illegal harassment; develop procedures for grievance and mediation settlements and serves on the review board of all tenure and promotion cases of faculty. Dr. Hathaway received her Bachelors in psychology from Manhattanville College, NY, her Masters degree in psychology from Yeshiva University, NY, and her Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Hathaway has presented diversity, multicultural and Title IX workshops, lectures and programs for organizations such as NADOHE (National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education), and at higher education institutions including Swarthmore, Colgate, Manhattanville, Skidmore, University of Pittsburgh, and Union College. Dr. Hathaway teaches in the Sociology Department at Union College, NY and her research interest includes diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education, child physical and sexual abuse, teenage abuse, marital rape and spousal abuse.





Tommaso Gazzarri is Assistant Professor of Classics and came to Union in 2014. He received his Italian laurea from the Università di Pisa (Italy), an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and his M.A, M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University. In 2010 he published an introduction, translation, and commentary of Seneca’s De Brevitate Vitae. He has recently completed a new edition of Plautus’ late comedies. He is currently working on a book-length project on the theory and practice of metaphors in Seneca’s prose. His course offerings include, Roman law, a history of ancient sexuality and gender, and engineering in the ancient world. His research interests focus on Roman Stoicism, ancient science and silver Latin literature. He participates in The Drag Ball as the very respected (and feared) judge Lady Georgiana Cornelius Cavendish






UC_Library_10_Gail_6270Gail Golderman is the Digital Scholarship and Services Librarian where she develops and maintains the Schaffer Library web site and coordinates library digital project development, including collaborations with faculty.
Starting at Union in 1992, Gail has presented at local and national conferences, consulted on online content development for EBSCO Publishing and Salem Press, and is a contributing co-editor for Library Journal publication. She is actively interested in online social networking, integrating technology with the learning process, and collaborative endeavors between teaching faculty, IT staff, and librarians.






Dr. Melissa Kelley is Union College’s first full time Title IX Coordinator. Melissa provides education and support to all members of the Union College community. She coordinates efforts across campus to promote awareness related to sexual misconduct topics such as: harassment, discrimination, and assault as well as topics related to gender equity, inclusion, and access across campus. She oversees the coordination of efforts to adjudicate complaints of misconduct and provides support and guidance to all involved.

Melissa joined Union in 2015 after earning her doctorate in Human Development at the University of Rochester. Melissa has a Master’s degree in Human Service Administration from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science/Community Health Education from SUNY Cortland. Melissa, a capital district native, relocated back to the area from Rochester, NY with her family in 2015. Before arriving at Union, Melissa spent 6 years at the University of Rochester and has over 16 years of experience in the human sexuality/education field.






Annie Leamon is a transgender senior majoring in biology with minors in psychology and chemistry. In addition to the Committee on LGBTQ+ Affairs, she is a captain and crew chief for the on campus EMS program. She also does research with the chemistry department.





Jason Turner is quick to smile and always on the lookout for improving the Union College community. He is currently the treasurer for Union Pride (Union’s LGBTQIA+ Club), President of the Union College Chapter Society of Physics Students, and Secretary for Virtual Union. He is also a member of the Schenectady Pride Walk Committee, which has been held at Union the last few years. It has been his pleasure to work alongside fellow student activists, faculty, and administrators alike.

Gender Identity: Genderqueer (He/Him)
Sexual Orientation: Pansexual




Jessica Gilbert is a senior Biology major with a Japanese language minor. Joining her Gay-Straight Alliance in high school, she has moved on to be a member of Union Pride for her four years here, filling the positions of secretary and Co-President along the way. She also helped create the Queer monologues her sophomore year, and has been a trained ally for just as long. In addition to Union Pride, Jess is a member of Wold Council, and dances with Bhangra Union. She also relieves some stress with the Taiko ensemble here on campus. Jess has completed her ecology-based research and is well on her way to writing her thesis. When she finally has some free time, she’s likely playing videogames, reading, or taking a well-deserved nap.




Sam is a current sophomore at Union, pursuing a double major in Psychology and Spanish & Hispanic Studies, with a strong queer focus within these fields. As the current co-president of Union Pride, he works to create a strong sense of community among the LGBTQ students, as well as advocate for a better campus community. In the future, he hopes to pursue a career in LGBTQ social work, and continue to volunteer his time with local youth. One of his favorite moments on campus thus far has been the Next Step Social Justice Retreat, which he looks forward to doing again. On campus, he is the Captain of the Equestrian Team, a tour guide, a supplemental instructor, and a part of Women’s Union, Spanish Language Club, and Union College Activists. You can catch Sam (when he has free time) thrift shopping, running, or watching BuzzFeed videos.

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