LGBTQ + Resource Center

LGBTQ + Resource Center

Statement by Chancellor Felix V. Matos

"The City University of New York applauds the U.S. Department of Education’s affirmation that the workplace protections extended to gay and transgender people by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County also safeguard students under Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools."


Our Mission

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center is a student-centered campus resource that provides an open, safe and inclusive space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students as well as students whose identities fall in-between or expand beyond these categories.

The Center builds community, awareness, and knowledge; provides leadership development, educational and social programs; and advocates for students, promotes research and offers resources.

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Meet the Staff

Danielle Officer

Danielle M. Officer, Ed.D. (she/her/hers)
Senior Director for Student Affairs & Conduct Officer

Danielle was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She started at John Jay in 2009 as the Director of Accessibility Services. She is now the Senior Director for Student Affairs and Conduct Officer and oversees the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership, and Student Transition Programs. She also works with her colleague Rachel Brown on student conduct matters. Danielle has always had a passion and dedication to working with as she has worked in higher education and the nonprofit sector for over 20 years. Majoring in psychology she earned her Bachelor’s from the University of Rhode Island, Master’s in Public Administration from Bernard Baruch College and is pursuing her Doctorate in Education with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from Saint Peter’s University. She is passionate about helping students feel connected to John Jay. Danielle lives in New Rochelle with her husband and has three kids: Brett, Darien, and Jordan.

Fun Fact: While at URI, in her junior year she received the prestigious A. Robert Rainville Leadership Award for her Outstanding Student Leadership to the Campus Community. No wonder she has a passion for student affairs.

Michelle Garcia

Michelle Garcia, MS (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director, LGBTQ+ Resource Center

Michelle Garcia is the Assistant Director of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University at Albany as well as her Master of Science degree in Higher Education and Policy Studies. Prior to her career at John Jay College, Michelle worked for SOMOS, INC., a nonprofit organization committed to addressing the needs of the Latinx population of New York State. She executed conferences, workshops, galas and summits bi-annually in Puerto Rico and Albany, New York. At John Jay College, Michelle first worked as the Administrative Executive Coordinator to the Vice Presidents of Enrollment Management. She then worked in the Admissions office as a recruiter covering all of New Jersey, Jay Express office assisting students at the front counter, followed by the Women’s Center for Gender Justice as the Interim Deputy Director. Michelle is a fierce advocate of violence-prevention education with a passion for equality and human rights. 

Fun Fact: For four years in a row, Michelle has participated in the 40-mile bike tour in The Bronx.  


Emily Kastner (she/her/hers)
Counselor, Wellness Center 

Emily Kastner is a licensed social worker and a counselor at the Wellness Center. Emily is a New York native and currently resides in Brooklyn. Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Gender Studies from Stony Brook University, and her Master's of Social Work at Fordham Graduate School of Social Services. Prior to coming to John Jay, Emily has had numerous counseling positions, including at NYCWell, Baruch College Counseling Center, and the New York City Employee Assistance Program. In addition to her professional work with the LGBTQ+ community doing HIV/AIDS peer education, support groups, and Pride events, she has also hosted LGTBQ+ events in nerdy fan run meet ups and conventions.

Fun Fact: Emily is certified in Super Hero Therapy, and often uses pop culture references in her work with adults of all ages!


Dr. Lisa Braun (she/her/hers)
LGBTQ+ Counselor, Wellness Center

Lisa is a Clinical Psychologist who began working at John Jay College Wellness Center in November 2021. A Long Island native, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, a master’s degree from City College as well as a Masters and Doctor of Psychology from The Graduate Center at The City University of New York. In addition to providing counseling for the LGBTQ+ community, Dr. Braun hosts weekly lunches and discussion groups in conjunction with the LGBTQ+ Resource Center where students are encouraged to embrace their individuality and explore their expression of gender and sexual orientation. Lisa lives in Manhattan with her partner and many plants which she passionately cultivates and nurtures.

Interesting Fact:  Dr. Braun’s undergraduate writings, doctoral dissertation and published research all involve the psychological development of lesbians and bisexual women.


Student Spotlight

LGBTQ+ Resource Center Spotlight is a way to highlight and showcase students, faculty, staff members and organizations at John Jay College who continuously advocate for the trans and queer community. If you have a nomination for the next spotlight, click here