Thomas Lee named Assistant Director of Intercultural Development for Gender and Sexuality Programs

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Thomas Lee hopes to continue work of his predecessors while growing the program. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Lee)

Colleen McNamara

Thomas Lee wants to focus on the well-being of students above all else. Lee, the new Assistant Director of Intercultural Development for Gender and Sexuality Programs joined Lafayette in July 2021 from Boston University.

“The goal is to make Lafayette the most LGBTQ-friendly campus in the nation and integrate what we do throughout campus,” Lee said.

In his previous position, Lee coordinated five different certificate programs for graduate students, one of which was Gender, Sexuality, Sex and Public Health. Lee also worked alongside student athletes, members of Greek Life and other undergraduates in sexual assault training. 

“I wanted to have a role that was more centrally focused on public health and community building… College is a time to explore gender and sexuality,” Lee said.

Lee emphasized that honesty and trust are crucial to establish for someone in his position. 

“I think it is important that you bring your identity and are transparent about it,” Lee said. He explained that he identifies as a queer person who is also white and cisgender.

“You have to be honest about that…be[ing] the person who is paid for building trust, reaching out and specializing in relationships. It is a top priority for me to build trust and relationships, all of which come from an intersectional and anti-racist perspective,” Lee added.

Lee hopes to carry on the work of those who had previously been in his position.

“I think it is exciting that this role has been around for ten years. So it is important to build off the success of the past years while continuing to grow as an inclusive program,” Lee said.

In order to meet the needs of the entire student body, Lee will rely on previous experience from upperclassmen and new ideas from first-years and sophomores. 

“First off, I plan to conduct a community needs assessment to focus groups of students that had a positive relationship with Grayson, the former Assistant Director of Intercultural Development for Gender and Sexuality at Lafayette College,” Lee said.

Building off the foundation that is already in place, Lee plans to devote the majority of his time to developing programs on campus so that the values of diversity, equity and inclusion are continued onto campus, dorms and in the classroom.

As part of strengthening in-person relationships, students are welcome to visit Lee and other friendly faces in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) in Farinon 124.

“The room was not utilized enough in past years,” Lee said of the GSRC. “We are trying to create a space of fellowship and community, to provide resources and connection. We want this to be a fun room. A space for all students to learn more about gender and sexuality, to come out, to be an ally, whatever the student needs.”

“I am excited to be here and connect with people in a way that is most convenient for them,” Lee said.

Correction 9/3/21: This article previously stated that Thomas Lee joined Lafayette College from Boston College.