Erin G. Cross has been named director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cross begins the new role September 13 upon the retirement of Robert Schoenberg, the Center’s inaugural director who spent 35 years serving and supporting Penn’s LGBTQ+ community. Dr. Cross has worked at the LGBT Center since 1998, most recently as the senior associate director.
Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum said that Dr. Cross’ appointment “is the very embodiment of Penn President Amy Gutmann’s core tenets in Penn Compact 2020, as Dr. Cross will, with LGBT Center partners, continue to embrace its world-class mission: ‘To innovate, be radically inclusive and positively impact our local, national and global communities.’”
“I am thrilled to continue my career as director of the LGBT Center, my professional home,” Dr. Cross said. “Advising students, advocating for meaningful change, and building bridges across the Penn community have been, and will continue to be, my highest priorities. The LGBT Center is a welcoming space, a safe space, and an enduring space for all who enter.”
“I look forward to seeing Erin take on more leadership within a Center she helped build,” added Hikaru (Karu) Kozuma, associate vice provost for student affairs. “I am truly excited to work with her and continue the work to support the LGBT community at Penn.”
Dr. Cross also serves as a house fellow in Stouffer College House and a Pre-Major Advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a certified domestic violence/interpersonal violence advocate and an advisor for the Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer.
At Penn, Dr. Cross has taught graduate-level classes on gender and sexuality in the Graduate School of Education. Her academic work includes serving as co-investigator on research projects including the Fels Institute’s Working Group on Policies Affecting LGBTQ Youth and Families and the Provost Office’s Inclusion of LGBTQ Students and Topics in Professional Education. She earned a PhD from Penn’s Graduate School of Education, a master’s in political science from Penn State University, and a bachelor’s in history and political science from the College of Wooster.