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Meet Our Board of Directors

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Ryan Hurst

President (he/him)

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. Political Science and Interdisciplinary Social Science, 2009, Florida State University

Current Profession: Senior Major Gifts and Events Officer, National LGBTQ+ Task Force

Ryan Hurst is the Executive Director of Forward Florida Action, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build the power of everyday Floridians through voter registration and engagement. Before, Ryan was a Major Gifts Development Officer with the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University. 

 

Ryan has worked in progressive politics for over a decade in the nonprofit sector. He began organizing as a student at FSU where he worked to register voters and advocate for LGBTQ marriage equality and other issues. 

Ryan is a graduate of the Florida State University. He’s an alumnus of People For the American Way Foundation’s Front Line Leaders Academy and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute’s Candidate and Campaign Training. 

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Donald Post

President Emeritus (he/him)

Location: Asheville, NC

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. Psychology, 2007, Florida State University

Current Profession: 

My volunteer life started while living in Tampa. I was approached by Max Oligario and asked to join the local Tampa-Bay Seminole Club. I loved my time serving the club creating scholarships for deserving FSU students. A career change brought my partner and I back to our hometown of Orlando, and I reached out to serve on the Board of Directors for the Seminole Club of Greater Orlando. The club then elected me to serve as President-Elect in 2016. I had the honor and responsibility of carrying out the legacy of every Orlando Seminole that served before me. 

 

With incredible dedication, hard work and personal sacrifice of the club’s Board of Directors - and volunteers! - we increased undergraduate scholarships, grew our endowment fund, offered more community volunteer activities, and enhanced our Game Watching Party experiences.

 

After serving as President in Orlando for the last three years, I was offered the opportunity to become the Founding President for the national FSU Pride Alumni Network. I am humbled by the monumental importance of this opportunity. I know FSU - my former professors, advisors, deans and fellow students - have prepared me to serve you: our community. 

This alumni network is very near to my heart. My time at FSU gave me a sense of family, diversity, and inclusion; equally my FSU family gave me the courage to accept and love myself as a gay man. Together, we will pioneer a Pride Alumni Network that helps keep the family, diversity, and inclusion a main staple at Florida State for years to come! Be You, Be Prideful, Be FSU.

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Kimberly Lockett

Vice President (she/her)

Location: Asheville, NC

Major & Graduation Year: Psychology, Biological Sciences (BSc), 2009, Florida State University; Registered Nurse (ADN), 2013, Houston Community College; Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), 2019, University of South Florida

Current Profession: Clinical Nurse Educator 

Kimberly “Kim'' Lockett is a clinical nurse educator for a national nurse residency program serving one of the largest healthcare providers in the US (HealthTrust Workforce Solutions / HCA Healthcare). She travels frequently to work primarily with new graduate nurses. She graduated from FSU in 2009, with dual degrees in psychology and biological sciences (BSc). She is double national board-certified as a Critical Care Registered Nurse and a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator. Kim is passionate about advancing the conversation and agenda surrounding healthcare access and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community. She identifies as an ally.

 

Kimberly initially started her career in public health and legislative affairs in Tallahassee, later opting to attend nursing school as a post-baccalaureate in Houston, TX. She became a Registered Nurse in 2013, specializing in critical care working near family in Tampa Bay, FL. 

 

Outside of work she is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200) and certified SCUBA diver. She is also a proud cancer survivor. Kimmie resides in Asheville, NC with her husband and two dogs.

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Brian Marquez

Secretary (he/him)

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Major & Graduation Year: B.A., Editing, Writing & Media, 2021, Florida State University

Current Profession: Development Officer at the Southern Scholarship Foundation

Brian Marquez is the Communications and Development Coordinator for Elder Care Services, a nonprofit dedicated to serving seniors in the Big Bend region. In this role, Brian is responsible for overseeing external communications strategies for the agency’s various social media profiles, monthly e-newsletters and press releases. Brian sits on the Elder Care Services Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee and is tasked with drafting and reviewing the agency’s DEI statement and policies.

 

At Florida State University, Brian was a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity, where he served as Secretary for the Fall 2013 semester. 

 

Brian has a passion for helping others and promoting social justice and human rights. A longtime resident of Tallahassee, he stays active in his community volunteering for LGBTQ+ focused organizations like Equality Florida and Capital Tea, as well as the Tallahassee Beer Festival which supports over 40 local nonprofits. Currently, he serves as Communications Co-Chair for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Florida Big Bend Chapter.

 

In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the nature trails in the area and supporting the local craft beer scene. 

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Thomas Driscoll

Treasurer (he/him)

Location: Atlanta, FL

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. Political Science, 2020, Florida State University

Current Profession: Planning Manager, Harbor Freight Tools

Pride Network Role: Treasurer

Thomas Driscoll is currently a planning manager for Harbor Freight Tools, the nation’s fastest-growing retailer. In his role, Thomas manages the supply chain planning for the Eastern half of the United States.

 

Thomas graduated from Florida State with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science in 2020. While at FSU Thomas was a member of the Union Board, Vice Chair of the Student Foundation, Senior Class Treasurer, and Vice President of Autism Speaks FSU.  He remains dedicated to Florida State and is a legacy life member of the FSU Alumni Association and a member of the Atlanta Seminole Club board.

 

Thomas is an active member of the Boy Scouts of America, currently serving on the board for the Downtown Atlanta district, and advises youth in event planning for the Alabama-Georgia Section. Thomas was an early supporter of “Arrowpride” an organization supporting LGBTQ+ youth within scouting; Arrowpride hosted the first-ever Affinity spaces at a national scouting event in 2022. He is a proud Eagle Scout.

 

A proud Floridian, Thomas currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his partner Mason. They are looking forward to rescuing a good boy from the local humane society in the near future.

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David Grimes

Parliamentarian (he/him)

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. Political Science & Social Science, 2008; J.D., cum laude, 2011, Florida State University

Current Profession: Staff Director for the Democratic Office of the Florida House of Representatives

David presently serves as the Staff Director for the Florida House of Representatives, Minority Office, administering the office and advising the Democratic Caucus in the areas of appropriations, rules, redistricting, and the constitutional prerogatives of the House. Prior to that, while Deputy Staff Director, David was the chief advisor in the areas of finance, taxation, elections, and justice. He previously served as an Assistant Attorney General specializing in civil rights and constitutional law defense with the Florida Office of the Attorney General. 

 

David received his bachelor's degree and J.D. from Florida State University, graduating law school cum laude. He currently serves on the Board of Legal Services of North Florida, the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, and the Florida State University Pride Alumni Network. David is a Governor of the Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar for the Second Judicial Circuit.

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Dr. Ramiz Kseri

Faculty Director (he/him)

Dr Kseri is a dually board-certified internist and pediatrician.

 

He earned his Medical Degree from Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine and completed his residency training at Beaumont Health. While in residency, he held the position of Program Committee Chair for the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG). He worked on projects to place preferred pronouns and names in the Electronic Medical Records, provided a comprehensive list of LGBTQ+ friendly providers, and secured sponsorship for all of the Pride events in the metro Detroit area.

He moved to Florida to be the Chief Resident for the Internal Medicine Residency program at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare before being recruited by Florida State University, College Of Medicine. He is currently the Co-Director of Clinical Skills for the second year medical students at FSU College of Medicine, and practices LGBTQ+ inclusive primary at FSU PrimaryHealth in Tallahassee. 

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Michael Alexander-Luz

Board Member (he/him)

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Major & Graduation Year: B.A. 2006 International Affairs, Spanish; M.S.W., 2015, Florida State University

Current Profession: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Clinical Director

Michael Alexander-Luz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Therapist, currently serving as the Clinical Director with Transformative Growth Counseling. The TGC is a non-profit mental health agency located in Northeast Florida. TGC was founded in Illinois in 2016 and is one of the largest LGBTQIA+ owned and employed community mental health agencies in the nation. Prior to TGC, Michael served as the Assistant Clinical Director and Lead Youth Therapist at SunServe, a non-profit social services agency in Broward County that provides wraparound services to members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  

 

Upon graduating with a Masters in Social Work from Florida State in 2015, Michael worked three years as a therapist at the Lotus House Shelter, a shelter for women and children experiencing homelessness in Miami. At the Lotus House, Michael co-facilitated the Rainbow Lotus LGBTQIA+ support group. The Lotus House remains one of the few safe shelters for transgender and non-binary people experiencing homelessness. As a social worker, Michael worked six years as a special education teacher in Miami, Jacksonville, and the south Bronx in New York City.  

 

Michael describes himself as a proud husband, passionate social worker, fierce advocate, and dedicated warrior for equality and peace. He is a lover of cultures and languages. Ever since his oldest sister went to Florida State in 1991, Michael has always been a diehard Seminole. When asked what his favorite season of the year is, the answer is “football”. On fall Saturdays, you will find him at Doak Campbell (or potentially on the road with the ‘Noles). During the rest of the year, you will find him traveling the world with his husband, Danilo, or playing with their cute 4 legged rescue pup, Xena.

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Harry Barbee

Board Member (they/them)

Location: Washington, DC 

Major & Graduation Year: Political Science (BA) and Sociology (BA), 2013, North Carolina State University; Sociology (MS), 2016, Florida State University; Sociology (PhD), 2020, Florida State University.

Current Profession: Assistant Professor

Harry is an Assistant Professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. As an interdisciplinary social scientist, Harry conducts research that aims to identify, understand, and improve health and aging outcomes among LGBTQ+ populations. They are especially focused on using research to inform public policies aimed at reducing health disparities among LGBTQ+ populations. Harry’s work has been funded by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, published in journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, and has been covered by news outlets like New York Times Magazine and the Washington Post. Harry also teaches an annual graduate-level course titled Epidemiology of LGBTQ+ Health and mentors several undergraduate and graduate students.

 

Harry also participates in many activities aimed at community service and personal growth. For instance, they currently volunteer weekly at Moveable Feast, an organization based in Baltimore, Maryland that provides medically tailored meals to individuals living with chronic illness and facing food insecurity. Harry is also a committed Spanish student who takes weekly classes. Harry’s passion for learning Spanish goes hand-in-hand with their other hobby – world travel. Harry has visited over 30 countries and is currently planning more trips to Central and South America.

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Susan Baxter

Board Member (she/hers)

Location: Orlando, FL

Major & Graduation Year: MS, Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies, Florida State University; Certificate: Human Performance Technology, December 2022

Current Profession: Instructional Designer, Faculty Development, & eLearning Consultation

Susan finds it a privilege to serve on the FSU Pride Alumni Network Board of Directors. She is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a parent of a FSU alum. Susan has prior non-profit and board experience working to support her local community, LGBTQ+ students, those with food insecurities, and more. As an academic, she is a staunch supporter of all students meeting their goals and succeeding in their educational plans. She is very proud that Florida State now has an LGBTQ+ network that will serve to support FSU’s undergraduate, graduate, and online students.  

 

With her passion for lifelong learning, networking, diversity, and inclusion, Susan looks forward to working with the board to create a vibrant FSU Pride Alumni Association. 

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Walt Bower

Board Member (they/them)

Location: Sarasota, FL

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. Information Technology 2008; M.S. Library and Information Studies 2010, Florida State University

Current Profession: Director of Technical Operations | mctlaw

Walt Bower is the IT Director at mctlaw, a national law firm representing clients against multinational corporations and in representing vaccine injured victims in the US Court of Federal Claims. Walt leads the Information Technology team to address technological challenges and projects for the firm. Walt has over 13 years of experience in Information Technology and focuses on disrupting the status quo in the legal industry. 

 

Walt is a two-time graduate of Florida State University, having received their B.S. in Information Technology in 2008 and their M.S. in Library and Information Science in 2010. At FSU, Walt served as President of the Association of Information Technology Professionals; Vice President of the Nole Zone; a Garnet and Gold Guide; and was a student representative on the College of Information Undergraduate Committee. While obtaining their Master of Science degree, Walt also served as a teaching assistant for undergraduate students at the College of Communication and Information. 

 

Walt has a passion for helping others who are trying to overcome obstacles in their lives: social justice, human rights and LGBTQ+ issues. Walt has also volunteered with St. Pete Pride to bring awareness to issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.

 

Walt currently resides in Sarasota, Florida with their wife and daughter and enjoys spending their free time pursuing interests in technology, education, traveling, and volunteering in the community.

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Dionte Gavin

Board Member (he/him)

Location: Tallahassee, Florida 

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. International Affairs and Finance 2007; MPA, 2014, Florida State University

Current Profession: Senior Operations Director

Dionte Gavin is the Senior Operations Director at Visit Tallahassee (Leon County Division of Tourism) where he is responsible for day-to-day administrative operations, budget, and finance. Prior to his role at Visit Tallahassee, he spent 17.5 years with the Leon County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Office in Finance. With over 20 years of experience in local government, Dionte is adept in government finance and accounting, budget, public administration and policy, contract management and administration, information management, marketing and communication, and public relations.

 

Active in his local community, Dionte is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 38 and a member of various professional organizations such as the Florida Government Finance Officers Association where he is immediate Past-President of its Big Bend Chapter. He is also active in Equality Florida, having served on the Tallahassee Steering Committee.

 

Dionte is a two-time graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs with a concentration in finance and a Master of Public Administration. He also holds a certification in Public Management from The Florida Center for Public Management at Florida State University.

 

With his passion for equality and justice for all coupled with his love for all things FSU and his innate social skills, Dionte is very excited to bring his perspective of growing up in a small town and overcoming obstacles to reach success to the Pride Alumni Network.

 

A native of north Florida, in his spare time Dionte enjoys travel, FSU sports, and quality time with friends.

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Jean-Carl Menelas

Board Member (he/him)

Location: Atlanta, GA

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. in Exercise Science, 1996, Florida State University

Current Profession: Personal Trainer/ Personal Stylist

I am a self-employed Personal Trainer with over 20 years experience in the Atlanta area, and am certified through The National Academy of Sports Medicine. I partner with my clients on their health and well being in the studio, home and corporate setting. Also, I am also a Personal Stylist with the clothing brand J.Hilburn. I work with my clients to establish and curate their own personal style. 

 

When presented with the opportunity to serve on this board I was honored for the opportunity to give back to Florida State. While I came out to my friends as a student at FSU, I did not feel a sense of security or belonging with the LGBTQ+ community. This Network gives me a chance to serve the current students at Florida State to achieve the visibility and recognition which they deserve. 

 

While at Florida State, I was also an active member of the Black Student Union.

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Tequeda Patterson

Board Member (she/her)

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. Criminology, 2004; B.S. Political Science and Government, 2007, Florida State University; MBA, Business, 2011; M.S. Criminal Justice Leadership & Executive Management, Walden University

Current Profession: Government Operations Consultant II

Tequeda Patterson developed her love for helping others and uplifting her community as a child. Mrs. Patterson currently works as a Government Operations Consultant with the Florida Division of Disability Determinations, reviewing administrative policies and procedures, evaluating the organizational impact, identifying potential problems and recommending appropriate actions and resolutions. 

 

She previously co-owned and operated Each 1 Teach 1 Rehabilitation Services, Inc., connecting individuals in the Big Bend area with criminal backgrounds with educational and job placement resources to re-establish themselves within the community. 

 

Mrs. Patterson obtained her first Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in Criminology in 2004, a second Bachelor’s in Political Science (FSU) in 2007 and later a Masters' of Business Administration and Masters’ of Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management  (Walden University). She is also active in: SISTUHS, Inc., the Order of the Eastern Star, and Rescue Me Project Ministries, Inc. Board of Directors.

 

When she isn’t working to help others, she’s a very busy married mother raising three incredible children; Kaylen, Kaliah and David II.

 

The Pride Alumni Network has been a joy to work with. She loves effecting change for populations that are underserved or underprivileged. Her goal in working with the Pride Network is to make all FSU students feel welcomed and valued as a part of our University’s community, as students and alumni. She looks forward to the great strides that will be achieved towards a more diverse and inclusive Florida State University!

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Spencer Scruggs

Board Member (he/him)

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Major & Graduation Year: M.S. Higher Education, 2016

Current Profession: Director, UCLA Center for Accessible Education

Spencer Scruggs currently serves as the Director of the Center for Accessible Education at the University of California Los Angeles and is chiefly responsible for leading a team of professionals at the institution tasked with ensuring the university’s compliance with its responsibility to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities. Spencer has worked a decade in higher education and disability services, previously serving as the Director of Student Accessibility Services at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and in a variety of roles within the Office of Accessibility Services at Florida State University, culminating in the Assistant Director role. 

 

Spencer graduated from the University of Louisville in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and from Florida State University in 2016 with a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration. During his time at FSU, he worked on campus as a graduate assistant in the Office of Accessibility Services and served as Chair of the FSU Higher Education Student Association, a graduate student organization representing students enrolled in various higher education administration programs offered within the College of Education. He was named a Hardee Fellow by the FSU Hardee Center for Leadership and Ethics in Higher Education in 2015. One of his most treasured memories at FSU was spending a week at the FSU London Study Centre during the Summer of 2015 studying higher education administration in the United Kingdom. 

 

Spencer has also served in a variety of leadership roles with different professional associations including as a member of the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Professional Standards Task Force, Functional Area Standards Review Committee Member with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, Policy Committee Delegate for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and Chair of the Coalition for Disability in ACPA- College Student Educators International.  He has presented at numerous national conferences, both AHEAD and at the annual ACPA convention on the topic of disability in higher education. Spencer considers himself a scholar-practitioner first, having conducted research on disabled student success, written an article published in the Journal for Postsecondary Education and Disability, and authored chapters in books and manuscripts on the topic of disability in higher education. Recently, he was named an awardee under the University of California’s National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement’s Valuing Open and Inclusive Conversation and Engagement Initiative for a project on academic freedom and the institutional duty to accommodate. 

 

Outside of work, Spencer spends time with his husband, Caleb, and their two cats, Jester and Jinkx, enjoying all that LA has to offer. Additionally, Spencer invests a lot of his personal time into theatre-related pursuits, including performing, directing, curating and obsessing over anything related to musical theatre. Spencer is honored to take on this opportunity to contribute back to the FSU community that he credits with so much of his success and shaping who he is today.

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Ethan Stubbs

Board Member (he/him)

Location: Troy, NY

Major & Graduation Year: B.S. Biology, 2004, Florida State University

Current Profession: Higher Education Administration

Ethan Stubbs serves as the Associate Dean for the Fraternity and Sorority Commons at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy NY. Ethan received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Florida State University and an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Kentucky. 

 

Ethan brings considerable experience from positions held with his International Fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), and with higher education institutions including George Washington University and the University of Kansas, both of which he served as Director. Prior to his 17 years as both a headquarters representative and campus-based professional, Ethan served as a Fraternity House Director for 5 years. Ethan approaches his work with great passion and respect for the value/impact fraternities and sororities provide and their commitment to inclusion and providing space for belonging. 

 

Ethan remains an advocate for LGBTQ+ initiatives and a strong proponent for living life authentically. Ethan impresses upon his students, alumni, and all who he comes in contact with, this message of authenticity, not just in leadership but in the way one navigates the world around us. Ethan is also the proud founder of the TKE Pride Scholarship, which is dedicated to supporting the experiences of gay, bisexual, and transgender TKE members.

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John Waugh

Board Member (he/him)

John's bio coming soon.

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Tevin Wooten

Board Member (he/him)

Tevin's bio coming soon.

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