Out @ MiraCosta is a campaign that heightens the visibility of LGBTQIA+ identified faculty, staff, and administrators. This list was created to promote LGBTQIA+ inclusion, foster a campus culture in which everyone feels valued, establish a sense of community, and signal to LGBTQIA+ MiraCosta College students that they have representation and support within the faculty, staff, and administration.
This list is not exhaustive and does not include every member of the LGBTQIA+ community here at MiraCosta College. We understand that there are many obstacles that prevent people from being “out” and open about their identity. It is our desire that list serve as a constant reminder that all LGBTQIA+ people deserve to live in a world where they feel comfortable being open about their identities.
Participation in this campaign is voluntary and restricted to MiraCosta College staff, administration, and faculty. If you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and are interested in being listed on the Out @ MiraCosta list, please complete the form.
Wear Your Pride!
OUT @ MiraCosta t-shirts are available at teespring.com/miracosta for $25
Who is Out @ MiraCosta?
Librarian, Instruction & Student Engagement
Steven serves as the chair of the LGBTQIA+ Caucus (ASCCC) and co-founded the first LGBTQIA+ training series here at MiraCosta (Safe Space Program). In addition to working on LGBTQIA+ equity initiatives at MiraCosta since his hiring in 2010, Steven is passionate about teaching students critical information use skills that will benefit them in and out of college. In 2016 he completed the Graduate Certificate in LGBT Studies at San Diego State University.
Fran Bautista, they/she
Interim Specialist for LGBTQIA+ Equity
fran bautista (they/she) is a queer person of color, Filipin@-/Asian- American, and a child of immigrants from the San Fernando Valley, located on Tongva land in Los Angeles county. They received their BAs in Global Health and Critical Gender Studies with minors in Human Rights & Migration Studies and Asian American & Pacific Islander Studies. fran started their work at MiraCosta as the second Student Success Liaison for LGBTQIA+ Equity. As of January 2022, she now serves as the Interim Student Service Specialist for LGBTQIA+ Equity.
Associate Faculty, Art History
Joanne is a professor of Art History at MiraCosta and 3 other colleges in the San Diego area who uses gender and cultural studies in her classrooms as a means to understand the artists behind the artworks.
Tina Helmstreit, she
Program Manager, Orientation & Student Support
Tina is yon-sei generation Japanese American, mixed, queer, and proud. Tina received her Associates in Social and Behavioral Sciences from MiraCosta College and graduated from CSU, Fullerton with her Bachelors in Sociology. She has worked in higher education for over 11 years and is passionate about creating equitable experiences for students.
Leigh Cotnoir, she
Leigh Cotnoir is a designer, artist, programmer, and educator in web, print, and interactive arts. She has been teaching since 2000 and joined the MiraCosta Media Arts and Technologies faculty full time in 2015. Leigh’s selected design work and other media work is available at leighcotnoir.com. To view her teaching site, you can visit learn.leighcotnoir.com.
Library Technician III, Public Services
Sara is the supervising library technician at the San Elijo campus library, where she works to create a student-centered, engaging environment. She incorporates her background in gender studies, linguistics, and cultural anthropology into her approach to library access services and student training.
Instructional Computer Lab Assistant, AIS
Sean Davis, him
Faculty, Sociology Instructor
Sean teaches Introduction to LGBT Studies, Introduction to Gender Studies, Introduction to Women's Studies, and Introduction to Sociology courses at MiraCosta College. He is passionate about teaching, learning, and mentorship. When he is not engaged in these activities, he is hanging out with family, reading, writing, and shooting hoops in his front yard.
Alexis Faust, she
Faculty, Associate Faculty in Anthropology
Alexis owes her passion for anthropology to her experience as a student at MiraCosta College. Her research interests include Andean and Near Eastern archaeology, primate conservation, intersectional feminism, class, sexuality, and gender.
Associate Faculty, Business
Cheryl teaches Small Business Management, Marketing and Promotions courses, which include an examination of the slow but growing shift by brands to adopt a more inclusive view in advertising and brand promotions.
Associate Faculty, Astronomy
Elise’s passion for astronomy dates back to preschool, and after a very circuitous education/professional path, she is overjoyed to be at MiraCosta teaching Astronomy for the first time and working with the public at star parties on campus. She has been engaged in astronomy/physics public outreach since 2003, and active in the LGBTQIA+ community since 1998 when she came out as bisexual.
Nick Mortaloni, Ed.D. LCSW, him
Dean of Student Affairs
Nick is the Dean of Student Affairs, where he oversees Student Life and Leadership, Associated Student Government (ASG), Chariot Student Media, Health Services, Athletics & Intramurals, Student Conduct, and the Campus Assessment, Resources, and Education (CARE) programs. He is also a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the district. Nick was an LGBTQ Studies minor at UCLA, and he completed his master’s research and thesis on providing mental health services with the LGBTQIA+ community.
Donny Munshower, him
Faculty, Veteran’s Counselor
I specifically work with the Veterans and Military population on campus, but want to help all LGBTQIA+ students feel welcome on campus. Feel free to come say hi!
Gerilyn Brault, she
Gerilyn Brault teaches several Theatre classes at MiraCosta and is a professional actor and director in the San Diego area. She is proud to represent one aspect of the beautifully diverse spectrum of Bisexuality. She wished she had more bisexual people out when she was younger because she might have realized sooner that she had a place in this wonderful LGBTQIA+ community. She is now dedicated to helping other students feel safe on their own journeys of identity and discovery.
Alicia López, she
Faculty, Sociology and Chicana Study
Besides identifying as queer, I also highlight my experience as a first-generation Chicana and college student, daughter of poor/working-class Mexican immigrants, born and raised in the border region of South San Diego, CA. These are decisive elements that make up who I am and my vision for life and my teaching philosophy.
Mx. Van Levy, they
Associate Faculty Mental Health Counselor
Queer, trans, AFAB (Assigned Female at Birth), and non binary
Van (they) is a queer, non-binary, trans, socialized as female, nBPOC (not Black Person of Color), who is autistic and has dynamic disabilities amongst many more historically excluded identities. Van has been an educator, activist, & advocate since before 2000 and provides trainings on trans and non-binary identities, is author of the interactive book Exploring My Identity(ies) (2020), produced a Documentary called Do Something: Trans & Non Binary Identities (2021), and is putting on an international conference called Do Something: Identity(ies) (2022).
Cyndy Garcia, she/ella
I began my journey in higher education as a community college student. Navigating higher education as a first-generation, non-traditional student was challenging as I made sense of my identities, experiences, and aspirations. Now, as an associate counselor at MiraCosta College, I’m excited to support students as they pursue their academic, career, and personal goals. Additionally, I am supporting the efforts to develop an LGBTQIA+ Academic Success and Equity (ASE) Program. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, or just to say hi!
Lucio Lira, he/they/Él
Faculty, Associate Counselor
Lucio Lira (he/they/él) supports students with academic, career, and transfer counseling services through student-centered and affirming approaches in English and Spanish. Lucio is also an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor and assists folx in psychotherapy by enhancing their self-awareness and reconnecting with their inner power. Lucio initiated his studies at Southwestern College, then transferred to UC Davis as a Psychology major, and later obtained his Masters's of Science at SDSU in Multicultural and Social Justice Community Counseling. Lucio advocates for inclusion and LGBTQIA+ awareness by providing workshops to promote inclusive language and proper usage of pronouns in other institutions.
For more information on these services and programs or to request an information update to your profile, contact:
Interim Student Services Specialist
LGBTQIA+ Equity is a service of the Department of Student Equity. For general inquiries about all Student Equity programs and services, please contact us at email@example.com or call our main office at 760.757.2121 x6900.