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.
While this list celebrates being "out", these experiences of Pride movements and narratives of coming out need critical examination. Not everyone is out nor wants or needs to be. Coming out is not a single action, but a continuous process that often needs to take place multiple times throughout a person’s life. It is also different around sexuality, romantic attraction, gender identities and expressions, and for many coming out and expressions of pride may not be safe. We appreciatively challenge what being Out means and honor the diversity within our community.
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 co-founded the first LGBTQIA+ training series here at MiraCosta (Safe Space Program), led fundraising efforts to endow 4 LGBTQ+ student scholarships worth more than $100,000, and in 2016 was the first student to earn the Graduate Certificate in LGBT Studies at SDSU. He has finished all the coursework for SDSU's doctorate in education and his dissertation research focuses on LGBTQ+ students of color and LGBTQ+ Pride Centers in California's community colleges.
fran bautista, they/she
Student Services Specialist, Student Equity - LGBTQIA+ Equity & Advisor of Record for Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Student Club
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 in 2021 and now serves as the Student Services Specialist.
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
Faculty, Media Arts and Technologies
Leigh is a designer, artist, and educator. She received a BA from Louisiana State University, an MFA in Art from San Diego State University, and teaches media and web design full-time at MiraCosta College within the Media Arts and Technologies department. When she's not in front of a computer, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, making stuff, and hanging out with family.
Library Technician III, Public Services
San Elijo Campus
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, ITS
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.
Nick Mortaloni, Ed.D. LCSW, him
Dean of Student Affairs
Nick is the Dean of Student Affairs, where he oversees and supports the Associated Student Government (ASG), Student Life and Leadership, Campus Assessment, Resources, and Education (CARE), Health Services, Athletics & Intramurals, Student Conduct, Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), and the Bias Education Support Team. Nick was an LGBTQ Studies minor at UCLA, his master’s research was on providing mental health services with the LGBTQIA+ community, and his doctoral dissertation was on Creating a Trauma-Informed College Model to Improve Student Success.
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/ella
Faculty, Sociology and Chicana Study
Although I identify as queer, it is only one part of who I am. I am also proud to be a first-generation Chicana college student and the eldest daughter of courageous working-class Mexican immigrants who were once undocumented. I also identify as Fronteriza, born and raised along the U.S.-Mexico border region of south San Diego, where I learned to navigate between two cultures, languages, and political states. These experiences have greatly influenced my life’s work, inquiries, and conocimiento.
Van Ethan Levy, they/elle
Associate Faculty Mental Health Counselor
Queer, trans, socialized as female, & non binary
Van (they) is a queer, non binary, trans, socialized as female, nBPOC (not Black Person of Color), who is autistic & has dynamic disabilities amongst many more historically & currently excluded identities. Van has been an educator, activist, & advocate since before 2000 & provides trainings on trans & 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), created the first ever virtual international conference called Do Something: Identity(ies) (2022) & developed an app that standardizes the care & creates ways to populate instant letters for people who are not cis who want access to hormones, surgeries, procedures & more called No More GateKeeping as well as vetted & created an internation list of providers who will provide letters in just one session.
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.
Duncan Payton, he/him/his
Student Services Coordinator, Communications
Duncan serves as the Student Services Coordinator, Communications at MiraCosta. He has a multimedia and marketing background with over 30 years of experience. Duncan graduated from MiraCosta College in 2019 with an Associate of Arts in Communication Studies for Transfer and an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, Emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences. He transferred to San Diego State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in Communication. Duncan and his husband have been together since 2003 and are huge advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights.
Brayan Astorga, he/him/his
Student Services Specialist, Student Equity - UPRISE
Brayan is a proud MiraCosta Alumni and current staff member. Brayan was President of MiraCosta's GSA from 2013-2015 and was President of MiraCosta's student government from 2015-2016! Now Brayan is working with UPRISE to support undocumented and mixed-status students.
For more information or to request an information update to your profile, contact:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call our main office at 760.757.2121 x6900.