Dear CLAGS Community:

I am very honored to serve as the incoming Executive Director of CLAGS.  I have been a member of the CUNY community since 2004, and I am very excited to lead CLAGS for the next three years.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I graduated with my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College—Columbia University and I am a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice- CUNY.   I have worked in different capacities on various CUNY campuses, including John Jay, La Guardia, Hunter, Baruch, and Kingsborough.

As a researcher, my scholarship has focused on issues related to multicultural psychology- including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) issues, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Filipino American mental health issues; and microaggressions (subtle forms of discrimination).  Specific to LGBTQ studies, I have written extensively on microaggressions against the LGBT community; LGBTQ issues in the criminal justice system; and intersectional identities for LGBTQ people of color.  I have published three academic books: That’s So Gay! Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community (American Psychological Association, 2011), Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), and Women and Mental Disorders (Praeger, 2011, co-edited with Drs. Paula Lundberg-Love and Michele Paludi).  I have received generous grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and more.

Regarding my service, I am currently the President-Elect of the Asian American Psychological Association, where I also helped to establish the Division on LGBTQ Issues.  I have also been involved in the American Psychological Association (APA), where I have served on the APA Committee for LGBT Concerns and have been a member of the APA Division 44: Society for the Psychological Study on LGBT Issues. I am a national trustee of the Filipino American National Historical Society; I have worked extensively with a broad range of LGBTQ and Asian American community-based organizations in New York and California; and I have been a trainer for the New York Police Department since 2008.

On a personal level, I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and I moved to New York City in 2002. My parents immigrated from the Philippines, in hopes of achieving the American Dream.  My husband, RJ Mendoza-Nadal, is a Brooklyn native and the LGBTQ Community Liaison for the Kings County District Attorney, and we are raising our 7-pound black and tan chihuahua in Chelsea.

As a self-identified gay man (and specifically, a self-identified gay man of color), I have developed a lifelong passion for social justice issues and for the advocacy of the LGBTQ community.  As someone who has been an advocate for social justice since my youth, one of my goals as an academic and researcher has been to make certain that I am continually part of the communities that I fight for, and to ensure that my scholarship is always made accessible and applicable to these communities as well. One of my visions as CLAGS Executive Director is to support that the research findings and implications from academia are made available to service organizations, and for service organizations to inform academics and scholars of their needs as well. Having worked closely with many LGBT community-based organizations in New York City (e.g., the LGBT Center, the New York City Anti-Violence Project, APICHA Community Health Center, CHEST, and others), as well as various academic organizations on the national level (e.g., APA, AAPA, National Association of Multicultural Education), I would be very enthusiastic about promoting collaborations between academia and community-based organizations. I would be equally excited to stimulate interdisciplinary partnerships between the various fields of LGBTQ studies including humanities and arts, social sciences, communication, education, health, and others.

Another goal as Executive Director is to advocate for the visibility of LGBTQ individuals with intersectional identities.  As a gay, Filipino American, Asian American and person of color, I often notice that various subgroups within the LGBTQ community still remain invisible or underrepresented. I have been delighted that CLAGS (and other LGBTQ organizations) have been paying more attention to the needs of communities of color in their programming and advocacy. My vision as Executive Director would be to continue this work, while also increasing visibility to other marginalized subgroups as well, including transgender people of color (particularly those targeted by violence), LGBTQ people with disabilities, LGBTQ elderly, and LGBTQ youth of color.

One of my last main goals for CLAGS would be to make certain that it not only remains the first university-based research center dedicated to the study of LGBTQ issues, but that it also remains the leadinguniversity-based research center dedicated to the study of LGBTQ issues. In order for this to occur, I aim to keep CLAGS visible, productive, and connected. CLAGS needs to be visible to the greater community, on local, regional, and national levels. CLAGS needs to be productive- in that its programming is consistent and effective, its collaborations are tangible and fruitful, and its products are prosperous and assist in affecting change. Lastly, CLAGS needs to be connected to all sectors of the LBGTQ community, including- academia, non-profit agencies, businesses, advocacy organizations, etc., in order for CLAGS to thrive and to serve the entire community.

I look forward to your continued participation and support of CLAGS. One of our main goals this year is fundraising, so we will be in touch with various ways that you can help in ensuring that CLAGS thrives financially so that we can continue the work that our foremothers and forefathers dreamed.  So please renew your memberships, stop by the office and say hello, or send me an email at knadal@gc.cuny.edu.

Looking forward to an amazing three years.

Kevin Nadal, PhD
Executive Director
Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS)
The Graduate Center- City University of New York