Cantú Queer Center Professional Staff
Deb has come full circle at UCSC. She was an undergraduate during the 70's, majoring in biology and writing. She never stopped loving the campus and community, and except for a couple of brief forays out-of-town, has been in Santa Cruz ever since.
After graduation from UCSC she worked in various local nonprofits; she was a longtime member of the socialist/feminist Santa Cruz Women's Health Collective and was the founding executive director of WomenCARE, a local resource center for women with cancer. In 1988, she received her master's degree in clinical psychology. For the past 20+ years, she has had a private counseling practice. Prior to coming back to UCSC, Deb was an adjunct professor at John F. Kennedy University and continues to love teaching. She has published everything from scholarly articles to lesbian erotica to a bestseller called From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life. Along with her professional activities, for over a decade she was a dedicated volunteer whitewater raft and seakayak guide with Environmental Traveling Companions, an organization specializing in making outdoor adventures accessible to people with disabilities and to innercity youth.
In November 1997, Deb became the founding director of what was then called the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Community and Resource Center at UCSC. She says she has been counting her lucky stars ever since. She loves being back under the redwoods and working alongside all of the wonderful queer and queer-friendly folks on the UCSC campus. She feels passionate about helping queer UCSC students who have survived their challenging high school days, thrive at UCSC and beyond.
Oh, and what does she do for fun? She love yoga, swimming, and gardening on her half acre in Boulder Creek. She's a consummate reader and plays a mean game of Scrabble. She loves hanging out with her wide circle of family and friends. It's a good life!What folks are saying about Deb: "Very passionate, sweet, mellow open-minded lady" "She voices out her concerns and thoughts in the most ideal manner possible." "Motherly, and caring. She would give you vitamin pills when you showed signs of being sick." "Deb has a lot of great ideas, encourages everyone to take care of themselves and laughs frequently." "Creative and crafty -- Deb understands how to make a small budget last!" "Incredibly motivating, she makes people feel welcome at the center."
Wow, I am excited that this is my eleventh year as the Program Coordinator at the Lionel Cantú GLBTI Resource Center. First, my name is Tamara but I prefer to be called Tam.
In the past: I traveled around the world performing modern dance, choreographed many dance works, and received my M.F.A. in Modern Dance Performance from Ohio State University. I also worked as the Asian American Student Services Coordinator at OSU.
Family: I grew up in a large, non-traditional, multi-cultural family in Miami, Florida, which required excellent go-with-the-flow and multi-tasking--two skills that are essential for success in my position at the Cantú Queer Center. My wonderful daughter Zora Soon and I call Santa Cruz home. What is there not to like? Beaches, redwoods, mountains, farming, biking and a fun community!
What I like: I am always excited to meet new folks, see new obscure things, try new adventures, eat, chat, dance, garden, hike and, last but not least, take naps in the sun! But, of course, much of my time is spent here, at the center, organizing or leading: events, the work staff, the web site, the computers, books, the DIY crafts, etc. I also spend considerable time talking and working with students on educational, political, and organizational aspects within the GLBTIAQQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, ally, questioning, and queer) communities here at UCSC.
Hopefully, you'll drop by the center, meet me, and join in the multiple efforts here at the center!
What fellow staff folks say about Tam:
"Not only is she vibrant through her actions and words, Tam has awesome looking hair!"
"She is cool because she is Asian & she gets sh-t done!"
"Loves chocolate and organizing her desk and going to the beach."
"Quirky in her own way, but can really get sh-t done!"
"Tam's always busy but never too busy for you (wink)."
"Tam is the lifeblood of the Cantú. A woman of few words and MUCH action."