Cantú Queer Center Professional Staff

    Director of the Cantú Queer Center - Travis Becker

  • Travis Becker

    Pronouns: he/him/his

    Travis is thrilled to be joining the UC Santa Cruz community as the new Director of the Lionel Cantú Queer Center.

    Travis brings extensive experience working with and advocating for LGBTQIA folks both in higher education and within the community. Prior to coming to UCSC, Travis was a Program Manager at Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, overseeing a transitional living program for formally homeless youth in the Haight-Ashbury district as well as co-coordinating the Queer Youth Space at SF Pride.

    Travis also served as the Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center at Saint Mary’s College of California where he helped shape the Intercultural Development program to promote cross cultural dialogues across campus and re-tooled the campus Safe Zone program to have a more intersectional focus. While working at the University of San Francisco as a Residence Director, Travis advocated with and for trans and gender non-conforming students on the Gender Inclusive Housing Task Force and partnered with the Cultural Center staff to redesign the curriculum for the campus’s LGBTQIA Allies Training workshops.

    Travis received his Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University, where one of his graduate positions was with the LGBTQ Student Center, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Communications with a Minor in English Language & Literature from California Lutheran University.

    During his free time, Travis enjoys spending time with his partner and two dogs, finding new shows to binge watch on Netflix, getting excited about social justice blogs and articles online, exploring some of the beautiful hiking trails throughout the bay area and spending quality time cooking and/or eating with family and friends.



  • Program Coordinator - Tracy Lissette García

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    Pronouns: she/her/ella

    Tracy is a UC Santa Cruz alumni, class of 2012. As a student she was actively involved with the Ethnic Resource Centers and worked as a Student Program Coordinator for El Centro during her senior year. As the Cantú's Program Coordinator, she has initiated projects such as the QTPOC visibility campaign, #BeenHereStillHere, to highlight the brilliance of queer and trans people of color at UCSC, and Jotería Night with El Centro to celebrate Queer & Trans Chicanx Latinx communities. She is also passionate about femme of color visiblity and organizes programs at the Cantú to further explore the complexities of gender identity/expression.

    Tracy identifies as a queer fat femme first gen xicana from Southeast LA. She has been actively involved in different organizing communities in Los Angeles since high school, but recently spent more time working with Latinas 4 Reproductive Justice and the Los Angeles Femmes of Color Collective before moving to Santa Cruz.

    During her free time Tracy enjoys visiting different coffee shops, singing her favorite rancheras and oldies, journaling, reading everything Chani Nicholas posts about astrology, dabbling with tarot, spending time at West Cliff in Santa Cruz, and dancing to cumbias & 80s music.


  • Trans Education Specialist- Sy A. Simms

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    Sy A. Simms
    Trans Educator
    Pronouns: they/them/theirs

    Sy A. Simms is humbled and excited to serve as the Trans Educator at UC Santa Cruz

    Sy is joining the Cantú after completing their graduate work in the Social Justice Education program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where much of their studies looked at supporting transgender/genderqueer and non-binary identified students in higher education. Sy was most recently an Assistant Residence Director at UMass, focusing on developing more inclusive residence halls and living/learning spaces. Prior to their time at UMass, Sy served as a Program Coordinator at the University of California, Riverside's LGBT Resource Center, where much of their energy was primarily on supporting queer and trans college students of color.

    When not at work, Sy enjoys spending time cooking and feeding their friends, watching Steven Universe and reality cooking shows (Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped specifically), listening to history podcasts, and trying to go to as many coffee shops as possible.


  • Gender and Sexuality Specialist - Tam Welch

  • Tam Welch

    Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs 

    This is Tam's 15th year at UC Santa Cruz and with the Lionel Cantú GLBTI Resource Center.

    In the past: They traveled around the world performing modern dance, choreographing dance works, and received an MFA in Modern Dance Performance from the Ohio State University. They also worked as the Asian American Student Services Coordinator at Ohio State University.

    Family: Born in Korea, they grew up in Miami, Florida in a large, non-traditional, multi-ethnic family, which required excellent go-with-the-flow and multi-tasking--two skills that are essential for success. They are a parent and call Santa Cruz home. They love the beaches, redwoods, biking, traveling and the LGBTQ+ community!

    What they like: They are always excited to meet new folks, see new things, try new adventures, eat, chat, dance, garden, hike, and last but not least, take naps in the sun! But, of course, much of their time is spent here, at UCSC, advising, teaching, organizing or leading students in building an inclusive community. They also spend considerable time working with students on educational, political, and organizational aspects within the LGBTQIA+  (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual plus) communities and working on ways to create spaces for healing from gendered violence here at UCSC.

    Hopefully, you'll drop-a-line and meet-up with me, and join in the multiple efforts here at the Resource Centers!