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Alumni Fellows

Class of 2015

Christa Levko

Christa Levko graduated from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, with a major in political science and minors in music, and law and society.

During all four years at LVC, Christa was involved with Freedom Rings, the college’s LGBT organization. Her sophomore year she served as the treasurer, and in her junior and senior years served as president.

As president she worked as a liaison between the campus and the LGBT community, organizing numerous dialogues and events.

Christa also was head director of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues at LVC and volunteered for the campus’s Women’s Services and Gender Resource Center.

Christa presented research on the U.S. Supreme Court case Ashcroft v. Iqbal at the Pennsylvania Political Science Association conference and the Midwest Political Science Association conference.

She also interned at the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington’s Center for Advancing Justice in Washington, D.C., and at MidPenn Legal Services in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Class of 2014

Erin Thorn

Erin Thorn graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a major in social psychology and a minor in German.

During her senior year at Lehigh, Erin’s thesis on the division of work in lesbian-headed households received a Donald T. Campbell Social Science Research Prize, which is awarded for “papers of high quality, methodological originality and societal significance.”

During her time at Hofstra Law, Erin has largely focused on immigration and international human rights issues.

She completed an internship with the International Gay and Lesbian Association in Brussels, Belgium, where she researched strategies for intersex advocacy at the United Nations.

She also interned with Immigration Equality in New York City, aiding in the removal defense of LGBT immigrants, and Southern Migrant Legal Services in Nashville, Tennessee, providing legal services to migrant farm workers.

During the fall 2013 semester, Erin is participating in the inaugural semester of the Hofstra Law in D.C. Externship Program, where she is completing a full-time externship at Immigration and Customs Enforcement — Immigration Law and Practice Division

Class of 2013

Elanie Cintron

Elanie Cintron attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, she volunteered at El Centro Latino, a nonprofit organization devoted to the integration and education of Latinos, and NC PRIDE.

After graduating from UNC, Elanie continued to work for equality, organizing unions in Boston, working with minorities in the service industry and advocating for fair labor conditions.

She then accepted a position as a production manager in Chapel Hill, where she used her experiences in Boston as tools to manage a staff of 100-150 employees. As production manager, Elanie was devoted to empower staff and worked alongside the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to help its clients integrate in the states.

Elanie was invited by the ACLU to speak at a school board meeting in her hometown of Rowan County, which prohibited the formation of gay-straight alliance groups in public schools. The school board reversed their decision, reaffirming Elanie’s commitment to LGBT advocacy.

As a fellow, Elanie interned with Immigration Equality. She also was the co-president of OutLaw and a staff member on the Family Court Review.

Jenelle DeVits

Jenelle DeVits was born and raised in Boston. She attained her Bachelor of Science from the University of New Hampshire, where she was a member of the Division I varsity women’s basketball team, walking on as a freshman and working her way to becoming a two-year scholarship athlete.

During her athletic career, Jenelle became involved in advocating for LGBT student-athletes, earning her the honor of serving as the undergraduate representative on the President’s Commission on LGBT Issues. She facilitated Safe Zone trainings throughout campus and within the athletic department. As a facilitator, she was able to educate and train numerous faculty, staff and students about LGBT issues.

Jenelle had a crucial role in the development and founding of Our Group, a national organization that provides networking forums, outreach and other educative tools for LGBT student-athletes.

Through her work with Our Group, Jenelle has presented at Ithaca College’s Sport, Culture and Sexuality Conference, was a panelist on “A Coaches Guide to Effective Policy and Practice Addressing Homophobia in Collegiate Women’s Basketball” at the 2010 Women’s Basketball Coaching Association conference in San Antonio, and was a panelist at the IvyQ Conference at Columbia University.

Jenelle is also an advisory board member for the GLSEN’s Sports Project.

After graduating from UNH, Jenelle worked full time as a life skills coach in a group home that provides services to adults with mental health issues and developmental disabilities.

Jenelle plans to use her law degree to continue her work advocating for human rights, specifically on behalf of the LGBT community.

Stevie Tran

Stevie Tran graduated from Arizona State University with a major in political science, minors in women and gender studies as well as Japanese, and a LGBT Studies certificate.

Stevie became involved in LGBT rights advocacy during college as an intern with Equality Arizona. Through her involvement with the organization, she was selected as one of the Equality Federation Institute’s first Leadership Development Program interns.

Stevie also was actively involved in the fraternity and sorority community, creating opportunities to develop leaders and men of character in the LGBT community. She is an alumni member of Sigma Phi Beta fraternity, the only exclusively college-based queer-focused fraternity nationwide.

Stevie spent her first summer at Hofstra Law interning at the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), an organization committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression, and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, community organizing and public policy efforts.

Stevie hopes to use her legal education to expand access and opportunities for transgender people in all areas of life.

Class of 2012

Alfredo Tapia

Alfredo Tapia graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and legal studies.

While at UC Berkeley, Alfredo was a member of Yque, and Queer & Asian, two minority-based LGBT organizations. Through his membership, he was able to provide support to students having difficulty coming out to their friends and families.

Alfredo was also involved with Queer Diversion and made great efforts to spread LGBT awareness both on and off campus.

While a fellow at Hofstra Law, Alfredo was active in the community. He volunteered with the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Community Center, and joined the Human Rights Campaign Long Island Committee to support candidates that are allies or members of the LGBT community.

Alfredo also helped the law firm of Vishnick McGovern Milizio LLP create a documentary showing the negative impact that a single law like “don’t ask, don’t tell” or the Defense Of Marriage Act can have on the LGBT community.

And he was a member of FIERCE, an LGBT youth organization that develops politically conscious leaders who are invested in improving themselves and their communities through youth-led campaigns, leadership development programs and cultural expression through arts and media.

Alfredo interned with the Urban Justice Center-Peter Cicchino Youth Project, an organization that provides direct legal services to LGBT youth who are homeless or in foster care.

He also interned with Lambda Legal, where he conducted intakes and connected the community to legal resources and assisted with an amicus brief.

Class of 2011

Derek Tripp

Project Associate, The Doma Project, and Attorney Specializing in LGBT Rights/Advocacy and Immigration Law

Derek Tripp attended the University of California, Davis, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in both English and political science.

During his senior year, Derek interned with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, D.C. After completing his undergraduate education, he spent a year in Sacramento working on a local campaign and with an environmental lobbyist.

While a student at Hofstra Law, Derek interned with Global Rights on its LGBTI Initiative, focusing on, among other things, violations against LGBTI people under international human rights law.

Eric Lesh

Fair Courts Project Manager, Lambda Legal

Originally from Largo, Florida, Eric Lesh graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater.

He has appeared in plays across the country, including the original workshop of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Eric relocated to New Orleans, where he worked as a director for a nonprofit group that teaches violence prevention to students in the city’s public schools.

At Hofstra Law, Eric was a member of the Vis International Arbitration Moot Team, a researcher for Hofstra’s Law, Logic & Technology Lab and the managing editor of notes and comments for the Family Court Review.

Eric spent the summer of 2009 working for the International Lesbian and Gay Association in Brussels.

He is interested in politics and the legislative process and interned with a member of the New York State Assembly and in the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand working on LGBT outreach.

Kelly McNamee

Associate, Litigation, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Kelly McNamee graduated from the University of Rochester with a major in Philosophy.

During her junior year, she was named director of The Pride Network, the university’s LGBT advocacy group. Kelly led the group in an effort to encourage the campus community that it was necessary to add the phrase “gender expression and identity” to the university’s Student Organization Constitution: Section on Discrimination.

While at the University of Rochester, Kelly also sat on the board of the Diversity Roundtable.

Kelly was selected as a 2009 Dr. M.L. “Hank” Henry Judicial Intern. The internship was created by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Law Association Foundation of Greater New York (LeGaL Foundation) in memory of Dr. Henry, whose groundbreaking work encouraged openly lesbian and gay lawyers to seek and achieve judicial office in New York City.

During the 10-week program, Kelly was given the opportunity to assist five openly gay or gay friendly judges and gained exposure to a variety of courts and tribunals.

Kelly worked as a summer associate for Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson LLP in 2010 and joined the firm upon graduation. As a summer associate, Kelly was able to work on groundbreaking LGBT litigation and hopes to continue to do so through the firm’s pro bono department.

Class of 2010

Meredith Palmer

Staff Attorney, The Children’s Law Center

Born and raised in the South, Meredith Palmer received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Clemson University and a Master of Public Health from the University of South Carolina (USC).

A loyal advocate of LGBTQ health, Meredith devoted her graduate research specifically to improving the quality of health for sexual minority populations.

She proudly founded the University of South Carolina Sexual Minority Women’s Health Initiative, the first program of its kind to meet the unmet health service needs of sexual minority women at USC.

As part of the Women’s Health Initiative, Meredith developed a number of health education workshops for lesbian and bisexual students and conducted a professional training to improve the cultural competency among health providers.

While a graduate student, Meredith also reconstructed the Youth Empowered Against HIV (YEAH!) curriculum for a local youth organization and contributed to research presented at the South Carolina HIV/STD Conference “STDs Among Sexual Minority Women.”

She also worked on a nutrition-based project that has since been published in the Family and Community Health Journal.

Meredith’s accomplishments were recognized by the Delta Omega Honors Society, the prestigious National Honorary Public Health Society for Health Professionals.

In addition to her public health endeavors, Meredith also was a dedicated advocate for sexual minority youth. As a volunteer for OutSmart in the Midlands — a youth advocacy organization for LGBTQ youth in South Carolina — Meredith facilitated weekly group meetings and contributed to the production of Columbia’s first gay prom.

While a student at Hofstra Law, Meredith interned with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.

Patrick Paschall

Policy Counsel, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and City Council Member, Hyattsville, Md.

Patrick Paschall attended Texas A&M University and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in history and a certificate in European Union politics.

While an undergraduate student, Patrick served on the executive committee for the campus Safe Zone program, Aggie ALLIES, and was one of the primary facilitators for Safe Zone trainings and “Guess Who’s Gay” panels.

After graduating from Texas A&M, Patrick spent the summer as a legislative intern at the National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington, D.C.

He had the opportunity to assist the executive director with lobby visits, organize grassroots-congressional contacts on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and track federal and state legislation impacting transgender people.

Patrick was selected as a 2008 Holley Law Fellow at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, D.C., and spent the summer as an intern with the organization.

He worked to draft local nondiscrimination ordinances for two cities, update the task force’s model nondiscrimination ordinance and write policy recommendations for federal LGBT aging policy.

During that summer, Patrick also attended the only LGBT-based study abroad program for law students, which took place in Amsterdam. While there he studied Transgender & Intersex Law, Race and Sexual Orientation, and Same-Sex Relationship Recognition.

Class of 2009

Drew Gulley

Director of Strategic Partner Programs, Lambda Legal

A Midwesterner at heart, Drew Gulley lived in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois before completing his Bachelor of Arts in English, cum laude with University Honors, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

At Drake, Drew served as student body president, vice president of his fraternity and president of the Rainbow Union. He also led the drafting and adoption of a Bias-Motivated Incident Statement after a campus hate crime, and his senior thesis was selected for publication in the Drake University Undergraduate Social Science Journal.

After graduation, Drew taught in Chongqing, China, as an English instructor for college and high school students.

While a student at Hofstra Law, Drew was the editor-in-chief of the Hofstra Law Review, and his note, “The Enhanced Arbitration Appeal Amendment: A Proposal to Save American Jurisprudence from Arbitration, Modeled on the English Arbitration Act of 1996,” was published in volume 36. For the best published student note, he received the Hofstra Law Review Alumni Award.

During his time at Hofstra Law, Drew was also a member of the Moot Court Association and the International Moot Arbitration Team and was the winner of the 2008 James E. Beckley Writing Competition sponsored by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association.

Drew graduated summa cum laude and second in his class from Hofstra Law in 2009. At graduation, he received a Citation of Excellence in Procedural Law.

After graduation, Drew clerked for the Honorable Edward Prado of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Antonio. Following his clerkship, Drew joined the law firm of Latham & Watkins, LLP.

Heather Sarver

Asylum Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Heather Sarver graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, cum laude, and a minor in Russian language. Heather has her certification in Russian translation and has used her language skills to volunteer with Russian refugees.

Heather served in the active duty Air Force as a Russian linguist. She was honorably discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

After her military separation, Heather traveled around the country sharing her experience with others and gathering support for the repeal of the policy. Her work as an activist is featured in the documentary “Ask Not ...”

As a law student, Heather continued her work in this important area, spending s summer interning with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and attending SLDN’s Lobby Day in 2008.

In addition to being an LGBT Rights Fellow and a student ambassador at Hofstra Law, Heather served as president of OutLaw — the gay-straight alliance at the Law School.

She also competed in the Williams Institute Moot Court Competition on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and spent a summer interning with the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco.

Jen Wilson

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Jen Wilson earned her Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

While an undergraduate student, Jen studied gender, civil society and development in the former Yugoslavia and conducted an independent study project, utilizing participatory research that examined the intersection of orthodoxy, nationalism and homosexuality in Serbia.

Jen was also actively involved in the Seattle LGBT community, volunteering with queer advocacy organizations that promote visibility.

In 2004, Jen presented a paper on queer space at the University of British Columbia’s Sexual and Gender Diversity Conference. She also presented at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference on a panel for globalizing gender studies, where she spoke on gay and lesbian scholarship in study-abroad curriculum.

As a law student, Jen spent her first summer interning with openly gay and lesbian judges in New York courts through a judicial internship program with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Law Association of Greater New York (LeGal). Her second summer was spent interning with Lambda Legal.

Jen also volunteered at the LGBT Center’s walk-in legal clinic in Manhattan, was elected to the board of directors of LeGal and served as the vice president of OutLaw, Hofstra Law’s LGBT law student group.

Class of 2008

Ernst Hunter

Ernst Hunter attended Rutgers University, where he majored in political science. While completing his undergraduate degree, Ernst interned with Immigration Equality in Manhattan, an organization that represents LGBT immigrants seeking political asylum.

Ernst focused much of his advocacy work on LGBT youth and indigent LGBT people. During his second year at Hofstra Law, Ernst volunteered weekly at the Ali Forney Center, a Manhattan-based social service organization that works with homeless LGBT youth, and at the Peter Cicchino Youth Project in Manhattan, an organization providing legal services to homeless LGBT youth.

Based on his work with LGBT youth and his own research, Ernst wrote a note for the Family Court Review suggesting policies to improve the treatment of LGBT youth in the homeless youth system. His note was published in the July 2008 issue.

As a result of his research, Ernst worked with the American Bar Association’s Youth at Risk Commission to draft a report and policy resolution urging changes to the foster care and homeless youth systems to make them better serve LGBT youth. This policy resolution was unanimously ratified by the ABA’s House of Delegates in August of 2007.

Frank Salamone

Senior Attorney, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Frank Salamone has long been a staunch advocate for the rights of sexual minorities.

While at Hofstra Law, Frank captained the Law School’s team in the Williams Institute Moot Court Competition on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law.

In the summer of 2006, he interned at Equality California in San Francisco, where he assisted in lobbying efforts to pass legislation that resulted in significant gains for LGBT Californians, including the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the State Income Tax Equity Act, the Equality in Prevention and Services for Domestic Abuse Act, and the Civil Rights Housing Act of 2006.

In 2007, he was a summer associate at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, where he assisted on political asylum cases involving LGBT and HIV-positive clients.

Frank was a finalist in the 2007 Dukeminier Awards Writing Competition, which honors the finest legal scholarship on LGBT issues, for his paper “Looking to the Northern Lights: Lessons from Norway in Overcoming Evangelical Opposition to Same-Sex Partnerships.” He presented the paper at a conference at Hofstra University in October 2007.

Frank received his Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University, where he double-majored in government and German.

While at Georgetown, Frank was twice elected president of Georgetown Pride, the undergraduate LGBT student organization. During this period, Frank was active in advocating for protections and services for LGBTQ youth. He sat on the board of directors of Youth Pride Alliance, and served as co-chair of Youth Pride Day 2001.

Upon graduation, Frank clerked for the Honorable Nancy B. Firestone of the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C.

He joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in August 2010.

Class of 2007

Casie McGee

Assistant Professor, Mountwest Community and Technical College

Casie McGee became involved with several student groups focused on political advocacy while earning degrees in English and mathematics as a Yeager Scholar at Marshall University.

She helped re-establish the Lambda Society, Marshall’s LGBT student group, and served as president for two years. She was the first president and co-founder of the Marshall University Civil Liberties Union.

Casie also held positions as Marshall University’s LGBT Outreach Office co-coordinator, and co-chair of the LGBT Affairs Subcommittee of the Marshall University Commission on Multiculturalism.

She served on the board of directors for the ACLU of West Virginia and interned with the organization on its Legislative and Freedom of Speech projects.

Off campus, she organized lobbying efforts to block anti-gay Huntington City Council initiatives.

Upon coming to Hofstra Law, Casie ran for and was elected as 1L representative for the Student Bar Association.

She worked to coordinate the efforts of the three LGBT groups on campus, allowing the groups to work more efficiently and cooperatively. In her effort to bring the groups together, she started a Pride Week. She also served as president of People Responding to the Issues of Sexual Minorities (PRISM).

Casie also joined the LGBT Legal Association of Greater New York (LeGaL) and served on its board of directors.

After her first year of law school, Casie interned with Rainbow Pride of West Virginia. She spent part of her second summer in Washington, D.C., interning for the Liberty Education Forum, an LGBT political activism think tank.

Then, she went to Amsterdam for a study abroad program on LGBT legal issues from an international perspective.

Joseph Passoni

Compliance Consultant, Promontory Financial Group, LLC

Joseph Passoni graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 2000. During college, Joseph volunteered with LGBT rights groups both on and off campus.

After graduating, he continued volunteering at the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Community Center in New York City, the largest such center in the country. He worked with both the public policy and promote the vote committees.

At Hofstra Law, Joseph was involved with People Responding to the Issues of Sexual Minorities (PRISM) and interned at Masliah & Soloway, where he worked on political asylum cases on behalf of individuals who were persecuted in their native countries because of their status as transgender, homosexual and lesbian individuals.

Joseph was also a member of the Hofstra Law Review.