Q Center

Dr. Tahtzee Nico (T), Director

Dr. Tahtzee Nico, originally from Montgomery, Alabama, has been informed by the injustice in identity, space and place and has been guided to pursue not only justice, but liberation as a philosopher, theorist, and practitioner. They hold a doctorate (EdD) in Leading and Learning with a focus on liberatory pedagogy among educational activists of color in formal and non-formal learning spaces in the context of radical geography in a post-human era,  theory in the flesh and third space theory (pre-problematic occurrences reflexively with the author).

Additionally, they hold a M.A. in Urban Affairs focusing on queer HBCU students’ career decision making processes with consideration of socio-economic implications- specifically exploring identity development and impression management, racial socialization and gender roles. Lastly, they hold a B.S. in Interpersonal and Public Communications with a minor in political science.

They have been published by the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Humanity & Society, Cultural Studies <> Critical Methodologies, The Activist History Review, Oregon Humanities, Journal of Homosexuality, AfroPunk, Vernon Press, and the National Education Association.

Anita Baker is their gospel. Liberation is their communion.

They identify as Black, Southern, Queer, and Trans Non Binary. Pronouns: They/Them/Their & He/Him/His, and they can be reached at tnh334@uw.edu.

Favorite quote :

“Let us live so we do not regret years of inertia and ignorance, so when we die we can say all of our energy was dedicated to the noble liberation of the human mind and spirit, beginning with my own.” – Maya Angelou

Val, Associate Director

Val Schweigert [pronouns: she/hers, they/them, siya] is a queer, “mixed” Filipinx American and scholar. She seeks to center marginal and underrepresented identities through transformative praxis and best serve students by addressing their needs with intersectional approaches. She currently finds herself on Duwamish lands by way of South Texas (Karankawa and Coahuiltecan territory). She has lived on the East Coast, specifically the finger lakes of New York (Cayuga Nation, Haudenosaunee) and spent summers working on pre-college programs at the Penn campus in Philadelphia (Lenni-Lenape). She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology from Wells College and received her M.Ed. in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington in 2017. Most recently, Val was a doctoral student in Higher Education Leadership until taking on her current role at the Q Center.

Her research interests include investigating students of color identity construction and development—specifically for mixed identified, transnational students of color— and how that impacts their cultivation of community, sense of ‘belonging’, and navigation of their undergraduate experience at PWIs. She has extensive undergraduate and concurrent experience with youth empowerment initiatives, social justice advocacy, and anti-racism, anti-colonial, anti-oppression work along with facilitation of peer-to-peer mentorship programs. She loves providing direct student services, collaborating on passion projects that enliven the Q’mmunity, and talking about people’s adventurous culinary or creative pursuits. Val lives with her pawpanion, Lumpia. Connect with me at qval@uw.edu or during my advising hours at calendly.com/qcenterval.

Lev, Program and Services Advisor

Lev (they/them/he/him) has a masters in social work from UW (’13) and is forever a student of life. Lev believes in harm reduction, self-determination, and magic.  Lev swims in Lake Washington year round and works in the community with Resource Generation, Jewish Voice for Peace Seattle, and QuAIA Seattle.


Notae, Leadership Development Advisor

Notae (she/her/they/them) has a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, ’20 and received a Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies, LGBTQ+ from George Mason University, ’16. Notae is committed to fostering social development and lifelong learning. Notae enjoys surveying the local comedy scene and the diverse food the city has to offer.

William, Committee and Community Relations Liaison

William Lau Walker (he/they) is a fourth year at the University of Washington studying American Ethnic Studies and English. He is a former officer of Queer People of Color Alliance and a founding editor of Viaduct Journal, a literary publication that focuses on the works of young and unpublished LGBT writers.

William is passionate about the intersections of race and gender and combating anti-Blackness in the Asian American community. He spends his time writing essays, organizing with the QTPOC community, and going on long walks. He plans to go on to pursue a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies, and to be an educator of histories that have been hidden or suppressed.

Jace, Outreach Coordinator

Jace Reyes (he/him) is a fourth-year Sociology student at the University of Washington. He is a Brother of Delta Lambda Phi, an international social fraternity for gay, bi, trans, queer, and progressive men and nonbinary individuals.   Jace’s studies focus on the construction of masculinity, more specifically, how contexts of race, class, and sexual orientation (and intersections of such contexts) can affect one’s manifestation of masculinity. His life experience as a gay, mixed-race (Filipino American) transgender man acts as a unique lens for his studies. He hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Counseling with the ultimate goal of becoming a counselor.

Sasha, Library and Archival Specialist

Sasha Fiona (they/she) is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the UW studying CEP (Community, Environment, and Planning) and writing. They are the founding poetry editor of Viaduct Journal. Their studies focus on power structures which enforce poverty and built environments which marginalize and isolate communities. Their writing investigates language and identity as well as critiquing ecopoetics. Sasha loves Czech pastries and indie comics. They are very privileged to be a white employee in a state institution, but hope to use their position as the Q Center librarian to highlight queer writers of color.

Anthony, Digital Communications and Multimedia Specialist

Anthony Allan Cheng (he/him) is a fifth-year transfer student at the University of Washington studying Communication. In his studies, he explores the intersection of people and technology; a site of critical exchange that leaves room for great social change. Originally from Southern California, he hopes to bring a bit of sparkle, shine, and theatrics to any and all projects he works on. When he’s not working, in school, or tending to his 30+ plants, Anthony can be found in the kitchen perfecting his baking skills. Currently he’s trying to create the perfect lemon blueberry macaroon.



Harris, Web & Computer Specialist


Harris (he/him) is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Washington. An intended Computer Science major now studying Geography and Data Science, he enjoys hearing about the myriad ways people interact with their environment and how we can use that to create a better future for our and the next generations. When he isn’t working, studying, or sleeping, he enjoys annoying his cats, finding hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and exploring the city of Seattle.

Linds, Graduate Training & Education Coordinator


Linds Whittaker (they/he) is a third year PhD student in philosophy at the University of Washington. Prior to UW, Linds was a human relations facilitator through Virginia Tech’s Intercultural Engagement Center and received a Bachelors in Greek, Latin, and Philosophy with a minor in Gender Identity and Sexuality Studies from the University of Vermont in 2014. Currently their work focuses on food ethics, testimony, and philosophy of liberation.

Linds is passionate about transforming classrooms to be both nurturing and empowering for students as they navigate through questions of belief, identity, and meaning in the project of mutually making and remaking one another through their conversations. Outside of the classroom, Linds is a Brother of Delta Lambda Phi fraternity, plays field hockey, and enjoys watching cooking shows and gaming streams.

Livie, Graduate Learning Coordinator


Livie (she, her, hers) is a white scholar and activist pursuing her Masters of Social Work at UW. She grew up in Massachusetts (Wampanoag territory), received her BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Hamilton College (Oneida territory), and now finds herself on the lands of the Duwamish.

Livie lives by intersectional frameworks of disability justice, transformative justice, and carceral abolition. She believes collective liberation requires the leadership and creativity of disabled queer and trans BIPOC. As a white educated cisgender woman, Livie is highly privileged in this institution and workplace; she seeks to dismantle the harmful systems of white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, capitalism, and colonialism created and maintained by her predecessors while remaining accountable to those most impacted. In her free time, Livie enjoys cuddling with her newly adopted kitty named Cal, cooking with her housemates, and exploring her new PNW home.

Joie, Graduate Program Coordinator


Joie Waxler (they/them/theirs) is originally from New York, and they recently relocated to Seattle to pursue a dual Masters in Public Health and Social Work with a certification in Maternal and Child Health at the University of Washington. With a background in sexual and reproductive health and justice that centers marginalized identities, Joie approaches the world and their work grounded in the idea that all bodies are inherently imbued with immutable worth, and are deserving of love, compassion, and value. Joie is thrilled to be bringing their experience to the Q center, and is delighted to be part of such a vibrant team working to queer our notions of the world.

David, Graduate Program Coordinator


David Callahan (they/them) is a nonbinary and biracial Latine person pursuing their Master’s in Social Work (’22). An Arizonan born and raised, David has recently moved to Seattle to continue their education at UW. David is an ASU graduate of ’19, with their Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. David started their higher education journey with their Associate of Arts degree at a local Arizona community college before transferring to ASU in 2017. David was involved with programming pride events at ASU plus advocacy for LGBTQ+ students and community members during the 18-19 school year.

David is an adamant advocate for the LGBTQ+ community as well as diversity and inclusion of intersectional identities held by students. Academically, David wishes to develop and implement services for adults and adolescents with serious mental illness. David is also passionate about suicide prevention and accessible aid before, during, and after crises. David holds lived experience with behavioral health and supports peer-based practice. Outside of school, David spends time with their dog Courage and surfs a vast sea known as the internet. When given the opportunity, they are excited to explore Seattle and meet their new community members.

Saara, Graduate Community Advising Coordinator


Saara is a quad-lingual, non-binary Muslim femme with a learning disability, whose work is rooted in accessibility and racial justice. Saara is studying to earn their Masters in Social Work and for their research series, they’re focusing on Washington school policies supporting cooccurrences of Autism Spectrum Disorder and gender variance. Saara’s Practicum placements have been with King County’s Restorative Programs, Seattle Children’s Hospital Gender Clinic, and now Ryther. They are also a 2020-2021 LEAH Social Work Fellow in which research focused on transition from pediatric to adult care through a culturally competent lens. This is not their first time at the Q Center. As an undergraduate student, they co-founded the organization Noor in 2013 (Seattle’s first formal LGBTQI+ Muslim Collective). At the time, Saara was only 21 and simply seeking to reduce the isolation of Islamophobia in the LGBT community and homophobia in the Muslim community. What started as a party of 2, evolved into 53+ members by 2018. For their work they have been honored in 2017 by the Muslim Alliance of Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) with the first annual Community Builder Award and interviewed by KUOW’s radioactive series. Saara has been invited by various community colleges, school districts, and Gender Odyssey to speak on interfaith panels and facilitate workshops. Most of all they enjoy being a caretaker to their cats Cookie and Rebel, who do not let their Cerenellar Hypoplasia keep them from adventuring! If it wasn’t Covid, you could find Saara at Round1 in Tukwila playing Mario Kart or preforming poetry at local community open mics. You can connect with Saara and see more descriptions of their work on their website.

Jas, Graduate Community Advising Coordinator


Jas Harcum (she/they) is a Masters of Social Work student with a clinical concentration at the University of Washington. She received her Bachelors of Social Work with a second major in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2019. Jas identifies as Afro-Indigenous, or Black Native, of Shinnecock Nation located in Southampton, New York. They strive to center queer and trans folks and communities of color in all of their work. Jas values multiculturalism and believes in the healing potential of solidarity among and between marginalized communities. They have hopes to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in order to provide counseling services while promoting communal connection and cultural celebration within private practice. She enjoys reading and writing poetry, encouraging vulnerability, and watching anime in her free time.

Allison, Graduate Audio Video Technology/Recording Specialist


Allison Young (she/her) is a first year graduate student at the UW School of Social Work. She grew up in southern California and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Fort Lewis College.

Allison works to sustain authenticity, connection, accountability, and creativity through direct clinical work. She is passionate about organizing opportunity for BIPOC and multiracial/mixed race folx to find affinity and belonging within their communities, and she is always looking for ways to engage in queer-inclusive spaces. She enjoys biographical videography and editing, where she aims to capture transformative emotion and micro level experiences that occur beyond the scope of written or spoken word. In her free time, she enjoys skateboarding, running, creative writing, and pretending that Seattle beaches are California beaches.

Alisha, Art Directives Lead


Alisha is a first year majoring in Environmental Studies at University of Washington. They are white/Indian-American, pansexual, and nonbinary, but strive to know the queer community through Black and Indigenous transfemme voices first and foremost. Alisha’s most fervent goals are to help free the beautiful complexity of this world from the threats of colonialism and ecocide, and to make every piece of clothing they own into a piece of art. They are always up for deep and curious conversations of any sort.