Meet Our Staff
Students, faculty, staff, and community members are free to contact whomever they would like in our office and ask to meet regarding issues of gender and sexuality, based on job responsibilities, background, or personal interests. If for whatever reason you are not comfortable meeting at the KC Potter Center, staff members are happy to meet in other campus locations. We look forward to meeting you!
Christopher Purcell, Ed.D. | Director
Chris has worked for LGBTQI equity in higher education throughout his career. After graduating from Western New England University, he went on to get his M.Ed. in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont. At Vermont, Chris served as the graduate assistant for LGBTQA Services and worked with orientation and new student programs. He then served as the program coordinator in the Center for LGBT Life at Duke University and most recently as the associate director of student activities at Berklee College of Music. He completed his Ed.D. in higher education policy and leadership at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College in 2017. He enjoys playing tennis and kickball, watching basketball, and volunteering for political campaigns and community organizations. Contact Chris about: the mission and vision of LGBTQI Life, Staff and Faculty Resources, Trans@VU Updates, and the LGBTQI+ Alumni Group.
Liv Parks, M.S. | Assistant Director
Liv came to LGBTQI Life in 2015 after completing a masters degree in student affairs and higher education from Missouri State University. Through educational and personal journeys, Liv has found a purpose in social advocacy, self-love, creativity, and the empowerment of student development and activism. Outside of LGBTQI Life at Vanderbilt, Liv serves on the directorate body of ACPA’s (College Student Educators International) Coalition for Sexuality and Gender Identities and is a Regional Representative for the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT+ Resource Professionals. Liv is the too-proud dog-parent of an Olde English Bulldogge named Maggie and spends most of their time with their fiancé at the local dog parks here in Nashville. Liv can also be found caring for their houseplants, baking a new recipe, or snapping too many photos. Probably all at once. Contact Liv about: Programming collaborations, the annual OUT in Front conference, the Vanderbilt Lambda Association, and our Newsletter.
Roberta Nelson, MTS | Program Coordinator
Roberta holds a Masters in Theological Studies, with a focus in Religion, Ethics, and Politics from Harvard Divinity School. While at Harvard Divinity School, Roberta worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Life and was a founding member of the Religious Anarchist Collective. Roberta also earned a BA in Religion and History from the University of Rochester. Their academic interests lay in the development of American religious identity constructions at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Roberta also has a passion for campus and community programming that engages these points of intersection. Outside of work, Roberta is an avid Green Bay Packers fan, who watches a bit too much Sci-Fi. Contact Roberta about: Training and educational sessions including Straight Facts about LGBTQI Life, P.R.I.D.E. Trainings, Speak Out, and student support initiatives like Affinity Groups.