Our Staff

Julián Cancino
Julián Cancino
Director
Usdan G-069
Pronouns: he, him, his

Julián Cancino is the inaugural director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at Brandeis University. He is the primary point of contact for Brandeis' efforts to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution for women and LGBTQAI+ students, faculty, and staff. He also has a special responsibility to advance policy development, community building, and institutional intervention as necessary.

Prior to joining Brandeis, Julián worked at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and served as director of the Latinx Center at Tufts University. Born and raised in Chiapas, Mexico, Julián started his career in the legal field working at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in San Francisco; Munger, Tolles, & Olson (MTO) in Los Angeles; and LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in Boston. He is a proud graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he helped established the nationally-recognized Undocumented Student Program to serve low-income, first generation, and immigrant students. Julián is passionate about photography, rock climbing, and hiking with family and friends.

Ask me about how to support LGBTQ+ life at Brandeis, exploring gender identity and expression, exploring sexuality, family acceptance, ally resources for faculty and educators, ally resources for parents and guardians, intersectionality, racial justice, international experiences, first-generation experiences, social justice, and student activism.

photo of Julie Le
Julie Le
Department Coordinator
Usdan G-069
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Originally from California, Julie decided to leave the Golden State to attend college in Nebraska. While pursuing a degree in Philosophy and French at Creighton University, Julie traveled to 22 different countries. During college she worked with students on campus, regularly on staff for dormitories and the theatre department. She is also experienced in the non-profit sector, previously working to bridge disparity gaps in child populations with Voices for Children (NE) and later serving as a social media strategist for Asian Women for Health (Boston). More recently she built her office admin and managerial skills working for biotech companies in Boston. In the gig economy, she also enjoys tutoring and sometimes collaborating with artists as a lyricist.

Ask me about music, art, philosophy (ethics, feminism, artificial intelligence, film), travel, or anything you like! 

Eli Sobel Headshot
Eli Sobel
Program Administrator
elisobel@brandeis.edu | Usdan G-069
Pronouns: they, them, theirs

Eli is thrilled to be joining the GSC team in a primarily student-facing role. They lead the GSC’s student worker program, intended to help student leaders develop the skills they need to foster queer and feminist community that is affirming for all. Eli’s hope is to be a compassionate link in the support system of any community member who is at any stage of exploring their gender and/or sexuality.

Eli graduated from Tufts University with degrees in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Film and Media Studies. They have a background in diversity, equity, and inclusion education, having interned at both She+ Geeks Out (supporting women+ in tech) and Keshet Boston (supporting LGBTQ+ people in Jewish communities). They are also a creative writer with an emphasis on scriptwriting, and their writing experience is characterized by a commitment to expressing empathy through language and visual storytelling.

Ask me about identity exploration, gender expression, DIY spirituality, queerness and religion, queer literature and media, gluten-free baking, and eccentric British TV comedies.

Amanda Head Shot
Andrea "Andy" Mendez
Graduate Student Assistant
amendez@brandeis.edu | Usdan G-069
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Andy is a dual master’s degree candidate studying Sustainable International Development and Business Administration at Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy & Management. As the Graduate Student Assistant at the GSC, Andy assists the Director and Department Coordinator with the operations of the center.

Prior to joining Brandeis, Andy studied at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism & Communications and graduated in 2016 with a BS in Media Production, Technology, & Management. She recently completed a 2.5-year term of service where she conducted recruitment, volunteer management, and member support as part of the AmeriCorps VISTA Program at Legal Aid Chicago. During her time in Chicago, she also assisted the digital education company, Paper Airplanes, with training, curriculum, and workshop development as the Operations Intern. Prior to joining AmeriCorps, Andy served in the Peace Corps as a Youth & Gender Development Specialist in Morocco where she facilitated girls’ empowerment workshops, taught English, and raised awareness of public health.

Andy’s international experience include a study abroad in the Dominican Republic and two summers as a volunteer English & Health Educator in Egypt. Andy is passionate about improving access to quality education through distance learning. As a TEFL-certified Business English tutor, Andy spends her free time remotely tutoring working professionals on the English skills they need to advance in their careers.

Ask me about second language acquisition, life in the MENA region, national service programs, refugee education resources, and online communities for identity exploration.