Meet Our Staff

Lowell Kane Lowell Kane, Director

Lowell Kane, MEd, Director

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Hicks Library, Rm. G988 | Phone: 765-494-7779 | Email: 

Lowell is the inaugural Director of Purdue's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Center. He has been an advocate and leader in the LGBTQ community for more than a decade, with specializations in educational programming, support services, fostering collaborative partnerships, establishing Safe Zone programs, facilitation/training, and leadership development. As an alumnus of the transformative Social Justice Training Institute, Lowell has dedicated his work to the pursuit of equity by identifying ways to improve campus climate and shape the educational experience to be more inclusive and welcoming of all students, including LGBTQ and ally people. In addition to his work in higher education, Lowell has consulted on projects for NASA's Johnson Space Center, the RAND Corporation, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Fundamental Rights Committee of the Parliament of Nepal.

A native New Yorker, Lowell attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he received a bachelor's degree in anthropology. With academic interests that include prehistoric technology, symbology and gender, he participated in field research in the American Southwest, Polynesia and East Africa. Kane was a student leader, serving as president of the LGBT Alliance and as a key advisor on LGBTQ issues to campus administrators and faculty. Additionally, Kane was instrumental in developing new course offerings that focus on the history and culture of LGBTQ communities.

As a programming assistant in the Women’s and Gender Equity Resource Center at Texas A&M University, Lowell advanced LGBTQ campus awareness and resources. His efforts resulted in the establishment of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center in 2007 — the first stand-alone GLBT resource center at a public institution in the state of Texas. As the founding program coordinator of the Texas A&M GLBT Resource Center, he focused on three key initiatives: education, outreach and support. In this role, he also served as the South-Central Regional Representative to the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals and presented at state and national conferences. While at Texas A&M, Lowell received an M.Ed. with a focus in multicultural education, particularly in the development of culturally responsive teaching practices for LGBTQ students. He is also the recipient of the Student Organization Advisor of the Year, Diversity Service and Distinction in the field of Student Affairs awards, as well as the prestigious Phyllis R. Frye Advocacy Award.

Beyond his professional interests, owell enjoys participating in community organizations, traveling, theatre, art, reading, movies, attending auctions and being outdoors with his amazing dog.

Kelsey Chapman Kelsey Chapman, Assistant Director

Kelsey Chapman, Assistant Director

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hicks Library, Rm. G988 | Phone: 765-494-3676 | Email:

Kelsey is the Assistant Director of the Purdue University Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Center. She has over five years of experience in LGBTQ student affairs, with specializations in educational programming and support services. As a cultural competencies training facilitator, Kelsey has trained Purdue students, staff, faculty, and Greater Lafayette community members on intersectional and inclusive allyship to the LGBTQIA+ community.

From Lafayette, Indiana, Kelsey attended Purdue University and received her B.A. in History with a minor in Communications in 2018. She co-facilitated the Sex, History, and the Cities study abroad program with Lowell Kane and Dr. Yvonne Pitts.

Beyond her professional interests, Kelsey enjoys reading, board games, and spending time with her partner and their dog.

Janay Rentas Janay Rentas, Coordinator

Janay Rentas, Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hicks Library, Rm. G988 | Email:

Janay is the Coordinator for the LGBTQ Center at Purdue. She is originally from Bloomington, Indiana but moved away from IU territory to attend Purdue. Janay graduated from Purdue in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, and she is currently enrolled as a graduate student with IUPUI to obtain a Master of Science in Counseling. Prior to joining the LGBTQ Center, Janay worked in an adult high school where she empowered non-traditional students to earn their high school diploma by removing barriers and encouraging personal growth. Janay is passionate about creating an accessible and inclusive academic setting for each student, especially those who are underrepresented and marginalized. Janay also has experience in domestic violence intervention, LGBTQ affairs, state legislation, mental health, and social work. In her free time, Janay enjoys hiking, traveling, strength-training, and eating her favorite foods with her favorite people.

Lauren Murfree Lauren Murfree, Graduate Assistant

Lauren Murfree, Graduate Assistant

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hicks Library, Rm. G988 | Email:

Lauren is the Purdue LGBTQ Center's graduate fellow. She is a graduate student specializing in science communication and health, particularly injury and violence prevention. Lauren has engaged in research and advocacy efforts focused on community-based interventions, public policy, public health outreach, culturally based interventions, grassroots organizing, collaboration, social movements, and reproductive justice 

She has a bachelor's in psychology from Purdue University-Fort Wayne, Bachelor's in Anthropology from Indiana University-Fort Wayne, and an International Relations Certificate from Indiana University- Fort Wayne. Most recently, Lauren completed her Master's in Applied Anthropology (2018) from Purdue University. Her M.S. Applied Anthropology thesis focused on cross-cultural collaboration by examining how secular and religious groups can/have collaborated. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences Education & Communication specializing in Science Communication (Intended graduation: 2023) and concurrently pursuing a Master's in Public Health (Intended graduation: 2023) specializing in family and community health both at Purdue University.