Safe Zone Facilitator Team

Are you interested in becoming a Safe Zone Facilitator? After you attend a full-day workshop (or each of the three modules individually), you may sign up for Facilitator Training here!

One of the special strengths of Mason’s approach to the Safe Zone program is our large, diverse, committed team of training facilitators. LGBTQ+ Resources staff coordinate the Safe Zone team and each facilitator who volunteers to be a part of this team each with their own unique identity, experience, energy level, and style.

Austin Deray (he/him/his)

PhD Candidate & Assistant Director, Graduate Student Life in University Life

Austin A. Deray is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at George Mason University, currently working on his dissertation research on students of diverse identities – racial/ethnic, gender and sexuality, nation and religious – identities within historically White fraternities. He received his MA in European History, with a concentration in Medieval History, and an MA in Gender Studies, concentrating on masculinities and masculine theory, at Armstrong State University, where he was a Lecturer in the Gender Studies department from 2014–2018.

Austin works in the Office of Graduate Student Life at George Mason, working on leadership and advising initiatives for the unit. He is the adviser to the Graduate and Professional Student Association, the student government for graduate students, and works on the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within this office. Austin also helps facilitates programming within the offices of LGBTQ+ Resources (Safe Zone) and the LEAD Office (LeaderShape and other conferences/summits).

Julio Diaz (he/him/his)

Office Manager in University Life Central 

Julio Diaz is the Office Manager for University Life Central at George Mason University. Julio graduated from Mason with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music in May 2011 and has been working at Mason since January 2012. Prior to working at University Life Central, Julio worked as an Office Manager for the Early Identification Program. Currently, Julio is the Advisor for the The Aguilas Mentoring Program student organization at Mason and he is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Higher Education and Student Development.

Dr. Allie Minieri (she/her/hers)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Dr. Alexandra (Allie) Minieri serves as the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) liaison to LGBTQ+ resources. In this capacity, Allie supports CAPS programming in coordination with LGBTQ+ Resources, such as Pride Week, Trans Day of Remembrance, and Lavender Graduation. Allie is also a Safe Zone facilitator. Additional information about Allie can be found at this link:

Members of the campus community who would like to speak with Allie can reach her by calling 703-993-2380 or emailing her at

Julianna Napiecek (she/her/hers)

Assistant Director, Housing & Residence Life

Julianna Napiecek is an MA candidate in the Higher Education and Student Development Program at George Mason. She received her Bachelor of Science, in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations from Radford University. In addition to teaching the LGBTQ+ VLC UNIV 150 course, she serves as a Graduate Assistant in Student Involvement. She is passionate about helping students find community and get involved during their time at Mason.

Dr. Milagros (Millie) Rivera (she/her/hers)

Director, Faculty Engagement and Well-Being in the Office of Faculty Affairs & Development

Dr. Milagros (Millie) Rivera leads efforts to implement and strengthen institutional initiatives around Mason’s strategic goal of recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty. Prior to joining Mason, Millie was a professor and chair of the Department of Communication Science at the University of the Free State in South Africa, where she was also acting dean of the Faculty of the Humanities. She was also the founding chair of the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore and held faculty positions at the University of Florida and Indiana University-Bloomington. Millie is strongly committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community at Mason and is a member of the Safe Zone facilitation team.

You can contact her at

Karen Wolf (she/her/hers)

Applications and Communications Analyst for University Life Office of Communications and Marketing

Karen Wolf is the Applications and Communications Analyst for the University Life Office of Communications and Marketing. She received an MAIS with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies from George Mason University in 2010, with a focus on gendered embodiment in virtual spaces. She holds a BS in Computer Science and Women’s Studies from William & Mary. Karen serves on the leadership team of Showing Up for Racial Justice Northern Virginia, which seeks to activate white people to work for racial justice. She is the Lay Minister for Social Justice at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, a facilitator of the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program, and a former facilitator for the Fairfax LGBTQ Youth group.

Karen can be contacted at