Giuseppe Salomone, PhD 1994, 1999, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019
President, LGBTQIA+ Alumni Network
Assistant Vice President and University Registrar, Drexel University
Lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tell Us About Yourself.
I have been with Drexel University since 1990. I manage the current Registrar Offices for all three campuses (University City, Center City, and Queen Lane) and supervise a staff of 15 employees. I serve on academic advisory boards as well as various University-wide committees. My background is in educational systems, and I have worked on implementing the Banner student system across all three campuses and subsequently have established a rapport with departments, faculty, staff and students.
I am extremely knowledgeable about the overall academic enterprise having functioned as a student, staff member and faculty member at Drexel. I have 30 years’ experience in higher education, and I am well versed with all nuances and intricacies related to academic administration, alumni relations, enrollment management, financial aid, student systems, academic advising, student support services, and the Office of the University Registrar.
- What are your interests and hobbies?
I live in Philadelphia with my partner Eric and our three female chihuahua puppies, Farrah, Harper and Winter. I love education and I am a lifelong learner, as you can tell from my many degrees from Drexel. I am a passionate LGBTQIA+ activist, and I have participated in many academic diversity boards at Drexel and across higher education. I was the chair of AACRAO’s LGBTQIA+ caucus for 10 years and presented nationally to better the student, faculty and staff LGBTQIA+ experience. In addition to being the president of the LGBTQIA+ Alumni Network, I am also the president of the Faculty and Professional Staff network and continue to fight for the rights of our LGBTQIA+ family.
When I am not teaching or in school, I love music and science fiction! I am an avid music collector and collect vintage vinyl and other forms of music, CDs, minidiscs and cassettes. I love animals and enjoy spending time with my puppies. Eric and I love to travel and enjoy dining out in the city. I have also been working on a short story, that I am hoping to shop around for a screenplay.
- What does embracing your identity mean for you? What are ways you feel your journey could make a difference in life?
I have always been gay and I was never closeted. I just did not feel comfortable having to tell everyone all the time, when asked if I was gay, that I was gay. Your sexuality is such a small part of who you are, and unfortunately in the gay male community, it sometimes seems to define a person. I was not going to be defined by my sexuality, nor was I going to be ashamed of it. I am an Italian American and very proud of my culture, so why do I need to be one over the other? I am an amalgamation of all these things, but most of all I am me, oh so wonderful me! I have recently adopted a new preferred name, which was initially supposed to be my birth name, Giuseppe. I did this to reclaim my Italian heritage, which I felt was slipping away, since I had to be gay and only gay, during such tumultuous times (AIDS epidemic and its subsequent aftermath). I was born gay, I did not become gay and that meant a lot to me to also be able to have that as part of the tapestry of my identify, however it did not become my identity.
- How can Drexel's LGBTQIA+ Alumni Network make a positive impact? What are you looking forward to most as a member?
Having a network of support for LGBTQIA+ alumni is wonderful. As they say, “It takes a village,” and we need to be together to make change happen. Engaging LGBTQIA+ alumni can help support and inform university wide initiates, such as LGBTQIA+ scholarships for incoming and current students, co-op employment opportunities for LGBTQIA+ students, with LGBTQIA+ alumni employers. Staying connected is critical for our community!
- What are some words of wisdom that you could share with current Drexel students who identify as members or are allies of the LGBTQIA+ community?
Live your truth and remember that you are truly unique. Don’t be defined by stereotypes or bad representation; fight to be who you are, as only you can define yourself, and that can be limitless. I was a club kid from NYC, and I was told I would die of AIDS and not live to see my 30th birthday. I refused to believe that and went on to get a PhD and now I am getting a second PhD. These trials and tribulations that we endure make us more resilient and determined. It did that for me and I fought ignorance with education, and I still do that daily. You are the beautiful, and you matter, and deserve only the best that life has to offer, please remember that.