Staff

Alyssa Lupinski LMSW
Alyssa Lupinski LMSW
Project Manager
Alyssa Lupinski is a graduate of SUNY Oneonta and the University at Albany’s MSW Program. Alyssa found her passion for helping the LGBTQ community when she began work at the SUNY Oneonta’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) and joined its Advisory Committee. Through her work there she joined with other students to create the first SUNY Pride Conference, where numerous SUNY schools joined together to share knowledge and network with other LGBTQ professionals. In her time at UAlbany, she further developed her passion for working with LGBTQ youth at The Pride Center of the Capital Region. At the Pride Center she also created a drop-in HIV testing space for LGBTQ youth to further education about HIV prevention and safer sex practices.

The Board

Arlene (Ari) Lev, LCSW-R, CASAC, CST
Board President
Arlene Lev is a social worker and family therapist, who is the Founder and Clinical Director of Choices Counseling and Consulting (www.choicesconsulting.com) where she has provided individual and family therapy in Albany NY for nearly 30 years. She is also the Director of TIGRIS—The Training Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity, and Sexuality (www.TIGRISinstitute.com), a professional training program in Albany, New York. Arlene specializes in issues related to gender and sexuality, including working with the LGBTQ couples and families. She is a Credentialed Alcoholism Counselor (CASAC) and a Certified Sex Therapist (ASSECT). Arlene is a part-time lecturer at the University at Albany, School of Social Welfare where she is the Project Director of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Project (SOGI). She is an international lecturer on issues related to sex and gender, and has taught at Smith College School for Social Work, Empire College, Vermont College, Union Institute and University, and the California School of Professional Psychology. Arlene has authored over 30 journal articles and book chapters and including authoring two books: The Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide and Transgender Emergence, which was the winner of the American Psychological Association (Division 44) Distinguished Book Award, 2006.
Marla Eglowstein
Marla Eglowstein
Board Member
Dr. Marla Eglowstein is a graduate of MIT and NYU School of Medicine. She is Board-certified in OB/GYN and in maternal-fetal medicine, and established the high-risk obstetric practice at St. Peter's Hospital. She has served on the faculties of Albany Medical College and Tufts University School of Medicine. She is the parent of an LGBTQ child. She recently joined the RAI Board to offer her personal and professional experience toward the mission of improving the health and lives of the LGBTQ community.
Yi Zhou
Yi Zhou
Board Secretary
Yi Zhou is the Board Secretary of Rainbow Access Initiative. She is a licensed master social worker who has primarily worked with transgender and gender non-conforming clients. After earning her Master's degree in Social Work in 2016 at University of Albany, now Yi is pursuing her second master’s degree in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the same facility. Yi's passionate about social justice and is devoted to making this world a better place.
Angela Lewin
Board Member
Ms. Lewin has over 40 years of experience as a leader in the Healthcare and Human Services field, her expertise are in the areas of staff training, program research and development, program re-structuring, implementation, Healthcare compliance and evaluation. She is proficient in knowledge and interpretation of governmental regulations with emphasis on systems organization, and policy development. Other specialties include leadership in HIV, substance use disorders, environment of care management, grants development/management, and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization preparation (JCAHO). As Vice President of Whitney Young Health Center, was responsible for nine departments, to include specialty services. She has traveled both in the US and internationally speaking on the importance of access to affordable health care as both preventing and treating diseases. St. Peters Hospital; Served as program Director for SPARC-Central Avenue clinic recently retiring from that post. This position entailed the daily operation and management of staff, patient push with emphasis on multi-systems collaboration and the maintenance of regulatory standards. Currently Ms. Lewin is the founder and president of Albany Behavioral Health Services, with a continued commitment to serving individuals who are on the margins of social, economic and healthcare justice. The practice is a multi-specialty social work, training, and administrative practice located in Albany New York.
Courtney D'Alliard
Courtney D'Alliard
Board Treasurer
Courtney D'Allaird is the founding coordinator of the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at UAlbany and has done extensive work with college campuses across New York State in order to expand initiatives for LGBTQ+ student inclusion. Courtney works with college students in transitioning to campus life and provides interactive trainings, programs and class lectures across campus. Courtney is a nationally certified peer educator and trainer for NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute), DASA (Dignity for All Students Act) and Safe Space/Zone development. Courtney currently serves on the board of the Northeast LGBT College Conference and served as the Northeast Regional Rep for the Consortium of LGBT Higher Education Professionals from 2014-16. Courtney’s expertise is cross-curricular stemming from a background in sociology, women’s gender & sexuality studies and business administration. They are the faculty advisor to: UAlbany Pride Alliance, Trans* Action, Gamma Rho Lambda and a member of the UAlbany LGBTQ Concerns Committee
Acey A. Mercer
Acey A. Mercer
Board Member
Acey A. Mercer, LMSW is a graduate of the University at Albany School of Social Welfare, where he obtained his Master’s in Social Work. Prior to graduate school Acey studied at Radbound Universiteit in the Netherlands where his academic focus was in Gender and Sexuality Studies. These foci ignited Acey’s passion to further explore and examine human behavior, relationships and the dynamics of class, race, ability, gender and sexuality. These motivating factors drew Acey to pursue social work and ultimately to become a licensed psychotherapist and educator. Acey is currently Practice Manager at Choices Counseling & Consulting in Albany, NY where he oversees clinical referrals and is responsible for the overall daily operations. He is also a Clinician at Choices and counsels clients exploring gender identity and expression. He works primarily with youth and their families as they navigate questions and challenges related to the social, legal and medical aspects of gender transition. Acey’s clinical lens gives a strong compliment to the professional education services he delivers as Senior Consultant of the Training Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity, and Sexuality (TIGRIS). Acey specializes in providing clinical training and policy development as it relates to best serving transgender and nonbinary populations in medical, mental health and educational institutions. Acey is excited to be on the Board of Directors and to utilize his professional background to contribute to the charitable and educational mission and vision of Rainbow Access Initiative (RAI)!