Sanlo had two children during her seven-and-a-half-year marriage, but lost custody of them when she came out in 1979. She became politically active almost immediately, taking a job as the HIV epidemiologist for the state of Florida as well as an instructor at the University of North Florida.
She is the director of the UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Campus Resource Center. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Florida, and a master's and doctorate in education from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. Her research area is sexual orientation issues in education and higher education. Before joining the staff at UCLA, Ronni was the LGBT Center director at the University of Michigan.
Ronni is the founding chair of the National Consortium of LGBT Campus Resource Center Directors and the past chair of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Issues Network for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Currently, she serves on the national board of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).
Her three books Working with LGBT College Students: A Handbook for Faculty and Administrators; Unheard Voices: The Effects of Silence on Lesbian and Gay Educators; and Our Place on Campus: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Services and Programs in Higher Education are published by Greenwood Press.
Ronni is a frequent speaker, consultant, author, and presenter on LGBT issues in higher education; she also originated the award-winning Lavender Graduation, an event that celebrates the lives and achievements of LGBT students.
Ronni lives on the campus of UCLA as a member of the Faculty-in-Residence program. She is the proud grandmother of two little girls and the daughter of outrageous PFLAG parents. Her longtime partner is Kathy Lindblad.