Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

UVa. Hires Full-Time Advocate for Lesbian, Gay Students

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

UVa. Hires Full-Time Advocate for Lesbian, Gay Students

Article excerpt

RICHMOND, VA.

Aiming to better serve sexual minority students, the University of Virginia has hired the school's first full-time program coordinator for its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center.

Joy Pugh will manage student support groups and other activities offered through the six-year-old center, says V. Shamim Sisson, senior associate dean of students. Pugh's appointment follows a three-month national search.

The Charlottesville, Va., center offers support to the approximately 2,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual of transgender students it estimates to be on campus.

Until last year, it was directed by graduate students, limiting operation to roughly 20 hours a week, Sisson says. The setup also created a revolving door of managers who had to learn the ropes every year.

The center tried a full-time worker on a trial basis last year, and administrators approved a permanent position over the summer.

"[We] knew if we had the level of continuity of a professional staff member from year to year, we would be able to provide the level of service we needed," Sisson says.

Pugh, 27, comes to U.Va. from James Madison University, where she worked asa service specialist with the university honors program and was a graduate assistant aiding in new student orientation and diversity.

Pugh will oversee support groups such as QueerGrads, an LGBT graduate student group; SafeSpace, which prepares instructors to counsel LGBT students; and the center's LGBT speaker program. …

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