Welcome to Pride Month, a time of celebration, reflection, and activism for the 2Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, +(2SLGBTQIA+) community and its allies.
The importance of Pride extends beyond parades and festivities or pretty graphics with rainbows. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggles faced by the 2SLGBTQIA+, including transphobia, biphobia, homophobia, discrimination against BIPOC individuals, denial of basic care, and the disproportionate rates of violence against trans and non-binary individuals.
Originating from the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, Pride has grown into a powerful and purposeful movement that embraces the diverse identities within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Pride is a joyful celebration where many proudly declare their visibility and stand up for their rights. I stand with them.
We must continue to advocate for justice and equality, regardless of one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Organizations like Human Rights Watch, Mental Health America, and VAWnet shed light on the challenges faced by the community and emphasize the need for solidarity.
2SLGBTQIA+ and Higher Education
Within higher education, the impact of 2SLGBTQIA+ leadership cannot be overstated. These leaders play a crucial role in modeling inclusivity, breaking down barriers, and fostering a sense of belonging for 2SLGBTQIA+ students, staff, and faculty.
As discussed in Inside Higher Ed and Times Higher Education, these leaders are paving the way for others, demonstrating the intersectionality of identities, and creating positive change every day. LGBTQ Leaders in Higher Education transform the academic landscape and inspire a generation of future leaders to embrace authenticity and make a lasting impact.
Many 2SLGBTQIA+ students still face discrimination, harassment, and exclusionary practices on college campuses. According to a national survey conducted by the 2SLGBTQIA+ advocacy group Campus Pride, these students reported experiencing hostile campus climates, biased incidents, and a lack of institutional support. These sobering facts remind us of the work that still needs to be done.
- 2SLGBTQIA+ students are four times more likely to choose a university away from home to find acceptance (UCLA Williams Institute)
- 33% of 2SLGBTQIA+ people have attended community college (UCLA Williams Institute)
- 33% of 2SLGBTQIA+ people at four-year colleges were bullied, harassed, or assaulted, compared to 19% of non-2SLGBTQIA+ people (UCLA Williams Institute)
As higher education professionals, we are responsible for creating positive change and making campuses more inclusive, affirming, and safe for all students. By integrating inclusive hiring practices, challenging gender norms and biases, and implementing policies and initiatives that support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, we can foster an environment where all can thrive.
Celebrating Pride Month
In the spirit of inclusivity and celebration, I am shining a light on remarkable 2SLGBTQIA+ practitioners in higher education, honoring their achievements, sharing their experiences, and exploring the impact they have made in creating inclusive spaces for all.
Visibility matters, so I’ll add a new group of leaders weekly to this piece throughout June. Join me in uplifting their stories, acknowledging their accomplishments, and amplifying their voices during this empowering month of celebration [and beyond]!
Akirah Bradley-Armstrong (she/her)
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs & Success | University of California, Santa Cruz
Let’s celebrate Akirah Bradley-Armstrong. As the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs & Success at UC Santa Cruz, she’s a true advocate for student well-being and success. She has taken her lived experiences as a first-generation college student into leading with passion, creating inclusive spaces, and supporting underrepresented students. Join us in honoring her dedication to student development and basic needs!
Angela E. Batista (She/Her/Ella)
Founder & CEO & Faculty Lecturer | Batista Consulting Services and University of Tennessee Knoxville
Angela E. Batista is a force to be reckoned with. As the Founder & CEO of Batista Consulting Services and a Faculty Lecturer at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, she’s making waves in the world of higher education. Angela’s expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion drives positive change on campus and beyond. Let’s applaud her for empowering students and fostering a more inclusive future!
Angela shares, “Having intersecting identities has fueled my passion for advocacy and social justice and motivates me to challenge systemic inequalities and promote equitable practices within higher education.”
Shigeo Iwamiya (He/Him)
Director of Residential Education | University of Utah
“There is nothing more devastating than hearing that someone didn’t feel like they belonged to a community. I always fight to create spaces for inclusion and making sure people feel not only comfortable but accepted in many spaces. As an LGBTQI+ and Asian/American, Multiracial Person, I feel I have the responsibility to open doors for the future generations and ensure that I can create a truly inclusive space for everyone.”
Meet Shigeo Iwamiya, the Director of Residential Education at the University of Utah. With his dedication to creating a sense of belonging, Shigeo fosters vibrant and inclusive residential communities. As the former Commissioner for the National Gay Flag Football League, he brings his passion for sports and community building to campus. Let’s cheer for Shigeo’s commitment to making everyone feel valued and included!
Mylon J. Kirksy, Ed.D. (He, Him, His)
Assistant Vice President for Residence Life/Assistant Professor of Practice | University of Texas at Austin
“Being able to live as who I am, in truth and in purpose, has allowed me to bring all my God-given gifts, strengths, and talents to my relationships and work. Living authentically in this way allows me to recognize, understand, and engage others in the same way.”
Let’s give a big round of applause to Dr. Mylon J. Kirksy. As the Assistant Vice President for Residence Life and Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at Austin, he’s a true leader in higher education. With over 22 years of experience, Dr. Kirksy has made significant contributions in student affairs, residence life, and intercultural competency development. Join us in celebrating his dedication to creating inclusive campus communities!
Agassy Rodriguez (He/him/his)
Social Media Data Analyst | Campus Sonar
“My identities remind me that there is beauty in living authentically and sharing your story with others. In my professional work, I approach online conversations and research with the idea that numbers don’t tell the whole story and that the biggest voice doesn’t mean the only voice. Higher ed has a layered story with so many authors who contribute; I aim to help all sides understand each other more. ”
Meet Agassy Rodriguez, the social media data analyst at Campus Sonar. With a passion for understanding key audiences and strategic decision-making, Agassy helps higher ed institutions make a positive impact with passion and energy to transform how campuses use social media for data-informed decision-making. As a first-generation college graduate, he brings a unique perspective to his work, bravo Agassy!
Jamie Washington (He/Him/His)
President and Founder and Pastor | The Washington Consulting and Social Justice Training Institute of Unity Fellowship church of Baltimore
Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington is a true inspiration. As the President and Founder of The Washington Consulting and Social Justice Training Institute, he’s a renowned diversity consultant and educator. With over 39 years of experience, Dr. Washington has made a lasting impact on every pocket higher education.
Jamie shares, “Race/Religion/Age/Class and Gender Identity are all salient intersecting identities that have impacted my journey as a Gay higher education professional.” Let’s celebrate his leadership and commitment to creating a more inclusive world!
Sue Borrego (She/Her)
Interim President and Consultant |American Association of State Colleges and Universities | CSU Stanislaus
Meet Sue Borrego, an exceptional educator, advocate, and interim President of CSU Stanislaus. With over 30 years of experience in higher education, Sue is a fierce voice for equity and student success. As a first-generation student herself, she’s breaking barriers and building inclusive leadership teams. Let’s celebrate Sue’s transformative leadership and commitment to justice and equity!
Susan shares, “I think before I had language or was conscious of my ‘identities’, my sense of being an outsider developed within me a strong drive for inclusion. Being out over 30 years ago, when there were so many less of us visible, there were both students and professionals who glimpsed their own potential as they got to know me. Today as a former chancellor and president, I know being at the table as a lesbian and a woman has allowed for conversations that would not otherwise have happened.”
Danny Glassmann (He/him/his)
Associate Vice President for Student Engagement & Support and Dean of Students | The Ohio State University
Introducing Danny Glassmann. He’s the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement & Support and Dean of Students at The Ohio State University. With a passion for student learning and success, Danny has created strategies and programs that empower students. As a first-generation college student, he understands the journey and is dedicated to advancing student engagement, even on Instagram where you can find him connected @DeanDannyG. Let’s applaud Danny’s student-centered approach and impact on The Ohio State community!
Sergio A. Gonzalez (él/he/him)
Incoming Assistant Professor of Higher Education | Duquesne University, Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership
“My intersecting identities being a first-generation academic, joto (queer), Latinx of Mexican parents raised in a mixed-status home have impacted how I understand, conceptualize, and theorize in higher education. These identities and my experiences navigating higher education have taught me to center who and what I am committed to, my liberatory praxis and my students.”
Let’s give a warm welcome to Sergio A. Gonzalez! He’s joining Duquesne University as an Assistant Professor of Higher Education. Sergio’s research, influenced by Black and Queer feminist ideologies, explores the experiences of marginalized communities in academia. With accolades like the CSGI Dr. D-L Stewart Research Award, his leadership shines bright. Let’s celebrate Sergio’s commitment to inclusivity and knowledge creation. Bravo Sergio.
Em Huang (they/them)
Director of LGBTQ+ Advancement & Equity | University of California, Berkeley
“My intersecting identities as a queer, trans, nonbinary East and Southeast Asian American are my foundation for approaching LGBTQ+ work through a lens of multiplicity, recognizing that there is never a single answer, and that all oppression, and therefore liberation, is interconnected. ”
Meet Em Huang. They’re the Director of LGBTQ+ Advancement & Equity at UC Berkeley. Em’s intersectional approach and lived experiences as a queer, trans, and nonbinary individual inform their work in social justice education and advocacy. From improving policies to supporting gender and sexuality issues, Em’s impact is profound. Let’s honor Em’s dedication to advancing queer and trans communities in higher education!
Eddie Martinez (he/him)
Associate Dean for Student Affairs | Suffolk County Community College
Let’s give a round of applause to Eddie Martinez! As the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Suffolk County Community College, he’s a true champion for student success. With his extensive experience in higher education leadership, Eddie has made a lasting impact on campuses nationwide. Eddie serves on the NASPA Foundation Board and the Board of Directors for the Higher Education Consortium for Student Affairs Certification.
Vernon A. Wall (he/him)
President & Founder | One Better World, LLC
Meet Vernon A. Wall. He’s the President and Founder of One Better World, LLC, a consulting firm that sparks courageous conversations about social justice and equity. With over 30 years of experience in Student Affairs, Vernon has influenced the lives of countless students and student affairs administrators. As a dynamic speaker and facilitator, he continues to inspire change and foster inclusive communities. Let’s honor Vernon’s commitment to creating a better world.
Adriana Di Bartolo-Beckman (she/her)
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Personal & Professional Coach | Scripps College
Dr. Adriana di Bartolo-Beckman is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Scripps College. In addition, she serves as an incredible Transformational Leadership and Personal Coach.
Dr. di Bartolo-Beckman is a force to be reckoned with, clearing the path in higher education as a social justice educator and consultant. Her dedication to holistic student wellness, inclusive policies, and leadership development has transformed campuses for the better. Join us in celebrating her remarkable contributions to academia and unwavering support for students.
Raymond E Crossman (he/him)
President | Adler University
Let’s applaud Raymond E. Crossman, the extraordinary President of Adler University!
Dr. Crossman is a passionate advocate for social justice, an educator, and a psychologist who has been a driving force in higher education for years. Under his leadership, Adler University has grown into a transformative institution that supports communities in Chicago, Vancouver, and beyond.
Not only has he bravely shared his HIV status to raise awareness and empower marginalized communities, but he has also championed issues like racial equity, undocumented students, and climate justice. Through his book LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education, and his work with the organization LGBTQ Leaders in Higher Education, he has brought together leaders to advance diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Join us in celebrating Dr. Crossman’s remarkable journey and profound impact on education and human rights.
Raja Gopal Bhattar (they/them)
Executive Director and Founder | Bhattar Consulting, LLC
“My intersections of identities have helped me see the world in a more complex and compassionate way while also building various levels of communities where ever I am. (un)learning my own internalized ism’s and deeply examining my biases within a larger sociohistorical moment makes me a nuanced and adaptable facilitator. I feel my identities and life experiences have given me skills to challenge and engage individuals and communities to grow and develop DEBI competencies”
Dr. Bhattar is a powerhouse in higher education, making waves as a leader, advocate, consultant, and author. Their work delves into the intersections of identity, belonging, and the experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals, immigrants, first-generation and international students, and people of color.
Raja shares, “My intersections of identities have helped me see the world in a more complex and compassionate way while also building various levels of communities where ever I am. (un)learning my own internalized ism’s and deeply examining my biases within a larger sociohistorical moment makes me a nuanced and adaptable facilitator. I feel my identities and life experiences have given me skills to challenge and engage individuals and communities to grow and develop DEBI competencies.”
Brian Medina (ze/hir/hirs)
Director, Bias Incident Support Services | University of Maryland, College Park
“Being genderqueer, queer, and a Latinx human with disabilities has given me a deep appreciation for how our students and staff navigate barriers on our campuses. While exhausting at times, it has also given me the opportunity to advocate for other marginalized folx and to center their needs.”
Let’s shine a light on Brian Medina, the Director of Bias Incident Support Services at the University of Maryland, College Park!
For over 15 years, Brian has been a fierce social justice activist within higher education, fighting for marginalized communities and centering those impacted by systemic oppression and trauma. As an openly queer, genderqueer, and Latinx sexual assault survivor, ze brings a powerful voice to advocate for change.
Join us in celebrating Brian’s unwavering commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive campus!
Phil Ollenberg (he/him/his)
Associate Registrar | Bow Valley College
“As a cisgender white male, I recognize I come from a place of privilege that affords me more clout and space than others may receive. In turn, I have learned and continue to learn how to hold space for, listen to, and amplify the voices of my colleagues who are of colour, female, gender diverse, and of different ability. ”
Phil Ollenberg is the Associate Registrar from Bow Valley College, with an unwavering dedication to LGBTQ+ pride committees, educating on gender and sexual diversity, and volunteering with queer organizations is an inspiration to us all.
Join us in celebrating Phil’s incredible contributions to academia and his ongoing mission to create a more inclusive world!
Corey Seemiller (She/her)
Professor, Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations | Wright State University
“As an ‘out’ lesbian, I often find that I’m the only one on a staff or only one on a committee. In some cases, I’ve been the only one in an entire division. And, because students are often aware of my identity, I am sought out by many going through their own coming out processes and day-to-day struggles to find support and validation. I’m grateful I can be there for students who may not otherwise have someone that has had a similar experience.”
As a professor in Leadership Studies, Corey is shaping the future by developing youth and college student leadership programs. Her book, The Student Leadership Competencies Guidebook, is a game-changer!
With multiple publications on Generation Z and leading the Global Gen Z Study, Corey’s expertise is changing the world. She’s been featured in top-tier media and her TED Talk on Generation Z has inspired a quarter million viewers!
Alex Cabal (he/him)
Assistant Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, Berklee College of Music
Shoutout to Alex Cabal, the rockstar Assistant Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Berklee College of Music! Alex’s dedication to expanding opportunities for diversity, social justice, and inclusion made an impact at Wentworth Institute of Technology and Northeastern University before joining Berklee. As the inaugural Director of the Center for Diversity and Social Justice Programs, he fostered inclusive excellence campus-wide and his guidance in addressing racial injustice concerns has been invaluable. Let’s celebrate Alex’s unwavering commitment to building a more inclusive campus environment!
Chloe Corcoran (she/her)
Director of Alumni Relations, Palo Alto University
Give a big round of applause to Chloe Corcoran, the Director of Alumni Relations at Palo Alto University. Not only is Chloe an incredible professional, but she is breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes as a transgender woman. From being part of the groundbreaking audio reality show “BEING: Trans” to being honored by the LA Dodgers for activism, Chloe is making waves. I’m inspired by their dedication to equity and inclusion, and her achievements as a coach and community leader. Keep shining, Chloe!
“Being a transgender woman in higher education advancement has made me a better listener and, I hope, a better ally to all oppressed communities. While struggling to find other education advancement professionals that share this identity, I have come to better realize the strength and importance of visibility. Seeing others achieve while being visible allowed me to continue on this path, and I hope to do the same for others.
I would like to encourage other trans professionals to consider the field of advancement as a potential career. We are pervasively spoked about, and for, at many tables when we are not even invited into the room. Our presence forces our voices to be heard, and the more of us there are, the more likely we are to have them listened to.”
Angel Gonzalez (he/they/elle)
Incoming Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration and Leadership, California State University, Fresno
“My lived experiences have allowed me to be sensitive to the experiences, challenges and joys of many people from various walks of life. It has made me a better person, community member and citizen.”
Join me in celebrating the amazing Ángel de Jesus González, the incoming Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration and Leadership at California State University, Fresno! Ángel’s commitment to advocating for equitable realities and futures for minoritized identities is truly awe-inspiring. As a first-generation queer, Latinx, joto scholar, they bring their lived experiences into their research on Latinx leadership, community college experiences for QT students, and equity policy implementation. Let’s honor Ángel’s groundbreaking work and dedication to social justice in higher education!
Robin Holmes-Sullivan (she/her)
President, Lewis & Clark College
“My lived experiences have allowed me to be sensitive to the experiences, challenges and joys of many people from various walks of life. It has made me a better person, community member and citizen.”
Meet Dr. Robin Holmes-Sullivan, the fearless leader of Lewis & Clark College as their 26th president. As the first woman and person of color to hold this role in their 155-year history, she’s breaking barriers. A clinical psychologist with over two decades of experience, Dr. Holmes-Sullivan actively consults on diversity and multicultural organizational development, emphasizing the importance of identity formation and cross-cultural dynamics. Her commitment to enhancing the student experience has led to amazing projects like the Templeton Campus Center renovation. Let’s celebrate Dr. Holmes-Sullivan for her vision and dedication to creating positive change!
Keith Humphrey (He/him)
Vice President for Student Affairs at California Polytechnic State University
“I start by doing my own self work. This includes understanding where I carry privilege and where I don’t. As an openly gay senior administrator, I regularly face discrimination or criticism for raising LGBTQ related priorities or issues, so these experiences combined with my own self work make me an empathetic champion of our students.”
Keith Humphrey is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Cal Poly. Keith’s leadership, strategic planning, and commitment to student success have made a significant impact on the campus community. From delivering high-impact programs to advocating for student engagement, Keith’s dedication shines through. As the previous president of ACPA-College Student Educators International, he has left a lasting mark on the higher education community. Thank you, Keith, for your outstanding contributions to students’ learning and development!
Kevin Tyler (he/him)
Director of Community Engagement, SimpsonScarborough
Meet Kevin Tyler, the incredible Director of Community Engagement at SimpsonScarborough! Kevin’s diverse background in various fields, includingf politics, nonprofits, and education, brings a unique perspective to higher education marketing and branding. As the host of the “Higher Voltage” podcast, he’s leading conversations that move the industry forward. Are you a foodie? So is Kevin and his instagram is full of recs! Let’s celebrate Kevin’s passion for data-driven insights and his dedication to helping institutions reach their strategic goals!
Rachel Aho (she/her)
Director of Housing at the University of Utah
“My identities have made me a more empathetic, thoughtful, strategic, and critical leader in higher education. My lived experiences and those within my community have helped me unfurl and reveal the work still to be done for our LGBTQ+ students and strengthen my resolve to advance this work.”
Meet Dr. Rachel E. Aho, a true leader in higher education. As the Director of Housing at the University of Utah, she also spearheads efforts in marketing, strategic planning, and more. With her background in sociology and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy, she is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity. Beyond her role, she teaches in the university’s leadership minor program and is Vice President for ACPA: College Student Educators. Let’s give a round of applause to Dr. Aho for her commitment to student success!
Willie Banks (he/him)
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at the University of California, Irvine
“Representation matters. I hope that I can be an inspiration for students, faculty, and staff that identify as LGBTQIA+. I made the decision when I came out in 1994 to never go back in the closet, and that included my professional life. This was and still is one of the best decisions I have ever made. My life has been richer and fuller, being able to live my authentic life out and proud.”
Give it up for Dr. Willie L. Banks, Jr., the extraordinary Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at the University of California, Irvine. With a passion for student development, he oversees multiple clusters that transform the lives of over 35,000 students. Having previously served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Indiana State University, Dr. Banks brings invaluable experience to his role. His dedication to creating vibrant co-curricular programs and fostering a sense of belonging is truly inspiring. Thank you, Willie, for your unwavering commitment to student success!
Archie P. Cubarrubia (he/him)
Deputy Director, Institutional Transformation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Students bring their whole selves to our colleges and universities. Bringing all facets of our individual identities to bear can help us better understand, empathize with, and ultimately help our students on their journey toward a postsecondary credential. I’ve been honored to be part of organizations and institutions working actively to create conditions for students to feel a greater sense of belonging in their campus communities by helping foster my sense of belonging in the work. ”
Let’s give a big shoutout to Dr. Archie P. Cubarrubia. As Deputy Director of the Institutional Transformation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he’s a driving force behind improving student success and eliminating achievement gaps in colleges and universities. He also happened to be my NODA internship supervisor in grad school at NAU! With over two decades of experience in student affairs and institutional leadership, Archie is dedicated to creating positive change across higher education. From federal policymaking to strategic planning, his expertise knows no bounds. Let’s applaud Dr. Cubarrubia for his remarkable contributions to transforming the landscape of higher education.
Antonio Duran (he/él)
Assistant professor at Arizona State University
Dr. Antonio Duran is an assistant professor at Arizona State University. With his expertise in higher and postsecondary education, he delves into the impact of historical and contemporary oppression on college student experiences. Driven by his passion for centering the lives of queer and trans communities, people of color, and those with multiple minority identities, he is shaping a more inclusive and equitable educational landscape. Thank you, Dr. Duran, for your vital research and advocacy!
Julia R. Golden (they/them)
Associate Dean of Students at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science University
“Being Latine/Queer and Non-binary has allowed me to see various perspectives. But more importantly, because there are few places where all of me can be comfortable, I am a world builder.”
Meet Julia R. Golden, the Associate Dean of Students at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science University. Julia is also the interim president of Trans Resistance MA, a Boston non-profit that supports Trans, Queer, Gender non-conforming and people of color in boston and beyond. Their commitment to creating inclusive campus cultures and advocating for racial equity is truly inspiring. Julia’s innovative workshops, focused on leadership, social justice, and storytelling, empower students and professionals alike. They are leading higher ed in creating safe spaces and implementing implicit bias training for trans and queer people of color nationwide. Let’s celebrate Julia’s dedication to fostering healing and understanding in our communities!
Mike Munoz (he/him)
Superintendent-President of Long Beach City College
Dr. Mike Muñoz deserves a standing ovation. With expertise in closing racial equity gaps and creating inclusive environments for 2SLGBTQIA+ students, he is transforming Long Beach City College into a destination college for students from all backgrounds. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Muñoz’s journey and resilience inspire us all, as he shares in his office of the president biography, ‘While attending college, he experienced both food and housing insecurity — all while caring for his daughter as a single father.’ He is the incoming president for the National Community College Hispanic Councils (NCCHC) and is an Aspen Institution Rising President Fellow. Let’s celebrate Dr. Muñoz’s remarkable achievements and leadership in building a brighter future for students!
As we commemorate Pride Month, let us reflect on the progress we have made, but also acknowledge the work that lies ahead. By working together and championing inclusivity, empathy, and respect, we can continue to transform higher education into a space that celebrates and uplifts all individuals. Let this month serve as a reminder of our collective responsibility to create campuses that honor the diversity and lived experiences of every student. Together, we can build a future where every 2SLGBTQIA+ student feels safe, supported, and empowered to achieve their dreams.
Resources and Community
- LGBTQ Leaders in Higher Education
- InsideHigherEd: LGBTQ leaders in higher education play a significant role in modeling an out career
- Book: LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education
- Coalition for Sexuality & Gender Identities | ACPA
- Consortium of Higher Education
- Times Higher Education: Leadership and the Intersectionality of being queer and living with HIV