"LGBTQ Center" Archive

13 members of Wake Forest community honored for completion of CORE program

This is a guest post from Human Resources:

2018 CORE honorees

During a recognition luncheon on March 2, 13 members of the Wake Forest community were presented with plaques honoring their completion of the CORE program.  Colleagues and supervisors were in attendance to help congratulate the honorees.  This year’s plaques were made from reclaimed wood from an oak tree that stood on the grounds of the President’s Home.  Many thanks to the Facilities and Campus Services Construction Team for making these unique and special awards!

The 2018 CORE Honorees include:

Mark Anderson, University Advancement CORE Leader
Ashley Graham Phipps, Employer Relations
Sonya Izzard, Student Financial Services
Christy Lennon, Human Resources
Kayla Lisenby, LGBTQ Center (not pictured)
Sharon Lunsford, School of Business CORE AP
Travis Manning, Z. Smith Reynolds Library
Kim McGrath, University Advancement CORE Leader
Lisa Simmons, Employer Relations
Darlene Starnes, Intercultural Center (not pictured)
Lauren Trethaway, Student Financial Services CORE Leader (not pictured)
Cheryl Walker, University Advancement CORE Leader
Denise Williard, Residence Life and Housing

CORE, which stands for “Cultivating our Organization to Realize Excellence,” was launched in September of 2011.  CORE is built around 5 competencies that are meaningful and relevant to our campus:  communication, community, leadership, organizational acumen, and personal progression.

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Categories: Guest PostStaff News

Mazaris receives In Good Company Award from North Star LGBTQ Center

Angela Mazaris

The North Star LGBTQ Center in Winston-Salem presented the In Good Company Award to Angela Mazaris on Nov. 9 at the organization’s annual event that honors LGBTQ-friendly organizations, their employees, local volunteers and activists. Mazaris is the founding director of Wake Forest’s LGBTQ Center.

Intended to recognize leaders in creating inclusive and welcoming spaces, the award honored Mazaris for her leadership of the University’s LGBTQ Center.  She was among other honorees at the annual event that featured a keynote address by undocumented activist Moises Serrano, who is described as committed to uniting the immigration and LGBTQ movements.

Mazaris is also a member of the faculty in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

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In Support of DACA students at Wake Forest University

The following message went out to the Wake Forest University campus community on Sept. 3: 

Dear Wake Forest Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The current political climate around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is one of uncertainty and confusion, not only for Wake Forest students enrolled in the program, but also for their families, friends, classmates, faculty and staff. Given that climate, we cannot provide clarity about the program’s continuation or possible changes to federal policy. However, it is critically important for everyone in our campus community – and especially those worried about their safety and freedom to pursue their studies – to know that Wake Forest is here to support all our students, including those who are not U.S. citizens.

In December, President Hatch joined hundreds of other university leaders in signing a petition asking then-President-elect Trump to uphold and expand DACA. Yet, as a decision from the White House looms, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion – through our Intercultural Center, Women’s Center, and LGTBQ Center – acknowledges the anxiety and frustration associated with not knowing the impact of changes to current federal policies. Please consider our collective staff available should you need to an attentive ear or a comforting space. In addition, please remember that the University Counseling Center (117 Reynolda Hall) can provide expert and clinical confidential support, that the International Students and Scholars division (116 Reynolda) can provide up-to-date information and implications for changes to federal policies around immigration procedures and statutes, and that the Chaplain’s Office (8 Reynolda) can provide spaces that facilitate reflection and solace. Finally, consider your own personal support network of family, friends, and staff and professor allies, and how they can be affirming.

Wake Forest, like other institutions of higher education, will continue to monitor changes to DACA. We will also continue to assess progress or updates to Congressional actions, including the BRIDGE Act and the Recognizing America’s Children Act (a rewrite of the Dream Act). Ultimately, the academic and personal-social wellbeing of DACA students at Wake Forest is something we neither take lightly nor take for granted.

As President Hatch has said, we are a community that stands up for one another in the face of discrimination. We are a place committed to respecting and preserving the dignity of all people – from every nation. We are a campus that welcomes diverse people and viewpoints. Our campus is richer for our diverse population and we will continue to provide financial aid, support services, and connection to legal resources for undocumented students. You belong here and you are welcome here.

Sincerely,
José A. Villalba, Interim Chief Diversity Officer
Johnathan McElderry, Director, Intercultural Center
Angela Mazaris, Director, LGBTQ Center
Paige Meltzer, Director, The Women’s Center

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Categories: Inside WFU

Barbee Oakes named chief diversity officer at UNLV

This announcement was emailed by Provost Rogan Kersh to students, faculty and staff on July 6:

Dear Wake Forest Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Barbee Oakes

After three decades as a champion of diversity and inclusion at Wake Forest, Dr. Barbee Oakes will become the Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) on September 1.

Appointed Wake Forest’s first Chief Diversity Officer in 2015, Dr. Oakes has also served as Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion since 2009.

We are grateful for Dr. Oakes’ years of pioneering leadership and the vital, central role she has had in making Wake Forest a more diverse and inclusive place.  She has been unwavering in her commitment to creating an inclusive environment for every member of the Wake Forest community.  Though sad she will leave her alma mater and professional home for 28 years, we know UNLV will benefit from her extraordinary combination of wisdom and passion for fostering community.

Dr. Oakes was Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (now the Intercultural Center) for 14 years prior to her appointment as Assistant Provost. She came to Wake Forest as an assistant professor in the health and exercise science department in 1989.

Under her leadership, Wake Forest implemented key retention strategies that positioned the University among the nation’s most successful institutions with respect to graduating college students of color. She has worked collaboratively with faculty, administrators, staff and students to develop initiatives to broaden the curriculum, increase the number of minority faculty and staff, enhance diversity education, better prepare our students to work and lead in a global society and, in countless ways, create an inclusive and engaging campus culture.

Dr. Oakes was also the lead author of Wake Forest’s strategic plan to enhance diversity and inclusion, among the first and most expansive such university strategies when published nearly a decade ago. Many of the initiatives proposed there, including creating a LGBTQ Center and Women’s Center, have come to rich fruition under her supervision.

Beyond Wake Forest, she has also been a leader in higher education. In 2012, Diverse Issues in Higher Education nationally recognized her as one of the “25 Women Making a Difference” to foster community on college campuses. She has served as president of the North Carolina Diversity and Inclusion Partners.

An exercise physiologist by training, Dr. Oakes (’80, MA ’81) received a B.S. with honors and an M.A from Wake Forest. As a Hylton Smith Fellow, she received a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and nutrition from the University of Tennessee and was the first African American woman with a doctorate in the American College of Sports Medicine. She has also held faculty appointments at Arizona State and Penn State University.

I will oversee a national search for her replacement.

I know I speak for us all wishing Dr. Oakes the best of luck at UNLV—she will be missed across the Wake Forest community, one she has done so much to enhance!

Sincerely,

Rogan Kersh

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Reaffirming support for our transgender community

This message was emailed to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 23 by University administrators Rogan Kersh, Penny Rue and Barbee Oakes:

Dear Wake Forest students, faculty and staff:

We have reviewed new guidance from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice regarding transgender students. This Dear Colleague Letter rolled back significant guidance issued last May delineating institutional responsibility to treat trans students according to their gender identity.

On behalf of Wake Forest University, we are in full support of our transgender community. We invite you to read the thoughtful message, prepared by LGBTQ Center Director Angela Mazaris and Program Coordinator Kayla Lisenby, which affirms our values and support for all people. We are fortunate to have such caring leadership in our LGBTQ Center, which has been at the forefront of providing education, advocacy, and support to the campus community around issues of gender identity and sexual orientation since its inception in 2011.

In addition, our Transgender Policies Workgroup formed last fall aims to ensure that Wake Forest provides the best possible experience of inclusion for trans members of our community – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – and it will continue to do so. The recently released Dear Colleague Letter does nothing to change our steadfast commitment to helping create a safe and supportive educational and work environment for trans students and colleagues. Leaders across the University share our affirmation.

Now is the time to reach out and provide support to members of our transgender community as we seek to create an inclusive, welcoming and supportive campus. Our LGBTQ Center, Counseling Center, Student Health, Dean of Students Office, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Chaplain’s Office and many other campus resources are all ready and eager to help students navigate the shifting legal landscape and claim their place here at Wake.

Sincerely,

Rogan Kersh, Provost
Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
Barbee Oakes, Chief Diversity Officer

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