In March 2020, the College of Education proudly hosted the inaugural Educate Out Loud: A Research and Practice Symposium dedicated to exploring issues and topics related to LGBTQ+ people in teacher preparation, higher education, and the field of education generally. LGBTQ+ issues in education deserve more attention, insight, and action.
Monica Roberts, Founding Editor of TransGriot
Monica Roberts (she/her/hers), AKA the TransGriot (Gree-oh) is a native Houstonian, GLAAD award-winning blogger, writer, and award-winning trans human rights advocate. She's the founding editor of TransGriot, and her writing has appeared at the Bilerico Project, Ebony.com, The Huffington Post and the Advocate. She works to foster understanding and acceptance of trans people inside and outside communities of color. Among her many honors are the Virginia Prince Transgender Pioneer Award, and the Robert Coles Call of Service Award.
Dr. Reginald Blockett, Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University
Dr. Reginald Blockett (open/flexible pronouns) is a professor at Grand Valley State University in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling. Dr. Blockett received his Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University and has a B.A. in sociology, and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He uses sociology and education as a lens to explore the sociocultural experiences of LGBTQ+ students of color, socialization, social justice and pedagogy in education. He uses a queer of color critique and intersectionality to understand the experiences and choices of Black queer college students. His focus on Black and Brown LGBTQ+ college students is imperative in a predominantly white space. Dr. Blockett holds positions in numerous professional associations and has both published and presented amongst the leading scholars in higher education.
Dr. Catherine Connell, Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston University
Dr. Catherine Connell (she/her/hers) work focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, and work/organizations. Her first book, School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom was published in 2015 by the University of California Press. Her current book project, A Few Good Gays: The US Military’s Incomplete Gender & Sexuality Revolution, focuses on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the gender integration of combat, and the ongoing question of transgender inclusion. Dr. Connell is an alumnus of UT Austin, where she received her PhD in sociology. Her publications intersect throughout sociology, women and gender studies, education, human development, and more.
Dr. Elizabethe C. Payne, Founder and Director of QuERI
Dr. Elizabethe Payne is founder and director of QuERI – The Queering Education Research Institute and is education faculty at the City University of New York, Hunter College. A sociologist of education, her current research explores educator experiences working with transgender students, educator professional development addressing gender and sexuality, and state-level LGBTQ-inclusive anti-bullying policy and its implementation. Dr. Payne serves on the New York State Dignity for All Students Act Task Force and works directly with the New York State Education Department and the State legislature toward more effective research-based policy. Her applied work also addresses state level sex education and HIV education policy, and policies related to school climate. QuERI is on twitter & FB @QueeringEDU.
Dr. Stephen Russell Principal Investigator for the Sexual Identity and Gender Identity: Health Right
Dr. Stephen Russell (he/him/his) joined the faculty in Human Development and Family Sciences and the Population Research Center in the summer of 2015. He studies adolescent development, with an emphasis on adolescent sexuality, LGBT youth, and parent-adolescent relationships. Much of his research is guided by a commitment to create social change to support healthy adolescent development. He am most proud of his research that has been used to shape local and state policies and laws for school safety, and his most rewarding work is with trainees: he works with an amazing group of postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, and he finds supporting their development and learning from them to be the most satisfying part of his job.
Gabriela D Coelho, Student, UT Austin
Gabriela Coelho (she/hers/her) is in her final semester at The University of Texas at Austin, where she is majoring in Special Education and Plan II, and earning a minor in Philosophy. Her undergraduate research focuses on elementary teachers' perceptions and use of student assessment data. After graduation, she plans to teach and then pursue higher education within the area of educational policy or educational law. As a future teacher, Gabriela is interested in exploring how LGBTQ+ professionals navigate educational systems and hierarchies to better understand how she can feel safe and supported in schools, while simultaneously creating a safe space for all her students to be their authentic selves.