On Friday, May 1st, the Queer & Straight Student Alliance (QSSA) held an official Coming Out celebration at Morgridge, with lots of student support, food, and games.

QSSA is a new student organization established by students for students. The organization has a primary audience of students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, and/or Ally (LGBTIQA), but also welcomes all students from the Morgridge College of Education and other DU graduate programs. The student group was initially formed during the 2013-2014 academic year, when then-students Jenna Brownfield, Counseling Psychology graduate, and Nick Ota-Wang, Higher Education graduate, and current Higher Education student Sarah Blizzard, identified the need for a student group within the Morgridge College of Education.

The purpose of QSSA is to help create a space for LGBTIQA identified students to meet and connect within the college and have an avenue for dialogue. If you’re interested in attending a QSSA meeting, they will continue to be held every two weeks during the remainder of the Spring Quarter. To learn more about QSSA visit their Facebook page and join the QSSA Facebook group. If you’d like to be in the know about the happenings of QSSA and other LGBITQA student organizations at DU, subscribe to their listserv. QSSA can also be reached via email at mceqssa@gmail.com.

QSSA will soon be recruiting for leadership positions for the 2015-2016 academic year. If you would like to learn more send QSSA an email.

Blizzard 100x100

Sarah Blizzard

The 28th annual National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP) Conference was held in New Orleans on April 8 – 11. The conference’s purpose is to bring graduate education management (GEM) professionals together to share and gain insight on a range of topics including, admissions policies and processes, career and staff development, graduate student support and financial aid, legal and ethical issues, marketing and recruitment, and student services. The theme of this year’s conference was, GEM Defined, A New Kind of Rhythm.

Morgridge College of Education Admissions Counselor and Higher Education EdD student, Sarah Blizzard, presented at this year’s conference. Her presentation entitled, Identifying Inclusive Admissions Practices for Transgender & Gender Nonconforming Graduate Students, created dialogue around admissions practices for creating inclusive spaces for Trans* and gender nonconforming graduate students, specifically related to language. Sarah’s presentation is extremely timely as many institutions are having conversations around ways to better serve and be more inclusive of non-binary gender identities. As she discussed in her presentation, applications, forms, statements, and policies are most often what prospective students see when inquiring about grad school; “The language we use and the culture(s) we demonstrate can change whether or not someone applies to our institution.”

Importance of language

A slide from Sarah Blizzard’s NAGAP presentation

Language is important and impacts whether or not students feel welcome/safe in our campus environment. To further engage in this conversation or to learn more email Sarah at Sarah.Blizzard@du.edu.


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