Wilkes University

Safe Space

The Safe Space program helps those students of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Questioning community on the Wilkes Campus to identify a supportive faculty/staff member or student group. The visibility of the safe space sticker allows the campus community to identify faculty/staff members and know that they can speak freely with these individuals about LGBTQ issues.

The program is completely voluntary. The reason why we are offering these sessions is because we want to educate ourselves about LGBTQ issues and concerns and how they relate to colleges and universities. There will be two ways this program will be offered: Safe Space Ally Training and LGBTQ awareness training. The sessions are offered to faculty/staff and students.

In the Safe Space Ally training session, we will provide participants with the tools to take action against negative attitudes towards the LGBTQ community on and off campus. “In the most general sense, an “Ally” “is” a person who is a member of the dominant or majority group who works to end oppression in his or her personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate for, the oppressed population.”(Washington and Evans, Becoming an Ally) Participants in the Ally training will receive a Safe Space sign and/or button to display and may choose to be listed in our online Ally registry.

LGBTQ awareness training introduces participants to terminology that is used in the LGBTQ community and includes discussions of different scenarios. The Ally program will also be introduced so that those who attend the Safe Space training will know about the Ally program and can sign up for Ally training if interested.

What is Safe Space?

Surveys indicates that a majority of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQA) students do not feel safe at school out of fear for personal safety. Students who can identify a supportive faculty/staff member or student group are more likely to feel a sense of belonging at their school than those who cannot. For many students, the presence of allies to whom they can turn for support - or even the simple knowledge that allies exist - can be a big factor in developing to improve school climate. Safe Space programs increase the visible presence of students and adults allies who can help to shape a school culture that is accepting of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/ expression, or any other difference.

Mission of Wilkes Safe Space Program

  • To foster an inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning students, and their allies.
  • To provides educational opportunities, advocacy, and programming for students, faculty, and staff on the Wilkes University campus.
  • To aspire that Safe Space will help develop and support inclusive understanding of gender and sexuality, as well as foster a community that is open, safe, and supportive.

What Can You Do As An Ally - Get Involved!

  • Display your Safe Space Sticker! The sticker indicates that, within your office or room, homophobic and heterosexist comments and actions will not be tolerated silently, but instead will be addressed in an educational and nonthreatening manner. The sticker does not indicate whether or not you are LGBTQA; it merely states that you are an Ally.
  • Support policies that bring equity to and give open support to LGBTQA issues.
  • Encourage others to become a part of Safe Space.
  • Attend Safe Space training to further increase your knowledge and awareness.
  • Pay attention to the words people use to describe themselves. Not everyone identifies as “gay”, “lesbian”, “homosexual”
  • Do not assume that a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person is attracted to you just because they have disclosed their sexual identity.
  • Respect the desire for secrecy of a person you know to be gay, lesbian or bisexual. Do not “out” someone.
  • Speak out against statements and jokes that attack LGBTQA people. Letting others know that you find ant-LGBTQA statements and jokes offensive and unacceptable can go a long away towards reducing homophobia.

Resources

NEPA Rainbow Alliance

Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC)

PA Diversity

National Gay Lesbian Task Force

Human Rights Campaign

Parent, Families and Friends of Lesbian And Gays

National Black Justice Coalition

LGBTQArchitect

Consortium

Gay Asian Pacific Support Network

Campus Pride

Sexual Orientation: The desire for intimate emotional and sexual relationships with people of the same sex (homosexual), the other sex (heterosexual), or both sexes (bisexual).

Gender Identity: A person’s sense of being male or female.

Gay: The adjective used to describe people who are physically romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to people of the same sex.

Lesbian: A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction is to other women.

Bisexual: An individual who is physically, romantically, emotionally and/or spiritually attracted to men and women.

Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from sex they were assigned at birth.

Transsexual: A person who has changed, or is in the process of changing, his or her physical sex to conform to his or her internal sense of gender identity.

Heterosexism: The assumption that everyone is heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is superior to homosexuality or bisexuality.

Questioning: A term or period where an individual re-assesses (however privately or openly) the orientation/identity that they have either asserted for themselves, or been brought up as.

Intersex: Describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous.

LGBTQA: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Ally.

First Name Last Name Title
Erica Acosta Associate Director of Diversity Initiatives
Abel Adekola Dean of Sidhu School of Business
Mark Allen Dean, Student Affairs
Paula Andrews AFROTC
Mischelle Anthony Associate Professor/Chair, English
Debra Archavage Office Assistant, English/ Global Cultures
Jill Avery-Stoss Research Data and Intern Assistant
Joshua Blechle Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Robert Bohlander Professor, Psychology
Megan Boone Valkenburg Civic Engagement Office
Carol Bosack Director, Career Services
Heather Bowman Electronic Resources/Serials Librarian
Mia Briceñ o Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Amy Bradley Associate Professor, Chemistry
Melissa Bravo Staff/NCOIC Administration
Robert Bruno Associate Professor, Communication
Anita Burns Office Assistant, Health and Wellness
Andrew Chew Research & Policy Analyst
Kalen Churcher Associate Professor, Communication Studies
Crystal Cool Assistant Director, International Student Services
Helen Davis Associate Professor, English
Lien Do Assistant Director, Admissions
Contance Dombroski Director, Center for Health Science and Engineering
Deanna Drako Assistant Director, Middle School Programs, SHINE Program
Jean Eckert Student Employment Supervisor
Gerald Ephault Adjunct Professor
Evene Estwick Associate Professor, Communication Studies
Kathleen Fabrizi AFROTC
Raymond Fedora Assistant Director, Residence Life
Jon Ference Associate Provost
Karen Frantz-Fry Assistant Professor, School of Education
Suzanne Galella Associate Professor/Chair, Education-Undergraduate
Melissa Gaudio Campus Counselor
Mohsen Ghamari Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Maria Grandinetti Associate Professor, Nursing
Brenda Gruver Faculty, Pharmacy Practice
Jessica Haczewski Admission Events Coordinator
Dawn Harding Director, Upward Bound
Gregory Harms Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering & physics
Samantha Hart Title IX Coordinator
Robert Hartman AFROTC
Dale Hazlak Adjunct Faculty, Social Science
Ryan Henry Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Joseph Housenick Human Resources Director
Ruth Hughes Associate Professor/ Dept. Chair, Finance Accounting Management
Maureen Iskra Admissions Counselor
Angela Jones Faculty of Practice, Nursing
Vicki Jones Program Coordinator, School of Education
Lisa Kadlec Associate Professor, Biology
Anthony Kapolka Associate Professor, Math/CS
Bobak Karimi Assistant Professor, Env. Eng. & Earth Science
Sean Kelly Assistant Professor, English
Kyle Kreider Professor/Chair, Political Science
Joseph Kultys Registrar's Office
Danah Lassiter Residence Life
Lauren Leighton Associate Director of Transfer and Grad Admissions
Karim Letwinsky Assistant Professor, Doctoral School of Education
Leesa Levy Visiting Assistant Professor, Performing Arts
Vee Ming Lew Associate Professor of Math and Computer Science
Tory Lynn Lewis Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Thomas Limouze Head Coach M and W Swimming
Del Lucent Assistant Professor, Physics
Blake Mackesy Graduate Education
Jap-Nanak Makkar Assistant Professor, English
Jennifer Malinowski Assistant Dean, Pharmacy
Dana Manning Associate Professor, Pharmacy
Thomas Mazzolla Functional Technologist
Mary McManus Associate Professor, Pharmacy
Julie McMonagle Lab manager, Environmental Engineering
Amanda Modrovsky Research & Sponsored Programs
Lyndi Moran Office Manager of Public Safety 
Gina Morrison Professor, Global History and Languages
Mary Beth Mullen Coordinator, Student Affairs
Ellen Newell Associate Professor, Psychology
Sharon Nolan Office Assistant, Upward Bound
Diane O'Brian Director, Health and Wellness Services
Julie Olenak Dean of Student Affairs, Nesbitt School of Pharmacy
Lori Ann Pajalich Assistant Professor, Nursing
Amy Patton Associate Director, Admission
Linda Paul Associate Professor, Philosophy
Alisha Pitchford Faculty of Practice, Chemistry 
Kristin Pitarra Human Resources Director
Erin Pleskach Assistant Director, Admissions
Tracy Polumbo Assistant to Dean, College of Science and Engineering
Joanne Powser Area Coordinator, Residence Life
Jill Price Adventure Education Coordinator
Rhonda Rabbitt Dean, School of Education
Paul Reinert Assistant Professor, EDD, Education Doctorate
Alex Reynolds Area Coordinator Residence Life
Lisa Reynolds Assistant Professor, IMAD
Paul Riggs Dean, Arts Humanities and Soc. Sci.
Kristin Rock Radio Station Manager
Marie Roke- Thomas Associate Professor/ Chair, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Abas Sabouni Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
Catherine Schaeffer Adjunct Faculty, College Arts Humanities, and Soc Sci.
Debbie Scheibler Director, Residence Life
Samuel Schmidt Assistant Professor, Sidhu School of Business
Ian Schreffler Associate Director, Admissions
Roberta Shaffer Office Assistant, Residence Life
Robert Shertza Technical Support Specialist
Charles Smargiassi Assistant Professor, MS Education Masters
Amy Sopcak-Joseph Assistant professor, History
Elizabeth Spencer Coordinator Field Experiences, BS Education
Chad Stanley Associate Professor, English
Cierra Steele Assistant Director, Admissions
Scott Stolte Dean, Nesbitt School of Pharmacy
Grace Surdovel Faculty of Practice/Prog Coord Graduate Education
Wagiha Taylor Professor, Sidhu School of Business
Jennifer Thomas Associate Professor/Chair, Psychology, Women's and Gender Studies
Mildred Urban Associate Director, Special Events
Rebecca Van Jura Director, Special Events
Teresa Wasiluk Adjunct Faculty, BioEngineering
Stephanie Wasmanski Director, Graduate Education
Robb Warmouth Payroll
Marketa White Assistant Director, Admissions
Craig Wiernik Assistant Professor, Sociology/Anthropology
Teresa Wignot Interim Provost
Andrew Wilczack Associate Professor, Sociology
Linda Winkler Professor, Global History and Languages
Gretchen Yeninas Associate Dean, Student Affairs
Megan Youmans Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Brent Young Assistant Professor, Math and Computer Science
Deborah Zbegner Dean, Passen School of Nursing
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