Meet the SafeZone Trainers
Graduate Coordinator, College of Basic and Applied Sciences
Office: Science Building 1140
As the Graduate Coordinator for the Master of Science in Professional Science programs, I help place students into their capstone internships, recruit students into our programs, and coordinate with our advisory board. STEM student development is my passion, with an emphasis on developing programming and mentorships for under-represented minority, first generation, female, and LGBT+ STEM students. In my career I have worked to create and re-start student clubs for these cohorts to develop impactful outreach, mentorship, and professional development opportunities. I wanted to become a Safe Zone trainer to help strengthen the support network we have for our LGBT+ students.
Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Investigator
Office: Cope 220
My hobbies include ballroom dancing, gardening, cooking, and traveling. I served 5 years in the Army before finishing college and law school. I spent most of my career as an attorney serving victims of child abuse and neglect, then became an investigator at MTSU. Having been exposed to many individuals’ accounts of mistreatment, I was glad to find that our campus has a SafeZone program to support LGBT+ persons and cultivate a respectful environment here.
Director, Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center
Office: STU 320A
Area Coordinator - Lyon & Rutledge
Office: Lyon Hall 131
Dylan is an Area Coordinator for the office of Housing and Residence, where he likes interacting with students and helping them getting involved on campus. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science in 2015 and a Master of Science in 2017. One of Dylan’s favorite things about MTSU is the kind and friendly students that we have on our campus. He is passionate about being a SafeZone Trainer so he can be a resource for students who need a person to talk too.
Secretary 3, MTeach
Office: Midget 101
Students have a rough enough time in college as it is, so I wanted to make a mark by trying to educate as many university personnel possible on LGBT+ issues as a trainer for the safe zone program. I work with future educators and I also wanted to be a point of contact for the students that will be teaching, so they can be comfortable and knowledgeable with the many ways youth may identify themselves. I’m also working on obtaining my master’s degree in higher education with hopes of being an advisor so I can continue to guide students as they navigate MTSU.
LGBT+ Program Assistant, Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center
Office: STU 320C
As the LGBT+ Program Assistant for the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs (IDA) Center, I organize LGBT+ related programs and events for the Center, manage the Safe Zone Training Program, and direct resources to LGBT+ students who need them. I’ve been involved on the MTSU campus since coming here as a freshmen in 2010 and LGBT+ advocacy work is my passion. I’m proud to lead the Safe Zone Program because it gives us a network of LGBT+ Allies sewn throughout the entirety of MTSU, and with their help we’re able to better support LGBT+ students and continue to make the campus a more inclusive place for all.
Assistant Professor & MTC-MSW Program Coordinator
Office: Peck Hall 127
Justin Bucchio is an assistant professor of social work at Middle Tennessee State University. Justin received his PhD from the University of Tennessee in 2012, and has research interests in sexual minority foster youth and child welfare. He has professional experience in: child welfare, developmental disabilities (Autism), therapeutic interventions and private in-home services, psychiatric residential treatment, mental health and co-occurring diagnoses, and hospital social work. Justin also specializes in curriculum development and trainings. Justin’s experience with social work stretches back to his early years in foster care and is driven by personal experiences to enhance the quality and efficacy of child welfare practices to generate more successful outcomes of all youth in out-of-home care.
Academic Advisor, College of Liberal Arts
Office: Jones Hall 159
Kerri French-Nelson is an academic advisor for the College of Liberal Arts, working with English, History, and Africana Studies students. A North Carolina native, she has lived in Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and England and holds degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, and Boston University. She is the author of the poetry collection Every Room in the Body, winner of the 2016 Moon City Poetry Award and the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her poetry has been published in Washington Square Review, Copper Nickel, The Journal, BOAAT, Mid-American Review, Barrow Street, and DIAGRAM, among others. She decided to become a Safe Zone trainer in order to have a more active role in building a diverse and inclusive community at MTSU.
Assistant Director of Student Programming
Office: STU 340B
I enjoy being a Safe Zone Trainer because everyone deserves to be respected and feel valued. Everyone can also learn a lot from a Safe Zone training, whether they know it or not. Feel free to stop in Student Union 340, or make an appointment if you need to talk! It can be about anything (cats, crafts, the Green Bay Packers….) I’m available!
Instructor and Assistant Director of Forensics
Office: Jones Hall 254
LGBT+ students deserve to have safe and supportive faculty and staff members to help them navigate their collegiate years. As an ally, Natonya wants to be that place for her students. She also wants to help others learn how to become a safe zone for students who need it.
Area Coordinator - Jim Cummings Hall
Office: Jim Cummings Hall 101A
Stephanie is the Area Coordinator for Cummings Hall here at MTSU. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from MTSU and her Master of Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. It was during her time in Nebraska that she was able to exercise her passion for the LGBTQA+ community while serving as the graduate assistant for the LGBTQA+ Resource Center on campus. Stephanie is very glad to be continuing her work in the community by being a Safe Zone trainer here at MTSU. She would love to list her hobbies as doing things that are adventurous and daring, but as that would be a lie, she will list them as reading good books, going on walks with her husband and puppy, and adding things to her Netflix queue.
Professor, Psychology Department
Office: Jones Hall 100
Dr. William Langston is a psychology professor at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Langston’s research explores the psychology of belief. As part of his research program, Dr. Langston is a ghost investigator and has visited some of the most haunted places in the world. Dr. Langston is also the advisor to MT Lambda (MTSU’s all-inclusive LGBT+ student organization). Dr. Langston was one of the original MTSU Safe Zone trainers and is a trainer for the program to ensure that every student feels a part of the MTSU community wherever they go on campus.