This page contains speaker bios for the 2018 LGBT+ College Conference
Coming from a theater and improv background, Holly started performing stand up ten
years ago. She has appeared in numerous theater productions, commercials and independent
films as well as voice over work. She has produced and hosted several middle Tennessee
shows such as "Bohemian Circus," "Comedy at Mel's," "Outfront on Main comedy," and
"Ignite," as well as being one of the original members of Nashville based "Girl on
Keith recently joined the Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) to educate the public about
the hunger crisis in our state and to protect and improve federal nutrition safety
programs. He is an AmeriCorps VISTA alumnus and has seven years of experience in food
security from the grassroots to government. Immediately, before joining TJC he directed
the state's Older Adult Nutrition Program, a $14 million program that funds meals
Georgiann Davis is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las
Vegas. Her research and teaching is at the intersection of sociology of diagnosis
and feminist theories. She is the author of Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis (NYU Press). She is also the board president of interACT: Advocates for Intersex
Youth (2017- present) and the former president of the AIS-DSD Support Group (2014-2015).
Bob Duffey is a Middle Tennessee State University graduate. Bob is an author, poet,
storyteller, and a long-time advocate/activist for LGBTQ rights/civil rights/equal
rights. Bob is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and is a former musician and
entertainer. Bob is retired from a career in law enforcement.
Jamie joined the LGBTQ Resource Center as the first program coordinator in June 2016.
She holds a B.A. in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and a M.Ed.
in Higher Education Administration from The University of Houston. Jamie prides herself
on being the first Graduate Assistant for UH’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion
which she claims to be a life altering experience. She looks forward to the opportunity
to make a lasting impact on the UH community. Go Coogs!
Dr. Elyce Rae Helford
Dr. Elyce Rae Helford is a professor of English and faculty in Women’s and Gender
Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. As former director of WGST, she chaired
the committee to create a new sexuality studies track. Her research centers in studies
of gender, race, and queerness in film and television.
Dr. William Langston is a 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) and serves on the Provost’s Access and Diversity Advisory Board.
Keven is a masters student at Middle Tennessee State University. His studies are within
the academic study of religion; specifically American Christianity. Keven's current
research examines the way that words as they are spoken, written, and sung serve as
both a transformative medium by which believers are made, remade, and replicated and
how these same words function as intermediaries between the mundane and the divine.
Keven is also interested in the way that gender and sexuality are understood and problematized
by religious communities more broadly.
Bethany Mason joined Dollar General as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion in
2016. In this role, Bethany leads all internal and external diversity initiatives
and is focused on strengthening Dollar General’s culture of inclusion and commitment
to diversity. Bethany has also assumed responsibility over Dollar General’s employment
branding strategies. Bethany started her career holding operational positions with
national and international organizations and prior to coming on board at Dollar General,
Bethany worked for Macy’s, Inc. as the Diversity and Inclusion Strategies Manager.
Bethany grew up in Mexico City and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications
from Pine Manor College. Bethany enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family
and friends. She and her husband recently relocated to the Nashville area from Cincinnati,
Dr. Patrick McCarthy, J.D.
Dr. Patrick McCarthy, J.D., received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
from George Mason University and his J.D. from the Nashville School of Law. He is
a licensed attorney and a member of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment
Law Division. Dr. McCarthy has previously served as Director of MTSU’s Center for
Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness (COHRE). Besides his consulting experience,
Dr. McCarthy has also served on the Leadership Development Executive Board for the
Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education.
Dr. Janet K. McCormick
Dr. McCormick earned her Bachelor and Master degree’s in Speech Communication from
Eastern Illinois University (’87, ’88) and her Ph. D. in Communication from Southern
Illinois University at Carbondale (’93). She taught at Spalding University in Louisville,
Kentucky before spending 7 years teaching abroad in London, Buenos Aires, and Singapore.
She joined MTSU in 2002 as an Intercultural Communication Specialist and is the recipient
of the "Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award," the "Outstanding Academic Advisor Award,"
the "Distinguished Educator in Distance Learning Award," and twice the "Outstanding
EXL Faculty Award," and "Outstanding Teacher Award" for the rapidly growing Organizational
Communication (ORCO) major/minor at MTSU. Dr. McCormick conducts seminars regionally
on such subjects as Intercultural Communication, Gender and Communication, Listening
Joshua Rigsby graduated MTSU in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational
Communication. While attending MTSU he served as the MTSU Lambda Association President
from 2012 to 2014 and established the LGBT+ College Conference with the goal of creating
a statewide network of LGBT+ collegiate students across the state of Tennessee. Since
graduation, he has served as the Alumni Advisor for the MTSU Lambda Association from
2014-2017, and has served as a member of the LGBT+ College Conference Advisory Board
from 2013-2017. Beginning in 2013, Joshua served three consecutive years as a member
of the Board of Directors for OutCentral, Greater Nashville’s LGBT+ Community Center.
While a member of the board, he oversaw student engagement and outreach, served as
a member of the Executive Board as Vice President, and was responsible for volunteer
outreach, recruitment, and training. Currently, Joshua is the Middle Tennessee State
University LGBT+ Program Assistant.
Patrick Sammon has a mix of political, journalism, and film production experience.
He is President of Story Center Productions, a film production company in Washington,
DC. He is the Creator and Executive Producer of CODEBREAKER. Previously, Sammon spent
three years as the President of a leading LGBT political organization in the U.S.
Sammon started his career as an award-winning television news reporter. He’s a native
of Seattle, Washington.
Lorraine Schroeder, M.A., L.P.C.
Lorraine was hired as the first director of the LGBTQ Resource Center in May 2010
when the Center opened. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Education and a Masters Degree
in Clinical Psychology. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Allie Sultan has her degree from San Francisco State University. She is a filmmaker
and video/sound editor with over 12 years of experience in visual storytelling. She
teaches filmmaking to people of all ages and believes in the power of creating over
consuming. She has expertise in video editing, sound editing, cinematography, screenwriting,
directing, and timelapse photography.
Kimberly Stephan Tate has been passionately driving an inclusive work environment
for years. She worked diligently to create an LGBTQ employee resource group framework
at Asurion that would be the model for others to follow. She has been a driving force
for all ERGs as a critical member of the ERG collaboration counsel and as a Diversity
& Inclusion committee member. Through her work with Asurion’s LGBT ERG – Pride – she
made Pride Month a massive success for the company by leveraging “ally” tags, localized
events, social media, participation and participation in the Nashville Pride walk
and event. She has also been instrumental in pushing for policy changes to ensure
LGBT language was included in Asurion’s handbook, and ensuring LGBT team members could
self-identify in the HR system to provide better data for shaping policy/programs
in the future. Prior to Asurion, Kimberly led the middle Tennessee Pride ERG at Dell
Technologies for many years.
Dr. Candace Warner is a professor of sociology at Columbia State Community College
and Department Coordinator for Sociology & Social Work. Her master's degree is in
Sociology and Ph.D. in Public Administration. Dr. Warner’s dissertation centered on
understanding diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout Tennessee municipalities.
Warner has taught sociology courses in South Africa and India, and currently serves
as the Director for the India study abroad program through the Tennessee Consortium
for International Studies. Warner is the Founder/CEO of people3, Inc. People3 is a
benefit corporation that provides cultural competency-centered research, inclusion-centered
consulting, and diversity training services to organizations to assist in the navigation
of diversity and cultural differences among organization members and employees, as
well as the customers or population groups they serve.
Nashville native Beverly L. Watts was appointed the Executive Director of the Tennessee
Human Rights Commission in July 2007. She has more than 30 years of experience in
civil rights enforcement and education in the public and private sector. Beverly is
the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the being a 2016 YWCA Nashville
Athena Nominee, the ECHO 2014 Dreamers Award, the 2014 Frances Dancy Hooks Award,
the YWCA 2014 Carrie Hull Award, the City of Louisville Martin Luther King award,
and the 2005 induction into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. She is a graduate
of Tennessee State University, Southern Illinois University, and has completed Executive
leadership programs at Duke University and the Harvard University John F. Kennedy
School of Government.
Kamah (Asha) Wilson
Asha joined the LGBTQ Resource Center as the Graduate Student in August of 2016. She
holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Southeastern Louisiana University and is pursuing
her Masters of Social Work here at UH. Asha is creative and passionate about human
empowerment, social justice, and spirituality. She is eager to learn and always willing
to listen. She loves to meet new people and try new things. Asha is excited to be
involved in empowering the UH LGBTQ community.