2018 LGBT+ College Conference Speaker Bios

This page contains speaker bios for the 2018 LGBT+ College Conference

 Holly Amber
Holly Amber
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 Girl comedy".

Keith Barnes
Keith Barnes
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 on wheels.

Georgiann Davis
Gerogiann Davis
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).

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Trish Davis
Bio

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Tracy DeTomasi
Bio

Bob Duffey
Bob Duffey
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 Gonzales
Jamie Gonzales
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!

Elyce Helford
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. 

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Sandi Hoff
Bio

William Langston
William Langston
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.

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Keven Lewis
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
Bethany Mason
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, OH.

Patrick McCarthy
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.

Janet McCormick
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 and Leadership.

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Marisa Richmond
Bio

Joshua Rigsby
Joshua Rigsby
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
Patrick Sammon
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
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

Allie Sultan
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 Tate
Kimberly Tate
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.

Candace Warner
Candace Warner
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.

Beverly Watts
Beverly Watts
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
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.

 Presenting Sponsor
 
Nissan
 

2018 LGBT+ College Conference Sponsors


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Lambda hosts weekly meetings and membership is open to all currently enrolled MTSU students who act in good faith of Lambda's Constitution and Community Standards. Membership dues are announced at the beginning of each academic year and can be paid at any time.