Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Check out the award notes for each of the 2015 Kidder Award winners, as voted by selected by the Kidder Fund Committee from nominations submitted by the broader UNH community:

Dr. Lessa Brill is a physician at UNH Health Services specializing in women's health. She has served as one of the Health Center representatives in meetings with the GLBT commission's Transgender Policy and Climate Committee (TPACC), a group that strives to partner with campus departments to develop policies that improve the climate here for trans-identified students, faculty and staff. Their first initiatives centered on improving and expanding health care for transgender students.

Following the recommendations of the committee, Dr. Brill took the initiative to attend two trans-health conferences to obtain further professional education to improve on ways to serve the UNH transgender community. For almost two years, Dr. Brill has been offering transgender students the help they need. This is a groundbreaking step for new understandings of bodies and choice and what it means to be human. One nominator said, "Dr. Brill's commitment to providing trans-sensitive care ... deserves the recognition and commendation that champions for justice are due."

As an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Rebecca Glauber recognizes the rich complexities of experiences and unique research methods required to effectively and ethically study LGBTQA+ people. As a Faculty Fellow with the Carsey School of Public Policy, she understands the need to encompass a wide range of research investigation methods to study the patterns in gender, race, and class inequalities. Over decades, activists in academia have advocated for incorporating and infusing LGBTQ topics in curricula. Graduate students who enroll in Glauber's Research Methods course receive such assignments in a range of LGBTQ-related articles and books as a basis for discussing various aspects of quantitative and qualitative research design and ethics. Clearly, her work demonstrates how LGBTQA+ curricula is an asset to various academic settings. As a result of her role-modeling, she has inspired several graduate students to gain confidence to redirect their own research to focus on LGBTQA+ experiences.

AliciaAlec Dufield '15 has been an outstanding advocate for acceptance and change at UNH and has worked on behalf of communities who are too often marginalized. Through long talks and by example, AliciaAlec has deepened our understanding of the LGBTQA+ community by sharing stories of bias, stories of achievements, stories conveyed with frustration and in sadness. Yet they are stories infused with honesty, hope, and commitment. Because of AliciaAlec's work, people develop further understanding and mindfulness of gender identities, gender expressions and more. "AA" is always willing to teach, to dialog, to champion, and does so knowing there are those who may not "get it," right away, or who may forget, for example, that there are preferred pronouns and preferred names. AliciaAlec's service and commitment to the UNH community include being a member of the GLBT Commission; past chair of Alliance; director and co-director of the Diversity Support Coalition; plus general membership in the Black Student Union, Mosaico, the United Asian Coalition, TransUNH, the Anti-Racism Team, and Safe Zones. One of AA's nominators said, "I am awed at times by how AA has sustained the energy to work for causes passionately, and, it seems, is constantly engaging with students, staff, faculty and administrators, all while managing an academic life, being a Discovery Fellow and holding three work-study positions. Because of AA, I can impart understanding, I can ask questions, I can share the teachings, and I can be a better person."

Lane McDonough '15 has done impressive work to educate the campus about LGBTQA+ issues and has a way of winning over diverse people to understand human and civil rights through his education efforts. Lane is a Safe Zones facilitator. He has also been a teaching assistant for Joelle Ryan's Gender, Power and Privilege class last semester, and he was a big hit with students. He was able to relate well — but also challenge them to leave their comfort zones to explore issues of diversity and social justice. Last year, he won a Movers and Shakers Award for his collaborative leadership on issues of social justice and inclusion. He's been a member of the Alliance and TransUNH, and he participated in the MLK Summit. He's demonstrated his understandings of the intersectionalities of multicultural identities through his volunteer work at the Waysmeet Center, Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority and Leadership Camp. His upbeat, enthusiastic attitude encourages others to get involved.

Graduate student Mark Anthony recently co-founded the UNH Chapter of the national student organization on being out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — oSTEM, with its mission to educate and empower LGBTQA+ students in the STEM fields. As research has shown, STEM fields are the least welcoming professional communities for those who identify with diverse sexual and gender identities and expressions. So Mark has applied oSTEM's model to create a welcoming. Last semester, he applied for grants to give students access to the annual conference, where they made connections with industries and with members of both the STEM and activist communities. In addition, Mark had led the Stonewall Grads to plan discussions on gender, race, class and their intersectionalities in our culture. One nominator wrote, "Mark is a champion for building new understanding. I've learned a lot from him in open discussion of his gay identity. He recognizes his privilege as a white cis man, and questions this privilege in ways that raise awareness of issues in the transgender and gender-nonconforming communities. He makes everyone feel welcome here." He is also the recent recipient of a much-sought-after fellowship from the National Science Foundation to continue his research in Earth Systems Science on the impacts of invasive plant species. His visibility as a highly accomplished, out, positive change agent in science and one who has already helped make a significant difference on our campus is impressive.


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    Staff writer | Communications and Public Affairs