Welcome Letter from the Coordinator:


I write this from my desk in my new office in Cartwright Hall, watching out the window as students rush across campus. It’s the beginning of a new semester. I love the fresh start that each new semester affords – a time loaded with possibility and optimism. This quiet excitement that each semester brings has thrilled me since 2010, when I entered a graduate degree program at Kent State. Since then I have been a graduate student, a part-time instructor, and now a full-time assistant professor of LGBTQ Studies and the coordinator of the LGBTQ Studies minor program.


Our new Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality – in which the LGBTQ Studies minor program is housed – came into being so much more quickly than I had thought possible. It was less than two years ago that I sat on the planning committee for the center; back then I couldn’t imagine the resources Kent State and the College of Arts and Sciences would provide for us. I feel enormously lucky to have played a role as the center took shape and to witness the commitment and dedication of faculty and administrators who worked hard to create something so new and exciting. I am inspired by the unrelenting efforts of faculty who never stopped fighting to make the LGBTQ Studies minor program stronger and better.


I am inspired, too, by my students. Many of them face incredible adversity in their lives, and yet still they show up and they do the hard work of learning. I am awed by student activists who spend their time and energy fighting for equality. Many LGBTQ Studies minor students are educators themselves, teaching others about LGBTQ rights and about equity and inclusion –values at the core of the LGBTQ Studies minor program. I am humbled by their example. As the coordinator of the LGBTQ Studies minor program, it is my mission to make sure that we learn – and educate – together.


Here's to new beginnings!


Lauren Vachon, M.F.A.

Assistant Professor, LGBTQ Studies


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