LGBTQ+ Center Action Team (LSAC)
The LGBTQ+ Center Student, Staff, and Faculty Action Team, also known as LSAC, consists of individuals from across the Kent State University campus system, united by a common goal to make Kent State an inclusive and safe place for the LGBTQ+ community. The committee has three focus areas under which we focus our efforts: Inclusion, Wellness, and Advocacy, all of which were identified as needs in the Center’s last strategic planning session. LSAC is about ACTION and getting things done, not just advising and brainstorming ideas but helping to move projects and initiatives forward for the betterment of our students, faculty, staff, and overall community.
Spring 2022 LGBTQ+ Center Staff/Faculty/Student/Community Action Team (LSAC) Members
Sarah (she/her) is the Professional Development Specialist in the Center for Teaching & Learning and the Graduate College. She holds a PhD in Classical Archaeology from the University of Cincinnati, where she studied Roman dining practices. In her free time, Sarah enjoys playing video games, watching anime, doing jigsaw puzzles, and playing D&D. This is Sarah's first year at Kent State, so she is excited to be joining the LSAC team!
Lawrence (he/him/his) has been a part of the KSU Community since 2013. He brings 35 years of hospitality industry experience to his position with the KSU Foundation as their Asset Manager for the KSU Hotel & Conference Center. While serving as a member of LSAC , he has also enjoyed supporting the Rainbow Run, LavGrad and other LGBTQ+ Center initiatives and events. Lawrence is also a member of the KSU Hospitality Advisory Board serving the program from which he earned his Master's degree in 2020. In his spare time he enjoys proudly owning a gay small business, Pet-Tique, with his husband, working with pet rescues toward adoptions, and volunteering for LGBTQ+ community events such as Pride and The Gay Games.
AJ Conway (they/them) is the Diversity and Career Development Director in the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. Conway is an experienced diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) professional and an active member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the National Diversity Council. Conway is a Kent State alumna who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2012, a Master of Education in Higher Education and Student Personnel in 2014, a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching in 2015, and a Graduate Certificate in Institutional Research and Assessment in 2016. Conway has a demonstrated passion and commitment for various topics related to DEI&B, including identity development, competency and best practice trainings, employee resource groups, and student success and retention initiatives. AJ lives in Akron with their partner and tiny human.
Julie Evey (she/they) is a proud KSU alumna who was at the University of Southern Indiana for 17 years serving as Faculty, Assistant Dean, and Psychology Department Chair. Julie returned to northeast Ohio and has been at the Geauga Campus teaching Psychology since 2018. She was active at her last school with LGBTQ+ in the community having found a passion for civil rights. She enjoys spending time with her life partner, their children, her crazy cat, and working on their 1972 Chevy C10 and 1972 Chevy K5 Blazer.
Olivia is a Kent State alum and currently works as the Senior Secretary for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is passionate about LGBTQ+ and disability equality and representation. Outside of their position, they like spending time with their partner and cats, exploring music, and making different kinds of crafts. She hopes one day she can visit all the National Parks of America.
Rachel Kleinhenz is a first-year Early Childhood Education major. This is her second semester at Kent and her first semester as an intern at the LGBTQ+ Center. She is also part of the QUEST Mentorship Program as a mentee. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends/girlfriend, listening to music, or going on walks around Kent. She is very excited to help with the Lavender Graduation celebration!
Carmen Grubbs (she/her/hers)
Ivory (they/them) is a senior high school, and is graduating right on their birthday. Ivory's favorite show is Grey's Anatomy, and they have a 1 1/2 year old goldendoodle named Boba. They are a volunteer intern at the LGBTQ+ Center.
Katie (they/them/their) serves as a director in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. They work with others to create, provide and facilitate opportunities for people to engage in meaningful conversation around various social justice topics. Outside of their position, Katie enjoys playing video games, reading books and spending time outside. They love connecting with people, so please reach out to say hi!
Faye (she/her) is a first year masters student in the Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs program. While working on her degree, she also assists the Hospitality and Events Management program at Kent State. She hopes to help make a positive impact on many students throughout her academic and professional career. After graduating she plans on working as an academic advisor for a college or university. Some things she enjoys include her pets, 3 cats and 2 dogs, crochet, anime, and coffee.
Györgyi Mihályi is one of the assistant directors at the Wick Poetry Center in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration with an Internationalization certificate from Kent State University as well as BA in English Literature from the University of Szeged and a BA in Business Administration from Kent State University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Higher Education Administration at Kent State and working on her dissertation. She is originally from beautiful Szeged, Hungary.
Mahli Xuan Mechenbier
Mahli Xuan Mechenbier (she/her/hers) is a Senior Lecturer in English at Kent State University: Twinsburg Academic Center where she teaches Technical Writing, Professional Writing, Introduction to LGBT Literature, and College Writing I & II. Mahli was adopted from South Vietnam by German-American parents after a Catholic missionary nun found her next to a road outside of Saigon. She has three cats: Freyja, Hyperion, and Tyr.
Tabitha Messmore (she/her)
Julie Paskiet (she/her/hers) is a Senior Career Advisor in Career Exploration and Development at Kent State University. She specializes in working with students seeking careers in K-12 education and members of the LGBTQ+ population. Julie is the coordinator of the Professionals with Pride career fair at KSU and seeks to connect students and alumni with inclusive and affirming employers for meaningful careers. She enjoys being outdoors, gardening, hiking, camping and spending time with her three dogs.
Erica (she/her/hers) is the Facilities Mechanical Systems Specialist for Laboratories on the Kent Campus, and has 18 years with Kent State University. She is the advisor to both Trans*fusion and oSTEM@KSU as well as serving as Vice President of Spectrum, the LGBTQ+ and ally employee resource group. Erica was one of the driving forces in securing transgender inclusive health insurance for faculty and staff. In her spare time she enjoys writing for her blog, building crazy holiday lights, and spending time with her wife and three cats.
Alexxus (she/her) is the Special Assistant in the Graduate College at Kent State University. She received her Bachelors degree in Human Development and Family Studies from KSU in May 2020. In her current role, she supports graduate students from orientation to graduation. Prior to her joining the Graduate College in September 2021, Alexxus gained extensive experience with University Housing and Student Success Programs. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, hanging out with her cats, and trying new food.
Andrew M. Snyder, BSN, MPH, PhD(c) (he/him/his) was born and raised in rural Salem, Ohio, where he graduated with his high school diploma from Salem Senior High School in May of 2008. Andrew went on to receive his Master’s degree in Public Health degree focusing on Health Policy and Management (2017), and his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2014) degree from Kent State University. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health at Kent State University, focusing his research on the health and wellness of the local LGBTQ+ community.
In the Fall of 2018, Andrew joined the College of Public Health (CoPH) at Kent State University as full-time doctoral graduate assistant after working full-time in the College of Nursing as a Program Coordinator. In this role, he provided undergraduate teaching and advising and supports research-based initiatives. Beginning January 2021, Andrew began a full-time position as the Research Program Coordinator to conduct greater Akron, Ohio’s first LGBTQ+ community needs assessment. Andrew raised $145,000 in local grant funding to support this research project. In January 2022, Andrew became the Director of Program Outreach at the CoPH expanding his role and responsibilities further.
In addition to his leadership roles in the College of Public Health, he served as Administrative Generalist at Community AIDS Network Akron Pride Initiative (CANAPI) from 2016 to 2021. In his role at CANAPI, Andrew developed and maintained a comprehensive organization policy register, updated organizational financial policies to comply with 501c3 governmental requirements, and reviewed organizational personnel and human resources policies to ensure compliance with federal employment guidelines. To improve access to community resources for LGBTQ+ residents in Summit and Portage counties, Andrew secured $541,510 of grant funding in 2019, 2020, and 2021 through the Ohio Department of Health for the development and evaluation of a mobile application to address identified barriers in the management of HIV care coordination. He currently serves as Principal Investigator for this project, titled “Quality Innovations in the Continuum of HIV Care.”
Morgan (he/him/his) is a Coordinator of Operations and Special Projects in the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He’s always had a passion for working with the LGBTQ+ community, and enjoys being as involved as possible with the LGBTQ+ Center at Kent State! Morgan has always been a sucker for a good pun, quality pizza, and the serenity of a Lake Erie sunset in the summer.