DGALA forms Board of Advisors

DGALA recently activated a Board of Advisors, comprised of members who have been of exceptional service. The Board of Advisors serves as an advisory body to the Board of Directors. For “DGALA President Brendan Connell, Jr. ’87 comments on the new Advisors,” see page 8 of the November 2015 Green Light.  

Sarah Burgamy, Psy.D. is the founder of a very active private practice in Denver, Colorado, PhoenixRISE, with specialty offerings in identity development (considering intersections of target and non-target status identities), sexual minority competency as well as transgender and gender variant issues with adults, adolescents and children.  She has previously instructed courses as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Denver in the Psy.D. program and the International Disaster Psychology Master’s program focused on arenas of development and culture, LGBTIQQ cultural competency, and cross cultural analysis.

 Dr. Burgamy is the current Colorado Representative to the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives and a Board member of the Colorado Psychological Association (CPA).  She has previously served as the Diversity Division Chair of CPA.  Additionally, she worked as the contracted psychologist to Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) from 2007-2013, particularly the Youthbuild program, in Denver, serving low-income and, primarily, racial/ethnic minority youth ages 18-25. Dr. Burgamy has been a member of the Board of Directors for Urban Peak, a non-profit organization in Colorado serving youth experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, since 2008.

Sarah told Green Light, “As a student at Dartmouth, nothing provided a sense of belonging, a sense of “home” away from my native Colorado, more than knowing I had a community.  In my case, I was fortunate to know many “communities” as a member of Varsity Swimming, Dartmouth Women’s Rugby Club, Delta Delta Delta Sorority, Casque and Gauntlet, Palaeopitus, and the Dartmouth Rainbow Alliance.  With so many varied points of connection, when I graduated and left Dartmouth, I was appropriately worried about how I would maintain my sense of place at the small College on the hill so far from my hometown of Denver.  DGALA became one such “home away from home” keeping me connected to the College even while my life continued to grow and change away from the gaze of Baker Tower and those particularly bone chilling winters walking from the pool to the Hopkins Center while my hair froze in place!  As a result of the collective efforts of DGALA, I have made multiple trips back to campus over the years, co-hosted and attended local alumni events in Denver along with the LGBTQ alumni of the other Ivies, and without noticing, served a long tenure as a member of the DGALA Board of Directors from 2004-2014.  Appropriately, I stepped down from this role after 10 years simply because I believe every organization thrives on new energy and ideas, new perspectives and dispositions (OK, this might also have something to do with my over-analysis of most things as a psychologist!).  However, there is also a value to experience, institutional knowledge and collective wisdom (if I dare claim “wisdom”).  I am pleased to join the inaugural DGALA Board of Advisors and relieved that my time away from the organization was brief!”

Cherie Holmes ’79 graduated from Georgetown University Medical School in 1983.  She served three and a half years in the US Navy, including seven months in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War.  Cherie has been at Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene since 1997, specializing in Sports Medicine Orthopedics, Orthopedics Trauma and General Orthopedics.  She has served as a DGALA director and on the Dartmouth Alumni Council and is a member of the Dartmouth Club of Southwest New Hampshire.  She told Green Light, “I am pleased to be able to serve on the DGALA Board of Advisors. Having been a previous board member, I am acutely knowledgeable of both the mission and vision of DGALA. Since the Board of Advisors not only provides an advisory role but also a strategic one, I hope to help bring to DGALA a recognition of diversity and inclusivity within the Dartmouth GLBTQ community as well as promoting the need for improved communication, intellectual and cultural freedom of expression for GLBTQ students within the Dartmouth environment.”

Ed Hermance ’62 is the retired owner of Giovanni’s Room, the legendary LGBT and feminist bookstore in Philadelphia. Ed is credited with founding DGALA, when he wrote to the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine in 1983, announcing the formation of an LGBT alum group and setting up its first meeting. Of his joining the Board of Advisors, Ed told Green Light, “It would be wonderful if I can contribute to making life better for students.”

The Rev. Nancy A.G. Vogele, ’85 served as Vice President of DGALA from 2000 to 2003 and as co-chair of its first all-class reunion in 2002. Nancy is Director of Religious and Spiritual life at Dartmouth.  Before that, she served for almost 20 years in Episcopal parish ministry, most recently as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in White River Junction, Vt., from 2001 until August of 2012. In addition to her position at St. Paul’s, Nancy has been the chairperson of the Dismantling Racism Commission for the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, served as a member of the Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection, and served as an officer for United Valley Interfaith Project, a community organizing project in the greater Upper Valley.  Nancy also served as a volunteer for mission with the Episcopal Church from 1988-1990 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth, Nancy holds a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Susi Kandel ‘00 served as President of DGALA from 2006-11. She lives in Jersey City, New Jersey and serves as General Counsel, Latin America for American Tower Corp. Susi told Green Light, “The Board of Advisors is a fantastic initiative. It taps into the experience of DGALA leaders to maintain institutional history and provide a perspective different from the Board of Directors. At the same time, the members of the Board of Advisors are able to remain connected to the organization in a way that is less time intensive than being a director, but no less meaningful.”

David Eichman ’82 is an attorney living in Los Angeles and practicing in West Hollywood. He served as President of DGLA from 1999 through 2005.

President Philip Hanlon ’77 Q&A with DGALA President Brendan Connell, Jr. ’87

President Philip Hanlon ’77 Q&A with DGALA President Brendan Connell, Jr. ’87
June 20, 2015

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Q. What is your reaction to past DGALA President Caroline Kerr’s recent election to the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees?

A. I join you in being thrilled that Caroline is joining the Board.  As you know I work in close partnership with the Board; they are among my most important advisors; what is important here is that the Board brings to me not a unified perspective but a multiplicity of perspectives and experiences and Caroline helps along several dimensions, with not only her experience at DGALA and as president of DGALA but also she will be our first post-2000 graduate on the Board, so she brings us experience and perspective from that as well.  There is one point in which I want unity on the Board and not diversity is that I’m blessed with a Board that wants only the best for Dartmouth.  I know that Caroline’s passion for the College will only elevate, so I’m really looking forward to having Caroline on the Board with us.

Q. The other big event this year for us was the opening of Triangle House, for DGALA at our October reunion, although the students moved in during September.   I’d love to get your perspective on that. And our thanks to you and Gail [Mrs. Hanlon] for being so visible and present at all the opening events; that meant so much to this community.    I’d like to hear your take on how it’s going so far with Triangle House, and with everything that is happening with residential life, with residential colleges, how  a living-learning center like Triangle House fits into that.

A. Triangle House is an important addition to our campus.  And I was thrilled to be, as was Gail, at the opening to actually take a look at the facility.  From all I have heard and seen it is completing its mission as intended.  It is fostering a positive, safe, respectful community for its residents.  It is increasing the whole Dartmouth community’s understanding and contemporary LGBTQIA issues.  And it’s helping residents to take their passions from ideas into action.  And I want to credit all the residents there, along with UGA Logan Henderson ’17, who has helped to create a space where everyone is able to express themselves authentically and where guests are welcome.  So it is doing exactly what we had intended and hoped.   In terms of the larger perspective in terms of transforming the residential experience, Triangle House fits really well with our major objectives, which are to provide greater opportunities for students to connect with faculty and develop relationships with faculty beyond the classroom, to create an environment that supports community building and social interactions – it gives more options for that.  And it also creates promotes experiential learning as residents are learning about contemporary issues through living in a community centered on those issues. So it’s doing what we had hoped; it’s off to a fast start and it fits really well within our broader objectives for residential life.

Q. For us, DGALA members were very proud to raise $500,000 for the funding of the House.

A. Yes, I want to recognize you for that and thank you because that was key for getting the project done.

Q. Talk to us a bit about the Moving Dartmouth Forward initiative.  I know it has many components Can you describe in some ways how it might impact the members of our community with respect to inclusiveness?

A. Yes, inclusiveness is one of the key objectives, along with reducing harmful behaviors.  So one of its aspects is the climate study that will be conducted next fall; the Provost’s Office is just gearing up for that.  The results of that will be very important for us as we better understand our community here, what’s going on how we can direct programs and resources to make it a better place.  There is a broader  faculty diversity effort that has included several things to promote faculty diversity which is one of our weak spots right now, we need to have a more diverse faculty for sure.  Way back in my first year here, we directed significant recurring funds to support recruitment and retention of  faculty that are underrepresented in their fields.  Another part of MDF that is directly relevant to your question is the new expectations for student organizations.  The Dean of the College has just completed the annual review process that is being put in place to insure that student organizations demonstrate their commitment and that tangible steps are taken to promote inclusivity.  

Q. Do you have any thoughts on queer studies, part of our academic programs?  I believe now that there is only one professor focusing on that and I know that that would be something for student or grad students coming here that could really be a marquee development.

A. I’m really glad you asked that and I understand the point that you are making, and it fits with our effort to diversify the faculty.   The actual priorities for academic programs, investment in academic programs, whether it is money or space or the like, begins with the faculty themselves; the faculty themselves establish collectively what the priorities should be.  They take that to the Dean of Faculty, who is directly responsible for the allocation of resources.  I will for sure pass along the interests of this group to the Dean of the Faculty.  But I also urge you to talk to the faculty themselves, that is really where the priorities have to emerge from.

Question from the floor:

Q. How do you see the evolution of men and women and gay people and other groups and has it changed over the years?   What is your sense of the progress that has been made in terms of overall diversity and  healthy interaction among groups?

A. This is a very important question.  First, I would say that Dartmouth is just a reflection of our national society.  So the first thing I would urge you to do in thinking about this question is to reflect on how our society has changed as a nation.  The people who are students here are coming very recently from the outside.  Today, there is much more of healthy normal relationships between men and women.  And certainly societal considerations around being gay have changed so dramatically in the last couple of decades.  I’ve read that it is as fast as any societal change that anyone can remember.

 

DGALA Joins AmazonSmile Program

When you shop on Amazon.com, starting this 2014 holiday season, Amazon will make a donation of 0.5% of your purchase price directly to DGALA!

Link your Amazon log in to DGALA’s Amazon Smile account today:
http://smile.amazon.com/ch/13-3967947

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More about AmazonSmile:

What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.
How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?
Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.
Can I use my existing Amazon.com account on AmazonSmile?
Yes, you use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

Laura Erickson-Schroth Geisel ’08 quoted regarding Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition

Beyond Caitlyn Jenner’s Glamorous Vanity Fair Debut: Psychiatry Expert Dissects Her Transition

Read the full article online on The Wrap’s website

“I can imagine there are certainly positives and negatives to coming out in that kind of spotlight,” Columbia University LGBT health and public psychiatry fellow Laura Erickson-Schroth tells TheWrap.

Since the public debut of Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair, the transition of the person formerly known as Bruce Jenner has been covered from a myriad of angles — one outlet even dove deep and identified the source of the lingerie that Jenner wore for the cover shoot.

But missing from much of that coverage is an explanation of the mental process that Jenner — and, for that matter, any given person undergoing transition — is going through. In an effort to understand Caitlyn’s emotional journey, TheWrap spoke to Laura Erickson-Schroth, an LGBT health and public psychiatry fellow with Columbia University, as well as the editor of “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community.”

Surprisingly, and perhaps contrary to public belief, there are no therapy or counseling requirements for people undergoing gender transitions, Erickson-Schroth explained, though there are general guidelines that include recommendations for such. And while it was once common for people undergoing transitions to be encouraged to have a “real-life experience” — that is, dressing as the gender they were transitioning to — before undergoing any physical changes, that practice is falling out of favor, Erickson-Schroth said.

“They could be targeted, they could be harassed, things like that, if they were dressing differently without having made any physical changes,” Erickson-Schroth noted.

Nonetheless, she said, some form of psychiatric support is often helpful. “In a lot of circumstances, it’s really beneficial to people to understand what they’re going to go through and how their lives might change,” Erickson-Schroth noted. “Certainly, I think it’s very helpful for people to be able to have a place to think and talk about their transition.”

Only Caitlyn Jenner knows for sure how much therapy she has or hasn’t had. And as Erickson-Schroth noted, Jenner, a former Olympian and reality TV star, is transitioning under circumstances far different from those surrounding most trans people. Those differences could be a blessing, a curse, or both for Jenner.

On the plus side, Erickson-Schroth noted, Jenner is coming to the transition in a better financial situation than many. “She doesn’t necessarily represent the experiences of the majority of trans people. I think many are middle or lower class; they’re people of color; they don’t have access to necessarily good mental health care, hormones, surgeries — the kind of things that Caitlyn might have access to, being someone who’s wealthy,” Erickson-Schroth said.

There’s also the fact that Jenner is transitioning under the glare of a tremendous spotlight that includes not just the Vanity Fair shoot, but a widely watched “20/20” interview, the E! show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” another upcoming E! show that will center on Jenner, a new Twitter account that quickly amassed more than 1 million followers, and countless headlines, tabloid or otherwise.

“I can imagine there are certainly positives and negatives to coming out in that kind of spotlight,” Erickson-Schroth said.
The massive microscope that Jenner is transitioning under could serve to exacerbate any hiccups she encounters during the transition, she cautioned.

“If people go through any particular difficulties when they’re transitioning, to have that broadcast to the entire world seems like it would be something that could be pretty hard,” Erickson-Schroth said, stressing: “There are going to be ups and downs. To have that on display all the time I could see as being a really hard experience to go through.”

There’s also the matter of age — Jenner is 65 — which also provides its benefits and drawbacks.

“I’ve talked to people who’ve transitioned later in life, and a lot of people have a lot of regret about not having done it earlier, and what kind of lives they could have had,” Erickson-Schroth noted. “But some of the positives that people talk about are, for example, being financially stable. That was something that helped them to transition more comfortably or the way that they would like to.”

Despite the unique hurdles that Jenner faces, Erickson-Schroth said that her journey appears to have gotten off on the right foot. “I don’t know that I can give her any advice in particular. Everyone has their own experience, and everyone has to go through things at their own pace and in their own way, and it sounds like she is,” Erickson-Schroth said.