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Date: Nov 16, 2011
Hofstra Professor Helps Develop National LGBT Institute
Dr. Genevieve Weber leading expert on LGBT issues on college campuses
Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. – In the year since she co-authored a landmark study on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, staff and faculty at the nation’s colleges, Professor Genevieve Weber has become a leading expert on creating a welcoming campus climate for the LGBT community.
Dr. Weber was one of 10 experts on LGBT issues invited to speak at a U.S. Department of Education expert panel meeting in April about improving life for LGBT students on college campuses and convening the first government sponsored LGBT training institute for colleges and universities. A few months later, in July, Weber was the keynote speaker at that training institute and moderated a panel on skills and strategies on mental health services and support for LGBT students.
“Colleges and universities first need to acknowledge that there is a community of LGBT students on their campuses,” said Weber, who is also working on Hofstra’s plan to develop an LGBT resources center on campus. “They then need to evaluate the resources they currently have in place and move forward from there.”
Weber advised colleges and universities to use the standard campus climate index for LGBT support services, which measures resources, policy and programming. According to Weber, the advantage of creating centers that serve and celebrate LGBT students is twofold.
“Once these resources are in place, institutions should celebrate their existence and demonstrate to the campus community they are committed to them on various levels (i.e., funding, programming),” Weber said. “This reinforces the acceptance of the community on-campus, and strengthens recruitment for prospective LGBT students who are looking for an accepting and nurturing environment in which they can enjoy their four years of college.”
Weber, an assistant professor of Counseling, Research, Special Education and Rehabilitation, is a licensed Mental Health Counselor. Her research and professional presentations focus on the impact of homophobia and heterosexism on the lives of LGBT individuals. Weber teaches a variety of courses related to the training of professional counselors including group counseling, multicultural counseling, psychopathology, and psychopharmacology and treatment planning.
In 2010, Weber testified before Congress about the findings of a groundbreaking study of the experiences of LGBT students, staff and faculty at colleges and universities across the country. The study, which surveyed 6,000 people who identified themselves as LGBT, indicated they continue to face significant hurdles, including harassment, safety concerns and isolation. The study was released by Campus Pride, a national non-profit organization working to create safer, more LGBT-inclusive colleges and universities. She and her co-authors are currently developing a follow-up study to this 2010 report, which is set to launch in Fall 2012. For more information about the study, go to www.campuspride.org/research.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 12,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, communication, education, health and human services, honors studies, a law school and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future. Located in Nassau County, New York, on over 240 acres, the University is less than an hour from midtown Manhattan.