Title

Faculty Ally: Risks & Rewards of Advocating for Trans Students

Conference Strand

Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy

Abstract

Advocacy within our college or university is an expected role of counselor educators, especially on behalf of students in marginalized groups, like trans students. But it comes with both risks and rewards that must be considered and understood when undertaking this much-needed role to foster a more inclusive educational environment for all students.

Description

Advocacy is an expected role of counselor educators, as indicated in the ACA Advocacy Competencies. "Student advocacy refers to actions a counselor takes to advocate on behalf of a…student…[and] may be appropriate in situations where the counselor has access to systems or processes that the [student] may not have, or in ways the [student] may not" (Toporek & Daniels, 2018, p. 4). Advocacy is even more critical when done on behalf of students who are members of a marginalized group, like students in the transgender community. "A growing body of research indicates that…gender identity, expression and gender norms, plays a key role in academic, health and economic outcomes" (The Williams Institute, 2018). And, "for LGBT students, microaggressions have been shown to affect well-being and academic engagement" (Bryan, 2017, p. 3). These negative experiences impact how trans students evaluate counseling programs and the counseling profession (Bryan, 2017). Faculty acting as allies to trans students can help. But advocating on behalf of trans students within your educational institution comes with both risks and rewards that must be considered and understood when undertaking this much-needed role to foster a more inclusive educational environment for all students.

Objectives:

  • Learn why it is important that faculty members are allies to students who are trans.
  • Learn ways to be an ally for students who are trans.
  • Learn what and how to teach your faculty peers about supporting students who are trans.
  • Learn self-care strategies when faced with resistance while engaging in trans advocacy work.

Evidence

Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling. (2009). Competencies for counseling with transgender clients. Alexandria, VA: Author. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/competencies/algbtic_competencies.pdf?sfvrsn=d8d3732f_12

Bauer-Wolf, J. (2019, August 20). Trans students often struggle with mental health. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/

Borgogna, N.C., McDermott, R. C., Aita, S. L., & Kridel, M. M. (2019). Anxiety and depression across gender and sexual minorities: Implications for transgender, gender nonconforming, pansexual, demisexual, asexual, queer, and questioning individuals. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 6(1), 54-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000306

Bryan, S. (2017). LGBT Microaggressions in counselor education programs (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/76af/717ac4279f21dcf06307393285e314c3e459.pdf

Lipson, S. K., Raifman, J., Abelson, S., & Reisner, S. L. (2019). Gender minority mental health in the U.S.: Results of a national survey on college campuses. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 57(3), 293-301. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2019.04.025

Nadal, K. L. (2014, February 7). Stop saying ‘That’s so gay!’: 6 types of microaggressions that harm LGBTQ people. Psychology Benefits Society. Retrieved from https://psychologybenefits.org/2014/02/07/anti-lgbt-microaggressions/

Nadal, K. L., Wong, Y., Griffin, K. E., Davidoff, K., & Sriken, J. (2014). The adverse impact of racial microaggressions on college students' self-esteem. CUNY Academic Works. Retrieved from https://academicworks.cuny.edu/jj_pubs/199

The Williams Institute UCLA School of Law. (2018, August 21). Report summary to media: Transgender-inclusive policies on college campuses improve the well-being of transgender students. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved from https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/press/trans-college-press-release/

The Williams Institute UCLA School of Law. (2018, August). Transgender students in higher education. Los Angeles, CA: Author. Retrieved from https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/1808-Trans-Higher-Ed.pdf

Toporek, R. L. & Daniels, J. (Eds.) (2018). 2018 update and expansion of the 2003 ACA Advocacy Competencies: Honoring the work of the past and contextualizing the present. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/competencies/aca-2018-advocacy-competencies.pdf?sfvrsn=1dca552c_6

Yarmosky, J. (2019, March 21). 'I can exist here': On gender identity, some colleges are opening up. NPR Education Newsletter. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Karen Cathey has more than 15 years of experience in the counseling field as a practitioner, instructor and clinical supervisor. She earned her master's in community counseling from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a master's of divinity degree, focusing on pastoral counseling, from Emory University's Candler School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Mississippi.

Her focus on multicultural issues in counseling was formed, in part, through her varied clinical experiences. These experiences included work with adolescents, college students, and older adults in varying work environments and while providing both “secular” and pastoral counseling. Currently, as an assistant professor in counseling and a clinical training director, she continues to focus her work on the aspirational level of development of cultural competency in graduate students and mental health practitioners and supervisors. In her state, Dr. Cathey is a licensed professional counselor and state-approved supervisor (LPC-S), and, on the national level, she is an approved clinical supervisor (ACS).

_______________________________________

Kenisha W. Gordon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Mississippi College. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Southeastern Louisiana University in Psychology and Counselor Education, respectively. Dr. Gordon graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. Dr. Gordon has over 15 years of professional experience. She has worked with children, families and adults in the judicial court system, educational system, and private practice. In both the public-school system and juvenile correctional facility, she worked with the special education department and counselors, contributing to students IEPs. More recently, within the juvenile correctional facility, she monitored classroom behaviors and developed behavior intervention plans for selected students. She has presented at several national and state conferences. Her interest areas are play therapy, supervision, and multiculturalism. Dr. Gordon is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a state Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S), a nationally Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), and a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S).

Location

Session Four Breakouts: Hampton B

Start Date

2-7-2020 4:00 PM

End Date

2-7-2020 5:15 PM

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Feb 7th, 4:00 PM Feb 7th, 5:15 PM

Faculty Ally: Risks & Rewards of Advocating for Trans Students

Session Four Breakouts: Hampton B

Advocacy within our college or university is an expected role of counselor educators, especially on behalf of students in marginalized groups, like trans students. But it comes with both risks and rewards that must be considered and understood when undertaking this much-needed role to foster a more inclusive educational environment for all students.