Dear Pacific Lutheran University Community,

As LGBTQ faculty and staff and their allies at PLU, we write to express our outrage at the rise in bigotry and hate speech in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. We are committed to actively realizing the university’s mission of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care for others, our communities and the earth.  

In order to fully achieve this goal, we call on all members of the PLU community to pay attention, speak out and act bravely to work against inequity, discrimination and oppression wherever they may reside, whether on or off campus.

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, LGBTQ students, faculty and staff face a possible future where recently won victories are under serious threat: homophobic legislation that had been widely contested, such as legitimation of conversion therapy, legalized refusal of service and discriminatory employment laws now find new potential advocates in the highest ranks of government. The current fight against transphobic violence and legislation, such as the North Carolina HB2 Bathroom Bill, will now require a renewed vigilance and commitment to counteract hateful rhetoric and exclusionary ideologies.

Rather than simply advocate for the rights and lives of the LGBTQ community, it is essential that we forge solidarity among all vulnerable communities.

We stand with those who are particularly targeted at this time: the trans community, especially trans people of color; those who hold DACA or undocumented status, refugees, and asylum-seekers; members of the Muslim community; members of racially and ethnically marginalized groups, as well as women and children.  

In this light, we must remember the lessons learned from queer, trans and women of color activists and continue to center intersectional approaches to our activism and allyship that embody the diversity of backgrounds and belief systems of LGBTQ people and their allies.

For our LGBTQ students, we invite you to seek us out if you are in need of support or resources.  For bold and sincere allies in the struggle to build justice for all, we also stand with you.

PLU student activists always welcome new energy and ideas, and we urge students to check out QASU [Queer Ally Student Union,] and other campus student organizations that work to reduce bigotry and discriminations of all kinds.

Finally, for anyone seeking further resources, consider contacting these additional organizations that serve our community:

PLU Trans Taskforce: Tolu Taiwo (253) 538-6303

Counseling Center:  (253) 535-7206

PLU After-Hour Counseling Center: (253) 535-7075

Rainbow Center:  (253) 383-2318

24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 1 (800) 346-755


LGBTQ Identified Faculty and Staff of PLU

Rayne Allinson, Assistant Professor of History

Rick Barot, Associate Professor of English; Director, MFA Program in Creative Writing

Brandi Gordon Bennett, Head Softball Coach

Rachel Betron, Resident Director for Hong and Hinderlie Halls

Abigail Blankner, Transfer Student Advisor

Ryan Branchini, Admission, Advising, and Certification Coordinator

Jennifer Childress-White, Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Dawn Cuthbertson, Gender Based Violence Advocate

Alex Domine, Assistant Director of Annual Giving

Antonios Finitsis, Associate Professor of Religion

Asuka Goya, Web Developer

Maggie Hendrickson, Resident Director for Tingelstad Hall

Jenny James, Assistant Professor of English

Beth Kraig, Professor of History

Juliet Meggs, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Saiyare Refaei, Coordinator for Sustainability Integration

Rev. Jen Rude, University Pastor

Luke Ruiz, Resident Director for South and Kreidler Halls

Nolan Ryan, Assistant Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations

David Simpson, Assistant Professor of Social Work

Nancy Simpson-Younger, Assistant Professor of English

Lace M. Smith, Executive Director of Content Development

Tolu Taiwo, Outreach and Prevention Coordinator, Center for Gender Equity

Neal Yakelis, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Affiliated Allies

Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication

Jim Albrecht, Professor of English

Tiffany Artime, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ann Auman, Professor of Biology

Jp Avila, Associate Professor of Art & Design

Bradford Andrews, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Mare Blocker, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art & Design

Callista Brown, Associate Professor of English and Director of First-Year Experience Program

Wendy Call, Assistant Professor of English

Michelle Ceynar, Professor of Psychology and Vice Chair of Faculty

Teresa Ciabattari, Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies

Galen Ciscell, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology

Kirsten M. Christensen, Associate Professor of German, Director of Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Luann Corso, Assistant to the Director of Athletics

Beth Crippen, Senior Evaluations Administrator

Melannie Denise Cunningham, Director of Outreach & Engagement, Campus Ministry

Emily F. Davidson, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Hal DeLaRosby, Director of Academic Advising

Steve Dickerson, Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Seth Dowland, Associate Professor of Religion

Gail Egbers, Associate Professor and Instruction and Reference Librarian

Peter Ehrenhaus, Professor of Communication

Mary Ellard-Ivey, Professor of Biology

Amanda Feller, Associate Professor of Communication

Sara Finley, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Leslie Foley, Director of Academic Assistance

Adam Frye, Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach

Heather Fullerton, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

Joanna Gregson, Professor of Sociology and Chair of Faculty

Aaron Gunther,  Head Athletic Trainer

Michael Halvorson, Associate Professor of History
Angie Hambrick, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Justice, & Sustainability

Christine Hansvick, Professor of Psychology

Rachel Haxtema, TIES Program Coordinator, Center for Community Engagement and Service

Sergia Hay, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Jody Horn, Recruiting & Outreach Manager, Career Connections

Kate Hoyt, Visiting Assistant Professor of Visual Communication

Dave Huelsbeck, Professor of Anthropology, Dean of Social Sciences

Nicole Juliano, Assistant Director of The Diversity Center

Rabbi Bruce Kadden, Lecturer, Department of Religion

Rona Kaufman, Associate Professor of English

JoDee Keller, Professor of Social Work

Kara Lanning, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

Heather Leque, Academic Advisor

Tiffany Lemmon, Assistant Director for Center for Community Engagement & Service

Anna Leon-Guerrero, Professor of Sociology

Jordan Levy, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Lisa Marcus, Professor of English

Tess Matsukawa, Resident Director of Harstad Hall and RHA Advisor

Heather Mathews, Associate Professor of Art & Design

Emily McCann, Associate Director of Admission

Laura McCloud, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Rose McKenney, Professor of Geosciences and Environmental Studies

Donna Miller, Director of Career Connections

Andrea Munro, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Kevin O’Brien, Dean of Humanities, Associate Professor of Religion

Timothy O’Neill, Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Nathalie op de Beeck, Associate Professor of English

Kim O’Rourke, Senior Administrative Assistant

Carmiña Palerm, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Tracy Pitt, Advising, Admission, and Student Support Coordinator, School of Nursing

Kelly Poth, Assistant Registrar

Zach Powers, Media and Content Manager

Adela Ramos, Assistant Professor of English

Juanita Reed, Director MBA and Undergraduate Programs, School of Business

Michael Rings, Visiting Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Wendy Robins, Commons Operations Manager, Hospitality Services & Campus Restaurants

Scott Rogers, Assistant Professor of English

Joanna Royce-Davis, Vice-President for Student Life

Rachel Samardich, Budget & Office Coordinator, I&TS

Heidi Schutz, Assistant Professor of Biology

Valerie Seeley, Business Operations Manager, Hospitality Services & Campus Restaurants

Shannon Seidel, Assistant Professor of Biology

Ami V. Shah, Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Anthropology

Andrea Shea, Academic Advisor

Wendelyn Shore, Professor of Psychology

Amy Siegesmund, Associate Professor of Biology

Kaitlyn Sill, Associate Professor of Politics and Government

Ksenija Simic-Muller, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Jen Smith, Director of Center for Gender Equity and Faculty, Women’s and Gender Studies

Jennifer Spence, Visiting Instructor of Anthropology

Amy Stewart-Mailhiot, Associate Professor/Librarian

Allison Stephens, Associate Director of Academic Advising

Jes Takla, Director of Residential Programs

Amanda Taylor, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Claire Todd, Associate Professor of Geosciences and Environmental Studies

Rob Thompson, Coordinator of Recreation

Laurie Turner, Director of Athletics & Recreation

Giovanna Urdangarain, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Katherine Wiley, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Tracy Williamson, Assistant to the Dean of Humanities

Rebecca Wilkin, Associate Professor of French

  1. Laree Winer, Associate Director for Student Success

Jane Wong, Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Amy Young, Associate Professor of Communication and Chair of Communication & Theatre

Joel Zylstra, Director, Center for Community Engagement and Service

P.S. We recognize that many LGBTQ identified faculty and staff as well as allies may not yet be represented as signatories here; we hope to provide further opportunities for collaboration and outreach in the Spring semester.

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