LGBT Caucus honors Center for Counseling and Student Development, Hengesteg
1:22 p.m., April 15, 2014--The University of Delaware LGBT Faculty/Staff Caucus has chosen both the Center for Counseling and Student Development and Paul Hengesteg from the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) as the first recipients of its new Triangle Award.
The award, debuting this year, recognizes outstanding leadership and contributions in promoting an inclusive and safe campus climate that respects the diversity of the LGBT community at the University.
Pioneering work cited
The triangle represents three key components of leadership for the community: support, advocacy, and visibility.
The LGBT Caucus chose to create this award because it wanted to be able to recognize and thank people in the UD community for their tireless efforts in being visible and active in improving the campus environment for students and employees through support and resources.
Receiving the departmental award, the Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) serves the UD LGBT community in a variety of ways on an ongoing basis, from individual and group counseling to outreach and consultation.
Highlights of some of this past year’s efforts from CCSD include:
- Lavender Chats, biweekly discussions open to all students who identify as LGBTQQ. Jeremy Cohen, Mark Mason and Shengying Zhang are able to create a safe and welcoming environment for students to discuss a variety of issues including sexual and gender identities, coming out, dating, religion/spirituality, relationships with family and friends, dealing with discrimination, and more. It is a place for students to find acceptance and community. The program is having an impact beyond the meetings themselves as people are seeking other services at the counseling center. A predoctoral intern, Nikki Hilton, is engaging in collaboratiive efforts with UD community members to better meet the LGBT community needs on campus.
- Several members of the staff at CCSD are Ally trained, and ready to serve the community.
Paul Hengesteg, program coordinator in OEI, has been a consistent and strong advocate for ensuring that the UD campus is welcoming and inclusive for all since starting at UD in 2010. To highlight some of this past year’s efforts from Hengesteg and OEI:
- Hengesteg has been a key liaison for cooperative meetings (coordinating a “collaboration council”) bridging the gap between LGBT faculty/staff, students, and Allies to ensure everyone is informed and engaged with efforts.
- He manages the Ally network and training, which is aimed at building a stronger network of LGBT support across the entire campus. His efforts this past year have resulted in nine social/educational programs for Allies. Because of Hengesteg’s ability to build partnerships, organizational abilities in adding additional trainings, and networking skills, the UD Allies network grew by 169 percent this past year.
- Hengesteg is an active member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, where he is engaged with the LGBT2 committee, which focuses on the work of entry-level professionals in the field.
The Triangle Award will be presented at a spring social gathering to be held Thursday, May 15, from 4-6 p.m. at the Center for Black Culture, 192 S. College Ave. All members of the University community are invited to attend.