Case Western Reserve University continues to show its commitment to an inclusive campus community with a new Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center slated to open soon — and an experienced new coordinator at the helm.
Elisabeth “Liz” Roccoforte, diversity program manager in the university’s Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, was recently named interim coordinator of the LGBT Center. She is expected to lead the center for at least a year.
“I want to do high-quality programming and events that will reach faculty, students, staff and alumni,” Roccoforte says.
Roccoforte had a similar position at the University of Cincinnati, where she also served as an undergraduate instructor in women’s studies. She also served as the program director of adult and professional development at the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.
She plans to work with campus departments and student organizations. “The goal is to lay the foundation and get the center up and running as both a resource for the broader community and a safe place for the LGBT community,” she explains. Plans include the establishment of an LGBT library, as well as conversation groups.
“Everyone is welcome to come to the LGBT Center,” Roccoforte said.
Her new position with the center comes at a time when Case Western Reserve is making significant strides in LGBT-related issues. The university recently received four and a half out of five possible stars on the national LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, which is maintained by the nonprofit organization Campus Pride.
Lynn Singer, deputy provost and a member of the LGBTA Committee, says the university continues to make strides. "Our campus committee on LGBTA issues was established in 2004 and engaged students, faculty and staff in working to improve the campus climate. As a result, we landed as a top 100 school in the Advocate a year later.
“Now, we are gratified to see an even greater advance in our climate score after a number of accomplishments, including the development of an alumni group last fall and the creation of an LGBT Center. Liz’s experience and knowledge are an ideal fit as we anticipate an exciting and productive year with the opening of the new center," Singer added.
Roccoforte, who will work part time as the LGBT Center’s coordinator, will continue to serve as the diversity program manager in the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. In addition to Roccoforte, two students will work part time at the LGBT Center.
Roccoforte has a master of arts degree in gender and women’s studies from the University of Cincinnati.
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