• Middle Tennessee State University (map)
  • 1301 E Main St
  • Murfreesboro, TN 37132
  • USA


The theme of the 2015 LGBT+ College Conference is "Diversify Your World!" Set for April 9-11th 2015, the conference will be hosted by the MTSU Lambda Association and the College of Behavioral & Health Sciences at MTSU, cover a variety of subjects from community building to political strategy, and will empower students from various institutions across the state to use their individual student organizations as a mechanism for positive change geared towards awareness, inclusion, and diversity.

  Student organizations from more than thirty colleges and universities along with corporate and community leaders around the region and beyond are invited to participate in this groundbreaking event. The conference is free to all persons.


11:00 AM - 10:00 aM Conference Registration

  10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Plenary.

  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Poster Session I: The 2015 LGBT+ College Conference will host poster presentations of research related to LGBT+ issues, especially research focusing on issues affecting LGBT+ college and university students and LGBT+ individuals experiencing various life transitions related to higher education (transition to college/university, transition from college/university to the workplace, transition from the military to a college/university setting, etc.). Research investigating higher education and workplace diversity issues is also welcomed. Conference events will focus on the connections between members of the LGBT+ community and veterans, Greek/fraternal organizations, religious groups, and people in the workforce. Research overlapping with these populations is also encouraged. Research Poster Presenters may register to present here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ebyMjb3JWtMN6gTM7HJXF6zIZ47RHf2xo-A_y-Ph6yU/viewform

  12:15 PM - 1:15 PM Patnership Presentation: Corporate and community partners will be encouraged to bring their research needs to the Tennovation Research Consortium. Tennovation is made up of faculty and centers in higher education in Tennessee who can contribute research expertise on topics such as employment climate, pilot interventions, perception, and initiatives. The results of demonstration projects and lessons learned will be presented, and attendees will be encouraged to register their research needs and expertise with Tennovation.

  1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Lunch Break

  2:30 PM - 3:45 PM Poster Session II

  6:30 PM Film Festival: The festival will feature one-minute films submitted by attendees and community members. Themes of the films will include: coming out (to yourself, to your friends, to your family), love and relationships, hopes and dreams (getting married, starting a family, etc.), and being an ally/LGBT+ supporter. Short films will also be presented accompanied by a discussion with the filmmakers. Film submissions may be made here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1FHQr9VDCvvCaQzeONBkczRVABAli2Y4y_IyYvPl2iCg/viewform 
Please fill out the subsequent Film Agreement Form here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7SWY3DNQ-R7VW5scHJ6eUtIRTg/edit

April 10th:

Location: Ingram MT Training Center

  9:00 AM Registration

  9:30 AM - 10:00 AM Plenary.

  10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Panel I; Interfacing With Your Institutions: Student organizations frequently host events with an eye to educating and entertaining their campus communities. How can student organizations effectively align their goals with their institution’s goals to produce successful events? Panelists will offer timely advice to students from an institutional perspective. How can students work with their institutions to take fullest advantage of available resources and to maximize the impact of their events? Students planning events can benefit from the practical tips and tricks that will be discussed. Administrators and other professionals can learn how to work with various constituencies for the mutual benefit of all. 
  Panelist: Dr. Debra Sells; Vice President of Student Affairs, MTSU. 
  Additional Panelists: TBA 


  11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Lunch

  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Panel II; Bringing Your Whole Self to Work: There is growing data, and much anecdotal evidence, about the “bottom line value” to organizations that create a culture in which differences are respected and diversity within an inclusive workplace is leveraged as a strength. New research finds that diverse groups outperform more homogeneous groups not because of an influx of new ideas, but because diversity triggers more careful information processing that is absent in homogeneous groups. The panel of highly regarded leaders will discuss how employers seek to understand and acknowledge what each employee brings to the table in order to make them feel appreciated, supported, and motivated to excel. Students preparing to enter the employment pipeline will have an opportunity to gain insights on how potential employers' policies and practices address various dimensions of diversity, including gender identity and sexual orientation. D & I professionals and other leaders in attendance will benefit from open and honest dialogue in building their knowledge and exploring new thought leadership for the benefit of the work unit and organization. 
  Moderated by: Dr. Patrick McCarthy; Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology, MTSU 
  Panelist: Mac Worsham; Director of Corporate Communications, Deloitte Services, LLP
  Panelist: Bobbie R. Porter; Diversity and Equity Initiatives Director, TBR. 
  Additional Panelists: TBA 

  2:30 PM – 2:45 PM Break

  2:45 PM – 4:15 PM Panel III; Veterans Transitioning: What issues are confronted by veterans as they transition to a college/university environment? What additional issues confront LGBT+ veterans? Panelists will discuss the veteran experience and the resources that might be needed to assist veterans with their transition, paying particular attention to resources needed by LGBT+ veteran students. Students, veterans, and administrators can benefit from hearing firsthand experiences of veterans and the people who work with them in academic settings. 
  Panelist: Steve Snyder-Hill 
  Panelist: Sergent Kimberly Ligon, MTSU
  Additional Panelists: TBA 

  7:00 PM Keynote: Vernice “Flygirl” Armour Seating Begins at 6:30 :

April 11th:

Location: College of Education Building

  9:30 AM - 10:00 AM Registration [COE 160]

  10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Plenary [COE 160]

  10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Keynote: Ilona Turner [COE 160]

  12:00 AM - 1:00 AM Panel I; Greek Life and LGBT+ Communities [COE 160]

  1:00 PM - 2:15 PM Lunch

2:15 PM - 3:30 pm Learning Strategy Sessions

  Incorporating LGBT+ Programming [COE 149] Presented by Donna Braquet: Donna Braquet is the Director of the OUTreach LGBT & Ally Resource Center at the University of Tennessee. Donna will lead a session on planning and executing effective and impactful LGBT+ programming in a University setting. 
  Coordinating Large Events on your Campus [COE 153] Presented by Allison Heming: Allison in an Assistant Coordinator for the SafeZone program and serves on the Chancellor’s Commission for LGBTQ People at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Allison will lead a session focused on planning and organizing large and impactful events for student organizations at a College or University. 
  LGBT+ Programming at Community Colleges [COE 251] Presenter TBA:.
  LGBT+ Programming at Private Institutions [COE 253] Presented by Brock Swims:Brock is the current Preside of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Christian Brothers University. Brock will be leading students in a dynamic discussion exploring how to navigate private institutions in Tennessee by planning engaging events and successful programming.

  3:45 PM – 5:00 PM Panel II; Religion & LGBT+ Communities [COE 160]

  5:00 PM – 5:30 PM Conference Closing & Action Plan Review [COE 160] Participants will “report out” key learnings from the conference and make recommendations for next year’s agenda. A review of the Conference Playbook content to address questions, concerns and additional needs will be an essential element within the conference evaluation and assessment in relationship to key learning goals.

  7:15 PM Conference Awards Dinner : The 2015 LGBT+ Conference Awards Dinner will serve to honor and recognize outstanding Civic, Corporate, Community, & Academic leaders in the LGBT+ & Allied community within the state of Tennessee. The Conference Awards Dinner Keynote will be Brigadier General Tammy S. Smith. Awards will be presented after the Keynote Address