By Steve Nakata, Administrative Services
PULLMAN, Wash. – Matthew Jeffries, academic coordinator in WSU’s College of Education, has been selected director of the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center.
Jeffries, who will begin his new position June 1, succeeds Heidi Stanton Schnebly, who several months ago accepted a position at Eastern Washington University.
As an academic coordinator in the College of Education, Jeffries advises 280 undergraduate students and collaborates with multiple departments to help ensure students are on track to graduate.
Between 2012 and 2014, he worked in WSU’s Office of Residence Life as a residential education director and also held a collateral position in Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC). There he researched transgender students and gender inclusive housing, helping some students relocate to residence hall rooms where they could feel more comfortable.
He also organized Lavender Graduation, an annual celebration for LGBT students and allies earning their degrees. Most recently, as part of the College of Education’s Diversity Committee, he successfully advocated for gender inclusive bathrooms in the Education Addition Building.
“As someone who has worked in WSU’s LGBT community and brings a proven track record of helping students across campus, Matthew will hit the ground running,” said Mary Jo Gonzales, vice president for Student Affairs. “He will take this successful program and add his energy and experience to provide students with even greater support at WSU.”
In his new position, Jeffries is most excited about developing long-term connections with students, discovering what challenges they face and collaborating with others to help alleviate barriers for LGBTQ students.
“My vision for the Center is for it to be a space for the WSU community to engage in issues that impact LGBTQ individuals,” he said. “I see the Center continuing to work toward a more inclusive campus for our LGBTQ Cougs through community development, WSU and Pullman collaborations, educational outreach, and alumni engagement.”
Jeffries holds a bachelor’s of arts in Spanish from Ohio University and master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from The Ohio State University. He is currently a WSU doctoral student in cultural studies and social thought in education.