In fall 2012, a group of Puget Sound faculty and staff met to discuss and examine policies and issues pertaining to transgender members of the Puget Sound community. That year, members of the committee met with Human Resources staff and members of the Committee on Diversity to advocate to include health care benefits for employees to cover medical and mental health treatments related to gender identity. Both the Staff Senate and the Faculty Senate endorsed the proposal. In 2014, the committee created a report describing Puget Sound’s structural and developmental practices utilizing a template for best practices developed by the Human Rights Campaign. In fall 2015, the group was formally recognized as an institutional committee officially charged to address transgender inclusion. In 2017, the practices were updated to center Trans Student Educational Resources and incorporate Sue Rankin’s Campus Climate for LGBT people.

The Transgender Advocacy and Inclusion Committee is comprised of students, staff, and faculty who take an active role and share in the responsibility of examining what Puget Sound is doing as a campus community to address transgender inclusion in all aspects of campus life. Charges include providing advice on best practices and strategies to:

  • Research best practices for transgender inclusion;
  • Support education for the campus community about structural and developmental practices that promote transgender inclusion;
  • Enhance support and advocacy for transgender inclusion

Committee Members

  • Tolu Taiwo, Assistant Director for Access Programs, Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (TAIC chair)
  • Greta Austin, Professor of Religion, Spirituality, & Society and Director of Gender and Queer Studies
  • Colleen Carette, Physician Assistant, Counseling, Health & Wellness Services
  • Clarie Koehn, Pre-Doctoral Intern, Counseling, Health & Wellness Services
  • Leah Coakley, HRIS Analyst, Human Resources Office
  • Cris McCarty, Admin Support Coordinator for CQS, English, and Humanities Departments
  • Erin Potts, Psych & Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Counseling Health & Wellness Services
  • Dave Wright, University Chaplain, University Chaplaincy
  • Elizabeth Wormsbecker, Assistant Director of Student Employment Programs, Career and Employment Services
  • 2-3 Student Members