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

  • Dave Wright, University Chaplain (co-chair)
  • Elizabeth Wormsbecker, Associate Director of Student Employment Programs (co-chair)
  • Mare Hirsch, Assistant Professor of Art and Art History
  • Barbara Weist, Web Specialist
  • Libby Baldwin, Associate Medical Director, Counseling Health & Wellness Services
  • Erin Potts, Psych & Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Counseling Health & Wellness Services
  • Katherine Highsmith, Resident Director
  • Kim Orr, Project Manager & Facilities Analyst
  • Sajin Alcid, Assistant Director, Annual Giving
  • Miriam Chitiga, Sr. Director for Intercultural Engagement
  • Nick Gerard, Database Records Specialist
  • Bentley Porter '24
  • Elias Thiemann '24
  • James Addicott '24
  • Julien Buonanno '25
  • Micah Beardsley '25
  • Finley Baker '25
  • Karissa Fahsholtz '25
  • Lauren Perkinson '26