Micah McCarey named new LGBT Center director
Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Gigi Secuban has announced that Micah McCarey has been named the new director of Ohio University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center. He is transitioning into his new role this month.
McCarey has served as interim director of the LGBT Center since May 2019. He previously served as Assistant Director for East Green and Diversity Initiatives, as well as a resident director. He holds a Bachelor of Science in communication studies from Ohio University’s highly acclaimed Honors Tutorial College, a Master of Arts in human development from Ohio University, and is presently completing interdisciplinary doctoral studies in decision-making through OHIO’s Individual Interdisciplinary Program.
Since his time as interim director of the LGBT Center, McCarey has fostered a supportive environment that has attracted constituents who had not historically utilized the Center.
“It’s incredibly important to me that the entirety of the LGBTQ+ spectrum and broader community feels welcome at our LGBT Center,” said McCarey. “I’m passionate about supporting and empowering our students and visitors who find a safe space in our Center. It’s our job to share the network of support LGBTQ+ individuals have access to across the University and in the Athens community.”
Dr. Secuban said McCarey has had a great impact on the LGBT Center as interim director. Under McCarey’s leadership, the Center’s Fall 2019 achievements included taking first place for most spirited homecoming parade float, attending CampusPride LGBT College Fairs to recruit prospective students from across the nation, and instructing a University College course for first year and transfer students seeking LGBTQ+ connection and information.
The Center’s staff, now comprised of three full-time professionals and nine student employees, also hosted a National Coming Out Day program, facilitated a total of 40 educational LGBTQ+ SafeZone trainings across all of Ohio University’s campuses, collaborated to host programs promoting mental and physical well-being, worked with the Center’s Trans* Group to upgrade the visibility of the University’s annual observance of Trans* Day of Remembrance, recognized special contributions to the Center made by seven members of the Center’s group for LGBTQ+ graduate and non-traditional students, and even redecorated the LGBT Center, which is open to all and located in Baker Center room 354.
When asked which of the Center’s recent accomplishments made him most proud, McCarey shared, “It would probably be the positive energy we’ve generated in and around the Center. It’s been our most frequent compliment, and we have heard it from parents, alumni, custodial staff, and even adolescents from PRISM, the Athens-area LGBTQ youth arts program the LGBT Center supports.”
Looking to the future, McCarey says he hopes to hear from people who want to support the Center’s work. He encourages alumni visiting the Athens Campus during the Center’s regular business hours to stop by the Center to relax and reconnect. He invites faculty and staff to reach out by phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss strategies for making spaces feel inclusive or to schedule a SafeZone training for their students. McCarey is also excited to continue redeveloping the Center’s SpeakOUT program, which assembles LGBTQ+ panelists to share their personal stories and help program attendees explore paths to a brighter future. Said McCarey, “I’m excited to continue cultivating our well-earned reputation as an exceptionally caring and educational LGBT Center and a University steadily moving towards inclusive excellence.”
“Micah has been a remarkable leader for our LGBT Center in a time of transition,” said Dr. Secuban. “I want to thank Micah for everything he has done and will continue to do as the new LGBT Center director and look forward to the positive changes he will bring. I’d also like to say thank you to our search committee and its chair, Dr. Cynthia D. Anderson, for their dedication to the search process.”
As a part of the interview process, open forums were held for students, faculty and staff, where they were able to interact with the candidates and offer valuable feedback.
Secuban added, “I appreciate the search committee, chaired by Professor of Sociology and Director of Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Cynthia Anderson, for their commitment to the search process.”