Ash Wilson named director of the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity

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LAWRENCE — Ash Wilson has led strategic initiatives and been a champion for LGBTQ students since joining the University of Kansas five years ago. Wilson will continue to do this and then some as they step into the role of director of the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity (SGD).

“I am thrilled to join (the SGD) in their great work serving queer and trans students of all identities,” Wilson said. “Working to improve and implement the mission, vision and pillars of the (SGD) in a dynamic way brings me to work every day.”

The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity advocates for livability, promotes well-being, critically educates, and connects with and for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff alongside the KU community at Sense large. Wilson started as the center’s director on January 24.

Wilson will lead SGD’s efforts to provide social justice-based education, resources, programs and support that center LGTBQ students at the intersection of identity.

“I look forward to building and deepening relationships with students, staff and faculty at the institution,” Wilson said. “In my three weeks at the center, it’s clear that we have an exceptional staff dedicated to doing the hard work of transforming the campus for our QT community.”

Wilson serves as chair of the Faculty Council on Sexuality and Gender Diversity (SGDFSC), representing constituent interests, organizing the board of trustees, and providing support to faculty and staff on campus. They also represent the SGDFSC and communicate progress to external audiences, including the Chancellor, Provost and Acting Vice Rector for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

“I am thrilled to welcome Ash to his new role,” said Kevin Joseph, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. “Ash’s advocacy, campus and community engagement and strategic vision will prove beneficial in ensuring our QT students are supported and celebrated. I look forward to seeing SGD continue to grow under their leadership.

Wilson came to KU in 2017 and served as Deputy Director of Student Housing where they worked to support the most marginalized. Lewis Hall pioneered gender-neutral housing in the 2017-18 school year, and Wilson played a pivotal role in the project upon her arrival at KU.

“I have worked with trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming students to find supportive and safe living conditions,” Wilson said. “I helped adapt the housing procedure to make housing assignments more inclusive, created various social programs to serve the QT population, as well as educational opportunities to train over 200 employees. Building community, organizing social gatherings and being a role model for the QT community has been the hallmark of my time here.

Wilson received his bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from the State University of New York at Potsdam before earning his master’s degree in student affairs in higher education with a concentration in diversity, equity and cultures from the University from Miami. Wilson also earned a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at KU while working in housing.

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