Provost Joyce McConnell has been named the recipient of the 2016 Rosemary Srebalus Award for her efforts on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community at West Virginia University.

The newly-established award is co-sponsored by the university’s LGBTQ Center and the Commission for LGBTQ Equity. It is intended to recognize the “leadership, substantial effort, and impact of an ally of the LGBTQ community.” Dr. Rosemary Srebalus, for whom the award is named, was a WVU staff psychologist who did ground-breaking advocacy work. She was instrumental in starting the LGBTQ commission and implementing the Safe Zone program across campus.

McConnell has a similarly strong record as an ally of the community. As dean of the WVU College of Law, she revitalized and funded the college’s first LGBT student organization OUTlaw, served as the faculty advisor to the college’s women’s leadership council and informal advised and mentored many LGBTQ law students. She addressed LGBTQ issues in her course “Gender and the Law” and authored articles on diverse families, guardianship issues, women’s health and domestic violence.

As provost, McConnell has continued to be a leading advocate for the LGBTQ community at WVU. In 2015, she established the university’s LGBTQ Center with her appointment of Dr. Cris Mayo as the center’s first director. Mayo will step into the role this summer.

“Provost McConnell’s dedication and continued support have helped to make it possible for WVU to create and staff a new center dedicated to serving as a resource center and as the social, intellectual and physical hub of the LGBTQ community at WVU,” said Interim Director T. Anne Hawkins. “But even more than that, her support has demonstrated that WVU can be – and is – not just an accomplished research and teaching institution but an institution that values, supports, and celebrates the diversity of the members of its community.”

McConnell was presented with the award during a regular meeting of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee on April 25. The award presentation will regularly be part of the university’s annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony, being held this year on Saturday, May 1 at the Erickson Alumni Center.



CONTACT: Ann Claycomb; Office of the Provost

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.