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New UCO Program Promotes Gender, Sexuality Studies

Dec. 9, 2015

Media Contact: Lindsay Thomas, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Relations, 405-974-2121,


Students at the University of Central Oklahoma will return to campus in January to find two new programs designed to supplement gender and sexuality studies on campus.

Known collectively as “The Center,” the programs are the UCO Women’s Research Center and the UCO BGLTQ+ Student Center. They will undergo a soft opening in spring 2016 and a grand opening in the fall.

“The addition of these centers to the academic landscape at UCO provides new and important opportunities for our students to engage in interdisciplinary studies. They also promote high-impact practices through research and service learning activities on our campus and in the surrounding community,” said UCO Provost John Barthell, Ph.D.

Lindsey Churchill, Ph.D., assistant professor of history at Central and director of The Center, noted that the programs represent the next steps in UCO’s efforts to provide institutional recognition and support for programs that promote transformative learning in the areas of women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

The Women’s Research Center will focus on the research, study, scholarly and activity programming that supports and supplements the intellectual growth and social development of women while the BGLTQ+ Student Center will supplement activities that enhance the campus and community life of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender and queer students.  The “+” represents letters not listed including questioning, intersexual, asexual and allies.

This spring, founding students will begin planning fundraisers and pursuing grants and fellowships for The Center, kick off the planning of Central’s first International Gender and Sexuality Studies Conference, set for Sept. 26-28, 2016, and work to promote the gender and sexuality studies minor across campus.

The Center plans to have a physical space on campus beginning in the fall to host events and offer study space.

Other faculty key to The Center’s founding include Elizabeth Overman, Ph.D., UCO associate professor of political science, who aided in securing funding, and David Macey, Ph.D., professor of English and a faculty adviser for Student Alliance for Equality.

For more information about The Center, contact Churchill at