GW Experts Available to Discuss Timely Topics This Pride Month

May 24, 2022

June is Gay Pride Month and this is the first year since the pandemic that many Pride events will be back at full-scale. Many organizers are also seeing this as a time for the LGBTQ+ community to come together to face the flood of legislation aimed at the community and transgender youth in particular. Experts from the George Washington University are available to discuss a variety of topics ranging from the history of Gay Pride Month, to the healthcare and legal issues facing this community. 

Public Health Experts

David Huebner, an associate professor of prevention and community health, is an expert on psychology and public health. His recent research focuses on how discrimination affects lesbian, gay and bisexual adults. He can also talk about health risks, including suicide, that LGBTQ+ youth face during a coming out period and how to reduce those risks.

Jonathon Rendina, an associate research professor of epidemiology, can talk about high risk behavior in young gay and bisexual males and how to reduce  the risk of HIV and other health issues. He can also talk about how stigma, stress and other factors can lead to LGBTQ+ health disparities.

Ken Hergenrather is a professor of counseling at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development whose primary research area focuses on the employment needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS. He has worked in the field of public health education in the area of HIV/AIDS testing, counseling, and clinical drug trials and has collaborated with community-based AIDS service organizations. He can also discuss the highlights of LGBTQ+ history, as well as gender fluidity and becoming a LGBTQ+ ally.

Gary Simon, The Walter G. Ross professor of medicine and of microbiology and tropical medicine and of biochemistry and molecular medicine, focuses his research on the HIV Infection and AIDS and infectious diseases in general. He can discuss the history of the AIDS epidemic in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

Rhonda Swindt, an Associate Professor, Director of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program at The George Washington University researcher at the School of Nursing, is focused on reducing health disparities in the transgender and gender expansive population. She can speak about this topic and how nurses can better provide affirmative mental health care to transgender and gender diverse people.

Mandi Pratt-Chapman, is Associate Center Director, Community Outreach and Education for the GW Cancer Center. As part of the cancer center's senior leadership team, she catalyzes research collaborations to improve the health and health equity of GW's immediate catchment area. Her work focuses on core cultural competency recommendations addressing training for those who provide health care and/or social services to LGBTQ+ patients, LGBTQ+ training for health care professionals, and community-driven interventions to address LGBTQ+ community member healthcare needs and optimize their health. She can speak to how to improve the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex populations, particularly in the context of cancer continuum of care services. Her other work focuses on broader access to care and community resource linkages for cancer patients.

Legal and Education Experts

Sonia M. Suter is a professor of law at The George Washington University Law School and founding director of the Health Law Initiative. She can comment on topics related to assisted reproductive technologies for the LGBTQ+ community

Dwayne Kwaysee Wright is assistant professor of higher education administration and director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. His research and social activism seek to advance educational opportunity and equity for all students, particularly those historically oppressed and marginalized in American society. He can discuss how identity affects the experience in higher education. He can also comment on issues related to the Don’t Say Gay bill and its impact on LGBTQ+ youth.

Mental Health

Jeffrey S. Akman, is Interim Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is recognized as a pioneer in HIV/AIDS psychiatry and for his expertise in LGBTQ+ mental health. He can speak to the history of LGBTQ+ psychiatry and the importance of continuing research on the unique mental health challenges the LGBTQ+ face. 

Harvey Peters is an assistant professor of counseling at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Peters' research centers around the expansion of social justice and cultural responsivity within counseling and related professions. In clinical settings, Dr. Peters has primarily worked with children and adolescents, women and queer persons, and couples and families from oppressed communities. He can discuss the role and impact of dating, relationships and sexual health on queer adolescents.

Mina Attia, assistant professor of counseling at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, has examined the experiences of trauma and adjustment of LGBTQ+ asylum-seeking individuals in Washington, D.C.  He can discuss the challenges LGBTQ+ individuals face as they navigate the asylum process and adjust to life in the United States.