Media Tip Sheet: GW Experts Available to Discuss Key Issues for Pride Month

May 26, 2023

Pride Flag

WASHINGTON (May 26, 2023) -- June is designated as Pride Month in the United States to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The protests marked the beginning of the gay pride movement and helped launch a civil rights movement for LGBTQ+ people in the United States and around the world.

The George Washington University has experts that can discuss a variety of LGBTQ+ issues. To schedule an interview with one of the following experts please contact GW Media at [email protected].


Cori Alonso-Yoder, an associate professor of fundamentals of lawyering, brings nearly two decades of public interest legal practice with a special emphasis on advocacy for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants. She is an expert in health policy and served as the supervising attorney at Whitman-Walker Health, the country’s longest serving medical-legal partnership.

"Despite notable legal victories within the last several years, assaults on the rights of the LGBTQ community are gaining traction. Especially at the state level, legislative efforts to push members of the community back into the closet -- or in the case of young people, to prevent them from ever coming out -- are causing harm. This is especially true for Black, brown, and trans individuals who face disproportionate levels of societal violence and systemic exclusion," Alonso-Yoder says.

Joan Schaffner, an associate professor of law, has taught Sexuality and the Law for eight years. She can speak on the implications and legality of many LQBTQ+ and trans regulations made in recent years.

Jason Belk, associate Dean of Students for GW Law, brings over a decade of experience in administrative law. He has spearheaded program development for wellness, support and diversity and inclusion for students studying the law and the importance of inclusion and representation in the industry. 


Jeffrey Akman is an associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is recognized as a pioneer in HIV/AIDS psychiatry and for his expertise in LGBTQ mental health.

Mandi Pratt-Chapman is associate professor of medicine and the associate center director for community outreach and associate center director, patient-centered initiatives and health equity for the GW Cancer Center. She can discuss medical providers’ lack of preparedness in providing clinical care to transgender, gender diverse and intersex patients, and the challenges the LGBTQ+ community face that lead to disparate health outcomes.

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 LGBT 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.

Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz, associate professor of prevention and community health, is an expert on health inequities among vulnerable populations including people with HIV and sexual and gender minority groups. He is also studying how to enhance HIV prevention services and improve primary care for Latinx and transgender populations.

Rhonda Schwindt, associate professor of nursing, leads efforts to prepare future nurse practitioners in providing affirming mental health care to transgender and gender-expansive patients. She can discuss this work and the mental and physical health disparities in the LGBTQ population as well as the impacts of discrimination in healthcare overall.

Billy Mullins, clinical assistant professor of nursing, is an expert on mental health and medical-psychiatric inpatient care. Mullins can discuss importance of suicide assessment and prevention and therapeutic communication and relationships as well as mental health disorders such as anxiety, schizophrenia, depression and substance use disorders. He can also discuss LGBTQIA+ history, terminology, and health disparities.

LGBT Health Policy & Practice

Stephen Forssell is an assistant professor and the founder and director of the LGBT Health Policy & Practice Graduate Certificate Program at the George Washington University. Dr. Forssell studies sexual orientation development, HIV/AIDS risk behaviors, and high-risk sexual behavior interventions. Other areas of expertise include same-sex romantic relationships and parenting, adolescent and young adult romantic and sexual relationships, and health psychology.


Vontrese Pamphile is an assistant professor of strategic management & public policy. Her research focuses on the management of business-society tensions and how employees respond to their organization's prosocial initiatives. Her recent studies focus on the experience of Chief Diversity Officers, corporate philanthropy professionals, and whether employees perceive their organization's values as authentic. Pamphile can discuss companies making announcements for Pride Month and the impact those decisions have on employees if actions don’t follow.