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USU’s LGBT center hires new program coordinator

The Utah State University LGBT Resource Center has a new program coordinator. Brooke Lambert took the helm, at the start of this academic semester, as faculty adviser of one of the only resources for queers and their allies in Cache Valley. The former program coordinator, Maure Smith-Benanti, moved to the LGBT Resource Center at the University of Oregon at the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester.

Hailing from Virginia, Lambert came to Utah to study health and physical education. After teaching at Box Elder High School for more than two years, she applied for the position at USU — her alma mater.

“I just love Logan. There are so many great people and I love the campus,” Lambert said. “Everyone has been so great since I started. The students are terrific and all the faculty members have been so welcoming.”

Lambert graduated from USU in 2008, where she was involved with programs and clubs, including the rugby club. She slowly started coming out as a lesbian in her later years in school and was introduced to the queer community in Logan.

“The Center serves such a unique purpose in Logan. There just aren’t very many resources for queer students and community members,” Lambert said.

The Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and offers a welcoming and affirming environment for students and faculty. The Center also has a variety of books and magazines available to read in the office or to check out, just like the other libraries on campus.

The student-run Love is For Everyone, which holds weekly meetings for its 25-30 members, also works closely with the Center to ensure students have a social outlet.

“Logan is such a small town, it’s so important to build that social network for students. I think that’s why the Center is so important for students,” Lambert said. “I would say the one big issue I would like to work on is education – helping educate students and faculty about LGBT issues. We have student panels, the resource library and other tools to help us reach out to the community.”

Along with the Center on campus, Lambert is involved in efforts to open a chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The group is meeting the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Logan City Library.

“We really want to help expand and offer programs and opportunities to the community at large and also, more specifically, to families, friends and allies through PFLAG,” she said.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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