PRIDE! welcomes new faculty adviser

Carley Hull

PRIDE! Kent, the university’s LGBTQ student organization, will welcome Dr. Suzanne Holt, the director of women’s studies, as its new faculty adviser this fall.

PRIDE! president Brandon Stephens, a junior criminal justice and political science major, said he is excited to welcome Holt as PRIDE’s new faculty adviser after searching for her replacement.

“She brings a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge,” Stephens said. “And really she is going to be instrumental in allowing this organization to grow and to foster these new relationships we are trying to create across campus.”

Holt has been teaching at Kent State since 1971 and has been the director of the women’s studies program since 2008. She is also currently an affiliate for the LGBT studies minor.

Holt said she believes her life observations of the 1960s women’s rights and gay rights issues give her a lot of experience and history to bring to PRIDE!

“I bring that historical perspective of that person who lived it and observed it,” Holt said.

Former faculty adviser Wayne Elliott, the Honors College’s Coordinator of Advising and Alumni Relations, stepped down last spring after a year with PRIDE!. Stephens searched for his replacement until August 20.

Stephens said Elliott left the LGBTQ organization to pursue more responsibility with Kent State’s Honors College, and he remains a friend of the organization.

Holt is PRIDE!’s fourth faculty adviser in its 41 years as a recognized student organization at Kent State.

“I see my role [as faculty adviser] as someone who can be there for them,” Holt said. “And the only thing that qualifies me for that is living my life.”

PRIDE!’s first faculty adviser was emeritus professor of English Dolores Noll who, in 1971, actually helped found the organization, formerly called the Kent Gay Liberation Front.

“PRIDE! goes with an adviser whose goals, personality and kind of life match up with ours,” Stephens said.

Holt said knowing Noll helped determine her decision to advise PRIDE! and “pick up the torch” to carry on PRIDE!.

Holt said she plans to listen to what happens around her to help bring ideas to PRIDE!, while letting the students really carry the organization.

“There is something so golden about this time,” Holt said. “So you know when you have an opportunity like this you just want to make sure this is the best semester possible [for the organization].”

Contact Carley Hull at [email protected].