Members of the Washington University in St. Louis community were recognized during the fifth annual James M. Holobaugh Honors ceremony Nov. 7 in Ridgley Hall’s Holmes Lounge.
The award honors individuals and organizations that promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, perform direct advocacy and service to the St. Louis metropolitan area and incorporate education and dialogue as part of their practice.
The honor is named after WUSTL alumnus Jim Holobaugh (BS, engineering, 1990), who was a cadet in the campus Reserve Officer Training Corps program. In 1989, after coming out as gay to his squad commander, Holobaugh was removed from the program and ordered to repay the U.S. Army for his scholarship.
Eventually succumbing to pressure from campus groups and LGBT rights organizations across the country — in addition to an impassioned response from WUSTL administrators — the Army reversed its decision. Holobaugh went on to travel across the country, engaging diverse groups in dialogue on issues of service and citizenship.
Shanti Parikh, PhD, associate professor in anthropology and in African and African-American studies, both in Arts & Sciences, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. Parikh has talked both nationally and internationally about gender, sexuality and HIV, and has been asked to serve as a research expert to testify and advocate for gender- and sexuality-sensitive sexual health policies.
Jill E. Carnaghi, PhD, associate vice chancellor for students and dean of campus life, works closely with staff and students within the Community Service Office, Danforth University Center & Event Management, Student Involvement and Leadership, Student Union and Interfaith Campus Ministries Association. She also serves as four-year academic adviser and is a member of the Campus Y Board, LGBT Advisory Board and Gephardt Institute for Public Service Steering Committee. Carnaghi has been involved in myriad leadership positions within the American College Personnel Association, including president, and the Senior Scholars Program.
Brian Carpenter, PhD, associate professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on psychotherapy and aging. He also directs a research laboratory that focuses on family relationships later in life. Carpenter earned a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University. After a clinical internship at the New Orleans Veterans Affairs Medical Center, he completed postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. This is his 13th year at the university and his third year living with his partner as a Faculty Fellow in Eliot Residential College.
Ashley Fox is a senior from Nashville, Tenn., majoring in political science in Arts & Sciences. She is the vice president and former political affairs chair of the Association of Black Students and a former member of the Washington University Mock Trial Team. Having served for the past three years as a mentor and academic tutor through the student-run Learning to Live Mentoring Program, Fox is now a resident adviser to sophomores and was the 2012 Program in African and African-American Studies’ recipient of the James Baldwin Essay Award. She hopes to pursue a career in policy and public service with a focus on healthcare and public health.
Nate Lucena is a fourth-year doctoral student in psychology in Arts & Sciences, where his research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of aging. He completed undergraduate work at Centenary College of Louisiana before earning a master’s degree from the College of William and Mary. Lucena is in his second year as president of OUTgrads, and has served on the LGBT Advisory Board and the leadership committee for the Psychology Graduate Student Association. He also takes an active interest in communicating science to the public, volunteering at science outreach events in conjunction with the St. Louis Science Center and at public schools in the St. Louis region.
Jenea Nixon is a senior in women, gender and sexuality studies in Arts & Sciences at WUSTL. She has been involved with Pride Alliance since 2010 and has served as the external, then internal, co-president of the organization since 2011. She has been a residential adviser for Lee/Beaumont Residential College for the past two years and plans to continue working in higher education. During her time on campus, Nixon has attended Leadershape, the Social Justice Training Institute, the Midwest BLGTA (bisexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, ally) College Conference, and Destination Q, and is involved with WUSTL’s Social Justice Center. During summers, Nixon stays involved with organizations such as Planned Parenthood and PROMO in St. Louis,
Missouri’s statewide organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality through legislative action, electoral politics, grassroots organizing and community education.
Jeanette Mott Oxford is executive director of the Missouri Association for Social Welfare, a 100-plus-year-old citizen advocacy organization working to improve the health and welfare of all Missourians. Oxford also served as a Missouri state representative for a portion of the City of St. Louis from 2005-2012. Oxford and her partner of almost 28 years, Rev. Dorothy Gannon, a hospice chaplain, have lived in St. Louis since 1987. Oxford has been an advocate, educator, writer and organizer on issues of poverty, health, housing, racism, sexual orientation and campaign finance reform in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri for more than 30 years.
Wolf Smith is double-majoring in psychology and in gender and sexuality studies, both in Arts & Sciences. Smith has served as the social activism chair of Pride Alliance and is a founder of the student group Transcending Gender. As co-facilitator of this support and activism group, Smith has worked on the gender-inclusive restrooms initiative, served as student representative to the LGBT Advisory Board and the Faculty Safe Zones committee, and encouraged more awareness within WUSTL and the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual) community. As a member of the LGBT Anti-Violence Task Force in St. Louis, Smith works to increaseunderstanding of the importance of LGBTQ identities within sexual/domestic violence communities.
Susan Stiritz, PhD, senior lecturer in women, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) in Arts & Sciences, is best known for “Introduction to Sexuality Studies,” a course she designed in hopes of attracting a larger following to the study of sex/gender topics on campus. She teaches six sexuality studies courses, including a service-learning class, in which WGSS majors teach feminist sexuality education to fraternity members. She is a sexuality educator certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and she serves on WUSTL’s LGBT Advisory Board. She lives with her three dogs and partner, Bill, in the Skinker-DeBaliviere area.