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Virginia Martin is the new program coordinator for the LGBTA and Women's centers at OU. Both offices are located in Baker University Center. (BRIEN VINCENT | Staff Photographer)

Master's student appointed as program coordinator for LGBTA, Women's centers

A new academic year is bringing a fresh face to the LGBTA and Women’s centers at Ohio University.

Virginia Martin, who received a Bachelor of Arts in women’s studies and human sexuality from Portland State University, is joining as the new program coordinator for the centers.

She is currently enrolled as a student at OU, obtaining her master’s degree in women’s studies and counselor education. She applied for the job at OU after finding a listing in an LGBT and feminist job database.

“I have experience in both things, and I am very passionate about them, so I thought it was something that could be really good,” Martin said.

In addition to her education, Martin said she has a soft spot for nonprofit organizations, such as Planned Parenthood and The Sexual Assault Resource Center, as well as other feminist and LGBT-related organizations. Martin said this passion was prompted by her mother and grandmother, who each volunteered for a sexual assault survivor shelter, and when Martin founded the first Gay-Straight Alliance at her high school.

“It was a really tough road for those creating these groups when I was younger, especially in rural areas,” Martin said. “I can’t even imagine. That’s one of the reasons I’ve volunteered so much.”

Mickey Hart, former director of the LGBTA Center, said he was enthusiastic about Martin’s involvement.

“I think having her involved and others from the Women’s Center involved in the LGBTA Center is going to give the students a lot of opportunities to get active in both communities,” Hart said.

This sentiment was echoed by David Descutner, interim vice provost for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

“OU enjoys an LGBT-friendly community,” Descutner said. “The campus is a place where you can come and thrive in its diversity, and I think that having (Martin) is going to be really great. It’s something we’re feeling very excited and confident about.”

Martin said she has many plans for this semester, including a “body-positive day” and various speakers covering LGBT and women’s topics.

“The students have lots of great ideas, and I’m really excited to hear them and excited to get things started here,” Martin said.

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