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August 13, 2010

CWRU names new interim coordinator of LGBT Center

Cleveland--Case Western Reserve University announced the new head of its nascent LGBT center, less than a month after the exit of its first coordinator.

Elisabeth Roccoforte, diversity program manager in the university's Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, was named interim coordinator of the LGBT Center. She is expected to lead the center for at least a year.

The center opened on April 2 with Dan Coleman at the helm, but he was asked to step down in June. He attributed his exit to differences in personality and work styles.

"I want to do high-quality programming and events that will reach faculty, students, staff and alumni," Roccoforte says.

Roccoforte is familiar with wearing multiple hats. She had a similar position at the University of Cincinnati, where she also served as an undergraduate instructor in women's studies.

"The goal is to lay the foundation and get the center up and running as both a resource for the broader community and a safe place for the LGBT community," she explains. Plans include the establishment of an LGBT library, inaugurated under Coleman, as well as conversation groups.

"Everyone is welcome to come to the LGBT Center," Roccoforte said.

Case Western Reserve University moved up in the Campus Climate Index this year, receiving four and a half out of five possible stars on the index, which is compiled by Campus Pride.

Lynn Singer, deputy provost and a member of the LGBTA Committee, says the university continues to make strides. "Our campus committee on LGBTA issues was established in 2004 and engaged students, faculty and staff in working to improve the campus climate. As a result, we landed as a top 100 school in the Advocate a year later.�

"Now, we are gratified to see an even greater advance in our climate score after a number of accomplishments, including the development of an alumni group last fall and the creation of an LGBT Center. Liz's experience and knowledge are an ideal fit as we anticipate an exciting and productive year with the opening of the new center," Singer added.

Roccoforte will work part time as the LGBT Center's coordinator, while continuing as the diversity program manager in the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. In addition to Roccoforte, two students will work part-time at the center.









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