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Adela C. Licona joins LGBT studies institute as new interim director

Courtesy Adela C. Licona

Adela Licona is UA’s new interim director for the Institue of LGBT Studies. Licona was previously an associate professor of the English department.

Adela Licona has stepped in as the new interim director of the UA Institute for LGBT Studies after the leave of former director Susan Stryker.

“Adela is fabulous,” said Harrison Apple, a graduate student assistant at the institute of LGBT studies. “I mean, what I see with Adela as the new interim director is to really pull together different communities, I think she has done that incredibly well in her research in the past.”

Stryker announced earlier this year that she would be taking a year leave from her five-year position as LGBT studies institute director to continue working on a book about gender changes in the U.S. Stryker stated she would return to continue to teach gender and women studies at the university in the future.

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The program’s permanent director search will begin this academic year.

Prior to her new position, Licona was an associate professor of the English department and member of the Faculty Advisory Committee. Licona is also affiliated with several departments on campus: Gender and Women’s Studies, Family Studies and Human Development, Institute of the Environment and Mexican American Studies.

“I would like to follow up on past leadership in recognizing that the institute began as kind of a collective of scholars who were interested in race, sex and globalization, so I want to work with that beginning in mind, “ Licona said. “I would like to keep many interests in mind and grow the institute at the university that has the capacity to address those interests as well as address scholarly innovation within those interests.”

Licona said many of the events that will happen under her direction will be making the institute relevant in ways that move people beyond the idea that LGBT is just an identity–it is also about scholarly inquiry.

“I want to continue on the pattern that was set early by leaders of the institute that brings people together in new ways to undertake inquires with implication for LGBT to scholarship and community,” Licona said. “That is really important to me.”

Licona has been published in a variety of journals including Antipode, Transformations, Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies, Community Literacy Journal, National Women’s Studies Association Journal, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Nóesis, Kairos and has co-authored numerous community research brief.

Licona is also the co-founder of the Crossroads Collaborative and of Feminist Action Research in Rhetoric.

Adela said she feels that the searches she has endeavored with the organization played a role in preparing her for directing a research institute.

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Kristen Nelson, the program coordinator for over two years, said she is thrilled that Lincona has stepped in as interim director was her first choice after Stryker announced her leave.

“It’s wonderful to have a whole new skill set and somebody who is from a different department, who has such a background in community programming to come in and bring those skills here and strengthen the institute, even more than it has been,” Nelson said.

Follow Angela Martinez on Twitter.

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