The Lived Experiences of LGBTQ Center Practitioners in U.S. Higher Education

New England College
School of Graduate and Professional Studies
Doctorate of Education Program
Dissertation by Brian Edwards under the advisement of Dr. Eric Ramsey

The Institutional Review Board of New England College, chaired by Dr. Carlton Fitzgerald, approved this dissertation project on September 20, 2017.

Informed Consent
Welcome. The following information is provided to you to determine if you would like to participate in this study. You are free to decide not to participate or to withdraw at any time without affecting your relationship with the researcher or New England College.

This project will serve as the dissertation for Brian Edwards and may be used for future publications. Please feel free to share this study with folks you feel would also be interested in sharing their experiences.

Introduction to the Study
LGBTQ centers have existed in higher education since 1971 and are important and valuable spaces on college and university campuses in the United States. However, no studies, based on my review of the literature, have been conducted on the lived experiences of LGBTQ center practitioners hired to oversee these spaces and support and advocate for their fellow marginalized populations. Like much of LGBTQ history, this area of inquiry is severely under researched and underrepresented.

This study seeks to explore and document the essence of what it is like to be an LGBTQ center practitioner, establish a foundation in the literature upon which further studies can be built, and provide much needed visibility for LGBTQ center practitioners in higher education.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to interview LGBTQ-identified practitioners who have previously worked or are currently working with/on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities in LGBTQ centers at colleges and universities in the United States. The sharing of our stories has the potential to make significant contributions to higher education research, literature, and practice. I am especially interested in your voice for my qualitative, phenomenological study. Thank you for considering to participate!
Participation in this study involves approximately 5 hours of your time during the 2017-2018 academic year. The phases are as follows:

Phase 1: the submission of this electronic consent form and a short, demographic questionnaire
Phase 2: the submission of a personal/career autobiography and resume/CV
Phase 3: participation in a 90- to 120-minute in-depth interview
Phase 4: participation in a potential follow-up interview

After you have provided consent by signing and submitting this electronic form, you will be provided with a link to complete the demographic questionnaire. Individuals who do not meet the selection criteria or who are not selected to move forward in the study will be informed through electronic mail at the email address submitted on the form. Those selected to participate in the study will be contacted by phone and/or email so that the researcher may answer any additional questions about the study. Upon confirmation of participation, the in-depth interview will be scheduled at your convenience.

Recruitment is expected to take place in early 2018 with interviews concluded by mid-June of 2018. Because this is a national study, all interviews will be conducted using electronic video conferencing programs like Zoom or Skype so that data collection will be uniform. For this reason, participants will be required to download those programs prior to the interview. This method of data collection will hopefully provide more flexibility for participants, as well.

In order to ensure confidentiality, only the researcher will know the true identities of the participants. Identifying data will be removed and pseudonyms chosen by the participants at the interview phase will be used. All direct quotes that will be used will be shown to the participant prior to them being included in the study to ensure the participant is comfortable with the wording and to allow them the opportunity to modify the statement, if needed. This will provide sufficient anonymity.

The researcher will remove or disguise information that he feels should either remain confidential or might be perceived as potentially damaging. The key used to match the names of the participants with their pseudonyms will be kept in the student investigator’s password-protected personal MacBook in a password-protected Excel file. The audio/video files from the individual interviews will be destroyed after transcripts are completed and verified for accuracy. All textual data collected during this study will be stored for seven years, after which will be destroyed. Electronic data will be stored on the student investigator’s password-protected personal MacBook and paper files will be stored in the student investigator’s home in a locked filing cabinet.

Risk/Costs of Participating
There are no physical risks associated with this study. There are no costs for participating in this study, other than your time. You will be asked questions that relate to your experience as LGBTQ people who are/were also LGBTQ center practitioners at colleges and universities in the United States. In the case that this study is triggering or brings up emotional responses, you may reach out to the GLBT National Help Center at 1-888-843-4564 for assistance. The GLBT National Hotline provides peer-support via telephone, online chat and email, and has an exhaustive national database for referral resources.
Contact Information
You may contact the investigator, Brian Edwards, at 917 776-2025 or via email at for more information about this study. If you have questions about your rights as a participant in a research study you should contact Dr. Eric Ramsey, Professor and Faculty Advisor, at 603 646-6979 or

Student Investigator: Brian Edwards, M.S.Ed.
Pronouns: he, him, his, they, them, their
100 Brookhaven Drive
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Phone: 917 776-2025

Faculty Advisor: Eric Ramsey, Ph.D.
Pronouns: he, him, his
6135 Collis Center, Suite 217
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: 603 646-6979

To continue, please complete the fields below.
Your Name *
Your answer
Your Gender Pronouns *
Your answer
Your Home Address *
Please include the following: Street, City, State, Zip Code
Your answer
Your Phone Number *
Your answer
Your Email Address *
Your answer
By submitting this form, you are agreeing to participate in the study. You are encouraged to print a copy of this consent form. Once you click the "submit" button below, you will be provided with a link in the confirmation box that will direct you to the short demographic questionnaire. Please do not close the box without first clicking the link.

Thank you for your time, your input is appreciated.

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