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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

New LGBTQ+ assistant director acclimates to new position

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Elizabeth J. Stigler is the new assistant director of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. She started her position Feb. 25 after being hired by the Division of Student Affairs.

Stigler said she felt very drawn to this position at Marquette. She earned her first master’s degree in women and gender studies from Roosevelt University and her Bachelor’s in women’s studies from Augustana College. She earned her doctorate in women, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Kansas. There she went on to earn a second master’s in women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Stigler said this job entails directing and managing the operations of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, which includes developing and coordinating programming around LGBTQ+ related issues and topics, supporting student organizationsand ensuring that the center continues to grow as a welcoming and affirmative space for all LGBTQ+ affiliated members of the Marquette community. 

Valerie Lynch, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences who utilizes the center’s resources said she feels Stigler is doing a “wonderful” job. 

“She’s really nice and I feel like she’s really making an effort to engage with the students and she’s learning everyone’s names and that kind of thing,” Lynch said. “She doesn’t hole away in her office — she’ll actually engage with us. She’s accessible. 

Zelda Kieser, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she is also excited for Stigler to be the new assistant director and said she is looking forward to more programming and events in the future. 

The center is lovely, but it hasn’t been able to put on many activities thus far because of the lack of leadership,” Kieser said. “I certainly am optimistic. (Stigler) is a real game-changer for the LGBTQ+ community and for the center here at Marquette, and Im sure you’ll hear a lot more from her going forward. 

Stigler’s desire to empower students was noticed by Kieser as well, who said she thinks Stigler will be a great asset to the center. 

As a queer scholar and professional I feel called to use my skills, knowledge and experience to amplify the voices of historically underrepresented students and ensure they feel successful and empowered throughout their college career,” Stigler said in an email. “I am also invigorated by the opportunity to work closely with a diverse assemblage of colleagues who are all committed to challenging each other to be and do better.” 

Keiser said Stigler has done a lot to get to know the people who use the center, to coordinate with the existing staff and to revitalize the gay straight alliance.

She also has her door open a lot of the time, so it’s easy to get to know her and she always makes time for students. Her effect has been overwhelmingly positive,” Keiser said.  

Lynch said while she hasn’t seen much change yet and believes it may be too early to tell, she thinks Stigler is already a positive role model for students. 

I think everyone (at the center) is excited and looking forward to the future,” Lynch said. 

Stigler said she hopes to build on the work the center already does and she does not want to set “rigid” goals but instead let opportunities come to her. 

One of my most sincere hopes is that the work I do here will have a lasting impact on the way in which Marquette recruits, supports and retains LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff,” Stigler said in an email. 

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