Administrator earns Kalamazoo-area LGBT award

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News


KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University administrator recently received the 2011 Terry Kuseske Education Award from the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center during the center's Winter Gala.

Dr. Cathryn Bailey, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of gender and women's studies, received the award for her exceptional leadership and advocacy for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people on WMU's campus and in the broader Kalamazoo community.

The award is named in honor of the late educator Terry Kuseske, a political and gay-rights activist who was elected Kalamazoo's first openly gay city councilman in 2009 and died of pancreatic cancer in 2010. The resource center is a non-profit, charitable organization that has been serving the LBGT and allied community of southwest Michigan for more than 20 years.

Bailey came to WMU in 2008 to direct the gender and women's studies program. She was named an associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2011. In that role, she focuses on interdisciplinary programming, international programming, space allocation, and faculty and student success.

Her work as a scholar has proceeded from a feminist perspective that explores gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. Her most recent research occurs at the intersection of feminism, pragmatism and Buddhism and includes the transgendered symbolism of the Buddhist icon, Kuan Yin (Hypatia); issues associated with animal ethics; writings that explicitly address the confluence of gender, race and anthropocentrism; and rediscovering and reinterpreting the 19th-century African American theorist and activist, Anna Julia Cooper.