Has Clemson come far in its LGBTQ+ equality on campus? Well it depends on who you ask. Some think Clemson is way ahead of where they thought Clemson would be in 2019 and others think Clemson is way behind. On Saturday March 30th at 3pm, come hear this panel of alumni and a current student who will share their experiences and thoughts of Clemson LGBTQ+ Life on campus from the 1980s to now. This is event is being sponsored by the Clemson LGBTQ+ Alumni Club as part of the Clemson Pride 2019.
Ciera Durden is the Associate Director of Multicultural Community Development within the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, where she works to promote LGBTQ+ programming, education, and advocacy at Clemson. Before Clemson, Ciera graduated with her master’s of education in College Student Affairs and Administration at the University of Georgia in 2017, then worked at Florida State College in Jacksonville as an academic advisor. Ciera lives in Anderson, South Carolina, though frequently travels to Georgia to be with her fiancée and family. She is passionate about advancing all marginalized social identities, inclusive educational practices, and LGBTQ+ work in Southern contexts.
Beverly Smith is a Clemson Alumni Association LGBTQ+ board member and Charlotte-Rock Hill regional director. She is a 1981 Clemson University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Communications minor. Beverly began her professional life as a newspaper reporter before a successful career in corporate public relations and lobbying at the federal and state levels. With an it’s-never-too-late outlook on life, Beverly is pursuing a second career in healthcare and enjoys hiking, working out and supporting trans youth programs.
E Ken Shell, PhD, LPC, NCC
Ken is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and Coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Program at Clark Atlanta University. He has over 15 years’ experience in various community agencies, universities, and school settings as a counselor or counselor educator. Ken’s primary research interests are in the intersections of counseling and social justice/advocacy, minoritized counselor professional development, community mental health, educational access/equity, and clinical mental health access/equity. He is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), certified school counselor, and a nationally certified counselor (NCC). Ken attended Clemson in the 90s where he completed undergraduate and graduate degrees and was President of the Lambda Society when it was officially recognized by the Clemson Student Government in November of 1991.
Adam graduated from Clemson University with a BS in finance in 2005. During his time at Clemson he was dedicated to student empowerment and giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. He served as Student Body President from 2004-2005 and considers that experience one of the greatest of his life to date. Following his time at Clemson, Adam started a career in pharmaceuticals and is now working for a Belgian-based company in Atlanta called UCB. Adam serves in a marketing discipline and is dedicated to improving patient outcomes for those living with rare diseases. Adam resides in Atlanta, GA with his partner of 8 years, Jason, and his two dogs, Mr. Z and Drake. They enjoy spending time in the Blue Ridge mountains, Clemson football, and world travel.
Abbi is a senior at Clemson University majoring in Mathematical Sciences with a minor in Education. She is currently a member of the CUSG LGBTQIA+ Engagement Committee and is the former Vice President of the CU Sexuality and Gender Alliance (CUSAGA), a former Peer Dialogue Facilitator, and helped plan Clemson’s 2018 Pride Week. After graduating in May, Abbi will be pursuing a master’s of education in College Student Affairs Administration at the University of Georgia.