Cris Mayo, WVU LGBTQ+ Center Director (WVU Photo/Greg Ellis)

West Virginia University’s LGBTQ+ Center has received national recognition on two fronts for its commitment to helping provide a safe and inclusive campus for all students.

For three consecutive years, BestColleges, in partnership with Campus Pride, has named WVU one of the “Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students” for inclusive programming and outreach efforts in an educational environment. The partnership with Campus Pride offers rating metrics unique to a LGBTQ-friendly campus life.

In addition, the Center’s director and professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Cris Mayo, has been named a recipient of the regional 2019 LGBTQ Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council. The award honors role models in the LGBTQ community who demonstrate leadership by creating a culture of inclusiveness in the workplace, advocating for protections for LGBTQ individuals and influencing positive change community wide.

“The work we do at the LGBTQ+ Center is a collaboration that includes center staff, student workers, and all the people on this campus dedicated to making sure all students feel comfortable and welcomed as they come to campus,” Mayo said. “We certainly appreciate the recognition from national and regional organizations, but it’s a reflection of the values guiding all of us here. We will continue our educational programs, social and networking events, education about campus, state, and national resources to ensure all students, faculty, staff and visitors know there’s a place for them at WVU’s LGBTQ+ Center.”

Mayo will be formally recognized Sept. 10 in Pittsburgh at the Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Unity Summit, an annual event designed to discuss the benefits and challenges of the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender team members in the workplace and catering to LGBTQ clients and community members.

The National Diversity Council is the first non-profit organization to bring together the private, public and non-profit sectors to discuss the many dimensions and benefits of a multicultural environment. It is currently made up of state and regional councils, including the National Women’s Council, the Council for Corporate Responsibility, and the Center for Community Leadership.