Elizabeth Sparks, Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington
Elizabeth Sparks, a second year liberal arts student at Ivy Tech Bloomington, is a leader on campus and an advocate for the LBGT community. She is a graduate of Student Leadership Academy, a member of Campus Activities Board, and a writer for the student newspaper, Ivy Student Voice.
Elizabeth became president of Campus Pride in August of 2014. Under Elizabeth’s leadership, the club has become a visible and active organization. They partner with Positive Link and plan regular HIV testing days on campus, they table resources for LGBT students and allies, and they screen political documentaries on campus and plan visits to community events. Elizabeth was recently appointed to the oversight committee for the Midwest BLGTA College Conference, a large Midwest annual conference. Elizabeth will be transferring to Indiana University in the fall to major in Communication and Culture and Gender Studies. Elizabeth’s dream job is to work for GLAAD in communication and PR in order to make advocacy and public policy her career.
-Jennifer Vaughan, Chancellor
I was raised in a family that highly valued acceptance. This led me to a very early attraction to the LGBT rights movement, and later led me to the body positivity movement. I have spent years looking into the goal of one day eventually working with GLAAD, but we cannot reach a place of national acceptance until we reach it on a community level. Primarily with these movements my focus has been on simply getting visibility. For example there are several people that are becoming desensitized to the LGBT rights movement because the focus has been heavily on same-sex marriage. This means we need to move our focus to other issues such as homelessness among LGBT youth and LGBT partner violence. When I came to Ivy Tech Community College, I was presented with several opportunities to finally do something about bringing the movements to the community college. This includes several leadership trainings and access to resources. I have been able to work very closely with IU Health’s Positive Link on behalf of Campus Pride.