Elon University / Today in Elon / LGBTQIA Alumni Network Hosts Community Enrichment Awards Ceremony


Bud Harrelson ’99, Jonathan Shutt ’05, Ket Cordova ’23, English teacher Kathy Lyday and art history teacher Kirstin Ringelberg were honored at the LGBTQIA Alumni Network’s Community Enrichment Awards Brunch Saturday at McKinnon Hall as part of the weekend’s Homecoming & Reunion Festivities.

The Community Enrichment Awards were established in 2012, the same year the LGBTQIA Alumni Network was founded, born out of the need and desire to create opportunities to affirm and recognize the work of alumni, faculty and staff. to elevate their LGBTQ within the campus and wider communities. In 2018, an additional distinction was created, the Matthew Antonio Bosh Student Award. Named in honor of Matthew Antonio Bosch, former director of the Elon Gender and LGBTQIA Center, for his contributions and support to Elon’s LGBTQIA communities, this award recognizes students who make a significant impact on the Elon campus. through their representation and advocacy.

“Today has been such a wonderful reminder of the interconnectedness of our journeys and I hope you are all inspired to continue to advocate and support the LGBTQIA community,” said Courtney MacMasters ’18, president of the network, during of his closing speech. “Congratulations again to each of our deserving winners.”

Community Enrichment Award Winners

Bud Harrelson ’99

Bud Harrelson graduated from Elon in 1999 with degrees in chemistry and science education. After leaving Elon, Bud taught chemistry at Northeast Guilford High School. During his second year of teaching, he joined the faculty of Greensboro Middle College at Greensboro College – a school designed to encourage potential dropouts to graduate from high school and transition into college. Bud credits the students, families, and faculty at Greensboro Middle College for teaching him to focus on relationships and the whole person and content mastery will follow.

Bud rose to school and district administration. He left college to lead the International Baccalaureate program at Grimsley High School. Under his leadership, the program has grown in terms of student participation, graduation, and program offerings. Due to his success at Grimsley, Bud moved to Winton-Salem Forsyth County Schools where he served as the District’s Academically Gifted Program Coordinator. While at Winston-Salem, Bud led a school reform initiative designed to create a unique school culture around academics, behavior and climate. By capitalizing on faculty talent to meet student needs, student achievement has increased in all schools that have implemented the model. Soon, the entire district was using the protocols of the single school culture. While at Winston, Bud earned a graduate certificate in gifted education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master’s degree in educational administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Bud left Winston-Salem to pursue a full-time doctorate in education at UNC. His research focuses on creating safer schools for LGBTQ people, especially gay employees. While at UNC, Bud served as a board member of Safe Schools NC – a non-profit organization whose mission is to create safer schools for LGTBTQ people in North Carolina. As a board member, Bud led SSNC’s efforts to provide an annual statewide conference for educators where they could become more aware of the needs of queer students, families, and colleagues, and develop strategies to support them inside and outside of school. Bud also served as president of Elon’s LGBTQIA Alumni Network. During his tenure as President, we have seen growth in membership, philanthropy and participation in Elon Day.

Bud has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America since third grade. As an adult, he served nationally on the BSA’s National Diversity Committee. He is nationally recognized as an advocate for LGBTQ people in the Boy Scouts – which only recently changed their membership policies to welcome openly gay and transgender members. Bud now works full time with the Boy Scouts where he is the local camp director. Although LGBTQ advocacy is no longer his primary role in Scouting, he strives to create a welcoming and inclusive summer camp culture that meets the needs of all Scouts.

Jonathan Shutt ’05

Jon Shutt’s Elon roots run deep as he is the grandson of beloved President Emeritus Earl Danieley ’46 and the first of three brothers, all of whom graduated from Elon. As a student and graduate, Jon actively supported the formation of the LGBTQIA Alumni Network and its work.

Always committed to defending LGBTQ rights, Shutt, a Disney employee, organized the New York City walkout in support of the #DisneySayGay protest. He cemented his protest against the company when he left Disney to work for a gay dating app company, going from “gay professional” to “professional gay.”

English teacher Kathy Lyday

Dr. Kathy J. Lyday has taught first-grade writing, linguistics, grammar, history of the English language, American literature, introduction to literature, Holocaust literature, and the literature of the Appalachia to Elon for 40 years. She was responsible for the faculty of the winter semester study abroad courses in London and Central Europe, and led semester programs in London and Costa Rica. For the past few summers, she has taught Applied and Descriptive Linguistics and Grammar in the TESOL Masters program at Greensboro College. After completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English at Tennessee Technological University, she earned a Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in American Literature with a major in English Language Studies. His research interests include Appalachian writers, Holocaust literature, and language use in society. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys travelling, various arts of sewing, gardening, writing and, of course, reading. She has co-authored two historical novels and is currently researching the third book in the series.

Professor of Art History Kirstin Ringelberg

Kirstin Ringelberg is Professor of Art History in Elon’s Department of History and Geography. They came to Elon in 2003 after taking a position at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after earning a doctorate in modern and contemporary art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. . As a scholar, Kirstin writes about art history and visual culture using feminist, queer and trans methodologies. They co-chaired the first-ever all-trans panel at the College Art Association conference in 2018 and co-edited the first-ever trans-themed issue of any art history and visual culture journal in 2020. As a teacher at Elon, Kirstin taught 24 distinct classes, including classes for Honors, Core Cornerstones, Study Abroad, International and Global Studies, Asian Studies, African and Afro Studies. -American studies and, of course, women’s, gender and sexuality studies. They have mentored 30 undergraduate research projects, six teaching and learning internships, and 15 credited internships, but their most significant mentorship is working with queer, trans, and otherwise marginalized students outside of formal course structures. and services. Speaking of service, Kirstin was Elon’s first LGBTQIA coordinator, and 20 years ago they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Elon’s first LGBTQ resource room at Powell House, and supported alumni. and staff in developing this alumni affinity network.

Matthew Antonio Bosch Student Community Engagement Award

Ket Cordoba ’23

Ket Cordova is a senior in his final semester at Elon. He is majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He is originally from Queens, New York and plans to return there after graduation to live with his partner and their gecko.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and Allied (LGBTQIA) Alumni Network strives to improve the campus climate for members of the Elon community by advocating for LGBTQIA issues and partnering with others to build an inclusive environment. and respectful community.


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