OUTstanding 2014 Executive Committee
Abel Howard (Publicity and Advertising Chair)
Abel is originally from Crossville, TN. He graduated with a B.S. In Accounting with a minor in Spanish from Tennessee Tech in 2013. While at Tech, he completely revamped the Gay Straight Alliance as the acting president. Additionally, Abel headed the Safe Haven project and TranSupport Group on campus. He is starting his MBA in the fall at UT with a concentration in Marketing and will graduate in 2016.
Allison Heming (Assistant Director/Funding and Contracts)
Allison Heming is currently attending the University of Tennessee for her Masters in Mathematics. She is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, travelling to Painesville, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio) to get her bachelors of science in Mathematics from Lake Erie College. Allison started Lake Erie College’s Gay/Straight alliance organization and actively worked to educate the campus about LGBTQ+ issues. At the University of Tennessee, Allison is a member of the Chancellor’s Commission for LGBT people, where she is Co-Chair of the Membership and Awards Committee. The value of a person is not based upon their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. We should work to understand all people. Allison is especially passionate about breaking down barriers within the LGBTQ+ community to promote understanding across all factions of LGBTQ+ people. After all, we are all in this together, let us stand together to help educate others. Allison is honored and excited to be a part of this year’s OUTstanding planning committee and looks forward to continuing the tradition of the LGBTQ+ seminar at the University of Tennessee.
Leah McConoughey (Director)
Leah McConoughey is an extended study student in the Master’s of Social Work (MSSW) program. She is originally from Cleveland, OH and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hollins University in 2006. While taking classes part time, she works full time at a local community mental health clinic. Leah is an advocate for many social justice and equality issues, especially in the LGBTQ community. After earning her MSSW, Leah hopes to continue her work in the mental health field with a focus on youth and LGBTQ individuals. She has attended and volunteered in the previous three OUTstanding seminars and is very excited to be in a leadership role in OUTstanding 2014!
Robin Lovett (Logistics Chair)
Robin is an undergraduate studying Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She works in the Outreach LGBTQ Resource Center at UT. After completing undergrad, she hopes to study for a Masters in Social Work to work with homeless populations, especially homeless LGBTQ youth. When she is not learning about homelessness among youth or practicing Spanish, she likes to bake, watch birds, and look at flowers.
Jordan just graduated from UTK and will be starting Georgia State’s Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Masters program starting in August. He has been active with OUTstanding since its inception in 2011, in order to promote the safety, welfare, and understanding of gender and sexual minorities. As a transperson himself, he understands the difficulties of coming out and being yourself (especially in the Appalachian South) in an evolving society that still has a long way to go to achieve acceptance and equality. He’s especially interested in studying Appalachian LGBTQ+ life, identity politics, intersectionality, inclusion and integration through diversity, and gender and sexual minority issues in higher education.