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CSDI welcomes the new associate director of LGBTQ+ Initiatives

Hall hopes to collaborate with LGBTQ+ students inside and outside of the university.
Hall hopes to collaborate with LGBTQ+ students inside and outside of the university.

Miami alum Mathew Hall will serve as the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion’s (CSDI) new associate director of LGBTQ+ Initiatives, with goals to maintain the center’s foundational programs and increase collaborations. 

Hall was previously employed at SUNY in Brockport, New York, where he worked with violence prevention and LGBTQ+ issues. He joined the 1809 LGBT Alumni Group at Miami in 2018 and was secretary until moving into their new position as associate director.

“The timing was very celestially correct, appropriate, to make a change for me,” Hall said.

Hall graduated from Miami in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history. He received their master’s in college student personnel from Ohio University and are currently pursuing a doctoral degree in global gender and sexuality studies at the University of Buffalo.

His research focus is on queer and transgender survivors of sexual assault but also studies the concept of institutional betrayal. This is the failure of an institution to support an individual in a time of crisis, such as failing to prevent or respond supportively to wrongdoings by other individuals.

“What does it mean for a student who has been victimized in one of the most intimate ways possible, to then potentially feel as though they're being victimized by their institution at the same time?” Hall said.

Hall became intrigued by this concept after hearing Jennifer Freyd, a psychologist, speak at a conference and found the notion profound.

“It added this extra layer to this already challenging and traumatic and messy experience of processing trauma and healing, while also being a student,” Hall said.

While a student at Miami, Hall worked closely with CSDI, acquainting him with previous employees in this position. He said this position was what made him consider going into higher education.

“It just feels like a full circle moment,” Hall said.

In his new role, Hall wants to maintain some of the “foundational things” at CSDI, such as the Safe Zone and Pronoun Training workshops. He also plans to look at some external elements of the position.

“How are we collaborating, for example, with Talawanda High School and Middle School, to provide mentoring to young LGBT students who are thinking about what it might mean to go to college?” Hall said.

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He also want to see an increase in collaboration efforts outside the university. Hall said he want to bring in Equality Ohio to do a legal name change clinic and partner with TriHealth to do a workshop to help students navigate the medical system for sexual health needs.

Hall recently started working with the City of Oxford to plan events for 2025’s Pride Month and plans to attend Pride in Hamilton and Middletown in the meantime.

Dasha Wood, director of CSDI, first met Hall during the interview process and thought he was the best candidate for the position due to his strong background with LGBTQ+ and women and gender studies.

“I hope that he brings some fresh outlooks and just some strategic framework on how we best support our LGBTQ+ students at the university,” Wood said.

Jessie Smith, vice president of oSTEM, said this position is important to ensure LGBTQ+ topics are prioritized and handled with the proper care.

“It just doubles down and makes it really helpful to make sure that they aren't being overlooked or lumped in with something else,” Smith said.

Smith hopes Hall will bring more connections among “all the little different queer spaces” on campus.

“Having someone who can act as a leeway to connect all these different people would be very fun,” Smith said.