The Safe Space program helps those students of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Questioning community on the Wilkes Campus to identify a supportive faculty/staff member or student group. The visibility of the safe space sticker allows the campus community to identify faculty/staff members and know that they can speak freely with these individuals about LGBTQ issues.

Ms. Erica Acosta

Director Diversity Initiative
Diversity Affairs

Max Roth Center
(570) 408-7856

Dr. Mark R. Allen

Interim VP Student Affairs
Student Affairs

Passan Hall Second Floor
(570) 408-4103

Dr. Mischelle B. Anthony

Associate Professor/Chair

Kirby Hall 201
(570) 408-4529

Megan Boone Valkenburg

Learning Center

Henry Student Center
(570) 408-5905

Ms. Carol A. Bosack Kosek

Career Services

Rear 236 South River Street First Floor
(570) 408-4063

Anita Burns

Health Services Assistant
Health and Wellness Services

Passan Hall First Floor First Floor
(570) 408-4730

Dr. Helen H. Davis

Associate Professor

Kirby Hall 308
(570) 408-4548

Dr. Evene Estwick

Associate Professor/Chair
Communication Studies

Karambelas Media and Comm Ctr 106
(570) 408-4161

Dr. Jonathan D. Ference

Associate Provost
Provost Office

Conyngham Hall 214
(570) 408-4271

Melissa A. Gaudio

Campus Counselor
Wilkes University Counseling Center

Passan Hall Second Floor Room 204
(570) 408-4358

Mohsen Ghamari

Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering

150-180 South River Street 138
(570) 408-3319

Dr. Sean J. Kelly

Associate Professor

Kirby Hall Room 309
(570) 408-4549

Dr. Del M. Lucent

Associate Professor
Math Physics and Computer Science

Stark Learning Center 231
(570) 408-4834

Dr. Blake L. Mackesy

Associate Professor
EDD Education Doctorate

Breiseth Hall 215
(570) 408-4157

Jennifer M. Malinowski

Assoc Dean, Academic Affairs
Nesbitt School of Pharmacy
(570) 408-3294

Dr. Mary F. McManus

Associate Professor
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Stark Learning Center 320a
(570) 408-4273

Dr. Ellen E. Newell

Associate Professor

137-159 South Franklin Street Breiseth Hall 309
(570) 408-4568

Diane E. OBrien

Health and Wellness Services

Passan Hall First Floor First Floor
(570) 408-4734

Mrs. Amy M. Patton

Associate Director
Undergraduate Admissions

Chase Hall
(570) 408-4407

Dr. Linda M. Paul

Assoc. Professor Philosophy
Global Cultures

Breiseth Hall 101
(570) 408-4243

Jill Marie Price

Adventure Ed Coordinator
Student Development

Henry Student Center
(570) 408-4036

Mrs. Roberta J. Shaffer

Residence Life Assistant
Residence Life

Max Roth Hall 2nd Floor
(570) 408-4350

Dr. Chad W. Stanley

Associate Professor

Kirby Hall 209
(570) 408-4514

Dr. Jennifer J. Thomas

Associate Professor

137-159 South Franklin Street Breiseth Hall 306
(570) 408-4567

Dr. Andrew R. Wilczak

Associate Professor and Associate Dean, of Arts and Sciences
Sociology / Criminology

137-159 South Franklin Street Breiseth Hall 325
(570) 408-4041

Dr. Linda A. Winkler

Professor Anthropology
Global Cultures

Breiseth Hall Room 112
(570) 408-4605

Ms. Gretchen S. Yeninas

Associate Dean/Community Dev.
Student Affairs

Passan Hall 2nd floor
(570) 408-4107

Dr. Chelsea D. Chamberlain

Assistant Professor
Global Cultures

Breiseth Hall Room 109
(570) 408-5470

Mrs. Gabrielle M. DAmico

Associate VP Marketing Comm.
Marketing Communications

170 South Franklin Street Room 312
(570) 408-4510

Mrs. Michelle A. Strickland

Executive Administrative Asst
Provost Office

170 South Franklin Street
(570) 408-4116

Mr. Jared M. Menghini

Vice President of Enrollment Management
Financial Aid
(570) 408-3837

Dr. David M. Ward

Senior Vice President/Provost
Provost Office

170 South Franklin St 205
(570) 408-3882

Mrs. Elizabeth C. Leo

University Counsel and Title IX Coordinator
Presidents Office

Weckesser Hall 2nd Floor
(570) 408-7788

Dr. Matthew S. Finkenbinder

Associate Professor
Earth Systems Science

Cohen Science Center 424
(570) 408-3871

Mrs. Annet Kaminski

Administrative Assistant
Sidhu School of Business

Simms Center on Main Room 216G
(570) 408-4725

Dr. Anuradha C. Ghai

Faculty of Practice
Sidhu School of Business

Dr. Saritha Karnae

Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Cohen Science Center Room 417
(570) 408-5566

Mrs. Andrea J. Rizzo

Office Assistant
Social Science

Breiseth Hall Rm 327
(570) 408-4040

Dr. Christopher R. Zarpentine

Assoc. Prof. Philosophy/Chair
Global Cultures

Breiseth Hall Room 110B
(570) 408-4597

Maria C. Richards PsyD.

Wilkes University Counseling Center

Passan Hall Second Floor Room 211
(570) 408-6210

Mr. Jason W. Wagner

Courseware App Developer
Technology for Teaching and Learning

Conyngham Hall 309
(570) 408-3859

Heather M. Sincavage

Associate Professor/Director
Sordoni Art Gallery

Karambelas Media and Comm Ctr 139A
(570) 408-3365

Ms. Julia M. Jacien

Experiential Prog Coordinator
Pharmacy Practice
(570) 408-4290

Jacqueline Eovitch

Communications Manager
Undergraduate Admissions

184 South River Street Chase Hall 3rd Floor
(570) 408-4135

Jennifer Lynn McLaughlin

Assistant Director
Honors Program

150 South River Street SLC 262
(570) 408-7831

Mr. Justin Collins

Director Adm and Student Affairs
Nesbitt School of Pharmacy
(570) 408-4122

Mrs. Megan J. Pitts

Assoc. Director Admsn and Events
Undergraduate Admissions

84 West South Street Henry Student Ctr 1st Floor

Mrs. Julia Ann Panzitta

Associate Director
Institutional Research

10 East South Street
(570) 408-3828

Dr. Jamal A. Ghorieshi

Mechanical Engineering

Stark Learning Center 230
(570) 408-4889

Jeanne Rabel

Senior Advising Coordinator
Advising Services

130 South River Street Conygham Hall Rm 203
(570) 408-5884

The program is completely voluntary. The reason why we are offering these sessions is because we want to educate ourselves about LGBTQ issues and concerns and how they relate to colleges and universities. There will be two ways this program will be offered: Safe Space Ally Training and LGBTQ awareness training. The sessions are offered to faculty/staff and students.

In the Safe Space Ally training session, we will provide participants with the tools to take action against negative attitudes towards the LGBTQ community on and off campus. “In the most general sense, an “Ally” “is” a person who is a member of the dominant or majority group who works to end oppression in his or her personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate for, the oppressed population.”(Washington and Evans, Becoming an Ally) Participants in the Ally training will receive a Safe Space sign and/or button to display and may choose to be listed in our online Ally registry.

LGBTQ awareness training introduces participants to terminology that is used in the LGBTQ community and includes discussions of different scenarios. The Ally program will also be introduced so that those who attend the Safe Space training will know about the Ally program and can sign up for Ally training if interested.

What is Safe Space?

Surveys indicates that a majority of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQA) students do not feel safe at school out of fear for personal safety. Students who can identify a supportive faculty/staff member or student group are more likely to feel a sense of belonging at their school than those who cannot. For many students, the presence of allies to whom they can turn for support - or even the simple knowledge that allies exist - can be a big factor in developing to improve school climate. Safe Space programs increase the visible presence of students and adults allies who can help to shape a school culture that is accepting of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/ expression, or any other difference.

Safe Space Mission

  • To foster an inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning students, and their allies.
  • To provides educational opportunities, advocacy, and programming for students, faculty, and staff on the Wilkes University campus.
  • To aspire that Safe Space will help develop and support inclusive understanding of gender and sexuality, as well as foster a community that is open, safe, and supportive.

What Can You Do As An Ally

Get Involved!

  • Display your Safe Space Sticker! The sticker indicates that, within your office or room, homophobic and heterosexist comments and actions will not be tolerated silently, but instead will be addressed in an educational and nonthreatening manner. The sticker does not indicate whether or not you are LGBTQA; it merely states that you are an Ally.
  • Support policies that bring equity to and give open support to LGBTQA issues.
  • Encourage others to become a part of Safe Space.
  • Attend Safe Space training to further increase your knowledge and awareness.
  • Pay attention to the words people use to describe themselves. Not everyone identifies as “gay”, “lesbian”, “homosexual,” etc.
  • Do not assume that a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person is attracted to you just because they have disclosed their sexual identity.
  • Respect the desire for secrecy of a person you know to be gay, lesbian or bisexual. Do not “out” someone.
  • Speak out against statements and jokes that attack LGBTQA people. Letting others know that you find anti-LGBTQA statements and jokes offensive and unacceptable can go a long away towards reducing homophobia.


  • Sexual Orientation: The desire for intimate emotional and sexual relationships with people of the same sex (homosexual), the other sex (heterosexual), or both sexes (bisexual).
  • Gender Identity: A person’s sense of being male or female.
  • Gay: The adjective used to describe people who are physically romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to people of the same sex.
  • Lesbian: A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction is to other women.
  • Bisexual: An individual who is physically, romantically, emotionally and/or spiritually attracted to men and women.
  • Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Transsexual: A person who has changed, or is in the process of changing, his or her physical sex to conform to his or her internal sense of gender identity.
  • Heterosexism: The assumption that everyone is heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is superior to homosexuality or bisexuality.
  • Questioning: A term or period where an individual re-assesses (however privately or openly) the orientation/identity that they have either asserted for themselves, or been brought up as.
  • Intersex: Describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous.
  • LGBTQA: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Ally.

Contact Us

Erica Acosta
Director of Diversity Initiatives