About Us - University of Houston
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Our Mission

The mission of the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) is to promote gender equity, gender justice, and student success at the University of Houston through advocacy, education, empowerment, and support services.

Our Goals

  • Implement a set of comprehensive programs and services that support the meaningful learning content regarding women and gender and to advocate for gender justice through education, engagement, awareness, and empowerment of students, faculty and staff at the University of Houston
  • To provide a comfortable place where UH students, staff and faculty can seek information on a variety of topics, obtain confidential referrals to appropriate campus and community resources, and to discuss issues of concern
  • To educate the campus community on topics that concern women’s issues, gender equity, and gender-based barriers preventing opportunities of equal access and success

Values

  • Advocating for gender justice and gender equity through research, outreach, collaborations, and programming.
  • Educating the UH community on women and gender-related issues impacting access, inclusion, development and success.
  • Empowering women to be successful through engaging opportunities that build personal, interpersonal, and leadership competencies.
  • Supporting the unique needs of staff, faculty, and students of all gender identities by connecting them to campus and community resources.

Our Staff

Dr. Devan Ford-McCartney, (She/Her/Hers)

Director

Devan Ford-McCartney

Dr. Devan Ford-McCartney obtained a bachelors’ degree in organizational communication from Texas Southern University, a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs Administration from Texas A&M University, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Arkansas. Her range of experience includes work with student housing and residence life, student conduct, Greek life housing, academic success initiatives, athletics, first-year experience, transitional programs, and college teaching. It was during her time at the University of Arkansas that Devan became interested in women’s issues and gender equity. She was involved in a number of initiatives including the No Women Left Behind sexual assault awareness campaign, Dream B.I.G. (Believing in Girls) Youth Empowerment Camp, and the Women’s Issues Committee. She also served as a co-facilitator for many presentations regarding various women’s issues including: self-esteem and self-image, leadership, and professionalism and the politics of hair. She is pleased to continue her work in higher education and transition into a role where she can serve women and individuals of all gender identities and expressions in the UH community and bring awareness to gender equity issues, by proudly serving as the Director for the WGRC.

Sydney Mullings, M.Ed. , (She/Her/Hers)

Diversity Education Coordinator

Sydney Mullings

Sydney is a two time graduate from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). During her time at UTSA she earned a Bachelor of Arts in History as well as her Masters in Higher Education Administration. While studying at UTSA Sydney served as a Student Manager in the Events Management and Conference Services (EMCS) department and later she became the first Graduate Assistant for the University Center Programming and Marketing departments. During her time at EMCS, Sydney utilized customized event planning software to provide accurate and detailed logistics for client events in a building facilitating over 9,000 meetings and events per year. As a Graduate Assistant, Sydney showed a full-time commitment to coordinating large and small scale university wide student events, including Kickback at the UC- a welcome week event, the annual Homecoming Comedy Show, and a 24 hour end of the semester event known as Study Center. In the Marketing department Sydney oversaw the output of visual communication for the center and organized the first University Center Branding Guide.

Due to her passion for mentoring and developing college students, Ms. Mullings was also selected to serve as a participant and later an intern coordinator for the ACUI I-Lead Institute, which is a national leadership development institute for college students. Sydney is excited to continue to serve as a role model, encourage students, and bring awareness to gender related issues here on the UH campus through her role as Program Coordinator for the WGRC.

Ashley Griffin, LMSW, (She/Her/Hers)

Program Manager, Sexual Misconduct Support Services

Ashley Griffin

Ashley Griffin joined the University of Houston and UH Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) in late October of 2016. As the first Sexual Misconduct Support Services (SMSS) Coordinator, Ashley provides support for students, faculty, and staff who have been impacted by sexual violence. In addition to providing support services, Ashley also implements culturally competent outreach initiatives to increase the utilization of available campus and community resources.

Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University, and her Master of Social Work degree from Louisiana State University. Ashley is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the state of Texas. As a social worker, her passions are greatly rooted in the desire to support the mental and emotional well-being of the individuals she serves. She believes in providing support services that are guided by a holistic (whole-person) and strengths-based approach. With the understanding that in any case of trauma, compassionate support can make a lasting positive impact- Ashley is committed to making such an impact in her role as the SMSS Coordinator. Through training, best practices, and feedback loops, Ashley is creating a quality support system on campus that adequately meets the needs of all individuals in the UH community impacted by sexual violence.

Prior to joining the UH community, through her time at LSU, Ashley worked with the Capital Area Human Service District with the mental health crisis response team. During this time she conducted numerous crisis assessments and utilized best-practice crisis intervention techniques. Ashley is excited to join the UH family, begin her work in higher education, and continue her commitment to serve vulnerable populations as the SMSS Coordinator in the WGRC.

Rylie Jefferson(She/Her/Hers)

Office Coordinator

Rylie Jefferson

Rylie joined UH in July 2018; she serves as the Office Coordinator for both the WGRC and LGBTQ Resource Center. Rylie previously worked at Houston Community College as a financial aid assistant. She will be obtaining her Associates Degree in Applied Science this fall from HCC then transferring to UH to pursue a Bachelor in Human Resource Development. She has advocated for the LGBTQ community for well over 10+ years. She currently sits on the board for SOSU (Save Our Sisters United) which is Houston’s first and only organization for Trans and cis gendered women. She always looks forward to learning new things, trying everything at least once and growing. She’s excited to be a part of the LGBTQ and Women and Gender Resource Centers along with providing support for the staff and students.

Kelsey Lagus, (She/Her/Hers)

Graduate Assistant

Kelsey Lagus joined the UH Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) as a Graduate Assistant in August 2017. She is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada where she completed her undergraduate degree in Human Justice from the University of Regina. As the first Graduate Assistant for the WGRC, Kelsey will be responsible for leading the resource center’s outreach activities and developing and facilitating workshops on a variety of issues that impact the physical and emotional well-being of UH’s student population.

Kelsey is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work degree at UH’s Graduate College of Social Work. She has clinical experience working in residential treatment with children affected by trauma, and has completed research on domestic minor sex trafficking while living in Washington, D.C. in 2016. She has a passion for supporting and empowering others, especially survivors of trauma, and is incredibly excited to learn and participate in the efforts of the WGRC.

Chris Izaguirre, (He/Him/His)

Graphic Designer

Chris is a Graphic Design Major. He enjoys painting, creating, reading about all kinds of history, and traveling.

Leah Strawn(She/Her/Hers)

Program Assistant for Diversity Education

Leah is a junior and Human Nutrition and Foods major. She is interested in community and women's health issues.

Jay Chastain(They/Them/Theirs)

Program Assistant for Support Services

Jay is a sophomore Psychology major. They like writing, music, and spending time with friends. They’re super excited to be working with the WGRC team.

Cindy Mae Hoang(She/Her/Hers)

Program Assistant for Awareness & Outreach

Cindy Mae is a Senior at the Conrad N. Hiilton College of Hotel, Restaurant and Hopsitality Management. Her concentration is in Event Management. She is an LGBTQ+ Ally, Eating Disorder, and Domestic Violence Advocate who plans to pursue a career in Social Justice.

Jose Leyva(He/Him/His)

Social Media & Marketing Assistant

Jose is a sophomore majoring in Public Health with a minor in Biology He is involved in the CHAT and Global Medical Brigades. In CHAT he tutors refugee students, and in Global Medical Brigades he is the Historian in charge of saving all the happy memories of the members. Jose enjoys running, photography, being with friends, and traveling.

Organizational Structure

The WGRC is a department within the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services.