Kye Allums made history when he became the first “out” transgender person to play NCAA Division I athletics. In May 2012, he shared his story of playing on the George Washington University women’s basketball team with Sports Illustrated and became a media sensation. Since then, he has been featured in the “In The Life” documentary series and appeared on Anderson Cooper 360, in addition to being named to The Advocate’s 2011 “Forty Under 40,” TheGrio’s 100 History Makers in the Making for Black History Month, and OUT Magazine’s OUT 100 for 2011.
Kye’s experiences led him to create the Transition Tour to educate faculty, students, and student-athletes about transgender identities and issues, including his own story, in order to create a safer and more positive environment for everyone. He explains, “The Transition Tour was established to spread Transgender awareness around the world. It is vital for individuals to understand that transgender people are just like everyone else. We are all humans and everyone deserves the right to a health and happy life.”
Dr. Susan Rankin is a Research Associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education and Associate Professor of Education in the College Student Affairs Program at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Rankin earned her B.S. from Montclair State University in 1978, a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1981, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration in 1994, also from Penn State. Before moving into her current position, Dr. Ranking served for 17 years as the Head Coach for Women’s Softball and Lecturer in Kinesiology at Penn State. She has presented and published widely on the impact of sexism, racism and heterosexism in the academy and in intercollegiate athletics. Dr. Rankin’s current research focuses on the assessment of institutional climate and providing program planners and policy makers with recommended strategies to improve the campus climate for under-served communities.
Dr. Rankin has collaborated with over 70 institutions/organizations in implementing assessments and developing strategic plans regarding social justice issues. In her advocacy work, Dr. Rankin is a founding member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, a network of professionals doing advocacy work for LGBT people on college campuses and the Statewide Pennsylvania Rights Coalition, a network of individuals and organizations across the Commonwealth committed to securing and defending full civil rights for LGBT individuals.
Dr. Rankin is the recipient of the American College Personnel Association’s 2008 Voice of Inclusion Medallion. The award recognizes individuals who embody the student affairs values of social justice.
Wade Davis is a nationally recognized speaker, activist, writer and educator. Davis is a former NFL football player who played for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, and Seattle Seahawks, as well as two different teams within the NFL Europe league. Wade is the newly named Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ending discrimination and homophobia in sports. He’s the co-founder of the You Belong Initiative, a Youth Sports and Leadership camp targeting LGBTQ and straight allied youth. He’s the former assistant director of academic enrichment and work readiness for the Hetrick Martin Institute, where he taught at-promise LGBT youth how to define success for themselves. Wade was also an LGBT Surrogate for President Obama during the 2012 election and is currently a visiting
professor at Rutgers University.