Born in Grants Pass, Oregon, janelle believes in education as a tool for change and that positive connections and relationships are key to an equitable, enriching, justice-oriented community where diversity is celebrated. These beliefs were cultivated greatly by her family and they continue to inspire the work with which she engages.
janelle holds a B.A. in Multicultural and Gender Studies from California State University, Chico and an M.A. in Women’s Studies in Religion from Claremont Graduate University. For ten years she served as the Coordinator of the Queer Resource Center at Southern Oregon University. During this time janelle provided over 325 trainings, panels, and workshops for the SOU and Rogue Valley communities. She also worked collaboratively to create Gender Inclusive Housing options in the SOU residence halls where later she was a staff member in residence. She worked with campus partners to help apply promising practices to better serve the diverse and intersecting needs of the LGBTQ+ population. Shortly thereafter, SOU was recognized as one of the top-ranking LGBT-friendly institutions in the United States.
In 2015 janelle accepted the position of Associate Director of Student Life for Social Justice and Service at SOU. She supervises the changing needs of the SOU Resource Centers and works to create a sense of belonging and equity on campus. Working with absolutely remarkable students and staff on a daily basis is a constant inspiration for her work with equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.
In addition to her role as Associate Director, janelle is the co-founder of the Bias Response Team, an active member of the Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee, and previously served as a member of Violence Prevention and Response Advocates, was the Chair for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Council, and participated as a staff advisor on several Raider Alternative Breaks. janelle is determined to create an inclusive, challenging, equity and empowerment-oriented atmosphere so that students will not only retain but flourish during their tenure at SOU.
janelle loves learning, helping to create access and equity, and creating positive change. She also loves the ocean and spending time with her brilliant partner and loving family and friends.