Advisor Connection Program

Connect with LGBTQ Knowledgeable Academic Advisors – Now!

The Commission for LGBTQA Advising and Advocacy invites you to participate in the  Advisor Connection program.  The Advisor Connection is a link to supportive, collaborative, experienced advisors who will help guide you through LGBTQA-related questions as an advisor.

Contact us for any questions you may have, such as:

  • I want to start an LGBTQA club or alliance on campus. Where do I start?
  • How can I help all students feel more welcome on our campus?
  • I have a student who just came out to me, what do I do?
  • I identify as LGBTQ, and I sometimes encounter students and other staff who make negative or insensitive comments about that. How do I address this in a constructive way?
  • I have a student who has come out to me as transgender-what pronouns do I use when writing documentation?

If you have a question or concern, please scroll through the following list of Advisors.  These advisors have volunteered to help other colleagues because of their experiences, research and areas of knowledge.  Each of the advisors are here to help you.

For more information, or if you  are interested in being an Advisor Connection volunteer, please contact:
Mandy Stephens

Commission for LGBTQA Advising & Advocacy Past Chair
Office Phone Number: 262.524.7412
Cell Phone Number: 920-901-7082
Skype Name: mandy.c.stephens
Email: astephen@carrollu.eduOR
Nichole Mann
Academic Advisor, Ivy Tech Community College-Richmond
Office Phone Number: 765.966.2656 ext 1282


Christy Carlson

Christy's LGBTQA Areas of Interest and Knowledge

  • Advising LGBTQ-identified students
  • General LGBTQ resources
  • Canadian LGBTQ resources
  • LGBTQ courses and scholarship

       To Connect with Christy:
       Phone: 705-748-1011 ext. 7769


Lynne Carlson


Lynne's LGBTQA Areas of Interest and Knowledge
  • Working with student PRIDE programs
  • Setting up and maintaining Safe Zone training for residence hall students and staff
  • Experience with being LGBTQ in more "conservative" institutions and school districts

       To Connect with Lynne:
       Phone: 813-974-4729
       Twitter: @SecondaryEDUSF


 Jennifer Joslin


Jennifer's LGBTQ Areas of Interest and Knowledge

  • Professional development presentations for academic affairs and student affairs audiences
  • LGBTQQIA and Ally "awareness" or "101" presentations
  • Safe Zone programming
  • Development of LGBTQQIA programs or units on college campuses
  • Establishing LGBTQQIA staff and faculty associations
       To Connect with Jennifer:
       Phone: 785-532-7836
        Twitter: @jenniferjoslin

Brett McFarlane

Brett's LGBTQ Areas of Interest and Knowledge

  • Administering Student Groups
  • LGBT Students in STEM Majors
  • Career Advising

       To Connect with Brett:
       Phone: 541-737-8765


Stephen Pepper


Stephen's LGBTQ Areas of Interest and Knowledge

  • Coming out later in life
  • Advising students struggling with coming out
  • Transgender issues and resources
  • Region I connection

       To Connect with Stephen
       Phone: 617-253-4164


Casey Self


Casey's LGBTQ Areas of Interest and Knowledge

  • LGBTQ Certificate Program coordination and advising at ASU
  • Advising LGBTQ students (individual and student clubs)
    SafeZone presenter experience
  • Faculty/Staff LGBTQ Support/Social groups
  • Transgender Student Issues
  • LGBTQ Scholarships
  • Co-Supervisor of former ASU LGBTQ Specialist
  • LGBTQ Housing Issues
  • General LGBTQ presentations on advising and LGBT 101 type presentations

       To Connect with Casey
       Phone: 602-496-0593


Mark Vetger


Mark's LGBTQ Areas of Interest and Knowledge

  • LGBTQ student development theory and its applications in working with students
  • Career development with LGBTQ students (have several presentations on that one)
  • Safe Zone/Ally development (have started several programs)
  • LGBTQ in trouble (depression, suicide, etc); while not a counselor, I have dealt with too many of these situations, so I have some background.
  • Mentoring LGBTQ students

       To Connect with Mark
       Phone: 309-438-5783


Christy Carlson
Christy Carlson is an academic advisor at Trent University (in Peterborough, Ontario). She is currently the advisor for Otonabee College, which is one of Trent’s four residential colleges and home to undergraduate students from all disciplines (Harry Potter style). Christy holds a BA in English (University of Toronto), an MA in English (McMaster University), and an MS in Academic Advising (Kansas State University). A member of NACADA since 2008, Christy has presented at NACADA conferences on topics related to the application of theory to advising practice, including, most recently, the implications of queer theory for advising. She is currently a member of the NACADA Theory and Philosophy of Advising Commission Steering Committee. Before becoming an advisor, Christy taught courses on LGBTQ topics for Trent’s Gender and Women’s Studies Department and published a book chapter on queer online activism and community-building.

Lynne Carlson
Lynne is an academic advisor in the College of Education at the University of South Florida – Tampa. She has been a high school teacher in the past. She’s a National Coalition Building Institute trainer, trained in conflict resolution and diversity training. I am also a Safe Zone trainer and a faculty advisor to USF’s PRIDE Alliance. She has worked with students on coming out issues, talking to family members and friends, how to deal with being a teacher and being GLBT, and dealt with adversity from many angles. She has also worked with Equality Florida on legislative issues, local, state and national.

Jennifer Joslin
Dr. Jennifer Joslin was appointed the Associate Director for Content Development of the National Academic Advising Association in September 2013. Prior to this she served as the Director of the Office of Academic Advising at the University of Oregon and as the Senior Associate Director for Training and Development at the University of Iowa. Jennifer is a Past President of NACADA and former Board and Council member. From 2007-2008, Jennifer was the NACADA LGBTQA Advising and Advocacy Commission Chair.  Jennifer is co-author, with Pat Folsom and Frank Yoder, of the forthcoming (2015) book, The New Academic Advisor Guidebook: Creating a Foundation for Success, and with Dr. Nancy Markee, of the 2011 book, Academic Advising Administration: Essential Knowledge and Skills for the 21st Century. Jennifer has presented at regional and national advising conferences, consulted at institutions in the United States and Australia, and presented three national webinars for NACADA on the topics of social media, LGBTQA issues, and advising administration. She has written for the NACADA Journal and several NACADA monographs including Advisor Training (NACADA Monograph #9); Advising Special Populations (#17); The New Advisor Guidebook (#16); and Comprehensive Advisor Training and Development (#21 ). In addition, she has served on the Content Review Boards for the Academic Advising Handbook, 2nd Edition; Academic Advising Today; Special Populations Monograph; and Foundations of Academic Advising CD 3: Understanding Cultural Identity and Worldview Development.
Jennifer currently teaches graduate courses in the College of Education in the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology. A native Californian, Jennifer received her PhD from the University of Iowa in 2002. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Brett McFarlane
Brett McFarlane currently serves as the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the College of Engineering at Oregon State
University (OSU) where he works with faculty, staff, and advisors to improve the student success and persistence of approximately 5,000 undergraduate engineering students.  Prior to OSU, Brett served as the Director of Student Services for the School of Business at Portland State University where he oversaw academic and career advising for approximately 3,200 undergraduate business students.  Prior to re-joining higher education, Brett served as the Director of Audit for a publicly traded company in the Portland area.

Brett currently serves as chair of the Finance Committee for NACADA, the Global Community for Academic Advising, and has previously served as Regional Chair as well as other appointed and elected regional and national positions. He has served on the Oregon State Pride Center Advisory Board for the last five years. His research interests include student persistence and retention, first-year advising, and assessment.  Brett holds a BS degree in Accounting from the University of Oregon, an MS in Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership, both from Portland State University.  He enjoys travel, running, time with friends and family and working with others with a passion for student success.

Stephen Pepper
Stephen Pepper has worked at MIT since 2000 and worked on and off at Harvard for many years before that, in a variety of advising and administrative roles. At MIT he is based in the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming, the home department for freshmen. After five years of direct advising, Stephen and his colleagues are now “advising consultants” to Faculty advisors—a new adventure. In this role he continues to use learning gleaned from NACADA conferences and publications.  Stephen joined NACADA in 2007; he is active in the PDR and First Generation Interest Groups.  He facilitated a panel discussion on peer advising at a Region I conference and helps evaluate presentation proposals each fall.

MIT led the way among colleges and universities in welcoming open LGBT students, faculty, and staff as early as the 1980s. Our Director of LBGT Resources has been fully funded by the Dean for Student Life since 2005. Programs sponsored by LBGT@MIT include the annual Lavender Graduation, attended by the Chancellor, Chaplain, and Faculty members as well as graduates; several support groups; social activities on and off campus; and advocacy through the LBGT Issues Group. In recent years the LGBT Issues Group has helped administrators change procedures and facilities to make campus life for transgender students and staff safer and more comfortable.  The Rainbow Lounge is open to the entire MIT Community.

Personally, Stephen has “seen it from both sides”, having been married to a woman for 16 years and now with a man for 16.5 years (legally married since 2004!). He is a choral singer (high tenor) and loved singing in the Conference Choir in Denver.  He is also an avid audience member (theater, dance, classical and contemporary music), journal-writer, and aspiring poet/playwright.

Casey Self

Casey is Executive Director for University College and School of Letters & Sciences Academic Services at Arizona State University. Casey’s current responsibilities at ASU include general supervision and oversight of academic advising centers and residential communities on four ASU ground campuses and the  ASU Online campus serving approximately 2000 exploratory/undeclared students, and approximately 2500 interdisciplinary studies, liberal studies, and general studies majors. Casey served as an academic advisor at ASU from 1994-1996 prior to becoming primarily involved in
academic advising administration and supervision. Previous to academic advising, Casey has experience in residence hall administration and student leadership development.

Casey became a NACADA member in 1994. In 2000 he was elected to the LGBTA Concerns Commission chair. Casey was then elected to become the first Commission and Interest Group Division Representative through October 2005 while also serving on the NACADA Council. He has served on the Summer Institute planning committee and as a faculty member at previous Summer Institutes. He has been involved in NACADA Diversity Committee efforts and has served as chair for the NACADA Membership Committee. Casey was elected to the NACADA Board of Directors for the 2006-2009 term, and while on the board served as Vice President for 2007-2008, and the NACADA President for the 2008-2009 term. Casey has presented at numerous NACADA national and regional conferences and also authored chapters addressing LGBTQ Issues in the NACADA/FYE Monograph: Academic Advising: New Insights for Teaching and Learning in the First Year, and a chapter in the most recent Academic Advising Handbook on Advising Delivery: Professional Advisors, Counselors, and Other Staff. Casey previously served as the chair for the Advising Administrators’ Institute Advisory Board, and has served as an AI faculty member for several years.
Casey is a Colorado native and earned his Bachelor’s in Speech Communication at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1986, and then completed his M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration at Western Illinois University in Macomb in 1990.

Mark Vegter
Assistant to the Chair for the Department of English at Illinois State University, Mark has been involved in Academic Advising for over 20 years.  He has worked in a variety of settings including: a University College Office, advising freshman, undeclared, and at risk students; as an English Department Advisor, with a caseload of 950 students all pursing varies careers in English Studies; and finally Assistant to the Chair.  In this role he oversees advising for the department and has a direct caseload of 300 majors.  He has been actively involved in leadership roles at Illinois State University, most
notably as a two term Chair of the Academic Advisor Advisory Council, which speaks as the "voice" of advising on campus.  Under his leadership, the advisor organization developed its first ever campus wide advising mission and vision statements.  He also led the organization to became affiliate of NACADA. 

He served as the advisor for ISU Pride, the LGBTQA student organization for 8 years and is co-advisor for the university's first Frarority.  He is a founding member of ISU's Triangle Association, the LGBTQA faculty/staff organization and has been an officer for over 10 years.  He is a founding member of the Safe Zone Ally Program at ISU and helped the Safe Zone Steering Committee at Illinois Wesleyan develop their program.  He is also on the executive committee of the LGBTQ student support fund, which is for ISU students who get kicked out of their homes after coming out.  The fund covers some of the college costs. 
He has been actively involved in NACADA.  He is part of the Safe Zone Committee for the Commission for LGBTQA Advising and Advocacy.  He was Commission chair for the 2008 - 2010 term.  He also was the Region V Conference Chair in 2011.  He has given over 25 presentations, won 6 advising related Institutional and National awards, and published in Academic Advising today.  Writing for the school newspaper, one of his students described him as "a force in the English Department."