Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network elects U professor as board chairman

David M. Huebner will help direct the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students

June ­5, 2015 ­– University of Utah psychology professor David M. Huebner has been elected chairman of the board of GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

GLSEN, based in New York City, is a national organization that works to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students (LGBT) are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. The organization conducts original research to inform school policy making, develops resources for schools, works with decision makers and supports student-led efforts to make K-12 schools safe and affirming.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with David as we take GLSEN to new heights,” said GLSEN’s Executive Director Eliza Byard. “At a time of new opportunities and urgent demand, David’s longtime focus on undoing the health impacts of discrimination is a critical focus as we seek to support the achievement and success of the most at-risk LGBT youth.”

Huebner, an associate professor at the U, studies the physical and mental health consequences of discrimination. His lab recently completed a five-year study of LGB adolescents, looking at how anti-gay mistreatment from families, schools and communities is associated with health risk behaviors

Building on findings demonstrating the importance of parent responses to adolescent outcomes, he and his colleagues produced a 35-minute documentary film to provide support, comfort and guidance for parents (www.leadwithlovefilm.com). “Our goal is to get parents to engage in more accepting and fewer rejecting behaviors toward their adolescents, with the goal of improving outcomes for these youth,” Huebner says.

He is at work on a number of projects related to HIV and AIDS, including mobilizing community resources to improve the continuum of care for African American men who are HIV positive.

Huebner completed a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Arizona State University in 2002 and a master’s degree in epidemiology and public health at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2003. He joined the U faculty in 2008.

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