Two alumni who have made a difference in their professional and academic lives describe their challenges, fears, and triumphs as students as well as the people at Lafayette and others who inspired and supported them in the latest installment of Navigating Spaces.

Dr. Will Keough ’90 (biology, music minor), vice president and senior medical director of utilization management and member appeals and grievances at WellSense Health Plan in Boston, recalls the fears and difficulties that accompanied coming out as a college student at Lafayette and society in general during the 1980s.

He remembers the support he received from his family and faculty, including Nancy Waters, associate professor of biology, and Suzanne Westfall, professor of theater, who offer their memories about Keough’s perseverance on campus during this difficult period of time for LGBTQIA+ students.

Dget Downey ’19 (psychology, anthropology and sociology) offers their story about coming to the realization of being gender nonbinary and working to advance LGBTQIA+ rights at Lafayette. In the video, Downey’s reflections are supported by recollections by John S. Shaw III, associate professor of psychology, and Angela Bell, assistant professor of psychology.

A student at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, graduating in May, Downey strives to break down stigmas, examine sources of intergroup discrimination and prejudice, challenge socially constructed stereotypes, and understand stigmatized identities.

Navigating Spaces is a video series that allows students and alumni to talk openly and candidly about those margins, and how they found a sense of belonging as they navigated their Lafayette experience.


Categorized in: Alumni, Alumni Profiles, Alumni Success Stories, Anthropology and Sociology, Biology, Featured News, LGBTQIA+, Music, News and Features, Psychology, Theater
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