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Elon student, professor participate in leadership camp

SPECTRUM President Jess McDonald spent a week in July in the blazing heat of the Nashville sun, working as a leader at Camp Pride Summer Leadership Camp. Associate Professor of Art History and SPECTRUM faculty advisor Kirstin Ringelberg also attended, in the new Advisor Boot Camp. Sponsored by Campus Pride and Vanderbilt University, the camp teaches students to learn how to create and lead plans of action to make their campuses more inclusive, safe and just for LGBTQIA people.

McDonald attended the camp as a camper in summer of 2010 and returned this year to work as a leader. Leadership positions are competitive and some of McDonald's co-leaders are nationally known activists.

Ringelberg's experience included responding to the student camper action plans but also learning how to advise student groups and get and share resources.

Students, advisors and leaders came to the camp from universities and activism groups around the nation. Guests at the camp included: Cathy Renna, the first National News Media Director for GLAAD; Bleu Copas, a decorated sergeant dismissed from the US Army during "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" who has since appeared on Good Morning America and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; Mara Keisling, Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality; TJ Jourian, a cast member from Sundance's docu-series _TransGeneration_ who is now Program Coordinator for the Office of LGBTQI Life at Vanderbilt University; and Daniel Hernandez, Jr., credited with saving Rep. Gabriel Giffords' life in the shooting attack on her in Tucson last January.

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Keren Rivas,
8/18/2011 3:13 PM