May 23, 2000
Larry once told me that one of the beautiful things about empowering people is that once you give them a voice, you just can’t shut them up! We have an additional honor today, for someone who has chosen to ignore the barriers that job descriptions traditionally place on us. A person who passionately lives out the principles of the Campus Compact in spirit and in deed.
Leslee Lucas has kicked down the walls of her box .... you’ll see her everywhere, Leslee and her sweater, everywhere an ally is needed, or anywhere there is community to be built. You will know her by her warm smile and courageous questions, and oh ‘ya, her sweater!
Although Leslee did not see herself as a leader, last fall she courageously stepped forward to serve as the co-chair of the Campus Compact Diversity Committee and has helped guide that committee to create and implement several successful initiatives.
She is a member of the NCBI campus coalition and has assumed roles in leadership as a regular co-facilitator of the “welcoming diversity” model. In order to enhance her facilitation skills, Leslee completed an 8-week course in re-evaluation counseling on her own time.
She also worked tirelessly on the first Community Involvement Fair, an event that connected students with Corvallis area volunteer agencies and service opportunities.
Even the cold, and I do mean cold, and dampness of a winter retreat couldn’t destroy Leslee’s enthusiasm to volunteer . She eagerly shivered her way through the weekend with students on a Diversity development weekend retreat, and helped organize a follow-up reunion potluck for the group.
Leslee is an ally member of the “Circle of Friends”, a new staff/faculty organization created in support and mentoring of OSU LGBT students. She attends meetings, participates and learns about supporting groups outside of her own.
Just last week Leslee single-handedly coordinated the Student Health Service efforts fort Queer Pride week, and spent many hours in the tent speaking to campus community students, staff and faculty.
Leslee is also an active member the Community Health Initiative.
You can count on Leslee to be authentic and genuinely interested in putting herself out there to have her thoughts and beliefs challenged -- she is unafraid to become vulnerable in order to learn about others or help them and herself grow.
But none of this would be possible without the support of her silent partners. Together with supervisor Marilyn Gorski, co-workers Sharon Johnson, Kim Van Houser, and Sherri Sorby quietly support Leslee’s participation behind the scenes. These colleagues model teamwork and community building, as they unselfishly fill in for and cover Leslee’s lab shifts to facilitate her level of involvement on behalf of the division and OSU community.
So Leslee, for refusing to be silenced when given a voice, and for leaping out of your box, the division of Student Affairs celebrates your spirit of generosity. You are admired and cherished for working to bring reality to the passions of your heart.