Beal, Freeman, Peeler, Velázquez elected to national LGBTQ higher ed consortium

Portraits of Jesse Beal, Angie Freeman, Lorant Peeler and Des Velázquez Portraits of Jesse Beal, Angie Freeman, Lorant Peeler and Des Velázquez

June 28, 2023
By Nick Pfost, Spectrum Center

This spring, four University of Michigan Spectrum Center staff were elected to serve important roles within the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Director Jesse Beal, program manager Angie Freeman, program specialist Lorant Peeler, and graduate student researcher Des Velázquez will be officially seated this July, marking the first time four successful candidates have come from the same institution. 

The consortium is a leading national group supporting individuals who work on campuses to educate and support people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as advocate for more inclusive policies and practices through an intersectional and racial justice framework. 

Jesse Beal returns to the organization as director of community and advocacy, having previously served as external coordinator, where they co-led the board, led on membership engagement, and were a public voice for the group. In their new role, they’ll lead on the consortium’s research, benchmarking and assessment, and ensuring campus professionals have information they need to advocate for themselves and their students. 

Angie Freeman was elected as a region representative, where they’ll build and sustain connections among practitioners throughout the Midwest and support the organization’s community building and educational work. 

Lorant Peeler was elected as the professional development coordinator, a portfolio that includes seeking and sharing educational and professional skill development for members across the country, as well as supporting the consortium's own offerings. They will leave the University of Michigan this month and look forward to this service as an opportunity to remain closely engaged in a community of practice while they complete a master’s degree  in higher education at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Des Velázquez will support communications in the consortium’s Membership Engagement Collective. He will be responsible for existing and emerging affinity spaces, timely and intentional opportunities, and work around community building, education, member development, and outreach. 

The University of Michigan is a leading institution in LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs, and practices, according to the Campus Pride Index—and the consortium’s elections come as U-M prepares to launch its next major diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan. “We’re so humbled and grateful to have the trust of our members, to work on behalf of students in this way, and to do our part—sharing our experience in the field with the field,” said Beal.