University of Wisconsin–Stout has several staff members who received awards in 2019. Markie L. C. Twist, a professor in the department of human development and family studies, recently received the P.B. Poorman Award.

Twist is also the program director of the graduate certificate in sex therapy program. This program is credited as an Organizational Provider Level II by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. According to Twist, this will help train students to work with people with LGBTQIAP+ identities.

According to the University of Wisconsin System, the Poorman Award is given to LGBTQIAP+ faculty or allies that do excellent work in diversity and equity.

Twist had been nominated for the Poorman Award by someone on UW–Stout’s campus. A university committee then selected them for the award from a group of nominees.

“[Winning the Poorman Award] is one of the most significant forms of recognition I have ever received,” Twist said. “It is really affirming to be a part of a university that respects and demonstrates its appreciation for my work… especially as a visible gender and sexual orientation minority—androgynous and bisexual—faculty member, as there is always a risk to being visible personally and professionally.”

Twist has done a lot diversity work even before their time on UW–Stout’s campus. For fifteen years, they have promoted social justice for the LGBTQIAP+ population through scholarships.

They have been at UW–Stout since 2013, and they have also done a lot of diversity work since then. They teach several courses in this area such as lifespan sexuality, pedagogy in lifespan sexuality, sexual and gender diversity, and advanced sex therapy.

Other courses that have also granted them several awards are the Sexuality Rising Scholar Emerging Professional award in 2017, the Stout Emerging Researcher award in 2016 and three Stout Faculty Ally awards in 2014, 2016 and 2017, a Debra Davis Award for Transgender Advocacy in 2014, an Outstanding Bisexual/Pansexual Advocacy award in 2019 and three Stout Faculty Ally awards in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

“In [the social justice for the LGBTQIAP+ population] research area, I have secured seven grants, conducted 16 international, 20 national and 10 invited on-campus presentations, as well as disseminated 17 publications, two book chapters and two journal editorials,” they said.

Twist believes that diversity work on campus is important. According to them, many LGBTQIAP+ people face barriers in life such as discrimination, legal challenges and health-related issues.

“My research, teaching and clinical efforts for over 15 years have been and will continue to be aimed at greater equity and inclusivity for LGBTQIAP+ individuals and relational systems,” they said. “I will continue this work until there is equity for LGBTQIAP+ in the context of the larger dominant society or I suppose die trying.”

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