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Queer representations, ideologies and identities in K-12 education

whiteny posing for a picture

Whitney Neumeyer Roach, a PhD student in Curriculum Studies,

Whitney Neumeyer Roach, a PhD student in Curriculum Studies, focuses on queer representations, ideologies and identities in K-12 education. Her desire to transform educational institutions into spaces that are equal and equitable for all students, faculty, and staff guides both her professional and personal work. Roach is earning a certificate in Women and Gender Studies (WGST) and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES).

While Roach’s studies are based in the College of Education, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) provides academic and personal support as well as guidance. She says the SIS faculty and staff offer her the theoretical framework to better understand systems of oppression on gender, race and sexuality.

Roach works with SPECTRUM, a TCU student organization that offers support and safe social space for anyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Her work is rooted in a determination to fight all kinds of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people—discrimination she has both witnessed and experienced. She shines a light on issues that interest and help underrepresented groups, especially in educational institutions. Specifically, she wants to create guidelines and provide training that would offer teachers the knowledge and tools to address queerness, perceive their own bias, and assist students.

She helped plan SPECTRUM’s drag show in March 2019, which raised $2025 for LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., a non-profit organization that promotes the well-being of LGBTQIA+ youth and allies. Roach recently toured the United Kingdom TCU’s  Global Outlook Institute. As a GO Ambassador, she researched best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion for the university. Roach is the inaugural recipient of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) student award for her commitment to LGBTQIA+ initiatives.