MADISON, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin System has announced the 11 honorees of the 2021 Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People, an annual honor given to LGBTQ+ people or their allies who have helped to create a safer and more inclusive climate for LGBTQ+ people. The award celebrates the memory and legacy of Dr. Paula B. Poorman, a highly regarded faculty member at UW-Whitewater dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people.

This year marks the 13th anniversary of the founding of the Dr. P.B. Poorman Award. The recipients of the award will be honored on November 4 during a ceremony hosted by UW System Senior Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer Warren R. Anderson. The awards ceremony and reception will be held in conjunction with UW System’s presentation of the Outstanding Women of Color in Education Awards.

“This year’s award recipients are doing important and significant work to enhance equity and opportunity for our students, faculty, and staff,” said Anderson. “The UW System is honored to recognize their dedication to making our campuses and broader communities more welcoming places to live, work, and learn.”

UW institutions submit nominations for the awards, which highlight each recipient’s contributions to advocacy, activism, or scholarship that enhances the experiences of, and improves the climate for, LGBTQ+ people.

Sixty LGBTQ+ people and their allies have received the award since it was established in 2008.

The honorees of the 2021 Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People are:

  • Joshua Brown, Professor of Languages, UW-Eau Claire
  • Christine Smith, Associate Professor and Chair, Women and Gender Studies, UW-Green Bay
  • Andrew Ives, Operations Coordinator, Student Support Services, UW-La Crosse
  • Katherine Charek Briggs, Assistant Director, Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, UW-Madison
  • Cary Gabriel Costello, Associate Professor, Sociology, and Director, LGBT Studies Program, UW-Milwaukee
  • Corey Young, Advisor, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, UW-Platteville
  • Faith Velez, 2021 Graduate, UW-River Falls
  • Brianna Burke, Career Development Coordinator, UW-Stevens Point
  • Rickie-Ann Legleitner, Associate Professor of English, Advisor for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Inclusive Excellence Action Plan Coordinator, UW-Stout
  • T Leeper, Gender and Sexuality Programs Coordinator, UW-Superior
  • Ashley Barnes-Gilbert, Instructor, Women’s and Gender Studies, UW-Whitewater

For more information about the award and past recipients, see

2021 Recipients

Download high-resolution photos of the 2021 recipients by clicking on the thumbnail images below.

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree – with a median salary of more than $66,000. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System universities also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contact

Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419