Gordon honored with UW System award

October 5, 2018
Pip Gordon

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Dr. Pip Gordon, assistant professor of English and the coordinator of Gay Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, has been awarded the UW System’s Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People. He is the first UW-Platteville faculty member to receive the award.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the award, which recognizes LGBTQ+ people or their allies throughout the UW System whose contributions have advanced the work of diversity, equity and inclusive excellence in the following ways:

  • Whose advocacy, activism or scholarship has fostered social justice and organizational change
  • Who have created positive transformation within their institutions and/or the community to achieve the goals of diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Whose efforts are improving the climate for, or visibility of, LGBTQ people.

Being a recipient of this award is an honor,” said Gordon. “Following the example set by many of my colleagues, I have found a remarkably rewarding role not only in the classroom but also in our shared community of Platteville in educating on LGBTQ+ topics, engaging in dialogue and learning from the experiences of others. I am only able to do the work I do on this campus because of the support, encouragement and example of many of my peers, both faculty and staff.” 

“Pip does exceptional work both inside and outside the classroom,” said Dr. Melissa Gormley, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education at UW-Platteville. “He has successfully achieved a balance of teaching, activism, scholarship and service.”

In addition to teaching American literature courses, Gordon teaches Gay and Lesbian Literature, Gay and Lesbian Literature for Young Adults and Introduction to Gay Studies. He also advises certificate-seeking students and collaborates with colleagues to expand LGBTQ+ course offerings.

Gordon publishes nationally in LGBTQ+ Studies. Recent publications include an essay in “The Journal of Popular Culture” on representations of bullying and suicide in LGBTQ+ Young Adult literature and an essay in “south: a scholarly journal” on “EthnoHeteroNationalism” and trans rights. He regularly works with the university’s Doyle Center for Women’s and Gender Studies to advocate for students and promote LGBTQ+ events on campus and formerly assisted in advising the Gay-Straight Alliance.

He devotes his non-classroom time to student outreach, especially in the residence halls, where he frequently participates in discussion forums and movie nights. According to the resident advisor sponsors for these programs, he has reached over 150 students, many of whom otherwise have no access to LGBTQ+ topics and discussion. He also keeps an open-door office policy for all students – in his classes or not – who would like to stop by to discuss courses to take, pending projects, or life in general. His most important role on campus is to be a visible member of the LGBTQ+ community who gives voice to students across the gender and sexual orientation spectrum and to embody in his daily actions the inclusivity he wants to see enacted throughout the university.

Though a native of Tennessee, his LGBTQ+ pedagogy has found a home in the Wisconsin Idea: that the safe space he can create in class for LGBTQ+ identities and discussion can extend beyond the walls of the classroom to the community at large.   

Gordon will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony and reception on Nov. 8 at UW-Madison.

For more information about Gordon, read his Pioneer Spotlight.

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, University Relations Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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