Past Online Workshops

Safe Zone Online Ally Training Workshops are free interactive online workshops for students, faculty, staff, and the professional community. During these workshops, participants will build knowledge and skills to create a more inclusive and affirming environment for LGBTQ individuals in engineering and STEM. 

  • Level 1 workshops introduce LGBTQ terminology and concepts and explore how to develop awareness of privilege and become an ally to LGBTQ individuals in and out of the classroom. (Duration: 90 minutes – 2 hours
  • Level 2 workshops are more advanced than Level 1 and further discuss LGBTQ issues and heterosexual/cisgender privilege, micro-aggressions, and discrimination disruption techniques. (Duration: 90 minutes – 2 hours
  • Deep Dive workshops focus on specific issues and topics related to LGBTQ and STEM issues. (Duration: 1 hour

Fall 2017 Workshops

Safe Zone: LGBTQ 101

  • Basic LGBTQ terms and concepts
  • The steps of the coming out process, and how to respond as an ally
  • Current issues impacting LGBTQ individuals in society and the workplace
  • Easy-to-implement beginner ally tips
Facilitators: Linda Vanasupa (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo), Alon McCormick (University of Minnesota), Stephanie Farrell (Rowan University) 


Safe Zone: Discrimination and Bias through an LGBTQ Lens

  • Overview of privilege and how to recognize your own
  • Introduction to bias and microaggressions, and how to respond to them
  • Overview of inclusive language and how to incorporate it
  • Inclusive classroom strategies

Facilitators: Hector Rodriguez-Simmons (Purdue University), Kelly Cross (University of Illinous, Urbana-Champaign), Mahesh Aggrawal (Gannon University)



Safe Zone: LGBTQ in STEM and Action Strategies for Allies

  • What the STEM climate is like for LGBTQ individuals
  • The current state of engineering culture, as it relates to diversity and inclusion
  • Ways to be an ally and organize support for LGBTQ individuals (on and off campus)
  • Tools and strategies for fostering an inclusive classroom environment

Facilitators: Kyle Trenshaw (University of Rochester), Tiago Forin (Rowan University)


Spring 2017 Workshops

Level 1: 

  • March 2017: Alex Mejia (Angelo State University), Benny Chan (TCNJ), Robyn Sandekian (University of Colorado, Boulder) 

Level 2: 

  • March 2017: Tony Butterfield (University of Utah), Robyn Sandekian (University of Colorado, Boulder) 

Deep Dive: Intersectionality in STEM 

  • April 2017: Christopher Carr (National Society of Black Engineers), Kelly Cross (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)


2016 Workshops

Level 1: 

  • April 2016: Donna Riley (Virginia Tech) and Tony Butterfield (University of Utah)
  • April 2016 (2): Christopher Carr (National Society of Black Engineers) and Kelly Cross (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Level 2: 

  • October 2016: Tiago Forin (Rowan University) and Alon McCormick (University of Minnesota)

Deep Dives: 

  • Supporting Transgender Students and Colleagues (October 2016): Benny Chan (The College of New Jersey) and Kyle Trenshaw (Brown University)
    • This webinar extensively covered transgender terminology, concepts, and issues and explored ways to support transgender students and colleagues.
  • Engineering Culture (December 2016): Erin Cech (University of Michigan) 
    • This webinar explored the concept of professional culture, the 3 cultural ideologies of STEM, and the intersection of engineering and gender.


How is this online workshop series different than the Safe Zone Programs offered on college and university campuses?

The key difference is that our workshops were developed by STEM faculty with input from STEM students as well as scholars of engineering culture, for an audience of STEM faculty and students.  Much of the content is the same as the traditional Safe Zone workshops, but ours emphasizes the kinds of issues and behaviors that are likely to be observed/experienced in a STEM environment.  We have considered specific aspects of STEM culture that serve as barriers to LGBTQ inclusion in our profession, and we recommend best practices that work particularly well for STEM environments and specifically in STEM classrooms.  We also describe some STEM-specific resources such as LGBTQ professional societies and their student chapters.

Please direct all questions to Alex Longo. ASEE Program Manager, at