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Division of Student Affairs

Her sights set on law school, WSU senior thankful for her GIESORC family

Department: Gender Identity, Expression, and Sexual Orientation Center

Washington State University Senior Kylie Lynch has much more on her plate than the usual end-of-the-semester papers and exams. She’s also busy applying to law schools. Her dream is to combine her love of the outdoors with her fascination with law, perhaps working someday for a large outdoor recreation corporation.

It wasn’t an easy process for Lynch to come to this realization. The Issaquah, Wash. native first attended Bellevue College as a running start student, then took a couple years off from school to work as a nursing assistant following high school graduation.

“After that, I knew a health career wasn’t for me,” she said. “But I have always enjoyed working with animals.”

That prompted Lynch to become an animal sciences major at WSU. She didn’t know anyone in Pullman when she first arrived. She eventually met a couple of students who are active in WSU’s LGBTQ community in her judo class. Then she met a student who worked as a graduate assistant in the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC). He encouraged her to drop by the center located on the Compton Union Building’s fourth floor.

As a slightly older, transfer student, she felt comfortable interacting with the graduate students in the center and got involved with the Graduate Pride Alliance of WSU (GPAWS). Eventually, she developed close friendships with the undergraduate students as well and joined the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, a group she chaired during fall semester.

“Our first priority is to create a safe place on campus for LGBTQ students,” Lynch said. “But we also aim to create awareness of the issues impacting our community through activities like tabling or bringing in guest speakers.”

Through her leadership of GSA and working as an adventure facilitator in WSU’s Outdoor Recreation Center, Lynch has gained a lot of skills that will be of great benefit to her in her career. They include knowing how to manage time efficiently, how to govern, delegate tasks, and be a good spokesperson for a group.

Above all else, Kylie has been most grateful to have people in the center who care about her like a family. Soon after she arrived at WSU her grandmother passed away. The grief she felt was overwhelming, but the students and staff in the center were there to offer support. They were also there for her when she decided to come out to her parents, a terrifying thing to do for many students.

“If it wasn’t for them, I’m sure I would have dropped out of school for a year,” Lynch said. “A lot of students receive great support here whether it be for academic, social, or personal reasons.”

As Kylie prepares to begin the next chapter in her life, she plans to continue serving as a resource for WSU LGBTQ students wherever she lands. She considers them family, after all.