ANGELA C. NICHOLS

I currently serve as the Director, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) Services Office, of the Office of Cultural Diversity at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I began my tenure in August, 2000 as UMD's first hire for this position to serve students, faculty and staff, and work collaboratively with other campus and community programs and organizations.

Education

Thomas Jefferson Sr. High School, Bloomington, MN (1989)

U.S. Army (1990-1994)

Winona State University (1994-1996)

B.A. German Studies, Minor International Studies

University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse (1996-1998)

M.S. Ed. College Student Personnel

Thesis: "Assessment of University of Wisconsin - La Crosse undergraduate students' attitudes toward gay men and lesbians."

Abstract: This survey assessment provided a baseline study about attitudes UW-L undergraduates have toward gay men and lesbians, and consisted of five parts eliciting both qualitative and quantitative data. Hypotheses were tested for a comparison of group means for independent samples, using ttests and analysis of variances (ANOVAs). A content analysis created in 1987 by Gregory Herek was built upon in this study by founding a new category of influence on attitudes toward gay men and lesbians. This new category is known as the "Indirect Experiential-Schematic" psychological function. The sample for this study (n = 1,180) reflected 15% of the undergraduate student population at UW-L. Results indicate that contact with gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, students' major field of study, age, gender, race/ethnicity, residency (on or off campus living), class (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior), exposure to material about homosexuality, and knowledge of GLB harassment or physical assault at UW-L are all influential variables affecting these undergraduate students' attitudes toward gay men and lesbians. Three themes from interviews emerged illustrating the sharply contrasting differences in the daily lives of GLB students in comparison to heterosexual students. They were, (1) individuals who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual have a unique array of stressors with which they must deal, namely fear, (2) they are less involved on campus, which leaves them more isolated and alone and, (3) they are less likely than heterosexual students to seek professional help for their stressors. The opposite appears to be true for heterosexual students (Full PDF/Word Document Version Available Online).

University of Minnesota Duluth (2009-2013)

Ed.D. Teaching and Learning

Dissertation Abstract: Exploring the Lives of Aging Lesbians on the North Shore of Lake Superior

This ethnographic study explored the lived experiences of aging lesbians on the North Shore of Lake Superior uniting the demographics of age, rural residence, and sexual orientation. Research methods included semi-structured interviews, grand tour, participant observation, field notes, photography, and group discussion. The analytical framework was biography and used participants' life stories to understand their lived experiences. The results reveal how participants learned to adapt to climate, culture, and community in a unique, isolated place. The study also uncovered emergent themes that reveal how aging lesbians feel supported and unsupported by their community. This study reveals the importance of class status in studies about aging lesbians in rural areas and their own perceptions of acceptance and assimilation. Participants' rural location, social environment, and migration are discussed, along with the uniqueness of place, culture, and class status.