Aug 312006
 
Authors: KATRINA TAMMINGA The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Foula Dimopoulos is used to people listening to her.

The former disc jockey for KRZA in Alamosa was the “voice for the San Luis Valley.”

But as the new director of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Students Services at CSU, Dimopoulos is now ready to be heard by the CSU community.

“I know I have big shoes to fill; Randy (McCrillis, former director) did great work for this organization,” Dimopoulos said.

“I plan to focus on social justice and social change and by doing so, continue the legacy Randy left behind, advocating change not only for the GLBT community but for all who often feel left out of the web is my priority.”

Armed with a master’s degree in psychology and women’s studies, experience with the Boys and Girls Club and Americorp, and practice in the field of social work, Dimopoulos is ready to continue McCrillis’ work.

As a program director for GLBTSS, Colin Strack, a senior biological sciences major, said the transition from the former director to Dimopoulos has been exciting.

“It’s refreshing to have a person with new ideas and a new outlook on the program,” Strack said. “Foula is really positive and in return we are getting really eager to kick off the year and start working with her.”

Dimopoulos said her main goal is to help people wrap their head around the idea that we live in a world full of differences.

“It is necessary to ask ourselves how we can make change without watering down our individual differences,” Dimopoulos said. “After all, our differences are what make us unique. We need to make the table big enough so that we are all able to sit down without having to check our individuality at the door because life and how life works extends beyond individual levels.”

Dimopoulos said she intends to work with the local community in order to build bridges and coalitions as a way of helping people understand the importance of individuality and uniqueness.

“Working for and with the community truly reflects the multiple facets we encompass as workers for social justice and social change,” Dimopoulos said.

While many of the staff members in the GLBTSS office are excited to see new leadership, others are apprehensive to turn the reigns over to a new person.

“Randy was a mentor and a very close friend, and it is going to be different,” said Kristen Singer, a senior history major who works in the GLBTSS office. “Foula does things differently than Randy did, but I do think she also has things that Randy couldn’t bring to the table, like her experience working in all different areas of advocacy.”

Now that Dimopoulos has settled into her office at CSU, she is ready to get to work. Her list of projects include expanding the Speakers Bureau Program, where several members of the GLBT community talk about their “coming-out” stories and offer a chance for the audience to ask questions at the end of the program; setting up a Myspace.com account for the office as a way of offering a monthly director’s chat; and creating a membership program in order to create more sustainability and a stronger sense of community.

Staff writer Katrina Tamminga can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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