Elon University / Today at Elon / LGBTQIA Alumni Network Holds Community Enrichment Awards Ceremony

Bud Harrelson ’99, Jonathan Shutt ’05, Ket Cordova ’23, English teacher Kathy Lyday and art history teacher Kirstin Ringelberg were honored during the LGBTQIA Alumni Network’s Community Enrichment Awards brunch Saturday at McKinnon Hall as part of Homecoming & Reunion Weekend Parties.

The Community Enrichment Awards were established in 2012, the same year the LGBTQIA Alumni Network was founded, born out of a need and desire to create opportunities to affirm and recognize the work that has been done by alumni, the body faculty and staff to enhance their LGBTQ community within campus and communities at large. In 2018, an additional honor was created, the Matthew Antonio Bosh Student Award. Named in honor of Matthew Antonio Bosch, former director of the Elon Center for Gender and LGBTQIA, for his contributions and support of the LGBTQIA communities at Elon, this award recognizes students who are making a big impact on the Elon campus through their representation and defense.

“Today has been a wonderful reminder of how interconnected our journeys really are and I hope everyone is inspired to continue to advocate and support the LGBTQIA community,” said Courtney MacMasters ’18, president of the network, during her closing remarks. “Congratulations again to each of our well-deserved award winners.”

Recipients of the Community Enrichment Awards

Bud Harrelson ’99

Bud Harrelson graduated from Elon in 1999 with degrees in chemistry and science education. After leaving Elon, Bud taught chemistry at Northeast Guilford High School. In his second year of teaching, he joined the Greensboro Middle College faculty at Greensboro College, a school designed to encourage potential dropouts to graduate from high school and transition to college. Bud credits the students, families, and faculty of Greensboro Middle College for teaching him to focus on relationships and the whole person and content mastery to follow.

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Bud transitioned into school and district leadership. He dropped out of junior college to lead the International Baccalaureate program at Grimsley High School. Under his leadership, the program grew in student engagement, diploma completion, and curricular offerings. Due to his success at Grimsley, Bud moved to Winton-Salem Forsyth County Schools, where he served as coordinator of the district’s Academically Gifted Program. While at Winston-Salem, Bud led a school reform initiative designed to create a unique school culture around academics, behavior, and climate. By leveraging faculty talent to meet student needs, student achievement increased in all schools that implemented the model. Soon, the entire district was using the Single School Culture protocols. During his time at Winston, Bud earned a graduate certificate in academically gifted education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master’s in School Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Bud left Winston-Salem to pursue a doctorate in education at UNC full time. His research focuses on creating safer schools for LGBTQ people, especially queer employees. While at UNC, Bud served as a member of the executive board of Safe Schools NC, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create safer schools for LGBTQ people in NC. As a board member, Bud led SSNC’s efforts to host an annual statewide conference for educators where they could become more aware of the needs of queer students, families, and colleagues, and develop strategies to support them in and out of school. Bud also served as president of the Elon LGBTQIA Alumni Network. During his tenure as president, we saw growth in membership, philanthropy, and participation in Elon Day.

Bud has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America since the third grade. As an adult, he served nationally on the BSA’s national diversity committee. He is recognized across the country as an advocate for LGBTQ people in the Boy Scouts, who recently changed their membership policies to welcome openly gay and transgender members. Bud now works full time with the Boy Scouts, where he serves as the local camp director. While LGBTQ advocacy is no longer his primary role in Scouting, he strives to create a welcoming and inclusive summer camp culture that meets the needs of all Scouts.

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Jonathan Shut ’05

Jon Shutt’s roots in Elon run deep, as he is the grandson of beloved President Emeritus Earl Danieley ’46 and the first of three brothers, all Elon graduates. As a student and graduate, Jon actively supported the formation of the LGBTQIA Alumni Network and its work.

Always committed to defending LGBTQ rights, Shutt, a Disney employee, organized the walkout in New York City in support of the #DisneySayGay protest. He cemented his protest against the company when he left Disney to work at a queer dating app company, going from “professionally queer” to “professionally queer.”

English Teacher Kathy Lyday

Dr. Kathy J. Lyday has taught freshman writing, linguistics, grammar, history of the English language, American literature, introductory literature, Holocaust literature, and Appalachian literature at Elon for 40 years. She has been faculty leader for winter term study abroad courses in London and Central Europe, and directed semester programs in London and Costa Rica. For the past few summers, she has taught applied and descriptive linguistics and grammar in the Master of TESOL program at Greensboro College. After completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English at Tennessee Technological University, she completed a Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in American literature with a special emphasis in the areas of English language studies. Her research interests include Appalachian authors, Holocaust literature, and use of language in society. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys traveling, various sewing arts, gardening, writing, and of course, reading. She has co-authored two historical novels and is currently researching the third book in the series.

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Kirstin Ringelberg Professor of Art History

Kirstin Ringelberg is a professor of art history in the Department of History and Geography at Elon. They came to Elon in 2003 from a previous position at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Ph.D. in the history of modern and contemporary art. As a scholar, Kirstin writes about the history of art and visual culture using feminist, queer, and trans methodologies. They co-chaired the first all-trans panel at the College Art Association conference in 2018 and co-edited the first trans issue of any art history and visual culture journal in 2020. As a professor at Elon, Kirstin has taught 24 different classes, including Honors, Major Completions, Study Abroad, International and Global Studies, Asian Studies, African and African American Studies, and of course, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. They have mentored 30 undergraduate research projects, six teaching and learning internships, and 15 internships for credit, but her most important mentorship is working with queer, trans, and marginalized students outside of official course work and service structures. . Speaking of service, Kirstin was Elon’s first LGBTQIA coordinator, and 20 years ago they hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Elon’s first LGBTQ resource room at Powell House, and supported alumni and staff in developing this network. Alumni affinity.

Matthew Antonio Bosch Student Community Engagement Award

Ket Cordoba ’23

Ket Cordova is a senior in her last semester at Elon. He is majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. He is from Queens, New York and plans to return there after graduation to live with his partner and his gecko.


The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and Ally (LGBTQIA) Alumni Network strives to improve the campus climate for members of the Elon community by advocating for LGBTQIA issues and partnering with others to build an inclusive and respectful community.