By: Amy Ellard-Gray, MA, PhD Candidate, Applied Social Psychology Thomas Sasso, MA, PhD Candidate, Industrial and Organizational Psychology
One day in 2014, while standing at the office printer, Amy Ellard-Gray and Thomas Sasso, two PhD candidates in the Department of Psychology, started talking about their research. In spite of having offices next to each other for years, this was the first time they realized that both had deep research interests in sexual and gender diversity.
Recognizing that other researchers on the University of Guelph campus might also be interested in sexual and gender diversity topics, but lacked an outlet for discussion and collaboration, the Sexual and Gender Diversity Research Lab was born. Through word of mouth interest was built among faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and community members and soon lab meetings were occurring biweekly around campus.
With regular meetings occurring, Amy and Thomas approached the Centre for Families, Work, and Wellbeing (CFWW) at the University of Guelph to seek support and a physical space to house the lab within. With unanimous support from the management team of the CFWW, the Sexual and Gender Diversity Research Lab became housed as a specialized group. Following this achievement the lab began to meet at the Centre for Families, Work and Wellbeing location at 17 University Avenue East.