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Dr. Chris Surfus has resigned from all ASPA duties. Your new ASPA LGBT Advocacy Alliance Section Chair is Dr. Wally Swan. Your new Vice Chair is Dr. Richard Greggory Johnson III.


ASPA LGBT Advocacy Alliance Section
Announces Award Recipients

From Awards Committee Chair Dr. Lorenda Naylor:

The ASPA, LGBT Advocacy Alliance Section Awards Committee is pleased to announce its 2023 winners:

Best Book Award Wally Swan (editor) of COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community, and Public Policy (2022) for best book published in 2022 supporting the Section’s mission. The book was published by Routledge. 

Best Journal Article AwardTia Sheree Gaynor & Brandi Blessett, University of Minnesota. “Predatory Practices, Intersectional Subjection, and the Experiences of LGBTQ People of Color in New Orleans’ for best article supporting the Section’s mission. The article is published in Urban Affairs Review, 2022 Vol 58:5 (305-339. 

Best Book Chapter AwardLorenda A. Naylor, University of Baltimore.“LGBTQIA Issues Facing the New Administration: Employment, Medical Care, Personal Finances and Hunger,” in the book COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community, and Public Policy (Swan, 2022). 

Paul Overby Memorial AwardChris Surfus, Western Michigan University for elevating transgender issues in state and local government including nondiscrimination ordinances,  transgender health care benefits, and a Municipal Equality Index Score Card. Dr. Surfus is the first individual to receive this award.    

Service to the Section Award Wally Swan for his ongoing and continual dedication in advancing the interests of the Section. Wally, thank you for all of your hard work, energy, and investment in the LGBT Section.  

Paula Overby
1954 – 2022

Dear ASPA LGBT Advocacy Alliance Members,

It is with great sadness to report to you that Paula Overby has passed away. From all of us at ASPA, we give our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the friends, family, and colleagues of Paula. I have personally worked with her on several panels at various conferences over the years, including a recent ASPA Annual Conference. We were going to do another panel in the month of October at the St. Louis County Health and Human Services Conference. She was an incredible advocate for the transgender community to raise the visibility of our entire community and our struggle for full equality. She will be deeply missed by all of us. May the memory of Paula be a blessing to you.

Thank You,

Dr. Chris Surfus
ASPA LGBT Advocacy Alliance

About Paula (adapted from her Biography statement) 

Paula Overby was a career systems analyst, employed as the IT director at the Friends School of Minnesota. Overby was a member of the Healthcare Policy Advocates in Minnesota, which is focused on cost accountability in the HMO industry. Overby graduated from the University of Minnesota with majors in Psychology and Computer Science.  Following several years as a community based mental health advocate, she managed a successful career in software quality assurance doing data analysis, systems analysis, and process design while maintaining priority as a mother to her three children. Paula was a transgender woman. Her identity became the central focus of a four-year custody battle in which Paula represented herself in defense of her role as a mother and primary care parent. The courtroom ordeal inspired her recent autobiography, ”The Transgender Myth – Through the gender looking glass,” where she examined the historical, social, political, economic and legal impact of gender on her life as a transgender woman. Paula worked as a political organizer, advocating for structural change in our electoral process and promoting an independent voter movement.  Paula was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota’s second congressional district in 2014 and 2016; and was the Green Party’s Minnesota endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018. Recently, Overby was seeking election to the U.S. House to represent Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district in the 2022 election. Paula authored two chapters in the textbooks “The Routledge Handbook of LGBTQIA Administration and Policy” (2019)  and “COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community, and Public Policy,” (forthcoming October 28, 2022), and was planning to attend the St.Louis County Health and Human Service Conference (book launch) next week to discuss her chapter in the 2022 book.