UConn Magazine: Professor’s Pride

Poli sci professor Christine Sylvester catches up with former student Timothy Bussey, author of “Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBTQ Military Service.”

Alum talks making the University and the country a more supportive place for the LGBTQ-plus community. (Contributed photo by Kendra Bryant)

Timothy Bussey ’14 MA, ’18 Ph.D. grew up in a military family near the Fort Benning Army base in Georgia. After very briefly considering enrolling in a military college, they attended a smaller state university in their hometown and then spent time abroad at the University of Oxford.

Their undergraduate advisor was an alum of UConn and shared information about the Rainbow Center. Bussey was impressed by the support provided to the LGBTQ+ community in Storrs and thought UConn was the perfect fit for postgrad studies.

They quickly became involved at the Rainbow Center, including facilitating the graduate and postdoctoral fellow group and running the Out to Lunch lecture series. That work proved to Bussey that they wanted to pursue a career in student services rather than go the tenure-track route.

Today Bussey is associate director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon College in Ohio, where they have racked up an impressive array of DEI accomplishments, particularly in the LGBTQ+ inclusion space. They were asked by the Modern Military Association of America to write the newest edition of “Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBTQ Military Service,” which the Biden transition team formally requested ahead of the inauguration.

Political science professor Christine Sylvester advised Bussey on their dissertation, “Lavender Security Threats: Understanding the Histories of Discrimination Against LGBT Persons in the American Military and Intelligence Community.” The two caught up recently over Zoom.

Read on for more.