Queer Educators and Counselors Network
The Queer Educators and Counselors Network (QECN) at the SJSU Lurie College of Education creates a safe and affirming space for educators, counselors, and students to appreciate diversity in sexual and gender identities. We also provide support, training, and resources to help students, faculty, and staff examine their own practice and engage with their own understandings of gender and sexuality. Through individual and group support, professional development opportunities, research activities, and advocacy, we hope to empower our community and world.
Meet the Faculty
- Robert Marx (He/Him) - Assistant Professor, Child and Adolescent Development
Robert teaches courses in the Department of Child and Adolescent Development (Program Evaluation in a Community Context, Lifespan Development in the 21st Century, Child Development K-8 Practicum).
He is an interdisciplinary scholar, and his community-engaged research and practice focus on reframing dominant visions of queer young people, so that they are no longer viewed as deviant, damaged, or at-risk, but rather as the gifted, complex people they are. He deploys a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including critical youth participatory action research and meta-analysis, to better understand and promote marginalized youth’s development. As a former high school English teacher, he approaches this work from the intersection of educational studies, developmental psychology, and critical pedagogy, and his work encourages young people to see themselves as producers of knowledge and as change agents.
- Kyoung Mi Choi, Ph.D. (She/ Her) - Associate Professor, Counselor Education
Kyoung Mi teaches courses (i.e., Counseling Theories, Group Counseling, College Student Development Theories, Microcounseling Skills, Mindfulness-based Self-Care Interventions, Practicum, Internship) in the Department of Counselor Education.
Through her educational, professional, and personal experiences, she has developed her research interest in examining culturally sensitive counseling approaches, mindfulness-based counseling interventions and programs, social connectedness among Third Culture Kids, international student adjustment and academic success, multicultural counseling competencies, international LGBTQ college students, and integration of technology in Counselor Education. She is a co-founder of the International Safe Zone (ISZ; www.internationalsafezone.org).
On Campus Training & Programs
For Faculty and Staff
- ISSS Faculty Training | February 21, 2020
Provided a training session to staff and faculty at International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) at San Jose State University
- International Education Week (IEW) - International LBGTQ+ Roundtable | November 20,
This roundtable discussion focused on the complexity and challenges of international LGBTQ+ students and faculty on campus. International LGBTQ+ students often face issues with internalized homophobia, experience fear of persecution upon repatriation, and struggle to find a supportive community, in addition to the challenges all international students experience. It is imperative that those who interact with and serve international LGBTQ+ students understand the ways that students' multiple identities - as international students, as non-heterosexual students, as racial or ethnic minorities, and potentially other identities - combine to impact the cultural adjustment and transition they face. Drs. Choi and Marx provided resources that helped these students develop healthy sexual identity and social relationships as well as other resources and tips for international LGBTQ+ students and those who teach, support, mentor, or care about them.
Global Spartan Welcome - International Student Orientation | December 3, 2019
- Global Connections - Love and Relationships | February 10, 2020
Students and professionals discussed a variety of topics about various social and cultural dating and relationship dynamics and campus resources.
- Cultural Conversations - Gender & Identity | September 25, 2020, 2-3pm PDT
Why do some Americans introduce themselves with “they/their/theirs”? What does queer mean? How can I be an ally? If you’ve ever wondered about these things, you won’t want to miss out on this Cultural Conversation, where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and share in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
Join SJSU Lurie College of Education faculty Dr. Kyoung Mi Choi (she/her) & Dr. Robert Marx (he/him) for this workshop on Friday, September 25, at 2pm by registering for this Zoom session.
Message from Dr. Kyoung Mi Choi
“Welcome, new international students! My name is Kyoung Mi Choi and I am an associate professor in the department of counselor education at SJSU. I was an international student from South Korea when I first came to the United States in 2001. I remember learning and navigating the cultural differences and norms were both exciting and challenging. Compared to U.S. culture, Korean culture is more collective and conservative. It was not easy for me to explore and embrace my own sexual orientation in a new culture. However, I can say that it has been the most inspiring and healing journey. I’d like to share my story with you and would also love to hear yours. I hope you can join us.”
Message from Dr. Robert Marx
“Hi, there! I’m so excited to meet with all of you! I’m Robert Marx, and I’m an Assistant Professor in Child and Adolescent Development at SJSU. I grew up in Virginia in the U.S., lived abroad as a student in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and worked abroad in Singapore. I definitely had to adjust to new ways of thinking about gender and sexuality, not only living outside of the U.S. but also moving from the South to the North to the West Coast. I’d love to talk more with you about gender and sexuality, and I’d love to get to know you! I also hope that Kyoung Mi and I can answer any questions you might have!”
What we are planning to share:
- Diversity in Gender and Sexual Identity
- What Are Pronouns? Why do they matter?
- Your Culture vs. US Culture: Are They Different or Similar?
- Resources for LGBTQIA+ International Students
- Asian Law Alliance - asianlawalliance.org
- Asylum for LGBTQIA+ Immigrants - oasislegalservices.org/home
- BayLands FrontRunners - baylands.org
- Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center - defrankcenter.org
- Ethiopian Community Services - ecssanjose.org
- Family Alliance for Counseling Tools and Resolution - factr.org
- India Community Center - indiacc.org
- International Safe Zone - flipboard.com/@kyoungmichoi/international-safe-zone-d26a37thz
- LGBTQ+ Health Program - stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-clinics/lgbtq-health.html
- MACSA - macsa.org
- Outlet: Adolescent Counseling Services - acs-teens.org/what-we-do/outlet
- Project More - domoreproject.org/vision
- SJSU International House - sjsu.edu/ihouse
- The LGBTQ Youth Space - youthspace.org
- International Safe Zone
- internationalsafezone.org, founded in Fall 2015
- Delivered international safe zone training to students, student affairs professionals and educators to support international LGBTQ+ individuals and communities, including SJSU, CSU-Fresno, De Anza College, UC Berkley, ACA, ACPA, & WACES conference, Ewha University, & Sokang University.
- Curate the virtual platform, ISZ Flipboard Magazine (a social network magazine-like mobile application), to create a safe zone as a place to share information such as news about LGBT rights and activism in Uganda, Russia, Korea, and other countries as well as coming out stories from LGBT people all over the world.
- Network with LGBT activities (United States, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Malesia, the Netherlands, and Mexico)