PhD in Public Policy

Sarah E. Holmes '20

Sarah E. HolmesCareer

Current position: Assistant Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, University of Southern Maine

Sarah earned her undergraduate degree in history and art history from the University of Southern Maine in 1996, and a master’s in Adult Education, concentrating in Student Affairs in Higher Education, from USM in 2002.

Sarah began her career at USM working for the University Bookstore and Residential Life before becoming the LGBTQA Resources Coordinator from 2000-2002. She then left Maine for a Public Policy Fellowship with the National LGBTQ Task Force in New York City. This was followed by a return to higher education, working in Alumni Advancement at Montclair State University in New Jersey and then the University of New England back in Maine. Sarah returned to USM in 2006 as the Coordinator for the Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity and then as the Assistant Director for Student Life and Diversity. Since 2015, Sarah has served as the Assistant Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Dissertation

Title: LGBTQ+ Students and Campus Sexual Violence: Prevalence Rates and the Effect of Expansive Demographic Questions

Abstract: This qualitative study of campus sexual violence and its impact on sexual and gender minority students was based on a system-wide campus climate survey conducted in a state university system in the Northeast during the spring of 2019. Comparisons were made between LGBTQ+ students and their straight and cisgender peers that showed cisgender women and transgender and gender expansive students experienced higher rates of violence than their peers who were cisgender men. Sexual minority women who identified as bisexual or pansexual experienced higher rates of violence than their straight, gay, or lesbian peers who also identified as women. Sexual minority men experienced higher rates of violence than straight men. Further analysis discussed the impact of using expansive gender identity demographics and how grouping and analysis can add important nuances to the interpretation of results.