Evan Fossen: A Place to Thrive
When Evan Fossen first applied for a job at Georgetown McDonough as assistant director of events, he felt a little hesitation. He had no experience with the university or school. And because he would be moving from a public university to a private Jesuit institution, he wondered what support would be like for the LGBTQ+ community.
Some online research put his hesitation to rest. He found information about the university’s much-lauded LGBTQ Resource Center. He also found a number of speakers and events both featuring and supporting the community.
Now, he’s in a position to bolster that kind of work — particularly for other prospective and current employees. Fossen helped launch and now leads the university’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group (ERG), one of the first such affinity groups on campus.
“The LGBTQ Resource Center has done a lot of great work with students, but they don’t always have capacity to help faculty and staff on campus,” Fossen says. “Plus, faculty and staff have a different set of needs.”
One of those needs is simply a place to network and support each other. So the brand-new ERG began organizing in spring and launched officially in fall 2022. For Fossen and colleagues, short-term goals include hosting regular meetings for the LGBTQ+ community to connect across campus units, in addition to providing elected leadership and development opportunities. The group also intends to develop a speakers series and events relevant to LGBTQ+ and intersectional issues, something Fossen has expertise in and brings to his new role as McDonough’s director of events and brand experience.
Longer-term, Fossen sees the group as a way to raise the profile and support for the community on campus — and even allay the kind of fears or hesitation he experienced when applying for a job at McDonough.
“We want to spread the visibility of this community and highlight people within the larger university, to show we can thrive on a Jesuit campus,” Fossen says. “There is space to do well at Georgetown.”