Special Keynote Speaker - Bek Orr

“My dissertation research looks at a variety of organizations working to document and preserve the multiple histories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender folks, and the role of those organizations in creating and supporting queer communities.  This research is important for a variety of reasons, one of the most important being that the positive aspects of queer communities have historically been understudied in our field.  Recognizing the important work of LGBTQ organizations is essential to fair and accurate representations of LGBTQ individuals and communities.  Finally, exploring the role of history and memory in contemporary subcultures and communities is a key contribution of this research project.”  – Dr. Bek Orr, Associate professor, The College at Brockport

Associate Professor, Brockport University, PhD in Sociology with a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Women and Gender Studies at Syracuse University.

Dr. Orr graduated from Brockport with a dual degree in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies in May of 2008.  She was encouraged pretty early on in her career at Brockport to consider graduate school.  During her junior year she was given the opportunity to participate in some original research with Professor Joan Spade. They presented their findings at the annual Eastern Sociological Society meeting.  This experience caused Dr. Orr to realize that she LOVED doing research and loved being a part of an intellectual/academic community.  The experience really solidified her desire to go to graduate school.

At Brockport, Dr. Orr’s favorite course was “Social Theory” taught by Dr. Kaldor who had a way of connecting what seemed like really ancient and outdated theory with our everyday lives.  It was by far her most challenging class at Brockport, but she worked hard and excelled in it.  It became an “Oh wow moment” in which Dr. Orr recognized not only could she do this, but she also got it! Dr. Orr strives to use her passion for a subject to bring that subject to life for her students. 

In 2013 Bek Orr received the Joan Lukas Rothenberg Graduate Student Service Award which recognizes the work of a WGS teaching assistant or CAS student who has contributed to feminist education on campus through direct service to the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and/or the larger SU community.