In this workshop we will be expand on our first presentation to share concrete and substantive ways of
being an Ally to the LGBTQ+ community. This will be a space where we invite you to come as and where you
are in your understanding of gender diversity. We hope you’ll bring your questions and a willingness to
Pia Smal is an associate teaching professor in Rehabilitation and Human Services and Counselor
Education and Supervision at The Pennsylvania State University. She holds a PhD in Counselor Education,
a master’s degree in clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a bachelor’s degree in English and Women’s
Studies. Clinically, she has worked with a wide variety of individuals in domestic violence, psychiatric in-
patient, and substance use treatment settings. Her research interests include supporting faculty in
addressing student’s mental health needs, strength-based approaches to working with clients,
and LGBT+ issues in counseling and social justice. She is also the current president and founding member
of Centre LGBT+, a local nonprofit focused on bringing the community together through LGBT+
education, advocacy, and activities in the Centre county region.
Susan is an Independent College Advising & Admissions Counselor and owner of College Gateways, LLC.
Prior to starting her own business, Susan was employed by the State College Area School District for
thirty-four years as a High School Counselor and served as Head Counselor in the State High Counseling
Department for many years.
Susan also serves the Centre County region as a founding Board member and Secretary of the Centre
LGBT+, a local nonprofit focused on bringing the community together through LGBT+ education,
advocacy, and activities.
Susan is a trained Restorative Practitioner and has been a Restorative Conferencing Facilitator since
2013. In this role, she provides training and facilitates conversations aimed at repairing harm and
restoring relationships. Susan is a Board member and a volunteer facilitator with the local non-profit
Centre County Community Conferencing.
Cecil Houseknecht is a State College native and Penn State alum of the Asian Studies program. He is an
advocate for marginalized communities through his full-time job as office manager at Penn State's Paul
Robeson Cultural Center and as a community educator for Centre LGBT+. Cecil's particular focus is on
the APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) and LGBT+ community, and exploring the
intersectionality of these diverse communities and experiences.