An event recognizing individuals integral to LGBTQ+ inclusivity and equality within Hawaiʻi’s communities honored University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Pacific Business News’ (PBN) 4th annual Business of Pride Awards selected Farrah-Marie Gomes as a 2021 honoree. PBN recognized Gomes’ efforts in providing a more inclusive workplace and for being a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ students at UH Hilo.
“In addition to policy work and administrative changes early on in her career at UH Hilo, Gomes has been creative in doubling the number of student employees working in the university’s LGBTQ+ Center,” PBN said in its announcement of selectees. “She preserved its physical office and secured funding to increase its operating budget and grow events. Most recently, Gomes helped add counseling services campus-wide through a free app.”
- Related UH News story: UH Hilo Student Affairs repeats national workplace recognition, June 22, 2021
“Now more than ever, our students are met with many more obstacles along their academic journey and providing the holistic support they need can feel daunting,” Gomes said. “As an institution of higher education, we have an important role of staying focused on student learning, engagement and development as that is central to our purpose. At the same time, we must also remember that two of the best ways to support the success of our students is for us to remain committed to sustaining an inclusive campus climate and to ensure equitable access and opportunity for all students.”
Alongside Gomes, PBN also honored LGBTQ+ leaders and advocates from the film industry, health care, real estate and county government.