The SOGI Project

The Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Project at the University at Albany, School of Social Welfare

The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Project (SOGI) is an initiative of the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany. Formed in 2009, the SOGI Project’s goals are to:

  • Enhance the clinical skills of graduate students working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer individuals (LGBTQ) clients, and
  • Develop educational and campus-wide access for students across disciplines who are interested in LGBTQ studies.

The SOGI Project is in the early stages of developing opportunities for specialized course work and seminars that would allow MSW students to focus on LGBTQ scholarship, social service development, and research within their larger generalist degree program. Additionally, SOGI works in collaboration with The Pride Center of the Capital Region's Center Support Program offering field placement opportunities for Advanced Standing and Second Year MSW students.


Archived Events

Spring 2013

April 26, 2013

The Empire Conference: Transgender Health and Wellness:
Providing Primary Care and Mental Health Services for Transgender People and Their Families

This one-day conference is designed for new or experienced medical and mental health providers who are interested in the care of adult and pediatric gender-nonconforming, transgender, and transsexual people and their families. There will be medical and mental health tracks, and opportunities to explore the importance of interdisciplinary teams to coordinate care for this patient population.

The mental health track will focus on the assessment and treatment of gender non-conforming, transgender, and transsexual people within a systemic context focused on building competency among mental health providers and allied professionals. Participants will become familiar with the diversity of identities and expressions for those who are gender non-conforming, transgender, transsexual, and intersex, and will recognize the importance of language and community affiliation in the development of identity formation. These programs will include a review of the evolving roles of mental health clinicians in working with this population, and discuss how to untangle gender variance from psychiatric issues.

For more information and registration information:

Download Brochure Here

Provider's Day Handouts


Spring 2012 Workshop Series

September 24th 7 PM

by the gender variant visual artist and intersex activist Del LaGrace Volcano

Volcano’s ‘corpus’ consists of astonishingly tender images that complicate our understandings of gender through non-pathologizing heroic depictions of female and transgender masculinities as well as calling attention to the hermaphroditic traces of all human bodies.

Full Day Training! Working with Trans Clients: Friday, April 27th

Part 1: Clinical Competency with Trans Individuals, Children and Families

This workshop will provide a broad foundational education of clinical concerns that affect trans and gender nonconforming clients, presented by Shannon Sennott, LCSW of Choices Counseling and Consulting. 10am-1pm

PLEASE REGISTER for our Full Day Working with Trans Clients training: contact SOGI: (518) 462-6138 (Box 12) or

Part 2: Supporting Couples and Families Across the Gender Spectrum

This training will emphasize the relational issues faced by couples where a partner comes out as transgender and families with a gender non-conforming and/or transgender child, presented by Jean Malpas, LMHC, LMFT, the director of the Gender and Family Project at the Ackerman Institute & private practice in NYC. 2pm- 5pm

PLEASE REGISTER for our Working with Trans Clients training: contact SOGI: (518) 462-6138 (Box 12) or

LGBT Health and Human Services Needs: A Model for Advocacy and Action
Wednesday, February 15th, 9:00 am - Noon
Downtown Campus, Milne 200

This presentation will review A Blueprint for Meeting LGBT Health and Human Services Needs in NYS, presented by Barbara Warren PsyD, Director of the Center for LGBT Social Science and Public Policy at Hunter College, CUNY.

Film: Gen Silent with Discussion
Wednesday, March 21st, Noon - 2 pm
Husted Hall Amphitheater

This documentary from the filmmaker Stu Maddux, examines the lives of older LGBT people with Q & A following.

Wednesday, March 28th, 4:00 pm - 6 pm
Husted Hall Amphitheater
This workshop will examine the intersections, strengths, and needs of queer and disability identities and communities, presented by Andrea Neumann-Mascis, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Boston.

Full Day Training! LGBTQ Youth & Young Adult
Friday, March 30th 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Parking Available on campus

Part 1: Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child

This workshop will describe the findings and practice implications of a National Institute of Mental Health funded qualitative, multicultural study of gay and lesbian children and their parents, presented by Michael LaSala, PhD, the Director of the MSW program and associate professor at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University. 10am-1pm

Part 2: Identity and Intimacy within the Academy: LGBTQ College Students

This workshop will address what college/university environments are like for LGBTQ students, with a particular focus on Counseling Centers/Psychological Services, presented by Paul Cody PhD, a staff psychologist at the University of New Hampshire Counseling Center. 2pm-5pm

Fall 2011 Workshop Series

Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims
Tuesday, November 15, 7:30-9pm
Campus Center Ballroom, Uptown Campus, SUNY

This workshop aims to highlight the many struggles and challenges facing sexual and gender minorities within the Muslim world and to examine the complex intersection of Islam, sexuality and gender. How will LGBT people be affected by the revolution in the Middle East? What will this people-led movement for change mean for LGBT people?

Presentation by Faisal Alam, a queer-identified Muslim activist, who is the founder and former director of Al-Fatiha, an organization for LGBTIQ Muslims, and their allies.

The Jaffe Social Justice Lecture with Aurora Levins Morales
Saturday, November 19, 7–9pm
Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus, SUNY

Presentation by Aurora Levins Morales, a Puerto Rican and Jewish writer, artist, and historian. She is also an activist, healer, and revolutionary. She tells stories with medicinal powers and will explore issues of multiculturalism, social discrimination, and living with chronic illness and disability.*

*This lecture will follow an all-day conference, Engaging Feminisms, Engaging Communities Conference identifying immediate problems impacting feminist work around social justice struggles. Contact 518-462-2871 or for more information.

This workshop series is made possible through the generous support of the School of Social Welfare, Counseling Psychology program, Women’s Studies Department, Disability Resource Center, The Center for the Elimination of Health Disparities, Office of Multicultural Student Success’ Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, SWARE, the Student Association , Northeast Division NASW NYS, Holding Our Own, Women’s Foundation and the Women’s Building, Rainbow Access Initiative, and the Capital Region Pride Center.

Health Disparities in Sexual Minorities: Along the Life Cycle: A Beginning Conversation
November 7 & 8, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Page Hall Auditorium, Downtown Campus of U Albany

Health Disparities is a persistent but preventable problem in New York State. Social Workers, Nurses, Psychologists and Physicians from around the country and Puerto Rico will share their research and clinical wisdom on the issues confronting the mental and physical health of sexual minorities. This conference is deliberately designed for community members, students, faculty and researchers! The keynote speaker is Guthrie Birkhead III, M.D.

Click here to learn more or to register

Lunch with the presenters is free with registration. You must be pre-registered by November 2, 2011

* If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Robert L. Miller, Jr. at or (518) 442-5374

Fall 2012 Workshop Series

Friday, November 16th, 2012 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

SUNY Albany, Downtown Campus
Husted Amphitheater 106A



The Critical Role of Families in Reducing Risk for Suicide & Other Health Problems with Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, Director, Family Acceptance Project, SF State University

This workshop will present compelling new research on LGBT youth and families from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University on the dramatic influence families have on their LGBT children’s health, mental health and well-being. Family acceptance protects against risk and helps promote well-being, while family rejection is related to serious health and mental health concerns including depression, suicidality, substance abuse and STDs. Dr. Ryan will discuss key findings and an evidence-based family intervention model to help ethnically and religiously diverse families support their LGBT children. Revolutionary and paradigm-changing, this work is changing how LGBT youth are served across multiple domains and systems of care.

Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW is a clinical social worker who has worked on LGBT health and mental health for nearly 40 years. She is the Director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University. Dr. Ryan received the American Psychological Association, Division 44 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Achievement Award for groundbreaking research on LGBT youth and families. Her family education publications have been designated as the first “Best Practice” resources for suicide prevention for LGBT people by the national Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Ryan has trained more than 30,000 providers, clergy, families and youth on her research and evidence-based family approach across the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Latin America and China.

for more information on Dr. Ryan and The Family Acceptance Project:

$25 professionals/$10 students (scholarships available)
includes lunch and training materials

REGISTRATION: (518) 462-6138 (Box 12)or vist

This workshop is made possible through the generous support of the University at Albany Diversity Transformation Fund, NYS Office of Mental Health’s Suicide Prevention Initiative, the Northeast Division of NASW NYS, The Sage Colleges, Rainbow Access Initiative, and the Pride Center of the Capital Region’s LGBT Mental Health Substance Abuse Network.

Building Bridges, Removing Barriers: Expanding Our Roles

Diversity Conference 2012

November 16 – 17
9 AM to 5 PM University at Albany

Alumni House
FREE Admission
Pre‐registration is required.
Go on: and click on the Evite link
or email us at

March 5, 2013
LGBT Data Collection Presentation & Webcast
by Dr. Harvey Makadon from the National LGBT Education Center.

>>Click here for more information.

For more information about SOGI or

SOGI events:
518-462-6138, Box 12 (The Pride Center)