Dickinson Law's Saidman-Krauss receives CLGBTE Outstanding Service Award

Courtney Verdelli
April 26, 2016

CARLISLE, Pa. — Bekah Saidman-Krauss, assistant dean for admissions and financial aid at Penn State’s Dickinson Law, received the 2016 Outstanding Service Award from Penn State’s Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity (CLGBTE).

Every year, CLGBTE recognizes the contributions of individuals in the Penn State community throughout the Commonwealth who have shown outstanding service and academic achievement in the areas of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) advocacy and scholarship. While there are many who work tirelessly throughout the academic year for the LGBTQ community, the Outstanding Service and Academic Achievement awards recognize individuals who have made particularly significant contributions to the Penn State LGBTQ population. 

“Bekah deserves this award because she is a tireless advocate for LGBTQ students at Penn State and works hard to make our community an inclusive one for all students,” said Carla Pratt, associate dean for academic affairs and educational equity at Dickinson Law. “She is also a role model for students and provides a safe space for students to express concerns. She is a true inspiration to all of us who work to make Penn State a welcoming and inclusive learning community.”

In her role as assistant dean for admissions and financial aid at Dickinson Law, Saidman-Krauss has succeeded in seating one of the most diverse and highly credentialed entering classes at Dickinson Law in the past two decades. By redrafting the application to include optional questions designed to capture a wider range of identity markers, she has helped to broaden the law school’s definition of diversity to include — in addition to women and racial and ethnic minorities—adult learners, disabled individuals, first generation students, members of the LGBTQ community, and veterans.

She also implemented strategic recruitment efforts designed to target these groups, which have been historically underrepresented in law school. With respect to the LGBTQ community in particular, Saidman-Krauss has attended the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference as a representative of Dickinson Law for the past several years. She is Safe Zone-certified by Penn State, and from the rainbow lion paw sticker on her door to the framed picture of Silvia Rivera on her wall, she tries to cultivate a safe space for LGBTQ students everywhere. 

As an openly queer and gender-nonconforming person who studied women’s and gender studies in college, Saidman-Krauss also serves as an adviser to Pratt.

“In her capacity as chair of the Law School Admissions Council’s (LSAC) Diversity Subcommittee, Dean Pratt regularly solicits my contributions in her attempt to identify steps that LSAC and member law schools should take to be more inclusive of queer and gender-nonconforming individuals in their recruiting efforts,” noted Saidman-Krauss.

Saidman-Krauss said receiving this award means that the University takes seriously its commitment to diversity — broadly defined — and she credits Pratt with being inspirational and supporting the mission of diversity.

“She cares deeply about educational equity, and I am proud to work with her to increase diversity in our academic community at Dickinson Law,” Saidman-Krauss said. 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 10, 2016