Coordinator of PRISM
Office of Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement
Meet Wes Shaffer (they/them), Coordinator of PRISM for the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement (IME). PRISM serves as an LGBTQIA+ hub and a safe space on campus—Wes was born and raised in Tipton, Indiana. Wes Shaffer is a graduate of Trine University, where they played basketball and lacrosse while obtaining a bachelor's of Exercise Science. Wes later traveled to the University of East London to play basketball while obtaining their master's degree in Applied Sport and Exercise Science. Over four years, Wes coached women's basketball while establishing the first LGBTQ+ Center for Indiana University Kokomo.
As the Coordinator, Wes oversees these initiatives across campus to support and value students in every avenue of life. In addition, they make sure that gender identity and gender expression receive the proper representation. Wes may have the title of Coordinator, but they are also a mentor to students who then become allies, advocates, and trailblazers. In this position, Wes contributes to the overall mission of Student Affairs in every way. They help encourage students to get involved on campus, create inclusive spaces for people to thrive, and look out for students' overall well-being – whether that be mental health or sex education.
IME is an environment of learning, and Wes is happy to educate anyone willing to listen. Wes educates students, faculty, and staff in various ways, one of those being through ALLIES Training. The Southern Miss ALLIES is a network of faculty, staff, and students willing to be visibly supportive and affirming of students who identify within the LGBTQIA+ community—revamping this two-hour training course to be more inclusive through videos, group discussion and the introduction of the Genderbread Person. Wes encourages everyone to register for ALLIES Training and Anti-Racism Training, which IME hosts.
When not on campus, you can find Wes checking out the local art events, exploring nearby cities, working on their tiny home, or being active in the community. As a board member for The Spectrum Center, they serve as a resource and advocate for the Hattiesburg community – extending their service beyond just campus. Wes invites everyone to visit IME and hang out!