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Meet the Pride Resource Center’s new assistant director

Courtesy+of+Josh+Mack
Collegian | Christian Arndt
Josh Mack stands outside the Pride Resource Center located in the Lory Student Center as the new director. The Pride Resource Center provides support and resources to students in the LGBTQ+ community at Colorado State University.

Josh Mack may be new to his role as the Pride Resource Center’s assistant director, but he is not new to Colorado State University. 

Formerly advising students in the Community for Excellence program, Mack is passionate about helping students find their voice and taking student input to let them mold the systems that assist them. 

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“I’m passionate about centering the student voice,” Mack said. “We’re making a lot of decisions and leading students and guiding them, but we really want to ensure that their voice and their perspectives are at the forefront of everything that we’re doing.”

Originally studying audiology, thinking he would be assisting people with their hearing aids, Mack took a major career change when he entered the field of mentorship and higher education. 

He changed focus and graduated with a degree in communication sciences and disorders from Baylor University as well as earning a Master of Science in educational administration from Texas A&M University. It was in this grad program that Mack fell in love with student work. 

“While I was in grad school, I got to do a lot of research and writing and support for LGBTQ+ students,” Mack said. “I was working with the pride center there, doing some mentoring work, and that’s kind of when I really fell in love with student work.”

Since day one, Mack’s new role as assistant director has been fast-paced, attending events like Denver Pride and learning the ins and outs of his new position. 

“I actually got to start my first day in the role on June 1,” Mack said. “It was on the first day of Pride Month, so that felt super poetic to be able to kick off Pride Month in a new position with the Pride Center.” 

“I realized in that moment that coming out is not just a one-time thing. You don’t just come out and it’s fireworks and rainbows everywhere; it’s still an ongoing journey.” -Josh Mack, Pride Resource Center assistant director 

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Mack is also familiar with how complex and unique each person’s journey with identity can be. 

“I came out towards the end of my college journey,” Mack said. “(I) definitely know what it’s like to navigate the college experience trying to figure out and still develop your sense of self and your identity.” 

Mack’s familiarity with all of the questions and experiences that go with coming to terms with your identity in college has made him more equipped for the job. 

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“I realized in that moment that coming out is not just a one-time thing,” Mack said. “You don’t just come out and it’s fireworks and rainbows everywhere; it’s still an ongoing journey.”

“I think that’s something that I brought into this position is knowing that with queerness and with our community, we kind of have to meet students where they are,” Mack said.

The Pride Center celebrates Coming into Queerness Day as their version of National Coming Out Day to reflect how different identity can be for individuals. Some never feel the need to come out — they are themselves first and foremost — while for others, the coming out process is a pinnacle part of stepping into their queerness. 

“We’re going to have students here that are ready to fully embrace their queerness and ready to do all the things, and we still have students that aren’t quite sure yet,” Mack said. 

Beyond being well prepared to serve the queer community at CSU, Mack is a nature lover who is incredibly excited to take to Colorado’s great outdoors, hiking and kayaking his way through the state.

Being from the incredibly diverse city of Houston, Mack loves trying new cuisines and considers himself a foodie. 

“I really appreciate diversity and trying out new foods and new cultures,” Mack said. “ So I’m always trying to find new restaurants and try out different places to eat and different types of food.” 

A foodie, a nature lover and an advocate, Mack hopes he can help students realize that they do have support on campus — people who will have their backs and take their feedback as well as support them. 

“You don’t have to be fully into your queerness to come into our center,” Mack said. “You don’t have to be queer at all to come into our center; our space is really just a spot for students to come and learn and grow and be themselves.” 

Reach Ivy Secrest at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @IvySecrest.

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About the Contributors
Ivy Secrest, Content Managing Editor
Ivy Secrest is The Collegian's content managing editor. Secrest uses she/her/hers pronouns and has worked for The Collegian previously as a reporter and as life and culture director for the 2022-23 academic year. As a senior in the journalism and media communications department, Secrest enjoys reporting on environmental and social issues with a special interest in science communication. She is president of the Science Communication Club and is pursuing a minor in global environmental sustainability with hopes of utilizing her education in her career. Growing up in Denver, Secrest developed a deep love for the outdoors. She could happily spend the rest of her life hiking alpine environments, jumping into lakes, taking photos of the wildflowers and listening to folk music. She's passionate about skiing, hiking, dancing, painting, writing poetry and camping. Secrest's passions spurred her career in journalism, helping her reach out to her community and get involved in topics that students and residents of Fort Collins truly care about. She has taken every opportunity to connect with the communities she has reported in and has written for several of the desks at The Collegian, including news, life and culture, cannabis, arts and entertainment and opinion. She uses her connections with the community to inform both managerial and editorial decisions with hopes that the publication serves as a true reflection of the student body's interests and concerns. Secrest is an advocate of community-centered journalism, believing in the importance of fostering meaningful dialogue between press and community.
Christian Arndt, Life & Culture Editor
Christian Arndt is this year's editor for the life and culture desk at The Collegian. Arndt joined The Collegian in the winter of 2023, when he started as an arts and entertainment writer, primarily focusing on movie reviews, local art installations and music-curated lists. Arndt is the second life and culture editor and is proud to step into this position. He is focusing on providing the best local coverage in the Fort Collins area with a focus on unique business profiles, important cultural events and fun local happenings. Arndt comes from Silverthorne, Colorado, and came to Colorado State University in the fall of 2021. He is a third-year and is majoring in journalism and media communication with a minor in English. He found his passion for writing during his English classes in high school, and eventually with the style he chose to pursue, he ended up finding a passion within journalism. Because he had no prior experience with journalism, he was adamant to join The Collegian and build up his experience and reputation there. Aside from writing for the paper, you can find him at the cinema, watching basketball, playing video games with friends, walking his adorable dog Penny Lane, snowboarding and listening to plenty of music. Arndt finds his role as an editor thrilling and looks forward to providing the utmost care and consistency with the content that comes out for the life and culture desk.

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