Sue Rankin

Principal and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Susan Rankin is a Senior Research Associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education and Associate Professor of Education in the College Student Affairs Program at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Rankin earned her B.S. from Montclair State University in 1978, a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from The Pennsylvania State University (1981), and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration in 1994, also from Penn State. Before moving into her current position, Dr. Rankin served for 17 years as the Head Coach for Women’s Softball and Lecturer in Kinesiology at Penn State. She has presented and published widely on the impact of sexism, racism and heterosexism in the academy and in intercollegiate athletics. Dr. Rankin’s current research focuses on the assessment of institutional climate and providing program planners and policy makers with recommended strategies to improve the campus climate for under-served communities.

Dr. Rankin has collaborated with over 70 institutions/organizations in implementing assessments and developing strategic plans regarding social justice issues. In her advocacy work, Dr. Rankin is a founding member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, a network of professionals doing advocacy work for LGBT people on college campuses and the Statewide Pennsylvania Rights Coalition, a network of individuals and organizations across the Commonwealth committed to securing and defending full civil rights for LGBT individuals.

Dr. Rankin is the recipient of the ACPA 2008 Voice of Inclusion Medallion. The award recognizes individuals who embody the student affairs values of social justice.

Dr. Rankin is also one of the award recipients of the James R. Douglass and Gerald B. Roemer awards from the Department of Justice-2018 for her work with the United States Transgender Project team. 

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers


Rankin, S., Merson, D., Garvey, J. C., Sorgen, C., Menon, I., Loya, K., & Oseguera, L. (2016). The influence of climate on the academic and athletic success of student-athletes: Results from a multi-institutional national study. Journal of Higher Education, 87(5), 701-730. doi: 10.1353/jhe.2016.0027

Testa, R. J., Jimenez, C. L., & Rankin, S. (2014). Risk and resilience during transgender identity development: The effects of awareness and engagement with other transgender people on affect. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 18(1), 31-46.

Rankin, S., Merson, D., Sorgen, C., McHale, I., Loya, K., & Oseguera, L. (2011). Student-Athlete Climate Study (SACS) Final Report. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University.

download report3.81 MB

Rankin, S., Blumenfeld, W. J., Weber, G. N., & Frazer S. J. (2010). State of Higher Education for LGBT People: Campus Pride 2010 National College Climate Survey. Charlotte: Campus Pride.

view executive summary

Rankin, S., & Beemyn, B. (2008). The lives of transgender people. New York, N.Y.: Columbia Press.

Rankin, S. (2007). Experiences of gay men in fraternities: From 1960 to 2007. Charlotte: NC: Lambda 10 Project.

Rankin, S. (2003). Campus climate for sexual minorities: A national perspective. New York: N.Y.: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.

Sanlo, R., Rankin, S., & Shoenberg, R. (2002). Our place on campus: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender services and programs in higher education. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Company.