LGBTQIA+ and the Veteran Identity

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Dr. Benjamin Bowman takes the oath before his re-enlistment in the U.S. Army.

Vickie R. Sides is the Director for Education and Outreach in the Equal Opportunity Programs Office at the University of Chicago.

Vickie has twenty-plus years of experience leading efforts to address power-based harm and inequity.  She uses education to advance an understanding of the connections between inequality and violence as a central tenet of her work.

Vickie has served in several key roles at U Chicago including as Director of Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) and most recently as Associate Director of Prevention Initiatives and Programming in the Office for Sexual Misconduct, Prevention and Support and Assistant Dean of Students.

Additionally, Vickie is a key member of the Student Emergency Response Systems team, serving as a long-time Sexual Assault Dean on Call and Bias Education and Support Team member.

Vickie holds a master’s degree in Education and Human Development from DePaul University.

She lives in the Chicagoland area with her Partner of 22 years.

Dr. Benjamin Bowman served in the Army for 9 years initially working three stories under a pineapple field as a Chinese and French cryptolinguist. When not deep underground, he studied International Relations with a focus on East Asian Studies at Hawaii Pacific University. After three years, Ben moved to West Africa and worked on security and humanitarian assistance at the U.S. Embassy in Mali. While living in Bamako, Ben also worked with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to expand HIV testing and treatment on Malian military bases. In 2009, Ben achieved his dream of becoming a diplomat and became a Public Diplomacy Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Szechuan, China. While in Chengdu, Ben worked with the Chinese NGO Aibai to destigmatize HIV infection in Southwest China and advocate for progressive government policy.

After a family tragedy, Ben decided to move closer to home. While working at a new intelligence job, he volunteered as an EMT in Prince Georges County outside Washington, DC, and as an ECT escort at Sibley Memorial in Georgetown. In those experiences, he realized how much he appreciated the privilege, working directly to improve the lives of patients. 

Dr. Bowman linked from a post-bac pre-medical program at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, to the University of Chicago because of its dedication to its diverse patient population and the unique opportunities to help address health disparities in the local community and abroad. As part of UofC’s Global Health Track and in partnership with several Greek physicians and NGOs, he worked on research exploring the HIV incidence disparity of Athenian MSM. Ben's professional interests include Global Health FOAMed, Ultrasound, Space Medicine, and Social Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Bowman currently works as a resident at the University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital and lives on the south side of Chicago with his husband, who works at a health venture firm, and their dog, Osiris, who once had 70,000 Weibo followers. Outside of medicine you can find Dr. Bowman hosting technicolor bonfires at Promontory Point, swimming, traveling to ancient ruins, lifting weights, watching foreign films, at the beach, and mentoring disproportionately impacted youth in the city of Chicago.