Nic M. Weststrate
Assistant professor of human development and learning
In a period of unprecedented censorship and erasure of LGBTQ+ lives and experiences, how do LGBTQ+ youth access knowledge and wisdom necessary to survive and thrive in a marginalizing society?
Nic Weststrate is an assistant professor of human development and learning in the department of educational psychology and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Research on Health and Aging in the Institute for Health Research and Policy. He is a lifespan developmental psychologist studying positive aging and human development in the LGBTQ+ communities.
Weststrate studies narrative ecologies of development, with a specific focus on the potential for intergenerational storytelling to promote health and well-being among LGBTQ+ elders and youth, while also sustaining LGBTQ+ communities’ rich cultures and histories. His work imagines a model of community-based LGBTQ+ education with the intergenerational transmission of knowledge, wisdom and healing at its heart.
In partnership with the Senior Services Program at the Center on Halsted, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Chicago, Weststrate co-facilitates The LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue Project, funded by a grant from the Spencer Foundation. He is also a member of AIDS Foundation Chicago’s Pride Action Tank, which seeks to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ older adults through service, research, education, advocacy and policy change efforts.
Weststrate’s research has been featured in The New York Times and Psychology Today.
- LGBTQ+ people, communities and education
- Human development in cultural context
- Wisdom and growth
- Intergenerational relationships
- Cultural memory and storytelling
Areas of Expertise