2014 Scholarship Recipients

  • Alejandra Silva Hernández
    Vancouver
    Alejandra is currently working in the Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology department at the Oregon Health and Science University as a cancer research assistant. Her focus is on the metastatic properties of breast cancer. She hopes to inspire fellow LGBTQ and immigrant youth to pursue STEM related fields despite personal and academic obstacles. She hopes to acquire a master's in clinical psychology to better serve her community as an activist and future health care professional.
  • Carmel Aronson
    Corvallis, OR
    A social worker, Carmel is passionately engaged in the addiction recovery community and is returning to school to advance her knowledge in the field. She aspires to eventually combine her passion for social justice, addiction recovery, and holistic healing to support members of the queer community in achieving their full potential. Carmel fervently believes that liberation movements are the most successful when they are based on the strongest force in the universe – love!
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    Heni Barnes
    Coupeville
    Heni is attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks to earn her Bachelor's degree in Geological Engineering. She plans to work for the private space industry or NASA as a Planetary Geologist or Asteroid Miner. Currently, she is Treasurer of the GSA at her college and stays involved with PFLAG. She hopes to raise awareness of the LGBT community in Fairbanks. Heni is excited to represent LGBT women of color in the engineering field.
  • Alik Brundrett
    Boulder, CO
    A web/graphic and user-experience design student at the Art Institute of Seattle, Alik has spent the last 8 years working in digital marketing, copywriting, and public relations. He frequently works with nonprofit and advocacy organizations, specifically those concerned with HIV/AIDS and transgender and women’s healthcare providers. He will continue using his skills in digital media, communications, and design to assist public outreach causes. In his spare time, Alik is an active triathlete, marathon runner, and long-distance cyclist, and runs for causes such as the AIDS Life/Cycle, Race for the Cure, and the Race to End Blindness.
  • Miki Cabell
    Hoquiam
    As woman of mixed heritage who walked the borderlands of two worlds, Margaret was seldom fully accepted by either. As a child, she was deeply conflicted as a person of two cultures, and judged deeply for her sexuality. A three-time GSBA scholar, Miki is completing her Master’s this year and will continue on to Whakatane Awanuiāranga, a Māori university in New Zealand, to earn a PhD in Indigenous Studies. She is deeply committed to being a voice, changing fear into promise and hope for her people in the future.
  • Audrey Chavarria Calderon
    Mexico City
    Born in Mexico, Audrey’s family moved to Alabama in search of a better life. While in Alabama, he became aware of his identity as a young gay Latino man. Faced with the double challenge of a rising wave of anti-immigrant laws and a deeply homophobic community, his family then relocated to Washington. Currently studying Computer Science at the University of Washington – Tacoma, Audrey is a two-time GSBA Scholar and is one of the leaders of El Batallon Unido at the Rainbow Center. One of his deepest desires is to change his community and help others around him so that they don’t have to face similar challenges by themselves.
  • Dedushko,-Maksym
    Maksym Dedushko
    Chernihiv, Ukraine
    Maksym came to the U.S. at the age of 16 as an exchange student. Fearing human rights abuse of LGBT community and mandatory military conscription in Ukraine, Maksym filed for and received asylum in the U.S. Recently, Maksym has become a naturalized U.S. citizen. He's currently pursuing a PhD in Biological and Inorganic Chemistry. His goal is to do fundamental research with applications to cancer, infections diseases like HIV, and sustainable industrial chemical production.
  • Dong Dinh
    Seattle
    A first-generation American and college student, Dong is studying Spanish and Communications at Western Washington University. His immigrant family continues to struggle to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads, but, despite these struggles, he was able to go to college and find himself. He works hard to support fellow students by providing peer-to-peer mentoring and advocating for social justice. After completing his Bachelor’s, Dong intends to earn a Master’s in Student Affairs Administration to create a safer and more inclusive environment for underrepresented, marginalized and first-generation college students.
     
  • Deanna East
    Lacey
    An activist, volunteer, educator, community organizer and mother of two, Deanna enjoys supporting people in creating lives they love. She has founded and run three independent programs for homeless and low-income students. She has co-founded and led several community organizations, including a Bisexual Women’s Support Group in Lacey for the last seven years. Her current challenge is creating the time and resources to complete her Bachelor’s at the Evergreen State College. This will be her first step toward becoming an administrator for an agency offering services to homeless or low income populations.
     
  • Melissa Ebben
    Appleton, WI
    While working as a Forensic Nurse Examiner, Melissa recently completed a BSN at the UW with a 3.97 GPA and was nominated for the Rising Star Nurse of the Year Award at Providence Regional Medical Center. Currently, she is a mentor at the University of Washington Q-Center and a committee member for the Rainbow Health Fair. She is pursuing a Nurse Practitioner degree with the goal of advancing healthcare equality for the LGBTQ community.
  • Helena Farrell
    Olympia
    Living in a conservative environment has been a challenge for Helena, but has taught her to be a stronger person. She works to provide a safe environment for mentally disabled adults and, through her writing, she finds it possible to foster a safe environment for youth belonging to sexual and gender minorities. She is moving across the country to Burlington, Vermont to study Professional Writing at Champlain College. Through her writing Helena hopes to raise issues of representation for both the LGBTQ and mentally disabled communities.
  • Miles French
    Seattle
    An openly gay triplet in a family of eight, Miles has been recognized as a leader among his peers through his work with the Congress of Racial Equality and his school’s GSA. He was the captain of the Garfield High School swim team and competed in the state finals. He will attend Lewis & Clark College to study pre-med and then continue on to graduate school to become a licensed naturopathic doctor with a dual degree in Ayurvedic medicine.
  • Katy Imbrone
    St. Paul, MN
    Katy is a 25-year old returning student and three-time GSBA scholar. She is pursuing a BA/BS in applied mathematics and education at the Evergreen State College. Active in her community, Katy serves as a shop steward for the ILWU Local 5 and is engaged in various community organizations. Passionate about education reform, Katy plans to teach mathematics at the middle and high school level to help deconstruct the systematic tracking out of students from mathematical and technical fields. Katy plans to pursue a Master’s in Teaching with certifications in secondary mathematics and humanities.
  • MJ Juhre
    Greenacres
    MJ grew up in a small, conservative town outside of Spokane. They graduated from the University of Washington in 2013 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Diversity. They founded an LGBTQ activist group, worked as a resident advisor and served with the queer mentor program. MJ now works as a behavioral specialist at Ryther, providing coaching and a safe, positive living space for children ages 6-14, many of whom are in the foster system and have experienced abuse and neglect. This year MJ will be starting their Master’s in Social Work.
  • Lane Kaiser
    Bremerton
    Raised in a small navy town, Lane graduated from Olympic College at age 18 and currently studies social work at Portland State University. He is a community educator and LGBT activist working on being a competent agent of change to benefit diverse communities. Growing up trans in a military town was dangerous and terrifying. Lane organized an all-inclusive prom for LGBTQ youth and their allies around the Olympic Peninsula. Lane says that if he can prevent one person from enduring the abuse he endured, then his work will have value.
          
  • Gavin Mast
    Olympia
    Throughout his life, Gavin has faced many challenges and hardships that have shaped him into the person he is today. All of the barriers in his way have sent him on a journey of self-discovery and exploration in finding himself, his passions, and the things that are important in life. With the power and potential to make a difference, he is embarking on a career path that will break down barriers of minority groups and improve equal access and the quality of life for people plagued by oppression and injustice.
  • Padilla,-Rafael
    Rafael Padilla
    Seattle
    Rafael is a University of Washington student pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nursing. After obtaining his credentials as a registered nurse he hopes to continue his education and become a Nurse Practitioner where hopes to manage his own clinic offering affordable and accessible quality care to disadvantaged and queer youth.
  • Darlene Palmer
    Spokane
    A first-generation college student and four-time GSBA Scholar, Darlene is entering her senior year at Washington State University. She is committed to bringing visibility to Spokane’s LGBTQ community. As a Hispanic lesbian, she is raising her daughter and stepdaughter to be proud, independent people who are true to themselves.
  • Pan,-Landyn
    Landyn Pan
    Bothell
    Landyn is attending Chapman University and pursuing a degree in Public Relations & Advertising. Landyn is a conceptual photographer and filmmaker, and the development director and graphic designer of Trans Student Educational Resources, an organization that fights for trans justice in education. After graduation he hopes to find a career that will allow him to create more LGBTQ stories in the media.
  • Mara Rae
    Tacoma
    Mara is attending the University of Washington Tacoma, and is also working directly through the university's Office for Equity and Diversity to ignite structural changes that center around issues of equity and accessibility, building upon almost a decade of ongoing service and involvement in her local community. Currently focused in the Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies undergraduate program, she is passionate about working
    toward transformative institutional and social change.
  • Kyle Rapiñan
    Shoreline
    Overcoming homophobic family members and a period of homelessness, Kyle has overcome his rough start to shine as a community leader. Among other accomplishments, he was a lead organizer of Queer Youth Space. As a mixed-race and queer individual, he is very passionate about racial, economic and immigrant justice. After four years as a GSBA scholar at the University of Washington, Kyle is now a third-year law student at Northeastern University Law School.

  • Julius Rodriguez
    Seattle
    A two-time GSBA scholar at the University of Washington, Julius will graduate next year and continue on to graduate school. He hopes to pursue UW’s Queer and Sexuality Studies certificate program and follow an activist path involving both teaching and academic writing. He has committed his education to studying systemic inequalities and solutions from marginalized points of view. As a queer trans first-generation immigrant, he is invested in building political and interpersonal connections between marginalized communities. Julius was named the New Century Scholar of Washington State by Phi Theta Kappa and has also received the David Kopay GLBT Scholarship and a Pride Foundation Scholarship.
  • Alberto Rodriguez-Escobedo
    Aguascalientes, Mexico
    Growing up, Alberto felt torn between his Hispanic heritage and American culture. In a delicate dance between these two worlds, he always felt like he lacked a vital piece of the puzzle, which just never seemed to click. The day he learned that he will never belong to one specific group allowed him to become one with himself. He realized that what he thought was a curse was a blessing, that he had the best of both worlds. Now he is pursuing a degree in Psychology to make sure that no one else feels hatred because of who they are.
                  
  • Cade Schmidt
    Ephrata
    When Cade was 15, he set his sights on a career in journalism. Now, after four years at Western Washington University, he has nearly completed his degree in Visual Journalism, with a second major in Studio Art. A three-time GSBA scholar, Cade currently works as the editor-in-chief of a school newspaper and has worked to establish ground rules for inclusive and respectful reporting on marginalized identities. He also worked to create a process that allows students and faculty to have their preferred name listed throughout the university system. After graduating, Cade will continue to be a champion for marginalized people and issue with a career in media and photojournalism.
  • Tyle
    A junior English major and Theatre minor at Whitman College, Tyle is an editor for several campus publications including Whitman College’s blue moon, quarterlife, and QUEERING. A visual artist, poet and playwright, Tyle crafts plays for Instant Play Festivals and one-act play competitions at Whitman, continuously building upon their directing, acting, design and gender illusion experience. Tyle assists with Feminists Advocating Change and Empowerment and their publication promoting awareness of sexual violence and gendered oppression and The Breaking Ground Monologues. Tyle also serves as an Artistic Chair for the GLBTQ Club and committee member for Whitman’s annual DragFest.
  • Cady Smith
    Eatonville
    In her final year at Pacific Lutheran University, three-time GSBA Scholar Cady says that her personal mission is to have her work give voice to those who have been silenced due to oppression. A small-town girl at heart, she is preparing to spend a semester abroad studying graphic design in Denmark. Cady has worked tirelessly to promote diversity and provide support for LGBTQ youth in rural communities like her hometown of Eatonville. She has big plans after graduating and aims to continue her work advocating for the LGBTQ community.
     
  • Tang,-Angela
    Angela Tang
    Seattle
    Angela is a student at Whitman College studying Economics. An advocate for equality for communities of color and LGBTQ communities, she hopes to instigate change through implementing social justice programming. Her long term goal is to achieve economic equity through public policy or leadership in corporate business.
  • Harley Tonelli
    Seattle
    Harley is a vocalist and guitarist currently studying Music Business & Management at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Harley works as a Peer Advisor for incoming students and a Student Government Representative, and is a Managing Member and DJ Trainer at the Berklee Radio Network. In the past, Harley served as a founding member of the gender and sexuality justice initiative We Need Queer Youth Space Seattle. Harley hopes to use their college education to further the visibility of LGBTQ+ artists in the music industry through a career as an artist manager.
     
  • Tucker,-Nyka
    Nyka Tucker
    Mt. Vernon
    Nyka graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in microbiology and global health in 2014. She currently works as a cancer biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center studying ovarian cancer. She will attend the University of Washington's Master of Public Health program this fall with a long-term goal of becoming a sexual health educator with a focus on STI/HIV prevention.
  • Mick Wiegenstein
    Hansville
    Mick always knew that he was different. In a conservative town, he was liberal. In a school where few people graduate, he aimed for Stanford. He kept up his GPA even as he looked over his shoulder, aware that at any moment he could be thrown into a garbage can or spat on for openly expressing that he was Mick Henry, instead of Mary Emma as his birth certificate proclaimed. Thanks to the support of his family, he has begun to thrive in his new life in the Bay Area, pursuing his degree and dreaming of a society where no LGBTQ youth need to worry about something as basic as their safety.
  • Antony Xczar
    Milwaukie, OR
    The first member of his family to go to college, Antony is committed to a lifetime of service, dedication to the poor and to the institutionally disadvantaged. He has experienced real life challenges that he has overcome to help others, as well as himself. Antony’s goal is to help those who are most vulnerable in society, such as those who have experienced trauma and the elderly.
  • Anthony Yun
    Bellevue
    A queer person of color, Anthony has often felt difficulty finding a position within his communities. A three-time GSBA scholar and junior at the UW Foster School of Business, Anthony is passionate about helping students reach their potential through professional development. On campus, Anthony enthusiastically gives tours, walking backward to help students move forward. He also serves with Out for Undergrad, connecting LGBTQ students across the country to supportive professional networks. He is the Future Business Leaders of America’s state champion in economics, management analysis and business decision making.  His goal is a career designing, planning and improving global supply chains capable of providing quality low-cost medicine to expand HIV/AIDS treatments.
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    Jake Funkhouser
    South Bend
    Jake attends Central Washington University and is double majoring in Primate Behavior and Psychology. Facing rejection after coming out, Jake worked hard to graduate high school as valedictorian and now keeps a near-perfect GPA throughout college. He continues to give back to the community, teaching youth the importance of being true to one's self. Jake plans to pursue graduate school and then work to make a difference in
    both the animal and human worlds.
  • Ash Peers
    Snohomish
    Ash is a Junior at Western Washington University and is pursuing a major in Psychology with a minor in Queer Studies. They will pursue graduate school after completing their undergrad. Ash strongly believes in the importance of community building. In accordance with this belief, they plan to use their degree to connect LGBTQ people with mental health resources and one another in the pursuit of growth and healing.
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    Rigoberto Garcia
    Valle de Banderas, Mexico
    Rigoberto is currently pursuing a degree in accounting at Seattle University and wishes to serve as a positive role model. He volunteers at the Rainbow Center in Tacoma, Washington where he founded El Batallon Unido, an educational LGBTQ Latino/a group that informs the LGBTQ Latino/a community about available resources. As a first-generation gay male student, Rigoberto Garcia's passion lies in advocating for the LGBTQ community hoping to empower them to reach their highest potential.
  • Campagna,-Krys
    Krys Campagna
    San Jose, CA
    Krys is attending Bastyr University and pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Culinary Arts. She is an advocate for homeless youth and LGBTQ rights and, in the future, Krys hopes to open her own non-profit organization geared toward helping homeless youth in the queer community. According to Krys, even helping one youth at a time can make all the difference in the world. 
  • Chantelle Korver
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Chantelle is working on a Masters degree in Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine at Bastyr University. They will follow this with a Doctorate of Naturopathic medicine, and eventually open an integrated clinic. They wish to create an open and welcoming environment, where people of any identity can seek healing without prejudice and without judgment. Chantelle is committed to ensuring medical access to homeless youth, forty percent of whom are LGBTQ.
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    Jazmine Perez
    Quincy
    Jazmine is studying Physiology and Gender, Women, Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. As the Program Coordinator for SARVA (Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists), she hopes to create a culture at UW that does not tolerate power based violence. Her goal is to become a Psychiatrist, focusing on sexual assault trauma and understands there are a disproportionate number of LGBTQ and people of color who experience this type of violence. Jazmine is the recipient of a Glenn Johnson and Michael Melancon Bright Horizon Scholarship.
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    Colby Rezayat
    Bainbridge Island
    Colby is seeking his Master’s in Social Work at the University of Washington. He has spent the last three years as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. He also works as a clinical intern with Compass Health in Mount Vernon. He hopes to combine his passions for mental health, the LGBTQ communities and anti-violence work.
  • Rivera,-Zeena
    Zeena Rivera
    Des Moines
    Zeena is attending Seattle University for Humanities for Leadership and Psychology. She is a research assistant at the UW Social Cognitive Development Lab conducting research on gender cognition in transgender children. Zeena is also the president of Seattle University Triangle Club and a leader with SU Campus Ministry's GASP which put on a queer Jesuit conference in April. Zeena wants to work towards her doctorate in psychology to do research involving traumatized populations.
  • Parisa Yekalamlari
    Gig Harbor
    Parisa is attending New York University and is pursing a major in politics with a minor in food studies. She is particularly interested in the affects of socio-economic status on food access, and hopes to work as a food justice activist in the future.
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    Ruben Zecena
    San Salvador, El Salvador
    After pursuing an undergraduate degree in English Education and Women's Studies at Washington State University, Ruben will enroll in a graduate program in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in hopes of becoming a professor. They have experience organizing social justice programs in multiple settings and is specifically interested in working with queer communities of color. Ruben has been an "undocuqueer" for most of their college career and hopes to open doors to future students.

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"The GSBA scholarship gave me the affirmation I needed to pursue my dreams.   There was always a strong sense of support from my friends, family and community.  I knew that one day I would be in a position to give back with the hope that I could help support new scholars in their journey."


–  Ryan Digges, former scholar and current GSBA Board member