The 2016 Jeffrey L. Reider and Charles F. Otis Endowed Scholarship award recipient is Connor Roessler.
Connor is a graduate of the college with a bachelor’s of Environmental Science and a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality studies as well as an Echol’s scholar. He is an active member of the Peer Health Educators, Hoos Open to Preventing Eating Disorders and Feminism is for Everyone. He is also involved heavily in the LGBTQ community at the University serving both in the Queer Student Union as well as the LGBTQ Center. He has spent two years serving as the Queer Student Union’s vice president of education working to increase the collaboration and outreach to other minority groups and the Charlottesville community while creating safe and educational spaces to engage with the LGBTQ community. He has also spent two years serving as an intern for the LGBTQ Center working as the health and programming intern to create a queer health series, National Coming Out Day celebration, and new Pride Week events while expanding Safe Space trainings and the Love is Love campaigne.
Prior year recipients are listed here.
John A. Herring Scholarship for Social Awareness
The 2016 John A. Herring Scholarship for Social Awareness recipients are Khanh Tran (College ’17) and Thomas Pilnik (College of Arts & Sciences ’16).
Khanh Tran (College ’17)
Khanh Tran is a fourth year in the College studying Computer Science and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Originally pursuing a future in pharmacy, he quickly discovered that chemistry was not his forte and stepped away from that path. He now considers himself a Programmer and a Queer Rights Activist. He is currently the Vice President of Sigma Omicron Rho (UVa and the country’s only Queer and Allied Gender-Inclusive Fraternity), an active panel speaker on the LGBTQ Center’s Speakers Bureau, and a volunteer for the LGBTQ Center. He identifies as a Vietnamese-American, Transgender Male (he/him or they/them pronouns if you were wondering!) and came out during his second year. After coming out, he was determined to make UVa a safer space for gender non-conforming students. Post-graduation, Khanh hopes to do something that would allow him to combine his love for tech with his passion for activism. He wants to continue to help people and wants whatever he will be doing in the future to be meaningful and beneficial to society.
During the Fall of 2015, Khanh met with Dr. Christopher Holstege, Executive Direct of Student Health, to address issues faced by gender non-conforming students when they visit Student Health. Through my meeting, Student Health has undergone a reform of its training programs to make sure receptionists, nurses, and health care providers are sensitive and respectful to preferred name and pronouns. During last spring, him and his partner developed a mobile application version of the LGBTQ Center’s website in order for students to have more accessibility to resources such as an upcoming events feed and the gender-neutral bathroom map. The biggest feature of this app is to allow students to find the closest gender-neutral bathroom using their phones instead of having to pull out their laptops.
Since coming out as trans during second year, Khanh has had to navigate the process of transitioning here at UVa. He decided to document the entire process and is currently working on a resource guide to transitioning at UVa in the hopes that he can help out students through his experiences. The resource guide will include information on trans-friendly health care providers, resources that are available to students, the process of changing your name in UVa’s systems depending on if your name is legally changed or not, and the medical transitioning process through the Teen Health Center. He hopes to have this guide finished and released as a resource to students by the time he graduates in May.
Carrie Myatt (College ’17)
Carrie Myatt is a fourth year in the College studying Women, Gender, and Sexuality. The interdisciplinary nature of her course work combines her interests in feminist and queer theories with policy and organizing practices. Her extracurricular work has included involvement with various social justice initiatives, such as the Queer Student Union and Queer and Allied Activism.
Outside of the University, Carrie has spent her time involved with various non-profit organizations in Richmond, Virginia. During an academic leave of absence, she volunteered with the Fan Free Clinic assisting with managing records for HIV prevention efforts and with Opportunity, Alliance, Reentry tutoring formerly incarcerated community members in computer skills.
This past summer, she completed a Program internship with Equality Virginia, a statewide nonprofit LGBT rights, education, and advocacy organization. In this position, she worked on outreach for the Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau and the Equality Means Business Campaign. In addition to outreach, Carrie researched and wrote for various Equality Virginia publications about LGBT policy on state and national levels.
During her second year she completed a Health Education internship with the LGBTQ Center and will be returning as the Programs intern for the 2016-2017 academic year. In this position, she hopes to continue her work with the Safe Space Training program and in expanding the scope and depth of the LGBTQ Center’s programming.
When not working on social justice initiatives, Carrie spends time with her fraternity, Sigma Omicron Rho, and works as a cook in a local restaurant.