Congratulations Wo Chan – 2013 John Herring Scholarship Recipient

Wo ChanWo Chan ’13

Wo Chan is a very recent graduate of UVA who now lives in Brooklyn, New York, pursuing passions in poetry, drag, and LGBT community enrichment. While a student at UVA, Wo was involved in a number of student groups, including serving as vice-President of the Queer Student Union, directing Live Homosexual Acts with Queer and Allied Activism, and helping form the very (un)official drag queen sisterhood known as the Proud University Sisters for Service. Beyond the University, Wo made himself known in Charlottesville and the surrounding area as well, making a strong effort to network with other LGBT groups like Charlottesville Pride, PFLAG, and Madison Equality. After a member of the LGBT community was assaulted on Grounds last November, Wo and many other leaders of the queer community led a Rally Against Hate Crimes that united many segments of the queer community under the same Rotunda, both literally and figuratively. As a drag queen, Wo has found himself representing the community in another totally unexpected way, performing at the first Charlottesvile Pride Festival and many other benefit shows including acts for Charlottesville’s AIDS Services Group and Lynchburg’s Pride Night. Academically, Wo’s poetry is very queer-centric, often exploring themes of performitivity, closetedness, the personal, complex intersectionality of biculturalism, gayness, and gender expression. Wo intends to pursue an MFA in Poetry in the following year, and hopes to add to the grand historic queerness of the American poetic cannon.

The John Herring Scholarship for Social Awareness

The John Herring Scholarship for Social Awareness is awarded to a current undergraduate or graduate student of any year who demonstrates leadership, citizenship, and fellowship and has actively supported, through volunteerism and advocacy, the LGBT Resource Center at the University of Virginia. Rather than self-nomination, this recipient was selected through nominations submitted from peers, students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

The student is known for their exemplary acts of kindness toward people of diverse backgrounds and their participation in the education of others. This person welcomes and encourages a multitude of perspectives and is not a “one book person.”