Fall 2014 Scholarship Award Winner

Congratulations to 2014 Keith-Huckaba LGBTA Scholarship Winner!

Sumer Pervez

Major: International Political Economy

Sumer Pervez is an International Political Economy major at UT Dallas. She is an officer and founding member of the Rainbow Guard. She is passionate about making the university as inclusive of and safe for GSRM (Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities) students as possible. Some of her projects for the year included creating a database of local healthcare and housing resources for transgender people, making a presentation about gender and sexuality across different cultures, and a report covering the availability of resources for transgender students in Texas public schools. She is also an officer for the Pro-Choice Feminist Alliance. In her spare time, she writes poetry and volunteers with the Comet Cupboard. After her time at the University of Texas at Dallas, she hopes to attend law school and work as a lawyer for nonprofit organizations targeted at the GSRM community.

2013-2014 Scholarship Award Winners

Congratulations to all our winners of the Ericsson STEM, the Diversity Retention LGBTQA, and the Fidelity scholarship awards!

2013 Ericsson STEM Scholarship Award Winners

Peris June Nganga

Major: Child Development & Biology

Peris June Nganga is a junior majoring in Child Development and minoring in Biology at UT Dallas. She was born in Kenya, East Africa, and moved to America at the age of 10 years when her mother won the Greencard, a chance less likely than winning the lottery. Coming to America enabled Peris to pursue her dream of serving people and communities as a doctor, which would not have been possible in Kenya due to her family's financial background. Currently, Peris is participating in Dr. Owen's Dallas Preschool Readiness Project Lab as a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation scholar and preparing to apply for medical school. She is actively involved in various campus organizations such as Golden Key, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Molding Doctors, and Health Occupational Students of America (HOSA). Most recently, her HOSA Parliamentary Procedure team placed first at the state and national competition. After graduation from college, Peris intends on attending medical school to become a pediatrician.

Taylor Nguyen

Major: Biology & Psychology

Taylor Nguyen is a sophomore at UT Dallas. She was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, and in her spare time she enjoys playing tennis, baking, and spending time with family and friends. She is majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology, and hopes to go to medical school to pursue a career in Ophthalmology. In order to pursue her interest in science and its impact on the lives of others, she works as a research assistant in the D'Mello Molecular and Cell Biology lab located in the UT Dallas Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory. The concentration of her research is apoptosis, or programmed cell death, and its role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. Taylor is actively involved in Alpha Epsilon Delta, Pre-Optometry Professional Society and Filipino Student Association, and maintains a 4.0 grade point average. She is the recipient of the President's Achievement Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence and was awarded Ms. Kaibigan (Most Affable) through the Filipino Student Association. She is an Academic Excellence Scholar's freshman mentor, giving her the unique opportunity to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with someone who shares the same predilection for science.

Maria Ortiz

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Maria is one of four children and the second member of her immediate family to graduate with a Bachelor's degree. Her parents moved to the United States to provide a better future for their family. In gratitude, Maria has dedicated herself to her studies and to ensuring a successful future. She began as a Sociology major at a university far from home and quickly realized the major and distance were not ideal for her. She enrolled at UT Dallas and after much self-reflection, her love of problem-solving and desire to be challenged with a rigorous course load led her to pursue a major in mechanical engineering. Although she admits her path has not been easy, she is focused and determined. She has gained confidence to take on leadership roles in various student-led organizations, such as Alpha Phi Omega and the UT Dallas chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She has also led activities at Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, an event designed to inspire young girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers.

Nusha Laleh

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Nusha Laleh is in her third year of studying Mechanical Engineering. Ever since her freshman year at UTD, she has been an officer for Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Under her tenure, SWE has served as a support group for female engineers and brought Chrysler for the first time to UTD. Her passion to help others has earned her positions such as a Jonsson School Ambassador and as a mentor for the Young WISE Investigators program. Not only does she try to ignite love for STEM fields within her peers, but also as an after school science and robotics teacher for elementary students. In her spare time, she applies her engineering skills on the UTD BattleBot, the Blender. This year the combat robot won 5th place internationally. Currently, she serves as a Peer Advisor in the on-campus apartments.

2013 LGBTA Scholarship Award Winner

Justin Keeling

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Justin Keeling is a proud and vocal individual who actively challenges diversity issues and confronts them head-on. In high school, Justin experienced institutional oppression and challenged his school's policies and practices ultimately leaving the school a more accepting and aware environment. Upon arriving at UT Dallas, Justin received the Academic Excellence Scholarship. He is currently a sophomore at UTD serving as an employee of the Galerstein Women's Center as a SAFE ZONE Community Educator. He is also the newly elected Fundraising Chair of PRIDE at UTD. He is pursuing pre-law with a major in biomedical engineering and a minor in Spanish. After graduation, Justin plans on using the tools he acquired to pursue justice from a legal setting. He hopes to continue working alongside community members and leaders to help educate and eliminate prejudice.

2013 Fidelity Scholarship Award Winner

Marina Adel George

Major: Computer Science & Software Engineering

Marina is a sophomore double majoring in Computer Science and Software Engineering. She hopes to pursue a fast track in order to complete graduate studies in Computer Science at UT Dallas. Marina balances her school worth with involvement in organizations like Christians on Campus and the Society of Women Engineers. Having experienced challenges as a young woman in a male-dominated field, Marina has participated in the HBI mentoring program, which guides young girls through their transition from high school to college and encourages them to get into technology fields. Her goal is to continue influencing young girls to pursue careers in STEM-related fields, especially engineering.