Leadership Development and Funding

The Office of LGBT Life promotes the leadership development of students and supportive leadership funding. Three funds were set up by generous alumni and friends of Emory University and the Office of LGBT Life to support this aspect of the office's mission. The J. Michael Aycock Leadership Development Fund, the Dr. Daniel D. Adame Leadership Fund, the Emory OUTLaw Fund, and the GALA Leadership Award provide ongoing financial support for student leadership opportunities.

The Outstanding Student Leadership Award (formerly GALA Leadership Award) is funded by the Emory LGBT+ Alumni Endowment Fund. This leadership award* was first presented by Emory's LGBT+ Alumni in 2009. 

The purpose of the award is to reward and encourage leadership among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and allied undergraduate students at Emory. The award is given to an undergraduate student who demonstrates a positive impact on the campus environment for LGBTQ communities. Both experienced and emerging leaders are encouraged to apply.


To be eligible for this award, a student must be:

  • an Emory University undergraduate who will be enrolled for 2024-25 academic year
  • in good academic and conduct standing
  • take an active role in positively impacting the campus environment for LGBTQ communities. 

* The awardee will receive a $5,000 award applied to their academic-related expenses at Emory University for the 2024-2025 academic year. In addition, the awardee will receive a $1,000 merit award from the J. Michael Aycock Leadership Development Fund. If the award makes the student’s total disbursing financial aid higher than their bill, they will receive a refund for the excess funds.

Apply here by Feburary 20, 2024.


Outstanding Student Leadership Award (formerly GALA Leadership Award) History

The Emory LGBT+ Alumni group (formerly GALA) began a campaign to fund a scholarship soon after its founding in 2005. With a challenge gift from Randy New 76C 82L, many alumni contributed to this fund. Sharon Semmens 80C 80G led the fundraising efforts and the Outstanding Student Leadership (formerly GALA Leadership) Award fund was endowed in 2010. Donors who contributed prior to the 2009 Pride Awards are part of the GALA Leadership Award Founders Circle.


Past Recipients

2023 - 2024 Recipient: Advik Bharadwaj 25C

2022 - 2023 Recipient: Isabella Montealegre 23B

2021 - 2022 Recipient: Paul Cruz Jr 24C

2020 - 2021 Recipient: Latreese Lovence 21C

2019 - 2020 Recipient: Ashley Rivas-Triana 20C

2018 – 2019 Recipient:
 Paula Quezada 19C

2017-2018 Recipient: Victoria Alarcon 19C 

2016-17 Recipients: Gaby Arifin, 17C

Gaby was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and moved to Los Angeles, Calif., when she was three. She is a junior studying Psychology and Sociology. Gaby served as Oxford Pride president her sophomore year at Oxford College of Emory University. Currently, she is a Queer and Asian Discussion facilitator and liaison for Art Works, a visual arts program implemented in Atlanta’s LGBT homeless youth center and Lost-n-Found, that is designed to tackle environmental health disparities. She still keeps in contact with the LGBT community at her high school. Gaby is also a part of Emory’s Catholic Student Union. In the future, she hopes to help bridge the gap between Oxford College and Emory College and support the LGBT international student population at Emory College. Gaby served as Emory Pride’s 2016-2017 external vice president. In her free time, she enjoys eating fried chicken, spending quality time with positive people, and going on nature walks.

Kayley Scruggs, 17C

Kayley is a nursing student from Jackson, Miss., who hopes to continue her studies to become a nurse-midwife. During her time at Emory, she has been involved in organizations such as Emory Pride, Emory Students for Bernie Sanders, and Feminists in Action. She is also assistant to the director of the Office of LGBT Life. She is a proud southern, bisexual feminist whose biggest passion is reproductive justice. She is happiest when she is supporting other women, whether it be at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi or over coffee with another student. In her (very rare) spare time, she enjoys basking in the sunshine and listening to spoken word.

2015-16 Recipient: Nowmee Shehab, 16C

Nowmee is a senior in the college studying Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. She is from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and moved to the U.S. when she was 16. On campus, Nowmee has been involved in Emory Pride, the Office of LGBT Life and the Respect Program and Freedom at Emory, a coalition advocating for educational rights of undocumented youth. She is interested in the intersections of feminist and queer activism at Emory, Atlanta and beyond. She is a coffee enthusiast, loves spoken word poetry, and writing for the Emory Wheel, the student-run newspaper.

2014-15 Recipient: Cameron Coppala, 16C

Born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., Cameron is a senior in the college studying Linguistics and Psychology with particular interests in queer and trans linguistics.  As the 2014 GALA Leadership Award winner, Cameron spent a recent summer working as camp counselor at Camp Aranu'tiq, a camp in California for transgender children.  He was also elected as vice president of Internal Relations for Emory Pride for the 2014-2015 academic year and president for the 2015-2016 academic year, and facilitated an Office of LGBT Life’s Queer Discussion Group.

2013-14 Recipient: Kolia Kroeger, 14C 

Kolia, born and raised in rural Texas, moved to Georgia in 2011 to attend Emory. They used the community at Emory to explore and embrace their queer identities. Since coming out as genderqueer, Kolia became involved with various groups that question the social construction of a gender/sex binary. They are currently involved in various groups on campus, including AHANA Theater, Emory Pride, Slavic Club, and Anime Club. As vice president of Emory Pride, Kolia strives to create a safe and open environment for students to explore their identities. They are pursuing a double major in Russian language, literature, and culture and history.

2012-13 Recipient: Dohyun Ahn, 14C

Dohyun is a women's, gender, and sexualities major in the college and the co-president of Emory Pride, the student organization for LGBTQ people and allies. He immigrated from Korea at a young age and has lived most of his life in Atlanta. In high school, he founded a Gay-Straight Alliance. During his tenure as GSA president, he helped create a coalition of GSA in the metro Atlanta area. Thanks to the Office of LGBT Life, Dohyun became involved in LGBTQ activism and leadership early. He has served as the executive secretary for the former President's Commission for Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Queer Equality; as well as the LGBT liaison for the SGA. During his sophomore year, he founded Queer and Asian, a confidential group for queer Asian students at Emory. He has been recognized by the Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association, Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, and Office of LGBT Life for his work and dedication to Emory's LGBTQ community and beyond. Read more about Dohyun receiving the GALA Leadership Award.

2011-12 Recipient: Conrad Honicker, 13C

From starting the first Gay-Straight Alliance in Knox County, to staging demonstrations, holding rallies, and meeting the president, Conrad Honicker has been there! With his roots in the heart of east Tennessee, Conrad carries principles of nonviolence and direct action learned from the Highlander Center. At Emory, Conrad is pursuing a double major in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Environmental Studies. He is co-president of Feminists in Action, works at the Center for Women, and is involved with Emory Pride and Issues Troupe.

2010-11 Recipient: Bassel Rabah, 11C

Bassel was a transfer student who took Emory by storm. He was very active in Emory Pride and involved with the Office of LGBT Life. 

2009-10 Recipient: Olivia Wise, 10C

Olivia was the co-president of Emory Pride for two years and very active with the Office of LGBT Life and the Center for Women. Read more about Olivia on the Emory Communications webpage.

Purpose of the Fund: This fund supports leadership opportunities and increases the leadership potential for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students. Leadership opportunities can include, but are not limited to, attendance/participation in: LGBT leadership retreats; LGBT leadership programs; national, regional or state LGBT conferences; and LGBT networking events.

Apply for Funding: Requests for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis. Applicants must submit a letter of intent (single page, maximum) to the director of the Office of LGBT Life. Click here for the application materials.

About Michael Aycock: Michael Aycock, 66Ox 69C 82G, is an Emory alumnus and emeritus associate dean of the School of Medicine. He has served on many university and community boards and committees including The Emory Vaccine Center Advisory Board, Emory Office of LGBT Life Advisory Committee, Atlanta Executive Network, Atlanta History Center Gay & Lesbian Advisory Committee and the board of directors of Helping Hands of Atlanta. He is a member of the planning committee of the Emory Gay & Lesbian Alumni Association. Aycock and his partner, Barry Baker, 80MR 09B, reside in Atlanta.

The J. Michael Aycock Leadership Development Fund was endowed by an Emory alumnus, John N. Lilly 74C, to demonstrate his appreciation for his mentor, Michael Aycock. After graduating from Emory, Mr. Lilly received his MBA from Harvard and is the president of John Lilly Strategic Insights, LLC. His firm provides advisory services primarily to private equity funds and investment banks. He was an executive with Procter & Gamble where he ultimately had managerial responsibility for P&G’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa Division. Later, he joined The Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis, first as president of Pillsbury North America, and then as CEO for The Pillsbury Company worldwide. Mr. Lilly is a trustee of the National Public Radio Foundation.

Purpose of the Fund: Provides stipends to support leadership opportunities for two LGBT students or allies each year. In keeping with the values of the fund's namesake, recipients will pursue opportunities related to physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, or environmental health.

Apply for Funding: Requests for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis. Click here for the application materials.

About Dr. Daniel D. Adame: Daniel D. Adame was an associate professor of Health Education and chair of the Health, Physical Education, and Dance Department. He developed Emory's P.E. 101 course taken by thousands of Emory students over his 26-year tenure on campus. A post-doctoral Lilly Teaching Fellow, he was awarded the Emory Williams Undergraduate Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in teaching in 1994. Adame was the founding member and former president of the Georgia Federation for Professional Health Educators. A member of the board of reviewers for the American Journal of Health Behavior, Adame is the author of numerous articles centered on his primary program of research that investigates physical fitness, body image, locus of control, and depression in college students.

The Dr. Daniel D. Adame Leadership Fund was developed by one of Dr. Adame's former students, Malcolm Bruni, 92C. Bruni attributes Adame and his P.E. 101 course with saving his life, stating that, "Dr. Adame created open dialogue in the class about sensitive issues such as sexual health and taught students how to protect themselves from HIV and other pathogens." Because of the education and mentorship he received from Adame, Bruni created the Dr. Daniel D. Adame leadership fund to honor Adame’s legacy, support Emory’s commitment to maintaining a diverse community, and provide development opportunities for outstanding LGBT students and allies.

Emory OUTLaw is Emory University School of Law’s LGBTQ and Allies organization. It is committed to fostering a strong sense of community at Emory Law and advocating for LGBTQ issues both on and off campus. The Emory OUTLaw Fund provides funding to maximize professional development for students in the Emory University School of Law as well as providing educational opportunities for the entire Emory community related to sexuality and gender issues in the law. The fund has two primary purposes:

  1. Provide funding for students in the Emory University School of Law to attend the National LGBT Bar Association’s Annual Lavender Law Conference. Lavender Law is a national career fair and conference that provides an opportunity for LGBTQ practitioners and law students to come together to discuss current issues in the law relevant to the LGBTQ community and to establish professional relationships for employment opportunities.
  2. Provide Emory OUTLaw with funds to educate and engage the Emory community around legal issues related to sexuality and gender.

The OUTLaw Fund was established in 2014 by students in the Office of LGBT Life.

Make a donation to the OUTLaw Fund today!

Other scholarship and financial aid opportunities can be found at the following sites.