About the Scholarship
In April 2020, the TGIF Committee unanimously voted to establish a $5,000 recurring scholarship for the next three years in honor of Brian and his many contributions to environmental sustainability on the UC Berkeley campus: The Brian Gialketsis SERQueer Scholarship. The name SERQueer comes from the group that Brian and other SERC alumni created in 2018, a group they described as “a community space for queer students working on environmental sustainability & justice”.
$1,000 scholarships will be rewarded to five students selected by the SERQueer Scholarship Review Committee.
- Honor the life of Brian Gialketsis and his commitment to building radically inclusive social and environmental justice spaces on campus
- Financially support queer-identifying students working in and passionate about the environmental field at UC Berkeley
- Re-envision what a community scholarship can look like by eliminating barriers to entry and focusing on healing, joy, and growth rather than traumas
Applying to the Scholarship
There will be two rounds of submissions in the scholarship application process:
The first round is a Google Form Application due November 2nd, 2020 at 5pm. You can access it here, and view the two prompts for this round below.
The Committee will then review these google form submissions and invite a select number of applicants to the second round of submissions by email. Invitations for the second round will be sent out by mid-November.
- Registered UC Berkeley student (both undergraduate and graduate)
- Queer Identifying
- Passionate about Environmentalism (this does not have to be your field of study)
First Round Prompts
Please tell us about your environmental journey (where you’ve been and where you hope to go).
(250-500 Words recommended)
Brian once said, “Our identities matter, and our ability to cross cultural lines, particularly when it pushes us into uncomfortable circumstances, allows us to grow and thrive”. Please reflect on a time your identit[ies] has been a source of joy for you.
(250-500 Words recommended)
Please Note: Neither of these prompts ask you to recall or recount any traumatic experiences you may have related to your identities. Rather, we ask you to celebrate your identities, however you see fit.
Second Round Prompt
The invitation-only second round is a free-form submission to the prompt:
In his 2016 paper, Cyborgs and Socialist Feminism in the Environmental Justice Movement, Brian writes, “I call for a cyborg heteroglossia* in environmental justice:…”. What does a cyborg heteroglossia in environmental justice mean to you?
Note*: Dictionary.com’s definition of heteroglossia as: “the presence of two or more voices or expressed viewpoints in a text or other artistic work.” Brian uses the cyborg as a metaphor for one who transcends traditional boundaries of identity, as a new form of life who blurs these borders.
The second round of submissions are due December 4th, 2020 at 5pm. We encourage any and all forms of media as submissions, including art, poetry, videos, and essays, and will accept previous work from other classes and/or scholarships as submissions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can we use old pieces of work to answer prompts, such as an essay I wrote for another scholarship or class?
A: Yes! Previous work used for other scholarships, other classes, or anywhere else will be accepted.
Q: Can I still apply if I am not majoring in an environmental field?
A: Yes! We encourage anyone who is passionate about environmentalism to apply. We recommend checking out SERC if you’re interested in the eco-community at UC Berkeley 😉
Q: If I do not feel comfortable sharing about my identity, can I still apply?
A: Yes! These questions are not meant to make you feel uncomfortable; we do not want you to share anything you do not want to share. You are not required or expected to lay out traumas, unless you feel it is important and you want to share those experiences. Please answer the questions in a way that makes you most comfortable and happiest. We want you to have fun with this! The questions are meant to be broad so applicants can have the freedom to interpret and answer as they choose.
Q: Who sits on the Scholarship Review Committee?
A: The Scholarship Review Committee is comprised of friends, family and colleagues of Brian, and other representatives who are queer identifying and/or familiar with environmental issues and initiatives. Please come back soon for a full list on who sits on the SERQueer Scholarship Review Committee.
Q: How will the scholarship be administered?
A: The TGIF Team will be working with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to award the scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded in conjunction with your financial aid package. Please contact us if you have any questions!
Q: Who can I contact if I have any questions?