Brian Gialketsis SERQueer Scholarship
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. This scholarship was renewed and increased to $10,000 in May 2023 through 2026. 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”.
$2,000 scholarships will be awarded 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
Past Brian Gialketsis SERQueer Scholarships: Year in Review
Applying to the Scholarship
Our Fall 2023 SERQueer scholarship will be one round this year. One Google Form Application is due November 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM PST. You can view the essay prompts below. The Brian Gialketsis SERQueer Scholarship Review Committee will review all applications and recipients will be notified by RRR Week.
- Registered UC Berkeley student (both undergraduate and graduate)
- Queer Identifying
- Passionate about Environmentalism (this does not have to be your field of study)
- Any student who meets these criteria is welcome to apply. This includes undocumented, formerly incarcerated, and reentry students, among others.
The SERQueer Scholarship Review Committee would like to reiterate that we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE the applicant to only share what they are comfortable with for the application review. In the spirit of this program, we ask that applicants utilize the questions as an opportunity to express their own experiences with joy and hope.
Please feel free to copy/paste previous works into the essay questions (if material is relevant to the question).
Please limit your responses to 2,500 characters (~500 words) per question.
Brian is remembered by his laughter, echoing through rooms and inviting others to join. Tell us about someone that invites laughter into your life.
What would a queer and/or environmentally just world look like for you? How does that vision feel?
“self care is an act of resilience. this is something i’ve learned and continue to learn the hard way in a myriad of settings and stories of my life. our identities matter, and our ability to cross cultural lines, particularly when it pushes us into uncomfortable circumstances, allows us to grow and thrive.” – Brian Gialketsis
How will this scholarship allow you to practice self-care that brings you joy and rest?
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.
Q: Are you offering other scholarships at this time?
A: For Fall 2023, SERC and TGIF will be offering two sister scholarships: (1) the Brian Gialketsis SERQueer Scholarship, and (2) the Environmentalists of Color Scholarship. You can apply to both, as well as re-use language across submissions.
Q: Who can I contact if I have any questions?