2016 QOC Scholarship Recipients

Below are some of the recipients of the 2016 QOC Scholarship.


Elijah Punzal

A current undergraduate student at the University of California at Irvine, Elijah Punzal has thrown himself at nearly everything that piques his interest. As an Honors Student pursuing a double major in Drama and Education Sciences as well as minor in Urban Studies, he navigates through the weight of his academia with vigor, passion, and perhaps a little too much sleep deprivation. Elijah works at UCI's LGBT Resource Center as a professional volunteer, group facilitator, community organizer, and panelist. He is also a recognized Queer Foundation Scholar, a member of APIENC and NQAPIA's National Youth Working Committee, and a performer of the comedic, dramatic, and sometimes experimental arts. As queer person of color, he aims to incorporate intersectional activism in the spaces of which he operates, and he hopes to broaden the "theatre of empathy" to create a ripple of change.

Elijah thanks the Queens of the Castro for this recognition and the generous scholarship; the award covered what he could for the rather hefty burden of college expenses. Understanding the implications of receiving this honor, the funds have allowed him to enrich his college experience by alleviating some financial stress, thus leaving room to pursue his passions and to devote himself to his community.

11_9 Headshot.jpg


Ryan Waelde is an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama double majoring in Accounting and Management Information Systems. He is involved in the Honors College and serves as an ambassador for the college, interacting with many prospective students. He is also involved with Spectrum, a resource group for LGBT students on campus. Next year he will be serving as Director of Equity and Inclusion in the Office of Student Involvement to further promote diversity and LGBT causes throughout the university. The QOC Scholarship allowed me to alleviate the many expenses of going to school out of state and focus on academia and social change at the university. Receiving this scholarship further motivated my success and activism and truly was such an amazing honor.