2014 SOGIE Scholarship Award Winners

The winners of the 2014 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Scholarship Award are David Pollio (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Christopher Rapisarda (Vincentian Institute for Social Action, St. John's University), Ian Fields Stewart (Illinois Wesleyan University), and Sarah R. Young (University of Alabama). Their award winning manuscript, "LGBTQ Organizing Beyond 'Low-Hanging Fruit': A Qualitative Examination of Safe Schools Coalitions in the South," was associated with a paper presentation on Southern Safe Schools Coalitions: A Community-Based Response to LGBTQ+ Youth Needs (APM Session 660). Three of the four award winners were present to receive their plaques at the LGBT Caucus/CSOGIE Reception on Friday, October 24, 2014.  

2014 SOGIE Winners picture

David Pollio, Ian Fields Stewart, and Sarah R. Young accept their award.
Biographical information about the 2014 SOGIE Scholarship Award winners:
 David Pollio
David Pollio PhotoDavid Pollio, PhD, is chair and professor of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Social Work. Dr. Pollio is a senior scientist for the Center for AIDS Research in the UAB School of Medicine. He also serves on the editorial boards for Research on Social Work Practice and Social Work with Groups. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Virginia, a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a doctorate in psychology and social work from the University of Michigan. Dr. Pollio's areas of interest and expertise include mental health and addiction services as well as homelessness, runaway and street youth, evidence-based practice, and group interventions. He has an extensive list of publications in peer-reviewed journals as well as numerous successfully funded grants and pilot projects. 
 Christopher Rapisarda
Christopher Rapisarda PhotoChristopher Rapisarda (he/him/his/they/them/their) is an administrator in the Vincentian Institute for Social Action at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. He works with the Advantage Academy Program, a unique opportunity for formerly homeless, foster care, or “at-risk” individuals to receive an Associate’s Degree at no personal cost. His research and work focuses on youth, social justice and community, diversity and social identity formation. 
 Ian Fields Stewart
Ian Fields Stewart PhotoIan Fields Stewart is a senior BFA Music Theatre student at Illinois Wesleyan University. Offstage, Ian’s education focuses on feminist, racial, and queer activism. Currently he works with the Birmingham AIDS Outreach assisting with daily operations, HIV testing, and programing for their new LGBTQ youth center. Post graduation, Ian hopes to go to New York to continue his work in the LGBTQ community and use theatre as a platform for social change by making sure all identities are put on the stage and screen.
 Sarah R. Young
Sarah R Young headshotSarah R. Young is a doctoral student in the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama. Her research interests include LGBTQ youth organizing, community organizations and the tactics they employ in climates hostile to their organizing issues, youth leadership development, and HIV/AIDS policy. Born and raised in a rural town in Upstate New York, Sarah fell in love with the Deep South and lived in Mississippi from 2008 to 2012 working as an organizer for queer youth and HIV+ communities. Her current advocacy work centers around making schools and communities more inclusive of LGBTQ youth in conservative and under-resourced areas. Sarah is a Point Foundation Scholar, one of sixteen LGBTQ graduate students of merit selected for the class of 2011. She was also selected as a White House Emerging LGBT Leader in 2012. Sarah received her BSW from Syracuse University (’04) and her MSW from the University of Michigan (’07). She is adjunct faculty at Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.