First in the nation Scholarships for LGBT Students who are enrolled in STEM programs


Pasadena, CA August 2011

Groundbreaking scholarships that were established this past March by Battelle, the largest research and development company in the United States, and National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, (NOGLSTP) were awarded today.

With lead funding support from Battelle, the scholarships were established following NOGLSTP’s inaugural Out to Innovate Career Summit, held last year, according to Rochelle Diamond, chair of NOGLSTP.

“The new scholarships are for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics programs who are either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or an active ally of the LGBT community”, stated Diamond. “These scholarships are designed to promote academic excellence and increased visibility of talented LGBT students in STEM career paths. We had a stellar field of 31 applicants for the first year, each one with high academic excellence, community involvement and a concentration on STEM education. It made the awards decision very difficult”, Diamond said.

The 2011 Battelle/NOGSLTP Out to Innovate scholarships are awarded to Michael Brandon Waak and Tonia Poteat.

Michael Waak is a senior at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point majoring in Water Resources Management with a minor in Chemistry. Mr. Waak has received numerous academic honors and leadership excellence awards. He is currently president of the UWSP Gender and Sexuality Alliance as well as the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society on campus and was an Eagle Scout. Mr. Waak is an undergraduate peer tutor, and also facilitates Safe Zone training on campus. He is only one of two students conducting independent research on campus. Mr.Waak accomplishes all this while working two jobs and being an advocate for LGBT rights. He intends to pursue a master’s degree in Water Resource Management upon graduation.

The Battelle/NOGSLTP Out to Innovate Graduate Scholarship recipient, Tonia Poteat, is a Ph.D. candidate in International Health at The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore Maryland. Ms. Poteat is also a practicing Physician’s Assistant in LGBT health care at Chase Brexton Health Services, Baltimore and her doctoral research is focused on access to health care services and HIV risk among transgender adults in the US and Senegal. She is the recipient of numerous accolades for her research and community involvement.

Diamond credits the scholarships for LGBT students in STEM fields to the commitment and generosity of Battelle. “We applaud their leadership in making the Battelle/NOGLSTP Out to Innovate Scholarships possible”, Diamond says. Diamond states that Battelle recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in advancing career excellence and in advancing scientific discovery and application.

As part of their $5,000 scholarship, NOGLSTP will offer each applicant a complimentary student membership to NOGLSTP and a complimentary registration to NOGLSTP’s “Out to Innovate” Summit to be held at Ohio State University in October, 2012.

About Battelle

As the world’s largest, independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses: Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.5 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories which Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom.

Battelle also is one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or delaneyk-at-battelle.org, or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or masseytr-at-battelle.org.


NOGLSTP was established in 1980, incorporated in the State of California in 1991, and was granted IRS 501 (c) 3 non-profit status in 1992. NOGLSTP’s mission is to educate the scientific and general communities about the presence and accomplishments of LGBT individuals in STEM professions. NOGLSTP presents educational symposia and workshops nationwide. NOGLSTP fosters dialog with other professional societies, academia, and industry to facilitate diversity and inclusion in the workplace. NOGLSTP is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a participating professional society member of MentorNet®, a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association, a member of the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute Presidential Advisory Project’s Coalition and a founding member of the E-Week Diversity Council.

For more information, visit the website at www.noglstp.org or contact: Rochelle Diamond, Chair, at chair-at-noglstp.org, or Amy A. Ross, Ph.D,.Program Coordinator. at rossa-at-caltech.edu.