Lavender Celebration EST 2009

This annual event celebrates LGBTQ+ and Allied students having completed their Bachelors, Masters or Ph.D. A capstone experience like no other! This celebration marks the transition of our LGBTQ+ and Allied student scholars from the academic experience to the working world. Graduates that participate in our formal celebration are receiving their degree in the Spring, Summer or December of the same year and are encouraged to invite friends, allies and family to attend. 

During the event graduates receive a rainbow tassel, hear from LGBTQ+ and Allied Alumni, fellow graduates and are received by LGBTQ+ Faculty members and Allies in a celebration you are sure to remember! Reception then follows.

Register for the 2024 Lavender Celebration taking place on May 8th!
Lavender Celebration taking place on May 8th 2024, at 1pm at the Campus Center Ballroom

Lavender Awards 

Lavender Celebration is accompanied by awards celebrating Faculty, Staff, Students and Alum who have contributed greatly to the LGBTQ+ Community. Nominations open in March/April each year and will be made available online through My Involvement.

This event is brought to you by the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, The Gender & Sexuality Concerns Office within Student Association, The Division of Student Affairs with the support of the Office of Undergraduate Education and made possible through a generous grant from University Auxiliary Services.

The Nancy Belowich-Negron SAFE SPACE Award

Nancy Belowich-Negron was the Director of the Disability Resource Center at UAlbany for over 30 years. During that time she served as the lead trainer for NCBI and spear headed the development of Safe Space training in the Fall of 2008. Although Nancy retired in the Fall of 2013 her spirit and resolve continue to flow through the lives she touched in her time here at UAlbany.

This award is given to a member of the University at Albany Community whose dedication to deliberate dialogue around intersectional identities embodies Nancy’s spirit, and who has made substantial contributions in continuing to forge Brave Safe Spaces on campus either through their work with the Safe Space Program or other campus commitments.

OUT-Standing Faculty or Staff Award

This award recognizes a UAlbany faculty or staff member whose leadership promotes understanding and inspires others to improve the climate for the LGBTQ+ campus community.

Excellence in LGBTQ+ Scholarship/Creative Works

The Excellence in LGBTQ+ Scholarship and/or Creative Works Award is given to an LGBTQ+ faculty, staff or student whose work in research/publishing and/or creative work forges brave new paths and/or whose research/work furthers matters important to LGBTQ+ scholarship/representation.

The Harvey Milk Alumnus Award

Harvey Milk (‘51). After leaving the University at Albany, known then as the New York State College for Teachers in Albany, Harvey became a teacher in NYC and later moved to California where he became the first openly gay man elected to a public office.

This award is given to a University Alum who upon leaving the university has made substantial contributions to social justice issues in their work and/or community involvement.

Gender Warrior Award

The Gender Warrior Award is given to a faculty, staff, student or department that has made a substantial impact on issues of gender equity, who has challenged the barriers and constructs of gender and promoted social justice.

Departmental Inclusion Award

This award recognizes a UAlbany department who has made a significant, sustained contribution to furthering LGBTQ+ inclusion through their work or resources on campus or in the community.

Dreamer Achiever Award

This award is given to a department, faculty, staff, student or student group with a vision, who dares to dream and whose drive and passion toward that vision results in new resources and inspires others.

Volunteer Award

This award recognizes UAlbany students, faculty, or staff members who make outstanding contributions to LGBTQ+ resources on campus and/or broader communities without holding an elected office within an organization.

Unsung Hero Award

This award recognizes a UAlbany department, student, student group, faculty, or staff member who has made outstanding contributions to LGBTQ+ initiatives on campus and/or in the broader community. Over the past few years this university has seen a large increase in resources and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues. However we must always strive to recognize and remember the members of our campus community who have contributed to this success over the years but whom may not have been formally recognized.

Amazing Ally Award

An Ally is defined as someone who advocates, serves on committees, mentors and/or provides ally development for the benefit of the LGBTQ+ campus community. This award recognizes a UAlbany department, faculty, staff, student or student group who has provided support to and made advances on behalf of the LGBTQ+ and allied campus community.

Nancy Belowich-Negron Safe Space Award: Alex Morales, Class of 2019 

OUT-Standing Faculty Staff Award: Barbara Rio-Glick, MSW School of Social Welfare

Excellence in LGBTQ+ Scholarship: Darren Cosgrove, MSW School of Social Welfare

Excellence in LGBTQ+ Creative Works: Andi Lyons, Department of Music and Theater

Unsung Hero Award: Laura Evelyn, Class of 2019

Amazing Advocate Award: Shelby Mack, Class of 2019

Dreamer Achiever Award: Daniel Pinzon, Class of 2019

Gender Warrior Award: Elliott Garcia, Class of 2019

Volunteer Award: Michael Cardom Class of 2019 and Robert Cardom, PhD, Counseling & Psychological Services

Harvey Milk Alumnus Award: Gary Pavlic, Founder GALA 1971

Departmental Inclusion Award: Assessment and Planning, Student Affairs

 The Nancy Belowich-Negron Safe Space Award: Dr. Angelina Diaz-Myers, Counseling & Psychological Services

OUT-Standing Faculty Staff Award: Dr. Sarah Nolan, Director of Middle Earth

Excellence in LGBTQ+ Research: Dr. Trevor Hoppe, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Amazing Advocate Award: Mitchell Rybak and Hallie Landewhr, Class of 2018

Dreamer Achiever Award: Cavanaugh Quick, MSW, Class of 2018

Unsung Hero Award: Franchelis Calderon & Shaye Taylor, Class of 2018

Gender Warrior Award: Jerlisa Fontaine, Class of 2018, Student Association President

Volunteer Award: Scott Richman, Class of 2021

Harvey Milk Alumnus Award: Kristin McCallum, '13 Founder & CEO SafeWordSociety

Departmental Inclusion Award: Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence

The Nancy Belowich-Negron Safe Space Award: Naomi McPeters, Class of 2017

OUT- Standing Faculty/Staff Leadership Award: Dr. Vivien Ng Chair Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Volunteer Award: Jessica Ni & Mercedes Soriano, Class of 2018

Gender Warrior Award: Jude Washock, Class of 2017

Amazing Ally Award: Michael Watts, Class of 2017

Unsung Hero Award: The CHARGE Peer Education Program

The Dreamer Achieve Award: Justin McCandless, Class of 2017

The Harvey Milk Alumnus Award: Michael Boots, University Development

The Departmental Inclusion Award: Office of Communications and Marketing

The Nancy Belowich-Negron Safe Space Award – Dr. Benjamin Weaver, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs

OUT-Standing Faculty/Staff Award - Dr. Frank R. Dillan, Associate Professor, School of Education

Amazing Ally Award - Donna Crissafulli, Executive Director of the Interfaith Center

The Dreamer Achiever Award -  Melina Tole, Class of 2016 & Jon Gilroy Class of 2016

Departmental Inclusion Award - ESAC, LGBTQ Chair, EOP Student Administrative Council

Volunteer Award - Chloe Sumner, Class of 2017

Unsung Hero Award - Lisa Warner, Class of 2016

Gender Warrior Award - Chantelle Cleary J.D. , Title IX Coordinator

Harvey Milk Alumni Award -  Denise Norris

The Nancy Belowich-Negron Safe Space Award – Francis Ageyman, SA President

OUT-Standing Faculty/Staff Award ~Dr. Robert Miller, School of Social Welfare

Amazing Ally Award ~ Jeanette Alterriba, VP For Undergraduate Education

The Dreamer Achiever Award~ Deidre Dumpson, SA GSC

Departmental Inclusion Award~ College of Arts & Sciences

Volunteer Award ~ Kaitlin Apel, Class of 2015 GSRC Staff

Unsung Hero Award~ Manuella Torres Class of 2015

Gender Warrior Award~ Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program

Harvey Milk Alumni Award~ Phillip Burse


 The Nancy Belowich-Negron Safe Space Award –

OUT-Standing Faculty/Staff Award ~ Rabbi Nomi-Manon, Executive Director, University at Albany Hillel

Amazing Ally Award ~ Stanley De La Cruz, President-Elect of Fuerza Latina

The Dreamer Achiever Award~ Jenna Lazzaro & Ashley Milner founders of INTERSECTIONS

Departmental Diversity Award~ Student Involvement and Leadership
Volunteer Award ~ Brittany Gulotty, MA Class of 2014

Unsung Hero Award~ Carol Jewell, UUP: LGBTQ Chapter & Bekah Pierce, Junior GSRC Staff

Gender Warrior Award~ Sarah Gauthier, Founder of Trans*Action

Harvey Milk Alumni Award~ Gloria DeSole

 The Nancy Belowich-Negron Safe Space Award – Nancy Belowich-Negron, Director Disability Resource Center, NCBI trainer and Safe Space training founder

OUT-Standing Faculty/Staff Award - Dana Peterson, School of Criminal Justice
Amazing Ally Award - Alisha Hennet - Recreation & Wellness
The Dreamer Achiever Award - V
anessa Panfil , PhD Candidate in the School of Criminal Justice
Departmental Diversity Award - The Advisement Services Center
Volunteer Award - Samantha Arpino, Senior, (SA, ATV, GRL, GSRC, Safe Space)
Unsung Hero Award - Dept. Of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Gender Warrior Award - The Office of Facilities Management
Harvey Milk Alumni Award - Libby Post 

OUT-Standing Faculty/Staff Award ~ Sue Faermen, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Amazing Ally Award ~ College Democrats

The Dreamer Achiever Award~ Courtney D’Allaird, GA, OMSS
Departmental Diversity Award~ Office of
Study Abroad and International Student Services
Volunteer Award ~ Andrew Blackburn, Sophomore, Bio, GSRC
Unsung Hero Award~
Kirk Leszczynski, Res- Life, Assistant Director - Assignments
Gender Warrior Award~ (GOE) GLBT Organizing and Educating
Harvey Milk Alumni Award~ Norah Yates, Executive Director Capital District Pride Center

OUT-Standing Faculty/Staff Award ~ Livia DaSilva, Financial Aid
Amazing Ally Award ~
Middle Earth (Ashley Huie and Dr. Delores Cimini)
The Dreamer Achiever Award~ Lee Friedlander, Junior
Departmental Diversity Award~
Social Welfare (Arlene Lev and Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson)
Volunteer Award ~
Melissa Dymond
Unsung Hero Award~
Nicole Lamarre – PhD Candidate and Adjunct (Sociology & Womens Studies)
Gender Warrior Award~ None
Harvey Milk Alumni Award~
Joe Valentino, ‘87


OUT-Standing Faculty/Staff Award ~ Nancy Belowich Negron
Amazing Ally Award ~ Estella Rivera, Heidi Wright & Delores Cimini
The Dreamer Achiever Award~ Gamma Rho Lambda Inc
Departmental Diversity Award~
Office of Multicultural Student Success
Volunteer Award ~
Eric Keenaghan, Chair (English) LGBT Committee
Unsung Hero Award~ Steve Seidmen (Sociology) , Arlene Lev (Social Welfare)
Gender Warrior Award~ Residential Life (Jay Oddi and Holly Barker Flynn)
Harvey Milk Alumni Award~ Ron Simmons ’72 & ‘78

OUT-Standing Faculty/Staff Award ~ Christine Bouchard VP of Student Success
Amazing Ally Award ~ Sigma Iota Sigma, Multicultural Sorority Incorporated
The Dreamer Achiever Award~ Giovanni Ian Cox, Project Inspire
Departmental Diversity Award~ Career Services, LGBT Resource Website
Volunteer Award~ Zenia Sabani, NELGBTC
Unsung Hero Award~ Pride Alliance & Carol Stenger "The Sex Lady"
Gender Warrior Award~ Erin Conlon, Vagina Monologues
Harvey Milk Alumni Award~ Charles Lickel ' 71, VP Software IBM