Out in Business Scholarship profiles

Fall colors on Park Blocks

The Out in Business Scholarship honors an incoming graduate business student who has demonstrated vision and/or leadership in advancing the voices and needs of LGBTQ+ communities. We are thrilled to spotlight a few of the outstanding recent recipients.

Jorge Serna

“It would mean the world to me to live to see the day where LBGTQ+ individuals live in a society and participate in business settings that embrace us, celebrates our differences, and respects us all, as equals. My dream is to witness a greater representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in all industries. So that our youth can find role models to look up to, that they can find other individuals who they can identify with, and that they grow up truly believing, that there is a place for them in this world.” 

Chloe Jones

“Queer folks are often the most creative, driven people I know. as the economic landscape changes, businesses will need to center LGBTQ+ folks to stay relevant — our experiences, perspectives and gifts are indispensable. businesses will need more queer people with a seat “at the table.” Just imagine, businesses centering queer creativity!

The Out in Business Scholarship has meant access to an education, specifically pursuing my MBA. Fewer financial barriers to an education as a queer person is life changing. It means I can attend PSU and learn where my identity as a queer person and my identity as an entrepreneur intersect. This scholarship is also an important reminder that I don’t have to leave my queerness at the door to doing business.” 

Josh Swan

“As a first-generation student growing up in North Idaho, I didn’t see many out, queer role models. The business owners, the CEO’s, directors, managers that I saw were typically always straight white cis men with a wife and kids at home. It’s hard to imagine yourself stepping into that role when you don’t fit a mold that has been reinforced every day of your life. Through my college journey, I’ve learned that the only thing that separates me from being able to lead an organization is my willingness and dedication to learn. I began looking into an education at PSU to take me to that level, though the cost was daunting.

The Out in Business Scholarship has helped me achieve that goal by making the cost of my education more manageable. It has helped make the expense seem within my reach and has allowed me to focus more on my education than worrying about how I am going to pay for it! I look forward to helping clear the path for more Queer business leaders in our future and being there to support and standing up for kids who might not feel like they can lead an organization because they don’t fit a mold.”

The Out in Business Scholarship is one of the graduate business programs Redefine & Transform Scholarships, supporting leaders who drive positive change in business and our communities. Each Redefine & Transform scholarship is awarded to applicants based on their admissions files. To be considered for the Out in Business Scholarship, respond to the prompt (seen below) in your graduate business program application, and apply before the May 1: 

Describe how you have shown leadership or have a vision for supporting the LGBTQ community. Please describe your action or vision, for example:

  • Workplace: Advocating for a change in HR practices to better serve the needs of LGBTQ employees
  • Role Modeling: Serving as an LGBTQ role model in your school, organization or industry
  • Education: Advancing LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum and teaching practices
  • Vision: Working toward founding a business that centers LGBTQ customers
  • Activism: Raising awareness or funds for LGBTQ causes and organizations

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