Barbara and Si Sokol Essay Scholarship - Previous Awardees

Spring 2019 Awardee - Serena Kaul

Image of Serena Kaul

Serena Kaul is a third-year undergraduate student from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Sexuality Studies and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Throughout college, she has developed a passion for working towards progress in women’s rights, particularly in regards to preventing violence against women. She will be applying to medical school and hopes to improve the field of Women’s Health. As a physician, her goal will be to promote intersectional advocacy in healthcare. 


Spring 2018 Awardee - Emma Thaci

Emma Thaci


Emma Thaci is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Sociology and minoring in Sexuality Studies. She wrote a compelling essay on how the Sexuality Studies Minor has helped her to gain a better understanding of human sexuality and fueled her desire to advocate for greater inclusivity of all LGBTQ+ people in the gay rights movement and greater sex positivity in society as a whole. Emma plans to use the $500 award to finish her bachelor's degree and pursue a Ph.D. after graduation.


Spring 2016 Awardee - Julian Barnett


Julian BarnettJulian Barnett graduated in spring 2016 with majors in Sexuality Studies and Psychology.






Spring 2015 Awardee - Eric Tretter

Photo of Eric TretterEric Tretter is a fourth-year undergraduate student from Akron, Ohio. He is majoring in Microbiology and minoring in Economics and Sexuality Studies. Eric works as a student researcher at the Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute at the Wexner Medical Center. After graduation Eric will attend The Ohio State University College of Medicine to pursue his dream of becoming a physician. He will utilize his undergraduate knowledge to make informed decisions regarding his patient’s physical and social needs while in the medical field.

Autumn 2014 Awardee - Megan Parks

Megan ParksMegan Parks is a sixth-year undergraduate from Columbus, Ohio. She is majoring in Sexuality Studies with a focus area in Health and Counseling. She is also a generator mechanic in the Ohio Army National Guard and a CrossFit coach at CrossFit Westerville. After graduation, she hopes to enter a Master's program in counseling to eventually become a sex therapist for those experiencing sexual difficulty. Also, she hopes to take a leading role to advocate for equal rights for the LGBTQIA community.



2013-2014 Awardees - Sam Dubin, Ryan Clift, and Allison Rigel


Picture of Sam Dubin

Sam Dubin is a third-year undergraduate from Cincinnati, Ohio. He is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Sexuality Studies. Sam works as a research assistant in the Neurological Surgery department at the Wexner Medical Center, and he enjoys volunteering at Nationwide Children's Hospital. After graduation Sam plans to attend medical school. As both a practicing physician and policy maker, Sam's goal is to address the unique healthcare needs of the LGBTQ community.



Picture of Ryan Clift

Ryan Clift is a third-year undergraduate dual majoring in Sexuality Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. He works for the Office of Student Life Multicultural Center as an undergraduate associate to Assistant Director Dr. Mitsu Narui on Social Justice Engagement. Ryan is a member of Pi Alpha Kappa where he leads academic outreach. He hopes to do work as an LGBT social historian researching the lives of LGBTQ people from Appalachia.



Picture of Alison Rigel


Allison Rigel is a fourth-year undergraduate dual majoring in Biochemistry and Sexuality Studies. Allison hopes to be admitted to a school of Osteopathic Medicine and receive a D.O. degree after graduating from Ohio State. She is currently a sexpert for the Wellness Center at Ohio State. Her goal is to utilize her experiences and education in sexuality studies to make positive improvements in the medical community.




2012 / 2013 Awardees - Melissa Stidams & Gustavo Carlos


Melissa Stidams

Melissa Stidams is a graduating senior dual majoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Sexuality Studies.  Melissa hopes to attain an MA and PhD in Women’s Studies, American Studies, or African American studies. Before attending OSU Melissa was in the United States Navy. Melissa intends to focus her graduate research on the lives of LGBTQ, women of color, and non-citizen soldiers in the U.S. military. Update: Melissa is now pursuing her master's in the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at OSU.



Gustavo Carlos

Gustavo Carlos is a third-year undergraduate student from El Paso, Texas majoring in Psychology and Sexuality Studies. He works for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a Student Assistant in the area of Community Outreach and Engagement. He is currently a Peer Mentor for the Office of Student Life's Multicultural Center's First Year LGBTQ First Year Cohort, and the Latino Leadership Development Institute. He hopes to use his talents, experiences, and studies to create positive change for LGBTQ students.



2011 / 2012 Awardee - Victoria Borsukevich

Victoria BorsukevichVictoria Borsukevich is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Human Development and Family Science and minoring in Sexuality Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She works for the OSU Department of Recreational Sports, doing art, sport, and learning programs for children of all ages as well as children and adults with disabilities. She also works for the OSU Couples and Family Therapy clinic. Update: Victoria is pursuing her MSW in Social Work and the GIS in Sexuality Studies at OSU.