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Announcing the 2022 Lavender Award winners!

The i3b community is proud to present the 2022 Lavender Award winners!

The recipient of the LGBTQIA+ Advocate of the Year Award is Simone "Scones" Loysen. The recipient of this award is someone who consistently shows a dedication to serving LGBTQIA+ people at UMBC or in the greater LGBTQIA+ community through their activism, research, or civic engagement. This person recognizes the challenges unique to many LGBTQIA+ people and seeks to contribute to LGBTQIA+ communities facing these challenges through their service. The person's passion for service is evident to all those who surround them.

Scones has been a leader within and beyond the LGBTQIA+ community. They are always doing the most to advocate for queer students on campus. They have researched, written for the retriever, led workshops, and participated in the student demonstration for ensuring that trans students feel safe on this campus. They have been an incredible trans activist on this campus.


The recipient of the Lavender Student Leader of the Year Award is Angelica Mansfield. The recipient of this award is an LGBTQIA+-identified student who has made a lasting contribution to the UMBC community either through a student organization, a campus student employment position, assistantship, or extracurricular activity. This may be in service to the LGBTQIA+ community, to another community, or cause. This student is influential, inclusive, and has a strong social justice lens that promotes equity and community building. The student nominated for this award embodies the idea that service is something that is ongoing and is reflective of the needs of the community they serve.

Angelica has been heavily involved in campus leadership and especially in respect to LGBTQIA+ awareness. She has been active and on the board for the LGBTQ Student Union. She has led workshops. She has been invested and dedicated to working with and meeting LGBTQ students on campus. This nomination was submitted by Maxine Elovitz.


The recipient of the LGBTQIA+ Scholar of the Year is Joshua Gray. The recipient of this award an LGBTQIA+-identified student that has shown strong academic performance during their student career at UMBC either through their coursework, special projects, and/or research. Their work may be LGBTQIA+-focused or not, and it stands out among our gifted and talented UMBC students. This student has demonstrated creativity, persistence, and/or grit despite any sociopolitical or identity-based barriers. A student nominated for this award may also have served as an academic mentor or role model to their peers.

Joshua has a distinguished academic record that speaks to his impassioned pursuit of academic excellence, research, and creative achievement. He is a Dance and Media and Communication Studies (MCS) double major with a minor in Public Administration. Throughout his academic journey here, he has maintained a 4.0 GPA and was recognized as a valedictorian finalist. His research and academic pursuits are based on ethnographic and community-based participatory methods. After his undergraduate studies, he hopes to get a Ph.D. in Communication Studies to continue researching the void in information sharing and storytelling within the most marginalized communities among us. This nomination was submitted by Abinwi Acho.


The recipient of the LGBTQIA+ Ally of the Year award is Jordan Packett. The recipient of this award is a person who may be LGBTQIA+-identifying or not, but has made a commitment to supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals on campus this year. This person has worked to support the LGBTQIA+ community on campus in addition to their other academic and co-curricular commitments. If LGBTQIA+ identifying, this person has made efforts to help other LGBTQIA+ identity groups in the community.

Jordan has been a vocal ally and advocate to the LGBTQIA+ community since they arrived on campus in 2019. They would often attend Women's Center events like Spectrum and they're now the Executive Director to the LGBTQ Student Union. Last year they were awarded the GWST department's Joan S. Korenman Outstanding Service Award. They ensure queer advocacy is incorporated in every aspect of their lives, from personal to professional to academic.


The recipient of the Lavender Legacy Award is Dr. Manil Suri. The recipient of this award is given to an LGBTQIA+-identified person who has had a timeless impact on the UMBC LGBTQIA+ community and has been with the UMBC community for at least three years. This person has gone above and beyond by demonstrating signs of leadership in the LGBTQIA+ community either by showing courage, compassion, or common courtesy. This award may go to any current or past staff, faculty, student, and/or alum who's priceless contribution to UMBC's LGBTQIA+ community echoes the celebration of diversity for which our institution is known.

Dr. Suri has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community for at least a decade. He often discusses the intersection of his identities as a queer, Indian, mathematician in his NY Times op-ed articles like "Why Is Science so Straight?" and his personal essay "How to be Gay and Indian". Outside of UMBC mathematics, he's known for writing novels set in India. His third novel, The City of Devi, was ranked number 12 in the 50 essential works of LGBT fiction list by Flavorwire. He is many student's first representation of a queer person of color in STEM and he doesn't shy away from sharing this aspect of his identity with his students.

Congratulations to all of the 2022 Lavender Award winners!

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations, and to those who were part of the nomination process.




Posted: May 27, 2022, 9:16 AM