Ally Awards recognize LGBT contributions


Recipients of the LGBT Resource Center Ally Awards in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center Wednesday afternoon.

By Lauren Dielman

Students, faculty and staff came together Wednesday to recognize important contributions made to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community as part of the Ally Awards ceremony.

The awards were hosted from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center Sky Room and were sponsored by NIU Prism, LGBT Studies, and the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (PCSOGI).

Charles Schumann, chair of PCSOGI, began the ceremony by saying the organization works to document instances of discrimination on campus for everyone.

“We want to ensure a welcoming LGBT community for students, faculty and staff,” Schumann said.

Molly Holmes, director of the LGBT Resource Center, took the stage next to announce the award recipients. Recipients must have done something positive for the LGBT community to win an award.

Ryan Mishler, junior community leadership and civic engagement major, received an Ally award for his assistance to students, especially those who are transgendered.

“I’ve done as much as I can for the transgendered students and it’s so nice to get acknowledged,” Mishler said.

Mishler is also a member of NIU Prism, a LGBT organization which hosts events and dances throughout the school year.

Lauren Mock, staff member in the Study Abroad office, said she felt being a recipient of an Ally award stood for something important.

“I think it’s really rewarding and humbling award to recognize a group of individuals who deserve support,” Mock said.

Holmes said the Ally Awards coincides with LGBTQ Awareness Month.

“LGBTQ Awareness Month gives people an opportunity to tell people what they might not know otherwise,” Holmes said.

Mishler said NIU Prism wanted to co-sponsor the program to show their support to the LGBT community.

“I think it’s just a way to give thanks to those who support the LGBT community,” Mishler said. “Allies can do a lot for LGBT people. We wanted to show them support and thank them for everything they’ve done.”

Holmes said allies can be of great significance.

“Visibility of allies can be the most important factor in one’s day,” Holmes said.

Editor’s note: Ally Award recipients Linze Griebenow and Chelsey Boutan work for the Northern Star