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Congratulations to Spencer O’Hara, an academic achiever and LGBTQ2+ leader from a small school in Dutchess, Alberta, who is the successful recipient of the Lambda Tuition Award in STEM Studies for the University of Alberta!

Spencer uses he/him pronouns and identifies as a gay man. He earned excellent marks at the Duchess School (about 200km east of Calgary) and is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science at the University of Alberta, majoring in biology and specializing in immunization and virology. Later in his academic career, he hopes to either become a surgeon or earn a doctorate in a field related to microbiology.

At Duchess School, only one or two students are out and there is no Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA). As an activist, Spencer initiated and led Spirit Week, to familiarize his peers and the school staff with LGBTQ2+ issues and to emphasize the importance of ending homophobic and transphobic bullying. They wore purple shirts and made public, educational announcements at the start of the school day to raise awareness. He says, “I decided to do this because there is no representation for LGBTQ2+ people in my school, besides a single Pride flag in the atrium. This was a way to educate students on the LGBTQ2+ community and show LGBTQ2+ students that there are people who care about them.” Spencer, who describes himself as “very politically aware,” also organized a small walk-out to protest the current Alberta government’s rollback policy on GSAs in schools.

We at Lambda are very proud of our accomplished and courageous STEM award winner and wish Spencer the best in his future studies and community work!



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The board members of the Lambda Scholarship Foundation Canada mourns the loss of one of the foundation’s most committed board members and former president. Gary was a founder of Lambda and served most recently as our President until he retired from the Board of Directors in 2011. He passed on Sunday, August 10, 2019. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in Power, Gary.

Please see his obituary in the Ottawa Citizen.


Hi everyone!

We are excited to announce that we are offering the Lambda Tuition Award in STEM Studies at the University of Alberta for the 2019-2020 scholastic year!

The application deadline is August 15, 2019, for a stellar out LGBT student entering an undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program.

The application form is available for download here

If you know any exemplary students entering such a program in Alberta – please pass the message along!

Criteria for Lambda Tuition Award in STEM Studies

The Lambda Tuition Award in STEM Studies for undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta is valued at $2,500 annually for four years. It will be awarded on the basis of two areas of recognition and achievement. The first is your academic record and future ambitions in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) as a major course of study. The second is your meaningful contribution as an active, openly LGBT-identified person to the interests of your LGBT community, whether it is in your high school, place of worship, neighbourhood, city, province, or territory, or on Indigenous land.  You will have to follow the University of Alberta’s procedures and deadlines for registration if you are accepted as a student there, including the prior one-year residency requirement in most faculties. The generous donors of this award wish to remain anonymous but they want t help LGBT people succeed in STEM. We welcome your completed application with required documents by the deadline, August 30, 2019. Here are the 10 criteria:

  1. You must provide official proof of your status as a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

  2. You are openly “out” in the LGBT community as a person who is primarily lesbian, gay, or bisexual in orientation, or who is transgender; however, you may prefer to self-identify with other terms, e.g. two-spirit (Indigenous), queer, intersex, pansexual; or in a way that intersects with your racial or religious background, or with being differently abled.

  3. You must provide Lambda with a full transcript of your high school marks for the last two years of your enrollment.

  4. You must provide official proof of acceptance as a first year, full-time, undergraduate student, majoring in a STEM program at the University of Alberta.  

  5. Your must write your own, original, one-page, typed cover letter briefly describing your educational goals in STEM studies.

  6. You should be an active member of the LGBT community, making a meaningful contribution to it through your energy and commitment. You must write your own, original, typed, 500-word description of your recent involvement in the LGBT community and your motivations for it.

  7. You must provide a confidential letter of reference, with contact information, from an LGBT leader who knows you personally and recently, testifying to your contribution to the LGBT community.

  8. If you are the successful candidate for this award, Lambda Foundation will send the tuition payments to the registrar of the University of Alberta to be credited to your tuition account. You must agree, as part of your application package, to submit to Lambda Foundation official university documentation of your full-time, good academic standing in a STEM program, by September 1 each year in order to merit each annual installment of $2,500 towards your tuition costs. You may switch to another university after at least two completed terms at the University of Alberta and still receive the remaining installments of this tuition award, as long as you transfer to a full-time major in a STEM program and notify Lambda Foundation right away with proof of acceptance.

  9. Lambda Foundation will keep all applicants’ supporting documents confidential. However, you must sign a Lambda Foundation publicity release form as part of your application package. In this you agree to be publicly identified by your true name and recent, verified, personal photograph as an “out” member of the LGBT community, and to provide Lambda Foundation with a statement of your educational goals and a description of the contribution you have made to the LGBT community. Lambda Foundation will publicize this information only if you are the successful candidate for the Lambda Tuition Award in STEM Studies. The successful candidate may use a pseudonym, and/or disguise or withhold a personal photograph only for pressing reasons of safety and security. Lambda Foundation will judge each such case on its merits.

  10. The Lambda Foundation’s judging panel is comprised of several of its own volunteer directors, including current or retired university professors and former or current LGBT activists.  The Foundation may consult outside experts in STEM studies for this award. Lambda Foundation’s decisions on all aspects of this competition will be final. There will be no appeals. Neither Lambda Foundation nor the donors are financially responsible to any unsuccessful applicant on any grounds. Neither Lambda Foundation nor the donors are financially responsible to an award recipient who does not maintain the necessary academic requirement under university regulations to merit the subsequent annual tuition payments, or who fails to meet the other requirements for the award as listed in this document.


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Emma has just finished her second year at the University of Victoria in the Department of Writing. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with the goal of getting into a writers’ room and eventually becoming a showrunner. After all, a show can’t be diverse without diversity behind the camera. She wants to populate stories with queer characters that are nuanced and authentic. Emma also loves to write creative non-fiction and revel at all the world has.

When she’s not writing, Emma volunteers with a youth ambassador leadership program in her hometown as an events coordinator, mentor, and society member. She has worked for UVic’s Undergraduate Literary Journal, This Side of West, for the past two years as an intern and drama editor. She also writes articles for UVic’s chapter of HerCampus.

Emma would like to thank the Lambda Foundation for their extremely generous support. She will not waste the opportunities that this award has helped give her.


Congrats, Emma!!



Congratulations to Peter M. Flannery, the winner of the Lambda Foundation Scholarship in LGBT Studies at the University of Guelph!!

Peter is an emerging curator, writer, and art historian. He has recently completed his Master of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Guelph. Peter is energetic and passionate about contemporary visual culture and LGBTQ2S+ issues. He has previously worked at the Woodstock Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Guelph, Renann Isaacs Contemporary Art, as well as the School of Fine Art and Music and Archival & Special Collections at the University of Guelph. He is the 2018 recipient of the SLSA Edward Bruns Graduate Essay Prize.

Peter won this award for his thesis which examines the role of art and visual culture produced by Toronto-based artists from the 1970s to the present day, with a focus on the gay liberation movement and HIV/AIDS crisis. His thesis demonstrates the ways in which visual culture was critical in the formation of queer identities, community, and socio-political change in the face of oppression and the spread of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Peter argues for a return to the activist roots of queer visual culture to revitalize the fight for rights and representation for queer individuals and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Congrats again and great work!



Congratulations to Sylvia Massinon, last fall’s winner of the Les McAfee Memorial Award at the University of Manitoba !!

Sylvia is a queer settler in U of Manitoba’s Masters of Social Work based in Indigenous Knowledges program. Originally from rural MB, she now lives & works in Winnipeg. Her social work practice ranges from being a crisis worker to working in the school system, & she is currently works at Klinic Community Health as an educator and social worker. Supporting 2SLGBTQ+ people has long been an important value of Sylvia’s, & she is also involved with the Rainbow Resource Centre’s youth programs as a volunteer.

Her masters research explores how 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in Manitobia experience the child welfare system. The main research questions ask these youth about their experiences & how the system could change to better serve these youth. The research centres the voices of 2SLGBTQIA+ people ages 18-30, who have lived experience of being in care. As of April 2019, this masters research is ongoing.

Congrats again, Sylvia !


The Lambda Foundation is ready to receive applications for the Lambda Tuition Award in STEM Studies at the University of Alberta! The deadline is 15 August 2019.

This is annual tuition award for an openly LGBT person who has contributed to this community and has been accepted into their 1st year of undergraduate studies in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) at the University of Alberta.

The successful applicant will receive $2500 each year for four years of study, starting September 2019.

To submit your application, or for copies by email or any questions about this award, please email us at



The abstract for Cleo’s award-winning research project is:

“…analyzing the use of language in a sample of New Brunswick middle school sexuality education curricula and research articles (which were used to advise the construction of those curricula) to investigate how heterosexuality and cisgenderism are presented as the ‘normal’ human experience, otherwise known as heteronormativity. This leads to both the omission of Queer experiences and the representation of Queer people as ‘abnormal.’ This unequal representation is a passive form of discrimination and its implementation in public education is unethical. Queer sexuality education is taken for granted and LGBTQIA+ youth are denied learning about their community and themselves. [Cleo’s] research will question how heteronormativity is functioning or being contested in New Brunswick sexuality education documents, as well as suggest alternative research and education practices where these documents appear problematic.”

Sounds fascinating! Keep up the great work, Cleo! <3


(note: we have reached out to Cleo for a biography but have not heard back from them)