MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

LGBT Student Alliance receives support from alumna

April 10, 2018
Tracey Barnett

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Student Alliance at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has received a generous gift from alumna Rina Bhagat, Ph.D. 

“It is important for me to give back to GSBS because I did so much growing there as a person,” said Bhagat.  “There were so many opportunities to grow in other ways beyond just the science—and I benefited immensely from both the science and non-scientific activities. I attribute my success today to the skills I learned at GSBS.”

The annual support of $3,000 will be used to create the GSBS Student Diversity Program Fund. This fund will support Graduate School student diversity programs as well as promotion of LGBT awareness and inclusion programs and services.

“It is particularly important to support this group because while there is ongoing struggle for equality, there should also be recognition for those who create visibility for all people in science,” said Bhagat. “What makes this group even more deserving is the goal to bring awareness of LGBT issues to the scientific community while remaining inclusive of everybody who wishes to participate and contribute to the goals of the organization.”

The LGBT Student Alliance was established in 2015 and its purpose is to serve the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students at the Graduate School, and foster community among LGBT and straight students. The alliance is one of the initiatives under the purview of the Graduate School’s Office of Diversity.

“We’re very thankful for Rina Bhagat’s gift to the LGBT Student Alliance, said Erin Atkinson, alliance president. “On behalf of the LGBT Student Alliance, it means a lot to us to gain this support that will help us make our school a more diverse and inclusive environment for all scientists, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. We’re very excited for the events and activities we will be able to host with this donation!”

Alumni interested in learning more about giving back to the Graduate School can contact the UTHealth Office of Development Senior Assistant Director, Susan Simon.

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