Penn State Law student wins CLGBTQE Student Outstanding Service Award

April 28, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity (CLGBTQE) has selected Penn State Law second-year student Brett Atanasio as the 2016 recipient of the Student Outstanding Service Award. Atanasio and the rest of the 2016 honorees received their awards at the CLGBTQE’s 25th anniversary gala at The Nittany Lion Inn on April 21.                                    

Atanasio was nominated for his leadership as president of OutLaw, Penn State Law’s student organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and allies.

“Under Brett's leadership, OutLaw has flourished this year. I have both participated in and attended events that he organized, and been thrilled to see OutLaw engaging both the law school and University communities,” said Anatasio’s nominator, Assistant Professor of Law Dara Purvis. “My only debate was whether to nominate him for the service or academic award, as he manages to excel at both simultaneously! I'm delighted that the commission has recognized his hard work, and proud that Penn State Law has such dedicated and brilliant students.”

The award also recognized Anatasio’s other work in service of the LGBTQ community, including his participation in fundraising efforts for LGBTQ homeless youth, his organization of information tables during National Coming Out Week, and his efforts to strengthen the relationships between the law school and LGBTQ alumni.

“The Commission on LGBTQ Equity is committed to recognizing the efforts of faculty, staff, and students who serve the LGBTQ community in ways that go above and beyond their regular responsibilities or obligations, and it is abundantly clear from Brett's nomination that he has had a major impact on Penn State Law,” said CLGBTQE membership committee chair Dana Carlisle Kletchka, who is curator of education at the Palmer Museum of Art and an affiliate assistant professor of art education. “The breadth and depth of Brett's work for the queer community is remarkable, but is even more so when you consider that he is a very successful student in addition to these other accomplishments. We are happy to award this recognition to such a deserving candidate.”

In addition to leading OutLaw, Atanasio serves as the 2016-17 editor-in-chief of the Penn State Law Review. A graduate of American University, Atanasio was an associate at Deloitte in metro Washington, D.C., prior to enrolling at Penn State Law in 2014.

For more information on the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity, visit

Last Updated May 10, 2016