Johnathan Smilges receives the Graduate Student Service Award

April 27, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Johnathan Smilges, a Penn State graduate student, has been awarded the 2018 Graduate Student Service Award. Established in 1991, the Graduate Student Service Award recognizes a graduate student who has best combined high academic achievement with leadership in University or other public activities. The award is sponsored by the Office of Student Activities.

Smilges, a doctoral student in English with a dual title in women’s studies, was described by one nominator as “a courageous activist deeply committed to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer equity, and to raising awareness on campus on LGBTQ and Ally issues.”

Smilges is actively involved with the LGBTQA Student Resource Center as a mentor and discussion leader of Faith Talks, one of the center’s many discussion groups. Every other week, Johnathan fosters discussion about the intersection of faith, sexuality and gender identity.

Smilges also offers presentations on campus, sharing his personal experiences and offering information about the student resource center.

The nominator commended Smilges for helping to raise awareness about LGBTQA issues within the larger student community “with generosity and courage,” and “the utmost professionalism and talent.”

Smilges was honored for his accomplishments during the Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 25 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Last Updated April 27, 2018