Breaking the Silence Awards

Max GriesBreaking The Silence Awards represent high achievement & focus on improving campus climate, community engagement, and university-wide change work regarding GLBTA identities.


  • People or organizations that improve campus climate by confronting discrimination based on gender and sexuality at the U of M
  • Demonstrated effectiveness of enhancing the U of M through university-wide change work and community engagement
  • Any person or organization from any U of M campus may be nominated


  • Early-to-Mid April - Annual deadline for applications
  • Late April - If chosen, recipients will receive the Breaking The Silence Award at the annual Lavender Celebration & Awards Ceremony
  • Questions can be directed to & application materials may be sent to:  GLBTA Programs Office / 46 Appleby Hall / 128 Pleasant St SE / Minneapolis, MN  55455

Past Recipients:

2012 - Max Gries / Alex Iantaffi

2011 - Daniel Nidzgorski (MN Queer Science) / Jason Jackson / Cortez Riley / Xay Yang (group award for advancing GLBTQ Communities of Color)

2010 - Lauren Beach / Kim Jorgensen / Jenny Riegel / Becky Saltzman (group award for Bisexual Education, Organizing, and Visibility)

2009 - Yvonne Valgren (U of M Crookston) / College of Food, Agricultural, Natural Sciences Advisory Group (St. Paul Campus)

2008 - Transgender Commission (U of M Twin Cities)

2007 - Mags David (U of M Duluth) / Tineke Ritmeester (U of M Duluth) / Dave Dorman (Boynton Health Service)

2006 - June Nobbe (Student Affairs Leadership Program) / Bethany Snyder (Graduate Student, Humphrey Institute)

2005 - Doug Donley / Neil Elliot / Jerie Smith / Amy Olson / Sharon Steifel (group award for advancing GLBTQ Faith Communities across University Baptist Church, University Episcopal Center, Lutheran Campus Ministries, and Hillel Jewish Center)

2004 - Chancellor Samuel Schuman (U of M Morris) / Housing & Residential Life (U of M Twin Cities)

2003 - Jean Nickolaus-Tretter (Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies) / Beth Zemsky (Founding Director, GLBT Programs Office)

2002 - David Johnson (Employee Assistance Program) / Office of Equal Opportunity Complaint Group

2001 - Steven Rosenstone (College of Liberal Arts) / Deborah Talen (Rainbow Families)

2000 - Katherine Murphy (Academic Outreach Programs) / Linda Wolford (Diversity Institute)

1999 - Jeffrey Cookson (GLBT Programs Office) / Annalee Stewart (School of Social Work)

1998 - Tom Kinsey (U of M Foundation) / Toni A. H. McNaron (English Department)

1997 - Rob Kubik (U of M Morris) / Minnesota P-FLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians And Gays)

1996 - Mary Tinnucci (Out for Equity) / Frank Wood (Senate Social Concerns Subcommittee)

1995 - Carol Carrier (Office of Human Resources) / U of M Social Concerns Subcommittee