Brian Gialketsis SERQueer Scholarship

Brian Vertical

About the Scholarship

In April 2020, the TGIF Committee unanimously voted to establish a $5,000 recurring scholarship for the next three years in honor of Brian and his many contributions to environmental sustainability on the UC Berkeley campus: The Brian Gialketsis SERQueer Scholarship. The name SERQueer comes from the group that Brian and other SERC alumni created in 2018, a group they described as “a community space for queer students working on environmental sustainability & justice”.

$1,000 scholarships will be rewarded to five students selected by the SERQueer Scholarship Review Committee.

Scholarship Goals

  • Honor the life of Brian Gialketsis and his commitment to building radically inclusive social and environmental justice spaces on campus
  • Financially support queer-identifying students working in and passionate about the environmental field at UC Berkeley
  • Re-envision what a community scholarship can look like by eliminating barriers to entry and focusing on healing, joy, and growth rather than traumas

Applying to the Scholarship

Our Fall 2021 SERQueer scholarship will be one round this year.

One Google Form Application due November 1st, 2021 at 5pm. You can view the essay prompts below. We are no longer accepting applications for the SERQueer scholarship this year.

The Review Committee will then review these google form submissions will notify recipients by RRR Week.

Scholarship Application - Google Form


  • Registered UC Berkeley student (both undergraduate and graduate)
  • Queer Identifying
  • Passionate about Environmentalism (this does not have to be your field of study)
  • Any student who meets these criteria is welcome to apply.  This includes undocumented, formerly incarcerated, and reentry students, among others.


Essay Prompts

Question 1

Based on Brian’s instagram picture above, “The cure to anything is salt water- sweat, tears, or the sea.” What gives you comfort or joy during difficult times? (Maximum 500 words)

Question 2

Please tell us about your environmental journey (where you’ve been and where you hope to go).
(Maximum 500 Words)

Question 3

How would this scholarship support you (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.)? (Maximum 500 words)

Please Note: None of these prompts ask you to recall or recount any traumatic experiences you may have related to your identities. Rather, we ask you to celebrate your identities, however you see fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can we use old pieces of work to answer prompts, such as an essay I wrote for another scholarship or class?

A: Yes! Previous work used for other scholarships, other classes, or anywhere else will be accepted.


Q: Can I still apply if I am not majoring in an environmental field?

A: Yes! We encourage anyone who is passionate about environmentalism to apply. We recommend checking out SERC if you’re interested in the eco-community at UC Berkeley 😉


Q: If I do not feel comfortable sharing about my identity, can I still apply?

A: Yes! These questions are not meant to make you feel uncomfortable; we do not want you to share anything you do not want to share. You are not required or expected to lay out traumas, unless you feel it is important and you want to share those experiences. Please answer the questions in a way that makes you most comfortable and happiest. We want you to have fun with this! The questions are meant to be broad so applicants can have the freedom to interpret and answer as they choose.


Q: Who sits on the Scholarship Review Committee? 

A: The Scholarship Review Committee is comprised of friends, family and colleagues of Brian, and other representatives who are queer identifying and/or familiar with environmental issues and initiatives. Please come back soon for a full list on who sits on the SERQueer Scholarship Review Committee.


Q: How will the scholarship be administered?

A: The TGIF Team will be working with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to award the scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded in conjunction with your financial aid package. Please contact us if you have any questions!


Q: Are you offering other scholarships at this time?

A: For Fall 2021, SERC and TGIF will be offering two sister scholarships: (1) the Brian Gialketsis SERQueer Scholarship, and (2) the Environmentalists of Color Scholarship. You can apply to both, as well as re-use language across submissions.


Q: Who can I contact if I have any questions? 

A: You can either email or Teresa Yu, with any and all questions.