Holobaugh awards recognize LGBT advocates

Recipients of the annual James M. Holobaugh Honor were recognized at a reception Feb. 9 in Holmes Lounge on the Danforth Campus at Washington University in St. Louis.

The James M. Holobaugh Honor recognizes individuals and organizations that promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) equality, perform direct advocacy and service to the St. Louis metropolitan community and incorporate education and dialogue as part of their practice.

The honor was named after WUSTL alumnus Jim Holobaugh (BS engineering, 1990), who was a cadet in the campus Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

In 1989, after coming out as gay to his squad commander, Holobaugh was removed from the program and ordered to repay the U.S. Army for his scholarship.

Eventually succumbing to pressure from campus groups and LGBT rights organizations across the country — in addition to an impassioned response from WUSTL administrators — the Army reversed its decision. Holobaugh went on to travel across the country, engaging diverse groups in dialogue on issues of service and citizenship.

This year’s honorees are:

Leon Braxton (Dieta Pepsi). As Dieta Pepsi, Braxton has been active in the St. Louis LGBT community for more than 25 years. Braxton serves on the boards of the LGBT Community Center of Metropolitan St. Louis, Pride St. Louis, SAGE Metro St. Louis and St. Louis Effort for AIDS. Braxton developed the “I Care!” campaign last year as a personal response to the national publicity around LGBT youth suicides.

Mark Brostoff, associate dean and director of the Olin Business School’s Weston Career Center. Brostoff has been nationally recognized as a speaker for LGBT workplace issues. He was awarded the Weston Career Center Gold Medal for Out for Work awards in 2010 and 2011. Brostoff has researched and delivered numerous presentations aimed at preparing students for the workplace, including extensive work with the LGBT community.

Ayla Karamustafa, a senior majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies in Arts & Sciences. Karamustafa has been a strong advocate for queer and female students throughout her undergraduate career, serving as a leader in numerous campus organizations, including Safe Zones, Pride Alliance, V-Day and Wash U. Students for Choice.

James D. Reid, PhD, senior lecturer in psychology in Arts & Sciences. In 1998, Reid developed and began teaching what was then the only semester-long course focused on awareness of LGBT concerns offered at the university. His research interests include historical perspectives of LGBT people, gender socialization, identity formation across the life span, cultural prejudices, the liberation movement and recent legal changes affecting stigmatized minorities.

Anna G. Warbelow, a graduate student in art history and archaeology in Arts & Sciences. Warbelow is engaged in a dissertation project titled “Camping the Canon: Artifice and Identity in Yasumasa Morimuraʼs Photographic Self-Portraiture,” which explores questions of gender, race, sexual and national identity.

Austin E. Wilmot, a junior majoring in biology in Arts & Sciences. As a resident advisor, Wilmot has made an effort to tackle discrimination and prejudice both on and off his residential floor. Wilmot has assisted the LGBT community through his involvement with the Social Justice Center.

Daniel M. Woznica, a senior majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies in Arts & Sciences. Woznica has served as president of Pride Alliance and as a Safe Zones facilitator. During summer 2010, funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Andrea Biggs Undergraduate Research Award, Woznica examined the origins of AIDS in America as groundwork for his senior honors thesis.