The Department of Gender and Women's Studies awarded doctoral candidate Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza with a GWS Outstanding Student Award. Atienza was nominated for their collaborative organizing of the first GWS graduate minor symposium titled "Solidarities in Difference: Keywords in Feminist, Queer, and Trans Studies." Atienza proposed and spearheaded the one-day event held September 20, 2019 at the Asian American Cultural Center. It featured 16 presentations among graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts, and Sciences, the College of Media, the College of Education, the iSchool, and the School of Art & Design. The event sought to build a graduate community of research and teaching in feminist, queer, and trans studies and to share the wide breadth of practice and thought generated by graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Every year the Department of Gender and Women's Studies awards a faculty member, a teaching assistant, and a major or minor student with a GWS Outstanding Award. The selection is based on nominations which are reviewed by a committee of GWS students. Recognitions for teaching assistant and student include a $250 award.