APPLY for or DONATE to the
Communicating Sexualities Scholarship

at Northeastern Illinois University

About the Scholarship

The Communicating Sexualities Scholarship is an annual scholarship providing tuition for a student(s) enrolling in Communication, Gender, and Identity or the Sociology of Sexualities at Northeastern Illinois University.

Both of these classes offer transformative education on the topics of sex and sexuality. More importantly, they provide a safe space for discourse that does not exist in the mainstream media or the majority of American homes. We believe these positive environments foster empathy, generate understanding, and nurture the notion that WE are NOT ALONE. Such a potent combination often leads to the empowerment of others…and that’s our MO.


The scholarship is for full or part-time student(s) majoring in ANY field of study or who have not yet declared a major. However, preference will be given to those majoring in one of the following:

  • Communication, Media & Theatre, Women and Gender Studies or Sociology, or minoring in LGBQT Studies at Northeastern Illinois University.
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or more.
  • A three-page paper is also required, typed and double-spaced, on: Why are you interested in studying gender, identity and sexualities? Discuss your experience of sex education in institutions and with authority figures (parents, families, etc.).



10$Various Fees

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  • Computer resources
  • Health services
  • Student activities
  • Performance arts
  • Student union
  • Recreation & Green fees


40$Books & Supplies

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  • New text books
  • Used text books
  • Rental text books
  • Highlighters & pens
  • Page markers
  • Notebook


75$Parking Pass

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  • Parking level II pass
  • Public transportation (CTA) funds
  • Gas money
  • Bike maintenance
  • Walking shoes
  • Pepper spray for hitchhiking


322$1/3rd of the Tuition

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  • 483$ 1/2 of the tuition
  • 724$ 3/4 of the tuition
  • 966$ tuition for 1 student
  • 1932$ tuition for 2 students
  • 2898$ tuition for 3 students
  • 4830$ tuition for ruling the world

NEIU Professors & Scholarship Creators

Communicating Sexualities Scholarship Brooke Johnson

Brooke Johnson

Assistant Professor of Sociology & Women and Gender Studies

Communicating Sexualities Scholarship Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Department Chair, Associate Professor of Communication, Media & Theatre

Communicating Sexualities Scholarship Carrie Reffitt

Carrie Reffitt

Visual Storyteller/Marketing Consultant, Cat Pants Media, & Scholarship Creator and Donor

[email protected]

Communicating Sexualities Scholarship Nikki Nigl

Nikki Nigl

CEO: Chief EmpowHERment OfficeHER, ABOUT WOMEN, & Scholarship Co-Creator and Donor

[email protected]

Want to know the story behind how the
Communicating Sexualities Scholarship came to be?

Scholarship Recipients

Spring 2016

Citlali Arroyo

A senior majoring in sociology at NEIU, Citlali is in the first “full calendar year,” helping to supplement family income as well as paying for educational costs by working two jobs. Being selected to receive this scholarships isn't just about the financial support for Citlali, but also the process of “trying to keep positive through it all.” Citali believes the importance of an education ought to transcend the costs and barriers to achieve it.

My interest in studying gender, identity, and sexualities is not only for self preservation, but to open the door for more than just tolerance. We must work towards full acceptance of all bodies and identities, as there is no liberation for some of us without liberation for all of us.

Citlali says when she is learning about identities, she is learning about herself. She is learning to decolonize her existence, to historicize her oppression, and to validate herself. Citlali is also still learning the difference between the way she sees herself, and the way her Self is perceived. She believes that dismantling the social construction of gender and sexuality is a form of healing from years of feeling like an outsider within, and unlearning the hegemonic education that caused the harm in the first place.

Spring 2016

Patricia Morales

Daughter of first-generation Mexican immigrants with three siblings, Patricia grew up in Humboldt Park and is now a senior at NEIU in Sociology and Women and Gender studies with aspirations to conduct research on sexuality for graduate school. The Sociology of Sexualities course has given her the tools to not only envision a sex-positive society, but to help foster one.

I am blessed and grateful to have studied under mentors whose pedagogy has made so much sense of my life experiences and trained me to one day become a sociologist while also developing my own scholarly voice.

Patricia is currently creating a proposal to investigate how sex workers use the internet to solicit their labor, enact their agency, and keep themselves safe. Additionally, she is working with a fellow student to develop “Malcriadismo,” a theory about the label “malcriada,” meaning uneducated and wrongly raised, Patricia hopes to take the oppressive label back to help Latinx women define their own upbringing and reject respectability politics that are based on racist and sexist notions.

Spring 2016

Rolando Serna

Former President of the LGBTQ organization, SWANS, on the Elgin Community College campus, Rolando is a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in LGBTQ studies at NEIU. He plans to continue his education and earn a PSY.D. in clinical psychology, either at Adler University or Roosevelt University and pursue a career in psychology as a clinical psychologist.

One day, I will pay it forward by helping the LGBTQ and people of color community through my practice in psychology. I will aid them in building their self-esteem and providing them with the tools of empowerment, in order to achieve their goals, just as you have helped me.

The best part of Rolando's LGBTQ studies, is that he finally can be comfortable in his own skin. He doesn't have to alter the way he expresses his gender, whether it’s through: clothes, hair, mannerisms, or interests. Thanks to queer theory and sociology of sexualities, Rolando doesn't feel a need to fit into a heteronormative society, just to be “tolerated”. He knows now that he deserves to be respected and accepted, like anyone else, and is unapologetic about his identity. It’s this type of self-empowerment, that Rolando wishes everyone could feel, especially the LGBTQ and other marginalized identities.