College of Human Medicine Faculty Unite to Support MSU Students

June 19, 2024

A closeup of a LGBTQIA+ pin on a white coat with an MSU shirt underneath.New scholarship will be awarded to students advocating for, working with the LGBTQIA+ community

Each June, within blocks of the Secchia and Grand Rapids Research Centers, a highly visible and public cooperation among the Michigan State University community manifests at the Grand Rapids Pride Festival.

The streets are shut down and a booth of volunteers—typically staffed with MSU College of Human Medicine faculty, staff, and students sporting custom MSU Pride t-shirts—engages with attendees by handing out literature and swag, selling t-shirts, showing Spartan spirit, and rallying support for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

They also listen.

Jose Teixeira, PhD, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, has led the Pride fest volunteer effort in Grand Rapids for four years, and admits that while many have shared their personal and sometimes-heartbreaking coming out stories, there’s been an incredible outpouring of community support.

Volunteers at the Grand Rapids Pride Festival booth“I can’t tell you how many Spartans from all walks of life have come up to the MSU College of Human Medicine booth and told us how much they appreciated our support and visibility at the festival,” said Teixeira. “Which is really important for the entire community, and we truly want to be good community partners.”

As a natural extension of this annual effort, two MSU departments—Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology and Translational Neuroscience (TransNeuro)—have partnered to establish the LGBTQIA+ Community Endowed Student Scholarship in Human Medicine. The scholarship will help the college to recruit and retain a more diverse student body, and boost training for doctoral and medical students interested in better serving and advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community.


A champion of the scholarship, Jack Lipton, PhD, chair of the Department of Translational Neuroscience, says the two departments have a history of engaging in outreach efforts to benefit the LGBTQIA+ community in West Michigan and beyond.

“Both departments are situated on the Medical Mile, so we have been neighbors and collaborators for nearly 15 years,” said Lipton. “We are excited for these funds to be awarded to those already fostering inclusivity and a supportive environment. Even more so, we hope this scholarship reduces student debt and supports those carrying out good works within communities statewide.”

The scholarship will support MSU College of Human Medicine doctoral students who have a demonstrated commitment to serving and/or advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community.* With a plan to be awarded annually, the scholarship will support graduate and medical students conducting outreach or other activities on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community.

On April 12th, 2024, the MSU Board of Trustees approved the joint scholarship. Once the scholarship funds are available, they will be distributed to selected applicants, likely in late 2024.

For more information on how you can support student scholarships at the College of Human Medicine, contact our office at or by calling (616) 432-2614.


*This scholarship is not awarded based on racial, sexual, religious, or ethnic identities.