Category: Student Experience

Title: Young Alumnus Continues Fight for LGBTQ, Civil Rights During Pandemic

Date Published: June 26, 2020
Trevor O'Connor in front of a bookcase

Trevor O’Connor created this video for the Georgetown University Colloquium on Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

 

Fundamental Quality

Georgetown African American studies professor Marcus Board mentored O’Connor.

“Trevor consistently demonstrates the ability to sympathize with those who have different experiences and work with them decisively towards addressing their needs, grievances and hopes,” the professor says. “He possesses the greatest and most fundamental quality that a leader can have – humility.”

O’Connor plans to do public service work for a year and then go to graduate school.

He recently received Georgetown’s Timothy S. Healy Scholarship, which fully funds a one-year master’s program at St. Cross College at the University of Oxford. He also was a 2020 Marshall Scholarship finalist.

The young alumnus plans to use the scholarship to pursue an MSc in Comparative Social Policy or similar social science degree at Oxford in the fall of 2021.

Descending the Tower

O’Connor’s ultimate goal is to become a law professor to help “shape how we approach LGBTQ youth rights through research, testimony and litigation.”

“What excites me most about legal academia is the combination of theory and practice, as many law professors are able to ‘descend the Ivory tower’ and help the field in a variety of ways,” he says.

The Georgetown graduate admires law professors who produce scholarship in the field of civil rights law, but also testify before Congress, argue in front of courts, advise civil rights organizations, assist campaigns as policy advisors and transition in and out of government at various levels.

“This ability to not only produce research on policy, but help implement it and improve the lives of others is the most rewarding aspect I would envision from this line of work,” he says.

Public Service

In the meantime, O’Connor has become extremely active in politics on the state and national level.

An election judge for his county in the upcoming Texas primary runoff, he also has participated as a delegate at both the county and state level for the Democratic Party conventions.

He recently was elected to represent Texas Senate District Three – comprising Deep East Texas – on the Permanent Resolutions Committee for the Texas Democratic Convention, and he also got elected as a national delegate for Bernie Sanders to the Democratic National Convention, which he’ll attend virtually in August.

O’Connor says he sees great potential for positive change in places like his hometown and across the country.

Supporting LGBTQ Students

He was pleased to hear that the Campus Pride Index and Best Colleges named Georgetown the 2020 Best College for LGBTQ Students in DC.

“As a recent alumnus, I’m proud of Georgetown’s commitment to the flourishing of its LGBTQ students, who are integral pillars of the Georgetown community and its history,” O’Connor says. “As a Jesuit and Catholic institution, Georgetown’s strong commitment to supporting LGBTQ students is affirming to me and so many others that we not only belong, but are critical to the functioning of this academic institution.”

“I hope Georgetown, though still learning, can be a model and flagship to other institutions to support LGBTQ students not in spite of, but because of its religious background.”

For more information about fellowship opportunities, please visit the Georgetown Office of Fellowships, Awards, and Resources or email gufa@georgetown.edu.