Meet the 2010 Awardees
Jillian L. Ruddell was raised in a single-parent home in the small, conservative community of Atascadero. Although she was a soccer star and vice president of the senior class, Jillian experienced verbal and physical assaults due to her sexual orientation. Focusing the anger and depression she felt into activism, she established her high school's first gay-straight alliance.
Now a junior at CSU Chico majoring in multicultural and gender studies, Jillian continues her advocacy for social justice through her involvement in campus diversity issues. As the youngest director of the Associated Students Women's Center, she initiated and organized the first and second Annual LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Leadership Conferences. Recently, Jillian received a summer stipend from the University Honors Program to develop a proposal to establish the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center at CSU Chico—a center she hopes to have established before she leaves for graduate school.
Jillian intends to pursue a PhD in sociology with a possible career goal of becoming a university professor while continuing her commitment to activism.