Meet the 2012 Point Scholars
BY Advocate.com Editors
June 14 2012 9:43 AM ET
Motorola Solutions Point Scholar
University of Chicago
Physics and Mathematics
Growing up in a small, suburban town outside of Winston‐Salem, North Carolina that put a large emphasis on "traditional" family values and heteronormativity, Tyler Kissinger realized that he didn't fit the role expected of him. He drew in and focused on academics to avoid confrontation about issues of sexuality. Then Kissinger transferred to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM), a public, residential high school located in Durham, N.C.
At NCSSM, Tyler pursued a number of academic interests that he did not have the ability to pursue at his old school, such as the NASA Balloonsat High Altitude Flight competition, in which he led a team that designed and carried out a NASA‐funded experiment. He worked with a professor at Duke University to complete a long‐term research project on the statistics of supernova neutrino detection.
His personal interests expanded, as well. He served as co‐president of his school’s Spectrum Gay-Straight Alliance and as director of a group trying to organize a network of families in the Durham area willing to provide homeless LGBT youth with a safe and accepting home. He campaigned against an anti‐same‐sex marriage amendment to the North Carolina state Constitution. And his advocacy work has been recognized by his high school, which gave him its "Golden Cupola" award for his leadership, citizenship, and community service. Kissinger plans to study physics, mathematics, and philosophy at the University of Chicago and hopes to one day become a university professor.