Meet the 2012 Point Scholars
BY Advocate.com Editors
June 14 2012 9:43 AM ET
Paul W. Speier Point Scholar
Johns Hopkins University
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Born in the small town of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, coming out was a frightening task for Tanner Liechty. He started coming out to his close friends and family his freshman year of high school and gradually branched out, telling more friends and family members as his high school years went on. Despite harsh criticisms from many of his peers, Liechty became captain of his high school football team, dance captain of a show choir, and always made sure to give back to his community through service and leadership.
After graduation, Liechty spent a gap year abroad with Rotary International in Brazil. Much of his time in Brazil was spent in orphanages and learning Portuguese at a local high school. He returned to Iowa realizing how diverse the human experience can be.
Liechty now studies at Johns Hopkins University, where he has become a member of the on-campus LGBTQIA club and has started taking an activist role. At John Hopkins he is studying chemical and biomolecular engineering and Spanish. Tanner plans on becoming a corporate liaison for chemical companies, and he hopes to create a network of LGBTQIA engineers to both further equality in the workplace and encourage queer youth to consider a career in engineering.