USC Lambda LGBTQ+ Alumni Association 30th Anniversary Scholarship Gala

Save the Date: Saturday, April 15, 2023

USC Lambda LGBTQ+ Alumni Association invites you and your most fabulous friends to save the date for the 30th Anniversary Gala! If you thought we came to play at the 2022 Gala, just check out the photos and videos on our Flickr page!

The USC Lambda 30th Anniversary Scholarship Gala will bring our community together to highlight the achievements of our alumni and raise scholarship money for our deserving USC students who are advancing Lambda’s mission.

Registration will begin in January.

Event Date: Saturday, April 15, 2023
Reception: 6:00 P.M.
Dinner and Program: 7:00 P.M.
After Party: 9:00 P.M.
Event Location: TBA
Attire: Black Tie (Optional) or Ballroom Culture Couture

Contact information:

Fill out my online form.

2022 LAARA Honorees

We proudly salute the 2022 honorees of the USC Lambda Alumni Association Recognition Awards (LAARA).

LAARA for Merit

Presented to a member or ally of the LGBTQ+ community who serves as a role model; whose personal and/or professional achievements have advanced the causes of the LGBTQ+ community; and who has heightened the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community at large.

Kristen Kavanaugh

Kristen Kavanaugh MSW ’12
Senior Director, Inclusion, Talent & Learning for Tesla

Kristen Kavanaugh graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2002. She was ultimately promoted to the rank of captain, and her service included one combat tour in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province. After completing her military service, she earned her master’s in social work (emphasis in military social work) from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. While at USC, she co-founded the Military Acceptance Project (MAP), one of the first U.S. Department of Defense-funded studies of active-duty LGBTQ+ service members’ behavioral needs, which helped lead to the military’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

In 2016, Kavanaugh joined the staff at Tesla, Inc. She is also a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council, a national security-focused development program for leaders who strive to continue their public service beyond the battlefield.

LAARA for Service

Presented to a member or ally of the LGBTQ+ community who serves as a role model by dedicating their time, talents or resources to advance USC Lambda’s mission in support of USC LGBTQ+ students, alumni and the LGBTQ+ community at large.

Bridgette Austin

Bridgette Austin MBV ’19
CEO of B. Austin Consulting, LLC

Bridgette Austin is a retired U.S. Navy veteran and the CEO of B. Austin Consulting, LLC (BAC), a training & development company specializing in professional services for veterans and service members transitioning to civilian life. A recipient of the Combat Action Ribbon for serving multiple tours of duty in various conflict zones, she serves as a business coach and mentor to veterans, transitioning service members and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Austin has served on the advisory boards of the Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise for the California Department of Veteran Affairs, the San Diego Veterans Coalition, the US for Warriors Foundation and the Veteran Chamber of Commerce. Currently on the executive board of the San Diego Equality Business Association, she earned her master of business for veterans from the USC Marshall School of Business.

LAARA for Staff

Presented to a USC faculty or staff member whose work demonstrates the values of USC Lambda’s mission to support USC LGBTQ+ students, alumni, faculty, staff and the LGBTQ+ community at large.

Lindsey Morrison

Lindsey Morrison MHA ’16
Process Architect for Keck Medicine of USC

Lindsey Morrison joined Keck Medicine of USC in 2009 and currently works in the academic medical center’s Value Improvement Office. As an out and proud bisexual queer woman, she leads the health system’s efforts to create a more welcoming and affirming environment for LGBTQ+ patients, family members, faculty members and staff.

For six years, Morrison has successfully led the USC hospitals’ efforts to achieve the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index designation of “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.” She created and currently chairs the Keck Pride Committee, and recently helped guide the creation of Keck Medicine’s comprehensive Gender Affirming Care Program. Morrison, who earned her master’s in health administration from the USC Price School of Public Policy,  has provided more than 2,300 hours of LGBTQ+ training throughout the Keck health system.

LAARA for Outstanding Scholar

Presented to a current USC Lambda Scholar who has gone above and beyond to advance USC Lambda’s mission in support of USC LGBTQ+ students, alumni and the LGBTQ+ community at large.

Justin Kawaguchi

Justin Kawaguchi ’21
Graduate Student, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy

Justin Kawaguchi is a SoCal native and Class of 2021 graduate of the Keck School of Medicine of USC with a BA in global health. A USC Lambda Scholar, he served as the president of Society 53, the governing board of the Student Alumni Society, and held leadership positions in the USC Asian Pacific American Student Assembly and the Residential Housing Association, and served as a campus tour guide.

Outside of USC, Kawaguchi is co-chair of Okaeri, an organization dedicated to creating visibility, compassionate spaces and transformation for LGBTQ+ Nikkei and their families. He’s currently pursuing his master’s in health administration from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and hopes to eventually work in the areas of global health, health equity and strategic communication.

Previous LAARA Recipients:

  • Sheila Kuehl
  • Thomas Becktold ’87
  • David C. Bohnett ’78
  • John Heilman MPA ‘07, JD ’82, MRED ’09
  • Tina Mabry MFA ’05
  • Carole Migden
  • David Mixner
  • Stephen Soucy MPW ’00
  • Lily Tomlin
  • Nancy Warner

First presented in 2000, the USC Lambda Alumni Association Recognition Awards (LAARAs) honor members or advocates of the LGBTQ+ community for their service in advancing USC Lambda’s mission, serving as role models, and heightening the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community at large.

The 30th anniversary gala, set for April 15, 2023, will raise funds for scholarships to deserving USC students who demonstrate a commitment to Lambda’s mission of strengthening the LGBTQ+ community while recognizing our distinguished alumni for their outstanding merit, service, academic achievement and scholarly work.

A call for nominations will open in October. Honorees will be announced and registration will open in January.

Registration for sponsorships and tickets will open in January 2023 when the honorees are announced.

The USC Lambda LGBTQ+ Alumni Association sincerely thanks all of the sponsors of the 2022 Scholarship Gala.


Gold Sponsor

Keck Medicine of USC
USC Alumni Association
USC Marshall School of Business

Trojan Sponsors

Jeff Soref & Paul Lombardi
USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association
USC Black Alumni Association
USC Latino Alumni Association