A University of Guelph graduate student will share the stage with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne next month when he accepts a leadership award for his work supporting Canada’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA) community.

Thomas Sasso, a PhD student and co-founder of U of G’s Sexual and Gender Diversity Research Lab, this week was named a recipient of a 2015 “Leaders To Be Proud Of” award. Sasso will receive a leadership scholarship, and Wynne will be honoured for lifetime achievement.sasso

The fifth annual awards will be presented Sept. 17 at the Art Gallery of Toronto by Out on Bay Street, an organization that facilitates professional development in the LGBTQA community. Sasso will receive $2,500 and an invitation to attend the group’s annual conference.

Earlier this year, Sasso co-authored a national report for the Canadian Centre for Diversity and for Pride at Work Canada on experiences of LGBTQA people in the workplace.

At U of G, he studies industrial/organizational psychology with adviser Prof. Gloria Gonzalez-Morales.

Sasso says he hopes the achievements of award recipients “will inspire LGBTQA students and young professionals across Canada and remind them that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not indicative of their ability to succeed.”