mtvU named UNM graduate David Griffith one of three students nationwide at the "Top of the Class." The award by mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, recognizes students whose accomplishments extend beyond the classroom and inspire change. The students receive $5,000 to use toward education expenses or charity causes.
Watch mtvU's interviews with the recipients:
Griffith graduated this month from UNM with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. He is a founding member of the UNM Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Resource Center, created to address the needs of the LGBTQ community and to create a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ students and straight allies.
He continues to crusade for LGBTQ rights as a Safe Zone trainer, facilitating a program designed to make faculty and staff of New Mexico grade schools, high schools and colleges more inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ students and co-workers, while still taking time to excel in his studies and act as a member of Alpha Kappa Delta. He also created the "Out and Ally" pledge for faculty and staff as an initiative for National Coming Out Day, so students know they have allies all over campus.
As chair of UNM's Queer Straight Alliance, he has been responsible for on-campus fundraising for the organization, which under his leadership was recognized this year as the most outstanding LGBT organization in Albuquerque. He made history on his campus by creating the first department at his university committed to serving the LGBTQ community.