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Meet Our Scholars

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Isaac James

University of Texas at Austin

Government, Plan II Honors, and LGBTQ Studies



Patti Sue Mathis Scholar

Isaac was born and raised in Arlington, Texas. After coming out as gay in high school, the treatment he received from his classmates inspired him to get involved in advocacy for LGBTQIA+ rights in the realm of public education. He was a founding officer of his school’s GSA and ultimately served as President, a role that opened his eyes to the impact of student-centered leadership in furthering inclusive classroom environments. Isaac continued involvement in this area upon enrolling at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin by serving as a member of the GLSEN Austin Board of Directors, where he leads professional development trainings for K-12 educators on the importance of LGBTQIA-inclusive classrooms. Additionally, as a Legislative Intern for the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus in spring 2021, Isaac spearheaded the drafting process for HB 4064, the first bill filed in state history that would prohibit bullying and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 education. On campus, Isaac was elected Vice President of the UT Senate of College Councils, where he led the student body through the COVID-19 pandemic and elevated LGBTQIA+ student needs. At UT, he also served as Co-Director of the Queer and Trans Student Alliance, Chief Justice of the Student Government Supreme Court, and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Undergraduate Law Review. After graduating from UT Austin in spring 2022, Isaac plans to attend law school and eventually pursue a career at the intersection of LGBTQIA-inclusive education policy and public service. 

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