Trail Maker

5 Students Who are Trail Makers

5 Students Who
Nicholas Goldsmith

Nicholas Goldsmith

  • Brett Highley
  • Jacqueline Borchert
  • Keith Hansen
  • Anne Iovinelli
  • Nicholas Goldsmith

Name: Nicholas Goldsmith
Major: Plant Biology in Botany and Plant Pathology
Minor: Leadership Development Certificate in Agriculture
Year: Senior
Hometown: Frankfort, Indiana

After witnessing instances of hate and discrimination, Nicholas Goldsmith became active on the LGBTQ Advisory Board. As leader of the Queer Student Union, Nicholas' activism led to an amendment of Purdue's Nondiscrimination Policy to include gender identity and expression and genetic information as protected elements – ultimately making Purdue a safer and friendlier place for future generations.

Evolving world

"I want to go into evolutionary ecology and study how the world is adapting and changing with humans. I think in better understanding the world around us, we also better understand ourselves. I believe that environmental and social justice go hand-in-hand."

Support network

"One problem I notice that many students face is where to turn when they are having difficulty. Sometimes it's not abundantly clear on campus where one goes when they're facing an issue. So I made it a priority in my leadership role to network with other organizations and refer students where to go for help."

Amending the future

"As president of the Purdue Queer Student Union, I worked with Purdue Student Government (PSG) to amend the Nondiscrimination Policy. I became really passionate about this issue. I remember before we first went in front of PSG to present the amendment, I was nervously pacing back and forth, worried about how many votes it would get shot down by. It never occurred to me that it could possibly pass unanimously. I was happily shocked, to say the least."

Black and Golden Rule

"If we treat each other better, we have a lot of potential as a University, community and world. So we need to recognize that others are facing issues and we need to be supportive of them. I believe that an important legacy to leave at Purdue is a legacy of helping others. We need to make the experience that everyone feels much, much better so we can leave the world a better place."

By Emily Blue
Photos by Mark Simons
Published May 2012