Dr. Eugene A. Moynier Student Award
The Dr. Eugene A. Moynier Student Award recognizes a UCR student whose career goal is in a helping profession (psychotherapist, social worker, teacher, counselor, etc.). A $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a recipient based on the following criteria:
- Applicants may be undergraduate or graduate/professional students enrolled at UC Riverside
- Applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average on a four-point scale
- Applicants must have demonstrated involvement in volunteer service to marginalized populations
- Applicants must also demonstrate a commitment to LGBT inclusivity
Online applications are now open until October 31, 2019.
Dr. Eugene “Gene” A. Moynier was the second son of Michael and Bonnie Moynier. He and his older brother, Chris, grew up in Temecula, California. Gene attended the University of California, Riverside where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 2001. While he was an undergraduate at UCR, he met Peter Mercado, who he would marry and with whom he spent the rest of his life. The couple met in the UCR LGBT Resource Center at UCR, a campus resource that continued to hold significant meaning in their lives. Gene’s community advocacy was recognized by UCR with the Steven Shum Activism Award.
Gene would go on to earn his Psy.D. from Loma Linda University and work as a mental health professional at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, California. He dedicated his professional life to improving mental health and giving voice to marginalized populations. Gene’s legacy is a life of tireless service and advocacy. He was courageous and fearless in standing up for others.
On October 28, 2008, Gene and Peter were among some 18,000 same-sex couples who married after the Supreme Court of California’s landmark ruling declaring the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The couple became vocal and visible opponents of Proposition 8, speaking at rallies and telling their story in support of other LGBT families. Although Proposition 8 passed on November 4, 2008, Gene and Peter joined millions of couples across America in celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26, 2015 making same-sex marriage the nation’s law.
Gene and Peter were well known among friends for their annual Mardi Gras celebrations, where Gene derived great joy from being a deejay and designing breathtaking light shows that electrified the room while he played music for the dancing crowd. The couple were always surrounded by loving friends and family. Gene loved the home in the Rancho Belago portion of Moreno Valley that he shared with Peter and their canine children, Teddy and Ollie.