Meet This Year's Inspiring Point Foundation Scholars
BY Sunnivie Brydum
June 20 2014 6:30 AM ET
Meg Day was raised in San Carlos, Calif., where the local library, Girl Scouts, and 4H exposed her to a diverse understanding of literature, community, and leadership. After coming out while a student at the University of California, San Diego, Meg ran the queer reading series T.M.I. and competed in the poetry slam community for a number of years. Meg received an MFA in Poetry from Mills College in Oakland, Calif., & worked as a teaching artist with Youth Speaks, Upward Bound, and WritersCorps before moving to Salt Lake City to pursue a Ph.D. in poetry and disability poetics at the University of Utah.
Meg is a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry and the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level, winner of the 2013 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize. She is also the author of When All You Have Is a Hammer (winner of the 2012 Gertrude Press Chapbook Contest), and We Can’t Read This (winner of the 2013 Gazing Grain Chapbook Contest). In addition to receiving awards and fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Hedgebrook, Squaw Valley Writers, and the International Queer Arts Festival, Meg is a 2012 AWP Intro Journals Award Winner.
Kale Edmiston grew up in the rural Midwest. He is a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, where he studies the neuroendocrine system, stress, and social behavior. As part of his dissertation work, he helps run a musical theatre camp for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Kale is the first out transgender graduate student at Vanderbilt University and in 2014 was elected president of the Neuroscience Student Organization.
Kale has a longstanding interest in improving health care access for transgender people. He has provided transgender health care trainings to providers across the country since 2004. He is also active in a number of organizing projects related to primary care access for transgender people as part of the Program for LGBTI Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Kale was a plenary speaker at the 2013 Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Annual Meeting, where he spoke about his role in improving transgender patient care as part of LGBTI Health Program at VUMC.
In addition to his interests in neuroscience and health care justice, Kale helps run Nervous Nelly Records, a record label he cofounded in 2011 to promote punk music made by queer musicians. He lives in Nashville with his partner and their two rescue dogs.
Elizabeth Ehret was raised in Central New Jersey and is a law student at Rutgers School of Law-Newark. A passionate advocate for the rights of LGBTQ people, Elizabeth first became involved in LGBTQ work as a freshman at The College of New Jersey, where she joined the campus LGBTQ organization, PRISM. During her time as president and executive board member, she emphasized advocacy and activism initiatives, tripled membership, and doubled programming. Elizabeth fought for transgender rights on campus, working with TCNJ administrators to institutionalize transgender-inclusive policies and practices and successfully advocating for the implementation of gender-neutral bathrooms and the first gender-neutral housing options at TCNJ.
After college, Elizabeth worked as a grant writer for two social justice nonprofit organizations in Boston. She has been a volunteer field organizer for five LGBTQ campaigns, including the 2011 Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Act campaign and the 2012 Mainers United for Marriage campaign. Elizabeth currently serves on the boards of directors for two nonprofit organizations, the Rutgers Newark Public Interest Law Foundation and the Rising Minds Foundation.
Elizabeth’s work on behalf of transgender students inspired her to attend law school to train as a transgender rights advocate. She is a Marsha Wenk Public Interest Law-Fellow, a recipient of the 2013 Patton Boggs Public Policy Fellowship for her work as a Policy Clerk at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and a 2014 Eagleton Institute for Politics Governor’s Executive Fellow. Elizabeth is also a 2014 Holley Law Fellow at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and in the past she was a legal intern at Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. Her note, Legal Loophole: How LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Laws Overlook the Partners of Transgender People has been selected for publication by the Rutgers Law Review, where she serves as the New Jersey Developments Editor.
Samy Galvez was born to a loving Mormon family in Guatemala City, Guatemala. However, being raised in an ultra-conservative society, he was constantly exposed to homophobia in school and other day-to-day situations. Despite this constant stress, Samy excelled in high school and was honored by the Guatemalan president as one of the Top Five Scholars of the Nation, winning the National Science Olympics in physics and math, becoming the student body president and graduating as the valedictorian.
After spending a semester at Brigham Young University, Samy served a Latter-day Saints mission in San Francisco from 2009-2011. It was at that time that he found ways to both accept himself as a gay man and to lead an enriching spiritual life. After returning to BYU, Samy started working on his major in neuroscience and preparing to go to medical school. As part of his preparation for medical school, Samy has served in service organizations, volunteered in hospitals, and helped interpret in rural clinics in his native Guatemala.
After deciding to become involved in LGBTQ activism at BYU, Samy became president of USGA —the only LGBTQ group for BYU students. He has spoken to Utah political leaders as part of the effort to pass the Utah antidiscrimination bill, and he has traveled to Mexico to speak to other LGBTQ Mormons about finding a balance between sexuality and spirituality.