Scholar Class – 2011
Eli Capello was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After coming out at age sixteen, the relationship with his family deteriorated, ultimately resulting in him leaving his home to attend a boarding school, where he was financially supported by his grandmother. In his sophomore year he founded his high school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). In his junior year he advocated to add gender identity and/or expression to his school’s non discrimination policy and was successful his senior year. He hosted several educational discussions about the Transgender and Gender Queer community at several universities in Louisiana. With his high school’s GSA, he held several events at his school such as National Day of Silence and National Coming out Day.
He has successfully advocated for gender identity and/or expression to be added to Centenary’s non-discrimination policy. As a result, he was able to get a transgender inclusive housing policy and transgender inclusive recording keeping policy passed at Centenary. The record keeping policy will allow for transgender students to have their preferred name and gender pronouns on school records without a court order. He has also successfully advocated for domestic partner benefits at Centenary College. Eli has also successfully re-vived Safe Zone training at his college, which he re-wrote to include transgender, intersex, pansexual, and asexual communities.
He currently leads Louisiana Trans Advocates Shreveport, which is a social support group for transgender people and their allies in the Shreveport community. Through this organization he has hosted garage sales to raise money for transitional surgeries of transgender people in the community. Eli is also the diversity intern at Centenary, where he advocates for the rights and inclusiveness of all walks of life.
Eli’s interests have always been in Neuroscience and he plans on attending graduate school to earn his PhD in Neuoroscience. He recently published a scientific article in Impulse, entitled “The Sex Bias in Parkinson’s Research: A Meta-Analysis”. He was also mentioned in Nature’s diversity series.