Caleb Christ '12 is Named the 2018-19 Frankel Adair Scholar

An advocate for LGBTQ health care, Caleb will graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s nursing program in December.

By: Kristine Yahna Todaro  Wednesday, July 10, 2019 03:13 PM

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Caleb Christ ‘12 was recently named the recipient of the Frankel-Adair Scholarship by the ACLU-PA. Photo credit: Cambriae Bates/ACLU-PA

Caleb Christ ‘12 was recently named the recipient of the Frankel-Adair Scholarship, which provides support of post-secondary education to an LGBT student residing in the Greater Philadelphia area. The scholarship honors the late Larry Frankel, former executive and legislative director of the ACLU-PA, and the benefactor, Thomas T. Adair. 

"Caleb was a stand-out applicant," says Reggie Shuford, the executive director of the ACLU-PA. "His application and outstanding references demonstrated his ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ community and the challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals. We were impressed by the fact that his passion for serving his community motivated his return to school for a second bachelor's degree in nursing."

After working in sexual health education followed by non-profit development for a number of years after his graduation from Muhlenberg, Christ changed course. “Having always been an advocate for LGBTQ health care, I knew that a career change to nursing was the right move for me,” says Christ. He is now set to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s nursing program in December. 

“I'm thrilled to have the support of the ACLU and to have my accomplishments and passions recognized by an organization that does such important work,” says Christ.

A sociology major at Muhlenberg, Christ says he found a home in that department and was drawn to the collaborative, discussion-based classes with brilliant, inquisitive students and professors. He added, “I enjoyed learning how to apply a critical lens to analyze how systems interact to influence every aspect of our lives—I think studying sociology built an incredibly valuable foundation for a career in nursing, since the patients I see in the hospital are navigating so many systems that often fail them in compounding ways.”

The teaching and mentorship of Kate Richmond, associate professor of psychology and director of women & gender studies, and Janine Kay Gwen Chi, associate professor of sociology, had a big impact on Christ while on Muhlenberg’s campus. He also expressed appreciation for the support of Robin Riley-Casey, director of the multicultural life office, and Beth Halpern and the office of civic engagement for supporting his community interests.

Christ plans to work as an RN for a few years while completing a Masters in Nursing on the Family Nurse Practitioner track, eventually becoming a nurse practitioner. 

While in school, he’s also working as a research assistant with the Gender Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia creating a patient database to be utilized for future research impacting transgender and gender-expansive youth. He says, “I'm also spending plenty of time in the Clinic shadowing the RN and nurse practitioner providing gender-affirming care to trans youth and have some very exciting projects with them coming down the pipeline!”