Peer Academic Coach
Mekedlawit Setegne (she/hers) is a third year Ph.D. student in the Chemistry department. She works under Prof. Dassama to develop methods for cell specific biologic delivery in the hopes of advancing therapeutics to treat Sickle Cell Disease. Mekedlawit is originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but was raised in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at Rice University in Houston, Texas with a B.S. in Chemistry. Coming from a low-resourced background into an elite university with little preparation created various obstacles throughout her first year. Luckily due to strong mentors that validated her abilities and helped her develop tools on how to make the most of her Rice experience, she was able to finish her degree.
Furthermore, during her time at Rice, her diverse work within the black community in various organizations helped develop a passion for mentoring others. Overall, she quickly saw that the difference between succeeding or not succeeding at an elite university had very little to do perceived academic abilities, but rather access to resources and a nourishing support system. It is with this unique perspective and the goal of helping students connect to resources and meaningful tools that Mekedlawit choose to be a Peer Learning Consultant.