The path to med school

This honors student found unexpected pathways at URI

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The URI Learning Experience

The practical idealist

Seraphina Negash ’21 is an idealist with a strong practical bent. In high school, she decided to be a doctor because she believed that people, regardless of income or status, should have access to health care.

She was accepted to seven universities. When it came down to making a decision, the finances of paying for college made the University of Rhode Island the most attractive choice for the Providence resident.

The financial aid I received from URI was essential to my choice,” Negash said. Once here, she came to deeply appreciate the “unexpected experiences” that occurred both in and out of the classroom.

Negash enthusiastically talks about her decision as she describes how URI has shaped her path and her understanding of access to health care. She speaks fondly of faculty who challenged her to think more critically, asked tough questions, and mentored her. In fact, she originally entered as a major in health studies but decided to also major in cell and molecular biology after receiving advice about the benefits of a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) major.

“In my first semester, I took a class on the Black Lives Matter Movement, with Dr. Carnell Jones, who pushed me to step beyond my existing understanding of race in the United States, and then change my thinking to become solution-oriented,” Negash said. “The second semester, my class ‘Communicating Difference’ with Dr. Lynne Derbyshire helped me appreciate the interwoven factors that shape one’s status within society, and how it affects almost every aspect of their lives, particularly health care.

“These classes helped me understand that the disparity that exists in access to health care is due to a web of issues, social, economic, and political. Being at URI and studying health policy helped me to understand the bigger issues affecting health care.”

–Seraphina Negash ’21

Negash loves URI and found that getting involved on campus forced her out of her comfort zone. She met a variety of people from outside Rhode Island through the organization Diversifying. Recruiting. Inspiring. Volunteering. Educating. (D.R.I.V.E.). She was also involved with the Multicultural Unity and Student Involvement Council (M.U.S.I.C.) and served as an orientation leader.

A strong sense of giving back also encouraged her to volunteer at Clinica Esperanza, a free medical clinic in Providence. She also worked in the pre-health advising office, serving as a resource to other students interested in a career in health.

This honors student found that there are many paths to achieving her goals, with URI and scholarships playing an important role in her path forward.

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