#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Mel Mengesha

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Mel Mengesha

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Meet Mel Mengesha! Mel is a second-year Global Epidemiology MPH candidate with interests in maternal and child health. She is specifically interested in increasing access to antenatal and postnatal care in low and middle income countries and reducing Black maternal mortality in the United States. Learn more about Mel and what factors drove her to Rollins below!


Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school. 

I attended the George Washington University in Washington, DC where I studied international affairs with a concentration in global public health.


Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I work at CARE USA as an impact measurement and analysis intern. In this capacity, I primarily support data analysis and the production of data visualization dashboards for CARE’s technical, regional, and/or member office teams. I have also been involved with the development of evaluation tools for programs aiming to address gender based violence, sexual and reproductive health, and WASH in Northern Nigeria. For my thesis, I am focusing on factors that predict antimicrobial resistance of neonatal sepsis in Ethiopia. 


When applying, what were you looking for in a public health school, and what factors drove you towards Rollins?

When applying, I was looking for a program where I can combine global health and epidemiology. Only a handful of schools in the nation offer a degree in global EPI so that narrowed it down for me and the Maternal and Child Health certificate was the perfect add-on to ultimately provide me with training in all my areas of interest. Lastly, being in a city where I can pursue opportunities at leading public health organizations was important to me so all of that ultimately led me to Emory!


Do you have any other tips for prospective public health students?

Tip: Connect with current students and/or alumni of the programs you are interested in and ask them about their experiences.


What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Emory? 

I love the connectedness and reputation of Emory around the Atlanta area. This has allowed me to take on a number of opportunities during my time at RSPH.


What is your favorite class you have taken so far at Emory and why? 

EPI 534 Statistical Programming! This class added two new statistical software to my toolkit. Though the concepts were new to me, it was taught in a manner that was easy to follow because Professor Nicole Luisi is AMAZING. I’ll be hanging onto my notes from that class for a long long time.


What advice do you have for 1st year MPH Students? 

Step outside of your comfort zone! As opportunities present themselves, give it a try even if it is something that does not directly align with your research interests. You might discover a new passion or interest!


How have you been spending your free time? 

I enjoy exploring new restaurants in and around the Atlanta area and spending time with friends. My favorite podcast right now is Natal!


What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?
  1. I was born and raised in Ethiopia and visited for the first time in 15 years just before the pandemic.
  2. I’ve called Atlanta home for the past 17 years now.
  3. Adele is one of my favorite artists EVER. One of my life’s goals is to see her live in concert!


If you currently live in Atlanta, what is one place that you would recommend people to visit? 

Breakfast at Barney’s is great place for brunch but prepare for SUPER long wait times. Visit Amicola Falls and Brasstown Bald in North Georgia!



It was great to get to know you, Mel! Stay tuned for another #WeAreEmoryEPI next Monday on The Confounder!


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