Sevrina Tekle knew she wanted to attend graduate school but wasn’t sure where until she received an invitation to visit Clemson University as part of STEM ALL-IN, a program that allowed her to take a weekend to visit campus, all expenses paid.
“Once I visited, that solidified that I wanted to come to Clemson,” she said. “Quite literally, right as the weekend ended, I submitted my application.”
It was a match. Sevrina graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Science in engineering science this spring and will soon pack her bags for Clemson, where she will pursue a Ph.D. in bioengineering under Dr. Renee Cottle as part of the Clemson Bridge to Doctorate Program.
In STEM ALL In, students from across the country visit Clemson early in the graduate-school application process. They meet with faculty, students and staff and learn about research opportunities on campus. A big part of the goal is to increase the number of students who are from groups underrepresented in STEM.
“I really appreciated it,” Sevrina said. “Something I was looking for in a grad school was that they were at least trying to promote diversity. When I was looking at other schools, some were. But I felt like Clemson was the only school really pushing for it.”
Sevrina, who is from suburban Atlanta and is a first-generation college student, has long stood out academically. She was on Meadowcreek High School’s FIRST Robotics team in 2017 when it made the World Championships, and she attended Vanderbilt on a QuestBridge Scholarship that paid for tuition, books, room and board and travel expenses.
Sevrina has secured funding that is allowing her to continue her undergraduate research at Vanderbilt through the summer. She is also helping her mother at her cafe, Friendship Coffee House, in Decatur, Georgia until it’s time to head for Clemson.
She looks forward to learning about new research techniques, exploring Clemson and Greenville and meeting her new friends in the Clemson Family.
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