Black History Month Spotlight: Bethel Gashaw – Class of 2025

Class of 2025

Bethel GashawMajor

Biology with a minor in Pre-Med

Why did you choose to attend Marymount?

There are a number of good reasons that attracted me to Marymount. The University is quite known for its good Biology program and research opportunities, which I am actually involved in currently. The fact that Marymount is ranked in the top 15 nationally for diversity creates a special platform for cultural, social, experiential, co-learning, co-sharing and exchange opportunities among students coming from different corners of the United States and the rest of the world. Additionally, because Marymount is a relatively small university, this makes it easier to have good relationships and academic interactions with my peers and professors. What’s more, Marymount is situated near Washington, D.C., where a lot of headquarters of national and international organizations and businesses are located, making it easier to get high-quality internship opportunities and experiences. Hence, a better path to academic and professional excellence!

What is your desired career path?

I would like to go to medical school and become a physician, combining scientific research in the field.

What are you involved in outside of class?

I am involved as a mentor in the antibiotic research lab with Dr. Amanda Wright. I was also the vice president of Marymount’s American Medical Student Association and Muslim Student Association until recently, and worked as an event coordinator for the Association for Campus Events (ACE).

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month embodies unity, empowerment, respect, resilience, unapologetic pride, culture, courage, bravery and freedom. It signifies highlighting and celebrating the Black excellence that came before me, denoting progression and growth. Black History Month is also an opportunity for reflection on the remarkable achievements of Black people in the past. It involves acknowledging and contemplating the numerous sacrifices made — not only focusing on struggles but also recognizing the power, strength and capabilities of Black people, both women and men. Coming from Ethiopia, one of the only two countries in Africa not colonized, the Month also serves as a powerful symbol and reminder of the triumphs and strengths within Black history, as part of our global history of the struggle for emancipation.

How are you celebrating Black History Month this year?

This Black History Month, I am celebrating by learning more about Black historical facts and exploring the stories of remarkable Black figures, their challenges and their contributions. I support the cause of helping small Black-owned businesses thrive and grow, and look forward to attending events that commemorate both these achievements and the history of Black Americans. Above all, the widespread celebration throughout the U.S., both near and far, provides a profound sense of belonging and unity as a nation, as we all stand in unison against discriminating, segregating and oppressing human beings based on racial and other forms of difference. Black History Month in the U.S. is really connecting and means quite a lot to me as an Ethiopian-American.