Feven Gezahegn ’19 Wins Clementine Cope Fellowship
The recent Haverford House fellow begins medical school at the University of Virginia this fall with support from the over-100-year-old Haverford College fellowship for graduate study.
When Feven Gezahegn ’19 was shopping for medical schools, her biggest concern was affordability.
“I had really loved the University of Virginia School of Medicine and wanted to go there, but financially it had not felt like the right decision,” said the recent Haverford biology major, who minored in health studies and concentrated in peace, justice, and human rights.
But then Gezahegn heard about a longstanding fellowship for graduate study that Haverford offers, the Clementine Cope Fellowship. She decided to apply to see if she could earn some money for medical school that would allow her to choose her university based on fit, culture, and program instead of price tag.
The Cope was established in 1899 by and named for the granddaughter of a former member of the Haverford College Board of Managers, Thomas P. Cope. Unlike the College’s other similar fellowship, the Augustus Taber Murray Fellowship>, which supports the graduate study of those in a few particular fields (English, classics, German), the Cope assists "worthy and promising graduates of Haverford College in continuing their studies” in any field.
Gezahegn, who spent the last year as a Haverford House fellow working with the African Family Health Organization in West Philadelphia, was one of two candidates selected for this year’s fellowship. She will use her funding to support her medical education at UVA--her “dream school”--starting this fall.
“In addition to Feven's strong preparation and readiness for graduate study, the committee appreciated how she framed her aspirations for a graduate degree as a means of effecting social change in her field,” said Jason Chan, fellowship and career advisor and assistant director of the Center for Career and Professional Advising, which manages the awards process. “She also had an impressive breadth and depth of related experiences during and after her time at Haverford.”
Gezahegn was thrilled to discover she’d been chosen as one of this year’s fellowship recipients. “It helped remove a huge pressure I was feeling going into my first year as a medical student,” she said.
The future doctor recently moved to Charlottesville, Va., and started classes. She thinks she might want to eventually study pediatrics, but for now, is simply excited to start her next chapter.
The fellowship, she said, “feels like a huge stamp of endorsement and validation that the committee believes in me as it has chosen to invest in my education.”