Mercedes Suazo ‘20 may have only just completed her undergraduate career, but she’s not saying goodbye to the classroom yet. The biomedical engineering major will pursue a master’s degree at Boston University starting this fall. “I feel that my time as SEAS has given me the opportunity to do anything I wanted while balancing a rigorous academic workload,” she says.
Suazo did more than manage her academic responsibilities as a student; she excelled. She made the dean’s list and was named a Taylor Hubbard Memorial Scholar and a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar, and was recognized by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Most recently, she received the Norman B. Ames award, which honors a senior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Outside of the classroom, Suazo kept busy with SEAS-related extracurriculars. She joined the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) as a freshman and held various leadership positions with the group before becoming co-president her senior year. “By far, my favorite part of joining this organization is the relationships that have [formed] as a result,” Suazo says. “I believe that my peers involved are more than acquaintances--they are lifelong friends.”
Outside of NSBE, Suazo served as a SEASSPAN mentor for first-year students, was the community outreach director for the Engineers’ Council, and participated in SEAS Together, a group dedicated to issues of diversity and inclusion. “I chose to engage with students on a level beyond academics to hear their concerns and work with them to make SEAS the best it can be,” she explains. In fact, Suazo says that it was SEAS’ efforts to diversify its student population that drew her to GW in the first place. She reflects, “Being a part of a school that consciously makes the effort to recruit more women, people of color, and non-traditional students is another aspect that made my decision to go here that much easier.”