We are pleased to announce that Belen Mesele, DNP ’22, is the recipient of this year’s Dr. Eileen Ridgway Endowed Nursing Scholarship. Belen is in her first year of the advanced practice nursing immersion program and is pursuing a Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Advanced Community Public Health.
Belen’s project “Pay Attention to What Matters Most—Our Health” will provide health care information for members of the Ethiopian community in Seattle.
Belen is a member of the Ethiopian Health Council and organizes various activities to address health topics specific to educating the community. She helps to organize a monthly health forum and an annual Ethiopian Health Fair.
In 2011, Belen founded the health segment of the Ethio Youth Media (EYM) community TV show to promote physical and social wellness in her community through interviews with experts on a wide range of topics, such as nutrition, mental health, tobacco use, and obtaining health insurance.
In her outreach project she is working with EthnoMed, and the Ethiopian community to increase health literacy among patients whose primary language is Amharic. The main aim of her project is to make culturally appropriate brochures and a website about different diseases that affect these often complex, marginalized communities.
Belen says, “Just like many of Seattle U’s graduates and faculty, I have a commitment to act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed. For me, obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is not simply a goal. It’s an opportunity to gain the knowledge I need to help patients access the resources they need…and use my ability to communicate in ways that are responsive to their cultural and socioeconomic circumstances.”
Seattle University students, such as Belen are continuing the legacy of Dr. Eileen Ridgway, who is remembered for her relentless dedication to nursing practice, education, caring, and social justice.
This scholarship was created to inspire emulation of the work and visions of Dr. Ridgway; fueling leadership development through empowering student involvement in community outreach, service and civic efforts.