Gulenay recently graduated from her undergraduate studies at Harvard University, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minoring in Global Health and Health Policy (graduating cum laude, with English honors and a citation in French!). She will be continuing her studies at the University of Michigan Medical School this coming semester. Congratulations!
Born and raised in DC and Virginia, Gulenay has always been a diligent student with a goal of entering Harvard, and when she was accepted in 2016, she was awarded a Reston Hospital Center Medical Staff Scholarship and became a semifinalist for the 2016 National Merit Scholarships as well.
During her undergraduate career, she challenged herself both intellectually and personally. For example, she became a research assistant in the Zon Lab, which focuses on the role of gene expression in hematopoiesis, cancer, and stem cell development.
She was also a Social Services Director at the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Union Square Family Health Clinic and a Co-coordinator and Health Educator at Peer Health Exchange, a non-profit that “aims to give teenagers the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions.”
In 2016, Gulenay published an article in Prescriptions, Harvard’s semesterly magazine on the premedical experience, titled “On greed, lack of professionalism, and sanitation in Xinjiang’s healthcare” where she wrote about what she learned about the health care system in East Turkistan, “an area that’s been struggling with the effects of oppression and virtual isolation from the outside world for over half a century.” The next year she published another article for the same publication, titled “A Discussion on Barriers to Healthcare Access in Rural America”. You can read them both here: Prescriptions - Fall 2016, Spring 2017
Gulenay wants to complete her medical training and become a practicing physician in communities of need. Beginning this fall, she will take the next step to her goal as a full time first year med student. Congratulations and best of luck!
A source of inspiration for Gulenay is her parents. She also finds herself constantly rejuvenated and inspired by nature, so she spends as much time in the mountains as possible. Owing an immense debt of gratitude to nature was one reason she is deeply invested in conservation efforts and projects aimed at targeting climate change at a systematic level.
Staying active has been critical for her to maintain balance in life, so she has been working hard to achieve balance in all parts of life, from physical to mental, spiritual, and emotional. Her hobbies include hiking, cycling, running, reading, and spending time with family. To Uyghur youth she advises "to find something that you are really truly passionate about".