About Mena Abdelmeged
“I like Sage for the small community,” said Russell Sage College Biology major and pre-med student Mena Abdelmeged. “I’m involved in campus and I’ve built a lot of connections.”
Mena is a tutor, a peer mentor and orientation leader, a member of Sage’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan Task Force and part of Sage’s Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program.
She credits Director of Academic Support Sara Schuman with being the initial connection who put her in touch with many of these activities.
“She helped me join CSTEP,” said Mena. “She also introduced me to being a peer mentor and a tutor. She’s helped me grow a lot as an individual.”
CSTEP, sponsored by the New York State Department of Education, provides research experiences, Medical College Admission Test prep and other forms of support to underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students in science majors or professional programs.
As part of CSTEP, Mena is collaborating with classmate Danielle Williams and Biology Professor Mary Rea on research to determine if a relationship exists between skin pigmentation and the accuracy of pulse oximeter results.
Mena explained that pulse oximeters measure oxygen levels in blood and inaccurate results can lead to inappropriate medical treatment.
“I’m going to be a pediatrician and I’ll be using pulse oximeters a lot and depending on those readings,” Mena said. “If they are not accurate, what can we do?”
For Mena, being involved with CSTEP is an important part of her pre-med education.
“It introduced me to Professor Rea. She’s the pre-med advisor and she helps us set goals for ourselves,” she said. “And CSTEP Director Felicia Collins and Associate Director Katie Smith are very welcoming. They want the best for you and connect you with opportunities to get patient contact hours,” Mena continued, referring to the clinical experiences required for medical school.
Mena’s work as a NaviGator has been another highlight of her Sage education.
NaviGators — the name is a nod to Sage’s alligator mascot — are peer mentors who help new students make a smooth transition to Sage.
This is Mena’s second year as a NaviGator.
“Last year I did it and I loved it. A lot of students emailed me to say they were nervous about a class, or to ask who they should talk to with a question about financial aid, and I was able to point them to the right people. Now they are sophomores, and I’m friends with a lot of them.”
“I like Sage for the small community. I’m involved in campus and I’ve built a lot of connections.”