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Student Spotlight: Saeina Charles '24

February 22, 2023
Saeina Charles smiling and seated at a table in front of the Enid Cook Center

Saeina Charles ‘24 is deeply committed to building community and supporting the people around her. As dorm president of the Enid Cook Center (Bryn Mawr’s Black Cultural Center and residence), Co-President of BACaSO, and more, this ethos of community guides much of Saeina’s activities on campus.

As dorm president, Saeina does a wide range of administrative tasks and event planning for residents. Though it had never occurred to her that a junior could be president, she applied for the position with the encouragement of a friend at the ECC Friendsgiving.

Saeina is also the co-president of BACaSO, the Bryn Mawr African and Caribbean Student Organization, with senior Alloyah Abobi. Born in Haiti, Saeina moved to Boston in 2016 for high school. BACaSO helps her connect with other students of African and Caribbean descent. The group’s annual culture show is a major campus event, and at its biweekly meetings students have craft nights, self-care events, and more. Saeina hopes that this summer, she will be able to expand its programming and collaborate more with other affinity groups.

“Because of COVID, things have been pretty slow for the past couple years. This semester, my co-presidents and I are really focusing on bringing BACaSO back strong.”

Saeina plans to collaborate with Mujeres*, Bryn Mawr’s Latinx affinity group, on a field day for the community. She hopes this will foster a stronger legacy of collaboration and support between affinity groups.

Saeina’s focus on culture and community extends to her academic life as well. A biochemistry and molecular biology major and a French minor, Saeina plans on becoming a pediatrician.

Saeina loved taking AP Biology and AP Chemistry in high school, so it was an easy major decision when she learned that Bryn Mawr had a major that offered the “best of both worlds.” Saeina has been with Associate Professor of Chemistry Jonas Goldsmith's lab since her first year, and last summer she conducted research at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She was involved in a project that investigated the impact of the COVID vaccine on pediatric patients and was able to present her work at the hospital's research symposium. 

“It’s my junior year now and I’ve been so happy with my choice, and I feel like this is what I was made to study.” 

Saeina decided to minor in French largely because of her Haitian background. Haiti has two official languages: Haitian Creole and French. Saeina feels that speaking French is an important part of her identity, and taking French at Bryn Mawr lets her preserve that connection and will aid her as a professional in connecting with patients.

As a pediatrician, Saeina hopes to provide the kind of care and support for children that her past did not allow her to have.

"That’s important because health care is not that great in Haiti as well. So I want to be in that position where I can eventually go back and make an impact, even if it’s just starting something small, but then in time would grow into something bigger that will benefit a lot of people.”