Merhawi Tesfa is an incoming first year doctoral student in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He received his Bachelor of arts in African American Studies as well as his Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Public Policy from UCLA. He is a former McNair Research Scholar and has engaged in a variety of research around race and inequality through the Bunche Center, the Million Dollar Hoods policy team, and the Black Policy Project.
In his doctoral studies, Merhawi is interested in working with students from underrepresented groups to understand the barriers they face outside of the classroom that hinder their educational progress. He is also interested in how these barriers factor into their ability to progress from K-12 to higher education.
Merhawi is also currently serving as student regent-designate on the UC Board of Regents to represent the needs of students across the University of California system.