Tower Scholar Senior Spotlight: Kalkidan Alemu ’21

Each year, we spotlight our Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar Seniors. We enjoy hearing about their journey through the program and how their perspective on the importance of sound policy evolved when combined with their own academic interests. This year, we asked our incoming and current scholars to interview the seniors and were delighted by the conversations captured.

Ruth Ann Emerson ’23 interviewed Kalkidan Alemu ’21 to learn more about her experience as a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar and how the program furthered her desire to pursue a career in public health.

Kalkidan Alemu

Kalkidan is a senior from Fort Worth, Texas, majoring in biology with minors in business administration, chemistry, and public policy and international affairs through the Towers Scholars Program. “The Tower Scholars Program is unique because anyone from any background or major can join, because policy effects every field” said Kalkidan.

For Kalkidan’s Senior Practicum, she is working with the City of Dallas on food insecurity, helping to form a food policy council and increasing food access through the Healthy Food Dallas Initiative. The Tower Scholars Program helped Kalkidan realize that the goal of any good doctor is to encourage preventative care, which is how she learned about food deserts and food insecurity.

Thanks to her senior practicum through the Tower Scholars Program, Kalkidan plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Health and Dietetics. She now has the practical experience needed to solidify her choices for the future.

One of Kalkidan’s favorite memories of the Towers Scholars Program was the DC trip junior year. Her cohort was able to grow closer, spending time together outside of the classroom in Washington, DC.

The Tower Center has innumerable opportunities for students interested in public policy, and Kalkidan made a rule for herself to attend at least one Tower Center event each semester, applying what she learned in her classes and future pursuits. “Don’t wait until the last minute to pursue those events,” Kalkidan said.