LGS Student Spotlight: Ordy Manuela Gnewou

Ordy Manuela Gnewou is a fourth-year PhD candidate in chemistry with a biochemistry concentration at Laney Graduate School. Gnewou says she chose to study at Laney based on its openness and support of its graduate students wanting to pursue careers outside of academia, as well as its breadth of collaboration, allowing for a multidisciplinary research approach.

“The ability to explore a career in business with the full support of my PI, academic program, and also the Laney Office of Professional Development & Career Planning is an experience that I likely would not have had anywhere else,” says Gnewou who will complete her PhD in 2022 and has accepted a position at Bain and Company after graduation. 

She adds, “None of my friends in other graduate programs have had as much support and resources as I have had here, not only exploring a career path but also working toward transitioning into one upon graduation.”

Originally from Cameroon, Gnewou moved to the U.S. to join family in June 2014. For her undergraduate studies, she initially attended a community college in New York City focused on chemical engineering, but a summer research program at Bronx STEM Scholar, a program designed to expose community college students to chemistry research, changed her course. After spending the summer of her freshman year working in a research lab at Lehman College, Gnewou decided to enroll at Lehman, from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Chemistry in May 2018.

Gnewou joined Emory in August 2018. “Graduate school was the only choice that would help me determine if research could be a career for me and, if not, it would still grant me the skills necessary to move into something else, whether similar or completely different!”

Currently, the PhD student’s research is focused on establishing the sequence-structure relationship of peptides nanotubes. “If well understood, one of the things it might will us to do is design better drug delivery channels,” she says.

Gnewou credits the mentors who trained her since her undergraduate years, as well as her current advisor at Emory, as the people she looks up to in terms of defining herself as a scientist.

She also speaks highly of the Emory community as a whole. “I love the multitude of student organizations across campus. It has really allowed me to find my place and my people.”

To provide support to Laney students like Ordy, participate in Emory Day of Giving March 30-31. During these 36 hours, you can help fund the dreams and determination of the Laney community. Learn more here:

Emory Day of Giving