Zuri Hemphill

Hometown:  Atlanta
Major: Biomedical engineering

Top accomplishments: My top accomplishment is graduating from Northwestern at the age of 20 as the only African American female biomedical engineer in my class.
Also, as part of my senior design class, I machined a device to introduce tracer gases to infants. The device is used to measure their pulmonary blood flow.
I also mentored and tutored a group of African American middle school boys for three years through a program that I ran for my sorority. It was frustrating at times, but it has been extremely rewarding to watch them mature.

Favorite hangout? I don’t hang out on campus that much anymore, but freshman and sophomore year my favorite hangout spot was definitely the Black House.

Great adventure? During the blizzard in February, my residents — I’m a community assistant at Elder Residential Community — and I ventured out to the lake at 1 a.m. to see the gigantic waves.

Favorite Northwestern tradition? I love Primal Scream, but Northwestern football games are definitely my favorite. I grew up in a football family — my dad [Dana Hemphill (C81)] was a quarterback at Northwestern — and my boyfriend was a captain on the team last year. Some of my best memories at Northwestern are going to games with my best friends. I will definitely miss that next year.

Dream job? To be an orthopedic surgeon, but I also want to have my own nonprofit that works with low-income minority children to offer them a safe environment, stellar education and access to wonderful health care with the goal of helping them to become successful college graduates. 

What’s next? I’ll be doing a gap year before going to medical school. I’ll be traveling, working in an urgent care office and hopefully working on the Campaign Against Obesity.

"News @ Northwestern" profiled Zuri Hemphill as part of its New Student Week coverage in 2007. When we first met her on that sunny move-in day in September 2007, she was ready to "sprout her wings."