Hazel Ekeke

Preferred Pronouns



New York City

Current Program of Study

Traditional BSN, Nursing Major, Double Minor in Bioethics & Nutrition

Hazel Ekeke is a Nigerian-American undergraduate student at Penn Nursing. In high school, she worked as a Sexual Health Educator and now aspires to be a Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. When she’s not dancing or learning new languages, she enjoys advocacy work in health empowerment, HIV/AIDS destigmatization, and reducing maternal mortality. She is a reproductive justice activist whose work has reached the US Department of Health and Human Services.  

I love that Penn Nursing constantly uplifts the nursing field and reminds me that nursing is an outstanding career.

What's your favorite place to eat on campus or in the city?

The multi-purpose room in Du Bois College House 

What's your favorite non-required or elective class?

BIOE 4010: Intro to Bioethical Argument

What's your favorite Penn perk (e.g. access to museum, ICA, athletics, Arboretum, etc)?

Access to Pottruck and the various group exercise classes, such as Spin and Pilates

What's your favorite place on campus?

Hill Project Room (for studying)

What's your favorite Penn activity / hobby outside of class (e.g. on-campus groups, clubs, athletics, volunteering, etc)?

West African Vibe (WAVe) Dance Team

The most memorable moment I've had at Penn Nursing so far is...?

Sitting with Professor Dávila and discussing the effects of psychological stress on trauma patients. I learned a lot about phenomenons such as “allostatic load” and, although it was a simple conversation, it really sparked more energy behind my future career as a Nurse Midwife.

Is there anything that you wish you knew before coming to Penn?

Before coming to Penn, I wish I knew the importance of prioritizing. Penn has so many opportunities and so many different activities to explore. However, after only one month in college, I’ve seen that not everything can be done at once. I’m excited to learn more and tailor my Penn experience to focus on what I truly enjoy.

What is something that you really like about your program of study?

I love that Penn Nursing constantly uplifts the nursing field and reminds me that nursing is an outstanding career. All of my classes, from biochemistry to microbiology, are relevant to nursing. I also really appreciate my minors because they inform my work in health equity and decision-making as a healthcare provider, especially in the reproductive health field, where ethics is often discussed.

What's your favorite thing about your cohort and/or the community at Penn?

One thing I’ve noticed about the BSN Class of 2027 is that we all have different stories that have brought us to the field of nursing. From caring for sick family members to recovering from depression, we all have life experiences that bring passion and excitement to our career paths.

What or who has inspired you the most while pursuing your degree, and why?

I am very inspired by Enmanuel “Manny” Fernandez, a PhD student I met through Penn’s Africana Summer Institute. I’ve watched him advance health equity through not only his research, but also his connections with youth in the community. In addition, since the moment I met my faculty advisor, Diane Spatz, she uplifted my work and encouraged me to keep pushing in the field of maternal health. Her efforts in breastfeeding research are phenomenal, and I am so grateful to be following in her footsteps.