Layah Khalif is a Junior Honors Student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana majoring in Biological Engineering with a minor in Leadership Development. This previous summer Layah interned with ETHICON in Cornelia, Georgia, a division of Johnson & Johnson that specializes in the production and distribution of wound closure devices, such as sutures, surgical needles and surgical tape. For seven weeks she worked with their Quality Assurance department preparing samples and performing incoming testing on raw suture fibers. She thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on nature of her position and the freedom and accessibility she had to the manufacturing lines and processes. She says that “there is an empowering feeling being able to handle and manipulate medical devices that will ultimately have an influence around the world. It elicits a sense of integrity, pride and responsibility in your work.”
As a minority female pursuing STEM, Layah values SWE’s mission a great deal. She has been a member of SWE for three years and has served as the 2016-2017 Membership Chair and is the current Social Chair for the LSU’s chapter of SWE in Region C. This year she has organized a variety of programs and events from re-implementing our Mentor/Mentee program to hosting a Minute to Win it Olympics as well as a Challenge Course Adventure at our university’s recreation center.
Outside of SWE, Layah is an Honors Student at LSU and serves as an Honors College Welcome Leader and as an Advocate. In these roles she serves as a peer mentor to incoming and prospective students interested in LSU and the honors college. She says that growing up she had a variety of mentors whose knowledge still resonates with her every day, and she can only hope to do the same for others.