Bernice Meja


Leduc, AB, Canada

Academic Interests

I’m a Physics and Philosophy double major.

Fun Fact

You can probably hear my voice a kilometer away.

I’m the eldest child of three from Zimbabwean immigrants. I was born in Durham, NC but for the majority of life, I was raised in Alberta, Canada. Curiosity killed ignorance. My parents love to tell me stories of how they struggled to get me to fall asleep. They would put me in the backseat of our car and drive aimlessly around Durham with hopes of finding me asleep when the ride was over. To their dismay, I would always remain awake with my eyes glued to the window gazing out into the night sky. I grew up watching PBS Kids, my favorite show was Cyberchase (shout-out to those who know the show) because they would use mathematics to problem solve in their adventures. As I reflect on my childhood, I just recall the numerous moments when I acquired new knowledge and it warms my heart. Learning just brings me such joy and satisfaction. In the eleventh grade, I was introduced to my first love, physics. It was by far my favorite class I took in high school as I constantly had the way I perceived the world shattered. 

When I arrived at Duke, I took an introductory philosophy class and I went through the same phenomena I had with my high school physics class. Philosophy not only shattered the way I viewed the world but it also provided me with a new way of reasoning. Throughout my undergraduate experience, I’ve been trying to see how my two loves converge. This summer I’m doing particle physics research with a more philosophical concentration and I’m eager to see what results I will produce. My next step is to continue my education and go to graduate school and pursue a Ph.D. in Physics.

Aside from academics, I have held executive positions with Duke Archery Club, Duke CommuniTea, and Duke Innoworks, as well as playing rugby with the Eno River Women’s Rugby team in the spring and summer. I also enjoy bumping music, staying active, watching YouTube videos, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. 

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

You know those commercials about skincare products that have celebrities do testimonials stating how the product changed their life? That’s how I feel about the SPIRE Fellows Program. This program has aided me in my academic metamorphosis and I have seen it support my fellow peers as well. From the STEM office hours to our bi-weekly dinners, this program goes out of its way to support its students. This has been the best organization that I have been blessed to be a part of at Duke.

Bernice Meja.
Bernice Meja