Graduate Scholars

Cohort 5 (2018-2019)

  • Abdifatah Abdi

    Faculty of Education

    Abdifatah graduated in 2011 from the Islamic University of Technology (IUT) in Bangladesh with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Education in Computer Science and Information Technology. Since then, he has been a lecturer and teacher at various institutions in science-based courses. He worked with the Union of Somali Teacher Advocacy Development on a teacher training project and had the opportunity to volunteer with international organizations such as the Red Cross and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to distribute food, clean water, shelter and medicine to displaced people in refugee camps in the city of Mogadishu. Such unique involvements led him to start thinking about solutions involving basic education for children in his community.

    Abdifatah believes that a Master of Education in Science Education from the University of British Columbia will help refine his existing leadership skills and build upon his current fundamental knowledge of Environmental Education. Abdifatah’s career goals involve poverty reduction, sustainable development and curriculum development. He is committed to establishing the first ever teacher training center in Somalia whereby all new teachers are trained with the required education and skills to succeed in their teaching duties. One of his long term goals is to provide basic education to children with disabilities (blind and deaf) in Somalia by establishing the first ever school of its kind for these children in Somalia by 2022. Abdifatah is also keen on establishing the first ever environmental education awareness Non-Governmental Organization in Somalia with an aim to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues. He hopes that through this initiative, the public will remain informed and equipped with the necessary skills to take responsible action.

  • Ademola Victor Adebayo

    Faculty of Forestry

    Victor describes himself as a young, talented, and hardworking scholar who creates great passion for excellence in all his endeavours irrespective of the surrounding challenges and pressures. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Forestry and Wildlife Management from Federal University of Agriculture and ranked as the only first-class honors student. His earnest desire for impacting and contributing positively to his community stimulated his passion for leadership and extra-curriculum activities. These activities include tutoring and mentorship to students aspiring to improve in academic performance. A recent project he took over and gracefully spearheaded, is a non-profit called ‘Tree Planting Ambassadors (TPA)’. The group embarked on tree planting, training and sensitization projects on desertification control and distribution of free seedlings in various communities in Sokoto state.

    Victor’s ultimate career goal is to become a Professor in the field of Forestry in Nigeria. Furthermore, he has plans to create a non- governmental group that would be actively committed in creating awareness on the need for forest resources conservation. He believes that pursuing a Masters degree in Sustainable Forest Management will not only help him achieve his long term goal, but will also furnish him with necessary skills and knowledge on forest resource conservation, environmental management, forest ecology and climate change control. Furthermore, it will help him to enhance sustainable forest management as well as mitigating the devastating effects of climate change due to over-exploitation of environmental resources. Victor is eager to learn about people’s cultures and lifestyles during his stay in Vancouver.

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  • Goodness Eniola Adesokan

    Faculty of Land and Food Systems

    Goodness is a young graduate from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) in Nigeria where she studied Agricultural and Resource Economics. She describes herself as resilient, assiduous, optimistic, and selfless. Throughout her time at FUTA, she was actively involved in various activities some of which include the Debate Club, Read to Impact Initiative, Pace Impact Initiative, and Face of Agriculture. According to Goodness, pursuing a Master’s Degree in Food and Resource Economics is a step in the right direction to pursuing her long-term objective of joining The Food and Agriculture Organization and leading a spirited team focused on increased agricultural production through harnessing the resources of rural communities in Nigeria and transforming them into revenue for the communities.

    She is most excited about the opportunity to study in a University populated by people with rich cultural backgrounds, outstanding facilities and holistic teaching as she believes these will help her personal and professional development. Goodness enjoys reading, debating and finding ways to help others. She hopes to join various clubs whilst at UBC to further her passions and develop her talents.

  • Emmanuel Adoasi-Ahyiah

    Faculty of Forestry

    Emmanuel recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management as the best student in his Faculty and received the Youth Excellence League (YEL) Award from the Beige Foundation through Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Throughout Emmanuel’s study, he availed himself to teach colleagues who found it difficult to understand coursework and volunteered to teach and mentor young students in his community to help them excel in their academic work. His undergraduate research concentrated on how forest plant biomass could be used to improve crop growth and yield, and improve soils in small-holder farms in fringe communities of KNUST. Emmanuel participated keenly in community outreaches on sustainable forest and natural resources management, educating people on climate change, food security, ecosystem and biodiversity conservation. His career goals are geared toward forest and natural resource conservation and education, environmental research and lecturing. Fulfilling these goals would enable him to carry out independent scientific and technical research and assessments on forests and natural resources, and propose sustainable solutions to ecosystems and biodiversity problems in Ghana and other developing countries.

    Emmanuel strongly believes pursuing the Master of Science in Forestry program will equip him with the requisite knowledge, skills and expertise, and nurture him into the research scientist and lecturer he aspires to be. He is confident it will further enhance his competence in the development and implementation of sustainable, scientifically based strategies for forest and natural resources management.

  • Tolulope Afolabi

    Faculty of Forestry

    Tolu is described as intelligent, diligent and eager by her supervisors. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) in Nigeria in Forestry and Wood Technology and graduated as the best student in her class.

    Tolu has taken part in various experiences which further fueled her passion for Forestry and wanting to be part of the solution for Nigeria and Africa. These experiences include not only her studies and the field work involved, but also her industrial training at the Forest Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), as well as the attending the first conference of the Commonwealth Forestry Association, Nigeria Chapter on Forestry in Nigeria. Tolu intends to contribute in meeting both the intellectual and social needs of her country by educating more people around the importance of forests. Tolu is enthusiastic about pursuing her Masters of Science in Forestry at the University of British Columbia because of the capacity, technology and resources available at UBC to deepen her knowledge in the field. Her future goal is to build a career in the Environmental and Natural Resources sector.

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  • Adeola Alle

    Faculty of Forestry

    Adeola holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Ondo State, Nigeria. It is here he came in contact first-hand with problems of inadequate qualitative and quantitative housing and standard of living data in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. He also came to realize that achieving a better society, where equal opportunities are made available for everyone, regardless of their socio-cultural or ethnic background, is achievable through dialogue and quality engagements amongst intelligent minds. Adeola’s desire to be part of the solution is what motivates him to pursue the Master of Geomatics for Environmental Management at the University of British Columbia. Whilst at UBC, he hopes to acquire advanced knowledge in a specialized field of Geomatics for Environmental Management, especially under the themes of resilience and socioecological perspectives. Upon completing the MGEM program, he intends to become a sustainability consultant who specializes in using geospatial data in proffering solutions to waste and waste water management issues.

    Above all, Adeola is extremely excited to nurture his passion and talent for debate by getting involved in the UBC Debate Society. He is eager to learn with and from the diverse UBC students, faculty and other Mastercard Scholars.

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  • Samuel Arawu

    Faculty of Land and Food Systems

    Passionate, excellent, determined, ambitious and honest, are just a few words that can be used to describe Arawu. Having grown up in Nigeria, he has witnessed the increasing rate of diabetes cancer and obesity. Arawu’s ultimate goal is to help the poor gain access to quality food, to reduce the disease rate and enhance the lives of Nigerians, and eventually, all Africans. This fueled his interest in pursuing a Masters in Food Science at UBC as he believes it will help him solve the problem of fake food products in Nigeria. In the near future, Arawu hopes to become an accomplished researcher, an asset in decision & policy making in Nigeria’s development process, establish a nutritional-genetic research laboratory in Lagos, and win the Nobel Prize in Health through Innovation along the way.

    Arawu is looking forward to the vast multiculturalism that Vancouver nurtures, and connecting with the outstanding faculty, staff, and colleagues that UBC has to offer.

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  • Samuel Ayanleye

    Faculty of Forestry

    Sam describes himself as a passionate youth with strong interests in agricultural development, environmental conservation, values-based leadership, and community development. Sam’s dedication to helping communities through improving their livelihood led him to join numerous community organizations and NGOs, such as the Nigerian Environmental Conservation Organization, Nigerian Society for Environmental Conservation, Nigeria Young Professionals for Agricultural Development, Gemstone Nation Builders Network, and Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network. He is also a Core Member of ProtectOzone which is focused on improving the livelihood of marginalized people in Nigeria and the Africa continent. This zeal for giveback also drove him to co-found his own initiative committed to forestry education, climate change campaigns, tree tagging and agroforestry, called Edenworld Initiative.

    Sam chose UBC for its hi-tech facilities and renowned forestry and wood science disciplines. He believes his pursuit of the MSc in Wood Science will allow him to explore and work with the newest technologies in wood science for research, and will help him comprehend how wood can be appreciated, managed and used as a pathway for fair and sustainable development. His research will revolve around Wood Physics, Wood Drying, Wood Modifications and Wood Quality Improvement. He will be looking into how wood Extractives affect Hygroscopic Properties and Brown Decay of wood and how these can be well understood in improving the overall performance of wood. Ultimately, Sam wants to be part of the solution for many problems facing his home country of Nigeria and the African continent as a whole.

  • Olatunbosun Ayetan

    Faculty of Land and Food Systems

    Bosun is described by his supervisors as having a great drive for success as well as being exceptionally intelligent, hardworking, innovative and capable of analytical reasoning. He holds a Bachelor of Agriculture and Technology, in Crop, Soil and Pest Management from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria. During his industrial training at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in 2016, he gained practical experience and theoretical knowledge on plant genetics, plant breeding and biotechnology which matured his desire to build a career in the agricultural and educational sector. Bosun has chosen to pursue a Master of Land and Water Systems at the University of British Columbia to develop the skills and capacity necessary to carry out successful research and contribute to the current body of knowledge in this field. He believes that this program will further position him to propose realistic solutions to some of the problems facing the agricultural sector in Nigeria. He is excited to be a part of UBC’s well- equipped experimental and computational facilities.

    Bosun is thrilled to be part of UBC’s multicultural community and exchange ideas with students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. He looks forward to gaining invaluable knowledge in and outside the classroom.

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  • Adolphus Bassey

    Sauder School of Business

    Adolphus is described as cheerful, respectful, tenacious, innovative, and humble. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the American University of Nigeria in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering. He is passionate about technology and learning new ways to be innovative evident in his community involvement. In college, he wrote code for Mobile Doctor; a mobile and web application that provides health and maternity care tips and consultation forums as an alternative avenue for medical consultation. He recently started volunteering at an initiative called Visit a Hospital Today where he contributed to raising funds to assist patients in selected rural areas in Lagos state with their hospital bills. He also volunteers at Aquaphil Foundation, a family owned charity initiative to help rehabilitate educational institutions in the community of Odukpani, Cross River State, Nigeria. In the past few years, he has contributed to building a high school in the hometown of Odukpani, Cross River State to improve access to education.

    Adolphus hopes to apply his experience at Sauder to grow Codaas Tech, a software development house focused on providing technical solutions to address healthcare, security and other problems common in Africa. Leveraging Sauder’s global alumni network, he plans to navigate the African market to introduce Codaas Tech’s pioneer project, AutoDoc – an application that connects car owners with auto-repairers in order to address the security issues that stem from inaccessibility of mechanics. He believes Sauder’s MBA would equip him with business strategies and leadership skills which will be instrumental in achieving his dreams.

  • Disan Katende

    Faculty of Medicine

    Disan would describe himself as resilient, versatile, dynamic, and friendly. His extensive field experience in emergency nutrition responses, maternal and child nutrition, has taught Disan to appreciate the spirit of give-back and its impact on the lives of others. This same spirit led him to co- found Apt Nutriconsult- a consulting firm dedicated to fighting hunger and malnutrition by empowering the most vulnerable communities with best practices on WASH, optimal nutrition, and sustainable land use. Disan believes Sub-Saharan Africa needs reliable public health leadership to provide multi-sectorial approaches including sustainable land and water management to eradicate malnutrition. Through the Master of Public Health program at UBC, he intends to broaden his understanding of the intricate relationship between the environment, health and nutrition in the etiology and prevention of diseases. He describes UBC as a multi-cultural and collaborative ecosystem with a rich history of excellence in academics and scientific research thus a hot spot for innovations.

    Upon graduation, Disan aspires to use his skills to strengthen health and nutrition governance as well as the technical capacity of local authorities in rural areas to improve maternal, newborn and child health through nutrition and food security. This will entail; monitoring famine early warning systems and guiding timely corrective action to avert the severity and crisis from anticipated food scarcity. Additionally, he hopes to support hunger prone communities to establish robust nutrition surveillance systems that allow for; timely active case finding and referral of malnourished patients for rehabilitation, thus reducing linked deaths and illnesses.

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  • Samuel Makinde

    Faculty of Land and Food Systems

    From a young age, Samuel developed a high interest in reading, teaching and competition. He graduated with First Class with a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure in Nigeria (FUTA). Samuel’s passion for learning and teaching encouraged him to join various youth development organizations to offer teaching and tutoring services in his community. Through his Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) in Adefolorunsho (Tech.) Ventures, Nigeria, he learned how to operate, diagnose and solve problems of machines used in PET bottle production. In 2016, Samuel organized youths in his community to combat malaria infestation and environmental diseases through which he created his non-profit Operation Clean the Environment (OCE). This NGO seeks to clean and educate the youth on preventative measures against malaria. Sam sees himself as a Global citizen with an interest in environmental engineering, food security, hydro technical engineering, groundwater hydrology, water/watershed management, municipal water supply and water policies.

    Samuel believes that Masters of Land and Water Systems from the University of British Columbia will help him play a vital role in solving problems of land degradation caused by tillage activities. After graduation, he hopes to work as a researcher and engineer in Nigeria to give back and enhance global development at large. Samuel is excited to feel the serenity of the green environment in Vancouver as well as to study in the modern facilities available for learning and researching at UBC.

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  • Balanding Manneh

    Faculty of Medicine

    Balanding has made a life-long commitment to getting more knowledgeable on the topics of malnutrition, hunger, and disease. Balanding is a recent graduate of Arizona State University, where he pursed an honors degree in Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell, and Developmental Biology) and a minor in Sustainability. He is described by his supervisors as being immensely talented, hardworking, and passionate. His strong commitment to alleviate poverty and hunger stems from his personal experience growing up in the Gambia. This motivated him to get heavily involved in various projects and organizations as well as establish his own organization in 2014 focused on helping rural farmers in the Gambia fight hunger and poverty through agriculture, called Rural Impact. In recognition of his effort, Balanding was awarded the President William Jefferson Clinton Global Hunger Leadership Award by Stop Hunger Now in 2016.

    In pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) at UBC, Balanding hopes to explore and understand how to better promote and contribute to the public health sector in his community and around the world. He is looking forward to participating in a practicum which will give him a chance to apply the concepts and theories learned in the classroom.

  • Oloruntobi Muniru

    Faculty of Forestry

    Tobi is very passionate about ensuring sustainable development in Africa through good forest management. During her undergraduate education, she focused on encouraging indigenous people (especially youth) to participate in managing and rejuvenating existing forests, practice agroforestry, and climate-smart agriculture through her involvement with several Agriculture NGO’s in Nigeria. In 2017, she was the program coordinator for the symposium “Deforestation and Climate change, our concern?” organized by the Nigeria Society for Environmental Conservation, FUTA chapter. The program educated 80 young farmers and entrepreneurs in agriculture about how deforestation and climate change affects the agricultural sector, and the ideal response to climate change issues.

    Tobi states “to get solutions to problems, one has to think globally and act locally”. She believes a Master’s degree in Sustainable Forest Management at UBC will help broaden her horizon such that when she returns to Africa, she would be able to offer relevant solutions to problems in forest management and give more informed knowledge about sustainable agriculture to farmers. Tobi is most excited about coming to a city where nature is kept at its best.

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  • Mtise Mwanza

    Sauder School of Business

    From a young age, Mtise realized that health is the most critical element to progress and vitality in life. Through various childhood experiences and disparities in her community, her interest in ensuring health, especially women’s health, developed. Mtise’s interests led her to pursue an undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke College in Biochemistry with a certificate in Culture, Health and Science. Her dream is to alleviate health burdens by building and managing a healthcare venture focusing on reproductive and sexual health in her home country of Zambia. She is confident that an MBA at UBC will provide her with the guidance and support to develop skills needed to build creative solutions to Zambia’s health challenges. According to Mtise, UBC develops principled innovative world-changers and she is determined to become one of them.

    Mtise is looking forward to enjoying Vancouver’s beautiful landscape by visiting UBC’s Botanical Garden and taking on the Grouse Grind. To satisfy her love for organic and fresh food nutrition, she is also anticipating many visits to farmers’markets. Mtise is excited to meet her diverse MBA cohort, going on hikes and experiencing Vancouver’s local cuisine. She is looking forward to participating in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship club and utilizing technology to improve lives in Africa and beyond.

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  • Ebere Mercy Okafor

    Faculty of Forestry

    Mercy is a research enthusiast and describes herself as being diligent, honest, and easy going. She recently graduated from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) in Nigeria with a degree in Forestry and Wood Technology. During her final year, she had the opportunity to travel around Nigerian states for ecological assessment of various vegetation types. There, her interest in forestry and remote sensing was kindled and her enthusiasm to contribute to her immediate community grew. She wants to acquire forest management skills and knowledge as she believes that forestry sector in her country needs to be restructured to accommodate new ideas that would ensure sustainable use of available forest resources. For these reasons, she chose to pursue a Master’s degree in Geomatics for Environmental Management at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

    While at UBC, Mercy looks forward to exchanging ideas and learning from her peers, faculty, and staff to help her grow as a forester and as a leader. She looks forward to engaging in intercultural experiences and discovering the natural beauty of Vancouver and British Columbia.

  • Chidubem Ekpereamaka Okechukwu

    Faculty of Medicine

    Chidubem (Dubem) is a trained medical doctor whose passion was sparked after witnessing the impact the lack of medical doctors had in her community. She obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), where she volunteered with organizations that provide free health services to rural communities. During her undergraduate studies, she served as the Vice President of Medix Frontiers, UNN chapter, leading campaigns to provide free basic health services to these underserved communities. More recently, Dubem led a team of healthcare professionals to provide basic medical services including screening and early detection of some common ailments such as malaria, and diabetes in a rural community in Southwestern Nigeria.

    Dubem believes that the interdisciplinary approach to community engagement coupled with the qualitative and quantitative approaches that Masters in Public Health at the University of British Columbia provides, will empower her with the skills and knowledge to effectively navigate and proffer solutions to the problem of poor healthcare and female genital mutilation. Dubem is particularly excited about the hands-on training approach to public health at UBC. She hopes to acquire knowledge to contribute to drafting a well-rounded and ethically-sound national protocol aimed at improving the health outcome of the poor. Dubem is excited to join the community of outstanding scholars and change makers in one of the world’s best universities. She is excited to learn how Canada has been able to improve and maintain its excellent public health indices over the years and how to prepare herself to contribute to change in Africa.

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  • Adekunle James Omoboye

    Faculty of Land and Food Systems

    Excellence, Mentorship, Determination, Dexterity and Integrity are the major key words suitable to describe the personality of Adekunle James. He is a First Class Graduate from Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Nigeria where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry. He has a strong background in Food Chemistry and Food Analysis which has fully furnished him with requisite skills needed for his Masters in Food Science. After graduation, he worked with a vibrant team of researchers on a project “feasibility of incorporating Africa Locust beans into Children staples”, and the research recommends viable means through which protein malnutrition can be addressed amongst African children locally.  He has also worked with Deshalom Food Company as a Quality Control intern where he gained top-notch transferable skills. Adekunle has been involved in several leadership and community development programmes. Few of such are when he served as the Academic Director of an interdenominational fellowship where he coordinated and organised academic seminars for about 250 students. More so, he served in a community that is about 1000km from his home town for 12 months in 2017 and contributed to the growth and development of the community at various capacities.

    James hopes to maximize his time at the University of British Columbia to learn, explore and translate garnered experience to influence the world in the future. More so, he hopes to acquire technical knowhow and soft skills that would prepare him for a career in academia and industry through his Master of Food Science. He is excited to experience the power of collaboration through sharing and exchange of ideas with his cohort to identify and chart a new course for eradicating Malnutrition, Food Safety and Post Harvest losses in Africa and the world at large.

  • Espoir Tuyisenge

    Faculty of Land & Food Systems

    Espoir is a recent graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Food Industry Management and a minor in Agribusiness and Environmental Sustainability. Having grown up in an area surrounded with malnutrition, food shortages and poverty, he observed first-hand how dependent his community is on agriculture as a primary source of income. This has driven his interest to become a steward of successful African agriculture and food industry. During his undergraduate program, he was heavily involved in research focused on the latter. He has chosen to pursue a graduate program in Food and Resource Economics at the University of British Columbia as he believes it would grant him the opportunity to engage in research on the advanced systems in Food and Economic Resources. Espoir is confident in UBC’s supportive research environment and strong academic support systems. He is determined to return to Sub Saharan Africa and use his experience and research to advocate and help many smallholder farmers. He is interested in research that would study the economic implications for farmer investment in value- added business. He envisions sustainable agriculture production, food and nutrition security on the African continent.

    Espoir is most excited to meet people, experience Canadian culture, and explore UBC’s world-class resources and opportunities. He would like to continue to engage progressively in new challenges and being open to new experiences.

Cohort 4 (2017-2018)

  • Samuel Adeyanju

    Faculty of Forestry

    Despite the distraction of financial hardship, Samuel performed at the highest level in each stage of his education, allowing him to “see a glorious future ahead coupled with his passion, hard work and commitment to achieve greatness.”  In addition to his commitment to academics, Samuel also involves himself with community service through his role as the founder and lead volunteer of his own NGO, Pace Impact Initiative. In the past year, this organization has been able to train 200 young people in two communities on academic excellence, leadership and skill acquisition, allowing participants to leverage their knowledge and skills to impact their communities. Samuel believes that the biggest impacts come from educating youth with real world skills; as a result, he has committed his time outside of the Pace Impact Initiative to volunteer with other NGOs that focus on leadership, youth capacity building, rural development and entrepreneurship – areas where he finds passion.

    Samuel aspires to build a career in the environmental and natural resources sectors. His MSc research thesis will be looking at specific problems associated with forest policy in Nigeria and ultimately offer solutions to such problems through facilitating consultations with all stakeholders in the forestry sector. As he prepares for his time at UBC, he reminds himself that there are bound to be distractions, difficulties or discouragement along the way; however, only those who persist in the pursuit of their dreams will achieve greatness.

  • Vivian Onwujiobi

    Sauder School of Business

    After changing career paths from a doctor to a Software Developer, Vivian has dedicated herself to supporting women by providing them with software solutions, free consultations and networking opportunities.

    During the most recent Nigerian elections, Vivian volunteered to join an independent election orientation group, Let’s Vote Nigeria and was appointed as the spokesperson for Isolo constituency. The organization went to different social and religious gatherings to request time slots to address different audiences. She was able to organize street to street seminars where she analyzed the election predictions and the possibilities of its success and failure, informing attendees on the importance of the election processes, the role of electorates and the need to exercise civic rights. As a result, the elections in her constituency recorded a nonviolent, organized and massive turnout of eligible voters, most of whom Vivian recognized from the seminars.

    Vivian is interested in studying at UBC because she believes it will help her think like an entrepreneur and give her a well-rounded business view of software development management. As a software developer, Vivian wants to encourage female entrepreneurs at the grass root level to embrace technology in carrying out their business activities. She aims to help small scale business women in her country succeed and compete with their counterparts across the world, and she hopes that UBC will be a key player in helping her achieve that dream.

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