Andrews is a trained optometrist who graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana with ‘Distinction’ in Doctor of Optometry (O.D.). His mentors describe him as meticulous, well-rounded, and strongly positioned to act as a transformational leader. At KNUST, Andrews leveraged his charismatic personality to serve as Chairperson on health committees of the Optometry Students Association of Ghana, KNUST Chapter, where he mobilized colleagues to embark on numerous clinical outreach programs – which doubled as population-based studies to augment epidemiologic literature in Ghana. He was one of the brains behind a free eye-screening initiative for schools in the region to detect and manage vision problems among schoolchildren. Andrews extended his clinical practice beyond the consulting room, reaching out to communities biweekly. Passionate about population health, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust grant to broaden his knowledge on community health. An erstwhile recipient of the United World College International Youth Scholarship, Andrews has sustained his zest for youth development through teaching activities and he recently started a non-profit initiative, “The Yeoman” with one of its goals geared towards helping the youth discover and achieve their potentials.
Andrews believes the Public Health graduate curriculum at UBC is rigorous and well-suited to enrich his knowledge and skills in promoting health equity in his community through sound healthcare leadership and effective Public Health research. He is excited to study and network in a beautiful, cosmopolitan academic environment like UBC. During his leisure hours, he hikes, and writes poetry, short fictions, as well as inspirational and thought-provoking quotes.
Judith holds diligence, optimism and resilience as core values. She is a young lady with a lot of dreams built upon her craving for excellence as well as a desire to become a positive change maker in her small community in Kogi State, Nigeria. She earned a First-class degree in Botany from Kogi State University where she established a foundation for a career in forest resources conservation. Towards the end of her undergraduate education, she co-founded a volunteer group: “Why Are You Not in School-WAYNIS”. The group focused on enlightening rural communities on the importance of formal education, organizing seminars to attract the attention of the government and public to the needs of underprivileged children, sourcing funds for vocational trainings, and dispatching charity materials.
Apart from being dedicated to voluntary services, Judith is committed towards a career in forestry with a zeal to become an expert in evaluating complex forest and climate problems, and contribute to researches in forest resources security and ecosystem sustenance.
Judith is exhilarated about studying at University of British Columbia and she is keenly looking forward to integrating with the diverse students’ community. She intends to ardently observe the teaching and research methods at UBC for future implementation in Nigeria’s educational sector. Judith believes that with hard work and sacrifice, success is achievable; and she is determined to do the work and make some sacrifices with her mind fixed on one goal – “a better tomorrow”.
Claire Louise Okatch is a Kenyan by birth and enthusiastically claims her matrilineal Tanzanian heritage. She holds a BA in Social Research and Public Policy and a minor in Mandarin Chinese from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). She also graduated from United World College (UWC) of South East Asia in 2014. She considers herself a lifelong advocate for inclusive policy making that creates space for the female, youth and Black voice. For the last 7 years, she has been heavily involved in establishing and expanding youth networks with particular emphasis on global citizenship, education, heritage and gender equity. She has worked with youth networks and community groups in South Africa, Mozambique, the UAE, East Africa and South East Asia to this end.
Claire has worked as an independent consultant with clients such as NYUAD which led to her retention as a youth advisor for the Dhakira Center of Heritage at NYUAD and Center for International Heritage Activities. She currently serves on the Kenya National Committee of UWC and brings with her volunteer experiences from the National Committees of China and Singapore. She is also the lead coordinator of the UWC Short Course held annually in Moshi Tanzania which brings together 16-19-year-olds from around the world to learn about conflict and community building in the context of East Africa. She is pursuing an MPPGA with the hopes that this will further cement her policy practice capabilities in her search for a more just world for marginalized groups.
Abigail embodies the true sense of optimism, resilience and vision. After completing the University of Ghana Business School with First Class Honors, she went ahead to qualify as a chartered management accountant. She co-founded an entrepreneurial business in online grocery shopping to bridge the gap between local farmers and market women. This later metamorphosed into her passion to help improve the Agric sector of Ghana and help make rural living more lucrative.
As one of the core leaders of The GracedLife Leadership Centre (a non-profit Christian organization set up to reorient the mindset of the African youth to foster selflessness and generational thinking in whatever sphere of leadership they find themselves), she currently trains young people in creative arts, theatre and TV production, after setting up her own theatre production company. She has over the course of 4 years, staged plays on both national and academic platforms, trained several young people and created jobs for others in the process. Abigail is also passionate about transforming the energy sector of Africa and make it more sustainable, a dream she birthed after working in the petroleum and energy sector of West Africa.
She looks forward to turning the exposure and experience from the Sauder MBA program and the Mastercard Foundation’s support into providing policy support for the African continent in sustainability in energy and agriculture, as well as support her lifelong commitment of raising the next generation of global African leaders through mentorship.
Victor Francis is proud to call Benin, one of Nigeria’s historic cities, home. He graduated summa-cum-laude from the University of Ilorin with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. Victor was on the Vice Chancellor’s University Scholars Award list every year and won the Total/NNPC National Merit Scholarship. He was hand-picked three times to lead the academic and mentorship arms of CONCES – a 1000-student organization. Recently, Victor was part of a global team of 50 changemakers working with the United Nations to combat Terrorism Financing using Machine Learning. Victor is passionate about the fusion of technology and learning and strongly believes that technology-enabled and quality education at all levels will accelerate Africa’s development. He masterminded an intervention group that facilitates development programs in select Nigerian public schools. Inspired by his learning experience growing up in Nigeria, Victor aspires to build an Africa-focused technology company improving learning outcomes on the continent.
At UBC, Victor is pursuing the Masters of Data Science program. He is confident that the well-rounded MDS curriculum and astute faculties will impart the competencies to build community-impacting DataTech solutions. He is also excited to learn about different cultures at UBC.
Taiwo Owoseni received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. Her undying yearn for self-development pushed her to intern with Devcareers birthing her journey into Data Science. Driven by her curiosity for Data Science, she enrolled with AI Saturdays in Lagos- an active learning community dedicated to promoting Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Lagos. She explored this platform by networking with fellow AI and Data Science enthusiasts. Her passion for growth in the community made her volunteer to co-organize AI Saturdays in Lagos.
Taiwo has worked as a Data Analyst with OneHealth and Airtel Nigeria. She put her data-driven skills to use by creating informative reports for these organizations to make better decisions.
She interned with SKtime, a unified framework for machine learning with time series. She is passionate about creating Free and Open Source Softwares (FOSS). She continues to contribute to the expansion of the SKtime open source library. She also volunteers in the Sktime community council where she is involved in outreach and organizing virtual classes for users to learn about the importance of Sktime.
Taiwo hopes to apply her experience at UBC, to contribute to the development of useful open-source tools to make Data Science and AI easier to navigate in industries. Leveraging the pool of networks studying at UBC presents, she intends to connect with professionals and researchers to learn how Data Science tools can be improved to solve health and commercial industries’ problems.
Michael is an intelligent, hardworking, and determined goal-getter with exceptional leadership traits. He graduated top of his cohort with First-Class Honours in Agricultural and Resource Economics major and emerged the Best Graduating Student in the Faculty of Agriculture at The Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria. Michael brought his leadership skills to bear where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of his departmental Magazine “Masterplan for Efficient Agricultural Productivity” (MEAP). He served as the President of the NYSC/NDLEA Community Development Group, which committed to tackling drug and substance abuse, where he spearheaded a sensitization campaign against drug abuse and illegal trafficking to mark the 2019 UN Day against Drug abuse. The success of this campaign birthed the establishment of a drug-free club in three secondary schools and also served as an awakening call to sleeping stakeholders in his community.
Michael is a passionate academic and agriculturist and this has steered his participation in various agricultural and educational volunteering programs. At UBC, Michael will pursue the Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE) program. He aims to acquire the relevant skillset required for addressing pertinent agricultural challenges such as food insecurity, climate change, and rural development in order to enable farmers to maximize their agriculture gains. He looks forward to learning and thriving in the beautiful and serene environment at UBC.
Ifeoluwa is described by his academic mentors as being a promising young brilliant, smart, and highly intelligent individual with a strong passion for excellence. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Economics from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He graduated with First-Class Honours and won the “First Bank Plc Overall-Best Mathematics Student” award for two consecutive years.
Ifeoluwa has worked as President, General Secretary, Financial Officer, and Provost of several student and voluntary organizations ranging from the Baptist Students (BSF), Royal Ambassador of Nigeria (RAN), and Community Development Service (CDS) group where he was responsible in the advocacy for rural education, improved living standards of rural dwellers and rural students’ mentorship.
Ifeoluwa’s passion for community development propelled him to volunteer in many community outreach programs including COBES and CDS where he co-organized sensitization programs for rural households on the prevalence of crop pests, diseases and control, adoption of modern agricultural practices, and a hygienic environment. As a graduate assistant at Kwara State University, Malete, he worked with agricultural experts in conducting field research, data collection, and analysis on food production.
He believes that Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE) will equip him with the right skills to build a career path in becoming a proficient agrobusiness consultant and policy analyst where he hopes to focus on formulating food relating policies to alleviate food insecurity issues in Nigeria. He is thrilled to join UBC and looks forward to experiencing Vancouver’s multi-cultural diversity.
Rhoda is a determined and goal-oriented individual who is passionate about the well-being of others. She graduated from the University of Ilorin where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural-Economics with First-Class Honours. While growing up she experienced food insecurity which led her to her goal to develop an economical strategy and sustainable agriculture industry in her home country. During her undergraduate internship, she gained experience in agricultural production processes at a farm and was teaching junior students about the agriculture process in Igboora Grammar School, Nigeria. She worked as an Administrative Assistant for the ROTNED NGO and participated in activities such as improving the lives of less-privileged children in Nigeria, aligning with SDGs 1,2,3, and 4.
At UBC, Rhoda will pursue the Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE) degree to gain knowledge and experience with the hope to work at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development NGOs. This will aid her involvement in creating and implementing policies in rural areas regarding food security. Rhoda is excited to learn at UBC and network with different scholars from around the world. This Master’s will also certify her long-term educational goal for suitability for a Ph.D. program.
Olaoluwa is described by his lecturers as being an intelligent, optimistic, and determined person with a strong passion for academic excellence. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Nigeria, with First-Class Honours. He developed his interest in reading and teaching from his tender years, and his passion to make a positive impact led him to join several community groups. During his undergraduate studies, he was a secretary of the Sustainable Development Goals group in his community. He participated actively in various community campaigns, and his group championed SDGs 3 and 6 (Good health and well-being and Clean water and sanitation).
Olaoluwa believes a Master’s degree in Land and Water Systems at the University of Columbia will help him to achieve his goal to build a sustainable environment community. He looks forward to learning and researching with state-of-the-art facilities at UBC. He is excited to experience the green environment and the serenity of Vancouver city.
Ezekiel Boamah is a cool-headed person, an environmentalist, SDG Advocate, and a strategic planner. He attended Nkawkaw Senior High School, Foso College of Education (FOSCO), and the University of Cape Coast (UCC), in Ghana. Ezekiel worked with the Ghana Education Service as a class teacher. He holds a Diploma in Basic Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Education in Psychology and Foundations of Education.
As an environmentalist, Ezekiel co-founded the ‘’Kwahu Sanitation Volunteers Club’’ (KSVC) in 2016. As a program coordinator, he initiated practical measures to help improve sanitation within the Kwahu enclave. This initiative has reduced the occurrence of sanitation-related diseases such as malaria, cholera, and the likes by over 68 percent and still counting. The ‘’After School Evening Class’’ (ASEC) is also the brainchild of Ezekiel. This initiative commenced in 2014 to purposely help rural school children acquire reading skills and hence develop an intrinsic desire and passion for schooling. Having received all his basic education in a typical rural setting, Ezekiel has identified numerous challenges pupils in rural areas go through in Ghana. This resulted in the creation of this initiative which has benefited over 255 children so far.
At UBC, Ezekiel Boamah is pursuing a Master of Education in Science Education to further develop his professional and pedagogical prowess under the tutelage of distinguished faculty members in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the UBC Faculty of Education. Boamah hopes to capitalize on the multicultural environment UBC provides and establish networks globally to contribute to the development of STEM, girls and child education in rural areas in Ghana after completion.
Francis is a great team player and a passionate nature conservation activist. He has a positive attitude towards work and embraces innovative ways of learning. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management (Silviculture and Forest Management) with First-Class Honors.
Francis was actively engaged in activities and was a part of the ecological campaign against Bauxite mining in Ghana’s Atewa Forest Reserve, school and community sensitization programs, and restoration of degraded forest. During his undergraduate study, he was a volunteer as an Operations personnel at the Forestry Commission of Ghana. His continuous passion and dedication for forest conservation led to his current role as a Natural Resource Management Officer at Advocates for Biodiversity Conservation-Ghana (ABC-Ghana), a non-profit organization. He and his team are currently working on a Bamboo Agroforestry project to support the livelihoods of farmers and explore the potential for carbon credit. As part of his accomplishments, he led the ABC-Ghana team to successfully establish a Clonal Bamboo Mother Nursery in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
He aspires to become a renowned Forest Research Scientist whose work will contribute to the country’s commitment toward the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. He is elated knowing that UBC provides a conducive environment for cross-disciplinary studies and the development of transferable skills including cross-cutting technology. He is pursuing a Master of International Forestry.
Flora is an Alumni of the African Leadership Academy, a world-class entrepreneurship and leadership school in South Africa. She graduated as a top science student from the United States International University-Africa in Kenya, with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Technology. She co-founded an award-winning Iwili Project, dedicated to developing youth entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso. Through her role as co-founder and Program Director, Flora was instrumental in crafting the project idea, creating the curriculum, developing program implementation steps, and engaging the youth trained through the project. She was part of GeekGirl, an initiative that empowers girls to realize their full potential and encourages them to pursue whatever career they aspire to embrace, with a focus in IT, through an annual two-week IT camp in Burkina Faso.
Flora’s ultimate dream is to harness a wealth of connections, knowledge, and skills to create the first-ever Data Analytics Center to bring the type of expertise that the African continent urgently needs to make informed decisions backed by science.
She is confident that the unique, practical, and rich Master of Data Science program at UBC will help her grow personally, academically, and professionally to become one of the people who will lead economic change in Africa using technology.
Quadri is a modest, resilient, and intelligent individual passionate about academic excellence and the ability to use his talent to drive positive change in his community. He graduated as the overall best graduating student at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Food Science. Quadri was awarded the university scholar and student of the year award due to his enormous contribution to the university community in mentorship, tutoring, and leadership. He then also interned as an Operational Quality Assurance Officer at GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria PLC and as a Food Scientist at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi. Quadri is a food safety and security advocate who has volunteered to help different communities achieve sustainable development in education, food security, and a healthy environment. Quadri founded the Feed a Child Program (FCP) which is targeted at children and nursing mothers to reduce child hunger and stunting (chronic malnutrition).
Quadri is excited to be part of the UBC community and he is hoping to obtain a Ph.D. in Food Science (Food Safety) in the future. Thus, becoming a food safety and quality expert who can offer solutions to the diverse problems of food safety, toxicology, and nutrition. He is confident that the Master of Food Science program at UBC will be a stepping stone towards achieving his personal and career goals. Quadri is looking forward to working and networking with great minds, experiencing the diversified culture, and being trained by world-renowned faculty staff at UBC.
Khalid Abdilahi is a Software Engineer who has extensive experience in designing large-scale systems in big-data automation. His friends and colleagues regard him as someone who is passionate about software development, algorithmic thinking, and teaching others. Khalid graduated from Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) in Malaysia with a First-Class Honours in Computer Science. Khalid co-founded a modern job posting platform Jobslope to solve the employment issues in Somalia, which had more than six thousand daily subscribers. He is passionate about mentoring young technology enthusiasts in his home country and was providing online programming classes and mentorship to students in various local universities.
He is excited to study in the Master of Data Science program at UBC and looking forward to meeting people who are passionate about data science and machine learning. Khalid believes studying at UBC will be an exciting new experience for him academically, professionally, and personally.
Esther is a selfless, sophisticated, and committed individual with a strong passion for academic excellence. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education at The University of Nigeria Nsukka where she graduated as the overall best student with First-Class Honours. With her experience growing up and studying in a rural area with limited to no learning resources and a shortage of trained teachers especially in the aspect of the Mathematics, she was engaged in volunteering to support other students with similar issues. She was elected as the president of Mathematics Student Association (MSA) in her community, and during her tenure, she organized coaching classes for students in both Secondary and Tertiary institutions where Mathematics was been taught by experienced mathematicians at no cost. Esther was actively involved in in the Landmark Cycle Initiative where funds were raised from prominent people in the community to sponsor intelligent but indigent kids who earnestly eager to be educated.
Her ultimate professional goal is to become an internationally recognized educator. She desires to work with an educational consulting organization that could assist schools to solve educational problems. She is excited to study at UBC with a diverse community, outstanding state of art facilities, and holistic teaching methods. Esther believes that the Master’s in Educational Administration and Leadership program will expose her to a transformative educational experience that not only gives her the tools to lead confidently, but the interpersonal aptitude to lead genuinely in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.
Phoebe is praised for being a hardworking, compassionate, and passionate family-oriented person. She was born and raised in Kigali, Rwanda. When she was a toddler, she almost lost her life to anemia. As she grew up, she was determined to become a pediatrician. She was awarded a MasterCard Foundation scholarship and graduated from Michigan State University with Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Nutrition with a minor in Global Public Health and Epidemiology.
During her undergraduate study, she learned that most of the health challenges of poor communities can be easily solved through effective public health efforts. She was involved in projects about leadership, education, nutrition, public health, and infectious diseases. One of her proudest projects is to reduce malnutrition and stunting in children and women using fortified foods conducted with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Rwanda.
Phoebe is highly passionate about public health education and the effective dissemination of evidence-based health information. Her career goal is to become a public health professor and to start a Nutrition and Public Health Research Institute. She believes UBC’s MPH program will help her to gain skills to advance public health knowledge in her home country Rwanda. She is looking forward to her studies at UBC and is excited to take a part in related projects.
Shukurah identifies as a smart, diligent, and persistent individual with a penchant for academic excellence. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management at the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), Abeokuta, Nigeria with First-Class Honours and was the best student. Actively passionate about volunteerism and community development services, Shukurah continuously strives to give back to her community. During her tenure as the President of the Agro-Allied Community Development Services group, at the National Youth Service Corp Program (NYSC) she organized empowerment programs to train indigenous farmers in Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria on the use of neem plants as plant-based pesticides for insect control.
Shukurah is a young conservationist and a citizen scientist for the Nigeria South West Atlas Team where she worked with wildlife professionals traveling across several states to collect data on birds for the Nigeria Bird Atlas Project. She recently volunteered at the FUNAAB Zoological Park, a position that allowed her to work with wildlife and build up her wildlife photography skills.
Her decision to study Master of Sustainable Forest Management (MSFM) at UBC stemmed from her desire to engage in collaborative researches with a diverse community to address forest-related issues and environmental degradation. She is confident that MSFM will refine her skills and knowledge of conservation to create strategic measures necessary to increase the focus of forest and biodiversity conservation for sustainability in her home country. Ultimately, Shukurah looks forward to becoming a voice of change with an interdisciplinary approach in the Nigerian Forestry Sector.
Kahsay is a down-to-earth, liberal, and influential individual. He graduated as the highest scorer and a gold medalist student from the Mekelle University, Ethiopia, with a Bachelor’s degree in Art, Public Relations and Advertising. Throughout his tenure, he was actively engaged in volunteering activities. He was a campaigner of a “Serawit” book club which focused on influencing and inspiring youths in reading to help them to become active participants in socio-politico-economic activities. He was teaching at Mekelle University, Ethiopia, and has a burning desire to improve the quality of the tertiary school’s education system in his home country.
Kahsay believes the Master of Higher Education program at the University of British Columbia will help him to gain knowledge and skills to facilitate effective teaching and learning strategies. He is excited and can’t wait to join UBC to exert a program curriculum and explore cultural diversity.
Nellie graduated from McGill University and started her career as Equity Bank’s liaison on Refugee Banking and Advocacy in East Africa. She worked with Forcibly Displaced Persons (FDP) in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan to study their livelihoods and needs. She developed and provided relevant policies, business proposals, and payment solutions to UNHCR, WFP, Windle International Kenya, and other humanitarian agencies.
Nellie believes the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program at UBC will help her to develop the first comprehensive policy resolution kit for East Africa to better manage migration and support the socio-economic integration of refugees. Through her program at UBC, she intends to learn about policy research methods, and the theoretical models underpinning social protection programs. She is excited to start her journey and in her spare time, she enjoys the arts and looks forward to exploring Vancouver’s wide array of artistic activities.