Students recognized for exceptional leadership at Black Arts and Innovation Expo

March 6, 2017
    Left to right: Vivian Ntiri, Janelle Hinds, Marquise Kamanke, Abraham Omorogbe, Shawn Hercules

Three McMaster students were recently recognized for their exceptional leadership during the Black Arts and Innovation Expo (BAIE) in Toronto recently.

Software Engineering and Management student Abraham Omorogbe, Marquise Kamanke, a Chemical Engineering and Management student, and Shawn Hercules, a grad student in Biology, were each awarded a $5,000 scholarship from BAIE in recognition of their academic, leadership and community achievements.

The scholarships acknowledge the students’ work to promote diversity and inspire excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Of the 11 scholarships awarded, McMaster was the only university with more than one scholarship winner.

“Not only does this scholarship prove to me that my hard work and diligence pays off, the award helps shift my focus from the financial burdens of post-secondary studies to more important issues like developing community initiatives that increase diversity in academic and professional settings,” Omorogbe said.

As international student, Kamanke said the scholarship had special meaning for her.

“This scholarship is a testament to the results of hard work and a message to everyone who doubts their abilities. Everyone has it in them. It just takes confidence, practice and trials to succeed. I will continue pushing myself academically and professionally to inspire my younger peers.”

Two McMaster Alumni also received recognition. Janelle Hinds (B. Eng. and Management ’15) was a finalist at the BAIE Lions Lair Competition. She pitched her “Helping Hands” organization that seeks to empower youth by matching students with volunteer organizations based on the student's interest and skills they want to improve on.

Vivian Ntiri (B.Sc. Earth Environmental Science ‘12), who is now currently pursuing a law degree at University of Windsor, was a scholarship recipient.

In its third year, the BAIE was by Excelovate and First Book Canada with the mission to “transform and enrich lives by removing barriers, connecting diverse people and creating opportunities for success.”