A 20-year-old Ijaw student from Rivers State, Miss Alaba Ann Tam Danagogo, has emerged as the 2021 overall best scholar at the Syracuse University in New York, the United States of America (U.S.A).
Graduating with distinctions in Biology Major and Minor in English and Textual Studies, among other academic accomplishments, Alaba was also awarded the prestigious 1870 scholarship by the university for another four-year Medical Studies.
The university’s Dean of the School of Arts and Science, Prof. Karin Ruhlandt, said among Alaba’s academic accomplishments are the Deans List Honors, Distinction in Biology and the highest recognised 1870 Syracuse University scholarship offered by the Office of Admission of the university.
Alaba was Students’ Speaker (valedictorian) for 2021 and she was selected as a Senior Class Marshall of the university, recognised as a Distinguished Syracuse University Scholar, having graduated summa cum laude with a 3.97 CGPA in a four-point system.
Ruhlandt said: “Alaba’s study in Biology also includes independent research related to the development of the brain’s neocotext which will eventually help scientists understand certain new developmental disorders.
“In addition to her academics, Alaba has volunteered at hospitals in Syracuse. She was also a student tutor and Event Coordinator for the Food Recovery Network and international student mentor at the Connection Programme in the Centre of International Services and serves as Vice-President of the Aikido Sports Club in Syracuse.”
In his remarks, posted on the university’s website, U.S President Joe Biden, who is also a 1968 Law graduate of Syracuse University, charged the university’s 2021 graduating class to remain resilient and purposeful to positively change the trajectory of their world.
Receiving her valedictory award, Alaba said: “The journey was tough but I made the promise to myself to do my best and make my time at Syracuse University special for me.
“I hope to gain the necessary scientific skills to care for those in need and also bring my thoughts to bear through literature and creative writing.”
Addressing fellow students, she revealed that flexibility and resilience were the keys to her academic success.