Chiamaka Odunukwe – Nigeria

Outstanding student, outstanding bursary – University of Windsor

Chiamaka Odunukwe, Nigeria

What do you call a student who helps raise over $40,000 for research, maintains above average marks in an intensive premedical program, serves as on-campus floor representative and wins a bursary award? Outstanding, but she goes by Chiamaka Odunukwe.

Chiamaka is a Nigerian international student majoring in Nursing. She is one of four students awarded the 2006 Alumni Association Bursary for International Students. To qualify for the award, students must have above average marks, excel socially and demonstrate leadership in school activities.

Although successful now, Chiamaka who is completing her second year had doubts about being in Windsor during her first semester at the University. But by the end of that first semester, she got into the flow of university life and even made lots of friends.

“I was shocked at the way I got used to winter so quickly, it wasn’t drastic at all,” said Chiamaka.

Chiamaka attributes some of her successes to living in residence in all two years of her stay in Windsor. She prefers to not worry about household chores, groceries or monthly bills and rather focus on the intensive nature of her Nursing program.

“I found that in Nursing, studying is something that should be done a head of time,” said Chiamaka. “When you have to spend eight-hour shifts at the hospital once a week and are expected to implement all that you have learned in the classroom or lab, you better be prepared!”

Living on campus gave Chiamaka the time to study and the opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills. Through a voting process, Chiamaka was elected floor representative of her campus residence where she organized activities for her residence building and mediated on behalf of her floor mates to ensure great on-campus experience.

As if Chiamaka didn’t have her hands full, she also volunteered at the University’s Student Information Resource Centre where she helped students with their queries. In addition, she helped lead a team of university student volunteers to raise over $40,000 for cystic fibrosis research.

Chiamaka is an ambitious nursing student planning for a medical career in cardio surgery. She is working hard to graduate with excellent academic standing and an impressive volunteer experience. She has two more years to go before she applies to medical school, until then Chiamaka says:

“I hope and pray that my two younger sisters could come to school here next year with me.”

Chiamaka is the oldest of six children and is setting a fine example for the rest of her siblings to follow.

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