UZEZI ELIZABETH OKINEDO

Okinedo, Uzezi Elizabeth is a first-class graduate of Cell Biology and Genetics from University of Lagos, Nigeria. She currently works as an Assistant Lecturer in her alma mater and was able to complete a Master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology through the Vice Chancellor’s graduate assistantship award. Uzezi has held several leadership positions and has also been actively involved in various voluntary activities and organizations. Whilst in school, she served as her departmental Vice President and was also a campus fellowship leader. During her NYSC, she championed a project called ‘Science Enhance Project’ that focused on improving the quality of science education in rural communities and encouraging science participation in undergraduate and high school students. She was also the general secretary of the Environmental sanitation community development group. Currently, she’s an ambassador for Women Tech Network, a YALI fellow and a member of professional organizations like the Genetics Society of Nigeria (GSN) and the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE). She’s an astute scholar with over 8 publications in both local and international journals and has also presented in several conferences. Uzezi was a recipient of the UNILAG academic excellence endowment award for 3 consecutive sessions, the Science Student Fellowship Award for academic excellence and the Dr. D.K. Olukoya Academic Award of Excellence. In 2020, she was selected as an EducationUSA Opportunity Fund scholar through which she has been able to secure a full scholarship of over $54,000 to pursue a PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Organismal Biology in the University of Massachusetts Boston. She will be specializing in Plant Molecular Genetics and Systems Biology where she will be working on improving the quality of some important food crops in Africa. For Uzezi, the time spent with EducationUSA Lagos was a life changing experience. In her words: “Apart from the financial aid I received from the Opportunity Fund Program, the program helped to redirect my focus to what’s important as I had access to relevant information on how to search for graduate programs and access funding. I also met and networked with really exceptional personalities”.