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Nigerian Breaks Academic Record at John Hopkins University

Emmanuel Ohuabunwa

By Taki S. Raton

He was named the best graduating student of the 2011-2012 academic year and owes his success to three well learned traits – discipline, adaptability, and resilience.

He is young, gifted and Black. Emmanuel Ohuabunwa made history at John Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore on his May 24, graduation date. The then 22 year old broke four records on this Baltimore, Maryland campus: He had the highest Grade Point Average of his graduating class – 3.98 out of 4.0 while earning his B.S. degree in Neuroscience; the GPA scoring was adjudged according to a June 26 posting of Point Black News.Com as breaking the academic record at JHU on a graduation date; third, Emmanuel was the first Black male and lastly the first Nigerian to do so.

Emmanuel was additionally awarded the Becker Family Scholarship for being the most outstanding student as a Neuroscience major and he scored in the top five percentile on the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) exam.

Emmanuel for his efforts received a full scholarship to Yale University to pursue a degree in medicine. He was additionally inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, a prestigious honor society hosting 17 U.S. presidents, 37 U.S. Supreme Court justices, and 136 Nobel Prize winners as its members.

Noting posted accounts, the mission of Phi Beta Kappa is “to celebrate and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences” and induct “the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at America’s leading colleges and universities.”

Kappa’s publication for news and alumni relations writes of Emmanuel’s membership that he “will surely prove to be an invaluable addition to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.” Says Emmanuel of his induction:
“I think the Society in itself opens doors to the connections one needs to excel as a professional in any field. It is such an honor to be induced into a society filled with people of this caliber. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work and perseverance during my time at Hopkins.”

While at JHU as cited in the Reporter, Emmanuel participated in several research projects to include a study on Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He also spent time at the Snyder Center for Aphasia assisting patients to speak by giving cues in different forms of communication.

“Emmanuel stood out for an intellect so rare it touches upon the unique, and a personality that I fear is once-in-a-lifetime, but one that I wish were commonplace,” says Stewart Hendry, a professor of neuroscience at JHU. “He left his mark, first on us, next on Yale, and, all the while, on the world.”

Hendry worked very closely with Emmanuel during his time at Hopkins sharing meaning discussions that were quite impactful. He adds: “What I got from him was wisdom, and perspectives and questions that had me think through things taken for granted over a long academic career.”

Emmanuel was born in Okota, Lagos and attended Lilly Fields Primary School. He left Nigeria after his junior secondary school education at Air Force Comprehensive School in Ibaden, Oyo State.

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