Over 150 top brains drawn from various disciplines Tuesday December 16, 2014 converged in the Varsity’s Assembly Hall for the annual Babaroa and Vice Chancellor’s Awards ceremony. The colourful event presided over by Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga saw the young scholars recognized, celebrated and rewarded for their exemplary academic showing and subsequently inducted as alumni of the two award schemes.
Addressing the academic giants, Prof. Imbuga noted that it remains within the Varsity’s purview to produce graduates who would proactively innovate solutions to the many challenges facing the country.
The Vice Chancellor urged the recipients of the awards to remain focussed, mentor their colleagues and be good ambassadors of JKUAT. She further urged them to shun behaviours that would compromise their health, life and academic prospects.
“Your predecessors have gone on to bring honour to themselves and to JKUAT. You are now an epitome of the ingenuity, resilience and industry that continue to define our students,” Prof. Imbuga averred.
Among the beneficiaries of the Vice Chancellor’s award was Mwangi Lea Wanja, who recounted how, having lost both parents, she surmounted inordinate odds during her high school days which nearly plunged her life into destitution. The final year Computer Science student, has now taken motivation from the award and look forward to cap her studies with top grades.
Another student, Daniel Kipkurui Too emerged from the little known Kapngetunyu Secondary School which neither had a laboratory nor a library in Uasin Gishu County to enroll for the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering. His academic dedication and personal sacrifice earned him the Babaroa Award, carrying home a trophy, certificate and modest amount.
Asked about his academic secret, the third year student barely out of his teens laid it bare. “It is about doing assignments, and undertaking private study when everyone else does not feel like doing it,” he reveals.
While passing a vote of thanks, Musasia Minage, a final year architecture student who received the Babaroa award thanked the management for instituting the award schemes which she opined inspired a spirit of academic competitiveness among the students with rewarding outputs.
The Babaroa Awards was initiated in 1996 by Japanese expatriates led by Hiroji Nakagawa and has since benefited over 600 students. The Vice Chancellor’s Award on the other hand was established in 2001 to cater for students pursuing programmes not traditionally funded by JICA.
The ceremony which was also addressed by acting DVC, Academic Affairs, Prof. David Mulati, was attended by a number of university officers including Anthony Kiswii, Registrar Academic Affairs, several deans and heads of departments.