Three members of Ashesi University’s Class of 2021, Tamisha Dzifa Segbefia, Lloyd Teta and Edem Yegbe, have been honoured with the Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship Award.
This is the highest award a student can receive at Ashesi.
The award is given on an annual basis to three graduating students who have lived out Ashesi’s core values during their time at the university, contributed in outstanding ways to Ashesi’s mission and strong impact on the Ashesi Community. The award is presented by Patrick Awuah, the President of the University.
Below are the profiles of the three recipients of the award:
Tamisha Dzifa Segbefia
Tamisha Dzifa Segbefia is described as “compassionate, hardworking, ready to learn, strategic with her time, people person, and thoroughly honest.” She was extremely involved in extracurricular activities and yet a constant feature on the Dean’s List.
Dzifa first volunteered as a campus ambassador, meeting with first-time visitors, parents, and students alike at Ashesi to give them a tour of Ashesi’s facilities. Not only were the guests impressed by her exceptional communication skills and approachable persona, but she also often left prospective students with an aching desire to join the university.
Her work as a volunteer continued with the paediatric haemophilia unit of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital where she helped slash a backlog of two years’ worth of data, to improve efficiency in the Child Health Unit.
During one of her programming classes, she worked with a team to build an application that would enable students to obtain credit for purchasing from campus stores by scanning for recyclable items. A solution whose scaling brings tremendous benefits to the Ashesi community.
On the global stage, she was a member of the team of nine students who won the Silver Medal in the iGem competition in 2020. This is the Premiere International Synthetic Biology Competition held annually worldwide, to give students the opportunity to push the boundaries of synthetic biology by tackling everyday issues facing the world. The everyday issue, her team sought to tackle was the over 8million tons of plastic waste that are dumped into the ocean each year which harms the marine ecosystem, causes coastal erosion, and threatens human settlement worldwide. The team’s response was using a bacterium to breakdown the plastics into bio cement that grows on rocks at the coast thereby reducing erosion and creating a safer coastal settlement worldwide. The potential for this technology is clearly pathbreaking.
Dzifa ran for student council vice president and lost, but graciously accepted to serve on the rival team’s administration as the Academic Committee Chair and found herself at the heart of efforts working with the academic affairs office to maintain effective academic work when Ashesi moved classes online due to Covid-19.
She also served as a co-director of the Hult Prize program, a mentor for Facebook engineers, and co-head of the Google Developers’ Group for Ashesi.
Lloyd Teta is a model Ashesi student – compassionate, dutiful, and very engaged with his community.
In 2018, the office of the academic advisor at Ashesi decided to create an unpaid but more structured and intentional program to give peer-to-peer academic support, and he volunteered. He and the others who signed up became the foundation of a very successful initiative which is now a significant component of the support academically at-risk students receive at Ashesi.
Lloyd has been repeatedly recognized on campus and beyond as an exceptional citizen of the world, a scholar, and a leader: Recognized for the most Creative SDG idea by Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) Zimbabwe, 2020; Global Finalist, Map the System, Skoll Center for Social entrepreneurship, University of Oxford, England, 2020; Awarded the Champion Trophy by Sustainable Ocean Alliance Oslo, Norway, 2019; Millennium Fellow, UN Academic Impact and Millenium Campus Network, 2018
In addition, he repeatedly appeared on the Dean’s list for his academic prowess, and more importantly made time to play for Elite FC – in the Ashesi Premier League (APL).
He is also the founder and president of the African Transformers Club at Ashesi. In this role, he was heavily involved in Huduma Day activities. During these occasions, Mastercard Foundation scholars go out to implement acts of give-back in disadvantaged communities. His club led 75 students to clean beaches and conduct environmental sensitization exercises. Not only was he a founder of a club; he also made time to be an active member of others. He served as Vice president of the Ashesi Wiki Club and a member of the Ashesi Design Lab.
Lloyd took Ashesi’s message of continuous renewal literally, always probing, testing, venturing, and probing some more. He is a co-founder and chief engineer of LK FlighTech, a company that has won USD 50,000 in grants for its drone technology, and he will also be starting his doctoral program in AeroSpace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in the US this year.
Edem Yegbe is a combination of decency, positive energy, and open-mindedness.
As an underclassman, he became head of business development of the Ashesi Venture Accelerator (AVA) where he organized pitches and networking events and the first major student trip to Silicon Valley as the AVA sought to expose students to cutting edge business and technology developments.
He also served on the Academic Committee of the Ashesi Student Council (ASC). He did all this while maintaining a place on the Dean’s list for his strong academic performance.
Edem continued his work both for the AVA and the ASC to the very top. He became the CEO of the Ashesi Venture Accelerator in 2019, helping to deepen its work including developing an in-house model/template for supporting student ventures irrespective of which stage they find themselves.
He went beyond the call of duty to offer his time and rich experience serving on the panel that selected the first batch of beneficiaries of the Mastercard Foundation sponsored Scholars Entrepreneurship Fund in 2019. He restructured and rebranded the Ashesi Venture Accelerator into the Ashesi Startup Launchpad to better serve students in the fast-evolving entrepreneurship ecosystem on campus.
It was not surprising that with such a record of service and his exquisite people skills, students voted him as president of the Ashesi Student Council in 2019.
The first act of the newly elected president was to reach out to the rival team to appoint their president and vice president candidates as his Chair of the Outreach Committee and Chair of the Academic Committee, respectively. It was an inspiring sight when he backed his ex-rival and Outreach Committee chair to pull off one of our memorable community engagement events where they held a program at Adenkrebi (about 25mins drive from campus) on Valentine’s Day 2020. They had a get together for the whole community and as part of the festivities, held sessions on speed mentoring, responsible sexual conduct, and literacy games. It was a sign of great things to come for the rest of the year, but not in the way we anticipated.
In March 2020, Covid-19 intensified in Ghana which led to subsequent restrictions, closure of the campus, and lockdowns. The pandemic tested every leader in the world severely and revealed the stuff every leader is made of, but Edem showed a versatile, gracious, and incredibly strong character.
He worked smoothly and confidently under immense pressure advising on solutions for academic, social, disciplinary, and housing issues with the university’s leadership. He led his ASC team with courage and good cheer in one of the most trying periods.
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