After a rigorous search that began in March, 29 young leaders representing countries across Asia and Africa have emerged and would be participating in the Cornell Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellows program. The fellowship is designed to equip and empower emerging international leaders who are committed to advocating for science-based communications and access to scientific innovation in their home countries.
6 of these individuals are from Nigeria, so for 3 months, they will embark on an intensive 12-week training course held at the Cornell University – one of the 8 Ivy League schools in the United States of America.
Meet them here
Etta Michael Bisong
Etta Michael Bisong is a journalist who holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Madonna University in Okija. Etta’s professional career began in 2008 when he joined Leadership newspaper, a national daily where he would go on to work for four years. He later joined Blueprint, where he oversaw the science, technology and environment desk until 2016. Presently, he is an editor with the magazine Forefront, overseeing special projects.
Additionally, he coordinates the Journalists for Social Development Initiative network, which aims to create awareness of sustainable development. Under Etta’s leadership, the network launched the first-ever Science Café in Nigeria to foster science literacy.
Chibuike Emmanuel is a farmer and entrepreneur. He runs Green Stalks & Foliage, an agro-allied innovations outfit that operates a fish farm. He is also involved in Peter’s Coin, a crowd-funding startup focused on the fish value chain, and a co-founder of Spur-on-Stage, a media/communications firm that uses the arts as tool for social reconstruction. Active in community development, Chibuike also founded the Agriculture-is-Sexy Network, which uses unconventional approaches to make youth embrace agriculture, and EDEN-GCP, an environmental-sustainability initiative.
Chibuike studied mechanical engineering at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria and holds several entrepreneurship certifications.
Yewande Kazeem’s passion for inquisitive questioning, creative visuals, storytelling and her vast experience in the agriculture sector allowed her to create Wandieville Media, a communication and educative media company she founded to provide a positive impact on global development issues through campaigns, powerful visual and captivating stories.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she has also worked closely with Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, World Bank, the International Finance Cooperation and Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade and Investment and Central Bank.
Yewande is passionate about impacting smallholder farmers, women farmers and school planting programs as well as supporting the research and technology that will be needed to feed nine billion people by 2050.
Chidi Okereke is the creative director of the advertising agency Thisruption Communications and the editor of the website Lists.ng. He has also worked with a number of private and public organizations to reach their targets through digital media.
Chidi studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt and is heavily involved in advocacy within the realms of human rights, gender equality and youth participation in governance.
After he participated in an Alliance course on strategic communications, Chidi realized that biotechnology could help achieve food security and economic growth for Nigeria. As a communications professional who is passionate about a progressive Nigeria, he is attending the GLFP so that he can be equipped and empowered to advocate for access to scientific innovation in Nigeria.
Okon Odiong Unung
Okon Odiong Unung is a research scientist at the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Nigeria. His professional experience spans over six years of involvement in plant breeding, genetics, biotechnology and agronomic research and development, as well as extension service delivery to farmers. Okon has also helped teach Nigerian farmers crop cultivation technologies and agronomic practices for optimum yield.
He has a master’s degree in agronomy with a specialization in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Ibadan and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Uyo.
Tracy C.A Uzoigwe is an on-air personality on Love FM radio who also participates in environmental impact assessments through ecology study and vegetation analysis. She has a bachelor’s degree in botany and a master’s degree in environmental planning and protection.
Tracy believes that agricultural biotechnology provides an opportunity to solve global hunger and that every human, regardless of their financial status or where they live, should have access to good and affordable food. She sees food as a key factor to human survival so any initiative that will make it sustainable available should be given the highest priority.
We wish them the best of luck. For further reading about the Alliance, click HERE