|Masters student in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Mr Kevin Chizoba Igwe, has won a Rick Turner Scholarship for Masters-level study in recognition of his student leadership and community engagement. |
The Scholarship is named after Dr Richard Albert David Turner, a visionary scholar and lecturer at the former University of Natal who was assassinated in 1978. Turner was an inspiration to many young activists and played a role in the labour movement’s renaissance.
Igwe, who is one of the five UKZN students being awarded the Scholarship this year, embodies the values of the award because of his dedication to understanding and contribution to the lives of those around him.
Igwe, who is from Enugu State in Nigeria, completed his undergraduate studies at Ekiti State University (EKSU), formerly known as the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD).
His belief that charity begins at home led him to become an active member of the UKZN chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students in South Africa (NANSSA). Igwe, who joined UKZN in the second semester of 2012 to begin his honours study, was the Public Relations Officer of the Association from 2013 to August 2014.
Igwe is also an active member and the Secretary of the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus branch of the Association of Catholic Tertiary Students (ACTS). For Igwe, being an active member of these associations as well as other registered students’ associations provides a primary means of understanding the needs of his fellow students and discovering how he can be of help to others.
He is doing his Masters by Research in the field of Evolutionary Algorithms, specifically Genetic Programming. His Masters topic is: “Automatic Programming using Object Oriented Genetic Programming”.
Igwe, who said his work ethic stemmed in part from the example set by his parents, expressed gratitude to the lecturers and supervisors who played a pivotal role in his academic career.
Being at UKZN has made Igwe realise the role an institution plays in the success of a student. ‘At UKZN, I realised that one’s ability improves hugely when one is at the right place. I have been inspired by many activities including the recognition the University gives to people who have achieved outstanding performance in their area of study or research.’
Igwe is also a member of the Nature Inspired Computing Optimization Group (NICOG) at UKZN, who he credits with contributing towards his success.
Igwe plans to continue his studies at UKZN and hopes to register for his PhD once he has successfully completed his masters. For the moment, getting a good result in his masters research is his top priority.