For the first time in two years, the University of Waterloo invites the graduating class to celebrate their accomplishments in front of families and friends during the in-person celebrations throughout the week. Two Science students, Marya Talha and Aisosa Laura Ohiegbomwan, have been selected by their peers, in recognition of their social and academic contributions to the Waterloo community, to represent the graduating class as valedictorian at their respective ceremonies.
Valedictorian (A.M. Ceremony)
Bachelor of Science, Double minor Biology and Classical Studies
When Marya Talha (BSc ’22) moved abroad to study at Waterloo, she instantly felt a sense of community in her new home. Talha admires the student community at Waterloo for being open to experimenting and following their passions, which motivated her to do the same.
“I will miss the flexibility which enabled me to follow my curiosities at the University of Waterloo,” Talha says. “Halfway through my undergrad, I developed an interest in understanding the Latin roots of biology terminology better. I simply began to take courses in the Classical Studies department and later developed the interest into a full-fledged minor.”
As an international student, Talha not only feels very fortunate to complete her degree but also having the honour to be selected as valedictorian, where she will be able to tell her story and connect with the wider student community one last time.
Talha feels thankful when reflecting on her accomplishments, such as being an orientation leader, a library ambassador and the founder of University’s Bioethics Society, a club she founded during the COVID-19 crisis. She will be continuing her advocacy for health care issues by diving deeper into the field of bioethics and health equity within her community.
Talha is graduating with a Bachelor of Science and a double minor in Biology and Classical Studies.
Aisosa Laura Ohiegbomwan
Valedictorian (P.M. Ceremony)
Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Science
When Aisosa Laura Ohiegbomwan (BSc ’22) first visited campus during open house, she discovered the Biomedical Science program was a gateway to professional school which aligned with her goals.
One of her fondest memories was moving into residence, where Ohiegbomwan remembers feeling excited and optimistic to meet new people. She remained involved on campus by participating in the UW Pre-Pharmacy Club and the UW Supporting Heart and Stroke Club.
Ohiegbomwan admits being chosen as valedictorian not only validates her capabilities in writing, communicating and presenting, but also shows her growth in finding confidence in herself.
“Graduating from university is of course a great achievement,” Ohiegbomwan says. “But becoming valedictorian is what I am particularly most proud of because I am the first of my siblings to do so.”
Ohiegbomwan is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. She looks forward to the next step of her journey by finding work, gaining experience and building valuable connections with others that she can use in her applications to professional school.
Congratulations Marya and Aisosa!