McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

School of Nursing to honour more than 300 students

By Amanda Boundris
Published: February 26, 2013
Sele (Leo) Akioyamen
Sele (Leo) Akioyamen, a second-year student in the School of Nursing who will be recognized at the School's annual awards assembly

Sele (Leo) Akioyamen always knew he wanted to work with people and science, and with his grades in high school, he could have chosen from any number of career paths. In the end, it was the experience of his parents that made him choose to study nursing at McMaster.

The Akioyamens were bankers in Nigeria before coming to Canada and making the career change to nursing. Today, they work as nurse managers in mental health.

"When I saw them go through nursing school here, I saw a change in them. They became better people as they became nurses; better parents, more understanding, and better at listening to people," said Akioyamen. "This had a huge impact on why I chose nursing. I wanted to provide a better level of care, to share the importance of patients' stories, and to truly have an impact on their lives."

The second-year nursing student from Scarborough is being honoured for his academic achievements, which include earning top marks in first year. Akioyamen is one of more than 300 students from the School of Nursing who will be recognized at the School's annual awards assembly on Monday, March 4.

The achievements of students in the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Program at McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College and the McMaster Health Sciences Graduate Nursing Program will be celebrated at the 5:30 p.m. event in the CIBC Hall of the McMaster Student Centre on campus.

In addition to the Clarence L. Starr Prize for having the highest sessional average in first year, Akioyamen is on the deans' honour list and will receive the McCusker Nursing Scholarship for demonstrating academic excellence.

Akioyamen said he was "completely surprised" that he achieved the prize.

"I didn't actively seek to do that, I just tried to do my best, which I think everyone is doing so when you get an award for something you should be doing, it's kind of like getting an award for doing the dishes," he said.

Akioyamen credits the support from family, friends, professors, teaching assistants and mentors and also keeping busy with extracurricular activities, which helps him prioritize and take his mind off of studying when he needs a break. He is a member of the McMaster African Students Association, McMaster Gospel Choir, Hamilton Chinese Christian Fellowship, and he's a student success leader. He also plays intramural volleyball and is part of the McMaster Men in Nursing Society.

Now, nearly halfway through his time in the nursing program, he is positive he chose the right university.

"A lot of people at McMaster do really amazing things and when you open your eyes to that, you can't help but be more motivated to do your best," he said. "I love this school. I am in the best place possible to do exactly what I love."

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