Ufuoma Ovienmhada received two MIT RISE Awards this spring for her "work with diversity, inclusion and social justice on and off campus." Ufuoma holds roles as co-president of MIT's Black Graduate Student Association, as a student representative on the institute DEI Strategic Action Plan Steering Committee, and as a student representative on the institute working group to reimagine public safety.
One award was the Dr. Robbin Chapman Excellence through Adversity Award, presented to an "undergraduate and graduate student leader who has shown that leadership is often defined by persistence in the face of adversity. This student has shown tenacity in the face of strife and has demonstrated resolve to persevere in carrying out the mission and and values of diversity and inclusion" in the MIT community.
Ovienmhada's second RISE award was received as part of MIT's Black Graduate Student Association for the event "Reimagining Public Safety" which brought in community organizers to discuss historical and contemporary dialogue around Black community relations with the police and alternatives to traditional police systems. The Excellence in Programming Award is presented to an "undergraduate or graduate student organization in recognition for raising the bar in student programming. This award is meant to highlight a particular program that exemplifies all that a student program can and should be. This program has elements of multiculturalism and encourages a safe space for students to explore, understand, and learn more about an aspect of diversity."
The MIT RISE prizes are awarded based on nominations from MIT community members.