International student honoured with Spirit of Brock award

Chimaobi Amadi came to Canada from Nigeria to study math at Brock University. Alone in a foreign land, he says he found a family here – the Brock community.

He’s made friends, volunteered extensively, connected with professors and become a mentor as a teaching assistant.

“I love being engaged, meeting people and also helping people, because I consider these as great avenues to learn and improve oneself,” he said. “I look out for opportunities, I grab them when I see them.”

Many of Amadi’s volunteer activities were focused on making life easier for new students to Brock, such as mentoring new students, helping out on Residence Move-in Day, welcoming many international students and helping out with their orientation.

Chimaobi Amadi

Chimaobi Amadi

While completing his MSc in Mathematics and Statistics, Amadi spent countless hours giving back.

The Faculty of Mathematics and Science graduate student was awarded the Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award during the morning convocation Wednesday.

The award is given to students who demonstrate leadership, innovation, courage, inspiration and community involvement.

“This is a great accomplishment, and I least expected it,” he said. “It is a thing of joy, and most importantly a challenge to me because they say the reward for hard work is more work.”

His nominators note his exceptional “enthusiasm, generosity and devotion to helping others” and “strong leadership skills.”

Amadi also recently received Brock’s International Teaching Assistant Award.

David Nguyen

David Nguyen

Faculty of Mathematics and Science undergraduate student David Nguyen, who graduated from the Biomedical Sciences program, also received the Spirit of Brock award recognizing his numerous volunteer positions and academic achievements.

During his time at Brock, Nguyen was a member of the Brock University Students’ Administrative Council, President of the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society and a tutor to fellow students.

Dean’s medals were handed out to Stacey Van Herk and Beau Atkinson.

Department of Physics Associate Professor Thad Harroun received the Excellence in Teaching award.

He is the author of numerous Biophysics courses at Brock that form the backbone of the undergraduate program.

A pedagogical innovator, Harroun is heavily involved in the internal departmental undergraduate program review and represents the department in the recruitment and retention efforts at the Faculty level. A fantastic colleague, he generously shares his expertise with others and is always ready to offer help in technical matters.

Math and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed presents Associate Professor of Physics Thad Harroun with the faculty's award for Excellence in Teaching.

Math and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed presents Associate Professor of Physics Thad Harroun with the faculty’s award for Excellence in Teaching.

As a researcher, Harroun renewed his NSERC in 2015 on the strength of his 18 publications since 2010 and an overall publication citation rate of 200 per year.

His outreach for Brock includes co-ordinating projects for both Scientifically Yours and Bridging Our Worlds Through Science.



Justin Maltese, a MSc student in Computer Science, received the prestigious Governor General’s Gold Medal for achieving the highest academic standing at the graduate level. Maltese, of Hamilton, attained a 98.5 average.

An honorary doctorate was presented to Satish Tripathi, an internationally recognized educator who is the president of the University at Buffalo.

Brock’s Spring Convocation continues Thursday with the Goodman School of Business and then wraps up with the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Friday.


Watch the Wednesday morning convocation ceremony below:

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