Abdulrasheed Akere reports,

UDUS Scholars’ Forum (USF), the guild of high-performing students at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS), held her inaugural colloquium on Sunday, January 8, at the Sokoto Energy Research Centre Auditorium,  UDUS main campus.

The colloquium, themed ‘Transformative Approaches to Interlocking Challenges’, enlightened the university scholars on how to provide solutions to challenges in the race for excellence.

The colloquium had diverse illustrious presentations, which groomed the USF members, who address themselves as ‘scholars’, towards handling academic challenges in areas of study, time management, finance, harassment, social challenges, health, relationship, mental health and association amongst others. The facilitators encouraged scholars to be proactive, resilient and to never give up because “winners never quit”.

The facilitators also counseled the scholars to begin with end in mind and seek first to understand, then to be understood. They prepared scholars ahead of the certainty of rejections whilst applying for scholarships, fellowships, internships and other opportunities.

The colloquium began with insightful webinars facilitated by Hadiza Yusuf, a winner of several prestigious undergraduate scholarships, and Dr Sodiq Hameed, an alum of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University and a recipient of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Postgraduate Scholarship. They discussed how to seek and bag undergraduate and international postgraduate scholarships, respectively.

Shomy Hasan Chowdhury, the co-founder of Awareness 360 from Bangladesh, gave the first keynote speech, discussing ‘Implementing a Global Network for Development’. She gave the scholars a peek into the world of volunteering and campaigning for sustainable solutions to global challenges.

The second keynote speaker, Maniru Ibrahim, who is a first-class Mathematics graduate of UDUS and currently a PhD candidate at the University of Limerick in Ireland, relayed his academic journey to the scholars. Using his story as a case study, he schooled the scholars on the need to be focused, determined for excellence, unafraid to ask for help or guidance or to take risks.

Prof Aminu Bayawa, a professor of petroleum chemistry, who doubles as the Director of Research and Development at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto gave the last keynote address at the programme. He delivered an engaging lecture on ‘Reaffirming the central role of research for global relevance’, hammering the importance of research to the evolving world.

The guest speaker at the colloquium, Prof Yusuf Saidu, the Deputy Vice-chancellor (Research, Innovation and Development) at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, spoke on ‘Delivering on transformative solutions: challenges in the race for excellence’. He illustrated, with relatable examples, how the scholars could upscale in their academic career amid the many challenges they may encounter as students.

The colloquium was educative and thrilling, according to the participants. Ismail Shittu, a 300-level student of Applied chemistry, adjudged it as one of the best academic programmes he ever attended. 

In his words, “I got inspired and learned from one of the facilitator’s stories to be resilient in academic activities,” he noted.

Ahmed Musa, a final-year student of Economics and former General Secretary to the forum, revealed that he is honoured and privileged to be member of USF, which he described as a community with individuals of great potential and intellectual capacities.

“The colloquium gave me the opportunity to meet with outstanding scholars from different disciplines across the institution and I must confess that I was filled with joy,” he disclosed.

He also advised fellow scholars to keep being positive and focused on their goals till they all win.

“Remember; success is a marathon, run it just like the motto of USF (from zeroic to heroic). [Know that] Every success story has untold hardships and sacrifices,” he stressed.

The foremost convener of USF, Muhammad Adeyemi, a final year student of Biochemistry, commended the strong support of the university management, noting that their cooperation is inspirational and a dream coming true.

“It is our vision that UDUS scholars with great enthusiasm and optimism secure jobs, especially at the international level. I’m very sure that scholars have gained what will help them actualize their goals and dreams in life from the colloquium,” he asserted.

Further, he urged scholars to talk less and act more by breaking barriers to attain excellence, assuring them that the world is theirs to rule.

The colloquium had in attendance Professor A.Y Abbas, in lieu of the university Vice Chancellor, Prof L S Bilbis, the Dean of the Student Affairs Division, Prof Umaru Aliyu, the staff advisers of the forum, Dr Attahir Mainiyo and Dr Yusuf Ahijjo and other dignitaries.

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