U of G Students Among Canada's Top Youth

June 03, 2009 - News Release

Two University of Guelph students have been named among Canada's "Top 20 Under 20" by the Globe and Mail. Isdin Oke and Lauren Wallace are winners of the prestigious title. The national newspaper published the list of names and profiles of the chosen young stars in today's edition.

Oke, a first-year science student, was recognized for his outstanding academic achievements, including a science project on plants and aging that one day may help enhance food preservation and address the global food shortage. It earned Oke a gold medal at the Waterloo-Wellington Science and Engineering Fair last year. He also won the 2008 Brain Bee, placed first in the prestigious Pascal math contest and competed in Reach for the Top regional matches and the National Biology Competition, all while still a student at Guelph's Centennial Vocational Collegiate.

Oke enrolled at Guelph with a 2008/2009 President's Scholarship, U of G's most prestigious entrance award, and was a volunteer at the University's first-ever Science Olympics held last week.

Wallace, a second-year arts and sciences student, was honoured for her volunteer efforts, including organizing "Climb for AIDS," which took her and other U of G students to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. The $14,000 they raised will go to an AIDS clinic in Lesotho. Wallace was also one of 16 North American student volunteers who helped build a school in Kenya, and as a high school student, she founded the Walk-in Closet to provide food, clothing and toiletries for students in need.

Wallace, who is also a President's Scholar, received a President's Research Assistantship and spends summers working at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, where she photographs specimens and enters them in the DNA barcoding collections database.

The "Top 20 Under 20" winners were selected by judges who are all members of the Order of Canada. Winners will be honoured at an awards banquet in Toronto this week and will receive a bursary worth up to $5,000 to be applied toward an educational experience.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338, lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982, bagunn@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1