Tochukwu Iyke-Nzeocha Earns Sue S. Stewart Award

April 15, 2024


Tochukwu made a moving post on LinkedIn, stating, "Today, I proudly accepted the recognition while wearing my mom's blazer, symbolizing her unwavering support. The Susan B. Anthony Legacy Awards have been celebrating the legacy of exceptional women for over 75 years, and I am deeply humbled to be counted among them."

She went on to say, "Throughout my journey at the University of Rochester, I've found purpose in service, particularly through the National Society of Black Engineers. When I first joined the executive board, there were only 4 women out of 15 members. However, we have made significant progress since then, and I am proud to say that we now have 8 women on the e-board. I'm committed to continuing this legacy of service."

Congratulations to biomedical engineering student Tochukwu Iyke-Nzeocha ’24 for earning the Sue S. Stewart Leadership and Community Service Award. Tochukwu was presented the award at the 2024 Susan B. Anthony Legacy Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 4/13. The annual award recognizes a senior woman undergraduate student whose life in the University has been distinguished by a commitment to justice, equality, and community service, as these relate to diversity and inclusion, particularly in the lives of girls and women; and whose activities reflect the spirit of these principles and dedication to these qualities as expressed and inspired by the life and career of former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the University of Rochester, Sue Stewart. 

Tochukwu Iyke-Nzeocha is a senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Cell and Tissue Engineering at the University of Rochester. Her remarkable academic journey is marked by a fervent commitment to driving innovation and making a positive impact on the campus community.

Throughout her time at the University, Tochukwu has demonstrated exceptional dedication and leadership. She has served on the National Society of Black Engineers executive board for four years. Currently, as president of NSBE and a mentor to black female engineering students, she actively works towards fostering a supportive community for minorities in STEM. In addition to her roles in leadership, Tochukwu has contributed significantly to research and industry.  During the summer of 2021, while working as a National Science Foundation REU Scholar at Rowan University, she developed innovative methods to combat antibiotic resistance using hydrophobic ion pairing. In the summer of 2022, as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, she contributed to the development of RNA-targeted small-molecule drugs by crystalizing riboswitches using a new phasing approach called Single Wavelength Anomalous Diffraction experimental phasing. Last summer, she completed an Automation Engineering internship at Pfizer Inc.'s largest manufacturing site in Kalamazoo, MI.

Tochukwu’s journey is far from over. With a vision to inspire women and advocate for Black women’s representation, she aspires to pursue an MD and PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

We are so proud of Tochukwu and excited to see all the amazing things she will accomplish in the future! 


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