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International Student Will Make a Difference in Nigeria

iyohaLoyola Marymount University’s strong ethic of service and academic reputation caught the attention of international student Ebehi Iyoha ’14. Now she is prepared with her economics degree and service ethic to help those back home in Nigeria.

Iyoha was honored in April as one of the recipients of the annual Sister Raymunde McKay, R.S.H.M. Award. The McKay Award is given to graduating seniors for outstanding leadership and service throughout their undergraduate years at LMU.

Her academic achievements included three years of economic research with Associate Professor Andrew Healy, mostly examining data on farm subsidies “It involved literature reviews and a lot of research I wouldn’t have normally have done,” she said. Iyoha, who was an honors student, also received a grant to do a semester of research with Tsehai Press, an imprint of Loyola Marymount University. She researched the portrayal of Africa in American media, and assisted in compiling a book on the Organization of African Unity.

For several years, Iyoha was a part of the university’s iMentor program, helping incoming international students get acclimated to LMU. Her work as president of Melkam-Akwaaba, the campus African student organization, and as vice president of community service with Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity, made her a familiar presence on campus. And she will tell you that service projects have left an indelible impression on her.

“I went on a university service retreat during the fall break of my junior year,” she said. “From this weekend [on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles] I gained a wider perspective and I learned about the deeper causes and solutions of homelessness.”

Another service weekend that made an impact on Iyoha was the De Colores trip to Tijuana, Mexico, which she took in January 2014. “The biggest thing for me is recognizing that there will always be people at the margins and they shouldn’t be forgotten.” 

Iyoha, who was educated at a Jesuit high school in Abuja, Nigeria, earned her B.S. degree in economics. After working the coming year at an internship with the National Youth Service Corps in Nigeria, she intends to earn her Ph.D. in economics and public policy. Her goal is to be involved in international service, such as the World Bank, then return to Nigeria to make a difference in the policies of her country.