Alumni Spotlight

Thank you to all of our alumni for your contribution to BAP-MAC and inspiring future candidates.


Sonia Igboanugo
BAP - MAC Co-Founder and President 2016-2019
McMaster Degree

Bachelor of Health Sciences ('19) & Master of Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization ('20)

Current Endeavours

Going into my 2nd year of medical school at the University of Toronto

Career Goal

I recently finished my first year of medical school, so I am still very early in my training. Although I don't know what specialty I hope to get into yet, I hope to build a career where my interests in health equity, leadership, and innovation intersect with my medical practice.

What led to this path

I can't pinpoint one defining moment during my undergrad, but the culmination of experiences that I've had by virtue of being a part of so many amazing communities at McMaster has shaped me into the person I am today.

Advice for younger-self

Learn to practice presence. The pre-medical journey often encourages us to constantly ponder on "what happens next" and this distracts us from the moments in front of us. Celebrate and embrace where you are every step of the way. Also, no deadline is more important than sleep.


Kayonne Christie
BAP- MAC Co-Founder
McMaster Degree

Life Sciences ('17) & Health Studies ('19)

Current Endeavours

PhD Student at The University of Michigan -Ann Arbor

Career Goal

Professor

What led to this path

I can't pinpoint one defining moment during my undergrad, but the culmination of experiences that I've had by virtue of being a part of so many amazing communities at McMaster has shaped me into the person I am today.

Advice for younger-self

You are where you're supposed to be. Trust the process. way you tell your story online can make all the difference.


Cherechi Emenugo
BAP - MAC Secretary (2016-2017), Co-President (2017-2018), Director of Logistics (2018-2019)
McMaster Degree

B.Sc Honours Biology – Physiology Specialization & French Minor Class of 2019

Current Endeavours

Currently in my 2nd year of medical school at Monash University

Career Goal

Physician

What led to this path

A defining moment would be developing a network of friends who served as a strong support system and inspiration. Together we established BAP-MAC where I was able to connect with Black pre-med students across Ontario, faculty and community members who supported me through my degree. Another defining moment would be summer of 2018, fundraising for and attending the African Youth and Governance Conference in Ghana. These experiences definitely strengthened my leadership skills and reinforced my love of advocacy.

Advice for younger-self

Undergrad goes by so fast; my biggest advice would be to truly take it all in and enjoy every moment. Explore Hamilton, learn to set out time for yourself and incorporate more sleep!


Toyemi Opeoluwa-Calebs
BAP - MAC Director of Administration 2017-2019, Project Assistant (Jan-May 2020)
McMaster Degree

B.Sc Honours Molecular Biology & Genetics, Class of 2019

Current Endeavours

Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives | Empowerment Squared; Incoming MD Candidate (Class of 2025) | University of Toronto

Career Goal

Physician & Advocate for Immigrants/Newcomers' access to healthcare and education

What led to this path

In my first semester of undergrad, I was inspired by the research conducted by Dr. Juliet Daniel after she came to speak at one of my Science 1A03 lectures. After the lecture, I approached her and expressed my interest in learning more about her research. Truthfully, at the time, I did not realize the impact of this interaction; however, being a part of the research lab, went on to shape my university experience through the knowledge, skills, relationships and opportunities gained. Overall, Dr. Daniel's mentorship had a profound impact on what I was able to accomplish during and beyond undergrad and ignited my passion for advocacy for under-represented groups in the healthcare sector.

Advice for younger-self

I would tell myself to be more aware about my workload capacity. In my final year, I experienced a severe case of burnout, while completing my thesis, courses and extracurricular commitments. During that period, I did not recognize that I was experiencing burnout and ultimately did my best to push through the school year. Looking back, I wish I had been more proactive in lightening my workload and reaching out to my professors for support as needed


Olamide Egbewumi
BAP - MAC Treasurer 2017-2018, Director of Finance 2018-2020
McMaster Degree

B.Sc Life Science Class of 2020

Current Endeavours

Program coordinator at Canadian Multicultural LEAD Organization

Career Goal

Physician

What led to this path

Learning about the health disparities racialized communities faced, I was inspired to be part of the change to provide accessible healthcare to all irrespective of race or status.

Advice for younger-self

You don't need to have it all figured out. Just take it one step at a time, and things will always fall into place at the right time.


Gelila Alemayheu
BAP - MAC Associate Secretary 2017-2018, Associate President 2018-2019, President 2019-2020, Project Assistant 2020-2021
McMaster Degree

B.Sc Life Science Class of 2020, MSc. in Global Health '21

Current Endeavours

Completing my Masters in Global Health and starting medical school at Western University in Fall 2021

Career Goal

Physician

What led to this path

There has been many defining moments in my undergraduate experience but one that sticks out to me is joining BAP-MAC. I learned to be a leader, connect with others, how to fail forward, and much more. I also developed connections which strengthened my overall confidence to pursue not just a career in medicine but to work towards a greater goal of accurate and diverse representation within medicine.

Advice for younger-self

It's okay to not have it all figured out and don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Growth comes from being outside your comfort zone.


Ari Ochuba
BAP MAC - Vice President 2019-2020, and President 2020-2021
McMaster Degree

B.Sc Life Science Class of 2021

Current Endeavours

Working full time

Career Goal

Physician

What led to this path

Being introduced to BAP MAC in first year. For the first time, I had what felt like older siblings who motivated and advised me.

Advice for younger-self

It's okay to not have it all figured out and don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Growth comes from being outside your comfort zone.


Toni Makanjuola
BAP- MAC Associate Director of Logistics 2018 - 2019, Director of Logistics 2019 - 2021
McMaster Degree

B.Sc Life Science Class of 2021

Current Endeavours

Project Assistant with the Faculty of Science at McMaster University

Career Goal

Physician & Medical Officer of Health

What led to this path

It would be too difficult for me to single out particular moments but God, family, friends, and mentors were instrumental in my journey. I wouldn't be here without them.

Advice for younger-self

I experienced imposter syndrome at various moments during my undergrad career. It's easy to start doubting yourself when you are surrounded by people who seem to be doing everything perfectly. I would tell myself that no one belongs here more than you.


Ayesha Hassan
BAP- MAC Public Relations Chair - iRISE Planning Team 2018-2019, Associate Finance 2019-2020, Director of Finance 2020-2021
McMaster Degree

B.Sc Honours Biology, Class of 2021

Current Endeavours

Recently graduated, currently employed as a Multimedia Assistant with UTS at McMaster

Career Goal

Researcher

What led to this path

I met Sonia in the summer of 2014 when we both participated in the 2014 Summer Mentorship Program at U of T. When I found out we ended up going to the same University and she co-founded BAP-MAC, I wanted to join right away! Getting accepted into the executive team and playing an active role in providing support to Black students who aspire to pursue medicine helped me become more aware of the issues surrounding inaccessibility of these resources and inspired me to help others pursue their goals. Now I am more educated, open-minded, confident and determined to help others succeed.

Advice for younger-self

Make an effort to create meaningful experiences at University. You're only here for a short period in your life. You won't remember most of the assignments you do or the grades you've gotten, but you will remember making personal connections with people and the events you experience with them. When you all leave University, for the most part it becomes harder to connect when everyone is following their own paths, so create those memories while you can!


Morgan Martin
BAP - MAC Director of Logistics 2020-2021
McMaster Degree

B.Sc Life Science Class of 2021

Current Endeavours

Entering the MD program at the University of Toronto in Fall 2021

Career Goal

Ob/ Gyn physician

What led to this path

At the end of my first year of university I read an article about Chika Stacy, the only Black student in her medical school class at UofT at the time. I was very discouraged seeing that story and began to doubt myself, wondering if my dream of becoming a physician was even possible. However, I quickly decided to use her story to motivate me rather than discourage me and put all my efforts into achieving this goal. Joining BAP-MAC and being surrounded by other like-minded individuals gave me even more hope that this was possible!

Advice for younger-self

I would tell myself to stop stressing about little things! If you are upset over one mark that doesn’t meet your standards or a presentation that didn’t go as planned, ask yourself “Will this matter five years from now?” I’ve realized that the answer is no for most of the things I am usually stressed about. If something doesn’t go as planned, just try to learn from the experience and move forward. Everything always works itself out in the end.


Maya George
BAP - MAC Director of Public Relations 2019-2021
McMaster Degree

Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Class of 2021

Current Endeavours

Recently graduated and starting my master’s degree in Biochemistry at McMaster in Fall 2021.

Career Goal

Clinician-Scientist

What led to this path

Switching into the Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Program. The research courses and collaborative environment helped me to become a more confident presenter and fostered my passion for research.

Advice for younger-self

Be confident and don’t worry so much about the future. One bad grade isn’t going to prevent you from getting into postgraduate studies. Make sure to make time for yourself and the things you enjoy because you only get this experience once. Also, make sure to use office hours!!