2020 Award Recipients
This award was established in 2008 to recognize exceptional students who have a record of academic achievement, consistently demonstrate leadership, and make significant contributions to our community.
Ruth Legese: Bachelor of Health Sciences, Honours (First Class)
Ruth Legese’s motivation stems from her own childhood experience fleeing the Ethiopian-Eritrean war and coming to Canada as a refugee. Having witnessed first-hand the impact health care inequity can have on communities, she is passionate about global health and helping provide quality health care to marginalized groups.
Locally, Legese presented the case for reinstating water fluoridation to the City of Calgary, mentored refugees and worked in Dr. Dylan Pillai’s Lab exploring infectious disease diagnostics. Internationally, she volunteered as a medical translator in Ethiopia, conducted malaria field work and helped teach graduate students about novel malaria diagnostics. She also spent the summer of 2019 in Uganda working with a team to help address gaps in the local community’s knowledge of maternal and child health.
Legese has served as co-president of the Health Sciences Students’ Association, and she established the Ethiopian and Eritrean Students’ Association – through which she piloted a city-wide anti-bullying campaign and a workshop series connecting UCalgary students to development projects in Ethiopia. As head of the African-Caribbean Students’ Association’s academic committee, she helped organize peer-tutoring sessions, study halls, a mentorship program, and workshops on resume-writing and obtaining research positions.