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ASO Alumni Newsletter

Issue 1

The African Student Organization at IIT is extremely happy to bring you our first alumni newsletter! We are a determined set of individuals led by a team of dedicated leaders, and we are striving
to create awareness about Africa in the IIT community. We also aspire to spread our reach as far
as possible. Our collective vision is: To promote Africa through ethical and global leadership.
Since its inception, the ASO has steadily grown in size, presence and ambition. Though the Organization is still young, we have great goals and we believe we can achieve them. We encourage

He who thinks he is lead-

you to continue to read our newsletter as we update our wide range of events. From study nights

ing and has no one fol-

to barbeques, Information sessions and exposes we are constantly active and evolving, and we will

lowing him is only taking

love you to be a part of it.

a walk

Presidents Message

- Malawian Proverb

The purpose of this newsletter is to keep you in the loop of ASO events as well as enlighten you
about the strides that are being made by the organization. This newsletters aims to build a steady
alumni base with the recent graduates as the target audience. It also presents an opportunity for
present members to get in touch with alumni. It is my hope, that this will be the beginning of an
era where ASO alumni will be interested in the activities of the present members and help them
grow as individuals and as a community.
Irewole Akande

In This Issue

ASO at I-FEST 2014

The Executive Board

The Ennoblement of Africa

Other Events

Upcoming Events

Plans for the future


Irewole Akande
I, Irewole Akande am a complete individual. I strive for excellence in whatever I do and hence, I have struck a unique
balance in several aspects of my life - Social, Physical, Spiritual, Mental and Academic. And if I fall short of excellence, I
pick myself up and try and try again because excellence is not just my goal, it is my way of life. Finally, my idea of life is
simple: Be close enough to relate properly with the people around you, be distinguished enough to motivate them.
Finally, as the President my leadership goal is simple, I do not want to be a wanderer because like the Malawians say: "He
who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk."

Olumurewa Oguntade
Vice- President
I am a girl currently combining her creative talent and love for problem-solving processes in pursuit of an architectural
degree. My ultimate goal is to contribute to the growth of architecture in my home country, and indeed the world!
I am also an optimistic person with an eagerness for knowledge and new experiences.

Obadamilola Obashoro

Every mountain was once the size of a mole hill. As evident in the circle of life, little things lead to big things. I
do a lot of little things working towards a very big thing in life.

Abenezer Mesfin Ayele

Public Relations Chair
I am an Engineering student who loves math and playing soccer. I believe in working hard and chasing dreams and so I aspire to become a successful head of a Construction company based in my home country Ethiopia. Through my term as the
Public Relations Chair, I intend to show and teach the IIT community about the diverse aspects of our beloved continent
and involve them in the different educational and exciting events the ASO organizes. "We welcome the world"

Asbel Assefa
Service and Outreach
Goals and ideals in life : I strive to serve people in creative ways. It is not always obvious how we can use what we
learn in school to serve the world. It takes persistent and believing even in the smallest projects. No matter what it
is that I end up doing in life, I hope for it to be focused on serving those who really need help in our world.

Okuns Osazeme
Academic Chair
I am a third year at IIT. I enjoy playing basketball and football (soccer). I believe I am quite nice, as well as helpful. My goal
is to grow and learn as much as possible, and to do as much as I can for as many as I can, in the little time afforded to me. I
hope to one day leave my mark on the world through engineering and innovation.


The Celebration of
The Celebration of Africa ran on the MTCC
Bridge at the same time as the Ennoblement
of Africa, where students and staff are encouraged to try out Africa clothing and take pictures.
ASO is comprised of a diverse group of students from different parts of Africa. And we
had a diverse representation of clothing and it
was loved and appreciated by the IIT community.
Check out more images at:

The Celebration of Africa on the MTCC Bridge


ver the past couple of years, the African Students Organization at Illinois Tech has built
its reputation by our performances in several International events on campus, such as,
the International Festival as well as the Taste of IIT. We have also hosted our various
Cultural shows to show people the African way of living through music, dance and dra-

ma. African students at Illinois Tech can be easily recognized by their easygoing and all-smiling nature, thicker accents, beautiful multicolored clothing and energetic dance performances.
Cultural shows, might portray the culture, but do they really answer those pressing questions people
have concerning Africa? So this year, On Tuesday October 1st, IIT came out to celebrate the Ennoblement of Africa, an event organized by the African Student Organization (ASO) to answer frequently
asked questions about Africa, as well as some questions submitted by IIT students via our Online
Question Asking Form.

Deji presenting during the panel

The live panel during lunch answered some of these pressing questions . Each question fell into one of
the following categories: Geography and Climate, Cultures and Traditions, People, Quality of life, Education, Sports and Employment. and finally, Diseases and International Aid in Africa. For the transcript, Visit:
It was ultimately a very successful event and it was nominated for five campus life excellence awards
among which include: Outstanding Academic and Educational program, Outstanding Diversity /
Multicultural Program and Best Overall program of the year. It went on to win two of these awards
and gain ASO over 13 collaboration requests.

Outstanding Diversity Award

Some members of the audience

Outstanding Academic Award

Excellence in Programming Award


ASO movie night is an event
that has been taking place
for several semesters now.
The members of ASO select
a movie pertaining to Africa
and/or African events and
presents it to anyone who
may be interested in watching it for free.
This semester the event was
hosted in the auditorium of
the Engineering 1 building
and the movie that was
shown was: Blood Diamond.
Food was provided featuring
African classics such as dodo
(fried plantain) and Jollof
rice, there was also meat pie
and of course no African
meal is complete without
meat, as such there was Suya
(roasted beef). The event
was largely successful.

The I-FEST Dance Troupe


n October 23rd, 2014 IIT hosted it annual International week ending in its awesome
festival, commonly known as the I-fest. As it has been in the past, the African Student Organization featured prominently in the festivities. We put together two
separate performances namely: our African Dance ensemble featuring common
dances, both old and new, choreographed into an amazing 5 minute spectacle and the beautiful fashion show showcasing many different types of African attire from Ghana and Nigeria to
Ethiopia and Kenya, then back again to Senegal.
First was the fashion show. With the much appreciated help of the Vietnamese Student Association, about 25 students cat-walked on the Herman hall auditorium stage, modeling a truly
wide range of attire. The models danced, posed and smiled their way through the presentation, needless to say African attire had never looked better.
The African dance was put together by Mayokun Ogunbekun with input from various other
members of our organization. The routine was practiced constantly till it could be done not
only in unison but with grace and emotion. On the day of the I-Fest, prior to the performance,
the dancers donned their colorful Dashikis and black pants, they painted their faces and then
together, they prayed for Gods guidance in their upcoming endeavor. As they stepped on
stage, the crowd went silent and the music begun to play around the Herman hall Auditorium
and in one inspiring collective effort they gave a performance that can only be described as
At the end of the day we couldnt help but celebrate, because Africans had succeeded in positively representing themselves that day.
To see videos of our performances, visit our YouTube channel here


Campus Life

The Global Alumni Gathering Dance Troupe

ASO at the Global Alumni Gathering

Homecoming weekend is one of the major events in college hosted in the fall. Illinois Institute of
Technology also hosts this event every year close to mid-September. This years homecoming was
held on the weekend of September 19-20, 2014.
The weekend also coincided with Global Alumni Gathering which is an event where Alumni from all
over the world come together to Network and give back to the place that nested them and ignited
their careers. This gathering was mainly organized by the International Alumni Committee led by
Chairman Mr. Raj Raj Ram. The event included different panels and discussions, speeches from Provost Dr. Alan Cramb and President Anderson, and entertainment. Provost Cram and President Anderson both stressed the need for Alumni connections and contributions in both their speeches. President Anderson specially discussed an issue that is raised by a lot of people in the school. Though the
quality of education and services that the school provides is top standard, the school is not as popular as we would love it to be. One of the solutions that President Anderson put forward was a simple
advertisements with word of mouth from our Alumni. The President urged the Alumni to help the
growth of the school by spreading the word and encouraging people to come to the school.
Entertainment was provided by students either individually or representing different cultural organizations on campus. The African Student Organization (ASO) was one of the student organizations
chosen to showcase and represent the diverse IIT community.
The list included Indian Students Organization, Caribbean Visionaries, two individual performances
and the African Student Organization. Members of the ASO humbly accepted the invitation, got
together and formed a dance group. Freshman student Mayokun Ogunbekun took the lead and
Continued on Page 6...

On November 18, 2014 the IIT

Office Campus life hosted the
first ever Campus life excellence awards in MTCC auditorium. The aim of this program
was to show appreciation for
individuals and student organizations who have excelled
in different categories. The
categories for the individual
awards included outstanding
new member, outstanding
senior member, outstanding
executive board member, outstanding Student organization
president, and unsung hero.
The Categories for Organizational awards included Excellence in budgeting, Excellence
in programming, outstanding
new student organization,
outstanding Community service project, Outstanding
Academic/Educational program, Outstanding Collaborative program, outstanding
Fundraising program, outstanding social and Entertainment program, Outstanding
Diversity/multicultural program, and outstanding overall
program. Nominations for
these categories came from
the student body. The nominations were then screened
out by the Campus life staff
and announced to the IIT
The Awards ceremony was
held at 5:00pm on November
18th and was attended by representatives from nominated
organizations and individuals.
The ASO was represented in
all of the categories.
Continued on Page 6...


Global Alumni
Continued from Page 5...

was the master mind behind the

choreography that wowed the
Alumni. He dared to do what no
one in the organization has done in
a long time by successfully incorporating traditional and modern
dances from all over the continent
in to the performance. When asked
how he came up with the idea he
said Well the event said global
gathering which meant diversity to
me so it was only right that I tried
to touch on every culture I could
from Africa. Although ASO received the invitation on a short
notice the members practiced tirelessly and put on one of the best
performances of the night.
On the day of the event members
of the dance group got together,
rehearsed one last time and put on
their colorful African attires. Former President of ASO, Jong Massaquoi, introduced the performance to the audience by giving a
brief information about the organization and why it exists on campus.
Then it was on. The ASO put on a
show and received great applause
from the audience. When asked
about his thoughts on the night
former President of ASO, Jong
Massaquoi said Those gathered
where able to enjoy a short performance from the ASO. The dance
displayed the beats, colors/fashion
and movements of African music
and culture. As current students
look forward starting their careers
the advice and support from alumni can be very helpful and likewise
students are able to help connect
alumni back to the University by
sharing stories and exciting experiences. Once again the members of
the ASO showcased their rich culture to IITs most esteemed on one
of the major events of the academic

ASO Representation at the Campus Life Excellence Awards

Continued from Page 5

Current Vice President Murewa Oguntade for Unsung Hero award

Freshman student Shameemah Fuseini-Codjoe for Outstanding New Member awards.

Former Events Coordinator Mayokun Ogunbekun and Treasurer Odike Eze Echesi for
Outstanding Executive Member award.

Current and former Presidents of ASO Jong Massaquoi and Irewole Akande for Outstanding student organization president award.

The Ennoblement of Africa event which was held on the 1st of October was nominated for
Outstanding Academic/Educational Program, Excellence in programming, Outstanding Social and Entertainment Program, Outstanding Diversity/Multicultural Program, and Outstanding Overall Program award. The ASO won in the following categories.

Excellence in programming

Outstanding Academic/Educational Program and

Outstanding Diversity/Multicultural Program

Despite not winning any individual awards, the ASO and its members were recognized for
their hard work and dedication in putting on an outstanding event. When asked his
thoughts on the night junior student James Mwakichako said The awards scooped at the
ceremony are a testament of what ASO has done and a foreshadowing of what is to come.
The hard work, dedication and commitment of everyone on the board and the general
body has paid off.
The ASO is humbled by the recognition it got from IIT-campus life and plans to put on diverse
and educational events in the coming semesters.


This Spring semester, we will be hosting several events, among which include:
February 9th: Resume Workshop and Internship Talks .
February 19th: Movie Showing and Discussion (The Good Lie) .
March 12th: Dignification of the African woman (Speaker event).
April 19th25th: ASO Week (Variety of events).

Contact Us
Give us a call for more information about our activities

African Students Organization

3300 South Federal Street
Chicago IL 60616
(312) 532-6660

April 25th: ASO Banquet ( Dinner, Performers and Awards).


We will be grateful to have you in our midst.




Visit us on the web at:

We are currently in talks with the Office of Institutional Advancement

here at IIT to begin an African Scholarship fund which will be aimed at
providing scholarships for two incoming freshmen every year, for the du-

ration of their education at IIT. The proposed price money is currently valued at $1500.


A soft proposal is being put together for the Office by a team that is tasked
with following this plan through. The team is being led by Irewole


Akande, the current president.

Irewole Akande

After the proposal is accepted by the Office, then further steps which in-

Osazeme Okuns

clude, fundraising as well as figuring out other logistics will be taken to

Abenezer Ayele

make the African Student Scholarship a reality.



As at present, the African Student Organization does not have an Alumni

Wudasse Berke

Board it is able to turn to during times when we need pointers or assis-

Jong Massaquoi

tance, and I believe that it will be great if we can have a group which could
serve as a mentor and watchman over the organization here on campus.
This is another task we wish to undertake, and we will be more than grateful for your input
Irewole Akande

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