Two Essex County College students named to all-academic team

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NEWARK, NJ — Elizabeth Bakare and Favour Ogbinaka are Essex County College’s 2023 representatives on the All USA–New Jersey Community College Academic Team. The high-achieving students are also in the running for the All USA National Academic Team.

“I was surprised and really grateful for this honor,” said Bakare, a biology pre-medicine major from Newark. She said she had applied for the Phi Theta Kappa honor society scholarship, which led to her selection. She is vice president of scholarship for the college’s Alpha Theta Theta chapter of PTK. Bakare has a 3.89 grade-point average. 

“I was just hoping to receive a scholarship,” said Ogbinaka, an engineering major from Newark. “I filled out the application and just hoped things would work out, which they have.” Ogbinaka, who has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, serves as PTK chapter secretary.

“Both Elizabeth and Favour are exceptional students and student leaders. I could not be prouder of Elizabeth and Favour for their contribution to the team and to the student body, and I am excited to see what the future holds for them,” said professor Lynn Wilson, co-adviser of the ECC PTK chapter.

“Congratulations to Favour and Elizabeth. We are proud of them. And thank you to our PTK advisors,” ECC President Augustine A. Boakye said.

“Most times, I look at myself and think a small girl from a little city is having big dreams,” said Bakare, whose career goal is to become a medical doctor. She lists Cornell University and Rutgers University–New Brunswick as her top two transfer destinations after graduating from ECC.

In addition to his work in Phi Theta Kappa, Ogbinaka helped revitalize the college’s Engineering Club. He plans to major in computer engineering after graduating from ECC, and is considering NJIT and Columbia University as transfer options.

They will represent Essex County College in Trenton on PTK Day in May of 2023, where they will be recognized alongside other New Jersey community college nominees by state officials.