Two Computer Science students honored at URI Black Scholar awards

Computer science students Amoy Scott and Warith Balogun were honored Monday at the URI Black Scholar awards. Scott received the Sojourner Truth Award for Scholarly Persistence and Dedication, presented to a senior in recognition of success despite dire financial, physical and/or personal problems that would ordinarily impede progress, and Balogun received the Earl N. Smith, III Award for Scholar Activism, presented to an outstanding scholar who is actively engaged in issues in social justice, inclusion, and equity on the URI campus.

Balogun graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 2023 with a B.S. in Computer Science. Award present Dr. Chris Hunter noted, “Warith Balogun came in as a scholar activist, and he was a part of a team that helped form the Black Student Union under Mentorship from Assistant Dean Smith.” As a student, Balogun served as president of the Muslim Student Association, a resident assistant, and the Membership chair of NSBE. Beyond URI, he has served as Rhode Island History & Social Studies Advisory Committee (RIHSSAC) member, contributing to reforming the RI curricula in those fields, and is engaged as a creative consultant with Black Muslim TV. Hunter concluded the award presentation with, “Warith is a man of strong values and integrity, exceptional leadership abilities and civic engagement… an incredibly creative young man who writes/speaks poetry, a true Renaissance man.”

Amoy Scott will graduate with a B.A. in Computer Science and a minor in Business in May 2024. Throughout her college career, Amoy faced challenges that often lead students to not complete their studies, but persevered. Scott has been a dedicated student who worked thoughtfully and advocated for herself to get help proactively when barriers arose. Scott served as a TA for (then CSC392) CSC311 in Fall 2023 and earned positive remarks from students. Award presenter Dr. Sarah Brown noted, “She never used challenging circumstances as an excuse, but instead responded with grace and creativity to successfully navigate complex scenarios.”