ThankGod (TG) Ugochukwu Receives Saint Elmo Brady Award

ThankGod (TG) Ugochukwu
Charles Watson, left, presents the Saint Elmo Brady Award to ThankGod (TG) Ugochukwu. URI photo by Michael Salerno.

By Neil Nachbar

Senior ThankGod (TG) Ugochukwu, who is completing his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at URI, received the Saint Elmo Brady Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science at URI’s 21st annual Black Scholar Awards ceremony on April 24.

“I was very surprised when I found out that I won the award, but it wasn’t until I understood what the Saint Elmo Brady Award really was and the amount of people that could have been chosen instead of me, that I felt a huge sense of accomplishment,” said Ugochukwu, a native of Norwood, Mass.

Academic Excellence

As a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minorities Participation (LSAMP) program scholar, Ugochukwu has taken advantage of such opportunities as conducting research in the Biomeasurement and Biomedical Instrumentation Design Laboratories and doing an electrical engineering internship at 21st Century Fox in Los Angeles, where he assisted the engineering team in repairing damaged technology.

In the biomedical engineering capstone design course this past year, Ugochukwu and two teammates developed a novel balance board that utilizes electronic sensors and a customized smartphone app to aid rehabilitation of ankle injuries. They successfully achieved the design goals and presented their functional prototype at the Northeast Bioengineering Conference at Drexel University this past March.

“I have taught TG in several courses over the past three years,” said biomedical engineering professor Ying Sun. “It’s been a pleasure to see him continuously build his engineering skills and confidence.”

Community Service

Ugochukwu was very active in the URI community. He was the president of NSBE this year, a member of the URI rugby team and a member of the Student Alumni Association (SAA).

“Participating in these clubs has been important to my development,” Ugochukwu stated. “I learned a lot about professionalism and leadership in NSBE; discipline and camaraderie from playing rugby; and planning and executing events in SAA. All of those experiences helped me become a more well-rounded person.”

“TG’s philosophy on life is to have no regrets, and that is what pushes him with no real boundaries,” Hunter said. “He has a positive spirit and he seems to elevate those around him.”

Who is Saint Elmo Brady?

In 1916, Saint Elmo Brady became the first person of African descent to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree in chemistry. He had a distinguished research and teaching career, including appointments at Fisk University, Howard University, Tuskegee Institute, and Tougaloo College.