Vincent Eze: Outstanding Graduating International Student

Vincent Eze, of Lagos, Nigeria, has been named the Outstanding Graduating International Student in the College of Education and Human Development.

Eze is double-majoring in child development and family relations, and in sociology, with a concentration in individual and family studies.

He is a forward on the men’s basketball team, and received both Rising Star and Scholar-Athlete awards of the Athletics Department. Eze is a teaching assistant and member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He also has been involved in student groups, including Male Athletes Against Violence, the Student Portfolio Investment Fund (SPIFFY) and the International Student Association.

He plans to attend graduate school to study public administration.

What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals?
Overall it has helped prepare me for what is next. I don’t think my overall goal is reached yet. I am just glad to be in the process of graduating and looking at the next phase of my career. I have met a lot of great people during my time here at UMaine and some of the friendships will last a lifetime beyond my time here at the university.

Have you had an experience at UMaine that has changed or shaped the way you see the world?
Patience, consistency, and belief that it will all work out to be better. Keeping a positive attitude through it all.

Why UMaine?
It all started out with sports. I was recruited here by Bob Walsh, the former men’s basketball coach. I came down for my visit in the fall and met a great group of young men that had a bond among themselves. I met the academic adviser (for my program) and I toured the campus. I liked it, though it was different than what I am accustomed to, having been around the city my whole life. I was ready for a temporary change and UMaine gave me that.

How would you define the opportunities for student success at UMaine? Is there any particular initiative, program or set of resources that helped you succeed?
The opportunity for student success is very high, especially when you do work and seek help when you need to. There are lots of resources on campus available to students. Ask questions if you are not sure if a particular resource you need is available. Most likely it is and the student isn’t aware of it.

Have you worked closely with a professor or mentor who made your UMaine experience better?
Yes. I have worked for Sandra Caron. She impacted my experience in so many positive ways.

What advice do you have for incoming students to help them get off to the best start academically?
Start with the Explorations program first. Don’t be in a haste to pick a major that you aren’t sure if you would like. Take different courses and get a feel for each course, and as time goes on, you will know the courses you like and don’t and that will assist with facilitating the decision process.