A Look at 2021 Commencement Student Speaker Sipho Ncube

Published: April 29, 2021 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 3 minutes

Commencement speaker, Sipho NcubeSouthern Utah University pre-med graduate Sipho Ncube will be speaking at the 2021 University Commencement Ceremony on Friday, April 29, 2021. A very accomplished student, Ncube was featured on the 200 Young South Africans list in 2020 and is a two-time winner of the “Achievement of the Year” at the Thunderbird Awards. She will be the first African student in SUU history to speak at a graduation ceremony.

“Graduation is a milestone and I wanted to give an insight into my journey as an international student here at SUU as well as share some words of encouragement to fellow students as we chase our dreams after graduation,” Ncube said. “The speech is about taking the next step. I decided on this topic because, often as college students, as we approach graduation, the question we most commonly get is, ‘What is the next step after you graduate?’. This question is sometimes difficult to answer because as university graduates we all have different goals. The world is full of endless possibilities and we should always chase our dreams, that is the message I wanted to put across.”

Ncube was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. At a young age she began participating in humanitarian work through addressing rural health issues and education. She has served with the International Federation of Medical Students, the United Nations Association, and the Student National Medical Association. She has also served as the Youth Assembly Ambassador for South Africa and as an Ambassador for Friendship Ambassadors Foundation through the United Nations Department of Global Communications.

As a college student, Ncube has continued to serve and volunteer. In 2019, in addition to serving as the vice president for the African Union club and an international student ambassador, she was selected as a delegate for the 23rd session of the United Nations Youth Assembly. Because of these accomplishments, she earned “Achievement of the Year” at the 2019 Thunderbird Award Ceremony and the “Leadership Award” at the 2019 International Affairs Recognition Gala. In 2021, Ncube currently represents international students SUU’s Strategic Planning Committee, and once again earned the “Achievement of the Year” at the 2021 Thunderbird Awards.

“Sipho is a bright and charming young lady and I'm so proud of her success and upcoming graduation,” said Dr. Stephen Allen, associate provost. “She has made the most of her time at SUU through involvement, advocacy, and study. From the moment Sipho arrived on campus, she took advantage of opportunities to get involved which have helped her develop and hone strong leadership skills. She has always looked for ways to make a positive difference locally and globally. For example, Sipho was selected to serve as a youth leader for the United Nations where she advocated for educational opportunities for international students. Sipho has also been successful academically through a dedication of time and effort.”

After graduation, Ncube plans to earn dual degrees in medicine (MD) and public health (MPH). She aspires to be a doctor in pediatrics and to work to make healthcare more equitable and accessible for everyone. Before attending graduate school, Ncube plans to complete an internship and pursue research interests in disease control and public health.

“Sipho is a gem. She is gifted with an array of great social skills,” said Dr. Ty Redd, professor of chemistry. “She is articulate, thoughtful and insightful. In fact she has the abilities of a really good diplomat. She forms friendships readily and maintains strong loyalty to the people and entities she associates with. She has a good personality and sense of humor that helps her be a calming influence in stressful situations and interact positively with those around her. Her high standards in all aspects of her everyday life make me a huge fan and supporter. I believe she has the intellect, attitude, stamina, drive, and motivation needed to traverse her path. Sipho would be a good addition to any program she joins.”

In an effort to promote COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, Southern Utah University will hold two 2021 Commencement Ceremonies on Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1. For additional information about SUU’s Commencement Ceremonies visit suu.edu/graduation.

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