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    Clarkson University
    Box 5535
  • Phone: 315/268-4483

Clarkson University Engineering Student Wins Community Service Scholarship Award from CICU

The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York (CICU) has selected Clarkson University electrical engineering student Bakari Smith '17 of Rochester, N.Y., for a 2016 Independent Sector Community Service Award for his dedication to sharing his love for music and technology with others.

Bakari SmithSmith is one of 10 outstanding New York Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) recipients from independent private, not-for-profit colleges and universities who are being recognized for their leadership in community service.

Each student awardee will receive a $500 scholarship from the H.D. Paley Memorial Scholarship Fund, named in honor of CICU's third president.

"Bakari is incredibly deserving of this award," said Laura L. Anglin, president of The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York. "His commitment to Clarkson, his community and his academic studies is amazingly admirable. He is a musician, a tutor, a leader and an inspiration to those around him."

Since age 10, Smith has been part of the South West Area Neighborhood (SWAN) Community Band in Rochester and he is the group's lead alto saxophonist. In addition to performing with SWAN and his church band, he is also a mentor and is currently teaching two beginners how to play their instruments.

Smith blends the goal of SWAN to spread the love of music throughout the community with his own passion for education and career opportunities in STEM -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

His internship developing new monitoring systems for sustainable power generation at General Electric Co. Power & Water and his research with faculty to optimize wind turbine power generation inspire both students and adults alike.

The secretary of Clarkson's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Smith is a past academic excellence NSBE chairman, facilitating study hours, tutoring and review sessions that are available to the entire student body.

He is involved in NSBE's "A Walk for Education" program that engages local merchants, schools and community organizations in STEM and NSBE community activities. The walks connect members with other local community advocates and leaders, creating opportunities like Smith's service as a volunteer fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Bringing his love for music to campus, Smith is the president of the Clarkson Jazz Ensemble and performs concerts with other student musicians.

He also is a leader on the varsity swim team, which will participate in an annual spring clean-up of a cemetery in Potsdam.

Smith has maintained a 3.92 GPA and has been on the dean's and presidential scholar lists. A Clarkson Leadership Award winner, he is also a recipient of the Great Lakes National Scholarship, the New York State Home Bureau-McMahon Endowed Scholarship Fund, the Xerox Technology Minority Scholarship, and a NSBE scholarship in the GE African-American forum.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, New York, and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: From left to right, Clarkson University President Tony Collins, electrical engineering student Bakari Smith, and his parents John and Azalea Smith attended the 2016 Independent Sector Student Community Service Awards. Bakari Smith was honored for his dedication to sharing his love for music and technology with his community.

[A photograph for media use is available at .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or]

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