Osaze selected for 2024 Remington R. Williams Award

Jessica Osaze graphic

Jessica Osaze, a Class of 2026 Ellis Fischel Cancer Center-sponsored pre-doctoral student enrolled in the Translational Biosciences Graduate Program, was one of seven students from across the University of Missouri system named as a recipient of the 2024 Remington R. Williams Award.

Established in 2023 in honor of the late student representative to the UM Board of Curators, this year’s winners were recognized by the board on Thursday, June 27, for their exceptional leadership and impact on their respective institutions.

Osaze is specializing in Precision and Population Health in the Translational Biosciences PhD program with an emphasis on cancer. Outside the classroom, she is a standout leader on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus, including serving as the President of the Rollins Society and Director of Professional Development for the Graduate Professional Council.

“Receiving the 2024 Remington R. Williams Award and being recognized for my contributions as an exceptional leader is deeply meaningful to me,” said Osaze. “Once I discovered how I could contribute to my fellow Tigers’ success, I committed myself wholeheartedly to that purpose. This recognition motivates me to continue playing my part in nurturing a supportive and successful environment for all at Mizzou.”

Osaze’s involvement in student organizations and groups at MU spans across campus. In 2022, she founded Mizzou 2, an organization partnered with the Office of the Provost, MU International Center and the Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity. Last year, more than 30 MU international students and their spouses received free driving lessons, helping promote equity and community support in mid-Missouri.

Additionally, Osaze spearheaded the Graduate Professional Council Interdisciplinary Case Competition. The first-of-its-kind event on MU’s campus provided a platform for all students to voice their ideas to administration and offer research-informed recommendations on student-related issues.

“That competition saw participants report increased confidence and real-world readiness, making it a significant highlight of my career development efforts so far,” said Osaze. “Through all of these involvements I’m a part of, I’ve strived to impact the MU community meaningfully, support my peers and promote inclusive excellence.”

The Remington R. Williams Award, the highest non-academic award bestowed on students by the UM Board of Curators, was created to honor Remington R. Williams, who served as student representative to the Board from 2020 until his death in June 2022. Each year’s recipients reflect the extracurricular involvement and leadership qualities Williams embodied during his time as a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, where he earned his juris doctor and later at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he was pursuing a master’s degree in business administration.

To qualify for the award, each recipient was nominated by a student, faculty or staff member and was involved in at least two student organizations, one of which they held a major leadership position during their time in the organization. Recipients — who must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or its equivalent in their current program — are also being recognized for making a positive impact on the institution, inspiring growth and development of their fellow students in both academics and extracurricular activities, and for exhibiting outstanding character and a collaborative spirit at all times.

Winners will receive $1,000 along with a student-designed medal to wear at commencement. This year, the Board chose four students from the University of Missouri-Columbia and one each from UMKC, UMSL and the Missouri University of Science and Technology.