Folivi named Chief Student Marshal for spring graduation

Messan D. Folivi was the chief student marshal for Southern University’s spring 2013 graduating class and led 714 graduates into the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Friday, May 17.


The native of Togo, West Africa earned the chief marshal designation because his cumulative 3.93 grade point average is the highest among his fellow spring graduates.


Folivi, who majored in biology and minored in chemistry plans to attend Meharry Medical School, in Nashville, Tenn., in the fall of 2013.


“I feel it is a big accomplishment for me, coming from another country and learning a new language,” Folivi said about earning the top grad spot. “It is an honor not just for the College of Sciences but for Southern University as a whole.”


The 22-year-old moved to the United States to live with his uncle when he was 17 years old and to continue his studies in pursuit of a career in medicine. He graduated Cum Laude in 2009 from Robert E. Lee High School in Baton Rouge and joined the Jaguar Nation that fall.


“I chose Southern after attending Jaguar Preview in the summer because the environment felt like home. The instructors were one-on-one with you and knew your name,” said Folivi.


Into his second semester Folivi joined the Louis Stokes-Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation, the Timbuktu Academy and Beta Kappa Chi National Honor Society. Scholarships earned through those organizations helped pay for his tuition along the way.


While at Southern, Folivi worked for a year as a medical scribe for the Professional Emergency Physicians Association at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. As a scribe he assisted the patients and reported their status to the physicians.


He works presently as an Electrocardiogram Technician at Southern Medical Corporation  which serves Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and Baton Rouge General Hospital at Mid-City and Bluebonnet.


One of Folivi’s goals is to serve the global community through the practice of medicine.  This past year he helped establish the USA organization committee team for the E-Learning and E-Santé Conference in Senegal in November of 2012. That group set up a global professional network of E-Learning and E-Health in 37 countries. The two concepts introduced electronics and communication technology in education and the health sector.


He also worked on international projects such as the Project ICT4 Africa 2011 under College of Business Professor and Executive Director of the Information and Communication Technology Department, Dr. Victor Mbarika and ELES network under Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry Dr. Moustapha Diack.


Folivi was also a key undergraduate student in the organization of conferences pertaining to Open Education Resources and telemedicine between French-speaking and English-speaking countries in Africa.


Folivi is passionate about returning to West Africa after graduating from Meharry with a Masters of Health Sciences combined with a duel doctoral degree, with a possible specialization in cardiology. 


The top graduate is grateful to Southern for bringing him closer to his dream.

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