Dalhousie University computer science professor Rita Orji is one of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants.
Dr. Orji directs Dal's Persuasive Computing Lab. Her research topics include human-computer interaction and designing interactive technologies that empower people, improve lives and contribute to solving societal problems.
She's also a Canada Research Chair in Persuasive Technology and a role model for young woman looking to enter STEM fields.
She was born in Nigeria and came to Canada in 2010 to pursue her PhD.
Orji says she's thrilled and honoured to receive this award.
In a YouTube video, she says the greatest thing about being a Canadian is the opportunity to be herself and contribute to building society.
"This award is like a stamp of approval saying that I'm doing the right thing," Orji said.
"My advice to newcomers is that Canada is the land of opportunity," she added. "Be yourself, stay open minded, reach out to people and build and maintain meaningful relationships, connect with people beyond your immediate community and ethnic group. Opportunities lie in diversity. Tap into it to build yourself and flourish."
Orji has previously been named one of the Top 150 Canadian Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and one of the Top 100 Canada's Most Powerful Women.
Orji also founded the Education for Women and the Less Privileged Foundation and recently launched a YouTube channel, "Time with Prof. Rita."