May 13, 2024
Newark resident Osaivbie Igiebor was recently recognized for his efforts to register student voters for the 2023 election.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, May 13, 2024 — Centenary University student Osaivbie “Oso” Igiebor has been named to the 2024 ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll, which recognizes college students across the nation for their efforts to register their peers to vote and empowers colleges and universities to encourage nonpartisan student democratic engagement. Each fall, the national program runs jointly with the New Jersey Department of State’s Jersey Civic Engage initiative, the Ballot Bowl.

For the past two academic years, Centenary University has placed first in both the national and state titles, which are measured by the percentage of registered student voters who pledge to cast their ballot on Election Day. Kathleen Greco, the University’s director of community engagement, pointed to the efforts of Igiebor and other students as key drivers for Centenary’s consecutive wins. “Centenary students recognized that their vote matters on the local, state, and national levels,” said Greco, who nominated Igiebor for the honor roll. “I am extremely proud of Oso and all of our students who are dedicated to educating their peers about the importance of engaging in our democratic process.”

Leading up to the 2023 general election, Igiebor’s constant companion was a clipboard with information on registering to vote—including a QR code students could scan to instantly connect with a voter registration site. “With my generation, it doesn’t work to put up flyers or send emails,” the Newark, NJ, resident explained. “Sometimes, you’ve got to really put things in our faces. It’s the only true way to get people to take action.”

Growing up, Igiebor wasn’t interested in politics, despite his parents, who immigrated from Nigeria, regularly following election coverage on television. That changed after the 2016 election: “I was in eighth grade, and I saw the impact the 2016 election had on people. Some were happy, and some were really sad. That election was close. I decided that I never want to be the reason a candidate was or wasn’t elected because I didn’t use my vote.”

Igiebor attended Newark Collegiate Academy, but his junior and senior years were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With in-person classes halted, he conducted his college search largely online and applied to a number of colleges—including Centenary University—because a search platform recommended by his school allowed him to submit free applications. After receiving his Centenary acceptance letter, Igiebor was surprised to learn that his high school wrestling coach had attended the University. Together, they toured the campus. “It was beautiful,” Igiebor recalled. “There were trees and mountains, and everyone was so friendly. I just fell in love with Centenary that day.”

Once on campus, the first-generation college student set out to become involved right away and applied to the University’s Educational Opportunity Program, which provides academic, social, and financial support to underserved students. However, Igiebor’s transcripts had some glitches, and the program waitlisted him. Instead of giving up, Igiebor was determined to work harder. “At first, I was a little upset,” he said. “Then, I thought, ‘Ok, let’s fix this.’ I spent the entire first semester focusing on academics and getting my grades up. I pushed myself to be the very best person I can be.”

Igiebor’s efforts worked and he was accepted to the EOP as a sophomore. Through the EOP, he has benefited from the guidance of staff members and student mentors: “There have been really good people who are always there for me. They let me know about opportunities that I didn’t even know existed. I always wanted to do great things, but my inspiration grew when I saw people of color just like me doing so many great things. It’s like a chain reaction.”

Currently a junior, Igiebor is now a student leader at Centenary. In addition to his Ballot Bowl activities, he is president of the Omega Rho fraternity and participates in volunteer activities on campus and in the Hackettstown community. A theater major, Igiebor has also scored roles in Centenary productions of The Adams FamilyMacbeth, and Romeo and Juliet.

With a presidential election this November, Igiebor has no plans to hang up his get-out-the-vote clipboard. He and Centenary University President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., have also spoken about establishing a new League of Student Voters on campus. “Elections can be stressful and they can be heartbreaking,” Igiebor said. “You have the power to change things if you use your vote.”


Centenary University offers extraordinary learning opportunities that empower students to develop intellectually, emotionally, and interculturally—keys to career and personal success. Under the leadership of President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., the University aspires to advance its reputation as a world class institution offering innovative programs, including the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies, to lift the future for our students and local communities.


Kristen Volkland
Erbach Communications Group
(201) 960-3102

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