Congratulations Mr. Emmanuel Epau

Profile EPAU EMMANUEL: Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing

St. Edwards University: May 2024

In the News: Presidential Award Winner

Emmanuel Epau’s educational journey began at Holy Cross Primary School in Jinja, Uganda, where he enrolled in 2004. For ten years, Emmanuel immersed himself in the academic and extracurricular life of the school, displaying a strong passion for learning and community involvement. From kindergarten through to primary seven, he demonstrated exceptional academic performance, graduating with a first grade in the Uganda Primary Leaving Examination (PLE).

While at Holy Cross Primary School, Emmanuel actively participated in the school’s music and choir programs, singing tenor and playing drums. His music engagement honed his artistic skills and instilled a sense of discipline and teamwork. Beyond the arts, Emmanuel was a prominent figure in the school’s debate club, where he developed his oratory and critical thinking skills. His leadership qualities were evident early on, as he often took on roles that allowed him to guide and inspire his peers. Emmanuel’s primary education laid a solid foundation for his future endeavors, nurturing his intellectual curiosity and leadership potential. His accomplishments during these formative years earned him a place at Holy Cross Lake View Secondary School, where he would continue to excel and expand his horizons.

Emmanuel Epau among the graduands at St. Edwards University | Courtesy Photo

Emmanuel’s journey continued at Holy Cross Lake View Secondary School from 2014 to 2019. Here, he excelled academically and became a prominent student leader and active participant in various extracurricular activities. As a student, Emmanuel demonstrated exceptional academic capacity, excelling in both the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE). His dedication to his studies was matched by his commitment to leadership and community service.

During his time at Holy Cross Lake View, Emmanuel held several key leadership roles. He began his leadership journey as the Class President (2014-2015), Deputy Head Boy (2016-2018), and Chairperson of the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) (2018-2019).

In 2019, Emmanuel’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-find the Mustard Seed Company with his colleagues. The company participated in the Stanbic National Schools Championship; a competition aimed at empowering business start-ups among high school students. Emmanuel and his team developed an innovative business plan that won the 2019 championship. As part of their victory, the team was awarded a fully paid one-week trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, where they had the opportunity to explore business and cultural sites, gaining valuable international exposure. The championship prize also included solar panels for Holy Cross Lake View Secondary School, contributing to the school’s sustainability and energy efficiency. Additionally, Emmanuel and his team were offered an internship right after completing their senior six, providing them practical professional experience.

Higher Education at St. Edward’s University:

In 2019, Emmanuel Epau embarked on a transformative journey at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, as the first Ugandan student to receive the Moreau Scholarship. This significant achievement began an illustrious academic and professional career rooted in his passion for business, innovation, and social impact.

Academic Excellence and Research:

A transformative journey at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas | Courtesy Photo

Emmanuel pursued a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, immersing himself in a rigorous academic environment that honed his analytical and strategic thinking skills. His academic journey was distinguished by numerous accolades and achievements. In 2022, he was awarded the National Collegiate Honors Council Portz Interdisciplinary Scholars Grant, one of only five students in the United States to receive this honor. This grant funded his independent summer research project, which focused on understanding barriers to social media use in rural Uganda. His senior thesis, titled “Understanding Social Media Use in Rural Uganda: An Exploratory Study of Barriers to Digital Communication in Rural Uganda,” provided valuable insights into the challenges faced by rural communities in accessing digital technologies.

Emmanuel supplemented his research with a pivotal internship at KEIPhone Global, a social enterprise dedicated to expanding smartphone access for women throughout Africa. This experience allowed him to apply his academic knowledge to real-world challenges, further solidifying his commitment to bridging the digital divide in Uganda.

Business Innovation:

Emmanuel with a colleague at St. Edwards | Courtesy Photo

Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, Emmanuel and his colleague competed and won first place in business competitions for three consecutive years, and through this, he co-developed a groundbreaking business venture called BAfrika Trade. This initiative is aimed at enabling farmers in rural Ugandan communities to access critical supply chain information and better connect with consumers through a mobile application. This innovative business plan won first place at the 2023 Annual Business Development and Start-Up Competition, securing funding to launch the project. This achievement highlighted Emmanuel’s ability to translate his academic insights into practical solutions that addressed pressing social issues.

Leadership and Campus Involvement:

Emmanuel’s impact extended beyond the classroom. He was deeply involved in various campus activities and organizations, showcasing his leadership and dedication to community service. He served as the marketing coordinator at the Recreation and Wellness Center, where he utilized his marketing skills to promote health and wellness programs, create content, and customize websites. As a Global Ambassador at the Admissions Office, Emmanuel played a crucial role in welcoming and guiding international students, helping them acclimate to university life in the United States.

His leadership roles also included serving as a Tour Guide and Black/Hispanic Peer Mentor, positions that allowed him to support and mentor fellow students. Emmanuel played rugby for St. Edward’s school team. He was an active member of the University Programming Board, Sorin Oak Review Board, Munday Library Advisory Council, Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, and the Students for Sustainability initiative, organizing events that enriched the campus community. Additionally, he served as the Director of Media and Publicity for the Infinite Singers’ Youth Ministry and a Digital Media Management Intern at the Holy Cross Institute.

Volunteer Work and Community Service:

Emmanuel’s commitment to service extended into the broader community. He volunteered at the Andre House in Phoenix, Arizona, providing essential support to the homeless, including food service, sorting donations, and assisting guests with various services. In Austin, he led food sorting activities at the Austin Community Food Bank and prepared storage facilities for the Austin Sunshine Camps Organization. His volunteer work at the Any Baby Can Organization involved designing and producing educational puzzles for children, demonstrating his dedication to improving the lives of those in need.

Recognition and Awards:

Emmanuel being awarded the Blessed Basil Moreau Holy Cross Mission Award of the Year | Courtesy Photo

Throughout his time at St. Edward’s University, Emmanuel received numerous awards and recognitions that underscored his exceptional contributions. He was a Presidential Award Winner in 2024, an award given to only ten students in a year, to recognize his outstanding academic achievements and leadership. His research on social media and donor engagement earned him the Research Award Winner for the National Collegiate Honors Council Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship in 2022. He was also awarded the Blessed Basil Moreau Holy Cross Mission Award of the Year and Recreation and Wellness Employee of the Year as he graduated earlier this year, to mention but a few.

Future Plans:

Mr. Emmanuel’s St. Edward’s University journey equipped him with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to drive meaningful change. He plans to use his education and experiences to create more opportunities for communities back home in Uganda. His next academic pursuit will be at the University of Notre Dame, where he will continue his studies in a Master of Science in Business Analytics program at the Mendoza College of Business. Emmanuel aims to leverage analytics to empower rural entrepreneurs and drive data-driven decision-making that fosters sustainable development.

Mr. Emmanuel Epau’s journey at St. Edward’s University is a testament to his dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to using education as a tool for social change. His achievements and contributions have impacted his immediate community and set an example for future generations of students striving to make a difference.

Learn more about his transformative journey at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas