Student Profile

Adeoluwa Ayoola
Adeoluwa Ayoola '18
Grand Rapids, MI

Edith Cox and Anjele Kalfayan Odyssey Scholar Spotlight: 2015–16

“I love the opportunity I’ve had to get involved in research outside of classes and see real life applications of what I’m learning in biology.”

What did you do this past summer? What are the most striking differences between your life during the summer and your life at UChicago?

This summer, I was part of the UChicago Community Service Center’s Summer Links program. I had the opportunity to work at a non-profit in the Austin neighborhood doing research about the health issues the youth in the neighborhood face. By reviewing literature, talking to community leaders, and interviewing youth, I and a fellow intern were able to design a peer health education program that the organization plans to implement this year. The opportunity to meet new people and work in a different environment was the most striking difference between my life during the summer and my life at UChicago.

Tell us about your academic interests.

Although I am a science major and I plan to enter the medical field later on, I have found my humanity and language classes to be particularly interesting so far. It’s been fascinating to learn about language, history and culture through my humanities classes and I have learned new ways of seeing and relating with people that I hope to carry with me into my scientific profession. The interactions between human beings that I have been able to explore in these classes have helped me shape how I explore biology and chemistry and the sort of doctor I hope to become.

Please share a significant, memorable experience you had during your time at UChicago this year.

Some of my most memorable experiences come from being on the track team here at UChicago. We got the opportunity to travel to Atlanta, Georgia last year for our conference meet and the trip was one of the highlights of my first year. It’s been an absolute blessing to be surrounded by such a supporting and loving team of people. Getting to compete with them and travel with them has been amazing.

What do you like to do outside of class?

I love the opportunity I’ve had to get involved in research outside of classes. Along with getting to see real life applications of what I’m learning in biology, I am also forming relationships with kind and brilliant people who are constantly asking questions about their work. I also love being a part of the track team, reading, and solving speed cubes.

How have you changed (as a student, thinker, citizen, or human) since coming to the University of Chicago?

I’ve become a more socially conscious individual since coming to the University of Chicago. The fact that the university is located in Chicago means I have met so many different types of people and seen many different communities in the short time I’ve been here. I’ve seen differing degrees of power and opportunity even within the distance of a few blocks around the University. This has spurred me into exploring how social systems are created, how social change occurs and where my role is in bringing about a more equal system of opportunity, specifically health, to our world.

If you could speak directly to the person who supported your scholarship, what would you say?

This scholarship has meant the world to me. I wouldn’t be able to attend this wonderful university with this support. The opportunity to learn and grow at the University of Chicago is one that is opening doors for me in a way that would never had happened otherwise. The people I am meeting, the classes I am taking, and the things I am seeing are all helping me become more inquisitive, more knowledgable, and more anxious to see what I can do with all that has been given to me. Thank you for the opportunity to become better as a person, and as a citizen.

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