Oluwadara Ogundiwin

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1. Why did you choose to attend UCI?

One of the main reasons I chose to attend UC Irvine is because of the renowned Biological Sciences programs, along with the plethora of research opportunities and initiatives that I could see myself getting involved in. Also, the collaborative nature amongst the UC Irvine student body greatly influenced my decision to attend this institution– there is less of a spotlight on competition and more focus on contributing to you and your peers’ success together.

2. What inspired you to pursue a degree in the biological sciences?

One of my favorite genres of stories and films while growing up is mystery. Whether it was the Nancy Drew series or The Hardy Boys I would always find myself glued to the storyline, while asking questions to try and piece the clues together. This love for asking questions– wanting to know about why things are the way they are– reflects itself in my passion for biological sciences. I love that with each class, the reasonings behind certain functions and pathways are always expanded on in more ways than I could have ever imagined. <4> 3. What are some of your favorite study habits or tips for success in college? I am still in the process of learning which study habits work the best for myself. However, one thing that has helped me so far is employing active learning techniques. Personally, this entails going over my notes and actively connecting it back to previous topics that I’ve learned or repeating information back to myself – aloud– as if I am teaching a class on a subject.

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am honestly the most proud and grateful for making it this far while still having the drive/passion to continue on my journey studying Biology– with hopes of a future in medicine and research.

5. Can you speak to the importance of diversity and representation in the biological sciences?

How can we expect to have more innovation, creativity, and a larger range of outlooks in STEM without diversifying our perspectives? This is why representation and diversity is so important in biological sciences– or any field for that matter. The reflection of everybody’s opinions, needs, and viewpoints is essential because studies in biological sciences affect all individuals in one facet or another, like when solving health crises.

6. What advice would you give to incoming college students interested in pursuing a degree in the sciences?

The advice I would give to incoming students is to not be scared to ask for help. I know this is common information but it is so important in maximizing your success, while lessening the presence of unnecessary stress. Seeking help could be through asking your fellow classmates, TAs, or professors about any confusions on a topic or even seeking out other organizations and resources provided by UCI.

7. Can you speak to any initiatives or programs that have been helpful to you as a student in STEM?

UCI’s California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP at UCI) and the Minority Sciences Programs (MSP) have been especially helpful to me as a STEM major thus far.

8. Can you tell us about a role model or mentor who has been influential in your career as a scientist?

I have to give a special shout out to– the incredible future doctor and recent UC Irvine alumnus– Sonia Chinedu for being a mentor to me, especially during my past freshman year. She gave me great advice, provided me with resources, and always checked in on me as a fellow Dunlop School major. Watching her accomplish her goals and graduate from UC Irvine gives me the motivation to do the same. <4> 9. What is your favorite hobby or activity outside of work? In my free time I love to hangout out with friends, crochet, read, watch cheesy TV shows, explore outdoors, and curate Spotify playlists.

10. Your personal website or social media that you would like to share:

Instagram: @doubleodara

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