Dosunmu-Ogunbi wins college leadership award
What distinguishes Oluwami Dosunmu-Ogunbi, this year’s winner of the College of Engineering H.L. Wakeland Undergraduate Leadership Award, according to at least one professor, is how connected she is with her fellow students. Another noted her “intellectual curiosity, passion for learning, and the mindset for personal and professional advancement.”
Indeed, few have the passion and drive to excel in both the arts and sciences. Even as a freshman, Dosunmu-Ogunbi had already published the first (Naga Ceyon) of her two young adult science fiction novels. The second, Notori, which she had been working on since age 16, was published in the fall of 2015. More novels from her “Zone Chronicles” series are forthcoming.
Along with her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Hoeft Technology and Management minor, she has had significant career experiences, both in research and leadership. As an intern for Toyota co-op, she created a program that converts given hexadecimal values to position. She has made similar contributions both as a developer of powder-based food printers at the National University of Singapore and as a building mapper for Professor Steve Lavelle in the Department of Computer Science.
Dosunmu-Ogunbi’s desire to make a difference in the lives of her fellow students has been evident in her leadership—which started even before taking her first class—as a member of the Summer Scholars program. Since then she has been active in the National Society of Black Engineers, serving as Pre-College Initiative Chair on its Junior Executive Board and as a senator and advisor for its Executive Board.
She is a Lead Engineering Learning Assistant for the Illinois Engineering First-Year Experience (IEFX) program and Sand Casting Chair for Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society. She has also been a student mentor and leader in the Morrill Engineering Program, which strives to empower African American, Hispanic, and Native American engineering students. Through her role as a student consultant on teaching (SCOT) she evaluates and gives feedback to first-year lecturers on campus.
Dosunmu-Ogunbi also won first place in an international business plan competition in 2015 and this spring earned the distinction as a 2017 Knight of St. Patrick.
The Wakeland Award honors H.L. “Howie” Wakeland, who served as an associate dean in the College of Engineering for 24 years and actively promoted student leadership opportunities. This award recognizes a junior or senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and who has maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Dosunmu-Ogunbi will be formally recognized at the College of Engineering student and alumni awards ceremony on April 1.