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Oyindamola Ajasa, UNC '24

Oyindamola
Ajasa

Cohort 8

Hometown: Durham, NC

Major: Biology

Research Interest: Social determinants of health; cancer research



What drew me to CSS was the fact that I could see myself growing and changing into a person that I want to become because of the endless amount of resources and support they provide.




WHAT DREW YOU TO THE CSS PROGRAM?

I was drawn to the CSS program because I felt the program and its mission would allow me to be a part of something bigger than myself. Ensuring diversity within the STEM field has the power to create visible change and I knew I wanted to be a force within that change. At Selection Weekend, I was able to meet and see all the scholars and CSS staff, and I saw the community within the program. I felt that this was a community that I could see myself joining and thriving within. What drew me to CSS was the fact that I could see myself growing and changing into a person that I want to become because of the endless amount of resources and support they provide.


WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE CSS EXPERIENCE SO FAR?

My favorite CSS experience so far was the Summer EXCELerator Closing Ceremony. Since my cohort had a virtual Summer EXCELerator, we faced many challenges and obstacles that no other cohort had gone through before. The Closing Ceremony – which was hosted by fellow scholars – allowed us to celebrate that we had overcome these obstacles and look forward to the future. At the ceremony, we officially became scholars and were able to see that all our hard work had paid off.


HOW HAS CSS SHAPED YOUR CAREER GOALS?

My experience with the CSS program has allowed me to realize that there are many opportunities for people interested in science outside of being a doctor. Although, becoming a doctor is my goal right now, because of CSS I am open to the fact that there could be other possibilities for me. My experience with the CSS program has led me to see that whatever I end up doing, I know that I would like to still engage in research while doing it.


WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY RESEARCH INTEREST?

My primary area of research interest is still developing, but I know that I want to focus on social determinants of health and relate that to health disparities, primarily racial disparities in health care. I am also very passionate about cancer research and I would love to research in that field as well.