Mechanical Engineering Junior Oluwatisefunmi Ayo-Idowu recently received the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Student Leadership Award. The BEYA Student Leadership Award serves to recognize students who are striving to make outstanding contributions to the varied aspects of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) education and who have proved an interest and commitment to volunteering and learning while affecting the academic atmosphere of their campus (BEYA). Ayo-Idowu also received the 2021 BEYA Student Community Award.
“I would like to thank Dr. Robert E. Efimba for his nomination. He could have selected any student from a number of students who were eligible for nomination,” comments Ayo-Idowu.
A native of Lagos, Nigeria, Ayo-Idowu became passionate about contributing to the betterment of his country from an early age. He remembers how much he enjoyed helping his father work on cars and solving math problems on his own, which led to his interest in mechanical engineering.
Ayo-Idowu always wanted to study abroad but wanted the HBCU experience, so he decided to apply to the Howard University mechanical engineering program. He was looking for a comfortable and supportive college environment in addition to a strong academic program. His experience at Howard University has been exactly as he hoped it would be, he says.
While maintaining his high GPA and fulfilling his dream of becoming a mechanical engineer, Ayo-Idowu keeps busy as a member of several student organizations, including the National Society of Black Engineers, Howard University African Student Association, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Howard University Robotics Organization. Since the beginning of his sophomore year, Ayo-Idowu has served as an academic tutor, tutoring students in courses such as Algebra, Pre-Calculus and Calculus 1-3 and supporting students in the creation of study plans to help improve their performance. He has also served as a resident assistant and as a counselor & teaching assistant for BEAM, which stands for Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics. As for industry experience, Ayo-Idowu interned for Amgen last summer, working on the drug development process for pharmaceuticals. This summer he will intern with Cummins, working as a member of the Engine Business Unit, validating Cummins machine products.
The hard work and diligence that Ayo-Idowu continues to display have also resulted in his being awarded scholarships such as the Howard University Founder’s Scholarship and accepted into highly competitive programs such as the Cummins-NSBE Integrated Pipeline Program (IPP).
“Always try your best to give back to your community,” Ayo-Idowu says is his motto, as he embarks upon one success after another, “taking it one day at a time”.
On experiencing college life during a pandemic, “keep your head up,” he advises. “It is a very tough time, and I can completely relate to everyone having difficulties. Remember that things always get better. Believe that things will get better.”