Ajibewa Leaves his Mark at Morris
Posted by Cassidy Long '17, Joliet, Illinois on Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2014
When he first came to the University of Minnesota, Morris, Tiwaloluwa Ajibewa ’14, Saint Paul, expected to go on to medical school. Now with nearly four years of experience under his belt, his plans have changed. Having majored in French and biology, the senior chose to embrace a variety of opportunities and made an impact on the campus community in the process.
Ajibewa’s choice of starkly different majors was influenced by his parents’ decision to enroll him in a French-language immersion program in elementary school. After finishing the program, he carried the language with him through middle and high school and eventually college. Hoping to get into the medical field one day, he chose to study biology as well.
“I came in pre-med, really stringent, and from there my eyes have been opened to the possibilities of minorities in science,” says Ajibewa.
Seizing available opportunities in both his fields of interest, Ajibewa acted as a chemistry lab teaching assistant and participated in a multitude of research projects in the sciences. He even presented research at the 2013 American Chemical Society National Meeting. He also acted as a French tutor and teaching assistant. This year he was inducted into Pi Delta Phi, the French national honor society.
Ajibewa is also a member of the Black Student Union and co-creator of United Students for Africa, a student organization designed to educate the campus about African cultures and issues. He believes it “is important to be not just be able to break down stereotypes, but to show people the diversity of Africa and open their eyes.” It was this belief that prompted him to create the organization.
In 2013, Ajibewa was rewarded for his academic and co-curricular efforts with the University of Minnesota Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity Award. This systemwide award honors and acknowledges diverse students doing outstanding work at the University, both in and out of the classroom. Ajibewa feels honored to have been “recognized as an individual who is committed to his community and diversity.”
Anticipating graduation, Ajibewa now hopes to go to graduate school for kinesiology. He hopes that his “efforts can have a resonating effect in the lives of others,” as his time at Morris affected him. After four years at Morris, he feels he has gained a lot of experience as a researcher, and that his experience helped him get to where he is today.