Featured Graduate Student, February 2012
Oluyinka is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geosciences. His Ph.D. research in hydrogeosciences under the supervision of Dr. Madeline Schreiber focuses on trace element cycling in agricultural watersheds. In addition to the Ph.D., Oluyinka recently completed graduate certificate programs in “Geospatial Information Technology” and “Preparing the Future Professoriate”. Prior to joining the program at Virginia Tech, he earned a M.S. degree from the University of Toledo, OH.
How would you describe your area of study to your grandmother?
I will describe my area of study based on many exciting application of geological sciences to humanity through natural resources exploration, mapping and discovery of solid minerals, maintaining environmental safety, provision of alternative energy resources, predicting and mitigating effects of natural hazards, remediating environmental contaminants and provision of potable water.
What is your primary motivation for persevering through graduate school?
My greatest motivation comes through God's grace that strengthens me on a daily basis. Secondly, it was based on my earnest quest for a qualitative and excellent training in the broad field of Geology. The supportive roles and encouragements of my past advisor (Dr. Alison Spongberg, University of Toledo, OH) and current advisor (Dr. Madeline Schreiber) here at Virginia Tech has also kept me going.
If you were able to merge another discipline with yours, what would it be?
It will be Geography, specifically Geospatial Information System (GIS). It has a lot of useful applications to Geology. It is a subject skill everyone is supposed to acquire.
What is your favorite stress-reduction technique?
Watching movies, listening to songs and occasionally hanging out with my wonderful research group members and friends within the Geosciences department.
What is the last book you read strictly for pleasure and how long ago was it?
I just finished reading a book titled ‘Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe over the Christmas holiday. The story is fictional, exciting, hilarious, interesting and cultural. The author of this book and I share a similar cultural background.
What are your aspirations upon graduation?
My aspiration is to build a career in academia where I can continue to develop and apply knowledge in hydrogeology/geochemistry/environmental sciences and GIS to ask pertinent research questions, tackle practical problems and educate the next generation of geoscientists so that these students can be well prepared to bring solutions to the challenges of our modern world.
What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?
The greatest challenge that graduate students face is maintaining balance between research and academic work. The best way I have dealt with this is to have effective time management and setting my priorities right every time.
If travel to Mars happens in your lifetime, would you want to be one of the scientists on board? If yes, what would you contribute to the mission?
Yes, I will help the mission with the geochemical assessment of rock and soil present on Mars with the view of determining their chemistry, age and mineral components for economic advantage.
What is your favorite comfort food and why? How often do you consume it?
My favorite comfort food is pizza. It is one of the fast foods that I like. I eat it maybe once a week.
If you hadn't been admitted to graduate school, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Before coming to graduate school, I worked as an Hydrogeologist with a borehole water supply company. I would probably still be working there.
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