Tinuola Adebukola is a proud member of the inaugural cohort of the Beyond Boundaries Program. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Tinuola comes to Wash U from her current city of Chicago. The distance from home, resources, and community are just a few of the aspects of campus that moved her to apply to be an undergraduate student here. She initially connected with admissions staff online, but then had the opportunity to meet them in person in Chicago. These interactions increased her excitement and plan to explore all that Wash U has to offer. In her admissions essay discussing the lack of medical resources in Nigeria, she shares her hope that “collaborative problem solving and the exposure to professions and new ideas” will not only offer her an “engaging educational experience” but also help illuminate the solutions to her “why and how questions.”

About a year later it is evident to see that Tinuola has successfully found another home in this unique program. As she perfectly states, this program has been a great fit as it seeks to “embrace interdisciplinary complexities,” a process that she has strongly connected with. Tinuola continues to strive to combine her passions through a multi-disciplinary lens in order to address issues that themselves are multifaceted. Working closely with our program staff and the incredible undergraduate advisors, she has effectively navigated her first year at Wash U and moved on to pursue her academic goals in urban and legal studies through the College of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to her academic pursuits and active participation in Beyond Boundaries-related events, Tinuola has deeply invested in a number of extracurricular activities at Wash U. While unfortunately her Spring semester on campus was cut short due to the COVID pandemic, she had already developed a number of relationships within campus student groups. Her robust schedule includes participation in the Association of Black Students, the African Student Association, and Congress of the South 40 to name a few. One particular organization that she is a part of is the John B. Ervin Scholars Program. She shares some thoughts on her involvement:

The Ervin Scholar program is amazing, and I am so honored to be a part of the organization. We were chosen because we embody the values of the late Dr. John B. Ervin through four pillars of academic excellence, leadership, community service and diversity…It means a lot to me in terms of its values, the fact that the scholarship is the reason I can afford being at WashU and the opportunities that come with my affiliation with the program. We are all so supportive of one another and our community building programs are the highlight of my day!

One of the advantages of the Beyond Boundaries Program is that students, like Tinuola, can be the intellectual explorers they want to be while still being able to connect with other students, faculty, and staff based on a variety of common interests. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many resources available to them, and it is clear that Tinuola has done just that. She is able to share an exciting accomplishment during her short time at Wash U, which includes the partnership with another Beyond Boundaries Program student:

My greatest achievement at the moment is finishing a project titled “St. Louis Perspectives: Interviews on Inequity” with the “Creative Collaborations for Big Projects” grant. In this project, I focused on the inequities communities of color in St. Louis face – to bring more awareness to the issue and give the people of the community a voice.

To learn more about Tinuola, check out her episode of the BB Podcast.