Aramide Adewakun, a junior studying Pre-Pharmacy under Actuarial Mathematics, is a Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and McNair scholar. “The combination of these programs was perfect for me," says Aramide, "not just because they align perfectly with my convoluted futuristic plan, but also because they provide their scholars with different tools to reach the next height of success. The McNair program offers benefits including free GRE Prep classes, GRE fee waivers, funded graduate school visitation, etc. The CTSI program helped set the foundation for a personal relationship between us researchers and IU Medical school affiliates.”
This is Aramide’s first year with the Center for Research and Learning, which she found through friends and colleagues who have also participated in our programs. She was interested in doing research because, it “is a necessary skillset regardless of the position you end up in, and is a huge plus on grad school or professional school applications." Additionally, "I saw this as an opportunity to narrow down my career path to either the pharmacy track or the mathematical one.”
Her research is based in the statistical analysis of the effects of obesity with respect to age. There is a parallel relationship between age and obesity, but an exception exists for youths between the ages of 18-24. Her research seeks to understand which factors have the strongest statistical correlation, and why those factors do not persist into adulthood. “From the year 1990 to the year 2005, there has been an alarming increase in obesity rates in Indiana," says Aramide. "When compared to other states, obesity has become an epidemic in Indiana. An epidemic that has no respect for age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status, obesity has hit Marion County hard. This state is in dire need of obesity awareness and one can only spread awareness when there is substantial research work done.”
Aramide is mentored by Dr. Malika Mahoui (Ph.D.). “She is a very well rounded mentor involved in various ongoing research processes," says Aramide. "She is knowledgeable in multiple fields, including but not limited to computer programming and mathematics. She was the best fit for my learning style. She does her best to be available to her researchers by making sure that she checks in with us daily. She worked gracefully with me, a novice.”
"Undergraduate research is important for developing a well-grounded student," says Aramide. "It is one of those life lessons that cannot be taught, but must be acquired through practice. It serves as a preparatory phase for students looking forward to professional schools or graduate schools. This research was a real eye opener for me, since I was in between going to pharmacy school and graduate school or a mathematical degree.”
Aramide completed her first poster presentation on July 26, 2012, at the Center for Research and Learning’s 2012 Summer Poster Symposium. “Outside of the enriched research knowledge I take away from this program, I have paved the way for a strong relationship with mentor and other workers (PhD holder, Graduate Students, and High School students) that I plan to uphold. This opportunity gave me the chance to network with people outside my field in both programs (McNair and CTSI). This research has exposed me to research in an atypical field. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity to network and experience research.”
“In the prospective future, I look forward to working closely with Dr. Mahoui if permitted. Currently, my mentor and I are looking forward to writing a Grant Proposal for UROP in order to continue this research process. We look forward to raising awareness in obesity levels within Indiana Marion County.” Aramide Adewakun expects to graduate in 2014.