Ebunoluwa Morakinyo is a scientist. She is also a home chef, writer, director and actress. Theater was not entirely an area she felt at home in, but she took on the roles as a personal challenge.
Every year, the African Student Association at Oregon State University holds Africa Night — an evening to dance, listen to music, eat delicious food and celebrate the diversity of Africa.
In 2022 the theme was, “What I am is greater than what I was.”
Morakinyo wrote a script, gathered actors and performed in a short play, telling the story of a fictional art gallery owner in Nigeria who has to overcome self doubt and pressure from her family to pick a more stable career path. She collaborated with Brandon Ndungu, a civil engineering student, to bring the play to life.
Participating in ASA events is important to Morakinyo because she is passionate about showing the Oregon State community what it means to be African.
“There’s more than the sadness or negative news,” she said. “There’s also stories of creativity and innovation and beautiful culture. There’s a reason why we love being African and I wanted to share that with others.”
Being a Beaver has stretched her to develop her passions inside and outside of the lab. A senior honors biochemistry and molecular biology student at Oregon State, her time on campus has included celebrating her culture while looking forward to a career dedicated to helping others.
Morakinyo will be taking a gap year before pursuing a career as a physician-scientist. In the upcoming year she will be working with Dr. Carsten Bonnemann in his National Institutes of Health lab under the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The Bonnemann lab investigates childhood neuromuscular and neurogenic disorders, developing cutting-edge gene therapies for theses diseases.