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Black in STEM


Olamide Ewaoluwa Solotan.

Olamide Ewaoluwa Solotan


Major and Degree Pursued: Biology, B.S. (Neuroscience option)

Prospective Graduation Year: 2024

Current Position: Peer Educator, HealthWorks; Research Mentor, EnvironMentors

Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram | Email


What motivates you to do/pursue science and/or medicine?

What motivates me to pursue science and medicine is the profound impact of growing up in Nigeria, where there is a prevalence of mental health stigma. Inspired by my mother's relentless dedication to mental health care, I aim to address gaps in the country's mental health care system. This commitment fuels my pursuit of a biology major with a neuroscience concentration on the premedicine track. Moving to the United States exposed me to the amount of resources dedicated to mental health, further intensifying my passion for neuroscience.

Determined to break barriers and contribute globally, I aspire to attend medical school and engage in convergent neuroscience research to diversify genetic and mental health studies, particularly for minorities. This journey reflects my enduring commitment to breaking stigmas, improving health-care access, and making a global impact.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month to me, as a college student and creative, is a time for me to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the African diaspora. It serves as a time for reflection on the achievements, contributions, and struggles of Black individuals throughout history. In my capacity as the president of the African Students Association, Black History Month provides an opportunity for me to showcase the achievements and talents of African and African American students. It's a time to create a sense of community and unity among members, while emphasizing the importance of representation and leadership. Also, my role as president of Sovereign Magazine (Penn State’s first magazine for students of color), whose mission is to create an artistic space and an inclusive cultural outlet for people of color, aligns well with the spirit of Black History Month. This month serves as the time to amplify the voices and stories of individuals within the Black community at Penn State University Park. This month provides me with a chance to share narratives that may not always be represented in mainstream media. Through my roles, I have the opportunity to promote inclusivity and diversity on campus. Black History Month gives me the platform to engage with the Black community at large and Penn State, to foster understanding and appreciation for the diverse experiences within the Black community.