The Economics Department

Liberal arts student builds a stronger future for Nigeria

Tue, May 24, 2005

"Mothers said they did not take their children to be immunized because it was too expensive, they didn't trust doctors or they used traditional healing methods," Ogunsola said. "If a child had had a bad reaction to a vaccination, especially in areas where people were not educated, then the whole area was scared.

"You have to win trust and confidence before you come into people's homes and ask them to share their personal information," she said. "I learned communication skills, how to talk to people and how to get their attention." The task was harder in wealthier areas because people there were usually at work during the day, Ogunsola said.

"But in the poorer areas there were lots of people around. Sometimes in one house there might be 10 mothers. The experience gave me a different worldview of how people live."

Ogunsola graduates with a degree in economics, liberal arts honors and a minor in mathematics. While at UT, she has worked as an event staff member at the Erwin Center, served as treasurer for the African Students Association and co-founded the Soul Survivors Christian Fellowship.  She is working on a short film project, "Gone Astray," based on the Biblical story of the prodigal son.

Her goal is to continue to work on behalf of the Nigerian people. "Nigeria needs people who can apply proven economic development principles," Ogunsola said. "We need to advance urban planning-infrastructure, housing, education and communications.

"For example, cement, which is an expensive material, is used throughout entire buildings," she said. "We need to look at alternative building materials and methods and better manage our resources. My education has prepared me to do that by making me more critical in my thinking and in my choices.

By: Michelle Bryant
Office of Public Affairs/College of Liberal Arts

Photo: Marsha Miller

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