A University of Arkansas at Little Rock student won $1,000 in the “Make Your Mark” scholarship competition. 

Adewale Obadimu, a second-year student in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock computer science doctoral program, received second place after writing an essay answering: “How will an international education help me make a difference in the world?”

“I wrote mostly about my past in Nigeria, and how I want to give back to the community,” he said. “I realize that this opportunity that has been given to me by studying in the U.S. can also be given to others that I would like to one day help.”

The contest, which was open to international and study abroad students, was sponsored by LewerMark, a provider of student insurance.

Adewale Obadimu

Obadimu earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria in 2013. He worked as a lead software developer at Health Informatics Research Laboratory and a technologist for the Center for Energy Research and Development before coming to UA Little Rock.

Since arriving in January 2016, Obadimu said, he has been fortunate to meet new friends, especially through the UA Little Rock chapter of the International Friendship Outreach.

“I’ve always been fascinated with coming to the U.S.,” Obadimu said. “There are a lot of brilliant minds and opportunities in the U.S. I’ve really been lucky to meet a lot of nice people here. Being an international student is a worthwhile experience.”

At UA Little Rock, Obadimu teaches software engineering classes as a teaching assistant and conducts research on social computing with Dr. Nitin Agarwal, UA Little Rock Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy endowed chair and information science professor.

“We are extremely proud of Adewale,” said Agarwal, director of the COSMOS, where Obadimu is a research assistant. “He brings an immeasurable energy to our Center for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies (COSMOS).”

While Obadimu has yet to select a focus for his doctoral research, he has had fun working on many “interesting projects.” One of the projects includes developing an Android app that serves as a social media network to put UA Little Rock students in touch with alumni.

“What if a student needed to find an internship, and they wanted to ask alumni? It would be very nice to have a way to connect with each other online,” he said.

Written by Angelita Faller