Posi Oluwakuyide ’24 Awarded Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Oluwakuyide will attend the PPIA Junior Summer Institute Fellowship at the University of Washington this summer.
Posi Oluwakuyide ’24, a Bonner Scholar at Washington and Lee University, will attend the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute Fellowship at the University of Washington in summer 2023. A native of Union, New Jersey, Oluwakuyide is majoring in economics and double minoring in poverty and human capability studies and law, justice and society.
The PPIA fellowship program helps students achieve a master’s or joint degree, typically in public policy, public administration, international affairs or a related field.
“I was honored and overjoyed to hear that I was awarded the PPIA fellowship because I’ve wanted to be part of this program for so long,” said Oluwakuyide. “It was also humbling and reaffirming because I started to doubt my ability to get into the program and second guess myself in the days leading up to the decision coming out, so I really only had my faith to truly ground me in the knowledge that if it was meant for me, it would be mine. The fact that people see potential in me as well just motivates me to work that much harder to prove I am deserving of such distinction.”
At the University of Washington, Oluwakuyide will have the opportunity further develop her understanding of how economics and data science are used to analyze and evaluate public policy, while also engaging in public service and leadership development with community-based organizations and regional leaders, all of which will culminate in a capstone project.
At W&L, Oluwakuyide is the vice president of the African Society, co-coordinator of Volunteer Venture and strategic planning chair of Campus Kitchen. She is also a member of the Student Association for Black Unity and the Library Student Advisory Board. Beyond these campus commitments, she is currently an intern for the U.S. Agency for International Development and has recently joined a student research project for the Street Medicine Institute.
Oluwakuyide credits her adviser, Chantal Smith, assistant professor of economics, for encouraging her to pursue opportunities that have allowed her to “really reflect on where my economics degree can take me in my career, as well as consistently affirming to me I have a lot to offer the world as a Black woman and I shouldn’t let fear hold me back.”
“Posi is a smart, determined young Black woman who has expressed a desire to impact her community in a meaningful way, and has been tenacious in pursuit of her goals,” said Smith. “I simply recognized this spirit in her and decided to help her pursue her goals by exposing her to a community of like-minded people. She is well-deserving of this scholarship award, and I expect we’ll be seeing big things from her in the future.”
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