Oluwatoyin Okele

Major: English
Minors: Art and Classics
Hometown: Cranston, RI

Q. What makes the College of Arts and Sciences at URI unique?

A. The people, of course! The teachers and students at every school are different, and it’s the same here.

What accomplishments and/or activities at URI are you most proud of now?

I’m very proud of an essay I wrote that won first place in the English Department’s yearly contest, and I also like most of the work I’ve done at this school as well. I’m happy that I’ve grown in my close reading and in my literary horizons. I also like this essay I wrote about the potential inspirations of ancient statue, it really stretched me when it came to research, and I’m proud of what came from it. I really like writing things that are good!

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

I value being pushed in my humanities classes to consider things outside of literature: in my English classes, we’re pushed not only to study texts, but also topics like history, biology, and my favorite neuroscience and psychology. Learning about the brain, memory, environmentalism, historical contexts, and more deepens my knowledge as both a reader and writer. I also like learning more about my civilization and my language by studying other civilizations and languages: by learning Latin and Latin grammar, I’ve expanded my own understanding of English grammar.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your senior year? 

I’m very sad about all the online classes and not being able to physically see my teachers nor physically go to events. But because of all the social-distancing, there are more events online now, and so I get to listen to lectures I normally wouldn’t see. For example, I’ve been able to watch interesting talks about hidden suffragists, how to ask for raises as a woman, and alumni talking about their post-grad projects.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Obviously I support the liberal arts, but also make sure to take some STEM classes! I really enjoyed studying math, astronomy, and psychology as well during my time here. And studying those helps with writing!