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Difference Maker

AUTHOR: Nina Welding

PUBLISHED: August 7, 2019

One stereotype of an engineer is an individual so caught up in technology that he or she has neither the time nor the skills to interact with others on a personal basis. Like many other Notre Dame engineering undergraduates, David “Seun” Odun-Ayo disproves that notion on a daily basis.

A junior from Lagos, Nigeria, he is pursuing a degree in computer science with the hope of working at a software engineering company after graduation. Odun-Ayo chose computer science as his major because of his love for technology but also because of his dedication to using his talents to improve the lives of those with disabilities. “We all need a little help now and then,” he says. “We don't go through life alone. The real world doesn't work like that and neither does Notre Dame engineering.”

He's quick to point out that many groups on campus have encouraged him to become more confident as an engineer and as a person, groups such as the Minority Engineering Program, the Notre Dame chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, the  Black Student Association, and Wabruda student group. “Being part of these groups has helped me build relationships that will last throughout my life, as well as hone some of the skills necessary to be successful once I leave Notre Dame,” he says.

The campus community has played a key role in Odun-Ayo's educational experience. But he has also developed friendships with those he serves, and those he serves alongside, in community service activities with the local Boys and Girls Club and South Bend Code School.

His favorite advice for other students is, “Don't try to do it alone!" and "Make sure to go to office hours.”