Meet Ayomide Betiku
Ayomide Betiku, a May 2022 graduate from the School of Science at IUPUI, has now earned a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in Africana studies. She participated in the Community Engagement Associate (CEA) Program under the mentorship of Dr. Patricia Turley.
As a CEA, Betiku served as a mentor for other students in two courses: AFRO-A 200 Research in African American and African Diaspora Studies and AFRO-A 364 Research on Contemporary Afro-American Problems II. She helped navigate the research process, unpack course materials, and supported students with research projects. Betiku’s research endeavors surpass guiding and mentoring students. This year she contributed to the larger body of research that enabled students to learn more about their family lineage.
Through the CEA program, Betiku worked on a project called Echoes of Our Ancestors. This project focuses on Black ancestry and the identification of common traditions and cultures within the African Diaspora. In this project, students could use their family lineage, culture, and traditions to identify ways in which they relate to the African Diaspora. Betiku notes that this project originated through working with other scholars in an effort to compile writings of family narratives. This writing collaboration revealed a way to connect back to the Diaspora.
Although the project was rewarding, Betiku had some difficulties with the process. For example, this was the first time Betiku was able to record some of her family narratives. She explained that it was challenging to ask questions and compile a story even though it was her own. With the help of her mentor, Betiku persevered through the challenges and grew both educationally and personally.