Shaping Tomorrow: Adura Lasode

May 3, 2016
Adura Lasode

Every year nearly 15,000 students graduate from the University of Minnesota and embark on the next step in their journey. This spring, the Class of 2016 begins to make its mark.

U alumni include founders and presidents of Fortune 500 companies, visionary artists and authors, 55 members of congress (plus 19 governors and two U.S. vice presidents), and thousands more working to make a difference every day.

Who will the Class of 2016 become?

In part 1 of a series featuring six 2016 graduates, we talk with Adura Lasode.

Aduramo (Adura) Lasode

Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering

Growing up in Nigeria, Adura Lasode’s resources and means to attain her dream of being an engineer were limited. “In addition to social class, my gender, in relation to my career of interest, was a challenge.” But from that, she says, sprung her determination. When Lasode first came to the U of M, she was too shy to make eye contact with her professors. On May 13, she’ll address 1,000 graduates and their families as this year’s College of Science and Engineering commencement speaker.

Along the way, she’s served as a role model—mentoring middle, high school, and college students in STEM fields.

Why did you decide to study mechanical engineering?
I saw mechanical engineering as a means to being part of a world of solutions—especially energy solutions. I was fascinated by how many small components were pieced together to make one functional piece that shaped society.

What is the biggest challenge you’d like to address?
Knowledge is power. … My dedication to the academic success of [underserved] populations gives me hope that others will successfully rise in their power to positively impact their communities.

How do you see yourself having an impact on the world?
My long-term goal is to establish an organization that focuses on guiding and supporting students, with similar backgrounds to mine, in their preparation for college—starting from my home country in Africa.

Any advice for future students?
In the quest of adapting to a new environment, being open-minded and ready to try new things is important. A word of caution—remember one’s core values and identity.