UofM Ph.D. Economics student, Babasoji Oyemakinde honored with the 2023 American Society of Health Economists Diversity Scholarship Award

OyemakindeMajor congratulations to UofM Ph.D. Economics student, Babasoji Oyemakinde! Faculty, in his area of study, praised his accomplishment by sharing the following:

“Mr. Babasoji Oyemakinde, our FCBE Ph.D. Economics student was recently honored with the 2023 American Society of Health Economists Diversity Scholarship Award. He was one of the 19 awardees competitively selected from the national universe of Ph.D. students focusing on health economics in their Ph.D. degree programs in and outside of the US. Other awardees include his peers from Vanderbilt, Indiana University -Bloomington, Georgia State, Michigan State, Texas A&M, Erasmus, and The Ohio State, among others. https://www.ashecon.org/uncategorized/2023-ashecon-diversity-recipients-announced/

The AEA (American Economic Association) recently informed Babasoji that his research paper, on "Does enforcement of stricter seatbelt law reduce motor vehicle crash fatality?, has been accepted for presentation at the 2024 annual meetings of The AEA in San Antonio, TX. The congratulatory letter noted that his work was competitively selected from among a large number of research papers submitted this year for the 2024 AEA Conference.

Our department's faculty committee, in 2023 September, unanimously voted to pass Mr. Oyemakinde on his Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal defense. The above-listed AEA conference paper is one of the three essays to comprise his Ph.D. Dissertation. This attests to his quality hard work guided by our very own group of helpful research faculty. He is expected to graduate in May 2024. We expect him to make us proud, and I am already reminding him (and other students) of the importance of contributing to alumni donations after graduation.”

In the world of academia, few achievements are as significant as earning a scholarship and being recognized for your commitment to diversity and inclusivity in your field. Babasoji, a budding scholar in health economics, recently had the honor of receiving the ASHEcon diversity scholarship, a recognition that underlines his dedication to advancing diversity within the realm of health economics.

We chatted with Babasoji to delve into his journey, his research, and his aspirations for the future. Here are some noteworthy insights from our interview:

From Nigeria to Memphis: A Global Scholar

Babasoji's journey transcends geographical boundaries. Hailing from Nigeria, he now calls Memphis home. His academic journey has been marked by the exchange of ideas and experiences across cultures, adding richness to his work and perspectives.

The Significance of the ASHEcon Diversity Scholarship

Babasoji's receipt of the ASHEcon diversity scholarship represents a pivotal moment in his academic career. This award acknowledges his commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the field of health economics. The recognition stems from his extensive research on the intricate nuances surrounding the impact of federal grants programs on drug overdose mortality rates. Babasoji's work, in particular, delves into factors like gender and ethnicity, demonstrating his dedication to understanding the complexities of the subject.

The Inspiration Behind His Research on Seatbelt Laws

Babasoji's research journey is marked by curiosity and a desire to explore the less-traveled paths. He embarked on a study that questioned the long-term effects of enforcing stricter seatbelt laws, as he observed that existing research primarily focused on short-term benefits. His inquisitiveness led him to investigate whether the advantages, particularly in terms of reduced mortality, persist over time. This approach reflects his commitment to thorough examination and a deeper understanding of the topics he explores.

The Triumph of the PhD Dissertation Proposal Defense

Passing the PhD Dissertation Proposal Defense is a significant milestone in any academic's journey. For Babasoji, this achievement meant a sense of validation. It signified that his dedication and hard work were paying off, and he was taking a significant step toward realizing his goal of becoming a Doctor of Economics. It's a moment of personal and academic growth that many scholars hold dear.

A Mentor's Impact: Shoutout to Professor Albert Okunade

No academic journey is complete without the support and mentorship of dedicated faculty members. Babasoji expressed his immense gratitude to Professor Albert Okunade, whose mentorship and unwavering support have been instrumental in advancing his professional growth. Professor Okunade's assistance in securing conference funding exemplifies the power of mentorship in an academic career.

Future Career Aspirations

Looking forward, Babasoji aspires to become a Professor at a research-oriented institution. His goal is to further his contributions to the field of health economics. This aspiration underscores his dedication to not only excelling in his own academic journey but also to inspire and guide future scholars in the field.

Babasoji's journey is a testament to the power of dedication, mentorship, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. As he continues to make strides in the field of health economics, we eagerly await the impact he'll undoubtedly have on the world of academia and beyond.