Two Nigerians Ayo Dada and Olamide Oladeji were among the 69 scholars that won the prestigious Knight-Hennessy scholarship at Stanford University. The Knight-Hennessy scholarship is poised to develop both the depth and range of subject expertise to confront the numerous grand challenges and opportunities of the future. Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive full funding to pursue graduate study at Stanford. They both join Solomon Oyakhire, an alumnus of the University of Lagos, who was the only Nigerian recipient of the scholarship in the first edition in 2018 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Stanford School of Engineering.
69 students who won the scholarship from around the world for The second cohort of scholars in the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program was announced on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. The Knight Hennessy scholarship received over 4,000 applications this year. The 69 scholars cut across 20 countries across in the world and will pursue degrees in 37 programs at Stanford University. The primary selection criteria used to evaluate applicants were independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and a civic mindset.
Meet the Nigerian Knight-Hennessy Scholars in the 2019 edition
Ayo Dada is not a name foreign to many Nigerians. He became a sensation in Nigeria and on social media when he became the first person to graduate with a perfect 5.0 CGPA from the University of Lagos. He was honored by the House of Representatives for his outstanding academic achievements. Ayo Dada aspires to find solutions to the problems of ethnic and gender prejudice and academic underachievement that are plaguing Nigeria. He interned in security services at the Central Bank of Nigeria, and in business operations at Procter and Gamble. He was named one of Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria. Ayo Dada would be pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences.
Olamide Oladeji is pursuing a Ph.D. in management science and engineering at Stanford School of Engineering. He graduated from the University of Ibadan with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering, and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with dual master’s degrees in electrical engineering & computer science and in technology & policy. Olamide aspires to contribute to industrial efforts in the innovation and regulation of sustainable energy systems, and to serve in Nigeria’s public sector. As a research assistant at the MIT Energy Initiative, he helped develop a computational model to inform electrification planning for increased electricity access in developing countries.
At the University of Ibadan, Olamide was selected as the university’s Google Student Ambassador, and was editor-in-chief of the Bello press organization. He has worked with various organizations across India, Spain, and the United States at the nexus of engineering, data science, and energy economics, and has completed community development and engineering projects in Nigeria.
He was also an MIT Tata Fellow.