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August 17, 2022

By Rebecca Mohr, Capital University Communications Manager

From Nigeria to New York: A Summer of Opportunity on a Pre-Med Path

Joy Ayinde always knew she’d end up with her own white coat. Born and raised in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, Ayinde came to Capital to make her dreams of becoming a doctor a reality.

“I’m an international student from Nigeria. I chose Capital largely because of the small environment. At Capital, I can communicate with my professor, and that relationship is something I really value,” said Ayinde. “I feel like it’s been a big transition, and I’m not going to lie; it hasn’t always been an easy one. Coming from a place where underserved communities are struggling to a place where people want to see you succeed, it’s very uplifting.”

A self-described goal-oriented individual, Ayinde chose to study biology in a pre-med pre-professional path. She hopes to become a pediatric neurologist. During summer 2022, Ayinde was in New York participating in a research opportunity at Cornell University.

“I’m working with Carmen Moraru, Ph.D., professor and chair, Food Science, to research food chemistry and mental health,” said Ayinde. “What sparked my interest is the connection between people dealing with mental breakdowns and not knowing how or what to eat. I wanted to study food and how it relates to mental health.”

Ayinde’s time at Capital prepared her for both the application process and time in the lab.

“When I applied, I didn’t really think I was going to get the opportunity. I was talking to Jennifer Vrobel from Career Development and said, ‘I know I’m not going to get this opportunity, but I’m going to apply anyway,’” said Ayinde. “This opportunity means a lot to me, especially during my first year.”

Jennifer Vrobel, M.A., associate director, Career Development, worked with Joy and other students through the International Lens course. Co-taught with Jennifer Adams, M.A., director, Center for Global Education, the course is focuses on the importance of engaging international students in high-impact practices and career development skills.

“Joy came to me through my class. She didn’t specifically come for a summer internship, but to get connected in terms of how to prepare for an internship as an international student because the process is much different,” said Vrobel. “Having students understand the process, as well as understand the terminology when going through the application and interview process for positions is critical.”

When Ayinde secured her summer research opportunity at Cornell University, Vrobel wasn’t surprised.

“Joy, no pun intended, is just a joy to work with. She is a very curious person and asked really great questions about career development. She is hard-working, charismatic, wonderful to talk to, and very bubbly, so I think she’s going to go far in this world, especially if she plans to continue down the medical path,” said Vrobel. “I think she will be such as asset to our community because she makes herself approachable and accessible to others who truly need it.”

In January 2022, Ayinde started working as a medical scribe for Central Ohio Urology Group.  It’s a position that she finds fulfilling and is grateful for the opportunity.

“I love that experience! I always knew I wanted to work in the medical industry and make an impact. As a  medical scribe, you walk with the doctor as they work, side to side, and you take notes about everything the doctor says – why the patient comes to the hospital, what they’re doing, what the doctor plans to do, etc.,” she said.

Ayinde’s time in the medical industry has only inspired her to work harder to achieve her professional dreams.

“I’ve seen the need for more doctors and the need for representation in my field. I want to be a pediatric neurologist,” said Ayinde. “Sometimes you just want to give up on your dreams, and school can be so stressful at times. But when I think of these opportunities, it gives me the push I need. I really want to become a doctor.”

For more information about Capital’s Office of Career Development, visit

To learn more about Capital’s Pre-Professional Studies, visit

To learn more about opportunities for international students, visit