Meet Tayo, Biomedial Engineer & Aspiring Model

One of my first memories of Tayo was watching her walk for a modeling audition. I watched her take her place in front of the judges and strut like it was no one's business! Her attitude was confident and fearless; her style was fierce (though she describes it as "couch potato"). I got to work with her on a few different projects recently, and I knew this girl was one of the coolest people I would ever meet. Ever.

I am so proud to introduce Tayo, biomedical engineer, aspiring model and so much more!

Hometown: Sperry, Iowa

Where are you now?: Kansas City

Major: Biomedical Engineering; Pre-med: minor in Spanish 

Why did you choose to go to the University of Iowa?

When I was in 8th grade, I attended a summer program for gifted students through the Belin Blank Center. They told all the students about a scholarship program that allowed students to skip their last year of high school and attend college early. I decided to apply to that program and was accepted! On top of that I was also scouted by the UI track and field team, so I had to say yes!

Occupation(s)? 

In September, I will be going to work for an electronic health records company called Cerner. I also applied to a smoothie place called Smoothie King down in Kansas City because I love free smoothies, so why not get paid to make them? I don't care how successful or old I get, I will never be above working for free food!

Any hobbies?

I love to sing, dance, play ukulele, climb trees and model! (author's note: she does them all fabulously, so check out her Instagram here!) Recently I've decided to take modeling more seriously! To be a paid model is the dream! I also learned how to code in a couple of languages when I was in college, and I think I would like to look more into software engineering and see where that could take me in this technology-driven world!

What were some organizations you were a part of while on campus? I know you were involved in quite a lot!

I was involved in so many organizations… I loved it! I have a running list of them but I think the most prominent ones that shaped me included the UI track and field team, The University of Iowa Student Government (USIG), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and On Iowa

Being on the track team kept me fit and feeling so empowered both mentally and physically!

Through UISG I made impactful, meaningful changes on campus; I was able to help build the campus food pantry, help renovate the cultural centers on campus; and engage in such meaningful dialogues with campus leaders! In fact, there is a little surprise coming to the UI College of Engineering this upcoming year that I am so sure students are going to absolute love that was hugely facilitated through UISG!

Through NSBE, I have been able to make connections with black engineers nationally and internationally! I met people who work for NASA, Texas Instrument, Johnson &Johnson, etc; but these same people are so down to earth and full of life! It's such an amazing space for black engineers! 

On Iowa! really cultured my love for the university! I participated in it four years in a row. Through On Iowa! I was able to teach first year students about campus and met some of the most glorious people all around!

How did you get involved in the modeling/art community in Iowa City?

Growing up, I was a huge HUGE tomboy, so the concept of putting makeup on and dressing to the nines was so foreign to me! When I got to college, though, I started getting involved in the annual Multicultural Fashion Show on campus because I got to show off some of my Nigerian natives on stage! From there I realized I had a huge passion for being on stage, and that's when I started getting involved with the Iowa Fashion Project and Flyover Fashion Fest! Since then, I've been taking modeling pretty seriously and searching out agencies and independent projects to be a part of! On August 25th, I will be in my first publication with Solis Magazine from an impromptu shoot I did with a local photographer, Blake Warner!

I think I remember saying that your parents are from Africa. How has your African heritage influenced your life?

Yes! West Africa, Nigeria to be exact! My heritage has influenced dang-near every part of my life, and I love it! From the way I dance to the major I decided to study to my belief in Christ! We are such family-focused people and if someone is struggling or needs help in anyway, you've got the full-force of the family behind your back! It's honestly helped me be more authentic in my relationships. It's been amazing having the privilege to know my heritage and which country my ancestors hail from.

You're one of the most positive, energetic, involved and dedicated people I know! If you could give advice to busy-body college students like you once were, what would it be?

Get super super involved, learn what you like and what you can live without, then commit to the things you're heavily invest in instead of spreading yourself thin! Get out of your comfort zone, do things by yourself if no one else wants to go, and EMBRACE YOUR QUIRKS! When you do that, no one can hold you against you!

How cool is she? She even ended the questionnaire "XOXO -Gospel Girl"! Best of luck to Tayo in all her endeavors!