Published, April 12th, The Huntsville Item.

AT RANDOM: SHSU student enjoys community involvement

By Maegan McGowen
Item Correspondent

Ademide Adedokun, a senior at Sam Houston State University, loves being involved in the community, in her college and in the Political Science Junior Fellows.

Although she chose to attend college in Texas, Adedokun was born overseas.

“Both my parents are Nigerian and I was born in London,” she said. “I moved to Katy when I was 9 years old.”

Adedokun is double majoring in history and political science at SHSU and is happy with her choice of colleges.

“I chose Sam because it was close to home, and when I came up here for a tour, I really liked it,” she said. “The campus was really pretty and a lot of my friends are here, and it just seemed like a good fit. I'm really glad I came because it's been really good to me.”

Although Adedokun is double majoring, her first passion was history. She pursues history outside of her academic studies by working at HEARTS Veterans Museum of Texas where she catalogs artifacts.

“As a history major, you get to explore things in depth,” she said. “I really like it. I also work at the museum, so it is fun for me to have read something in a book and then come to work and talk about it with someone. It allows you to get the perspective that people in history are regular people.”

Adedokun said she has always been interested in politics as well, but in a more subtle way.

“I don't think I realized I was interested in it,” she said. “I always kept track of the news and my parents are opinionated, so I've always known that politics are important.”

Adedokun believes that the trend of young people being disinterested in politics isn't necessarily true.

“I think young people care about what happens to them and I think they are starting to realize that what happens in politics affects them,” she said. “I don't care who my friends vote for or if it's my candidate, I just think it's great that people want to go out and vote and express their opinions.”

One of her favorite things about SHSU is being president of the Political Science Junior Fellows, which is the first political organization she has been involved with.

“I love it because of all of our projects,” she said. “They keep me busy.”

The only negative side to working so hard is that she has very little free time.

“When I'm not working or at school I'm with the Junior Fellows,” she said.

According to Adedokun, the Junior Fellows is a civic minded organization.

“Our purpose is public service education and professionalism,” she said. “We also take trips, and this semester we got to take tours of governor's offices and talk to the staff, which was a lot of fun.”

Adedokun said she became involved with the Junior Fellows after taking a class with Professor Mike Yawn.

“He invited students to whatever they were doing, and it was fun,” she said. “I was interested, and I really liked it, so I just kept doing more and more things and became a member, and now I'm the president.”

Yawn has played a mentor role in Adedokun's academic career as well as her professional career.

“Mike Yawn has helped me so much,” she said. “He helped me with my internship, my job, and he's been a really great adviser. He's shown me the different things I can do with my future, things that I didn't realize I could do.”

She also mentioned Dr. James Olson in the history department as being a really great professor.

According to Adedokun, to be a member of the Junior Fellows, students must have a 3.0 GPA and be committed to doing public service.

“You have to be a person who really wants to learn, but the official requirements are political science major or minor, strong character and reliability,” she said.

The Junior Fellows are committed to fulfilling their commitment of public service.

“I volunteer at the HEARTS museum, and I also coordinate other volunteers,” she said. “Everyone works six hours at HEARTS museum and at the Wynne Home.”

Another focus of the organization is to build bonds between the city and the university.

“Our art gallery is our big project for this semester, and we are partnering with Huntsville Main Street to create an exhibit that highlights the University Corridor area. It begins at where Old Main used to be and ends in downtown Huntsville.”

The Junior Fellows take trips each year, and this year they travelled to Arkansas where they met Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “About a year and a half ago, our organization had volunteered with his campaign, so we went up there everyone was really nice to us and appreciate of the work we'd done with them in the past.”

The most exciting thing they did was tour the governor's mansion, as well as meeting the staff.

“I really loved meeting the governor,” she said “I also love meeting senators and congressmen, but it's also really great to meet the staff and to talk to them about what they do and job opportunities.”

According to Adedokun, her last semester at SHSU will be spent interning in Washington, D.C., and she hopes to either stay there and work for either a consulting form or for a congressional office.

“I want to go up there and decide if I like it,” she said. “Or, I would like to come back to Texas and go to graduate school,” she said. “Either way, I want to pursue a master's degree in public administration.”