She's a Scientist: Blessing Ademokoya
An entomologist identifies a destructive pest in Nebraska and overcomes person tragedy to earn her PhD.
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- [00:00:00.000](upbeat music)
- [00:00:02.830]Stink bugs, they are the enemy of corn
- [00:00:05.270]and soybean farmers in the Southeastern United States,
- [00:00:08.310]and they've found their way to Nebraska.
- [00:00:10.980]Nebraska is one of the top five producers
- [00:00:13.040]of corn and soybean in the United States.
- [00:00:14.860]It's important we understand this pest
- [00:00:17.310]and know how to control it.
- [00:00:19.260]Blessing Ademokoya studied these tiny pests
- [00:00:22.010]as part of her doctoral research in entomology.
- [00:00:25.180]Along the way, she discovered 26 new species of stink bugs
- [00:00:29.140]that had never been recorded in Nebraska.
- [00:00:31.810]The ultimate goal is to use this information
- [00:00:34.390]to help growers to know how to control this pest.
- [00:00:38.090]Ademokoya's family inspired her
- [00:00:40.130]to explore science when she was very young.
- [00:00:43.270]I just kind of naturally flew to a science
- [00:00:45.770]because I had siblings who were in science
- [00:00:49.200]and my dad particularly liked science and I was good at it.
- [00:00:52.450]So it just kind of felt natural for me.
- [00:00:56.400]While working to finish her doctorate,
- [00:00:58.490]Ademokoya received a phone call from her fiance,
- [00:01:01.400]which changed her life.
- [00:01:03.480]He called me and said,
- [00:01:06.297]"They came up with a diagnosis and it's cancer."
- [00:01:12.183]Blessing Ademokoya,
- [00:01:13.620]presented by Professor Robert Wright.
- [00:01:15.712](audience applauding)
- [00:01:17.740]In December of 2021,
- [00:01:19.580]Ademokoya received her PhD in entomology.
- [00:01:22.920]However, her new husband did not live to see it.
- [00:01:26.720]I'm kind of glad that I was able to push through,
- [00:01:30.470]but I wish he was here to see it.
- [00:01:34.690]Science for you.
- [00:01:36.477]We got science for you.
- [00:01:37.689](audience applauding)
- [00:01:38.720]Ademokoya credits her friends and colleagues
- [00:01:40.910]at Nebraska for helping her through that difficult year.
- [00:01:44.330]Actually, the whole department has been super supportive
- [00:01:48.490]and I will say it again that without them,
- [00:01:51.140]without their support, I'm not sure I would've graduated.
- [00:01:53.760](gentle music)
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