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2022 Valedictorian Emmanuel Alakunle: AUN Transformed Me into an Analytical Thinker, Problem Solver

2022 Valedictorian Emmanuel Alakunle: AUN Transformed Me into an Analytical Thinker, Problem Solver

AUN's outstanding graduating student, Emmanuel Funsho Alakunle, says he is leaving the campus better equipped and prepared for the challenges and opportunities of life. During an interview, the 2022 Valedictorian told us that he is all too eager to go into the world to defend the education he received at the American University of Nigeria.

"You cannot come out of AUN without becoming a problem solver. The questions I got in the classroom, laboratory, tests, and group assignments mainly were analytical; they require methodical reasoning. They were tough and challenging, but they bring out the best in you; they make you think beyond what you were fed in the classroom.

"This is not your conventional University where students read and memorize to pass exams. When the focus is on problem solving, you question and reject everything and acquire an investigative and systematic mind.”

Valedictorian Emmanuel Alakunle pointed out the significance of the Community Service component to the academic experience. AT AUN, community service is mandatory, and every student is expected to take and pass a Community Service course before they graduate. Mr. Alakunle said participating in the program helps students develop a problem-solving approach to learning.

"At AUN, you learn to become part of the solution to problems identified in the local community, the nation and at the global level. And in many ways, these problems are interconnected and interdisciplinary. And therefore, their solutions must come from knowledge that is holistic. The liberal arts education I received has prepared me for the challenges ahead. I see opportunities and a chance to make a difference. I am confident and prepared. In all, the AUN education has really made me a better person.”

Reflecting on his academic experience, Mr. Emmanuel says his days in the laboratory were many but never easy. He spent so many hours in the labs that his friends joked that he practically lived there.

"Spending time in the lab gave me inspiration of where I'm going and where I need to be. It also helped me to step out of my comfort zone.”

Valedictorian Emmanuel, who participated in the Model UN program in 2019 and represented AUN in the Platinum Mathematics Reasoning Contest at the University of Ibadan in 2018, said his experience in taking part in the AUN Emerging Leaders Academy helped in shaping his mind, especially in decision making.

"I learned that leadership is also about serving others, not just about giving commands but leading by example. Decision making is an important part of leadership, and tough decisions might offend your friends or family but are necessary. If you have a dream, you need to learn how to carry everybody along, allowing them to choose to follow your visions.”

Mr. Emmanuel gave special thanks to President Margee Ensign for her leadership of the University and for being student-focused.

"President Ensign is phenomenal. I've learnt a lot from her, her charisma, leadership skills, she's so visionary and willing to listen to others."

He also appreciated all the faculty, staff, and fellow students who helped him during his course of study at AUN.

"To the AUN community, I really appreciate all of them. I've had contact with a lot of people and I cannot mention everyone by name who has helped me in a lot of ways. I dedicate this title to all of them for their sacrifices for me, enabling me to be where I am today. I've made a lot of amazing friends and roommates who have been really there for me. I also met incredible alums like Theoneste Manishimwe who helped me lot.”

Valedictorian Emmanuel Funsho Alakunle was a Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) major specializing in Biomedical Science. His ambition is to proceed to Medical College to qualify as a medical doctor.


American University of Nigeria
98 Lamido Zubairu Way
Yola Township bypass
PMB 2250, Yola
Adamawa State, Nigeria
Tel: +234 805-200-2962