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Dr. Oluwatoyosi Fatunase Onwuemene '03 Honored With Young Alumna Award

In the 15 years since her graduation, Dr. Oluwatoyosi Fatunase Onwuemene, or Toyosi, has more than lived up to her title as 2003’s Wesleyan Woman of Success.

In college, this Munroe Scholar established herself as both academic star and campus leader. A biology and chemistry major, Toyosi was an excellent student and a dedicated researcher, presenting at professional conferences, authoring an honors thesis, and selected to attend summer programs at Baylor University (2001) and Emory University (2002). Among the prizes and awards she garnered while at Wesleyan were Outstanding Paper at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the Georgia Academy of Science, the Lise Meitner Award in Physics, the Claire Boisfeuillet Jones Prize in Biology, and the Outstanding Senior Award from the science division. Still, she found time to serve as a computer resident assistant, a teaching assistant, and as a peer advisor. Toyosi served as a youth counselor at Vineville United Methodist Church and as a volunteer student teacher with KISMET (Kids in Science, Math, and Engineering Technology) where she brought "science experiments in a box" to Bibb County public school children. Toyosi was selected as a member of Beta Beta Beta honor society for biologists, Mortar Board National Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi Collegiate Honor Society before graduating magna cum laude in 2003.

Following graduation, Toyosi entered medical school at Duke University where she managed to volunteer at community health fairs, serve on the planning committee for the Student National Medical Association’s annual Martin Luther King Dinner, and participate in the Christian Medical and Dental Association’s ministry to the homeless. Toyosi received her M.D. degree at Duke Medical in 2007, followed by a residency in internal medicine completed in 2010 when she also earned the Lecoq Award for Outstanding Senior Assistant Resident Talk. Then she was on to Chicago for a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Northwestern University, which she completed in 2013 along with a M.S. in clinical investigation. Toyosi then returned to Durham where she is now assistant professor of medicine at Duke Medical School.

Toyosi’s professional career, like her academic career, has been marked by excellence. She was part of the American Society of Hematology Clinical Research Training Institute in 2013-2014 and was recognized with the “Excellence in Education” Award from the department of medicine at Duke in 2016. She was selected as a Fellow for the Professional Mentoring Skills Enhancing Diversity (PROMISED) Program for 2017-2018. Toyosi has continued her love for research, authoring a prodigious number of scholarly articles for professional journals, books, and conferences, and is a frequent lecturer both in the Duke University Health System and beyond. She is a member of a host of professional organizations including the American Society of Hematology, the American Society for Apheresis, Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Society, the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, and the American Society of Transplantation.

Toyosi is active in her church, Jubilee Christian Church International, serving in multiple ways ranging from teaching Sunday School to sharing her professional expertise at health presentations. Devoted as well to Wesleyan, Toyosi has generously mentored students interested in science and medical school. She takes greatest pride in Joelle and Jonathan, her two children with husband Chiedu.

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