Bolutito Babatunde, better known as “Tito,” graduated from Brook Hill in 2015 as Valedictorian. While she excelled in the classroom, she was involved on campus athletically through soccer and track, and she was a talented art student. She went on to attend Texas Tech University (Guns up!), where she majored in Mechanical Engineering before graduating in 2019. Tito is now in Pittsburgh working on her PhD at Carnegie Mellon University. We got the opportunity to catch up with Tito and get all the details – read below to hear about her time at Brook Hill and how it helped lead her to where she is now!
BH: When you left BH, you headed to West Texas. Can you tell us about your time at Texas Tech and what you were involved with there?
Tito: I majored in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science and Mathematics. I was very involved in For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Tech Challenge (FTC), which is an international high school robotics competition, where students design a robot to complete tasks. I was inspired by the mission of FTC to stir the interests of young students towards STEM. I guided students in designing their robots by applying mechanical engineering topics such as projectile motion and taught them to program their robots through Android Studio. I was also involve in Fellowship, Opportunity and Resources, through Mentoring Engineers (ForME), where I worked on recruiting new mentors and mentees into the program.
BH: What an awesome way to use your interests to make an impact! What ways did Brook Hill help prepare for you for time at Texas Tech and beyond?
Tito: Brook Hill prepared me academically. I saw others struggle freshman year in college, and I think I would’ve felt overwhelmed if not the academic rigor Brook Hill brought. Right now, Brook Hill has prepared me to be as independent as I am. With my parents and most of my family being in Nigeria, I am not able to rely on them as much and I can now rely on myself. Boarding school particularly really helped me with independence and finding myself.
“Right now, Brook Hill has prepared me to be as independent as I am.”
BH: We are glad you are independent, too, as Pittsburgh is definitely pretty far from Nigeria! Ha! Can you tell us a bit about what you’re doing at Carnegie Mellon?
Tito: I am a PhD candidate and Graduate Research assistant in Carnegie Mellon University, where I am creating tools for designing DNA biosensors that will propel the fields of automated generative design and structural DNA nanotechnology.
BH: Wow! It sounds like your research will make such an impact. Are there any faculty who made a lasting impact on you?
Tito: Mrs. Williford impacted me the most. She made me really enjoy math and that definitely helped me as I pursued my degree in Mechanical Engineering. I would like to say thank you to her for making Calculus so fun.
BH: What was Brook Hill to you? What were the advantages of attending boarding school?
Tito: BH was very much a second home to me while I attended boarding school, because I lived with and went to school with my friends, which made us rely on each other in everything. I’d like to believe that is what a home is. I was able to make long lasting friendships at BH. I now consider these friends my family. I don’t think I would’ve been able to meet and form such great bonds if I hadn’t attended boarding school. I am really grateful for the friends I made. Like I said, I am still friends with them till now and we keep in touch almost everyday.
“BH was very much a second home to me while I attended boarding school.”
BH: That makes us so happy to hear, Tito. What do you hope for the future of Brook Hill and its students?
Tito: I hope Brook Hill continues to help students mature mentally and academically.
In our alumni like Tito, we see our mission having been carried out. We are so proud of you, Tito, and we can’t wait to see where your future continues to take you!