Ovie Ojeni '18 started his Lehigh career as a Business Information Systems major in the College of Business and Economics. Ten majors and many experiences later, he graduated with a double major in Theater and Modern Languages, a minor in English and a passion for education.
The Nigerian-American received a Fulbright scholarship this year to travel to Mexico for an English Teaching Assistantship, the first step in what he hopes is a fulfilling career as a language teacher in international education.
During an internship at Facebook in the summer of 2016, Ojeni realized that sitting behind a desk was not for him.
“I was sitting at my desk and I wasn't fulfilled so I started thinking back to my teachers, what they said that had an impact on me,” he said. “It allowed me to reevaluate my life and it got me thinking I should go with education.”
Ojeni followed up that working experience by traveling to Costa Rica, where he taught English classes at a local university. That is when he fell in love with teaching and education, but his experience with the tech company is not going to go to waste.
“I want to integrate educational technology into the classroom to help increase the learning process of my students' language acquisition abilities,” he says.
This includes the addition of virtual reality technology, which he hopes can help his students with the language immersion process.
Ojeni credits his time with Lehigh’s Department of Theatre as another major influence on him as a teacher, whether it’s inspiring him to incorporate improv games into his classroom activities or using his time as a director to handle a room full of students.
“My theater background helped me work with a bunch of people and it helped me think creatively,” he says.
It also factored into his decision to choose Mexico as his Fulbright destination. He fell in love with the country’s many diverse cultures and the way that Mexican theater incorporates them when he visited last summer.
His English Teaching Assistant fellowship does not start until September, but Ojeni will be traveling to, and teaching in, both Peru and Spain this summer, continuing to broaden his international teaching experience.
Following his time in Mexico, Ojeni hopes to become a language teacher at an international school with the ultimate goal of eventually becoming a president or head, promoting international education to a new generation of students.