University of the Fraser Valley

Faculty Service Excellence Award 2024: Celebrating Dr. Opeyemi Adesina’s transformative digital leadership

Faculty Service Excellence Award 2024: Celebrating Dr. Opeyemi Adesina’s transformative digital leadership

In the heart of the University of the Fraser Valley’s computing department is 2024 Faculty Service Award winner and recently appointed Director of the School of Computing, Dr. Opeyemi Adesina – a driving force of student innovation, locally and beyond.

As an assistant professor in the School of Computing and a software engineer, Adesina’s approach is marked by a constant commitment to accelerating students into the best versions of themselves. Opeyemi’s dedication to connecting students with industry professionals has resulted in the successful placement of numerous students in companies such as Amazon, EA Sports and Meta.

“Dr. Adesina is more than deserving of this award” says Holden Milne Pimentel, a former student under Opeyemi’s supervision. “Thanks to Dr. Adesina I left UFV capable of holding my own at a research-intensive university, in a research-based program.”

Among the most notable local collaborations Adesina has taken part in are Melvin’s App, which inspires early childhood mental health and well-being – as well as AI-driven programming that streamlines medical intakes while enhancing the efficiency of psychiatric consultations and improving patient care.

Currently, Opeyemi is working with students to find funding to commercialize their latest project, Tiffin Box, which aims to connect users with local cooks who are willing to prepare home-cooked meals of various culturally significant cuisines.

Adesina has been the Chair of Industry Partnerships for the School of Computing since the fall of 2022. “He was appointed to this role due to his flourishing activities in making connections with local businesses and employers of our graduates.”  says Dr. Carl Janzen, Director of the School of Computing.

Through this role, he has facilitated the establishment of an advisory board and organized events such as tech panels to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

By challenging students to reach out into the community to tackle real-world problems and develop innovative software-based solutions, Adesina empowers them to make meaningful change in an increasingly digital world. Drawing inspiration from his experiences at the University of Ottawa, where similar community engaged initiatives yielded significant benefits, Adesina has replicated this success at UFV.

His leadership was especially pivotal during challenges posed by the pandemic in his role on the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC). Drawing on his experience teaching online courses, he gave the team confidence and resilience, ensuring that everyone felt supported and equipped to navigate the transition to digital learning.

“I have found particularly noteworthy the number of one-on-one conversations reported by other faculty members who have approached Dr. Adesina for guidance and input,” notes Dr. Janzen, “something that I see as a clear indicator that Dr. Adesina embodies exemplary qualities of a team player that creates an environment of cooperation and mutual respect.

Looking back, Adesina sees more than just a series of accomplishments; he sees a testament to his dedication to student success, community engagement, and inclusive leadership.

“When I see my students succeed, I count myself to be successful,” says Adesina, “I believe if you bring prosperity to our students, it will bring prosperity to our region.”