Photograph of Fanny Okaikue-Woodi

Fanny Okaikue-Woodi – RUA Community Engagement Board Member

Fanny Okaikue-Woodi, PhD Candidate, University of Washington

Field of Study: Environmental Engineering

RUA Affiliation: Community Engagement Board Member, Research Exchange and RUA22 Conference Participant

What are you currently studying and why did you choose your field of study?

My research focuses on materials design for water treatment, and I am currently investigating iron oxide-coated sand for the removal of (in)organic contaminants in water. In undergrad, I participated in a research project that showed me how chemistry (one of my favorite subjects) can be used to assess anthropogenic effects on the environment and to address environmental issues. And later in my courses, I learned about the environmental fate of organic contaminants (e.g. pharmaceuticals and personal care products) and their impacts on aquatic systems. These educational experiences ignited my interest in not only wanting to understand how contaminants behave in the environment but also designing effective remediation technologies.

Why did you choose to participate in RUA activities?

I became involved with RUA because of the professional development and network opportunities it presents. As someone with aspirations for a career in academia, I think that RUA can help me grow my professoriate network and provide with valuable tools to prepare for an academic career.

What is a highlight of your RUA participation?

The research exchange was very valuable for me. My interaction with researchers at my host research group gave me insights on some of the research questions I had for my research project. The exchange was also an opportunity to learn about other research topics in my field and expand my scientific knowledge. The research exchange also led to my participation in the FOCUS Fellows program at Georgia Tech which a great professional development experience.

What advice do you have for graduate students or postdocs?

My advice for graduate students is to get connected whether it is to fellow graduate students, postdocs and/or faculty; and do not limit those connections to folks in your field of research, in your department. You never know what these connections may lead to.

What is one thing that you think everyone should read?

Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett.