Seven Questions with... Hope Oloye

This week we meet PhD candidate Hope Oloye, who is the founder and director of Thinking Black, a social enterprise that runs interdisciplinary programmes for Black British students. Here, Hope chats to us about taking dance classes at UCL and her passion for neuroscience.

What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?

I’m studying Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience, a subject I was drawn to because it combines two of my greatest loves: music and the brain. In fact, I first became interested (/obsessed) with neuroscience when I went to an open seminar at UCL on child development at 14 years old! It’s amazing to be back here 10 years later. I would love to keep running Thinking Black , stay in research and get more involved in science communication.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?

The most interesting thing I’ve been involved with at UCL (other than cool research) is attending the dance society’s classes - both the teacher Tarek and their music selection are perfect.

Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?

One of my favourite gems I’ve discovered while at UCL is the Bloomsbury Farmers’ Market. I miss the dosas and brownies with all my heart.

Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:

  • Walks along the canals in East London and visiting Grow Hackney - an outdoor music venue sat along the water is a favourite.
  • Visiting the House of Illustration - a small gallery near my lab in Kings Cross that puts on great exhibitions.
  • Going to book shops! From the huge Waterstones on campus to Pages of Hackney, I love them all.
  • What’s one thing you’d like to see in a post-Covid world?

    I would like more free flowing hugs.

    Who inspires you and why?

    My mum, a masterful healthcare practitioner turned trailblazing hospital director, inspires me in so many ways, particularly her dedication to improving the lives of everyone she meets, her unapologetic joy and kindness and her refusal to tolerate racists regardless of any powerful affiliations they might have. Oh, and her cooking is really inspiring too - her plant-based Nigerian food is honestly unmatched.

    What would it surprise people to know about you?

    I used to be a competitive swimmer!


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