Few people have much in-depth knowledge of statistics or its real-world applications, but this is why Okiefe Ogbe, a recent graduate from the Colorado State University Department of Statistics, wants to share his knowledge and skills with students.
Since graduating, Ogbe has worked as a program analyst in an internship with the Department of Transportation in Fort Collins. Although his current position is not too focused on statistics, Ogbe explained, “There are a lot of opportunities to move up in the Department of Transportation to do statistical inference. They call it risk analysis.” Ogbe continues, “You have to have a lot of other career experience before you can even think about touching that type of stuff.”
This is one of the reasons why Ogbe decided to become a statistics teacher. “If I am ever thinking about moving up, I have to know spot-on exactly what I’m doing,” Ogbe says, “To be a teacher, you have to know spot-on what you’re talking about.”
The main reason, though, why Ogbe wants to become a teacher is to help high school students to broaden their horizons and succeed within the world of statistics.
Ogbe himself will likely be able to relate to his future students who may be new to statistics. “I first declared as this major my sophomore year, and I didn’t really know too much about statistics,” Ogbe said. “But I learned that there was actually quite a lot of technology with it, and there’s a lot of applications to it.”
Ogbe recognizes now that the statistics knowledge he gained in his academic career extends beyond just knowing statistics. “There are applications in a lot of different fields like psychology, economics, biology. There really are many fields,” Ogbe states.
Ogbe hopes to use his skills and recent university experience to help high school juniors and seniors thrive in AP Statistics and prepare for the future. Although he isn’t sure where he’ll end up teaching, Ogbe said that no matter what, “my goal is definitely to help students succeed, and if they are going to university, that they go there with competence, knowing what to expect.”
For those students who do continue their education, Ogbe expects that he will be able to assist in building a foundation for them. “Since I remember my undergrad so well, and it was not too long ago, I’d be able to pass on some of the things that helped me succeed,” he said.
Inspired by one of his former university TAs, Ogbe also hopes to provide students with knowledge outside of the required curriculum as well. “Sometimes he would have 5 minutes after some of the classes and was able to give us advice on things that would that we would have never known otherwise,” Ogbe said. “So if I have five minutes after classes, I would do that too.”
Ben Goodwin, one of Ogbe’s friends and former classmates, noted Ogbe’s innate ability to help students. “Oki was and continues to be an awesome resource for statistics,” Goodwin said. “He was really gifted at mathematical statistics.”
Ogbe hopes his experiences assist in setting the tone for the continual success of students.
“The goal is to pass on my knowledge, so that the students have success immediately, and then also later on in university,” Ogbe said. “But the immediate success in high school has to happen or I’ll know I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Ogbe started taking steps toward his goal, as he recently became a tutor with City Tutors in Fort Collins.
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