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Faculty and Staff

Poole Staff Spotlight: Meet Ayo Agunbiade

By Caroline Barnhill

In 2011, Ayo Agunbiade arrived at NC State University as an academic advisor. Over the past decade, he’s been able to advise student-athletes, exploratory students and Jenkins MBA students. For the past four years, Agunbiade has had the opportunity to serve undergraduate business students in Poole. In his role as a senior academic advisor, he oversees the advising team’s assessment efforts, supervises the advising graduate assistant and serves as the lead for the onboarding and support of Poole’s Spring Connect students.

Agunbiade earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Southern Connecticut State University where he served as a captain of the varsity football team. He later earned a master’s degree in education from Longwood University with a concentration in community and college counseling. But there’s much more to Agunbiade than his professional pursuits.

Q&A with Ayo Agunbiade

What is a project in your current role that you are particularly proud of? 

Although it is still in the works, having attended the ACPA Assessment Institute in Baltimore this summer with a couple of my colleagues, we are reimagining the way we create programming for our students at Poole. Specifically, we plan on involving more students in the design phase, measuring the effectiveness of programs as we deliver them, and delivering programs in a way that centers on diversity, equity and inclusion.

What’s the most memorable Poole College event you have attended?

I would say that my most memorable event was May 2022 Commencement. I was thrilled that our students were able to celebrate the culmination of their hard work with their family and friends. Moreover, this was the class I started with when I moved over to serving undergrad students in the summer of 2018. That was an incredible day!

Why do you love being a part of Poole?

Ayo and his newborn daughter cooking in the kitchen

Honestly, at this stage in my life, one of the most important work benefits is flexible work arrangements. Our college’s willingness to embrace flexibility has truly made all the difference for my family and me. My current situation is proof that you can do excellent work while prioritizing the needs of your family. Being able to flex my schedule for daycare pickup will likely keep me around for a while.

Our college’s willingness to embrace flexibility has truly made all the difference for my family and me.

Tell us more about your life outside of Poole College.

I can’t help but begin this response with the fact that my partner and I are new parents. Our little girl was born in November 2021. This journey has been incredible. As a new parent, I haven’t had as much time as I used to for hobbies and social activities, but I do my best to continue reading and learning, eating healthy and working out. I tend to spend a lot of time thinking and I enjoy deep conversations. So whenever that opportunity arises, I’m always willing to engage.

My Poole colleagues might not know…

I sing, rap and write songs for other artists.

Ayo, a singer, rapper and songwriter, performing at Summer Solstice.

I feel deeply connected with many of my colleagues in Poole and I’m pretty much an open book, so I’m not sure if there are many things about me they don’t know. However, I am a small-time local musician. I haven’t made much money as a musician but the checks and payments here and there are much appreciated. I sing, rap and write songs for other artists. The most exciting part of this journey is the connections I’ve made along the way. I have met and collaborated with some incredible artists.