Meet Lilly’s Class of 2021

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?

Lilly’s Graduate Student Assistants

young woman
Grace in one of her favorite spots in Lilly Library

Do you remember the Library before the covid era? If you had ever been in Lilly Library late in the evenings, you may have seen our graduate student assistant, Odunola (who goes by Grace) at our desk. We are fortunate that Grace continued to work with us this past year. And, what a year it has been!

Adjusting to a very different library schedule, re-shelving thousands of returned books that were warehoused during the summer of 2020, scrupulously searching for books requested for Library Take-Out, and even helping staff prepare over 1500 “Welcome” library goodie bags for the Class of 2024 – Grace has been a vital member of our Lilly team this past year.

Now is your chance to get to know Grace in this profile, and you will appreciate her as much we do!

Graduate Student Grace

Close up of young woman in front of Duke Chapel
Grace celebrating graduation
  • Hometown: Oyan, Osun State, Nigeria
  • Family: Father, Mother, a brother, two sisters, three nieces, and a nephew.
  • Academic field of study:
    Medical Physics M.Sc.
  • Activities on campus:
    Member of GPSG, walking, my research work involved 3D printing and working with the staff at the Duke Innovation Co-Lab
  • Favorite on-campus activity:
    Visiting the Duke clinics to shadow physicists, performing QA on medical equipment like the Linac and the brachytherapy afterloader.
  • Favorite off-campus activity:
    Participating in my local church’s monthly food drive to support the community.
  • Favorite off-campus eatery:
    Shanghai (on Hillsborough)

Describe your work in Lilly and the changes you saw this pandemic year:

Woman at railing
Grace surveying the Lilly lobby

Q: What’s the strangest or most interesting book or movie you’ve come across in Lilly?
A: There was a book (I can’t really remember the title) that showed portraits of African/Black women drawn during the slave trade era. According to the author, having one’s portrait done at that time was a thing of honor, however, the women were posed in such a dishonorable way because they were slaves even though they were beautiful to behold. It was an odd book.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Lilly?
A: Manning the front desk and being able to help people out, working with kind and flexible staff members, occasional free food

Q: Least favorite?
A: Book search – I feel I have left the task incomplete when I do not find the book.

Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget?
A: How excited I was to come back after the initial lockdown restriction was eased. I truly missed working at Lilly.

Q: What is working in a now almost empty Lilly like compared to your past work at the Lilly desk?
A: It was quite strange at first. The pandemic was unexpected and its effects were far-reaching. The usually busy front desk and reading rooms became deserted and really quiet. It was quite strange. I miss the hustle and bustle of pre-covid.

Q: What will you miss most about Lilly?
A: The building itself! I love the architecture from the outside and the different rooms, especially the Thomas room upstairs. Apparently, I love old buildings.

Q: What are your plans after finishing your degree and leaving Duke?
A: I will be proceeding to obtain a Ph.D. degree in Medical Physics from the University of Alberta in Canada.

We wish Grace the best and much success as she continues her studies far from Duke. Congratulations!

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