By Joelle Carson
Fans of Segun Oduolowu’s (’00) appearances on television shows like “Access Hollywood Live,” “CNN Live,” “Dr. Drew On Call” and “The Wendy Williams Show” know that he isn’t afraid to make his voice heard, whether he’s addressing issues in sports, pop culture, politics or entertainment news. His engaging personality and openness to dialogue make him an exciting addition to discussions that touch on multiple aspects of everyday life.
Another topic where he has a clear-cut point of view? “Now and forever … Go Coogs!” He even proudly wore Cougar red on “Access Hollywood Live” last month.
Oduolowu was a member of the planning committee for the “Here, We Go” Roadshow national presidential event in Los Angeles on March 30, 2017. It was the first Los Angeles event he had attended, and he urges alumni, current students and UH organizations to get involved with their alma mater in any way possible — both for social and professional reasons. “At the event, I met titans of industry who were proud to call themselves graduates of the University of Houston,” he says. “I was the youngest person at the table, and I could have listened to them talk, and dispense advice for hours.”
— Segun Oduolowu (@seguntheprogram) March 17, 2017
A first-generation Nigerian-American who grew up outside of Washington, D.C., Oduolowu first found his passion for journalism and broadcasting after an academic scholarship drew his attention to the University. “UH is where I found my voice, and for that I feel an enormous debt of gratitude that I need to repay as best I can,” he says. As a student, he created and produced his own television show, “Segun Live” — with a little help from his friends. “The show was set in motion by a conversation with a fellow classmate, and his belief in my ability,” he recalls. “That was the pivotal moment for me. Filming ‘Segun Live” caused me to change my major, and inspired my entire career path.”
Oduolowu isn’t only passionate about his work; he is passionate about education and giving youth the tools they need to succeed. He previously worked as an eighth-grade English teacher, and currently mentors high school basketball players through the Aim High Foundation of Southern California, focusing on students obtaining athletic and academic scholarships at prestigious universities nationwide — some of those scholarship recipients have gone on to play in the NBA after college. “Working with kids has always been a passion of mine, because it is my belief that no one achieves greatness on their own,” he says. “If I can help a young person avoid some of the same pitfalls that littered my path, then I feel it is my obligation to do so.”
As Oduolowu illustrates, actions speak volumes. While UH is raising $1 billion for the “Here, We Go” Campaign, he points out that the effort extends far beyond funding alone. “Funding is important, but more important to me is the connective tissue that unites all University of Houston grads, and undergrads,” he says. “My advice to students and alumni is to be involved, and get further involved. Rock the red, show up to sporting events, and look for each and every opportunity to give back to our alma mater.”
Attending a “Here, We Go” Roadshow event is only one way to show support for UH during this transformative era in the University’s history, and Coogs can look to Segun Odulowu to find multiple ways to “rock the red.”