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Ben Semola at podium.

Semola Completes OSU Degree as an Honorary Graduation Commencement Marshal

Monday, May 3, 2021

Media Contact: Lyn Putnam | Communications Specialist | 405-744-5496 |

Completing a master’s degree is a major accomplishment for anyone, but for Ben Semola, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, it is a dream come true.

Ben will achieve this goal on Friday, May 7, when he receives his Master of Science in Global Studies. He has had a great experience at Oklahoma State University, winning the Three Minute Thesis Competition People’s Choice Award, volunteering with the Student Association of Global Affairs and he will top off his OSU experience as an Honorary Commencement Marshal.

The Honorary Commencement Marshal recognition is the highest honor bestowed on doctoral and master’s degree graduates each year. Marshals have demonstrated scholarly achievement, as evidenced by academic performance and discipline-appropriate scholarly contributions that capture the essence of our land-grant mission.

Semola was training for a new job role in Dallas when he was contacted by a family friend that was working on his Ph.D. at OSU. Ben and his wife decided to take a vacation in Oklahoma and that was all it took for them to decide to bring their family to Stillwater.

Semola’s wife is working on a Ph.D. in comparative biomedical science and the Semolas loved the friendly atmosphere and the calm environment they did not find when Ben attended the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Semola photo
Ben Semola will graduate with a Master of Science in Global Studies.

Semola learned that the School of Global Studies M.S. program would allow him to take his professional background in Information Security and apply those skills to analyze issues on a global scale. While in the program, Ben has obtained many professional certifications and he has conducted research on the trade war and the dark web.

Semola believes the most important lesson he learned while in the Global Studies M.S. program is to appreciate and understand issues from different perspectives.

“Applying fundamental theories to existing issues and collaborating with others to talk about the theories is so important. We may not find a solution to the world’s problems but understanding it keeps us on the path to finding a solution,” Semola said.

Cara Eubanks, the School of Global Studies Graduate Coordinator, recommended Semola without hesitation for this honor.

“I decided to nominate Ben for this prestigious recognition because of his dedication and service to the students, staff, and faculty in SGSP,” Eubanks said. “Ben constantly goes above-and-beyond in his role as a graduate assistant in our college, and at the core of his work and research is his commitment to protecting people.

"Ben’s research is focused on solving global issues and arguing that those issues need to be addressed collectively by institutions and organizations around the world. Ben showcases what it means to be a global citizen, which directly correlates to the land-grant mission core values— community building, service to others, and equal opportunity.”

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