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Breaking…. UNILORIN female lecturer, Prof. Olayinka Karim emerges as Fountain varsity VC



Breaking.... UNILORIN female lecturer, Prof. Olayinka Karim emerges as Fountain varsity VC

Olayinka Ramota Karim

Authority of Fountain University, Osogbo,
Osun State has appointed a lecturer with the University of Ilorin, Professor Olayinka Karim, as its new Vice-Chancellor.

Born 52years ago in Ijebu-ode, Ogun State, the varsity don began her academic career in Food Science and Technology in 1992 when she obtained B.Sc (Hons.) degree in the discipline from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

Prof. (Mrs) Karim later acquired an M.Sc degree from the University of Ibadan, in 1995 and a Ph.D. degree from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, as the first Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Food Science and Technology in 2005.

In addition, she had a Diploma in Agribusiness and Post-harvest Management (Israel) in 2015, and Certificates in Inter-religious Dialogue, Conflict Transformation and Mediation (Abuja) in 2019; Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme-Tertiary (Abuja) in 2010; Microsoft Learning Content Development System (Ilorin) in 2009, and Research Methodology in Science (NIFST) was obtained in 2000.

She has invested over 24 years of enviable teaching, research, community service, and consulting in Food Science and Technology and to humanity in general.


Teaching and Supervision

I am a devoted and committed teacher who has taught over twenty courses in Food Science and Technology and Home Economics at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Yewa Campus, Ogun State, Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, and the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Ilorin. In 2015/2016, I was a visiting Professor at KWASU, where I facilitated the creation of the Department of Food Science and Technology from the former Department of Food, Agriculture, and Bio-engineering.

My teaching experience has been commended by many students and been awarded the Best Annual Lecturer by some Students’ Associations seven times at OOU and the most friendly female lecturer at the University of Ilorin. I have successfully supervised and co-supervised 94 B.Sc.; M.Sc.and Ph.D. dissertations and theses in Food Science and Home Economics.

One of my supervised B.Sc. dissertations on cocoyam amala won the GKS African/Latin American undergraduate students exchange scholarship by the Korean Government in 2017. The project student is currently undergoing his Ph.D. in Korea with a full scholarship. Another supervised M.Sc. thesis on the production of gari won a full scholarship with me as the co-supervisor of his Ph.D. at the University of Adelaide, Australia among many other supervision distinctions.

Research and Publications

I am a focused scientist and innovative researcher of repute and have worked extensively on value addition to traditional foods for sustainability and food security. My research also focuses on Plant Food Product Development using simple technologies to enhance food and nutrition security in Nigeria. My breakthrough on drying kinetics of pretreated pineapple slices is also noted for research excellence among others. I was the Food Processing expert in the multi-disciplinary research on cubing of iru (a traditional condiment) project (2010) and the preservation of tomato (2014) sponsored by TETFUND. Other grants that I won include the Institution-Based Research Fund in 2017, Unilorin Laboratory to Product for commercial production of ginger-spiced kulikuli (2018), N.G. Patel to Uka Tarsadia University, India (2018), and Grant by Global Affairs Canada and Action Aid Nigeria (2020). I am a member of an international team of 13 Professors in the Creative innovation industry program for leading the future smart food industry sponsored by The Brain Korea 21 Project. In 2013 I won a scholarship for a Diploma Study in Post-harvest handling and Processing in Israel.

I have participated in over sixty conferences, workshops, training and seminars at local, national and international levels. In 2020 I delivered the 195th Inaugural Lecture at the University of Ilorin and this made me be the first female Inaugural Lecturer from the Faculty of Agriculture and the first from my Department.

In 2020 also, I presented a public lecture on the Nexus between Food Security and Violent Conflicts in Nigeria at the National Institute of Security Studies, Abuja to proffer a way forward in the Advocacy for International Trade, National Security and Sustainable Development of Member States of Gulf of Guinea.

As a versatile researcher, I have to my credit over 185 publications and presentations consisting of 79 articles in peer-reviewed international and national journals, 1 book, 15 chapters in books, 23 edited conference proceedings, and workshop papers, and 5 commissioned and technical reports. In addition, I presented 29 keynotes, lead papers and public lectures and 43 papers at national, and international conferences and workshop papers (South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Republic of Benin, Turkey, United States of America, Ireland among others).
Breaking.... UNILORIN female lecturer, Prof. Olayinka Karim emerges as Fountain varsity VC

Breaking.... UNILORIN female lecturer, Prof. Olayinka Karim emerges as Fountain varsity VC

Administrative Record

I am the current and first female Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin (2021 till Date. Due to my distinct leadership role, capacity and strong interpersonal skills to successfully handle various assignments, I had the opportunity to serve as Chairman and member of over eighty Academic and Administrative Committees and Boards at Unilorin, KWASU, and OOU.

Notable among the administrative positions that I had held are Member, Steering Committee on the establishment of ₦600 Million Unilorin GGMax Integrated Poultry Farm sponsored by Central Bank of Nigeria (2022); Pioneer Deputy Director, Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board Programme (JUPEB) (2017); Senate Representative, of Unilorin School Board (2015-2019); Chairman and Pioneer Honourary General Manager, Unilorin Guest Houses Management Board (2016-2017 and 2018-2020), Congregation Representative, Students Welfare Board (2010-2012); Ag. Head, Department of Home Economics and Food Science for six years (2009-2015) at Unilorin.

At KWASU, I was the Coordinator of the Food Science and Technology programme and facilitated the establishment of the Department (2015-2016), while at OOU I served as the College Coordinator, Centre for Sandwich Programmes and Chairman, Faculty Agricultural Management and Rural Development Games/Sports Committee (2016-2018).Breaking.... UNILORIN female lecturer, Prof. Olayinka Karim emerges as Fountain varsity VC

Community Service

Beyond academics, my community service is wide-ranging and demonstrates the Town and Gown relationship in many folds. I engaged in different community-based projects to educate and build the capacity of women and youths on different entrepreneurial skills in food processing.

In 2020, I was the recipient of a Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) grant for a community project on Interreligious Peaceful Co-existence: role of Food Security in Ilorin, Kwara State and represented North-Central in the study on Linkages between Covid-19 and Women and Girl’s Wellbeing in Nigeria, sponsored by Global Affairs, Canada and Action Aid, Nigeria.

I was a consultant on a Training Project sponsored by AUDA-NEPAAD (2021). I also consulted for many Food Companies and presented documentaries on some traditional foods on the National Television Authority, national radios, and in newspapers. I was the anchor of Food and Health on Unilorin 93.5 FM (2009-2011).

I solely developed Spiced Bread for commercial production during my National Youth Service Corp programme at B.S.B. Bakery Akure, Ondo State. This earned me an N.Y.S.C. Commendation Award in 1993.

I have contributed to national cohesion in different capacities as a religious group leader, sport lady, and community developer. My commitment as the Women Affairs’ Secretary (Women Leader) and Vice-Chairman of Nasrul-lahi-l Fathi-Society Worldwide (NASFAT), Tanke Branch, Ilorin is remarkable. I participated in three National Sports Festivals and National Universities Games, where I won one gold and two bronze medals respectively. I am currently the Amirah (Women Leader), Muslim Women Ladies Circle, Unilorin, Secretary, Council of Elders, NASFAT, Tanke Branch, and an Ambassador for Peace, COFP.

I also obliged the nation in different capacities as a Member of the National Call Group and Supervisor UTME/JAMB Examination and Moderator of test items for JAMB; Supervisor of JUPEB Examination; Chairman and Member of National Universities Commission and National Board for Technical Education teams for accreditation and resources verification.

I have served as the external assessor of professorial candidates in several universities of repute. I am also a reviewer for many reputable journals and an external examiner for both undergraduate and postgraduate theses in several universities. My services to the community have won me 35 distinguished awards and honours.

Professional Bodies

As a versatile scientist, I am actively affiliated with several reputable professional bodies locally and internationally. These include the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) as a Fellow, the Institute for Food Technologists (IFT), Women in Agricultural Research and Development (NiWARD), African Crop Science Society (ACSS), Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD). My contributions to the development of NIFST at the branch, chapter, and national levels are numerous.

I chaired the Local Organizing Committees for the 5th Regional Food Science and Technology Summit (2019), and the 3rd Annual Conference, Western Chapter (2012). I am currently the National Treasurer of NIFST and Financial Secretary of the Association of Deans of Agriculture in Nigerian Universities.

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