Women’s History Month – Professor Kosiso N. Onyia
UDC Celebrates Women’s History Month
Professor Kosiso N. Onyia
UDC Alum David A. Clarke School of Law
Professor Kosiso Onyia is an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater, the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. For the last 18 years, she has worked at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) where she is currently an Assistant Director in the National Cause & Financial Crimes Detection Programs unit. Prof. Onyia is a native of the Rock Creek Park area of Northwest Washington, D.C., and she is literally African American as her father is from Nigeria and her mother is from California.
Among Professor Onyia’s passions is promoting diversity and inclusion by engaging in discussions with diversity groups on how to best achieve fairness, respect and inclusion for all. Professor Onyia takes every opportunity she can to engage in “courageous conversations” in which she shares insight into actions, words and behaviors that make black people and especially black women feel excluded. Then she provides guidance on strategies for effective allyship with the goal of creating workplaces of inclusion at all staff levels. Professor Onyia is grateful for these opportunities because they allow her to contribute to creating change in this area, and she plans to continue participating in diversity and inclusion events that can foster an environment of equity for everyone.
Lastly, Professor Onyia is passionate about education and dedicated to her students. She considers herself “blessed” to work with so many talented students throughout her 11-year teaching career. This dedication to student success is evident, as she is a favorite among students who often cite her role in helping them in their accomplishments. 3L evening student Akeem Earle said Prof. Onyia “built in me the confidence as a legal writer,” and he explained he was able to use writing samples from her class to secure a DOJ internship. Tonée Jones, 3L, thanked Prof. Onyia for helping her land a DC Bar appointment as writer in residence. Jones said, “I am so grateful to [Onyia] for whipping me into shape and helping me perfect my writing skills.” She is extremely proud of all her students, past and current, and reaps great reward through her ability to impact them.
Professor Onyia credits her own success to the foundation she received from her parents and her education as well as her determination to excel. That foundation has made her equally passionate about seeing others excel. If given the opportunity, she is always ready to help a student become their personal and professional best. Professor Onyia says her students are “the reason why she teaches.” They “consistently fan the internal flame of [my] passion for teaching when [I am] able to watch them learn and grow and especially become strong legal writers and legal advocates.”