About Me

My name is Kayla Hepler and I am from Concord Township, Ohio, about forty five minutes east of Cleveland. Since graduating high school, I now have the perspective to reflect back on my high school experiences in addition to getting excited about the next four years of being a Buckeye here at The Ohio State University.

Throughout my high school years I was able to join many organizations and spend a large amount of time volunteering. I spent a substantial amount of time doing Junior Olympic gymnastics, and after that I joined high school sports. Playing tennis, pole vaulting, and diving for my high school opened up my schedule allowing me to join DECA. DECA is a business club and in addition I joinded a Junior Board of Directors at a Bank in Minnesota in which we planned community service events. It was through DECA that I developed a strong passion for business becoming the Vice President of the club with my brother being President. I eventually moved to Chagrin Falls, Ohio my senior year of high school and joined Science Olympiad which channeled my love for science. Additionally, it was through my time struggling with scoliosis bracing and orthopedic injuries from gymnastics that made me fall in love with the engineering behind scoliosis braces and medicine. Ultimately, these interests of mine have lead me to starting my education at Ohio State studying Biomedical Engineering on a pre-medicine path with a possible minor in business. Furthermore, I am a humanitarian engineering scholar which allows me to pursue my love for helping others and the community.

Overall, I am beyond excited to be a part of the Buckeye family and look forward to continuing my education here at Ohio State.


My five strengths from my strength finders exam are: Input, Achiever, Learner, focus, and command. I relate to all of these individually in various ways.

Input relates to strategic thinking, and as a result my friends and those around me are constantly asking for my input on various matters from their personal lives to their school habits and everywhere in between. My roommates and I often stay up late into the night talking about various things and I find myself giving my advice and input to their individual situations more than I ever have before.

Achiever is a term I relate to strongly. I often find myself setting high standards and stopping at nothing until I have achieved those goals. I have always been driven and am what I like to refer to myself as a compulsive list maker and have a borderline obsession with being able to cross things off of those lists.

The term learner is something that I have always felt attached to. I love to learn, and I specifically in any subject area I have a personal attachment to. I wore a scoliosis back brace for 3.5 years and the moment I was diagnosed I wanted to know everything about my condition and orthopedics in general. As a result, I ended up forming a close bond with my orthopedic surgeon and nurse practitioner and doing various things for the Mayo Clinic on scoliosis awareness.

I am a focused person. I will not stop until I feel content or have reached my goals. My ability to focus, love for learning, and my desire to achieve are what make me who I am. For me if I start a task I have to finish it no matter the amount of time it takes. I am not someone who can focus on other thing if the task I previously started isn’t finished.

Lastly, I like to lead and be in control. Command describes me as I am willing to take charge to get tasks done and delegate where is necessary. My drive for success has lead me to influencing those around me to work in such a matter as well.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


I have chosen to explore the German Village/Brewery District in addition to art and Music, but more broadly just places that peak my interest around Columbus. I was most looking forward to the book loft in the German Village as I heard that it was like navigating a maze and I grew up going to book stores with my family. By the end of the semester I would love to be able to show my family my favorite places throughout Columbus when they come to visit in addition knowing the locations I prefer when wanting to escape campus. So far I have been to a few locations off campus including: The Book Loft, Condado’s Tacos in the Short North, Schiller Park, and the Columbus Museum of Art.

The first location I went to was The Book Loft of the German Village. When I first arrived I was memorized by the rustic charm of the whole area including the cobblestone and the flowers outside the loft. Once inside it was a book lovers dream with endless books surrounding you in narrow conditions everywhere you walked. The only confusing thing was not getting lost in all of the little rooms that branched off and formed new levels. I learned that it is a great place to find any book I could ever need in addition to meeting authors as there was an author hosting a book signing when I visited. I would recommend visiting The Book Loft with out a doubt as it is simply neat to see so many books in one location and even better if you share a passion for reading.

The next location I visited was Schiller Park in the German Village with a fellow Humanitarian Engineering Scholar Bo. We ended up walking around the park which was quite expansive in terms of size. My favorite thing from the experience was sitting on a bench and meeting kids who were playing around the fountain. The kids ended up challenging Bo and I to different things including a back flip which I was able to execute as I was a former gymnast. The confusing aspect to this location was the bus stops around it in which the COTA app had said there was a bus coming when there was not. I learned that this is a great location to go when wanting to get off campus and maybe even study there on a weekend. I would recommend going if someone is looking to see some green grass and trees in tranquil environment.

As someone who is a fairly avid drawer as a hobby I was excited to visit the Columbus Museum of Art. I enjoyed exploring the various exhibits in the museum and my favorite thing was a colorful piece of artwork that an artist painted of a random guy on the street he thought was interesting.  I found the map of the art museum confusing however as the exhibits did not correctly line up with blueprint on it. I would probably not go back, but that is simply because of the sheer volume of art museums I have attended around the world and how similar they become after a while. I would recommend visiting at least ounce if you have even a basic appreciation for arts.

I also visited Condado’s Tacos in the Short North with an entire group of Humanitarian Engineering Scholars from my floor. We ended up taking the limited stop bus on the way there which was confusing and ended up downtown before getting on another bus to actually get to the restaurant. I though that it was really cool that you could build your own tacos from a checklist while also given a list of examples. I simply learned that eating here would be way more fun while not being sick. I would absolutely recommend visiting when you are sick of campus food and will likely being going back as my roommate has a free taco for posting a picture on her Instagram account that has more than a thousand followers with one of there tacos.

The documentary on the German Village and Brewery district provided lots of interesting insight on the neighborhood. Overall I found it interesting that without the brewery district the surrounding community would of never really been developed. Furthermore, the legend about Schwartz and his castle in which he used to sun bathe naked on the circular staircase and after he died legend had it that he roamed the castle and the castle became haunted. Also I enjoyed understanding how the book loft go to be thirty two rooms. Their landlord was a builder and when tenants moved out they just continued to expand the book store in seven or eight sessions. Lastly, the history behind Schiller park is interesting. It started as a guys private woods only becoming park when he donated with intention of giving back to the public. It became know as Schiller park when the famous play Schiller had a statue donated in his name. Furthermore the fountain of the young girl in the park used to be a drinking fountain so that the goddess of youth powers could be shared with all who drank from her and the umbrella was not added until much later.

My favorite experience from this semester was The Book Loft in the German Village. This was simply because of how much I love to read and enjoyed the coziness of the small rooms and endless books. I learned a lot about Columbus from this experience including the culture and vibes that each area gives off, but most importantly I learned how to use the COTA buses. This experience has made me want to explore the restaurants in the German Village as well as Nationwide Arena for a Columbus Blue Jackets Game. If someone was setting off on an adventure to explore Columbus I would recommend that they research what interested them and then plan out there trip according to the bus schedule. If the bus schedule is not the main priority a substantial amount of time will be wasted when exploring the locations around the city.








I recently visited Melt in the Short North with my second semester humanitarian engineering group. When we got there the environment was very cool and unique with all sorts of cool artwork and music related things on the walls. Then, the menus were presented to us on old records. Almost the entire menu consisted of grilled cheeses with just a few salads and appetizers. Everything was offered from the sandwich I got being deep fried grilled cheese with your choice of optional melted cheese on top to deep fried lasagna on a sandwich in addition to your classics such as the Monte Cristo. You have your choice of a whole of half sandwich with fries or chips. The food was very delicious and I would recommend it to anybody that has one near them for some american comfort food. I learned that downtown Columbus is under a lot of construction while taking the buses. Furthermore, I learned that anything can be put on a grilled or made into one from lasagna to a peanut butter and banana sandwich.


[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.   For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


Throughout high school I wore a scoliosis back brace for 20 hours a day for four years. I was diagnosed the summer going into freshman year of high school and finished by bracing treatment one week before my senior year started. I went through two scoliosis back braces as I out grew my first one half way through and spent a ton of time at the Mayo Clinic. As a result of my spinal x-rays and appointments, I became very close with my nurse practitioner and orthopedic surgeon and ended up doing scoliosis awareness videos and mentoring on behalf of the Mayo Clinic. My scoliosis is a major part of who I am as my spine will be curved for the rest of my life and it is something that makes me unique and has made me who I am today through the difficulty of my treatment and the social constructs that went along with bracing. My scoliosis bracing inspired me to want to do biomedical engineering on a pre-med track as I want to better the future of those who endure scoliosis treatment.

Throughout college so far in this Autumn semester my sketchbooks have kept me sane. I took art classes throughout high school but I never considered it a part of my character until coming to college. Drawing has been away for me to clear my head and relieve stress since being at college and has made me realize that this is not a skill everyone obtains. When my peers have seen my artwork and complimented it I felt strange and uncomfortable, but have since found some pride in their statements. I believe my artwork will continue to be a large part of my college experience moving forward as my classes and course load will only be increasing. I look forward to exploring art classes here at OSU.