The Global Business Learning Community is a Guiding Hand

Today is the day! Today is the last day to apply to join a Learning Community for the 2017-2018 academic year. Learning Community Applications are due here by 11:59 pm tonight, April 17.

Needing a little inspiration to finish that application? Read a few words from Truman Xu, a first-year student in the Global Business Learning Community…

Hi, my name is Truman Xu! I am a member of the Global Business Learning Community (GBLC) at THE​ Ohio State University. Yes, you have to emphasize THE. I am originally from New York but moved to New Jersey at the start of middle school. To me, Ohio was an unknown land. I didn’t know anything about Ohio or anyone here. It was difficult, to say the least, to attend a college so far from home. However, my transition was easier because of the GBLC.

To be honest, I applied to the GBLC because it sounded like an opportunity for people who were intelligent and successful. I had no idea what the program did or how it was helpful. Now, I emphatically state that my participation in the Global Business Learning Community is definitely one of the highlights of my first year. There are many benefits of joining the GBLC, or any Learning Community, but the benefits can’t be fully captured in marketing materials.

As I mentioned, Ohio was unknown to me. I knew no one and my parents were in a different state. Justifiably, I was scared. In a school of more than 50,000 people, it is understandable to feel lost. For me, GBLC was a guiding hand. It brought together first-year business students. After several sessions of intensive ice breakers, a little community was formed. This little community of business students made the transition into college so much less intimidating. In fact, my now closest friends are in the GBLC too.

Aside from bringing people together, the GBLC does benefit my education. We learn about business etiquette and global business practices. Meetings involve fun activities and guest speakers, some of which are business professionals. Occasionally, there are events outside of our weekly meetings. One of my favorite events was the business etiquette dinner. An instructor taught us how to eat properly in a business setting. We also went to Toronto, Canada to connect and network with a variety of businesses!

Attending college is a huge commitment. It’s understandable to be nervous! Take advantage of the opportunities that surround you and you will be successful. For example, apply to a Learning Community. It helps a large university feel small! Best of luck at THE Ohio State University.

Note: This PSA is not a propaganda, just my personal experiences to inform your future decisions.

Members of the Global Business Learning Community at an etiquette dinner!

Joining a Learning Community Means Joining an Environment to Thrive In

Learning Community applications are due in just seven days on April 17, 2017! Don’t delay, apply here now! For more information about Learning Communities, visit this website.

Before you apply, read a short post from Marlena (Harley) McNeal, a first-year student in the John Glenn Civic Leadership Community. In this post she shares with us the ways in which Learning Communities support student success…

There is no denying that Ohio State is one of the largest universities in the country. Along with this comes many resources and opportunities, but if you are anything like me, you might be wondering how to thrive at such a big school. What I quickly learned is that despite its intimidating size, Ohio State has endless ways to help students quickly find their place while growing as a student and a person.

Joining a Learning Community helped me adapt to college life. I entered Ohio State without a declared major but was drawn to the John Glenn Civic Leadership Community (JGCLC) because of its focus on public policy, service, and leadership. At first I was nervous that its focus would be too specific for someone still exploring majors, but I was thrilled to find a group of ambitious students with a vast array of career goals who simply shared the common passion of growing as leaders to impact the world around them.

Early arrival weekend, when JGCLC first-year members arrived to campus a few days before school started, was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had at Ohio State thus far. Much of it consisted of bonding activities, from icebreakers to rope course exercises. The focus on team building definitely paid off, and in the process it built trust. This weekend also included a service project in Columbus. We explored the John and Annie Glenn Museum and learned about public policy too. By spending time working and learning together, a tight-knit community developed between people who were complete strangers just a few days prior.

Even once classes started and everyone grew busy with school and other extracurricular activities, the close environment in the JGCLC remained. We all shared the same public affairs class once a week, and had plenty of opportunities to participate in events outside of class. We did service projects and were able to take a tour of the Ohio Statehouse. We also just returned from Washington, D.C. During this during trip we visited historical monuments, networked with Ohio State alumni, and connected with members of Congress. We also visited the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The JGCLC was quick to make me feel comfortable in my new environment, and even better, it continually provides more opportunities for me to grow!

Some of the students in the John Glenn Civic Leadership Community preparing for Community Commitment, a day of service-learning at Ohio State!

Some of the students in the John Glenn Civic Leadership Community preparing for Community Commitment, a day of service-learning at Ohio State!

What Makes Pharmacy House A Home

Happy Spring!

In just under one month, on April 17, 2017,  Learning Community applications are due at this website! Unsure whether or not you want to apply? Read below about Theresa Mikolay’s experience in the Pharmacy House Learning Community. She may just convince you. Or, at least, warm your heart…

I have to admit; I was a bit skeptical at first.

I didn’t think I needed a Learning Community. I was pretty social in high school and I didn’t doubt my ability to make friends. I heard others around me talk about the fact that Learning Communities aren’t needed. They said, “You meet people in class regardless of whether or not you live with them!” I’m happy to inform you: They are wrong. This rumor is wrong. Learning Communities are beneficial!

I joined the Pharmacy House Learning Community as it was part of my EAP (Early Admissions Pathway for Pharmaceutical Sciences) requirement. The Pharmacy House Learning Community was the best decision I have made thus far as a college student. I don’t think I would be the same person right now without it! My whole floor is so close and we are all able to help each other whenever someone needs it. It also allowed me to make friends and form bonds a lot quicker with people who have the same aspirations as I do. There was never a time I felt “annoyed” in a Learning Community; all I experienced were the benefits.

You can’t always trust your high school self to make the best decisions regarding what you think you might want in college. I have learned so much about myself that I never would have realized. It would have been a lot harder for me to make friends in college and learn about the resources I need for my major if I did not join my Learning Community. This is because there were always various activities happening just for us: Networking with professors, meeting pharmacists, or social gatherings in the Canfield Lobby that created significant bonding time. Although I was social with the friends I had established in high school, I realized that I still am an introvert, and that my Learning Community made the development of close relationships to others in my major, my Hall Director, my Resident Advisor, and even my Academic Advisor, much easier.

Pharmacy House is a place that I truly call a home. My friends seem like family and I never really feel homesick. I’m grateful for the opportunities and memories I’ve made this year!


It’s More Than Okay Not To Know…A Learning Community Can Help!

It’s the final countdown: In just four short days, Learning Community applications are due for twelve of our Learning Communities. Monday, May 2 is the deadline. Apply here!

Prior to submitting your application, which includes a short essay, read a few words from a current Exploration Learning Community student, Hannah Dunlap. Her story provides valuable insights that may inform your application!

When I think back to high school it is filled with bittersweet moments, especially during my senior year. I have so many joyful memories with my friends that make me smile every time I think about them, but I also remember the anxiety I felt as graduation grew closer. I didn’t know what college I wanted to attend and once I decided the college I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in either. And for a long time these questions ruled my life. “What do I enjoy?” “What should I major in?” “What can I see myself doing for the rest of my life?” It did not help that I was asking myself these questions as well as everyone else in my life. My answer was always, “I don’t know.” And that is how I always felt. I didn’t even know what I did know, and all this pressure to figure it out didn’t bring me any closer to a decision. In fact, it just made me want to shut down.

After I made the decision to attend The Ohio State University, I got a packet in the mail all about Learning Communities. I remember looking through it and thinking, “Of course, none of these apply to me, they are for people with majors.” I was so hard on myself all the time because it felt like everyone else had majors they loved, and everyone else had a plan for their life. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I figure it out? And as I got to the end of the brochure I saw the Exploration Learning Community. Realistically I knew that I wasn’t the only one going into college as an undecided major, but it is still hard and stressful when you just don’t know. But I think physically seeing there was something specifically for undecided majors made me realize for the first time that I wasn’t completely alone, and that is a truly reassuring feeling.

Joining the Exploration Learning Community is a decision I still feel confident in today, and I know that I always will. I come from an extremely small high school with a graduating class of 100. So coming to one of the biggest colleges in the country…I’m sure you can imagine how nervous I was. By joining the Exploration Learning Community I was able to have a small community that I knew I was a part of. And I think that having a sense of belonging, especially in such a large and unfamiliar place, is an incredibly important feeling. I was able to meet so many new people with diverse backgrounds, and we all had something in common. The LC also presents you with opportunities and activities to get to know students and also get to know different majors. This was very helpful, but I also had to work hard to teach myself to apply myself and ask questions. Though this is all valuable knowledge, I wouldn’t be able to pick a major without sitting down with my advisors and other professors. Through my Learning Community I was also able to join a Learning Community Council which exposed me to students in other Learning Communities as well. This was also a great experience we were able to learn to develop our leadership skills to represent and help others in our LC. You might not think so, but this also helped me to understand what I’m looking for in a major. It showed me that I actually enjoy meeting new people and speaking with others.

I am very glad that I made the decision to participate in the Exploration Learning Community and the Council. I know that my college experience wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t decide to join. I never thought of myself as a truly extroverted individual, but my LC allowed me to become comfortable and it made it so much easier to be confident in myself. When I first moved down to Ohio State I remember feeling so sad and lonely, I didn’t know who I had to talk to. And that is when I realized that coming to college is the biggest opportunity I have ever been given. Everyone is in the same boat, even though we all come from different backgrounds and situations. It is important to remember that there will never be a time when you are more independent, and when you are able to explore all things that interest you. I always try to remind myself of this. As an undecided student there is nothing wrong with exploring all the opportunities available to you.


This is a picture of Hannah at an Exploration Learning Community event in which teams explored campus and set personal goals!

It’s True: You REALLY Can Make Ohio State Feel Small!

In just over a week, applications for six of our nationally recognized Learning Communities are due! April 18 is the application deadline for: Business Honors, Engineering House, Future Health Professionals, Global Business, Women in Engineering, and SUSTAINS. Don’t delay, apply here!

As a bit of inspiration for your application, Megan Luthie, a first-year student in Women in Engineering, shares her story about her experience in a Learning Community!

“You can make this big university small.” These are the words you’ll hear at every single visit, tour, and even orientation at Ohio State. In a school of about 60,000 people, how is that even possible? Coming from a town less than a third of the size of Ohio State, I was very skeptical. There was no way that this school was going to feel small to me. But, after joining the Women in Engineering Learning Community, I realized that this was true.

Being in a Learning Community made the transition from a small high school to a huge university far easier and also surrounded me with 50 other women who are pursuing a similar degree. This created a comfortable community where we could ask each other questions about school and life in general.

We were also able to move-in three days before the big move-in day, allowing me to connect with the other women in this community and a sophomore in engineering that served as our mentor. We were able to build relationships with one another and also become familiar with the campus before classes started. Living in the same building as all of these women also helped us stay connected throughout the year.

As a group we were able to create our own scented candles, attend a Columbus Crew soccer game, travel to the Columbus Zoo for Zoo Lights, design mugs and plates, and participate in so many other events. This helped us to engage with each other outside of the classroom and become closer to one another.

While this community inspired friendships, it also created the opportunity to meet with professionals and students that are in the engineering field. During our early arrival program, we had the chance to meet with multiple engineering professors including ones in Electrical and Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering fields. We were also able to meet professionals working at ArcelorMittal and were even able to tour the factory in Cleveland. Furthermore, every two months there is an event entitled WiE Tea where women in the field of engineering come to our dorm and talk about why they chose their careers and what they do in their field. We are also able to ask lots of questions! This community has provided many networking connections throughout the year.

Overall, joining the Women in Engineering Learning Community is one of the greatest choices I have made here at Ohio State. I have created connections in a few short months and could not have hoped for a better outcome. I have had the chance to bond with my RA, Learning Community Advisor, Hall Director and other students while participating in fun events that enhance my connection to engineering. As a result, I felt comfortable at Ohio State almost instantly and have been able to join other organizations that I am interested in. I have become an active member in the Ohio State community in large part because of my experience as a member of Women in Engineering! 

I Love Calling SUSTAINS My Home

April is just a few days away, bringing the fresh flowers and warm weather of Spring! April also includes the Learning Community application deadline for six of our Learning Communities: Business Honors, Engineering House, Future Health Professionals, Global Business, Women in Engineering, and SUSTAINS.  Applications for these Learning Communities are due on April 18 at

In light of this approaching deadline, Matthew Griffin, a first-year student in SUSTAINS, shares with us the reasons he is proud to call SUSTAINS his home…

As a first year Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) major, just a short time ago, I was nervous about coming to Ohio State. Many of you may feel similarly while reading this. I saw applying to the SUSTAINS Learning Community as a way to make a university as large as Ohio State feel smaller and as a way to connect me with students who shared my interest of learning about how to incorporate sustainability into today’s world. SUSTAINS proved to be all this and more.

The SUSTAINS advisors are experienced and passionate staff who provide plenty of interesting opportunities to get connected with what the people of Ohio State and Columbus are doing to become more sustainable; they have also taken us to interact firsthand with the latest innovations in clean energy. Through SUSTAINS I have been able to interact with biodigesters, volunteer at urban farms, have a conversation with the 2009 recipient of the Sustainability Science Award, Elena Irwin, and participate in numerous other incredible opportunities. We even took a trip to our nation’s capital to meet with some of the top policy makers, business leaders, and researchers who are making incredible strides to lead the United States to a greener future. What makes these experiences even better is the fact that I get to share them with the new friends I have made in SUSTAINS. My fellow SUSTAINS members are from all different walks of life and are in a variety of majors, but we are all linked by a common passion for sustainability that drives us to learn and grow together.

SUSTAINS has been such a large part of my college life so far, and I couldn’t be happier about my decision to apply. For any students who are looking for a community of impassioned students and want to get real-world experience in the field of sustainability, I highly recommend you check out SUSTAINS.

SUSTAINS students enjoy nature on a canoeing trip together!

SUSTAINS students explore nature on a canoeing trip together!


Call a Learning Community Home!

What am I doing for my last Spring Break of high school? Where will I call home next year? How will my friends and I celebrate graduation from high school? Where will I call home next year? What am I doing in my last summer before starting college? Where will I call home next year?

The end of high school is full of excitement, promise, and unknowns about the future. While we want to spend all of our free time with the friends we grew up with, we are also challenged to think about the future.

Fortunately, where you will call home next year is a question that is easily answered: Call a Learning Community home next year! Learning Communities (LCs) create a home for students who share a common major, interest, or desired career path. Students in LCs have higher GPAs than their peers and feel more connected to Ohio State.

Still a little unsure about what a Learning Community is? A video is worth a thousand words! Spend a few minutes viewing the video below, featuring current LC students and academic partners who support LCs.

Previous blog posts also speak to the Learning Community experience. Future blog posts will too! For more information, visit:

Note: Applications for Business Honors, Engineering House, Future Health Professionals, Global Business, and SUSTAINS are due April 18. Applications for all other LCs are due May 2.

What Makes Pharmacy House A Home

The deadline to apply for our learning communities is rapidly approaching. For some learning communities, the deadline is a distant memory.

Don’t despair. One of the learning communities students are still eligible to apply for is Pharmacy House. And it’s pretty great. Shannon McCarthy is a current member of Pharmacy House and has a lot to say about her experience. I mean if below doesn’t finalize your decision to join a learning community, I don’t know what will…

When I arrived at Ohio State, I decided it was time to become more involved in the community and take advantage of the large and diverse student body at Ohio State. I wanted to get involved in activities specific to my interests so that I could meet new people and broaden my perspectives. Keep note that I am a shy person, so getting involved is a very terrifying thing. My first step to joining the Ohio State community was signing up for the Pharmacy House Learning Community. As a Pharmaceutical Sciences major, Pharmacy House was a great fit because it allowed me to meet a lot of the people in my major and ensure that pharmacy was the right career path for me.

The day after move in, we had our first Pharm House event: an ice cream social. I met twenty fellow students who shared the common interest of pharmacy as well as my hall director and academic advisor. I can definitely say that being in a learning community helped with my transition into the new college environment. All of the community members live on the same floor, so we started out the year by meeting many of our fellow residents. The Pharmacy House RA is also a BSPS student, so she is always around to give advice on classes and ways to get involved. Pharmacy House isn’t just for Pharmaceutical Sciences majors and is open to all students, so anyone who is interested in some aspect of the pharmaceutical sciences is a great addition to the community. One of my friends is a biochemistry major, but the learning community is relevant to him because he is interested in drug discovery and research.

The major highlight of the learning community is the opportunities to meet with professionals and students in the pharmacy field. We’ve had the opportunity to attend a dinner with the dean, a talk about addicting drugs with a professor, a general chemistry help session with a graduate student, and a discussion with current pharmacy students just to name a few opportunities. We also went on a trip to Cleveland to visit the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and WIL Research. We had the opportunity to take a tour of WIL’s facility and discuss with employees the role of pharmacy in their research work. With a major of less than one hundred students per graduation year, the learning community has helped me to make quick connections with the College of Pharmacy at Ohio State. Another major benefit of the LC is Food and Fellowship. Food and Fellowship is a program which runs once a week for two hours. Our academic advisor, Katie, sits in the Canfield Lobby and is available to answer any and all questions. She also has food (lots of food!), which is essential to every Pharmacy House event.

Pharmacy House Trip to Cleveland, OH.

Pharmacy House Trip to Cleveland, OH.

Overall, joining Pharmacy House has helped me to make quick connections at Ohio State. I have had the chance to bond with my fellow students, RA, advisor, and hall director while participating in fun events and learning about the pharmacy profession. By joining Pharmacy House, I felt comfortable right away at Ohio State and had the confidence to join other clubs and become an active member of the Ohio State community.

From a Small Town to Columbus

Today, we feature another guest post from one of our ridiculously amazing and talented learning community students. A great part of being a land-grant institution is having a strong College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This college has become a great partner for us in Residence Life, and you can see from Anna’s post below that they are helping us create a very positive student experience.

If you are from a small town and/or are passionate about food, agriculture, or the environment, the Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Learning Community (CFAES LC) would be a great community for you to join at Ohio State.

My name is Anna Schmenk, and I am from a small town in Ohio. Due to where I grew up, coming to such a big university was quite nerve racking, especially because my dorm seemed to have more people living in it than there were people living in my hometown. Living in the CFAES Learning Community made my transition from a rural area to an urban one much easier because of the other students that I was able to live with. Many of the people living on my floor in Norton House have the same interests in different areas of food, agriculture, and the environment. These similar interests and backgrounds made making friends very easy because there was always something to talk about that everyone knew at least a little about or wanted to learn about.

We even went on a trip to John Deere Headquarters!

We even went on a trip to John Deere Headquarters!

One of the best parts though was (and still is) living with people who are in the same classes as me. I did not realize how helpful this would be until I came to Ohio State. Many students in my dorm often walk to classes together and form study groups to help each other prepare for exams. If I am ever really confused on a subject matter or homework, I can just ask my roommates for help or ask someone down the hall. In addition, the CFAES LC has allowed me to attend workshops on how to write resumes, fill out scholarships, and many others different topics. These workshops have allowed me to talk with faculty in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and it is great to get to know these faculty members who can help you excel at Ohio State. Plus, most of the workshops often involve free food!

Joining the Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Learning Community was definitely one of the best decisions that I made when coming to The Ohio State University and has made me happy and proud to call Columbus my second home.

The CFAES Learning Community provides great experiences for any student interested the environment, agriculture or food. Applications for the learning community are due on May 4, 2015, and can be found at

And Now, A Word From Our Academic Partners

Want to know one of the high points of our learning communities at Ohio State? Two words. Academic. Partners. 

Many of our learning communities at Ohio State have Academic Partners connected to them. These folks are often academic advisors or faculty members in a college or department across campus. Our partners are often in our residence halls interacting with LC students,

Our academic partners are great. So, we wanted to showcase all they do in a blog post. We asked them questions, and they shared. And now, a word from our academic partners.

How do I support students in the Learning Community through my role? 

Nicole Fette, Nursing Learning Community: I serve as the academic contact between the College of Nursing and the Learning Community.  I collaborate with the housing staff to plan events for the residents of the LC.  My major responsibility is to market and recruit my colleagues within the College of Nursing to attend events like Zumba with the dean, Dinner with the dean in November, and introducing faculty and staff to residents at the kick-off event in August.

Gina Hnytka, SUSTAINS Learning Community: I facilitate AEDE/ENR 1200, which is our 1 credit, fall seminar course for 1 year students (optional for 2) in the SUSTAINS Learning Community.  I also collaborate with the SUSTAINS Hall Director, Aaron Moore, on the planning of our event calendar and bringing in faculty, industry partners, and community members to meet with the SUSTAINS Learning Community students throughout the year. 

Katie Watkins, Pharmacy House Learning Community: I stop into the residence hall regularly to provide advising and support to students throughout the year.  I have direct access to faculty, staff, alumni and students in the College of Pharmacy, so I have been able to organize programs like “Pointers from the Pros” (where a panel of current OSU PharmD students came to Canfield Hall to talk about how to make yourself the most competitive Professional School applicant) or Pharmacy Jeopardy (where a faculty member from the College of Pharmacy came to mingle with Pharmacy House students and play a game).  It is so much fun.

Sam Reed, Business Honors Learning Community: One of my favorite parts about my job is that I get to coordinate the Business Honors Learning Community (BHLC). As the coordinator of BHLC I support students by not only serving as their assigned academic advisor and  teaching their freshman seminar course their first-semester of college, I am also the person responsible for planning all the weekly events BHLC participates in each week. Students in BHLC will get to know me very well throughout their first year at OSU.

Chris Adams, John Glenn Civic Leadership Community: I am responsible for planning academic, service, and social programming for students in the John Glenn Civic Leadership Community. I work to build community among the students and make them aware of opportunities at the Glenn College, as well as other outlets for furthering their study of public service and public policy.  I also teach our learning community class and serve as a resource to the students, helping them navigate Ohio State.

Why should a student join a Learning Community?

Gina Hnytka: A Learning Community provides you with a smaller, close-knit environment in which you can build connections with faculty, staff, and industry contacts in your specific area of study or interest.  The staff support for Learning Communities is unparalleled, we are very intentional in the way we plan the year, create opportunities, and support our students.  Your success and ability to connect with networks that allow you to achieve your future goals are our top priority.

Shannon Pelletier: The value of living with people who “get you” cannot be overstated. For example, I did not major in a science and I find subjects like Anatomy gross; in FHP all the students get excited about their Anatomy labs and compare dissection stories at dinner.  They also take similar courses so there is a built in study support system.  Living with other students who share your goals allow you to benefit from their knowledge (such as how many observation hours PT at OSU requires) and helps you feel like the university isn’t a large campus where students get lost in the shuffle because they have friends with common interests built-in to their living and learning experiences.

Sam Reed: Students should join a Learning Community because it provides opportunities that may not be easily accessible if they are not in such a group. For instance, students in my Business Honors Learning Community (BHLC) get to move in a few days early and go through Fisher’s “On Boarding” program where they get an opportunity to network with other first-year students, go to professional development workshops, and network with faculty, staff, and some company sponsors BEFORE they event start classes! Students in an LC also get to meet a group of students who have the same interests as them and they get to live on the same floor of a residence hall together, what an easy way to make friends and make Ohio State feel smaller right off the bat.

What is your favorite part of the Learning Community you work with?

Nicole Fette: My favorite part of the learning community is meeting students outside of the “office”.  By attending events, I have more time to interact and communicate with students on a personal level.

Katie Watkins: I serve as the Academic Counselor for the students who live in Pharmacy House – so being a part of the LC has strengthened the bond I have with the students I serve.  OSU is a big place, and being closely connected can help it feel A LOT smaller around here.  I love the students I serve.

Chris Adams: I enjoy the broad variety of student programing our students take part in.  From trips to current events discussions to service projects to intramural sports, our LC programming compliments students’ coursework and allows them to take part in activities they are most passionate about.