I haven’t done a whole lot yet in my college career to further this mission; I haven’t been out of the country or engaged in any cross-cultural sharing of import yet. However, I have concrete, set-in-stone plans to start this process this summer. For five weeks in May and June, I will be studying as an intern for a member of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. I am extremely excited to encounter new people both within the program and outside of it, as well as to learn more about how a country different, though certainly with its similarities, than my own functions. I’m eager to explore their Parliamentary system and learn more about the legislative process there, as well as the kinds of unique and different challenges they face on political, social, and policy levels.
So far, I’ve had a lot of tremendous opportunities to explore this part of the GOALS. From a research perspective, aside from exploring it on my own through reading and writing papers for classes, this semester and last spring I’ve had the privilege of working as a research assistant on a couple different projects. Last spring, I worked in a communications lab and helped run participants through an online experiment. Though I didn’t get to do a whole lot beyond greeting people and reading off of a script, I also got to sit in on some of the meetings and learned a lot about the IRB approval process. This semester, I’ve been much more hands on in working with two gradate students in the Sociology department, Laura Frizzell and Sadé Lindsay, for credit in the Sociology department. Their work is centered around exploring how experiences with police and police coverage in the media affects Black women, specifically, since most current research centers around the experiences of Black men. In addition to attending biweekly meetings about the project, I have been transcribing and coding 1.5-2.5 hour interviews they’ve conducted and have also worked on recruiting more participants. This has been extremely valuable experience, and I’ve learned a lot more about the research process, especially when it comes to qualitative research. As I move forward, I’m very eager to do some of my own research, and I hope to write a senior thesis for Sociology.
This year specifically has been just awesome for me from a creative standpoint. Ever since I graduated high school and lost the creative collaboration community that we had fostered working on our school’s newspaper, I’ve been really missing that creative outlet and that space to create with and for other people. In the fall, with essentially no previous experience and very little knowledge or prior interest in film making, I decided to join Mad Royal Film Society. That has been possibly the best decision I have made since entering college. I have learned an incredible amount about screenwriting, storyboarding, working with lights and sound equipment on set, and editing (among other things) and have met some of the very best people I know on this campus. Last October, I had never even touched editing software before; this semester, I essentially ended up taking lead for editing on our big semester short film–a 20 minute romantic comedy that I’ll link below–as well as a shorter small group project that we did earlier in the semester. I think there was a two day stretch where I was in that editing lab for upwards of 15 hours. Moving forward, I am extremely excited to continue to learn more and create more in the next two years with the club and outside of it, and I also plan on coming up to Columbus several times this summer to help some of my friends from the club with their film projects on weekends.
I think that the most that I can say for academic enrichment is that, in every stage of my life, I’ve never shied away from taking a harder class just because it was harder. In choosing my courses and my majors, for me it has been entirely based on personal interest. When I see a course that sounds interesting, I try to take it and fit it into my schedule, and I worry about the number that’s next to it later. With that being said, over half of my total credit hours at this university are scheduled to be upper division hours, and the majority of those that aren’t are either honors courses or credit I earned in high school. In my two majors, specifically, 37/40 of my hours are upper division in sociology (and I’ve already taken most of them) and all 3o of my hours in philosophy are upper division. I currently have a 3.98 GPA and, barring something unforeseen, will have a 3.985 by the end of this semester, with my lone non-A an A- my first semester here. As I continue in college, I look forward to continuing to pursue academic excellence and studying those topics that interest me most, with a focus on developing my writing and critical reading skills.
In college, I’ve been involved in a few politically oriented clubs and have participated in activism related to them. Last year, as a part of OSU Fight for $15, I helped collect signatures and then tabled in support of the student government initiative pushing for a $15 minimum wage on Ohio State’s campus. Additionally, I spent some time with the Ohio Student Association collecting signatures and then passing out fliers on Election Day this past fall in support of Issue 1, a proposition that hoped to mitigate the disastrous consequences of mass incarceration in this state.
This year, I’ve become heavily involved with the aforementioned Mad Royal Film Society and next year will serve as its treasurer. Beyond that nominal leadership position, I feel as though as the year has progressed, I’ve felt more comfortable taking leadership roles in screenwriting meetings, in editing, and in helping facilitate the small group film at the start of the semester.
Back home, I’ve done a lot of community service with my grandma working at Reach Out Lakota, which is a food and clothing aid organization focused on serving the disadvantaged members of the Lakota Local School District, where I attended school 1st through 8th grade. I work mostly in the food warehouse side and have had the absolute pleasure of getting to know some incredible volunteers there as well as seeing firsthand how much kindness can help a person in need. Here at OSU, I haven’t found something like that quite yet, but that is something that is certainly a goal. In my work on campus, however, I find myself doing what could be described as service work. This semester, I started working as a writing center tutor at both the Smith Lab and Thompson Library locations. I have learned an incredible amount about how to be an effective helper, communicator, and teacher from both my coworkers and my clients. I’ve engaged with and helped people who run the gamut from Doctoral candidates to middle aged people returning to college after 20 years of working to international students to students who come from a very similar background as I do to everything in between. I’ve found this work incredibly rewarding and am excited to learn even more about it, and from it, moving forward these next two years.