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Reflection on the G.O.A.L.S.
I firmly believe that my true character has begun to show gradually throughout my life, starting from the time I was small until I started my education here at The Ohio State University. From there it went up like a rocket. Looking back on the terrified freshman girl who showed up on move in day without a clue, I truly believe that I would not be where I am today without all of the opportunities and life experiences I’ve had here at Ohio State. Venturing into my freshman year, I knew that I wanted to go into the scientific field but I had no idea what I was going to do with a biology degree. I had always had a passion for chemistry and biology and the exhilarating process that is studying life itself but I had never stumbled across a specialization that firmly grabbed my attention. This all changed when I attended a post-baccalaureate session for genetic counseling, as a part of a requirement for my freshman honors survey course. Attending the session I had the opportunity to talk to genetic counselors that work here at the Wexner Medical Center, and was able to listen to their individualized stories and why they chose that particular field as their career path. In fact, one of the pre-natal genetic counselors said something that caught my interest. She said that she always knew that she wanted to do something with science, but that she never wanted to work in a lab, but instead had a passion for working with people. I connected with that right away, and ended up getting the opportunity to sit-in on a project-based learning class with students who are participating the genetic counseling graduate program here at Ohio State. Attending this session further fascinated me with the field and led me to get involved with Dr. Carlo Croce’s cancer research at the Biomedical Research Tower at the beginning of last semester. We focus on tsRNA dysregulation in leukemia, specifically CLL. I’ve had the opportunity to work on PCR and western blot protein analysis for a few months now and I find it fascinating to see how these molecules behave on a fundamental level. This experience has further fascinated me with genetics, and engineered my goal to want to be a genetic counselor with a cancer specialization. I’ve also been inspired by my paternal grandmother, who is currently battling her second bout with liver cancer and I’m so grateful to be able to assist in the efforts of finding a cure.
In addition, I joined a sorority last spring and I’ve been able to network with so many amazing women who are interested in the science field as well. In Alpha Gamma Delta, we have a line of our purpose that states, “To welcome the opportunity of contributing to the world’s work in the community where I am placed, because of the joy of service thereby bestowed and the talent of leadership multiplied.” When I joined Alpha Gam, all of the seniors were able to firmly state and share a line of our purpose that they felt a significant personal connection to. I didn’t feel like I had one until I had the opportunity to go to Ghana, Africa last summer with the Akumanyi Foundation. We stayed for an entire month, working in the rural village of Achiase at a children’s orphanage and school. In the morning, we taught in the school for two hours every weekday. We were able to specialize our experience by teaching what we wanted to teach. For example, I taught the science and music classes, teaching the kids about the cell and personal hygiene all the way to providing ukulele lessons. I had never come across children that were so passionate about learning in my entire life, and seeing them chasing after their aspirations so vivaciously has inspired me to do the same. More than anything else, I truly feel like they changed me more than I could have ever impacted or changed their lives. These events have inspired me to believe that continuing to work in my research lab this summer will help me to become more educated in the biology field and genetics, in which I’ve already learned so much by working there thus far. It is very important to me to understand the fundamentals of what I’ll be preaching in the future as a genetic counselor.
I have continued to develop my leadership skills by continuing my involvement with the Akumanyi Foundation and serving as co-president for the student organization for the past two semesters. I’ve been given the opportunity to plan fundraising and service events, as well as plan the curriculum for the summer trips and for the future of the foundation. I will continue to serve in this leadership position for the upcoming semesters.
Overall, I feel as if my honors contract demonstrates my ambition to study the biological sciences, as well as shows my genuine interest in the field of psychology. I am looking forward to the second half of my time here, completing my undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University, and I cannot wait to see what other social and academic adventures are in store for me here as well as during my hopeful future career as a genetic counselor.
Believe it or not, global awareness is probably one of the more important goals to me. I love to travel and hear other people’s stories, because what can I possibly learn from staying in one place my entire life? Having a science major makes studying abroad during the school year very difficult, but I am currently researching my options to travel abroad during the summer months. Just recently, I applied for a service-learning trip to Ghana. I am unsure whether or not I’ll get in since I’m only a first-year student, but the idea of participating in a trip such as this has excited me so much that this most definitely will not be the first trip I apply for. One reason why this might be the most exciting section to me may be because I have never been out of the country before. I love learning about other cultures; in fact, I am looking forward to taking classes such as classical mythology in the spring, cultural anthropology next year, and a German course my junior year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find some opportunities in the summer to travel abroad and enrich my knowledge of other cultures even more.
Going along with my psychology minor, I’d love to participate in a research lab concerning that field. I also wouldn’t mind working in a lab that concerns my science major as well, but I’ve never really been one to enjoy working in a lab. Rather, I’d rather be out in the world talking and engaging with people, which is why I’m looking to go into the genetic counseling field. This combines my love and lifelong fascination with science, and combines it with my personal preference of working with people. I plan on attending a genetic counselor meet and greet later this month, where I will hopefully be able to sign up to shadow a genetic counselor, which will give me more insight into the field where I hope to be working in someday. In addition, I also plan on taking advanced coursework for my general education degree, in order to be knowledgeable in various topics that interest me, even if it might not have a direct application to my major or field of study. For example, I’m taking classical mythology next semester for my literature gen-ed, simply because the stories of Greek gods and goddesses have always fascinated me. (I was an avid reader of the Percy Jackson books when I was younger.) I am currently looking into more interesting courses I can take, to further advance my original inquiry.
Creating an academic plan for myself has been a stressful, but mostly exciting experience. I love planning for the future and sculpting a path towards success for myself in my future college endeavors. I choose a biology major because I’ve been interested in science since I was a little girl, and it gives me a broad range of career paths to go into. Currently, I’m looking to be a genetic counselor, but into order to keep my options open if I happen to change my mind, I am planning on sticking with a biology major, rather than a major such as molecular genetics. I am partaking in a psychology minor because it is another field of fascination for me. I love working with people and learning about people motivations and hidden desires, which is why this is the right choice of minor for me. I am very excited to take my minor coursework in the future, such as an abnormal psychology class my sophomore year, as well as an interactive developmental disabilities class my senior year. I am hoping to learn more about people by taking these courses, in order to better my ability to help them in my future career.
Next semester, I plan on looking for a job. I have already applied for a couple, and I am hoping to hear back soon. In addition, I am looking into internship opportunities for next summer. For example, my mother’s workplace, the American Academy of Pediatrics, offers a summer internship for college a student that provides them with a summer project focusing on health care for children. This is one opportunity I am looking into, as well as various others. Another opportunity I am looking into is a volunteer program for honors and scholars students next semester where I get to volunteer for a topic that focuses on a social issue. I opted for the mental health awareness area. This goes along with my psychology minor, and it will also give me some background in things such as crisis hotlines, which is a requirement for most genetic counseling graduate programs. I am currently looking for a student organization or more to get involved in, but my class schedule made it difficult for me to be able to first semester. Next semester I will hopefully be able to get involved in one or more.
Like I discussed in the previous paragraph, I applied for a semester long service project for the spring semester. I am also in the process of looking for other opportunities as well, because I love the feeling that service gives you while and after you complete it. There is nothing more satisfying then seeing the effort you put into something in your community be put to good use. For example, the summer before college, my friend and I volunteered at a community organization near our hometown called Feed My Starving Children. We volunteered weekly here, and soon we had gotten to know most of the employees and regular volunteers there. Everyone working there was so amazing, and I loved every moment I spent there. My goal for myself is to always be involved in some sort of service, whether it be a semester long service project or a weekly visit to the food pantry. I plan on continuing this throughout my college career and beyond, into my career and adulthood.
[“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.]
[Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements. For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation. An annotation is a reflective description of the artifact that attempts to communicate its significance. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]
Hello! My name is Meghan Bartos. I am a rising freshman entering the class of 2019. I am looking to study Biology and Evolution and Ecology in order to head off to graduate school to study Marine Biology. I’ve wanted to be a Marine Biologist since I was a little girl and visited Discovery Cove in Orlando where I engaged and swam with a dolphin. During this experience, I learned that the ocean is a dangerous, but also beautiful mystery that begs to be explored, but also protected.
In high school, I took my first Environmental Studies course and fell in love with the idea of research and the benefits that it can have on oceanic ecosystems, therefore impacting the human race as a whole. I strongly believe that though one person may not directly affect the outcome of our environment, as long as many people believe that they can change the world solely on their own, their morals will work together to solve today’s most troubling environmental issues. As for me, I am choosing the path of science because I want to be a part of this movement to change the world, one scientist, or in better terms, one believer at a time. One word many of my loved ones have used to describe me is curious. When I have my mind set on something, I do not stop until I achieve my goal. This is why I chose science, because my curiosity to learn theorems and truths about our environment will inspire the determination in me to add to this field of knowledge of which already exists.
I chose Ohio State because it felt like home. The atmosphere was like non other, throughout every part including the athletics, relationships, as well as research. And that was evident within my first visit. Everyone who’ve I’ve met that either goes to OSU or is an alumni seems to have the same mindset as me: search, attain, discover. And that’s something I want to be able to do the rest of my life.