STEM Seminar

As the year goes on I am learning more about the countless thing this university has to offer. For this post, we were encouraged to explore a STEM related seminar that was being held at the university. Every week and for almost any major there are seminars that are held around campus. A lot of them are geared towards graduate students in that area of study, which could make it hard for someone like me to understand. The seminars are usually held by a department and the person that speaks is typically someone talking about their research.

When I was looking through the sessions I read over all the descriptions in detail. I really wanted to try and pick a seminar I thought I would be able to at least take something away from. Many of the topics of the seminars were very interesting. The one I chose was the BioPhysics seminar, Trade-offs in the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance. Based off the description I thought it was interesting, and I had some idea of what antibiotic resistance is and how it can be observed. I was excited to go to the seminar and be able to learn something without the traditional classroom setting.

I arrived to the seminar a little bit early just to make sure I was in the right place, since I had never been to the building before. I only had arrived 15 minutes early but there was no one to be found in the lecture room. However, slowly but surely more people arrived to the session. One of my first observations was the ratio of
males to females that were attending the seminar. There were far less women in the room, which I feel tends to be a trend in some STEM fields like Physics. I really enjoy being in a STEM field myself and I love that even though women may be the minority in their field they can identify with that. Often times that helps them excel and be able to empower other women who may be pursuing a career in a similar field. There were, what I assumed to be, mostly graduate students, and professors that also were attending this seminar.

When the presenter introduced himself he talked a lot about his eduction, where he worked and where he did the research that was the premise of the seminar. The PowerPoint he went through was very easy to follow and emphasized the important findings. The presentation went over research about how the bacterial species reacted to different applied drugs and the components of those drugs that cause it to react and adapt the way it did. I found it very interesting that they were able to break it down to the point where they knew the exact proteins that were producing this biological response in resistance. From this his team was able to develop a drug that had the most optimal components to make sure there is the lowest chance of the species developing resistance to the drug. I was really glad I was able to take something away from this seminar even if I wasn’t able to understand every single thing that was talked about.

Non-Academic Resources

There are lots of resources on campus that are available to students. In addition to the academic resources, like the Math and Statistics Learning Center or any of the other many learning centers for any subject, there are lots of things students can utilize that are outside of the academic realm. Places like the Younkin Success Center offer career coaching services and resume building work shops. The student health center is also a great place to go, you can get health coaching and vaccinations. One of my favorite non-academic things to do on campus is go to group workout sessions at either the North Recreation Center or the RPAC.

Everyday all of the recreation centers around campus post a different schedule for all the group classes offered that day. I love that I can always find something active to do that will fit into my schedule whenever I want it to. The recreation centers offer classes that fit anyone’s fitness level range. I was really apprehensive to go to a class at first because I had never attended any yoga or cycling classes before. The first class I ever attended was a sunrise yoga class. Every instructor is trained to uplift you while you’re in class and that instantly made any apprehension I had disappear. As the class went on I realized how open the environment was and did not feel judged at all. The classes felt very individualistic but there was still a group atmosphere.

After I attended first group fitness class I knew it was going to be the best way for me to keep active. I felt so accomplished when I left the room. Some of my favorite classes to attend are early in the morning. My classes for the day don’t start until 11:30 in the morning but I still like to start my day early. The classes in the morning leave me so refreshed and relaxed as I start my day; exercise is one of the healthiest way to release stress. In the past couple weeks I have found that the Monday morning yoga classes help me start my week. I also routinely go to cycling classes. The fast paced environment helps me push though it and helps me take a break from all my school work. The instructors are so encouraging which helps me give all my focus into what I am doing. I am very glad I learned about the group classes that are offered. I am a person who is very motivated when there are other people around me also working towards the same goal. At the end of the day, the group fitness classes are one of my biggest motivators throughout my week and the best way for me to step away from my school work for a bit.

Student Organization

There are lots of ways to get involved on campus. When I went to the huge involvement fair at the beginning of the year I was very intimidated. Looking around at the literal hundreds of organizations to join, I was intimidated and had no idea where to even start looking. Going into the year everyone had recommended doing at least one social, academic, or outreach organization, and not to just pile on academic clubs because you need a break from that atmosphere. I was unsure of how I was going to balance the workload before the year started, but now that I know the routine of college, I have realized that participating in different kinds of clubs was the right choice. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with school work that it feels really nice to be able to take a step back and go to an organization meeting and just take a break from the school work.

I have joined two organizations to participate in this year, Wonders of Our World (WOW) and CHAARG. I have not actually gone to a CHAARG meeting so I will focus on the Wonders of Our World. This program is an outreach based program. The basis of the WOW program is to “take the excitement of science to elementary schools.” Each week a group of students that participates in the program goes to one of three Columbus area elementary schools and takes experiments into a Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classroom. The projects that volunteers, like me, do with the kids are the same for every grade level but vary in difficulty so the older kids still get to explore and learn.

Every meeting is organized to teach us how to do the experiments before we take them to the schools. I loved the hands on approach and it was really fun to actually sit down and get to do the projects ourselves first. I also found it super helpful that I had worked with the project before taking it to a classroom because I could understand how to better help the kids to understand some of the scientific concepts behind the fun projects they get to do. On my first trip to the elementary school I got to really get experience with what this program means to the students in these schools. The first class room I went to was a First Grade classroom. When we first arrived everyone was so excited to see Mrs. Jessica; they had done the programs with her last year in Kindergarten. These first graders were all so excited to do science experiments with us, it really impacted me because I have always loved science growing up and to see a large group of kids jumping up and down they were so excited about science made my day. Once we split into groups with one to two volunteers per group of students, I really got to see the students personalities and how much they really valued the program. I want to work in some field of Pediatrics one day and I really enjoy this program because it gives me the opportunity to help kids learn and also to understand kids learning processes.

Academic Resources

I am currently taking calculus, in high school I only ever took trigonometry/precalculus so the subject matter is fairly new to me. I was struggling through some problems on the first homework. The Mathematics and Statistics Learning Resource Center (MSLRC) was one of the resources the TA and Lecture Professor mentioned for help. The actual room for the tutoring center that was specific to my class was extremely difficult to find. There were not very many people in the building so the only help I had was posters with arrows. Eventually I did find the room and was able to get help. The calculus class I am in is 1156, which is calculus for biological sciences; the tutors and TA’s that were in the MSLRC at the time were only familiar with the content of the 11151 class. A lot of them struggled to help me with the content I was working through and I went through about 5 tutors before one of them could help attempt to explain it to me. However, everyone worked really hard to help me with the problems despite the fact that they didn’t always know the exact content, and in this way the MSLRC became helpful. The tutors were really nice and understanding despite the fact some of them had never seen a problem like what I was working on. The TA for my class also works in the MSLRC once a week and once I went to him for help with understanding the content it helped my understanding a lot. It was discouraging at first that it seemed like no one could help me but the atmosphere among the tutors helped me a lot. I will definitely be back to the MSLRC this year for help throughout my courses.

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 guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.

  • Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
  • Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
  • Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
  • Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
  • Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]


[“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 guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email 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 includes both a description of the artifact and a reflection on why it is important to you, what you learned, and what it means for your next steps.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

About Me

Hello! My name is Grace Benecke and I am a first year here at Ohio State. I am from Perrysburg, Ohio which is really close to Toledo. I plan on studying biology and am currently on a pre-medicine path. Science has always been my favorite and along with that I love being able to help others, so a medical path seemed the most natural to me. This year I hope to gain more shadowing experience to find a certain area I’d like to study. Right now, I would love to specialize in some area of pediatrics.

The activities I was involved with in high school have helped shaped me into the person I am today. I was fortunate enough to be among the starting members of a freshman mentorship program we started within our school. The experience made me realize how much I liked helping people and further developed my leadership skills. Along with this my student council experience, also helped me develop my leadership skills and a fantastic sense of community within my school. On campus already I am involved with the STEM Engagement and Exploration Scholars Program. I plan on joining a couple clubs here that will further connect me with my community and also allow me to help people.

In my free time you can find me out around campus hammocking, running or working out. I love to stay active and enjoy the weather (while it’s nice). In the winter months when it’s not so nice you can find me with my nose in a book or bingeing on the latest Netflix series. Columbus is full of things to do and I definitely don’t want to waste that opportunity. Exploring new places around the city is one of my favorite things to do since I have been here!

This year I am excited to get more involved with the scholars program as well around campus. I hope to connect with some clubs that have even more of an impact on me than the ones I was involved with in high school. Within this year I would love to start volunteering at The Wexner Medical Center as it could provide me with many eye opening opportunities in my field of interest.