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Career Experiences

From the time I was a kid, I have always had a passion for taking care of others. Now, on my path to becoming a primary care physician, I’ve found myself involved in a variety of activities that allow me to explore my future career in new ways. The opportunities I’ve had on this journey are outlined below.

Research:

Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Wexner Medical Center- May 2019 – Present

  • 15+ hrs/week studying impact of Med12 and high phosphate diets on cardiac function in a mouse model
  • Advisor: Dr. Kedryn Baskin

Shadowing Experiences:

Ohio State East Hospital- Spring 2020

  • Shadowed Dr. Courtney Collins biweekly in the general surgery department, experiencing her work firsthand while also gaining insight about life in the medical field

Kumasi, Ghana-  May 2019

  • Administered malaria testing in villages surrounding Lake Bosomtwi, providing treatment and recovery resources to those diagnosed. 
  • 20+ hours shadowing in pediatric, maternity, emergency, and surgical wards of Manhyia Government Hospital. 

Service Opportunities

Ronald McDonald HouseNovember 2019 – Present

  • Interact with volunteer groups and residents of the house, answering questions and giving tours when needed.
  • Assist residents with communication and transportation to  Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center- August 2019 – December 2019

  • Organized food pantry and lead clients through to select food.
  • Served hot meals once a week to pantry attendees.

Artifact 3- Red Cross Certifications

This previous summer, I had the opportunity to work at a summer camp in Michigan as an aquatic counselor. In this role, I was given three days to become certified in waterfront lifeguarding, CPR and AED use, first aid, and bloodborne pathogen awareness through the American Red Cross. As someone who had never previously been certified in any of these areas, I was nervous; such a short time frame with my summer job depending on my performance was a lot of pressure. Luckily, I passed all of my certifications with ease, allowing me to remain in my role for what became an incredible summer of lifeguarding and lessons learned.

Now that I’m back at school,  a few months removed from my time living in the woods of central Michigan, and I look back on my certifications with a sense of growth and pride. Training with the Red Cross allowed me to learn relevant, lifesaving skills in a fast-paced and challenging environment. Instead of spending my summer removed from active learning, I was given the chance to train in disciplines I wasn’t previously familiar with. The skills that once intimidated me now have become second nature, proving to me that with time and practice, I can achieve more than I initially thought I could. While I may no longer be actively lifeguarding, I am grateful for the time that I spent using my skills on the job, and know that if the opportunity arises, I could dive back in and cultivate my skills again.

G.O.A.L.S- Looking into Year Two

Global awareness. Original inquiry. Academic enrichment. Leadership development. Service engagement. These five pillars, indicated by the acronym G.O.A.L.S, encourage students to expand their horizons and explore beyond the classroom. As I venture into my second year at Ohio State, I’ve found myself engaged in all these different aspects, creating a more well-rounded educational experience. My horizons are continually expanding as I engage in a variety of academic and extracurricular activities. Here are some highlights…

Global Awareness: Visiting Ghana with MSF

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to spend 15 days in Ghana with Ohio State’s undergraduate chapter of MSF, or Doctors Without Borders. While there, I shadowed physicians in the emergency, surgical, maternity, and pediatric wards of Manhyia Government Hospital, learning from incredible doctors about life in the medical field and healthcare in Ghana. Additionally, I helped provide malaria testing in local villages, travelled through Mole National Park on a safari, surfed along Cape Coast, and created unforgettable memories with an amazing group of people. By immersing myself in the culture of Ghana, I learned so much about what life is truly like there. I learned local dances, spoke some Twi, and heard the stories of so many people throughout different parts of the country. I came out even more passionate about serving in underserved areas of the world and with more desire to visit new parts of the world. Going to Ghana made me more globally aware, and I’m already looking forward to my next adventure!

 

Original Inquiry: Researching in Baskin Lab

I am fortunate enough to be in a major that places a large emphasis on research and original inquiry and requires all students to be engaged in a lab as an undergraduate. In the hunt for a lab, I stumbled across Kedryn Baskin’s lab. After touring and reading up on her research, I instantly fell in love with the lab. After a summer of onboarding and orientation, I’ve started up full time in my lab this semester. And let me tell you, I absolutely love it! I look forward to going in every day and contributing to the pursuit of new knowledge. From gel electrophoresis to echocardiograms, I’m always excited to help out in lab and learn new things while I’m there. While I’m still in the process of learning basic lab technique, I look forward to gaining more responsibility and expertise in the lab, and can’t wait to help lead my own project in the future.

 

Academic Enrichment: Digging into the Spanish Minor

Let me be the first to say that the sophomore slump is REAL. In a challenging semester where I find myself balancing courses in organic chemistry, biostatistics, and biomedical literature for my major, I occasionally question why I’ve chosen to pick up a minor so unrelated to everything else I’m studying.  I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to clear up an extra three credit hours in my schedule? But for me, expanding the range of my learning to include Spanish is the greatest form of academic enrichment. Not only do my Spanish classes require me to think in a different manner than the rest of my science courses, but they allow me to engage with new people in new ways. Learning a language opens up so many doors. By pursuing a minor in Spanish, I am broadening my horizons. Working towards fluency has always been my goal, and I am so glad that I get to spend another semester chasing after that dream.

 

Leadership Development: Launching Delight at Ohio State

Last semester, I found myself looking for a religious group to become affiliated with, leading me to a new group on campus named Delight. Out of my search,  I was suddenly thrown into a position as a leader, helping the club start from scratch. This semester, the six of us on leadership board have been in the process of launching Delight here on campus. Starting a club with national affiliates is no walk in the park; there are forms to fill out, endless planning, and a whole lot of dedication that go into it. But throughout it all, I have found myself growing immensely as a leader. When Delight officially launches in January 2020, I can’t wait to see what a semester and a half of planning and preparing does. I hope to share the skills I’ve learned as a leader in the process of starting a club with our new members, helping to pull them up into leadership positions as well.

 

Service Engagement: Volunteering at Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center

This year, I am dedicating myself to service. My scholar’s community, Mount Leadership Society, calls year two “Year of Service”, in which second-year students complete 75 service hours at a location of their choice. I am also taking ESHESA 2571S, a class in leadership and community service with a required service learning portion. Both of these events have brought me to my weekly volunteering slot at Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center. Every Monday afternoon, I drive out to the resource center, ready and willing to serve in whatever capacity may be needed for the day. It certainly isn’t glamorous work- on the average day, I find myself taking out trash, bagging food, and reorganizing clothes- but it makes a difference for the people who can come to CBCRC knowing that they can get their needs met. The last month that I’ve spent volunteering there has been such a growing experience, and I look forward to continuing with it throughout the semester.

 

I am excited to see where all of my G.O.A.L.S. take me throughout the rest of this semester, this year, and the rest of my college experience!

 

Artifact 2- The PARE Project

Scientific research has always been a passion of mine. For me, the chance to be on the cutting edge of scientific discovery is an absolute thrill. As a first year, however, getting into research can be difficult. Luckily for me, my Biology 1113H class allowed me the chance to get involved in research right away through the PARE project.

The Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistance in the Environment project, or PARE for short, is a nationwide initiative to document the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in soil. Institutions across the US, including Ohio State, call on students to collect soil samples from various different areas in their region and test their resistance to various antibiotics. In my class, we grew bacterial colonies in a series of serial dilutions from regional soil samples on MacConkey agar plates to check for antibiotic resistance. By comparing control plates to plates treated with either 3μg/mL or 30μg/mL tetracycline (a common antibiotic), we were able to see the which bacteria in our samples could grow in the presence of tetracycline. Our plates, shown above, show the presence of drug-resistant bacteria in our sample. Using this data, our class has been able to expand our research even further through the separation and testing of bacterial DNA through PCR and gel electrophoresis, and it has encouraged us to enter our data into the national PARE database.

Throughout the PARE project, I’ve developed a strong base of basic research lab skills, including micropipetting, proper filling of wells in a gel, and serial diluting. It has fostered my interest in research and has allowed me to expand my knowledge of cell biology. I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to participate in this national project and excited for years of research ahead.

Welcome to my Honors & Scholars e-Portfolio!

Hello! My name is Gabrielle Besse, and I am currently a second year student at The Ohio State University. I’m from Granger, Indiana, a suburb just a few minutes outside of the city of South Bend. I attended Penn High School before pursing further education at OSU. I am a biomedical science major with a minor in Spanish, and my goal is to attend medical school after my undergraduate degree. My dream is to become a primary care physician, likely in pediatrics or family medicine, and to serve in the National Health Service Corps to bring healthcare to medically underserved areas in the United States. Additionally, I would love to bring my passion for serving those who need it most worldwide, serving with Doctors Without Borders in areas throughout the world that critically need medical attention.

When I’m not studying, I’m involved with quite a few activities and groups on campus. I am a research volunteer in the Baskin Lab, where I have the opportunity to explore the impact of Med12 on cardiac function and learn many critical lab skills. I also serve as a member of Ohio State’s undergraduate chapter of Doctors Without Borders, where I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about current humanitarian crises, tour medical facilities at Ohio State, fundraise for the international organization, and even travel to Ghana on a medical mission trip! I also serve as a group leader for OSU’s chapter of Delight Ministries, a national all-girls Christian organization. As a leader, I plan meetings with the rest of the executive board, teach lessons in large group meetings, and maintain communication with the national organization, all of which is incredible rewarding! In addition, I am a team captain for the Biomedical Science team of BuckeyeThon, Ohio State’s dance marathon. As a team captain, I not only get to support BuckeyeThon’s initiative to fight pediatric cancer, but I have the opportunity to lead other students in promoting the mission too. Additionally, I am a member of both the university Honors and Scholars programs. Through the College of Medicine Honors program, I am allowed to explore classes that encourage deeper thought and additional exploration. Through Mount Leadership Society Scholars, I am trained in leadership and community service in a tight-knit community that is committed to being together for good. Weekly, I volunteer at Ronald McDonald House and Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center, which allows me to give back the the Columbus community that has so warmly welcomed me. All my involvements make for a busy workload, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

In my free time, I love to travel and explore the world. I’ve visited a variety of different countries, including Italy, France, Ghana, England, Dominican Republic, and Mexico (in addition to a few others), and I hope to see even more of the world! I also enjoy playing guitar, writing, and reading classic novels. I consider my greatest strengths to be my positive outlook, bubbly personality, and dedicated work ethic. More than anything, my greatest goal is to make a difference in the world. I hope that through my time in college and my future career, I can do just that!

Artifact 1- BMS

One of my main reasons for choosing to attend Ohio State was for its fantastic Biomedical Science undergraduate major. With a competitive, small cohort size of 27 students, ample opportunities for research, and an incredible success rate for students going into graduate programs, BMS had all the tenants of the kind of program I wanted to be involved with coming to college. Now that I’ve been involved with this program for almost a full semester, I can happily say that it has become one of the single most important parts of my college experience. This incredible group of people, shown in the photo above, has provided me with countless laughs and overwhelming support, and I’m happy to call some of them my closest friends. I’m looking forward to spending the next four years learning alongside this amazing cohort!