Leadership Development

My first-year mentee was Braylee Gaertner. Braylee is a Health Sciences major as of right now but is thinking about changing it to Human Development and Family Science after I partially talked her into it. She is planning on continuing her education onto graduate school to pursue her dream of becoming either a physical therapist or occupational therapist. She is from a small town in Pennsylvania called Gibsonia but because it is so small she just tells everyone she is for Pittsburgh. She came to Ohio state not knowing anyone because no one from her hometown came with her. She decided to apply here because she heard of what a great school it is and wanted to be a Buckeye. She does not have any family members that that went here so she is the first buckeye in her family. Many of her friends go to Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh. Her drive to school is about three and a half hours but she has not driven it herself because she does not have a car on campus. So far her parents have driven her back and forth.

Braylee and I have a ton in common. We are both pursuing the career of occupational therapy and are taking many of the same classes. We also are both in the pre-OT club and attend many of the social, volunteer, and informative meetings together. We also both love trying new types of food. For both of our Explore Columbus activities, we tried some new food places in the city. One more thing we have in common is that both of our families grew up in the Pittsburgh area. Something that Braylee and I don’t have in common is that she is a great dancer. She is in a dance club here and really enjoys is while I mainly dance in the car to Beyoncé songs using solely my upper extremities.

Braylee grew a ton from the beginning of the year to now. She came in a little shy. She was a little unsure of how her college experience was going to be like and like most people she was a little shy in the fall. Now, after doing our last Explore Columbus together she is really outgoing and knows exactly what she wants to do careerwise.

I think I also grew a lot from the beginning to now. In the beginning I was really nervous on being a mentor and felt like I did not meet the requirements. I had a really horrible first year in college and felt like I had no clue on how to have a positive experience here. In the beginning of the year I was really focused on being positive and learning new ways to navigate the tough times in school. Being a second-year mentor I feel has taught me that I don’t have to be perfect to mentor someone on my past experience. Having all the trouble that first year that I did actually made mentoring easier and a way to really help Braylee and I relate. Throughout the year I have been able to advise Braylee on difficulties that I learned from so hopefully they weren’t as bad for her. I can’t even count the number of times we laughed at some of my failures that she has gone through too. Together we have learned that many of the tough times at school are normal and sometimes you just have to laugh them off. As for my role as a leader, I think I am pretty good at it. At the beginning of the year I really second guessed my abilities to be a leader to a freshman in college but learned that a leader doesn’t have to be perfect and that imperfection actually really helps.

I helped Braylee in her navigation of freshman year by telling her all the mistakes I made. I remember telling her how important it is to get involved because being an outsider to Ohio can really make it hard to meet people. I also helped her in the classroom. We both have the same end goal of being an occupational therapist but are taking different paths. One thing I did to help was when I didn’t know an answer to a question she had on classes or majors, I asked my second-year friends to find it. Braylee was questioning about the health sciences major here and I asked fellow ACE Bailey Thomas for her advice.

I believe this program is awesome. I believe it really helped me relate to someone else here at school and become friends. I hopefully helped Braylee with some of the confusing times that come with being a freshman from out of state. Lastly, this program gave me confidence that I CAN be a leader and use my past experiences to help others.

Explore Columbus Spring Semester

On Friday, April 6th, 2018, my ACES mentee and I went and explored Columbus. Braylee and I are both from outside the state so it is always a really fun time to explore our school’s city. Both Braylee and I have very busy schedules and are not able to get off campus. Last semester we explored the North Market in the short north and absolutely loved it so we decided to explore some more of Columbus’s food.

After we both finished our classes, I picked Braylee up at Smith Steeb. Our first destination was the Northstar café located in the Easton shopping mall. What seemed like an hour trying to find a parking spot, we finally resorted to the third-floor parking garage. Of the multiple times Braylee and shopped in the Easton mall, neither of us had ever eaten at Northstar. On our walk to the restaurant we passed Jeni’s ice cream shop and could smell the sweet creamy desserts but it was way too cold to indulge. Because we decided to eat at noon and there seemed to be some sort of event going on in the mall, there was an hour wait.

After putting our name in, we decided to do a little shopping. First, we went to the indoor mall and explored some clothing shops like North Face, Francesca’s and Pac Sun. Braylee bought some cute earrings and a matching necklace at Francesca’s. After running out of stores that seemed interesting, we ventured to the outside mall. We were super confused what event was going on in the mall because there were multiple people dressed up in costume. On the outside of the mall, we found many more stores that were interesting to go to. Our first store on the outside was Lush Cosmetics. I believe we spent an unhealthy amount of time in that store because we both left feeling light-headed and dizzy from the overwhelming smells. I found some really awesome lotion and makeup at Lush. Next, we went to the Ohio State store in the mall and picked around until we decided we should head back to North Star.

Right when we walked into Northstar our name was being called and we were brought to our table. Our waiter was a really funny old man that kept on making fun of me indecisiveness on what to order. After looking for a few minutes Braylee decided to get Buddha Bowl and I ordered the Northstar Burger. We talked about how our week was going and how school was getting to be really stressful. Braylee and I are pre-OT majors and are both in the pre-OT club here at Ohio State. We were really able to bond over the stress to prepare for grad school while trying to stay ahead in our undergrad classes. She told me how she wasn’t sure if she wanted to take physiology here or at another school where a lab was offered and how she is in a medical terminology class that I will be taking in the fall.

Our food finally arrived and in a few seconds our plates were wiped clean. Both of our meals were absolutely delicious. Mine was a vegetarian burger and hers was a yummy bowl of chicken, rice, vegetables and a peanut sauce. Both of us would totally go back and recommended Northstar to everyone. 10/10

Braylee and I paid for our meals and continued to shop around a bit. At around 4 we decided we should get to our second destination before it closed. We hoped in my car and drove over to Italian village to a café called Fox in the Snow. Right when you walked into the café you were attacked be the smell of freshly roasted coffee and pastries. Braylee is not a coffee drinker so she ordered an ice tea and some banana bread and I ordered a coffee and a cookie. Sitting at a table in the corner we continued our discussion on grad school and our activities currently going on at Ohio State. Braylee said she was a little nervous about packing up her things to move back to Pennsylvania for the summer so I explained how its so much easier than the moving in process. You just throw everything into bins and have mom sort it out when you get home lol.

I had a really great time exploring Columbus with Braylee. This past year has been so much fun getting to know her and advise her through her first year of college. I think this experience really helped us get closer and learn about each other outside of the classroom.

Mentor/Mentee Second Semester Interview Assignement

Mentee: Braylee Gaertner


Braylee is still enjoying her major this semester! She is pre-Physical Therapy and is taking classes for her major as well as taking the pre-requisites for graduate school. She is enjoying her classes because she likes having bigger lectures and being more independent. A study habit Braylee has figured out works for her is going to Thompson between her classes to get ahead on her school work. Another study habit she has found helpful is that she is reviewing the material that will be discussed in the next lecture a day before as well as reading the textbook required for the class. She has slightly changed her study habits from the fall by reading ahead rather than reading the text after it was taught in class.

Braylee is very involved on campus. One thing she is a part of as well as me is the pre-PT and OT club. She is also a member of the dance club. She feels that now in her second semester she is much better at balancing her academics and extra-curricular activities. She really loves all of the clubs she participates in and does not plan on changing her involvement next year. One thing she is thinking of doing is participating in a club called CHAARG. It’s a club that I am involved in and is an all-girl club that involves working out.

Braylee loved her first semester of being an ACE Scholar. She is really happy that she is able to live with the other ACES in Smith-Steeb and get to know them outside of the classroom. One surprising thing for her about the program is how fun the events are. She was expecting events that would be hard work and not super fun to go to but has really loved each and every event so far. Her favorite event has been the community commitment and the mentor-mentee retreat this semester because she won the tower challenge. She does not really have any recommendations for improving ACES but hopes we continue doing fun things at the retreats as well as keeping the Jimmy Johns.

While at the beginning of the semester she was thinking of changing to pre-OT, she decided to stay on her path to physical therapy. She is thinking more specifically as to the age group of patients she wants to work with and is thinking she wants to work with little kids. She has a few cousins that a pretty young and finds it a lot of fun to play with them and thinks that working with kids would be awesome too. For grad school, she needs to complete a number of observation hours in multiple fields and we discussed ways she could do that. She thinks she is going to start observation hours next fall when she has more time and more of an idea of what she wants to do. She is also thinking of adding a minor to her curriculum. Braylee is also thinking of getting an internship but also wants to study abroad in the future.  We discussed how she could use her STEP money to help fund the two and that she could almost fully cover a study abroad trip with the money.

Braylee’s favorite memory of last semester would probably be the trip to North Market. She had a ton of fun with her fellow ACES and loved the food. She is hoping to take her family there when they visit. One goal she has for herself this semester is to get to know more people. She feels that making friends is always a positive thing and hopes to make many more.

Artifacts- Explore Columbus

The North Market with Braylee


On November 10th my alarm went off at 7 am. Momentarily I had forgotten what day it was because it was not normal for my alarm to go off that early on a Friday. As I rubbed the stars from my eyes and peeled myself from my warm bed, I grabbed my toothbrush and started to get ready. My roommate Cat Bouldry and friend Bailey Thomas also dragged themselves out of bed and quickly we got ready for a day spent with our fellow ACES.

It was 8:30 am as three cold and sleepy girls stumbled down High Street stepping over cold Blaze pizza and McDonald French fries leftover from the Thursday night bar hoppers. In what seemed like a hike that would never end, we finally made it to the bus stop. Braylee had texted me that her, Courtney and Laura were running late so the three of us stepped into the Union to warm up.

I was very excited to explore Columbus with Braylee, especially North Market because I had gone there last year and thought it was awesome. I was looking forward to showing something new in Columbus as well as some of the Short North. Braylee and I share the love of food and North Market is basically a food lover’s dream.

Soon we saw Braylee, Courtney, and Laura turn the corner coming towards the bus stop. Bailey, who was a first-time public bus rider, was a bit nervous that we were going to miss the bus. As a bus was speeding down High Street and our mentees still some distance away Bailey began to wave her hands and screamed “GUYS RUUUUUNNNN THIS IS OUR BUSSSS!!!!!!!!” to which the mentees started to freak out and began sprinting towards us like they were still in high school track competing at regionals. Cat and I both busted into laughter as the bus flew past all of us because it was not the right bus. As the mentees finally got to us and everyone (Mainly Bailey) understood that our bus was the next one we stood there laughing for a few more minutes. Bailey’s mistake even got the random guy also waiting for the bus to burst into laughter.

The bus arrived and we hopped on. Braylee explained that she was most excited to get some fresh breakfast because living on a campus, breakfast isn’t always an option. We talked for a while about school and our families. Braylee told me that her semester was going very well and that she was thinking about changing her major to something else. She was also debating if she wanted to go pre-physical therapy or pre-occupational therapy like me. I gave her some advice and next thing we knew, we arrived to THE North Market.

All six of us walked up to food paradise with our stomachs grumbling. We could smell the fresh bread and hear the clinks and clanks of food being prepared. As we stepped in our senses were overwhelmed. To our left, we had traditional Greek food, to our right we had fresh cuts of meat and ahead of us, we had just about every food group/culture. To prevent stress and being overwhelmed, the six of us huddled together and made a game plan. Our plan consisted of slowly walking through the market one time to get an idea as to what our taste buds wanted and then following up with a second time around to pick up what we decided on.

As Braylee and I lead the group, we passed the chicken station, fish station and southern station to finally get to the donut station. Bailey and Courtney bought donuts while Braylee and I tested the free samples. After making our first round of the Market, we both decided to go back to the juice/smoothie station for a healthy breakfast. I picked up a pre-made juice and Baylee, Cat and Laura all got berry smoothies. We made our way to the sitting area when Cat decided it was a good idea to try some salsa. With a big sign in front of her face, she still made the horrible decision to try the far right one of the nine sitting on the table labeled “extra extra hot”. As her face turned a red I have never seen before, I watched as she darted back the juice station for water. When the water was not relieving her of the burning fire expanding down her throat and chest she quickly got some free samples from the Jeni’s station.

Once the fire was extinguished, we went and sat to have our breakfast and chat about school. About thirty minutes later it was time to go so we made our way back to the bus stop and got back to campus.

I had a really good time with my mentee and the other ACES members. We got to explore a part of Columbus that not many people get to see. I would recommend this explore Columbus even because it’s more of an active event and not an awkward/boring meeting at Starbucks. I hope Braylee takes her mentee to North Market next year.


Mentor/Mentee Meeting


-How did you decide on the major you have chosen?

-What kind of involvement are you interested in on campus?

-What type of volunteering and involvement were you involved with in high school?

-What do you plan to do with your major after graduation? Graduate or professional school? Or just enter the workforce?

-What has surprised you about Ohio State since arriving on campus?


My mentee Braylee Gaertner is from Pittsburgh. She is a health science major and is thinking of changing to something else that does not require as many science classes. She is a health science major because she is pre-PT and knew that a lot of people who are pre-PT have health science as a major. It is also a very flexible academic plan. Braylee is involved many different clubs. She is in a tap club called buckeyes on tap, Pre PT club, and health points club. In high school, she was really involved with the theatre club and was in shows like Frankenstein, Adams family, and big fish. She also was the secretary of student council where she organized events like a mini buckeyethon where they raised money. She chose aces because she was not sure if she wanted to be an education or a science major. She I looking forward to the social events and meeting people. She really likes the people she has met so far in the program. One event she is looking forward to is the pumpkin painting event because fall is her favorite season. After graduation, she plans on going to grad school for either PT or OT. She has not decided yet. Right now she wants to go south to a school where it’s warmer or go back to Pittsburgh where her family is. If she ends up doing PT working with an outpatient clinic and with kids is what interests her. Braylee balances academics and involvement by getting all her work done before they are due. If she knows she has a lot to do at one time she will start working ahead and pace herself. Since arriving on campus here at THE Ohio State University something that has surprised her is how easy it is to find her group of friends in such a big school.

While talking to Braylee we found out that we have a lot in common. In high school she was very involved and so was I. We also are both interested in a career that is health related. She is thinking about doing physical therapy or she may do occupational therapy. I am also pre occupational therapy. We both are thinking about what field of occupational therapy or physical therapy and the work setting that interests us. I am interested in working with older people and she wants to work with kids. I want to work in a rehab center or a hospital and she does not want to work in a hospital. Another thing we Braylee and I talked about was what we wanted to do for our Columbus event. Braylee loves to try new foods and also like to learn about other cultures. We are thinking about going with some other ACES members to North Market. In North Market has food options like Greek food, Italian pasta, French pastries, Indian food, southern comfort food, Mexican food, European food, and classic American food. My favorite station and THE north market is the juicing station. The juicing station has a really good juice that has strawberries, raw probiotic coconut juice, pineapple and nut milk. I hope I am able to take Braylee.

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 information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


The GOALS for honors and scholars to me are great pillars to follow when wanting to have a positive impact in society. Each individual letter stands for a specific way to improve society and together they are almost like a map. Right now after the election, the G in goals really means a lot to me. I feel that although some people in our government seem to not accept people from our country, it is important to accept everyone and be aware of what is going on around the world. I feel it is important to love your own culture but also be aware that other cultures exist and mean a lot to other people around the world. I hope to one day study abroad so that I can have a better understanding of lives other than mine.



This week I had participated in a service event. This service event was very simple but meant a lot to me. In groups, we walked some streets near campus and picked up trash. This event connects to the S in GOALS called service engagement. The description of this is about doing service and being exposed to different social issues. I went into my service event thinking it was going to be simple and super easy but after cleaning up tons or trash ranging from chip bags to cardboard to pointed wires, I really started to reflect on how the society I live in takes our earth for advantage. I learned that the community that I live in doesn’t take care of the trash that’s thrown around and doesn’t put enough effort into cleaning the only place we have to live.


[“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.]


For my first artifact, I chose my AP Biology book from my junior year in high school. This artifact is important to me because it was from a class that really showed me how I learn. AP Biology was a really difficult class and at the beginning I felt very overwhelmed. Throughout the year I learned that I am a student that will make a goal and do everything in my power to meet it. I also learned that a weakness I have is finding balance in my life between school and my social life when I am working towards a goal like an A in my class. I really learned a lot about myself that year and that if I want to succeed I will but in the process remember to keep a good balance.

My second artifact is a picture from one of the best moment in my high school career. The picture is from the day my softball won our first district title since 2001 and later that day I had my high school graduation. This picture with my teammates means so much more than a winning title, they are some great girls that taught me how to work with many different personalities ages. I was captain of the team and as a senior I knew a lot more about the game than many of them. While working with freshman, sophomores, juniors, and fellow seniors, I learned how to change my techniques of teaching so that everyone would understand. This team also taught me how to work with many personalities. It was really important to remember what each person needed so that they could play to the best of their abilities. For example, my really good friend who was a freshman would get really nervous before big games like on our district game day and I would make sure she got extra reps to ensure she would feel confident. I feel that after playing with this team I learned how to work with communities and how to teach to many different mindsets.