New Experiences

Sam Morgan, Biology

Imagine going into something brand new with no idea of what to expect and without someone you know by your side every step of the way. Think of how scary and terrifying it could be to be alone in a brand new world. For me, this was what walking into college was like. I knew no one and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My family was over an hour away, and if I’m being honest I think I missed my animals most. This wasn’t going to be like high school. I knew that. Everything was a brand new start to my future.

Being accepted to The Ohio State University was exciting, yet terrifying. I knew that college would be different from high school. I expected it to be insanely hard and full of parties, due to the way the media portrays college. However, when I arrived on move-in day, I knew this would be something far different from what television or movies had told me. I would sum up my first week in one word: scary. I had to share my room and get used to going all the way down the hall just to use the bathroom. I had many doubts and I felt there was no way I would be able to keep up with everything. I was worried I wouldn’t have friends, be involved, or be able to get a good G.P.A.

The first week of classes had me running all over the place. These classes were longer than any class in high school and that made paying attention a little difficult. Since I didn’t know anyone, I had no one to sit by which made me feel weird, like an outsider. I had no idea what was normal in college, so I spent a lot of time in my room that first week. At home, my room was always the place I would go to if I wanted to be alone or if I needed comfort. Now, I wouldn’t be alone in my room and that was weird. On the first day of move-in, my roommate and I went to get Chinese food. That’s when I saw someone I met at orientation! We invited him to eat with us but he had to go meet his roommate. After we ate, I was determined to find him so that I would have at least one other person I knew. I went to the third floor where he said he lived and I made my best guess at which room was his. Knocking on that door has changed my college experience for the better. His roommate answered and I asked if someone who fit the description of who I met at orientation lived there. Lucky for me there was. My roommate and I spent time that night talking to and getting to know them. As time went on we became great friends and that’s when I knew college wouldn’t be as scary as I thought. I realized that I wasn’t alone in this because they knew as little about college as I did. We all hung out every chance we got. We spent many nights in the amphitheater on campus just looking at the stars or by the fountains talking about our days or venting about our problems. We got to know each other very well, very quickly. We each brought new friends into our little group and soon it wasn’t so little. The friends I have made here are truly who have gotten me this far. They have helped me study, made me laugh, helped me through tough times and even let me drag them to ice skating. They are more than friends to me. I consider them family.

Through the Buckeye Generation Learning Community (BGLC), I soon got to know many other people on campus and I gained the confidence to introduce myself to more of them! I ended the semester on the dean’s list and that was more than I could have ever wanted. After my first semester went so well, I decided to try to get involved in things during my second one. I now volunteer with third graders in a program called Diversity through Artistry. Those kids have made me so happy and I have learned so much from them.

Overall, I like how my brand new start has begun. The beginning was scary. I was alone and I didn’t think that would change, but as the year moved forward, I made friends, passed all of my classes and I believe I did the best I could. Second semester is looking just as bright as the first. I am so grateful for every opportunity and for the BGLC. I intend on continuing to volunteer for different things because it makes me happy. Some people say that high school is the best four years of your life, but I disagree because college has already been so much more fun and informative about everything. I’m glad I applied to and chose Ohio State because my life has truly changed forever for the better.

More about Sam

My major is biology because I want to go into the medical field and work with children as a pediatrician, but I’m considering changing it to become an elementary school teacher. Either way, I love working with kids and helping them become better versions of themselves. I graduated from Hilliard Bradley high school.

Adventures in Cuba

Josh Flickinger, sophomore

In late May, a group of 22 Ohio State students had the opportunity to travel to Cuba. I was one of those students. Some of us were from the Newark campus, and some were from the Columbus campus. We were there to learn about race in Cuba and how its perception has changed over history, but the experience ended up being something much more than just another class for many of us.

For ten of the eleven days, we stayed in Havana. The homestays there are called Casas. We were split between three of them. A faculty member stayed with each group. Ferdinand Avila-Medina, the learning skills specialist at Newark, stayed with my group in Casahabana. Dr. Alcira Dueñas, a history professor at Newark, lived with another group just a few blocks from us on the same street. Dr. Tiyi Morris, our professor for the class, stayed a bit farther away with the rest of our classmates in Matilda’s Casa. Each morning we would wake up to a breakfast of fresh fruit and juice, strong Cuban coffee, warm bread and butter and eggs served by Casahabana staff. Then we would meet our bus and go to the morning’s educational activity. There were two each day, one before and one after lunch. We were free between the afternoon activity and dinner. My housemates and I usually used that time to write the reflections required every day by the course. After dinner, we were allowed to explore Havana until curfew at 12:30.

The course was focused on race and Afrocuban culture. Most of our activities pertained to how they manifested in Cuban culture in general. We went to museums on the slave trade and Afrocuban religions. We attended workshops where we got to dance, make art and to build our teamwork skills. We watched performances of dances, visited historical sites and met with religious leaders. We talked to world-renowned professors and journalists about racism, opportunity, history and education. It was a lot to take in, especially in such a small amount of time, but being there in person allowed us to actually experience the things we had been learning about in class. They became memories for each of us instead of just words on a page.

Of all the official activities we did, my favorite was our visit to the Los Positos neighborhood midway through the trip. It was a sweltering hot day, and we met with a professor who led us on a hike through an underdeveloped and impoverished part of town. We started walking down a crumbling alleyway which soon turned into a dirt track that snaked down a long hill into an overgrown river valley filled with shacks. The dwellings in Los Positos seemed to be built out of whatever materials could be found, and they were jammed together along the sides of dirt paths since there were almost no roads through the slum. There was garbage everywhere, piled up on the hillsides, lining the streets, and floating down the creeks and water that flowed through some of the tiny alleys. Waste management services were not in place in the area, so where else was it supposed to go? The people there had come to Havana for many different reasons. Some had fallen on hard times, some had emigrated from the rural countryside looking for opportunity in the city, but most had grown up without many social resources, and they were stuck. All of us who went on the hike were sweating and worn out by the end. To be honest, it was one of the most uncomfortable days of the trip. The people who lived there couldn’t just leave when they were tired of the conditions. There were state and university programs at work trying to provide resources. We even met with an Abakua religious leader who worked in the community. Despite first appearances, there were many people at work trying to help those living in Los Positos, but that afternoon served as a stark reminder that despite its beauty, Cuba is a society that has problems to address, much like any other.

Not all of our activities were academic, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn from them. We had the opportunity to explore Old Havana, the historical part of the city that had most of the beautiful plazas and buildings. There were lots of tourists, but many of the people who filled the streets were Cubans going about their everyday business. We got to tour most of the historic squares and see some of the important statues and buildings. We walked around in groups, looking through the shops and exploring. For the most part, the Cubans didn’t speak much English. I didn’t speak much Spanish, and only a few of the students did. It made trying to figure out prices for taxis or souvenirs interesting, but by the end of the trip we picked up a few words and phrases. The Cuban people were generally forgiving of it though, and they seemed to be excited to meet Americans and practice their English. For us students, being somewhat independent in an environment that was so different from our usual lives gave us a chance to solve problems we had never faced before, and to try to see things from points of view that we never would have considered otherwise. To understand why Cubans did things certain ways – such as charging for using the restroom, congregating on street corners to use the Wi-Fi, or walking most places instead of driving – we had to think about what it would be like to live in a society outside of the United States, while experiencing it for ourselves.

We did have one free day during the trip. On Friday, we took a two-hour bus ride to Varadero in the Matanzas province. It was a beautiful drive. A few of us even noticed the sights in between naps. The Cuban countryside has everything from mountains, hills and valleys covered in tropical forests to vast empty fields used for agriculture. Varadero is a resort town, and the beaches there are considered some of the best in the world. When we arrived, we spent the day in and around the ocean after we checked in to the hotels. I was too sunburnt to do much more than loaf around in pain by the end of the day, but a few other students and I got to watch a live band cover 80s. Some others went to a nightclub nearby that the locals said had the best dancing. There was dancing almost everywhere in Cuba though. Everyone I met could dance, and almost all of them could dance better than most Americans I know.

At the end of the trip, we all had to write reflection papers that incorporated what we learned from the experience. For me, that was one of the most difficult papers to write because there was so much. The class showed us a side of Cuba that we hadn’t looked at before, and put what we already knew into historical context. The academic activities done while we were in the country cemented what we learned in class, and let us experience firsthand everything we were reading about. But the trip was more than that, it let us live with Cubans. We saw them go about their daily lives, we took part in those lives, and we picked up on social cues that we didn’t even know we were getting. And that’s why travelling to another country is such an amazing experience. There are some things that can’t truly be explained with words.

What’s Next

Emily Hankinson, Former English Major

After four years of hard work, I am finally a graduate of The Ohio State University. On May 7, Ohio State awarded 11,734 degrees. I am part of the biggest graduating class of Ohio State thus far and am joining an alumni association of more than 550,000 members. Standing in the Shoe surrounded by thousands of my closest friends singing Carmen Ohio made me realize that no matter where I go in life, Ohio State will always be my home.

During my last semester at Ohio State Newark, I achieved all my goals. I successfully completed a thesis on the interpretation and representation of violence in Suzanne Collins’ novel The Hunger Games and received research distinction in English. I finished my English major, professional writing minor and Spanish minor and graduated summa cum laude. I wrote my last papers as an undergraduate and met Cardale Jones at commencement. I walked down onto the football field, got my diploma, celebrated with friends and family, and knew that I had accomplished something huge.

With Cardale Jones
In the Shoe

Starting in August, I will take classes through Kent State University to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science. My focus is on academic librarianship and I plan to work in a university library. I will be working as a graduate assistant for the next year doing research, writing and helping with outreach programs. I’m excited to start work in a field more closely related to the career I want to pursue and to collaborate with professionals. Until then, I’ll be working in the Alexandria Public Library helping with the children’s summer reading program.

Life after Ohio State will be a big change. Even through the endless hours of studying, Ohio State is one of the best decisions I made. I want to thank the professors who challenged me, the friends who encouraged me, and the family who supported me. I’m ready to start the next chapter of my education with Kent State and look forward to starting a career where I can use my experience from Ohio State and Kent State.

 

Emily Hankinson was a student at Ohio State Newark majoring in English and minoring in both Spanish and professional writing. She worked on campus in the Writer’s Studio and off campus in a local library. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information sciences after graduating in May. In her free time, she likes to read young adult novels; travel; and spend time with her friends, family and two cats: Tigger and Sadie.

Why to Love Ohio State Newark

Emily Hankinson, Senior English Major

After four years, I can definitely say The Ohio State University at Newark has had a major impact on my life. I never thought I’d be able to complete my degree, one of my minors, study abroad and have so many opportunities all at one campus that’s so close to home.

The average class size is twenty-five students and has several advantages. With a smaller class, professors are able to get to know their students and students get to know each other. Professors are willing to write recommendation letters for me and help me with research. I’m working with Dr. Robert Hughes on my thesis because of the classes I’ve taken with him in the past. For my thesis, I’m analyzing Suzanne Collins’ young adult novel The Hunger Games with a closer look at violence, how it’s portrayed throughout the novel and how characters and readers react to violence. Dr. Hughes always has a new perspective for me to consider and helps me organize my arguments clearly and build a strong argument. He is willing to let me explore my own insights of the novel while providing his own advice for a more in-depth analysis. My professors were also a big asset when applying to graduate school because they were willing to give me feedback on my application essays along with writing recommendation letters. I knew I could count on their letters because they knew what kind of student I was.

Professors also routinely ask students to help them conduct groundbreaking research. If you have an interest in doing research, ask around and find a professor with similar interests. If your professor asks for participants in research do it. Be sure to enter your research in the Undergraduate Research Forum. If you need help during any part of the process, the research librarians in Warner Library are happy to help.

The library is just the beginning of the resources available to ensure your future success. Student tutors are available for many subjects upon request. For additional Math or English help, the Math Learning Center and the Writer’s Studio are available for scheduled and walk-in appointments. Utilize them, because tutoring is included in your tuition dollars.

Paying that college tuition can cause a strain on finances. With scholarships, that financial burden can be lessened. Ohio State Newark offers over $700,000 in scholarships through the university. Many external scholarships are accepted at Ohio State Newark and some external scholarship applications are available on their website. Because I am so close to home, I decided not to live on campus. This is a huge money saver for me, because I don’t have to pay for room and board but I still have access to all the activities and resources on campus.

As an Ohio State Newark student, you can take part in a variety of student events and have access to a number of resources on campus. Weekly emails update you on activities happening through the campus like movie and karaoke nights, free ice skating or bowling, board game and Bingo days, and sports tournaments. The state-of-the-art Adena Recreation Center is now open to students, faculty and staff with a COTC ID or BuckID for free. Information about intramural sports is posted in the recreation center. Visit the Office of Student Life to find out about volunteer opportunities or even how to become certified in suicide-prevention (REACH Training).

Beyond activities and athletics, Ohio State Newark also offers career and internship opportunities through the Center for Student Success and Office of Student Life. The Office of Career Development and Experiential Learning Services provides individual career planning and consultation, including providing major information, for students and alumni of Ohio State Newark. The annual Career Fair allows students to meet and network with potential employers. A limited number of on-campus jobs are available and select classes involve an internship component where you get class credit for completing an internship.

The most exciting experiences I’ve had at Ohio State Newark have been education abroad classes. They include regular class meetings followed by travel to conduct research and experience the culture of a new place. Ohio State Newark is dedicated to keeping education abroad affordable by subsidizing costs and offering scholarships specifically for education abroad classes. You receive class credit as long as you pass the class and the education abroad component. In August 2015, I went to Costa Rica to study the culture, flora and fauna of Central America. I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch green sea turtles nesting, swim under a volcano, and boat along rivers looking at the incredible wildlife. I went zip-lining, white water rafting, kayaking and snorkeling, where dolphins swam alongside our boat and whales breached nearby. The trip expanded my Spanish language abilities, giving me the opportunity to speak to tour guides in their native tongue. I was able to experience a whole new culture and see what we’d learned in the classroom come to life. The Office of International Affairs plans and books your trip dates, transportation and accommodations.

After all my experiences, classes, work and time spent on campus, I found a great group of friends that I really enjoy spending time with. By working in the Writer’s Studio, talking to my classmates before class starts and making an effort to get to know people, I have a group of people I am be comfortable around. I know I’ll be able to count on my classmates and professors to help me grow. Through them, I have a firm foundation of where I want my life to go and what kind of impact I want to leave on the world.

I’m not just getting a degree from The Ohio State University. I’m leaving with a sense of home, acceptance and understanding. None of this would have been possible if not for the incredible opportunities offered here and the renowned faculty and staff that guided me throughout my education experience. Even though I’m attending Kent State University to pursue a Master’s in Library and Information Science, I will always carry Buckeye pride with me.

Emily Hankinson is a senior at Ohio State Newark majoring in English and minoring in both Spanish and professional writing. She works on campus in the Writer’s Studio and off campus in a local library. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information sciences after graduating in May. In her free time, she likes to read young adult novels; travel; and spend time with her friends, family and two cats: Tigger and Sadie.

Spring Break in Berlin

Emily Hankinson, Senior English Major

Traveling 4,000 miles from home on an education abroad trip is not something I would have considered when I first started my life as a Buckeye at The Ohio State University at Newark. Now it’s at the top of my recommendation list.

I spent spring break walking through history as I toured Berlin, Germany. For the in-class component of this education abroad, I’m working with a partner researching German architecture and how the city and surrounded towns were affected by the World Wars.

Alex Kirarly and I took day trips to Potsdam and Quedlinburg as part of our research. Potsdam Park is home to the Sanssoucci and New Palace (Neues Palais) of Fredrick the Great, King of Prussia from 1740-1786. We toured the inside of both buildings and gaped at the towering ceilings and endless marble halls. Quedlinburg, a town just north of the Harz mountains, is a three-hour train ride from Berlin. We managed to travel to and explore these towns on our own, with no German language other than basic greetings.

As a class, we took a walking tour of Berlin where we saw Hitler’s Bunker, cathedrals, the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the TV tower, the Konzerthaus Berlin and Bebelplatz, the site of one of the Nazi book burning ceremonies where students from Humboldt University and others gathered to listen to Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

We toured the Reichstag, the seat of the German Parliament as well the Stasi Museum and Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, the Berliner Untervelten (Berlin Underground), and the Berlin Wall. I especially enjoyed the Berlin Underground, Stasi prison, and the Berlin Wall because of our studies before the trip. The underground consisted of air raid bunkers and the conditions people had to survive during bombings. The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial is a museum that was formerly a prison for the East German Communist Ministry of State Security, or the Stasi. During this tour, we saw firsthand the conditions of prisoners and the excruciating physical and psychological pain they endured during their years in prison.

In our free time, some of us went to a cabaret-like performance, similar to those we’d studied in class and visited the Olmpiastadion where Jesse Owens, track star and student at The Ohio State University, made history in 1936 by winning four gold medals while Adolf Hitler proclaimed the superiority of the Aryan race. We sampled German chocolate from local shops in the city and snacked on döner kebabs while we walked. A group of us hiked up Teufelsberg, a man-made hill with rubble and the incomplete Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnishe Fakultät) buried underneath. Today, people gather on the top for picnics and the great view of the city below. Most of us went to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, an especially powerful site. We walked the same paths of former prisoners and stood where thousands were executed or forced to enter a gas chamber.

There are some notable differences between the United States and Berlin, Germany. Most obviously is the language barrier, but don’t let this keep you from going. I didn’t know a single word of German before the trip and still managed to maneuver my way to and around two cities outside of Berlin. Many people speak enough English to understand simple questions and you will inevitably learn a little bit while abroad.

The transit system is another major difference. You’re used to getting in your car and driving somewhere, but in Berlin people jump on the tram or walk. The city has a series of trams, both under and above ground, and it can be intimidating at first, but you quickly pick up on the major stops and which trams to get on. Don’t worry about not being able to find anything to eat. I found out quickly the Germans love Italian food. Our first group meal was at an Italian restaurant and we went to at least two other Italian restaurants on our own. There is also vegetarian and vegan food, so if you know how to handle your dietary restrictions you won’t have a problem.

The friends I made on this trip are ones I will cherish forever. We conquered a city together. We experienced history, learned about a new culture and had the chance to explore a new place. I am grateful to Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., and Stephen Evans for taking us on this life changing trip.

Check out @OhioStateNewark on Instagram for more photos from Berlin.

Emily Hankinson is a senior at Ohio State Newark majoring in English and minoring in both Spanish and professional writing. She works on campus in the Writer’s Studio and off campus in a local library. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information sciences after graduating in May. In her free time, she likes to read young adult novels; travel; and spend time with her friends, family and two cats: Tigger and Sadie.

Use Your Resources

Emily Hankinson, Senior English Major

The Writer’s Studio at The Ohio State University at Newark’s goal is to help students become better writers and communicators. It has also had a major impact on my life as a student and a student employee.

Like many first year students, I was aware that tutoring resources were available but never took the time or effort to use them to my advantage. I had no interest in working on campus until one of my professors recommended that I take the pre-requisite training class to work in the Writer’s Studio.

I trained in the Writer’s Studio as part of English 3467S: Issues and Methods in Tutoring Writing for the autumn 2016 semester until I was able to officially work in the Studio. Through my work, the other tutors have become friends that are always challenging me to appreciate new things and consider a variety of opinions. They teach me something new every day and encourage me to be the best that I can be.

Also, the students I work with have also taught me with their insight or way of thinking. Because I work with such a wide range of students, each one brings something to our session that makes it unlike any other. There is no one way to help someone. You have to get to know them and find a way that works for both of you. Since our writing sessions are only 30 minutes, this can be difficult at first, but you quickly learn to identify what is most beneficial for the student. We do care that they do well in class, but what we really strive for is helping them improve their writing skills.

All the tutoring opportunities through the university are already paid for in your tuition dollars, but many students still don’t take advantage of them. You’re paying for your education and to get help with that education, use the resources that are being provided to you. You can get help with multiple subjects or request a tutor through the Center for Student Success. The Tutoring Center in the Warner Center offers a multitude of tutors for a variety of subjects for both Ohio State Newark and Central Ohio Technical College students. Check out their weekly schedule of tutors or request a tutor for a different subject if it’s not listed.

My time as a student employee in the Writer’s Studio has been rewarding in so many ways. I’ve been able to connect with classmates, network with faculty, meet new people and help students grow into successful college writers, a skill that will assist them in any major they pursue. I encourage students to take advantage of all the tutoring resources available on campus. If you want to help others and have an interest in a certain subject, become a tutor. It will be worth your while.

Emily Hankinson is a senior at Ohio State Newark majoring in English and minoring in both Spanish and professional writing. She works on campus in the Writer’s Studio and off campus in a local library. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information sciences after graduating in May. In her free time, she likes to read young adult novels; travel; and spend time with her friends, family and two cats: Tigger and Sadie.

Six Things to Consider when Choosing a College

Emily Hankinson, Senior English Major
Looking for the right college was one of the biggest decisions I faced my senior year of high school. A lot went into choosing my college, but these are my top six things to consider when choosing a college.
1. Leaving Home
Whether you’re leaving home or commuting, college is going to be a big change. Either way, you want to be in place where you feel like you belong. Choose a college where you can feel safe and accepted.
2. Cost
College is expensive. Between books, tuition and all the supplies, things add up. And that’s not even including the fun stuff or dorm essentials. Look for somewhere you can potentially afford without putting a financial strain on your already stressed life. Many universities offer scholarships, but there can be external scholarships offered by local businesses, big companies and small groups that are involved in the community.
3. Campus Size
A smaller campus with easy access to buildings, parking and dorm rooms usually means smaller class sizes. A smaller class size means faster relationships with peers and professors. These connections will be essential in upcoming semesters. Lifelong friendships will form and professors will look forward to staying in contact with you. These opportunities are also available at larger universities, but attending a large campus (especially one away from home) may come with extra strings attached like housing requirements or driving limits for first-year students.
4. Easy to Navigate
Easy navigation doesn’t just mean being able to find your way around the campus. You also want to be able to navigate the city and feel safe when off campus. You want to be able to leave campus and still feel comfortable. If you do feel uncomfortable going out, ask someone you trust to go with you and take proper safety precautions. Friendly people, both on and off campus, can make a world of difference.
5. Student Opportunities
You may not care about clubs or student activities that are offered. But give them a chance. Those activities provide a break from the classroom setting to get out, have fun and meet new people, usually for free or a reduced cost. Clubs help you find people with similar interests or backgrounds, or they can introduce you to a whole new idea. Student activities can involve anything from spirit weeks (even Ohio State Newark has a huge Beat *ichigan Week), karaoke, movie nights and laser tag to off-campus activities like ice skating, bowling and local fairs or festivals. Other student opportunities may include career fairs or expert talks about relevant topics in the news.
6. Education Abroad
Even if you never considered traveling, look at the education abroad opportunities offered by a school. It took me two years to figure out that you can travel the world and get class credit at the same time. Since then, I’ve been to Costa Rica and am currently planning for Berlin, Germany. Both trips were partially funded by Ohio State Newark and had scholarships available. Education abroad trips can last from a week to months in duration. Try a new adventure. The right college will offer opportunities and be ready to help you prepare.
All in all, a college has to be the right fit for you. The Ohio State University at Newark continues to fulfill my needs and provides me with opportunities for success. Four years have flown by, and I know I made the right choice with Ohio State Newark. With easy transition to the Columbus campus, Ohio State Newark can provide a great start to your higher education, even if you don’t plan on staying here all four years.
Emily Hankinson is a senior at Ohio State Newark majoring in English and minoring in both Spanish and professional writing. She works on campus in the Writer’s Studio and off campus in a local library. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in library and information sciences after graduating in May. In her free time, she likes to read young adult novels; travel; and spend time with her friends, family and two cats: Tigger and Sadie.