Ohio House of Representatives
I began my first year at Ohio State finishing up an internship at the Ohio House of Representatives in the office of Rep. Ashford.
My work focused on contacting constituents, putting together research, and writing speeches and press releases; all of this centered around Rep. Ashford’s HB 123, which reformed Ohio’s payday lending industry. A previous loophole in the law had allowed payday loan businesses to operate in Ohio and take advantage of people who took out these loans by charging exorbitantly high interest and other fees. I spoke to one woman who had already repaid her initial loan 5 times over and still would owe money for the next few years. My experience in the internship really put into perspective the direct impact policies can have on everyday people.
After my internship, I was hired to work as a Legislative Page for the House Democratic Caucus, where I worked for the rest of the autumn semester.
In January, I began a position in OSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Veterinary Biosciences, in the lab of Dr. Amit Sharma. My research focused on HIV-1/AIDS in humans. There are few effective animal models for HIV/AIDS, so my work focused on optimizing the model of SIVs (simian immunodeficiency virus) as well as developing chimeric SHIVs in macaques.
I gained experience working with SIV, HIV, and SHIV in a BSL2+ laboratory and learned many virology techniques, including cell culture, cloning, transfection, PCR, gel electrophoresis, Western blots, virus production, and viral titers.
My favorite course of my freshman year was History/Microbiology 3704: HIV: From Microbiology to Macrohistory. The course focused on social, political, and global context of HIV/AIDS, from its origins to its spread throughout the world as well as activism, imperialism, and global health implications today. My group was also invited to present at the course’s Pecha Kucha night. This course was the reason I decided to minor in History.