Academic Event- Final IA Reflection

Go Buckeye Day/ Personal Refelction

Thanks to the International Affairs Scholars program at Ohio State, I feel like my transition into college was much smoother than many other freshman’s experiences. Firstly, knowing I was going to be living in such a nice dorm eliminated the stress of preparing myself for bad housing. Second, being an IA Scholar made it so much easier to make friends with people who have similar interests as myself and enjoy talking about the same worldly topics of discussion. During my Freshman orientation in June, I met some students who were also IA Scholars, and little did I know but these people would end up being some of my best friends. We immediately hit it off and I became excited for my transition to Ohio State rather than anxious and apprehensive.

I also believe being in a Scholars program has made me a much more extroverted and social person. In high school, I was introverted and enjoyed my alone time. But, because there are so many Scholars that I have become friends with, I am constantly gravitated towards them and always want to be around these people. My conversations with everyone are always easy and uplifting and I feel like they can always cheer me up when I am down.

Since leaving home, I have learned so much inside and outside the classroom. I think living independently has tested my intrinsic motivation and I have become more confident and independent. At the start of the year, I had difficulty balancing and managing my physical and mental health. I would go to the gym 5-6 times a week and lost weight without even realizing it. After going home for fall break and realizing I was putting my mental health to the side, I started to slow things down and I found a good balance of maintaining my physical health but also keeping my mental health at the forefront.

One thing I wish IA was more involved in is promoting and destigmatizing mental health and mental health care. The Career and Counseling Services here are not the best; it takes weeks to set up an appointment with a therapist. For someone who has dealt with bad anxiety for years, a few weeks can be too long. By creating a support system in IA, I think it would bring the Scholars closer together and also welcome other students who are dealing with similar issues. Many freshmen, including myself, often put their mental health to the side when they get to college. Having experience with this, stress and anxiety can creep up on individuals in harmful and serious ways. I believe it is crucial to put your mental health to the forefront, this is an important aspect of life that is a foundation for success.

For next year, I am planning to join a few more clubs on campus. I am excited to be part of the LC for next year and become more involved with IA. I’m looking into clubs that relate to my major and future career plans, like CCWA and College Democrats.

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better year. I have learned to deal and cope with negative situations, but also I have experienced a level of satisfaction and gratitude that I have never felt before. I am SO glad to be a part of the IA community, it has transformed my college experience into something exciting and unique! And to you Steven, thank you for being so open and willing to help with anything! I look forward to working with you more, and I hope you have an amazing summer!

IA Service Event (February)

On February 11th in the basement of Smith-Steeb, I wrote Valentine’s day cards for students of the Columbus school district. Many of these student’s first language was not English, they spoke French, Arabic, Swahili, and Spanish. My first takeaway from this experience was how inclusive it was. Being such a heterogeneous city, it is important to include everyone, no matter their background. Having immigrant parents, I have heard stories about their immigration process and the challenges they had to face on a daily basis. When they came to New York City in the 90’s they had a tough time adapting to American traditions and pastimes. They didn’t have any family or friends in the states either, so they did not have a nearby support system. But, because it was New York City, most people were accepting and helpful when my parents needed assistance or had questions. If they had immediately come to a smaller city like Columbus or another city in the midwest, I’m sure their experience would not have been as smooth.

Because I have the privilege and opportunity to live in Columbus, I can help young students feel welcomed. I believe it is important for kids to know that they don’t have to change their lifestyle just to adapt to a new setting. It is an integral part of the community to preserve the different aspects of different ethnicities and surroundings. With this, these young kids can teach people of the greater Columbus area their traditions and why they are meaningful to them and their family.
Being from Dayton, I know the immigrant population is increasing rapidly. It’s interesting to see how the cities include and treat immigrants. For example, a new mosque was built in Dayton to incorporate those of the Islamic faith. By encompassing all religions, this lets other regions in the midwest know, and other countries across the world, that Dayton does not discriminate against people of different ethnicities who pray to different Gods. At a time when immigration is a highly disputed topic, we must let refugees and immigrants know we welcome them with open arms. Our service activity had a similar effect. By writing hand-made cards to students who speak various languages, we promoted each student’s individuality and encouraged diversity.

By emphasizing the importance of inclusivity at a young age, the students will take what they have learned and share it with family members, and later pass these teachings onto their own kids. At such a developmental and early stage of life, it is important for young people to have mentors to guide them on the right track and answer any questions or concerns they have regarding their academic and social lives, similar to the mentor-mentee program for IA scholars. I know it was a challenge for my parents to adjust to a new life in their twenties; I couldn’t imagine what if would be like for a young child. As a collective community, we must help foster and flourish the multi-cultural features of our diverse city.

Non-IA Event

For this month’s non-IA requirement, I attended the “Terrorism and the Middle East” debate in Jennings hall. Because I am an International Studies major, I thought this talk would cover extremely prevalent and important topics of discussion. My specialization is Security and Intelligence, so not only was this debate interesting, but also provided necessary knowledge. On the panel was an OSU faculty member, Dr. Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute studying Arab Politics and terrorism, and Dr. Edward Crenshaw, an associate professor at Ohio State.  

The first topic mentioned was radical Islam. Dr. Rubin read some verses of the Quran which had violent undertones, and explained how these verses can be misinterpreted by terrorist groups who misconstrue the real meanings. When I went to Turkey this past summer, I was fortunate enough to meet an Imam and ask him questions through a translator. One of the questions I asked was “Why do only women cover themselves with headscarves, and why are women the only ones who must cover their legs in mosque?” The Imam’s response was “because this is what is written in the Quran.” From this, I realized for faith, in any religion, many followers do not question the scriptures at all, and take the “guidelines” in their most literal sense.

Along with Islam, illiteracy and poverty contribute greatly to terrorism. In societies where these illiteracy rates are high, there are no resources for young children to progress socially or education wise. Because of this, terrorist groups form around a common belief, which makes them feel empowered. Often times, terrorist leaders or organizers study their religion in depth, and use this to their advantage when “recruiting” younger men.

Terrorist attacks have increased all across the globe because more extremists have been immigrating to the United States in groups. When this happens, extreme views are shared amongst a group of people with the same intentions. There were significantly fewer terrorist attacks in the late nineties because immigrants with extreme views were more spread out through the United States. Because of this and the lack of fast technology, ideas were not shared as quickly and often. With current immigration policies, the US should integrate immigrants into the current population to decrease the likeliness of terrorist attacks on US soil.

All in all, this event was extremely informative and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in global or current events. I believe it is crucial to understand how different countries interact, and how these interactions affect migration patterns on a global scale. The speakers were very well versed in their fields, so it made the event even more impactful. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to hear such educated speakers!

Service Reflection

    The event I attended this month was the mini- career fair outside of Smith Steeb hall on Thursday October 25th. Some of the groups that were there was the Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA), Alexander Hamilton Society, and Doctors Without Borders. All of the representatives from the groups were extremely welcoming and informed. Even though I’m not involved with CCWA this semester, I would like to join next semester. I was in Model UN my senior year of high school and my group researched South Sudan, a country which still faces racial, economic and social conflict. Because my major is International Studies, I believe it would be extremely beneficial for me to join a club like CCWA. I would like to work with women and for women’s rights, helping the world see women’s full potential and capabilities. The Alexander Hamilton Society also seems like a compelling club to join on campus. I love reading about domestic and international current events. With that, I also enjoy discussing these events with people who have different viewpoints than myself. Because I enjoy the IA class so much when we have open discussions, I would really benefit from a club like this. Even though I am not a public health major or on the pre-med track, Doctors Without Borders would get me involved internationally by helping others and expanding a global mindset.

    In terms of my future, I am applying to an internship to the Columbus Collegiate Council on World Affairs. If I get this internship, I am hoping it will teach me how to interact and negotiate with officials in Columbus and foreign diplomats. This event also helped me realize that I would like to eventually pursue a career that has to do with international affairs and diplomacy. Even though I think domestic current events and topics of discussion are interesting, I think it is fascinating how diplomats work together globally to achieve peace and well-being for their country. If I am unable to secure an international job or one that requires travel, I would like to help people, even if a few people or an entire group. Along with women, I would like to work with immigrants and understand what they go through to come to America, and what our system could do better to facilitate the process. Both of my parents are immigrants, and they came to America to make a better life for themselves and their children. The career fair helped me also realize that we must welcome immigrants with open arms because they do so much to stimulate our economy and contribute socially. One question I would have asked one of the students is if they recommend joining as many clubs as possible first semester, or if they recommend waiting until second semester or second year to become involved. I also should have asked when I should consider applying for leadership positions in the clubs I am currently in, Buckeye Philharmonic Orchestra and College Democrats.

Study Abroad Expo-Academic Event

Study Abroad Expo- 9/4, 5-6 p.m.

On Tuesday the 9th of September, I went to the Study Abroad Expo in the Union from 5-6 p.m. Here, I learned a great deal about how I can travel abroad and still earn credit for OSU. I didn’t know Ohio State offered so many study abroad opportunities to so many different countries. The program that interested me the most was the excursion held by the Foundation for International Education (FIE). They offer a five week program in which you can travel to Dublin and Amman, earning a total of six credit hours. What I liked most about this experience is not only how many credit hours you earn, but also the fact that you get to see western Europe and the Middle East. As an International Affairs student, I could only see how this would benefit me. Because it is difficult to get a worthwhile internship as a freshman, I thought this opportunity looked like a good option for me during the month of June.

Not only did this event help me understand the plethora of options Ohio State offers, it also showed me that there are more places to study abroad besides western and central Europe. I would like to eventually work in the Middle East, or somewhere with ties to this region.

If I were to design my ideal education abroad experience, it would be about a month long. I have personally been to much of western and central Europe, so I would like to travel to more places in the middle east. I believe places like Morocco and Egypt have tons of history and culture to offer. Countries like Turkey and Jordan are also safe places to travel, and much of their history is overlooked by places like Italy and Greece. Even though these countries are often talked about in terms of foreign policy and are often seen on the news, few history classes in high schools touch on their historical significance.

Even though I am majoring in International Affairs, I’m not 100% sure what my specialization will be. As students explore more of the Middle East, there would also be classes offered and relating to (for example) Security and Intelligence or Relations and Diplomacy. This can help guide students in the right direction in terms of their major. It would also help students learn what they want to do after college, in terms of jobs or further education. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to travel across the world with my family. Travel wise, I don’t think I would have too much trouble with transportation. But, I do believe I would get home sick if I was gone for more than six weeks, especially if the opportunity was during summer.

Overall, I believe travel is extremely important, and if given the resources and opportunity, students should travel abroad or try to leave the country at some point in their lives. Travel has broadened my perspective on world politics and social culture, and helped me realize how big the world really has. I also believe it has helped me become more empathetic: I have seen the struggles that people face and overcome from all ends of the earth. I feel relieved and at ease now that I know what OSU has to offer!


[ “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

[Your “About Me” is a brief biographical statement that might include your intended major, your academic interests, your goals, as well as the things that make you unique.  Definitely include a picture! Also, remember that you can always update this post at any point. 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.]