When I first got accepted into Ohio State I was ecstatic; it was one of my top choice schools and I knew that I was likely to end up there next fall. I few weeks later I found out that I had also been accepted into the scholars program at OSU and decided that I would make the trek from New York to Ohio in January to attend the accepted scholars day where I would hear about the different scholars groups. Before coming I thought I would want to join the art scholars. I had always been largely involved in art and music in high school and I thought that the art scholars would be a way for me to pursue these passions. However, I also listened to a presentation from the STEM EE scholar. They were a new a program and I liked the idea that I could be in a program that was still figuring itself and essentially could be a part of shaping it. For that reason I decided to pick STEM as my top scholar’s group choice.
Move in day in August was crazy. I had to pack up my life in New York and drive for about ten hours in a packed car full of my stuff and my family. Once I got here I was faced with reality: I’m going to be living with three strangers hundreds of miles away from my friends and families for almost a year. However, I was excited. I love my town in New York but I was ready for something new and different. So I unpacked everything said goodbye to my family and began to settle myself into my college life. I made plenty of friends and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Initially I was a declared biochemistry and math double major so I had a pretty full course load including honors calculus and general chemistry. In high school I never worried about my grade and rarely studied; I took AP level courses but I never felt overwhelmed by work or really worried how I would do on tests. In that first semester at OSU I was faced with the reality that there will be classes that I have to work to get good grades in and I will have to spend a lot of my time balancing the work load between classes for me, first semester was also when I realized that I didn’t really want to be a biochemistry major. For most of my life I had thought that I wanted to pursue some sort of research chemistry of biochemistry, yet from the moment I stepped into gen chem lab I realized this was not something that I wanted to do. Additionally, I was enjoying meeting people from all sorts of STEM fields though my scholars group. It was nice to live with a community of people that all shared some similar passions. Furthermore, through the service projects with experimental development groups I had an opportunity to spark the interest in STEM that is so critical to my life in younger children.
During second semester I came in with a slightly new mindset: I was only a mathematics major, no more biochemistry. I was very happy about this choice because it allowed me to truly throw myself into my love of math and encouraged me to pursue my math degree on the rigorous honors theoretical track. Additionally, I took two humanities general education courses which allowed myself time to connect to fields outside of my major. Also, these classes were good times for me to reflect upon social issues that while are very important to me don’t necessarily have to be with STEM and my major. Overall, during second semester I spent more time doing work for classes as I was in two high level math courses but I also made time for myself to relax. I made sure that there were weekends when I could hang out with friends and I gave myself times when I could relax. This was very important for me so that I wouldn’t become too stressed about my increasingly rigorous academic load. Additionally, I began to appreciate STEM more and will definitely miss living with the community next year. However, through STEM I have met people that I will be friends with for a long time and am encouraged to stay involved with it next year.
Overall the first year of college was just as crazy as one could expect. It had its ups and downs but ultimately was a transformative experience for myself. I am happy that I chose OSU and STEM EE scholars as I think they have given me an opportunity to flourish. Though I can’t wait for a break this summer, I know next year will be just as exciting and I am looking forward to continuing my education at OSU.
The GOALS of the Honors and Scholars program at the Ohio State University are Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. All of these are important endeavors but some will affect my education and career goals more than others.
The goal of the Honors and Scholars program at OSU that I think will by the most applicable to me as a further my studies and move towards my career is that of academic enrichment. As I continue on the honors theoretical mathematics track working toward my B.S. in Mathematics I will being taking continually challenging courses. Though some of these are more general such as honors linear algebra and differential equations some are much more specialized such as honors combinatorics. By taking these more specialized courses I will be greatly enhancing my academic ability by helping myself discover what specific type of mathematics I enjoy the most and ultimately want to pursue in my graduate education. Furthermore, I am also pursuing a statistics minor along with my math major which will enrich my skill set for when I am applying for graduate school and looking for a job. Another way in which I am involved in academic enrichment is through the STEM EE scholars program through which we attend many different events that cover topics in a variety of different STEM fields. These events allow you to learn about fields of STEM you may never have hear of and further your overall knowledge and appreciate for all fields of STEM.
I also find the goal of Service Engagement to be one that is very important to me. Ever since I was about seven I have volunteered my time, and continue to do so, at my local library to help the Friends of the Kingston library, a nonprofit fundraising group, raise money through three book sales per year. The money raised in these sales go to Children’s Library programs where the library brings various people and groups for free children’s’ Saturday programs. Furthermore, the used books sold, which are all provided through donations, are sold at very low prices ($0.25 kids’ books, $0.50 paperbacks, $1 hard backs, etc.) which allows for low income families to have access to books and helps promote literacy within the community. In addition to help running the sales I also help shelve and organize donations throughout the year in preparation for the sales. Another way in which I am involved in service engagement is through my Experimental Development group as part of my service for the STEM EE scholars program. For ED I work with a group of two other STEM scholars to develop and experiment that we will present to children ages 7-16. We then bring our experiment to either a local Columbus elementary school or to a Columbus Metropolitan Library bench. There we show and explain the experiment to the kids in hopes of sparking their interest in STEM fields.
Overall, the GOALS of the Honors and Scholars program are very important both to me and to the community and I can’t wait to extend my involvement with them as my college education continues. In particular I plan to further my Academic Enrichment by going on to graduate school and obtaining a career in some sort of higher level mathematics. In addition, I will be participating in OSU’s STEP program in which I will make a plan to use $2,000 to somehow enrich myself either academically or culturally. As for service engagement, I will continue to work with the Friends of the Kingston Library and next year will be participate in a service project to STEM EE scholars.
This photo is from when I participated in Buckeyethon on February 5, 2016. Buckeyethon is an organization that raises money from children fighting cancer at Nationwide’s Children’s hospital and puts on a dance marathon For The Kids. To participate in the dance marathon I raised over $250 for Buckeyethon. This was a particularly meaningful experience since we got to make a positive impact for children fighting cancer as well as stay up all night dancing For The Kids.
According to Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath my top five strengths are: Competition, Analytical, Activator, Intellection, and Adaptability. These are traits that I have seen play important roles in my life both academically and personally.
My top strength is Competition and this is definitely something I have seen motivate me academically. I love comparing my grades to the class average of the class distributions because it puts a numeric value on how well I’m doing compared to everyone else. His is not to say that I don’t appreciate the effort I put into my work, rather I just like being able to numerically organize my output in relation to others. This strength relates slightly to my Analytical strength, where I tend to search for ways to numerically explain trends. Both of these strengths fit very well with my current academic plan of earning a Bachelor’s of Science in mathematics. Discovering these strengths only further clarified what I already knew; I enjoy numbers and love using them to explain phenomena. I have always been driven to figure out how things work mathematically, something that has been integral to my academic career thus far.
My strengths of Intellection and Adaptability have been very import in my life as well. I have always been interested in fields other than then mathematics and this is where my strength of Intellection comes to play. Through Intellection I am always thinking of why things are the way they are and always seeking out information be it through news or books. I particularly see the strength in myself when I participated in organizations such as Model UN and Model Congress in high school. Additionally, through my strength of Adaptability I am always willing to try a new way at look at or explaining things. I believe that both of these strengths will be helpful as I continue my studies of mathematics, especially as I move to higher level analysis courses where one must write proofs. This requires critical thinking and looking at things from different perspectives, something my strengths will help me do.
My final strength is Activator, meaning I am good at starting the process of a project or providing the spark to get things going. I have seen this trait in my past when I have had to participate in group projects. I’ve always been the person to get things moving once we have a plan and am often impatient to get the project done. I think being aware of this strength will help me in the future whenever I have to work with a group of people, which I’m sure will be often, in that it shows me which part of the project I will be the most effective working on. Additionally, it will allow me insight as to how to balance work with a group of people so that everyone can do the portion of the project that they are the best at, thus maximizing output.
Overall, by discovering my strengths I will able to maximize my output when participating in projects. Additionally, it makes me more aware of what fields I can naturally succeed at and what fields I will have have a much harder time excelling in. this will be helpful as I continue my academic career and move onto my professional career so that I can tailor my courses and jobs to maximize my involvements in areas related to my strengths. I believe that by continuing my studies in math I am utilizing my strengths and hope to one day translate this in the professional sector.
Hello, my name is Alice Davies! This blog is designed to be a showcase of my accomplishments and goals both in the STEM EE scholars program as well as my career at OSU. There will be content relating to STEM events as well as my overall experiences at OSU. These posts will be designed to inform the reader of what it means to be a STEM EE scholar. Additionally, I hope to use this blog to enumerate my future plans in STEM fields and perhaps be a connecting factor for research opportunities in the fields of biochemistry and mathematics.
[ “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.]
[“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.]
My name is Alice Davies. I grew up in Kingston, New York, right in the center of the Hudson River Valley. I lived there with my parents and my younger brother Henry. I attended Kingston High School and graduated with honors in 2015. I am currently enrolled at the Ohio State University, set to graduate in 2019, and am I member of the STEM EE scholars program. I am super excited to expand my education in the fields of biochemistry and mathematics at OSU. After earning bachelor’s degrees in both biochemistry and mathematics at OSU I hope to continue on to graduate school and earn a PhD in both of these topics. From there I would like to participate in research and analysis of drug trials either for a pharmaceutical company of the Food and Drug Administration.
Ever since I was little I have had an affinity toward math and science. First I fell in love with paleontology, then chemistry, then algebra, then biology, then calculus, and then statistics. All of these topics interest me and I’ve often fought with myself about which is the one that I should major in. Ultimately, this has lead me to major in both biochemistry and mathematics, combining three of my interest in one grand plan. Despite my love of multiple sciences and math I had always detested the classical humanities classes. I would struggle to connect and pay attention to those classes simply because I thought there was nothing that I could possibly be interested about in the realm of humanities. This changed when I was in my junior year of high school when my AP US History teacher assigned us a ten page paper. We could write about anything as long as it could be somehow related to US history. I decide to write about the formation of the FDA and how drug trials were carried out in the US. This lead to me becoming someone obsessed with the statistic of drug trials failing and the ethics regarding who was allowed to participate in these trials. I decided then that I wanted to pursue a career that would somehow be related to experimental drug research. Ultimately, I hope to participate in the research behind drug trials both because mathematically and scientifically these trails are interesting, and because it could give me an opportunity to improve the quality of life for people.
Although I have always been primarily interested in STEM fields I do enjoy other things. One of my most memorable experiences during my high school career was my time spent at the Harvard Model UN (HMUN) conference during February of both my junior and senior year of high school. HMUN was a time for me to break out from my science and math focused studies and simply enjoy debating world issues for other high school student from around the world. For example, in my senior year at HMUN I represented Rwanda on the Security Council. I worked with delegates representing other countries to draft and ultimately pass resolutions that would help stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo via the use of MONUSCO peacekeeping efforts. One of the most interesting thing in debates at HMUN is that the resolutions you have to fight to pass may not necessarily be what you, as an individual want; you have to think as though you are a part the country you are representing that may have interests you do not agree with. Through HMUN I was able to gain an appreciation of events occurring across the globe that are not always talked about in the average classroom setting. Additionally, HMUN allowed me to realize just how much I enjoyed debating issues, ultimately leading me to rethink where I was going with my education and career goals.
Outside of school I enjoy many things. In high school I was first chair tuba in both in our wind ensemble and our marching band. Through marching band I was able to experience firsthand how a group of people can come together and produce something amazing. As our band competed in the New York State Field Band Conference first in the Large School 3 and later Large School 2 divisions there was something completely magically about watching hours and hours of rehearsals in the blistering heat all culminate in one near perfect performance for judges at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. Another activity that I enjoyed in high school was darkroom photography. Through film photography is an art that for most people is obsolete, I always found solace in the methodical process of developing, enlarging, and printing film. Though darkroom and band I learned that somethings take time; sometimes it is necessary to wait and practice things again and again in order to get the desired outcome.
As I start my education at OSU I cannot wait to pursue my love of science and math. I hope to one day be able to participate in biochemical research both at OSU and in a professional setting. My overarching goal is to work toward getting a PhD in a math or science field and do research work for either the FDA or a pharmaceutical company. I think that through drug trail research I will be able to help people and society as a whole as well as combine many of my personal interests.