Through the Lens: Community Organizing

Community organizing plays an important role in the context of my issue because the people are the best way to protect the lands being destroyed by the palm oil industry. If the people are invested in their community they will be the defenders of the local forests. A community organizer that has had a direct impact on this issue is Willie Smits. He is the founder Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Some challenges associated with community organizing would be getting a community to work together to reach a common goal, as well as having the money and resources to actually have an impact on changing the situation at hand. The most important thing to consider is that to have community organizing there has to be something beneficial for the people and a plan that people will believe can actually bring forward changes. Pertaining to the Justice-Oriented Citizen model, people are personally trying not to buy items containing palm oil because there are many alternatives that do not support the unsustainable industry.

There are many advocates against the palm oil industry that are trying to spread awareness, such as the palm oil free labels that are on some items in the stores. The social justice people are those that are addressing the root causes of the palm oil crisis and trying to fix them. The demand is too high which is why it has become unsustainable. There are palm oil tree farms but not enough to meet the demand. Willie Smits bought land in Borneo and created jobs to take the land from a biological desert to a forest again. The TED talk is How to Save a Rainforest given by Willie Smits. People think his work to save the orangutans is amazing, but he instead thinks it represents our failure to save them in the wild.

Pertaining to community organization, he created a place called Samboja Lestari, where he wanted to involve the local people and restore the rainforest. East Borneo, where it is located, had nothing due to the decline of agricultural productivity with resulted in 50% of people without jobs and a high crime rate. Willie realized that this was a place that could be turned around if there was a solid plan put into action. Not only is the land destroyed due to the deforestation from the palm oil industry, it also faces the issue of fires, which can also spread to the local people and destroy their homes and families. Willie knew that the people would protect the rainforest if it were providing them enough to live. Willies land provided 3,000 people with jobs.

They started to rebuild the forest by planting 1,000 trees a day, but also had to address the fire issue. The local people knew that sugar palms were fire resistant so they decided to make sugar palm rings to try and prevent fires from spreading. The sugar palms also provide a lot of income for the local people. Overall, Willie Smits is a prime example of how a single person can become a Social- Justice Oriented Citizen. His efforts have restored land in Borneo that would otherwise still be barren due to the deforestation from the palm oil industry.

Issue Exploration and Choice

Selecting a single issue was incredibly difficult. I am passionate about numerous issues, but there are also many more I know little about. After a lot of thinking, I narrowed it down to three options, all of which pertain to wildlife, since that is most closely related to my major.

The first issue I selected was the issue of pharmaceutical pollution. Chemical traces of drugs end up in the sewage system, which passes water into the aquatic ecosystems. This issue has led to increased hermaphroditism in frogs. This is relevant to society because if changes are not made, frogs could become extinct. Frogs are important because they are an indicator species. The presence of frogs in an ecosystem correlates with the habitat being healthy. This issue is based of the P of profit in the 3 P’s of sustainability because the pharmaceutical companies profit from the production of medicine, and the P of people can be applied because people rely on medicine. I personally find importance in this issue because I have a love for animals and think that humans contribute to the decline of too many species that would be thriving without our interference.

The next issue I selected was the palm oil crisis. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil obtained from the African palm oil tree. Since palm oil is found in a variety of products from food to shampoo, the demand is increasing. There is an agricultural aspect to palm oil, but the increased demand has led people to the rainforest. There destruction of the rainforest is taking away the homes of orangutans. Palm oil has two of the three P’s of sustainable, profit due to the industry and people based off the demand. This issue is important to society because people use products everyday that have palm oil in them, yet palm oil is not being grown sustainably. This issue is important to me because I love animals and want to help the orangutans survive in their natural habitat.

The last issue I selected was the plastic crisis and the affect it has on birds, specifically albatrosses. These incredible birds often eat plastic and debris from the ocean because they mistake it for food. Albatrosses, specifically, skim the water to get fish and other food, which results in the consumption of plastics floating in the water. The adults can regurgitate the plastic, but their chicks cannot. Relating to the 3 P’s of sustainability, the only one applicable to this crisis is profit for the plastic companies. This issue is important to society because it means that our waterways are overly polluted. This pollution is not only killing birds but also many other animals. I personally find this issue important because it can easily be fixed by recycling plastics.

Selecting an issue was difficult, but I ultimately decided to focus on the palm oil crisis because it is an issue I do not know a whole lot about. Although I find all of the issues I selected important, I think people are aware of the plastic crisis and I think it is harder to fix the pharmaceutical pollution. I feel like I, along with other people, can benefit the most from more knowledge about the palm oil crisis. Pertaining to the three P’s of sustainability, palm oil is profitable and people have created a demand for it, but it is harmful for the planet. The palm oil industry profits from the variety of products they produce with palm oil since it is not only used in household products but is also edible. People benefit from using the products they want, but many people are unaware of the crisis and what items they purchase that are contributing to the decline of the orangutan population. The palm oil industry attempted to farm palm oil trees, which was good for the planet, but the increased demand has led to unsustainable practices. I intend to explore this issue by researching the ways that the crisis has escalated and what products contain palm oil so that I can stop using them and help educate and encourage others to stop using palm oil products. I anticipate having issues finding the information I want, such as why palm oil is used over a sustainable ingredient. I also think it will be challenging to eliminate my use of all items containing palm oil and to get other people to follow in my footsteps. I am both afraid and curious to discover where palm oil is lurking in the everyday products I may be using, but also to discover the sustainable alternatives.

Columbus to do List Part 2

Picking a favorite place in German Village is nearly impossible. Each place has its unique qualities. Here is a little bit about some of the other places I visited.

Pistacia Vera: Even though Pistacia Vera is a French style cafe, it is located in German Village and has authentically french food. At first I was confused about why there would be a French cafe in German Village, but as soon as I tasted the macaroons and chocolate éclair, I completely forgot my confusion. I have actually been back since my first visit and enjoyed trying new flavors of macaroons. I recommend for people to visit at least once and try one of their many flavors of macaroons.

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Book Loft: I had heard of the Book Loft even before I decided to go to OSU for college. No description of this place does it justice. I loved the beautiful garden walkway that leads to the entrance and I took my time through all 32 rooms of books. While I was there I purchased a hurt book, so that it could find a warm loving home. I definitely recommend all book lovers take the time to visit the Book Loft.

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Thurman Cafe: There is a lot to do in German Village, so we had to stop and get lunch along the way. Thurman Cafe has been a part of German Village since 1942. They are most well known for their burgers, but I decided to try the fried pizza rolls because I was craving pizza. The atmosphere of the restaurant was enjoyable; there were signed dollar bills on the wall and the OSU football game playing in the background. I was slightly disappointed that they did not have giant Bavarian pretzels like the German restaurant back home, but the food was still made to my liking. I would recommend Thurman Cafe to anybody who is looking for a casual place to eat in German Village.

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Winans: Although Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffees was not on the original to do list, Olivia and I decided to add it to our list. The chocolate store has been run by a family that continues to pass it down to the next generations. The family is originally from Germany. All of the chocolate is still handmade today. I bought four different types of chocolate when I went and I have to say my favorite was the milk chocolate orange cream. I would recommend Winans to any chocolate lovers. It is a hidden gem in German Village.

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If I absolutely had to pick one I would select The Book Loft because I love reading and have never been to a place anything like it. I learned that Columbus has maintained many of its cultural districts. They are not only maintained but also enjoyed by so many people of different heritages. This assignment has inspired me to want to discover more of Columbus so that I can have a deeper appreciation for the city as a whole. I would recommend that anybody looking to complete the same list take the time to explore other places in German Village that are not on the list.

Career Exploration

 

Career exploring and changing my mind is a never-ending process for me. Currently, I am at the point in my career exploration where I am narrowing down work and career options. My mother always told my brother and I to find what we love and make a job out of it. When I was thirteen, I started volunteering at the local zoo. Not only did I love being there but I was also really good at it. I know that sounds strange to be good at volunteering, but I was often times selected to help with special projects and other unique tasks. As a volunteer at a small zoo I was able to learn about numerous jobs, which thankfully helped me narrow down my field of interest. I volunteered as a part of the education department and loved teaching others about the zoo and conservation. This helped me build my foundation for my career exploration.

 

Through this workshop I learned what I always knew, that there is not a specific job meant for each person and that the most important aspect of the future is happiness. I learned that I have always wanted the same three things out of a job. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to make a difference, help others, and work with animals. Although I do not want to be a teacher like I did when I was younger, I still want to be an educator. My dream job is to be the Jane Goodall of lemurs, but I realize how unrealistic that it would be despite my love for lemurs. I plan to study abroad in Madagascar so that I can fulfill this dream for a brief moment in my life.

 

My RIASEC results are that I am a SIA. I am mostly social, investigative, and artistic. My strongest quality is social, followed by investigate and artistic. Selecting the letters was not very easy. As soon as social was described as valuing fairness along with helping and supporting others, I knew that was my strongest trait. I selected investigate as my second trait based more on my childhood, since I used to constantly question everything. Thirdly, I selected artistic because I enjoy using my imagination and expressing myself. I had a hard time deciding between artistic and realistic. I enjoy being hands on and working with people but I also enjoy being carefree. The artistic qualities in me overpowered my realistic senses.

 

ONet recommends I pursue a career in fields like teaching, psychology, or therapy. Although I am not directly interested in any of these careers they do align with my desire to help others and make a difference. All of the recommended careers are missing the animal aspect I am looking for in a career. None of my current career paths are on the recommended list. One could argue that I will most likely be a teacher but the untraditional kind. Director of a zoo or education director are likely too specific to be on the list. This career exploration assignment was interesting and it helps to get varying perspectives but it does not play a major role in my future. I realize there are a multitude of jobs that fulfill my desires but I have a goal in mind already that I plan to pursue.

 

Currently I am majoring in Zoology with a minor in education. I chose OSU because of the Zoology major, as well as the opportunities at the university and at Columbus Zoo. I am a camp in instructor at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium where I lead educational programs. I plan to continue working at a zoo after college. I will likely look for a job in the Education department once I graduate from OSU. My original plan was to start working after I get my bachelors. I intended on doing a working masters. My masters would be in business in the hopes of becoming the director of a zoo. To be a director, you need 5-7 years of experience at a zoo, which is why I was going to look for a job right away. Since I am now planning on graduating in three years, I am unsure of my plans. I would love to open up my own zoo or sanctuary. Despite the financial difficulties to that, there are many facilities that are struggling to stay open. More realistically, I may look into directing a zoo or sanctuary that needs help. I want to make a difference, no matter how small.

Columbus To-Do-List Part 1

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The list I selected was German Village. I want to learn more about the neighborhood and the German influences it brings to Columbus. Through this project, I am looking forward to experiencing the culture and food of the area. I hope to gain a deep appreciation of German Village, as well as hopefully finding a new favorite spot to visit. One of my first experiences was Schiller Park. Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. Ultimately, he stands for the preservation of German culture. My favorite part of the park is the simple beauty of the land and how inviting it felt to be there. Another thing I liked about the park is the Umbrella Girl statue because she embodies youth. She is actually the second one, since the first was stolen. The park holds a lot of history and many quotes to enlighten the days of visitors. Aside from the historic importance, Schiller Park is also full of life, not just through its visitors but also through the plants and aquatic life. I had a fantastic experience. I walked the park with Olivia; we also stopped and took way too many pictures. There was a stage that had vines growing up the pillars, and the beauty was captivating. We enjoyed walking around it and taking fun pictures. Being in German Village made me feel like I was no longer in Columbus, but instead in a new place with a well preserved culture. I would love to go back and sit by the lake and enjoy the scenery. I would highly recommend that everybody go to Schiller Park at least once.

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Intro to Me

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My name is Jessica Doleh, but most people know me as Jesze (pronounced Jesse). I am from Newburgh, IN, a suburb of Evansville, and plan to major in Zoology with a possible minor in French. During my time at Ohio State I plan to study abroad in Madagascar, so that I can observe one of my favorite animals, the lemur, in its natural habitat. I have been an active volunteer at Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden since 2011. My hundreds of hours volunteering there has taught me to grow as a person and helped me realize I want to continue being a part of an Education Department in the future. Ultimately I would love to be the next Jane Goodall, except studying Lemurs, but more realistically I would like to be either an Education Director or Director of an AZA Accredited Zoo. If I decide to be a director, I intend to get a masters in business. Academically I plan on trying my best to learn the material and apply it to my work. I love animals and the environment, which is why being an ENR Scholar perfectly compliments my Zoology degree. I have often been called a tree hugger because I am always reminding others to be aware of their paper usage and to keep in mind their effect on the planet. I love spending time outdoors, especially hiking and sight seeing. Recycling is also a huge part of my life. Last year I got my high school to begin recycling more than just paper. Often times I cannot go more than a day or two without reminding somebody that they can recycle what they were about to throw away. Ever since I began school, I have always loved learning and helping others learn, therefore I plan on making the most of my time at Ohio State and learning as much as I can from my professors and fellow students.

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.]

G.O.A.L.S.

[ “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 information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. 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

[“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.]

Artifacts

This past week I had a great time bonding with one of my Sapling Peer Mentors, Brooke Suich. Brooke is a sophomore majoring in Zoology. Not only was it wonderful talking to Brooke, but she also took me to Crane Café.

 

Academics

  • What has been your most challenging major class? What advice do you have to get through it successfully?

 

Brooke confessed that General Chemistry was her toughest class. She strongly advised going to office hours. From her experiences they may feel intimidating at first, but the professors want to help you. She informed me that there is plenty of free tutoring at places like the Yunkin Center and even Morrill! She told me that if I absolutely feel I need it, there are personal tutors that can be hired, but to try all the amazing free resources first.

 

 

Involvement

  • How have you chosen to get involved on campus?

 

Brooke admitted that she did not get too involved last year due to feeling overwhelmed with classwork and adjusting to college. She is much more involved this year. She is an ENR mentor and absolutely loves it. A friend she made while living in Morrill last year is the president of the bread club that Brooke joined. They get together in a demo kitchen in the RPAC and bake goods. Brooke said she joined this club purely for fun. She is also a part of PUP, which involves volunteering to help at shelters and to walk dogs. Brooke discovered this club at the involvement fair. Along with the previously mentioned club, Brooke wants to become involved with 4 Paws for Ability, which helps work with and train service dogs. She found this club at the involvement fair but had also heard about it from friends. Brooke is not currently involved with them but plans to as the year progresses. Following the animal theme, Brooke was also a part of Buckeye for Canines last year, but they have not had a meeting yet this year. Through this club she helped raise awareness for things relating to dogs, such as rabies, and volunteered at the animal shelter.

 

ENR Scholars

  • How have you grown because of your participation in the ENR Scholars?

 

ENR Scholars has truly allowed Brooke to grow into an environmental conscious student. She admitted that prior to the program she was conscious of being sustainable and environmentally friendly, but she did not know too much about them and was not overly concerned. Brooke also had thought that everything could be recycled, but now she is educated and knows that some plastics cannot be recycled. Now she has learned so much and cannot help but share what she has learned with others. Brooke tries to get her family to recycle more and is encouraging them to start composting. ENR has made her more aware and now she puts in the time and effort to be eco-friendly. Brooke told me that there is a lot to be learned through ENR, not just from the class, but from all the people you meet, and the experiences you are exposed to. Overall, Brooke said that ENR Scholars, and living in Morrill, allowed her to develop friendships that are going to last a lifetime.

 

Careers

  • What do you plan to do with your major after graduation?

 

Brooke is a Zoology major on the pre-vet track. She plans to go to vet school, possibly here at OSU, to become an exotic veterinarian. She thinks it would be amazing to specialize in big cats, because she loves lions and thinks it would be fascinating to work with them. Brooke thinks it would be amazing to get travel and gain experience from other places around the world. She would love to travel anywhere, but like all of us, she would love to get paid to travel.

 

Miscellaneous

  • What advice do you wish someone gave you your freshman year?

 

Brooke had a lot of things she wished people had told her freshman year. The main thing she wanted me to know was to utilize office hours from day one, even if I think I understand a concept. She also highly emphasized the importance of getting involved. Not only does involvement help your résumé, but it is a lot of fun. As a freshman, she did not think she had the time to get involved and she wishes she had made time, hence why she is so involved this year. Along with the previous advice, Brooke reminded me to not overwhelm myself by trying to do too many things or take too many credits. She assured me that I have plenty of time, I can stay on track, and handle what I am comfortable handling. Brooke advised me that it can be overwhelming to try and balance everything. Lastly, Brooke advised me to relearn how to learn. From her experiences, she knew she had to study harder in college, but did not realize she was not studying properly. Brooke has developed new study skills over her freshman year and applies them to her courses this year.

 

All of this helpful information is going to help me adjust to college and do my best to be successful. I plan on utilizing those gen chem office hours, despite how hard it can be to ask for help. I also plan to make the most out of ENR Scholars and the clubs I join. Being a freshman is difficult, but from this I am accepting that everybody goes through it and becomes greater students and people as they grow. I appreciate all of her advice since she has been through everything I will go through and it is hard for me to not overwhelm myself. This interview showed me how much Brooke truly cares and is willing to help and encourage me to succeed.