Columbus To-Do List: Coffee and Tea


On the eleventh of September I had spent the afternoon in German Village with my aunt Liz. My aunt picked me up right after my final class of the week, and we headed to German Village for lunch. Over the next four hours I learned so much about my aunt, from how she got the job she has today, to her favorite type of coffee. I did not realize how little I knew about a person I spend time with so often. During my time I also learned about German Village and its history, and I had a chance to see the art that my grandmother is selling in a small shop there.  The original residents of German Village were hard working immigrants who lived in well built small homes on the south side of Columbus. These homes and the brick paved streets they stand on have been preserved, and their beauty is still visible today. Liz and I spent part of our afternoon wondering through the streets of German Village, and window shopping. We ended our day with iced mochas from Stauf’s Coffee Roasters. These were exceptional mochas, with the perfect coffee to milk to chocolate ratio, my aunt took one sip, and said it was the best mocha she had ever had. We will definitely return to Stauf’s again.

Iced Mocha

Stauf’s Coffee Roasters- German Village

A month later, on October 11, I went to One Line Coffee with Miss Mallory Wiles, I can be seen here with Mallory’s iced coffee, however my drink of choice was a cappuccino, seen on the right. Unlike other coffee shops I had been to in the past, One Line Coffee cared a lot about my coffee experience, and the barista wanted to make sure that I chose the right drink. I was very happy with my decision, because my coffee not only tasted amazing, but it was also a piece of art. This was only the second time that I had ever had coffee that doubled as a work of art, and I think I will visit One Line Coffee often over the course of the next four years. The atmosphere also made the coffee shop appealing, from the location in the Short North, to the exposed brick and wood floors, One Line is the perfect place to study, or meet up with friends.


IMG_5186 IMG_5188

The third cafe I visited was Impero Coffee Roasters, this was the best tasting coffee that I had over the course of completing this to do list. I ordered a flat white, my favorite drink at Starbucks, however, Impero’s was far superior. A flat white is made by pouring the micro-foam from whipped whole milk over ristretto shots of espresso, it is my favorite caffeinated beverage because the richness of the espresso is enhanced by the fat in the milk. I prefer flat whites to lattes because the proportion of coffee to milk is higher. The flavors of the coffee and the milk are excellently combined to create an entirely new taste that is both bold and delicate. The coffee at Impero was far superior, but the atmosphere was not as welcoming when compared to the other cafes I visited. Impero had a very modern interior with limited seating, not ideal for meeting up with friends to catch up. Impero is set up to be more of a grab and go coffee shop, where as the other cafes I visited were meant to be an experience. I was also not impressed with the latte art at Impero, seen below. Leaves were the subject of choice every time I ordered a latte type beverage while completing my to do list, however, the art at Impero was not as formal as the art from other cafes.


My next coffee beverage was a cappuccino from Fox in the Snow Cafe, it was unfortunately my least favorite drink. The coffee was a little too bitter for my taste, but the ratio of coffee to milk was perfect. I enjoyed the full bodied taste of the coffee, however, it was a little too strong for my liking. I would still like to return to Fox in the Snow, because their breakfast offerings seem interesting, and they had a large variety of caffeinated beverages. As a coffee lover I am always willing to give a cafe a second chance, and I hope that I will be pleasantly surprised when I return the next time. Another reason I will return to Fox in the Snow is that the atmosphere is lively and inviting. The cafe would be perfect for everything from a date to an afternoon of studying. Part of the cafe can be seen in the photo below, the design is very modern, and the contrast between the white walls and the industrial furniture makes everything seem new.


I finished my to do list at Kafe Kerouac. While there I enjoyed a mocha, the caffinated beverage that started my coffee adoration, and I was reminded of the reasons why this heavenly beverage was my favorite for several years. The combination of milk, coffee, and chocolate was delightful, and it was the perfect drink to warm me up on such a frigid day. I also enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of the cafe, this made the me feel welcomed and comfortable. Kafe Kerouac is not only a cafe, but is also a used bookstore with an eclectic collection of books. Although I enjoyed the atmosphere, and a used my time there to get some studying done, I would have enjoyed my mocha more if it had been slightly less sweet. Unfortunately the amount of chocolate used to make this mocha hid the coffee flavor, and this made me miss the mocha I had at my first stop of the to do list. I think I will likely still return to Kafe Kerouac in the future, because I enjoyed the experience of being there so much. As I said in my post about Fox in the Snow Cafe, I am always willing to give a cafe a second chance.




Kaitlyn Nicole Santinoceto

My wonderful mentor, Kaitlyn Santinoceto, is currently an Animal Sciences Major, and  her class rank is 2. Kaitlyn and I talk often about personal matters, and this interview gave me a chance to learn more about her academic life.

For the Academics topic, Kaitlyn shared with me that her most challenging major class was Animal Science 2100. This class was centered around production animals; Kaitlyn was a minority in this class, because she had no prior knowledge on this subject, while many of her peers had extensive background knowledge on production animals. Unlike many of her classmates, Kaitlyn did not grow up on a farm, and she was not a part of 4H. She made it through this class by dedicating extensive time to her work on this subject, and finding friends in this class, who helped her fill in the gaps in her knowledge, and she still works with them often.

Prior to our interview, Kaitlyn had shared with me on several occasions that she was very involved outside of the classroom, and hearing how this involvement has benefitted her helped me to realize the importance of being a well rounded student. For Kaitlyn, the benefits of being involved range from getting her mind off of classwork, to meeting new people. Kaitlyn said that when her classes get stressful, it is nice to think about other things for a while, and she does this by immersing herself in activities other than academics. Her favorite aspect of being involved is meeting new people, and having the opportunity to network with them. The new people she meets often are people that she would have never met otherwise, and these people have become some of her closet friends. Kaitlyn’s experience has caused me to think more about the topics I am passionate about, and the ways in which I can use my interests to get involved.

To make the most of being an Environment and Natural Resources Scholar, Kaitlyn shared with me that the program is what you make of it. Being more involved has given her opportunities to get outside her comfort zone, and have new experiences. Kaitlyn has participated in many activities as a scholar, including hiking and workshops,  and she thinks that all the opportunities to spend time outside are rewarding, and worthwhile. Talking with her about Scholars made me realize that participating in more than the required amount of activities helps one get more out of the program.

After talking about ENR scholars we discussed careers, and Kaitlyn has two very different dream jobs: working in a zoo, and working with children with disabilities. She would like to work with exotic animals if she worked in a zoo, but she also could see herself working with disabled children, because she has a disabled brother, and works with an organization for disabled students on campus. Aiding people with disabilities makes her happy, and she has a lot of experience with this type of situation, so she knows that she would find her work interesting, and be excited about coming to work everyday. No matter what Kaitlyn decides to do she knows one thing for sure, she wants to share her scientific knowledge with people.

Our final topic of discussion was the Miscellaneous category, and I asked my mentor about the most important things she has learned at Ohio State thus far. Her advice was to make time for yourself, and stay focused, she especially emphasized the importance of balance, noting that it is important to remember that one does not need to study all the time. Yes, we are students, but Kaitlyn stated it is important to remember that we are first and foremost people, we need a break sometimes, and these breaks are important for our health, and good health helps us be well in all aspects of our lives. The piece of advice that she gave me that I need to keep in mind the most is remembering to take time to relax, for me it was difficult to relax before college, over my first year I will need to work hard to make sure I have ample time for relaxation to have a good balance.

I am glad I had the opportunity to learn more about Kaitlyn both as a student, and as a friend. Her advice will help me as I continue to adjust to Ohio State, and throughout my four years here.


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: Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[ “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: 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.]


Helena Gastier
Campus: 1900 Cannon Drive, Columbus, OH 43210 -330-621-88791
Permanent: 942 Quinby Avenue, Wooster, OH 44691


The Ohio State University                                                                                                                Columbus, OH
Bachelor of Arts                                                                                                                                             May 2019
Major: Chemistry
Minor: French
Scholars: Environmental Science

Wooster High School                                                                                                                             Wooster, OH
Graduated with Honors, GPA: 3.96                                                                                                         May 2015


Flex Yoga                                                                                                                                                     Wooster, OH
Desk Clerk                                                                                                                                           June 2015- Present
• Handled class check-in and retail transactions
• Liable for keeping space clean, arranging retail products to encourage sales, and ensuring security of studio overnight
• Exposed to Mind Body Scheduler, inner workings of a small business

Lemonberry Frozen Yogurt                                                                                                                Wooster, OH
Customer Service Representative                                                                                        November 2014-Present
• Explained process to customers and responded efficiently to customer questions and concerns
• Handled daily store closing and security processes
• Trained new employees and established an understanding of company policies
• Collaborated with other employees to provide high quality customer service


Environment and Natural Resources Scholars                                                                     Columbus, OH
Buckeyethon Team Captain                                                                                         October 2015- February 2016
• Learned skills for recruiting participants, and fundraising for a group
• Established first team for this Scholars program

First Presbyterian Church Wooster Session                                                                              Wooster, OH
Youth Elder                                                                                                                                      July 2014- May 2015
• Represented the opinions of the younger members of the congregation


Environment and Natural Resources Scholar                                                                       Columbus, OH
Active Member                                                                                                                           August 2015- May 2017
• Completed a minimum of 10 hours of service with an environmental focus per semester


Computer: Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint
Foreign Language: Conversational French


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About Me



A photo of me in my happy place , June 2014

Hi guys! I’m Helena, I am from Wooster, Ohio, and I am very excited to be at The Ohio State University. I have always loved science; I’m on the Pre-Med track, and my Major is Chemistry, with a minor in French. Down the road I hope to be a Physician Assistant in Pediatrics. I love spending time with young children, and I have been babysitting since I turned 11. I have been running for five years, I ran both cross country, and track all four years in high school, as well as both for one year in middle school. Running has helped me tremendously as a student; through being a runner I learned how to manage time effectively, push through difficult times, and I found that hard work pays off. My senior year I was a captain of both the cross country and track teams, and I feel that I gave the young runners hope. As a freshman I was the slowest runner on the team, but I did not want to stay there, so each summer I worked a little harder. My junior year I missed earning a varsity letter by just one meet, this only made me work harder. During my senior year I went from a junior varsity runner, to second team all-county, and honorable mention in my conference. During the final practice we had as a full team I told this story to everyone, and afterwards a freshman, who had struggled all season came up to me, and thanked me for giving her hope and making her want to work harder the next year. Running has shaped the person I am today, and allowed me to influence others. When I am not running, I enjoy doing yoga, and spending time outdoors. My love of the outdoors is furthered by being an Environment and Natural Resources Scholar, and I am very passionate about environmental issues. Back in Wooster many found my interest in the environment annoying, because I try to recycle everything that can be recycled. This carried over to my job at a frozen yogurt shop that did not recycle at all, so once a week I took all the recycling with me after my shift had ended, and brought it to the recycling center. Although some criticized me, my church, First Presbyterian, helped me to realize that what I was doing was making a difference. I am the church organist’s daughter, and as such faith has been a central part of my life for as long as I can remember. As I have grown older my faith has become more of my choice, and I decided to join the church, and in my senior year of high school I served on Session, which is the churches governing body. My favorite place in the world, Montreat, North Carolina, has also been central to my faith, and who I am today. Montreat is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and while I am there each year I feel closer to God, in this “thin” place. This past summer I had the opportunity to serve on the team of youth that helps lead worship, and being able to share about a “messy” time in my life, helped me to release the difficult last month I had my senior year, and allowed me to be more open to new things as I come into college. I am excited to see what will happen over the course of the next few years, and I am ready to find who I am meant to be.

This is my church group on top of Lookout Mountain in Montreat, June 2015:



P.S. that kid on my left is my brother Wil.

And here’s my family: my mother Ann, my father Eric, and Wil.