2018-2019 Executive Board

(From left: Gitanjalli Ajay, Gabriella Lacqua, Alec Koppes, Kusha Ansari, Hadhirah Tahir, Xiaomin Huang)

Meet the 2018-2019 GLI Executive Board

VP of Membership: Gitanjalli Ajay Prasad

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Year: Junior

Major & Minor: Finance and Japanese with an Economics minor

Interests & Fun Facts: Drawing & Painting, Listening to Music, Cooking and trying new cuisines, travel. I’m a black belt in Taekwondo. I love history and historical fiction novels. I also love learning about different cultures and travelling around the world.

What does it mean to be globally minded to you as a future leader?

To be globally minded is to have a broad and open perspective towards the world you interact with every day. As a future leader, this is a paramount value to have when interacting with a diverse international community in this highly globalizing world. Not only do you have to understand other peoples’ perspectives in order to make sound decisions but by being globally minded, you gain a variety of interesting perspectives that you can use to solve world issues. Furthermore, you become more exposed to different cultures and way of life, which is interesting in itself. By experiencing other cultures, life becomes rich with myriads of experiences, which develops your leadership skills, core values, and your future path.

If you could describe GLI in one word, what would it be and why?

If I could describe GLI in one word, it would be family. The people I’ve met and am meeting through this amazing program have become some of my closest friends. I feel like I’ve truly found a home and people I can depend on here at OSU. Each and every member is so welcoming and more than happy to help if a situation arose. Most of my favorite moments in college are in GLI and with GLI cohort members. For example, we were invited to another member’s home for hot pot. It was incredibly fun to cook and eat together. I remember we played charades after dinner and laughed over how ridiculous some of our hints were. Another day, after one of our monthly dinners, a group of us went to the music building where two of the members sang and played the piano for us. It was truly breathtaking and the memories I made with GLI are ones I’ll cherish forever.

How do you think GLI can contribute to your future professional career?

GLI has exposed me to an amazing group of people, who come from just the most unimaginable backgrounds. No one person is alike and I enjoy that diversity. By interacting with such a diverse crowd, I’ve become more open minded and receptive to chasing after my curiosities, whether it be for myself or my future career. I’ve been able to make this vital professional connections with our cohort members, Megan, our adviser, and our weekly guests. I’ve also gained the necessary skills for communication to outstanding members of the community through our meetings and dinners. In addition to that, I’ve also learned about myself and my leadership skills through working in project groups and workshops, which I’ve used to develop myself as a leader for my future career.


VP of Internal Communications: Kusha Ansari

Hometown: Mason, OH

Year: Senior

Major & Minor: Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Business

Interests & Fun Facts: French horn, soccer, anything to do with Iranian culture, history, music, food, etc. – spent the best six weeks ever in Tehran, Iran this past summer learning Farsi and getting to experience the country on my own for the first time.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

As was explained to me by a fellow cohort member last year, diversity and inclusion are both extremely important, but the former is an acknowledgement while the latter is action. Diversity is an understanding of the many things that make us unique, such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, etc. Inclusion goes one step further and ensures that there is no discrimination or unfair advantage on the basis of these identifications. Inclusion is what allows those from historically disadvantaged communities to pursue a college education, or allows non-white non-male figures to run for governmental positions and represent underrepresented communities. These successes, which ultimately further inclusivity, wouldn’t be possible without an appreciation for diversity, but we must not stop at appreciating; we must act on it.

What is/are your favorite moment in GLI?

My favorite moments in GLI are the socials and one-on-ones. While collectively in our meetings it’s very obvious that we are a diverse cohort made up of different ethnicities, genders, and other visible markers of diversity, it’s through the interactions that take place outside of Enarson 100 that I can truly get to know my peers. I learn about the experiences and backgrounds that shape each individual and thus contribute to the diversity of thought within the cohort. We also broach conversations that perhaps are more difficult to bring up in larger settings, and through these conversations, we are able to break down some awkward or limiting boundaries and become closer.

How do you think GLI can contribute to your future professional career?

It is my goal that GLI will play a large role in my future career. As my college career has progressed, I have learned that I am not as technically minded as my Mechanical Engineering peers; rather, I have a deep passion for learning about and working with individuals from backgrounds different from my own, and GLI has allowed me to discover this. I have yet to find it, but I would love a career that allows me to travel the world and assist communities in need using the engineering knowledge garnered from my classes. I’ve recently been introduced to the worlds of humanitarian engineering and consulting, two fields that from my understanding tackle the issues I desire from a career… so stay tuned!


VP of  Project Development: Gabrielle Lacqua

Hometown: Staten Island, New York

Year: Senior

Major: Civil Engineering

Interests & Fun Facts: I love watching documentaries and TED Talks!

What does it mean to be globally minded to you as a future leader?

To me, being globally minded means understanding some of the differences and similarities between cultures. It means that my perspective should not be solely based on my experiences, but it should include the ideas and beliefs of others around the world. Incorporating values from various cultures and respecting those values are key aspects I believe future leaders should possess.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

Diversity and inclusion are two different ideas that, when used together, promote a culturally unified community. Diversity incorporates exposure to different cultures and beliefs on the everyday basis. It includes the physical surrounding of people who share values, perspectives, and experiences different from your own. Inclusion is seen to me as the driving force the bridges diversity and a unified community. Inclusion promotes interaction and conversation between a culturally diverse group.

What are your favorite moment(s) in GLI?

My favorite GLI memory was the potluck. It was fun to learn and taste all of the dishes unique to the cohort member’s culture.

If you could describe GLI in one word, what would it be and why?

If I could describe GLI in one word, it would be culture. I would describe it as a culture because each cohort is made up of students from all over the world. They bring their culture, values, and perspectives to the unique group. Culture is also used to describe GLI because each cohort member values their culture and seeks to learn about cultures different from their own.

What are your aspirations in becoming a globally-minded citizen?

My personal and professional aspirations both revolve around becoming a globally-minded citizen. I hope to continue to develop my global perspective through travel and learning about different cultures. I hope to combine my civil engineering background and passion for service to do non-profit engineering work abroad.

How do you think GLI can contribute to your future professional career?

GLI has introduced me to like-minded individuals that see value in having a developed cultural perspective. GLI has exposed me to both the similarities and differences students on campus share, as well. Using this foundation of knowledge, I hope to continue this education through travel and incorporate all I have learned in my future career.


VP of External Communications: Alec Koppes

 Hometown: Plain City, OH

Year: Senior

Major: Finance and World Politics

Interests & Fun Facts: fourth generation Buckeye; interests include politics, campaigns, social justice, piano, Premier League soccer, and seeing friends/family

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

Coming into GLI, I did not have much of an understanding of diversity meant, let alone inclusion. I am from a small town in Ohio where we did not have much diversity. Everyone looked just like me. When I started at Ohio State, I realized how small I had made the world and how big it really is. My time in GLI took this appreciation for diversity to a deeper level. I now know that just having diversity remains insufficient; we must go beyond this by leveraging and by boldly using our diversity to foster inclusion. I learned that diversity by itself is meaningless, but inclusion brings great power to a group and culture. GLI showed me this is a pure way- through relationships. These relationships taught me how big the world is, and it also demonstrated how interconnected we all are.

What is/are your favorite moment(s) in GLI?

I’ve had the privilege to be involved with GLI for my third year now, once as a cohort member and now in my second year on the executive board. I’ve had so many great memories, but my favorite memory has been the end-of-year banquets each year. Incoming members are not quite sure what to expect yet while those graduating the program now fully realize what is has meant for them. Those leaving understand however that it is not the end of a global identity or the end of the relationships formed or leadership skills enhanced; rather, the banquet is when the lessons of GLI expand beyond merely the 24 person cohort and onto the world at large.

If you could describe GLI in one word, what would it be and why?

My one-word description for GLI is authentic. I have never been in more of a truly authentic environment than GLI. In other student organizations and campus involvements, oftentimes there is an obligation or social necessity to act like something you are not or not to bring your full identities with you. This certainly happens professionally as well. Yet in GLI, authenticity encompasses everything we do and are about. I have had some of the deepest, most profound discussions about this with GLI members, and this leads to a truly special environment.


VP of Marketing: Xiaomin Huang

Hometown: Zhejiang China

Year: Junior

Major & Minor: Marketing with minors in Design Thinking and German

Interests & Fun Facts: I love visiting museums and traveling.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

Diversity and inclusion foster the whole community to learn from different views instead of being confined to one particular area. When it comes to solving problems, diversity brings in more useful tactics and even offers perfection to solutions. It also brings in a sense of inclusion, that allows people to not have to worry about their differences, creating and stressing the importance of a “family”. Lastly, diversity and inclusion help us adjust the speed of globalization, so we can even experience the world within the OSU campus.

What is/are your favorite moment(s) in GLI?

I would say the Circleville for the pumpkin festival. I was not a big fan of Halloween until I went to the pumpkin festival with GLI. I had so much fun tasting all kinds of pumpkin food and just purely enjoy the day outside of campus.

If you could describe GLI in one word, what would it be and why?

Inspiration. GLI is a very selective program that inspires college students to learn about different cultures and gain leadership skills which align with my expectations. GLI is made of 24 domestic students and international students who care about culture and leadership, and l love to work with people who have consistent goals as I do.

VP of Public Relations: Hadhirah Tahir

 Hometown: Selangor, Malaysia

Year: Junior

Major & Minor: Finance with a minor in Business Analytics

Interests & Fun Fact: I love doing pilates, Zumba and watching theatrical plays. Megan Fox and I have the same  weird-looking thumbs. I am an avid traveler too.

What are your aspirations in becoming a globally-minded citizen?

As time progresses, our world is becoming more interconnected than ever. We should all be aware that we have a responsibility towards not just the country but also the world we live in. Being a part of a global network, I believe that  each member has to be able to contribute in whatever means possible. I hope to be able to use my expertise in addressing social issues or injustices so that I could find meaning in the work I do. I also hope to always challenge my cultural proficiency through meeting new people or travelling across the world.

How do you think GLI can contribute to your future professional career?

GLI gives its members the opportunity to grow professionally through the weekly meetings and monthly dinners. From these activities and events,  we are able to meet successful people in various fields and have them share their experience and wisdom. Also, we learn so much more about what it really means to be a leader in a globalized context. Being with people from all sorts of backgrounds helps to improve on how to be more socially and emotionally cognizant towards others who are very different from us as individuals. This skill is especially important once we have careers that require us to travel and meet people from all over the world.

What is/are your favorite moments in GLI?

My favorite moment would have to be the day my group members and I organized the 2018 Annual Bhutanese Wellness Festival for the Bhutanese and Nepali immigrants and refugees in Columbus, Ohio. It was such an amazing feeling to be able to directly help their community. Before I was given this chance, I had only heard the news on immigrants and refugees running away from wars and felt that there was very little that I could do to help. This project that I did when I was a cohort member made me realize that there is always a way to give a helping hand and no matter how small you feel your contribution is, it actually does matter a lot to those on the receiving end.