Leadership Council

Leadership Council

The Leadership Council (“LC”) is the executive board for the International Affairs Scholars Program.  The student leaders are committed to ensuring that the IA Scholars Program is the best it can be, while also serving as an invaluable resource for all Scholars in the program.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, the LC will be structured as follows: 

  • Chair & Co-Chair
  • Academic Events Chair
  • Two Social Events Co-Chairs
  • Service Events Chair
  • Communications & Marketing Chair
  • Three Second-Year Experience & Mentorship Chairs
  • Three Teaching Assistants (for the Scholars Seminar)

All members of the LC assist with academic, social, service, and/or professional programming, co-curricular development and organization, and guiding students throughout the IA Scholars Program.  They are here for you!

Selection Process

Every year, the Leadership Council is chosen through a selective application and interview process.  The application will be available early in the spring semester every year.  Any student with good academic standing in the program is welcome to apply.  After a review of the applications, selected students will be asked to interview and will be asked to share their ideas for the future of the program, their specific skills, experience, and unique abilities, as well as the chance to learn more about the inner workings of our program.  

Upon completion of the interviews, the new Leadership Council for the upcoming academic year will be selected, no later than mid-April.  There will also be an opportunity for the both the incoming and outgoing Leadership Councils to meet to learn more about their experiences, their ideas, and to establish a working relationship with their peers in leadership.  Each new Leadership Council member will begin working with the Program Manager in their new capacity shortly after they are selected.

The current Leadership Council members can be found below along with a short biography. If you are an IA Scholar, please feel free to contact them with any questions or concerns you have about the programs they manage.

Administrative Chairs

The Administrative Chairs oversee the Leadership Council and serve as the “glue” for both the LC and the program as a whole. They help organize how the Leadership Council functions and are responsible for assisting with First-Year and Community Meetings.

 Samantha Harris, Chair


My name is Sam Harris and I am heading into my fourth and final year at Ohio State! I am studying international relations and journalism with minors in Arabic and history! This year will be my third year as Chair for IA and I am really excited for what all we have planned! IA has been one of best parts of my college experience and I can’t wait to see what this year holds! In addition to IA I am an RA in Smith Steeb, a member of mortar board and a sexual violence ambassador. Next year I’m hoping to head to law school and adopt a puppy (not necessarily in that order). In my free time you can generally find me with a hot cup of tea and a good book or hammocking by mirror lake!


Kelsie Parker, Co-Chair


My name is Kelsie Parker! I am a second year studying Public Affairs on a “pre-med” track. I hope to become a physician who can treat and provide healthcare to those who need it most- regardless of their location or socioeconomic status. This year I am excited to say that I am the Vice Chair for IA! Additionally, I am a mentor for CRIS and I will be volunteering for the Wexner Medical Center. On campus, I am also involved in the Civic Leadership Council, Global Health Initiative, and Humanism in Medicine. When I can, I love going off campus with friends to explore Columbus! I am looking forward to reuniting with my fellow IA scholars and meeting the talented class of first years!


Academic Events Chair

The Academic Events Chairs plan academic projects or events each month. They also stay up-to-date on current and future academic opportunities and events and communicate those to IA Scholars.

Sam Stelnicki


Hi! My name is Sam Stelnicki and I am a rising second year double-major in economics and theoretical mathematics. I am the Academic Events Coordinator for IA this year! Outside of IA, I am a member and the Public Relations Director of TEDxOhioStateUniversity. I am also a member of the Boo Radley Society, which is dedicated to random acts of kindness on campus, and a mentor for Moneythink in Columbus. I also hold a research position in the Department of Sociology on campus. I’m so excited for the upcoming year! O-H-I-A!



Social Events Chairs

The Social Events Chair plans, markets, and executes social events for IA Scholars

Audrey Montgomery, Social Events Co-Chair


My name is Audrey Montgomery! I am a rising second year student majoring in Social Work with a minor in Human Rights. I will be one of two social events chairs for IA this coming year! I am a mentor and intern for CRIS which is a non profit in Columbus that works with and serves refugees and immigrants in Columbus. I am also a part of Global Health Initiative (GHI), CRU, and have worked on numerous campaigns for women’s rights on OSU’s campus. I have a huge passion for human rights and hope to someday work for an international nonprofit. In my free time, you can always find me in a coffee shop! IA is super special to me- I have met the coolest people and some of my best friends in this program who all share the same love for the world that I do. I can’t wait to be on the LC this coming year!


Kerstin Norris, Social Events Co-Chair


Hi! My name is Kerstin (pronounced K-ear-stin). I’m from the (you guessed it) Dayton area. I am a second year pursuing a double major in International Relations and Diplomacy and Spanish with a Korean minor. I am one of the Social Event Coordinators for IA. Alongside IA, I am a member of the Collegiate Council on World Affairs, which includes Model UN, United Nations Association, and Alger Magazine. I am also a mentor for Community Refugee and Immigration Services. I cannot wait to be back on campus to see fellow IA members and to celebrate another year of being a Buckeye.



Service Events Chair

The Service Events Chair plan service events for IA Scholars as well as gather information about service opportunities on and off campus to connect our program to the rest of campus and the surrounding Columbus area.

Natalie Majidzadeh


Hi my name is Natalie Majidzadeh (maa-jihd-zah-day) and I am the community service chair on this year’s leadership council!  I am a second year majoring in international relations with a minor in arabic (and hopefully history + middle eastern studies).  I am a camp counselor for the city of Dublin, a mentor through CRIS (a nonprofit devoted to helping refugees and immigrants in Columbus), and a student worker for the Office of International Risk Management!  One of my biggest interests is the ongoing refugee crisis – I hope to someday work for a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of displaced peoples. IA has a special place in my heart for making such a big campus feel so connected and for introducing me to new, lifetime friends.  I can’t wait to help our scholars get more active in Columbus and become more engaged global citizens!

Communication and Marketing Chair

The Communication and Marketing Chair is charged with getting information out to current IA Scholars. They assist in managing this website, maintaining IA’s social media presence, and creating physical advertisements for Smith-Steeb Hall.

Allison Spicer 


Hello, everyone! My name is Allison Spicer; I am a third year majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Communications. This year I am your Marketing and Communications chair, so I will be working with our website and social media accounts. IA has had a massive impact on my college experience and I am excited to see what you all will bring to the table. Outside of IA I am also a violinist in Buckeye Philharmonic, a STEM outreach volunteer for the Ohio House of Science and Engineering, and work as an RA in Smith-Steeb and a Student Assistant in the H&S House. Also, fun fact: I am fluent in Swedish! 

Teaching Assistants

The Teaching Assistants (TA) work directly with the first-year seminar by assisting in planning the syllabus and carrying out lesson plans. They also connect feedback from students are help organize program-wide assessments.

Matthew Bult


Hey everyone! My name is Matt Bult and I am a fourth year majoring in International Studies with minors in Russian and Military History. I will be one of the Teaching Assistants for this upcoming year. I am a United States Marine and graduate of Marine Corps Officer Candidates School at Quantico, VA. In addition, I am the chair of the American Enterprise Institute’s Executive Council at Ohio State and am pursuing a thesis on radical Islamic propaganda for the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. I look forward to working with you all over this next year.



Jacob Caponi


Hi my name is Jacob Caponi and I’m a TA this year for the 11:30 Wednesday seminar! I’m a third year studying public health with a specialization in sociology and minors in pharmaceutical sciences and neuroscience. I’m currently on three research projects: Reentry and reintegration of genocide perpetrators in Rwanda, Feasibility and accessibility of virtual HIV test counseling, and perception of PrEP among MSM in Columbus. On campus I’m a sexual prevention ambassador (in case you want to take another seminar with me!) and Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. I’ve studied abroad twice through OSU and love helping other students find scholarships to experience the world! I’m also a supervisor at the Starbucks across from the union and always down to get coffee/tea while talking about the world! I really look forward to this year!


Kate Greer, Teaching Assistant


Hi Scholars! My name is Kate Greer, and I am a third-year History and German double-major. This year, I will be returning to the LC as a Teaching Assistant for the First Year Seminar. Outside of IA Scholars, I am involved in Undergraduate Student Government and the OSU German Club. This summer, I ventured over to Europe to participate in the History Department’s World War II study abroad program and intern at the German Literature Archives in Stuttgart region of Germany. But now that we’ll be back on campus, I can commonly be found in the Ohio Union, Thompson Library, or working the breakfast shift at Panera on Lane Ave.



Second-Year Experience Chairs

The Second Year Experience Chairs provide structure and guidance to second year students, the help track progress of second year experience, and plan and execute second year meetings.

Sarah Drobny, 2nd Year Experience and Mentorship Co-Chair


I am one of this year’s Second Year Mentors, so I will be very involved with the second year experience and second year project, as well as other elements of the IA scholars program. I am in my third year at OSU, and I am pursuing a major in World Business and Economics from the International Studies department as well as minors in Business and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. As well as being in the IA scholars program, I am also a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. I have also taken part in the Scholars study abroad program the past two years. I look forward to meeting our new IA scholar members and seeing our second years again!



Genna Brzendine, 2nd Year Experience and Mentorship Co-Chair


Emma Johnson, 2nd Year Experience and Mentorship Co-ChairE


My name is Emma Lynne Johnson and I will be a second year this fall, serving as one of the Second Year Experience Chairs, which means I will be working closely with the other chairs to guide second year students as they plan and execute their Second Year Capstone Projects, as well as assisting with other IA events. I am studying Community Leadership with a specialization in Community and Extension Education and minors in Spanish and International Economic Development. In addition to being on the IA Leadership Council, I’m also a Global Engagement Ambassador for the Office of International Affairs, a mentor with CRIS (Community Refugee and Immigrations Services), an Ambassador for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and a Resident Advisor at the Residence on 19th Avenue. Over the summer, I was a Wallace-Carver Fellow for the United States Department of Agriculture outside Washington, D.C. and a counselor at OWjL Camp for gifted and talented middle schoolers, where I assisted a local beekeeper in one of the classes and overcame my fear of bees! I’m so excited to meet the new IA scholars and catch up with the second and third years, see you in a few weeks and Go Bucks!


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