Welcome to my Honors and Scholars ePortfolio! My name is Alison Jennings, and I’m excited to show you my life through college. Hopefully this blog showcases how I’ve learned and grown through the years.
Welcome to my Profile! Hello, my name is Alison Jennings and I am a student here in the OSU Biological Sciences Scholars Program. I am really excited to develop my interest and knowledge of the sciences here at Ohio State. Feel free to read along and join me in my journey!
I am a first year student who is currently majoring in Biology and minoring in German. Ohio State gives me an incredible opportunity to study the topics that I am passionate about in depth, so that I can hopefully become an expert on the subjects that I am most intrigued by. The Biological Sciences Scholars Program allows me to connect with all sorts of people with the same interests as me- other students, advisors, professors, you name it! Networking with a whole new group of people will yield a great wealth of opportunities for myself; I hope to partake in undergraduate research and connecting with professors with interest in the Biological Sciences will help boost my chance of getting a coveted research position!
I graduated from Dublin Jerome High School as a Valedictorian and Summa Cum Laude in May 2018, and it was throughout my four years there that I really began to discover who I actually was and what I was actually interested in. I grew from my freshman to senior year into a more confident and driven individual who knew how to achieve set goals. My senior year of high school I was able to put myself out there in a host of leadership positions:
- Squad Leader- Dublin Jerome High School Marching Band
- Senior Representative- Dublin Jerome High School Marching Band
- President- German Club
My IB German and Biology teachers were a great influence on my academic interests as a high schooler. Both of my instructors created a course that challenged me and encouraged me to work even harder to understand the material. Not only were the subjects challenging, but my teachers always could find a way to make the concepts interesting, and even fun!
One of my favorite memories from my IB Biology class was adventuring in our way-too-large rubber boots into the creek just across the road, so that we could collect data about which organisms lived in the water, and ultimately find out how polluted the stream is! I remember how the trek into the tiny stream was so cool– literally! The water was freezing, but all I could care about was placing my netting into the perfect spot to collect some invertebrates!
Outside of the classroom, everyone needs a hobby! I do my best reflections of the day while I’m baking, drawing, or painting. Even if I am nowhere near professional, I believe that my hobbies are outlets where I can truly express myself, be creative, and have a little fun! Whenever I get the chance I love to pick up a paint brush or a piping bag and spend the next hour or so in a calming, relaxing environment.
The Biological Science Scholars is an excellent program that I believe pushes me to excel, and sets me apart from others. This copy of my resume shows how active I am on campus, and what I can do that makes me a valuable potential volunteer or employee. Click on the link to see my resume!
I have gained valuable work experience over the summer at Thomas and Company, LPA, a midsize law firm in Delaware, Ohio. While working there I was tasked with filing records from civil court cases, and picked up on some legal terms while I sharpened my office and communication skills. While my work at the firm was very rewarding and helpful, I cannot wait to start volunteering in a lab in order to gain experience in a potential career field.
Ever since my sophomore year of High School, my German class has been given the opportunity to take the National German Exam, a test that ranks your level of proficiency against others in your designated class level, and every year I have scored in at the 95 percentile or above, with my senior year placing me in the 96th percentile in the level 4 German exam. My score has allowed me to apply for a free trip to Germany for three years in a row, and while I have yet to actually be able to travel to the country, the application experience has allowed me to improve my writing and interviewing techniques- in German! My desire to finally travel to a German-speaking country will definitely be fulfilled; however, thanks to the study abroad programs provided here at Ohio State! I hope to study in a place filled with rich history and culture, while also improving my language skills. The experience will truly help not only towards my minor- a study abroad will help me to increase my Global Awareness through knowledge of other cultures.
Semester in Review: Autumn 2018
My first semester at Ohio State has been quite the experience! Even just a couple months ago, I probably would not be able to imagine myself as I am now, considering how much I’ve changed and grown this first semester. People will always tell you that college is an environment that’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before, but you never really know how true that statement is until you find yourself starting your first semester. The first couple weeks were a complete culture shock. The new, completely different atmosphere definitely forced me out of my comfort zone, but I believe that this helped me grow and become a more confident individual.
The fall Involvement Fair, an yearly event where clubs from all over campus set up displays to gain new members, was one of the first campus-wide events that I attended. I remember that the sidewalks were overcrowded, packed to the brim with thousands of college students trying to get information about all of the different student organizations (or trying to get one of the free T-shirts usually offered during the fair). The entire experience was at first daunting, and it was the first college event that truly showed me how large our school is. Later on during the day, I was able to become accustomed to the crowds, started to look past how they were intimidating, and realized the value that comes with a rather large university: lots of opportunity, lots of diversity, and lots of excitement! Additionally, the Involvement Fair introduced me to most of the clubs that I actively participate in today. Each student organization is a home for a group of students to bond over a similar interest, and within these clubs I was able to make connections with many different people, and become more outgoing and involved in the community.
I am so glad that I applied to Biological Science Scholars; the scholars program has also allowed me to network with a lot of other individuals while participating in social and science-related events. The people I get to connect with are students and faculty that I likely would have not met outside of the program. For example, during the Opioid Crisis Research Panel event, I met with Anusha Singh, the current Future Opportunities Chair of the Biological Science Scholars. We talked for a while, and she reached out to me about joining a new student organization that she established, PERIOD. at The Ohio State University, which is a branch of the national nonprofit PERIOD., an organization that champions equity and the fighting the stigmatization of menstruation through service, advocacy, and education. Within this organization, I am now in the publicity committee, and I run the Twitter account so that I can spread our message through social media!
Taking classes that will prepare me for my major has been fulfilling. During this semester, I have been able to develop and refine a better study habit, so that I can master content from any class to the best of my ability. I have really enjoyed my class content so far, and I am excited to see what the future holds. My addition of a German minor adds in an extra set of classes that I can enjoy, and I can use these German classes, along with my GE courses, to really round out my schedule for the next few years- while STEM courses are important to my major, they are not the only classes that this University has to offer! Making sure that I have a variety in my course load will boost other needed professional skills, like writing, which will prepare me for a career.
Overall, I’m thankful for how I’ve grown these past few months. I am currently involved with many student organizations and an advocacy group, and doing well in my classes, which is a great start to my first year of college. I believe that I was able to connect with so many different people through programs and clubs, and I feel like I’ve become more outgoing and independent during my short time here as well. Of course, this is only the beginning of my journey here at OSU, and I can’t wait to see how much more I’ll grow in these next few years. I still have a long way to go!
One of the main reasons I chose to be a part of the Honors and Scholars Program was because I identified with the H&S GOALS and wanted to emulate them throughout college.
G- Global Awareness: Developing an appreciation for other cultures around the world is key in becoming a well rounded and educated individual. Engaging in relevant course work, student organizations, service projects, or a study abroad program will help anyone become more aware of other countries’ cultures. I am really passionate about learning the German language, and I feel like my German minor really sets me apart from other students. At Ohio State, I am allowed to take enriching classes about German language, culture, and history, that will not only increase my language proficiency, but will educate me about other countries that are far away from the Midwest! I am also active in the University’s German Club, where we are given the chance to connect with other German-language-learners and speak in German. There are also activities that we can do, like visit Columbus’ Oktoberfest and volunteer at the Columbus Marathon, which are nice in that they give us an opportunity to engage in our community and give us other experiences that might expose us to more German culture.
Learning a new language is crucial in developing Global Awareness, because it forces people to realize that there isn’t just one language spoken in the world, that people around the globe live different lives than people from their hometown, and that there is more to the world than what can be found here in America- there is literally a whole world to discover! Language learning is my main reason for wanting to study abroad. While Ohio State’s language classes and student organizations really help me in my understanding of the German Language, I feel like I will never truly be able to speak fluently and easily with others in German without living there for a period of time. Perhaps it is possible, but it would be very difficult. Luckily, Ohio State has many options for people who want to study abroad! If I can study in a German speaking country, I will better my ability to speak with more ease, improve my grammar, and hopefully have a better understanding of the language in general. I would also like to go on a study abroad trip in order to develop my appreciation for other cultures. While I have been out of the country on a vacation, simply going to another region in order for fun is different from living and working there. While living in a country that is different from one that you are used to, it takes time to get used to the “culture shock” that comes with living in a completely different place. But after a while, I hope that I can become more aware of the cultural differences between the United States and other places, and learn appreciation for the differences that give each country and city in the world their own unique identity.
O- Original Inquiry: As a biology major, I feel that research and my main path of study go hand-in-hand. In order to boost the world’s understanding of science, which gives us insight into the fundamentals of life itself, Original Inquiry must be strong. Through inquisitive courses, projects, and independent research, Original Inquiry can be boosted. I would like to start out my college experience by volunteering in a lab and helping faculty make progress in their own Inquiries. With the Ohio State Biological Scholars Program, I am able to connect with others with the same interests as me, and we as a group are exposed to all of the exciting research programs that are going on around campus. I went to an Opioid Crisis Research Panel in early October in order to see the many different angles that scientists and other researchers are coming from in order to combat the same issue, which helped me realize how expansive the term “research” is. From experimenting with VR in order to eliminate the need for excessive pain medications in the hospital, to interviewing victims of Opioid Use Disorder in order to see what treatment plans and life choices were working well, researchers can fight the same issue. One angle aims to prevent the abuse of opioids, and the other aims to help people who have already fallen to this illness, but both will help prevent the further spread of the Opioid Crisis. Research is achievable in many different forms, and I cannot wait to be able to find out what I like to do through the many programs available at OSU.
A- Academic Enrichment: My main reason for attending college is to learn and gain knowledge! Through rigorous coursework at Ohio State, challenging myself and pushing myself to excel in all of my classes, and applying what I’ve learned to potential careers and research positions, I can achieve academic excellence. I love that I can connect with other scholars that are passionate about the same curricular that I am, so that I can grow as a student.
L- Leadership development: Leadership can be demonstrated through a variety of ways. It can be seen in participation in student organizations, being on the board of a club, actively participating during class, or just by being a good role model for others. Through the scholars program, I have the opportunity to learn about good examples of leadership by reflecting on the work of the Biological Science Scholars Advisors, and I have the opportunity to demonstrate my own leadership abilities by being active in organizations across campus. I was the President of my German Club in High School, and I hope to continue being active in German Club here on campus. Plus, I was asked to join the Social Media Committee for a new student organization on campus, PERIOD at OSU, a club that pushes for equality through service, education, and advocacy. I am really excited to help push the club’s message to the public through social media!
S- Service Engagement: There are many social and economic issues throughout the state of Ohio that as a scholars student, I am exposed to. I would like to help out my community through the various service projects that Biological Science Scholars conducts, such as the Dog Adoption project with Canine Collective, and working at the Hot Chocolate Run thus November. Outside of the scholars program, I am interested in completing a Buck-I-SERVE trip, and have gone on many mission trips with my youth group.