I attended the Diversity in STEM event that was organized for my STEM EE Scholars group. The event involved a graduate student discussing diversity and inclusion with us. The presenter did a great job at making it an open discussion by having us participate by sharing experiences or opinions on the subject. The presenter also had great presentation skills that made it very engaging and did a good job and making us feel comfortable sharing our views. Something I found interesting was one of the visual aids in the slideshow that was presented. It was a graphic organizer that that plotted identities on a wheel. On either end of the wheel were opposite identities such as, white-colored, male-female, fertile-infertile, etc. They placed the dominant identities on the top half of the wheel and the minoritized identities on the bottom half of the wheel. I thought this was an interesting way to visualize identities and held my attention for quite some time since I have never seen anything like it.
I feel like holding this event specifically for our STEM EE Scholars group was a smart decision since diversity in STEM fields is extremely low. The vast majority of the STEM field demographic is white males. Holding this diversity and inclusion event could be very beneficial for us to learn about for when we enter the STEM field ourselves. Being able to understand the struggles people with other identities deal with could help minority groups feel more included at work. Creating an environment of inclusion could maybe improve the lack diversity in the STEM field. It might seem intimidating for a minority group to pursue a career when there aren’t others with their same identities and if their peers make them feel excluded.
I think OSU does a good job at promoting diversity on campus. They put on a lot of diversity and inclusion events and have plenty of student organizations that focus on certain minoritized identities. If there isn’t a student organization that fits what you’re looking for you can start your own. I don’t think you can ever have enough focus on diversity, as long as it’s genuine. The one thing I love about OSU is how big it is. You are bound to be able to find other students that share similar identities as you. I’m Jewish but I grew up in an area that had almost no Jews. There was no Jewish community in my area because there was a city a few cities over that all the Jewish people flocked to. I never enjoyed going to synagogue because I didn’t really know the people that well there since they didn’t go to the same school as me. This is completely different than my experience here on campus. It feels like I meet a other Jewish people everywhere I go and I attend two separate synagogues regularly. The Jewish community here is like nothing I have ever experienced before in my life and has introduced me to a side of Judaism I never knew.
Non-academic campus resources are overlooked on campus and in most people’s daily life. Academic resources are the main campus resources used by students since academics come first in most people’s’ lives especially before the student’s own well being. I personally have not used any campus resource in order to improve my own well-being despite being sick multiple times on campus and other great resources such as flu shots. I have used multiple academic resources but don’t seem to take advantage of the non-academic resources. The one non-academic resource I have used is the BuckeyeBar on the ground floor of Thompson library to fix a technology issue.
I visited without an appointment to see if they could help me with my OSU iPad since my iPad had a row of dead pixels. I was hoping I could just drop in to exchange iPad’s since I was not happy with my defective iPad. I gave the person working at the BuckeyeBar all the information he needed and expected to wait a little bit while he exchanged my iPad.
The experience wasn’t too far off what I expected except that I was at the wrong place for the issue I had. The person working the BuckeyeBar took my iPad and all of my information he needed and was ready to give me my new iPad except he was waiting on a text from a superior to continue. So I just chilled at the BuckeyeBar and waited patiently because there was nothing he could do. After about twenty minutes of waiting for approval it turns out that I needed to go to TechHub to fix my issue. So I went to TechHub and they took care of my issue and all is good now.
I think BuckeyeBar has a lot of area for improvement, the idea is great it can just be better. For the space itself I think it could be a tiny bit bigger. As you can see in the picture attached the space is not that large and when I went I was crammed into that space with a bunch of other people receiving tech help or waiting. I don’t think the space itself has to be that big, I’m sure the BuckeyeBar isn’t too heavily trafficked regularly, but with Ohio State being one of the largest universities in America that has an ambitious program of giving every incoming student their very own iPad I think it could be slightly bigger. The glass walls that cage you into that small space don’t help much either. I think they were properly staffed when I went but having a superior on site or on call could have been pretty helpful, especially since I went towards the beginning of the semester when thousands of new students had just gotten there new iPad or laptop. They could have possibly overstaffed the BuckeyeBar early on since there would be a higher demand so it would run smoother.
I attended the Medical Student Panel put together by RAM (Remote Area Medical) club. I found out about this opportunity through one of the student ambassadors of my major, he is the founder of the club and was promoting the event. A group of first year med students from the OSU College of Medicine came to talk about their experience getting into med school and what med school has been like so far. It is incredibly helpful to hear from medical students that have been through the hell that is getting into med school. It takes a lot of preparation and hard work so being able to ask questions and hear advice helps make this process as smooth as possible. There was a wide range of types of students which gave us plenty of perspectives on the subject; for example, there were two student athletes, two gap year students, one student that got married in college, and another student that attended community college for two years before coming to Ohio State.
I went alone and took notes but I saw plenty of familiar faces since a lot of the students their are in my major. I felt like I had initiative since I was physically at the panel but at the same time I felt like I a am behind schedule since there is A LOT you have to do to get into med school. It’s extremely stressful and overwhelming so I’m glad I’m thinking about it now as a first semester freshman. Maintain a 3.5 GPA, study for the MCAT (takes about six months), score high on the MCAT, clinical volunteer for hundreds of hours, regular volunteering for hundreds of hours, shadow doctors for a little less than 100 hours, receive letters of rec, participate in research which is time intensive, have multiple leadership experiences. All of this is very overwhelming but it is very reassuring to me that a lot of this can get done during the summers and school breaks.
A question that I asked was about their GPA’s and what their grades looked like to get those GPA’s. Most of the students had around a 3.9 which is extremely high and I would assume that you would need to get all A’s to achieve that. They informed that it’s not the end of the world to get a B in a class, especially if it’s a higher level science class like biochemistry or organic chemistry. Med schools also not only your cumulative GPA’s but also science GPA’s (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics) that have a lower threshold since those classes are harder.
I think one of the most interesting things I heard from one of the students was about undergraduate research. Something that one of my advisors has said is that undergraduate research looks good for med school but isn’t required. One of the med students mentioned that undergraduate research used to not be required to get into med school but recently it has slowly become more and more important for getting in. The other med students agreed with this and everyone of them participated in undergraduate research.
I went to two tutoring sessions for Behavioral Neuroscience leading up to the first midterm. This midterm had me extremely stressed; it was my very first midterm ever at OSU and I had to do well on it. The Psych 3313 class i’m in doesn’t have any homework or quizzes in it, your grade in that class solely depends on your performance on the three midterms and cumulative exam so there is no grade cushion. Also for my major, Neuroscience, you have to get a B or above in this class or you get kicked out of the major. I definitely felt the pressure and wanted to be the most prepared I could be. This includes making a 27 page study guide. Which was definitely overkill, but will payoff in the long run for when I need to study for the final exam or if I decide to tutor this class down the road.
I really enjoyed the layout of the tutoring session. It was in a large room with multiple large tables throughout the room with a white board next to each table. Each table focused on a different unit that was on the midterm, so you could bounce around to your weaker subject areas to ask questions and take notes. Each table had about two to three upperclassmen leading the discussion at each table. The students knew their material extremely thoroughly and were very good at answering any questions we had. I always enjoy asking questions with former students since I feel like they explain it from a different perspective than professors since they were in my exact position just a few semesters prior. The tutors were also really knowledgable about the content since you have to get an A in the class to be able to tutor at the psych tutoring sessions. One of the tutors was the president of one of the clubs I’m in which was pretty cool. I had some club related questions since there was an event coming up.
I think it was really beneficial to be able to get thorough answers to any questions. Also being able to hear answers to question other students in the class had that I didn’t even think of. I ended up getting a 49/50 on the midterm so I am really happy. I will definitely be returning to more sessions especially leading up to the next midterms and for the final exam. I think it would actually be pretty cool if I could tutor once I finish the class. I am not amazing at tutoring but it’s really satisfying to tutor people. The exception to that is when the tutee is forced to go to tutoring due to grade, which was very common in high school. It’s extremely rude and frustrating to volunteer your time to someone who is just going to make up excuses and be uncooperative. But I feel like college is basically comprised of people who want to learn more so that wouldn’t be an issue.
The event I attended was a graduate and medical student career panel for Nu Rho Psi. Nu Rho Psi is the National Honor Society for Neuroscience. I found it at OSU’s Student Involvement Fair and it caught my interest since I am a Neuroscience major. There are a lot of Neuroscience clubs at OSU but I believe Nu Rho Psi is one of the better clubs for Neuroscience. The club offers plenty of service opportunities and interesting events such as the career panel I attended. I’m on the premed track but have always been interested in research and graduate school. Being able to listen to grad students and med students compare and contrast each others career choices was very helpful since I need to start figuring out what career I want to pursue after undergrad. I really appreciated the students deep and blunt descriptions of what their daily lives are like in their field. The students weren’t afraid to share the worst parts of their daily life and it’s really important to hear those details to figure out if that option is really for you. I also got the emails of some of the grad students that I shared common interests with. I hope to interview one of them to get to know more about the research they are working on.
It’s great how many Neuroscience clubs there are because it really helps the Neuroscience community tighter and helps you get to know peers that are taking the same courses as you. I look forward to my upperclassman years of Neuroscience when I know almost all of my peers and get to know my advisors even better. The one thing I don’t like about all of the Neuroscience clubs is it’s kind of annoying to figure out which clubs I should invest my time in. My school email is cluttered with club emails telling me about meetings. It’s especially annoying when multiple Neuroscience clubs schedule their events at the same time, I wish the clubs with common interests would work together more. Which some do, for example this career panel was a Nu Rho Psi club meetings but they worked together with the BRAIN club which I am also a part of. They are “Buckeyes Raising Awareness in Neuroscience” and are more focused on fundraising for Neural disorders.
A benefit of having so many clubs with similar interests is that you can find the club that is the perfect fit for you instead of settling with a club that only slightly interests you since it is the only option. Another benefit of having so many clubs is that there are different size clubs for similar interests. For example OSU Premed club is a quite big organization so they will have some pretty great connections with people in medicine since they have the resources to acquire them. But being such a large club you can get lost in the crowd and there is less of a feeling of community. While on the other hand a smaller club like Care for Columbus is a lot smaller so you get to know every person in the club. It even allows you to build a bond with the leaders of the club since the ratio of members to leaders is a lot smaller. This is very valuable to a freshman to meet upperclassman in the same major as you so you can get mentorship from someone that has been through the path I’m currently heading down.
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