~Year 2 in Review~

This year has definitely been a challenging one academically, but it has come with many great experiences. In terms of global awareness, I have been involved in many activities in which I am interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds. At Nationwide Children’s hospital, I have worked with many kids of various nationalities. Additionally, I traveled to Italy, Spain and France over the summer and was able to greatly appreciate the diversity in each of these places. In May, I will be traveling to the Volta Region in Ghana, Africa to volunteer through OSU in a children’s school. I am hoping that this experience will allow me to immerse myself in a new culture, and will give me important experience working with people from all around the world.  I also decided this semester to pursue a minor in the medical humanities, and many of the classes I will be taking focus on a cultural perspective of medicine. I have had a few opportunities to engage in the research process. In my Biology 1114H class, we were able to create and conduct an experiment about endophytes from start to finish. We brainstormed ideas, collected samples, and carried out the experiment over the entire semester. We even wrote a research paper at the end of the year. This experience taught me a lot about the research process, especially the creative part of it. Over this past summer, I was in a radiology lab here at OSU. I worked for Dr. Michael Knopp analyzing MRI’s from a clinical trial involving glioblastoma. This project taught me even more about the research process, especially because I was in charge of comparing the parameters of the MRI’s submitted to the parameters suggested in the study. The lack of consistency in the parameters showed me just how difficult it can be to organize a country-wide clinical trial. From the end of the summer to January, I worked in a spinal cord injury lab under Dr. Dana McTigue. I helped a graduate student with her project involving the mTOR pathway and oligodendrocyte regeneration. I learned many new skills including staining slides, blocking and cutting tissue, giving subcutaneous injections, and counting specific types of cells. This lab was very beneficial for me because we had a biweekly journal club that I attended. All of the graduate students in the labs on our floor would take turns presenting a paper and interpreting the figures. This was a great way for me to improve my scientific reading skills. Lastly, I attended a couple of presentations where graduate students talked about their research. It was very interesting to hear about some of the studies going on at OSU. The courses that I have chosen to take throughout my four years reflect my ambition to become a doctor and to learn more about different cultures. I have chosen to take some graduate and honors level courses for my Neuroscience major in hopes to prepare myself for medical school. I chose a minor in the humanities because although  I love science, it is important to me to be well-rounded and to learn about different cultures and how this plays into everyday life. Learning to be a leader is very important for my future career. I am a Neuroscience Ambassador, which means I talk to current and prospective students at various Neuroscience events about the program, I help freshman schedule at their orientations over the summer, and I do whatever the Neuroscience department needs me to do. I am also the treasurer for Buckeyes Against Alzheimer’s. This has been a valuable experience because it has taught me how to collaborate with the other members of the board to achieve all of our goals and to make sure everything runs smoothly. Lastly, I am a group leader at my church for Vacation Bible School. I am in charge of a group of kids as I lead them around to the different stations and make sure everyone is having fun and getting along. My goal is to work with kids as a doctor, so any experience I can get with children is great experience. I have been involved in a lot of service in my two years at OSU so far. First of all, I volunteer at Riverside Methodist Hospital where I walk patients and their families where they need to go, I discharge patients, and I do whatever the needs of the hospital are that day. I also have been volunteering at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This has been an incredible experience and I have not only met some incredible children, but also some wonderful nurses and PCA’s who I have been able to get to know. It makes my day when I am able to spend time with a child who has not gotten a lot of attention that day due to their parents being at work. I have also been a tutor for students in beginners Neuroscience classes. I am available to the students to either go over their lecture notes or answer specific questions they may have. Lastly, through Buckeyes Against Alzhiemer’s, I have been able to volunteer at a nursing home in the dementia unit. The members of our club have had the opportunity to bond with some of the residents, and we were even able to throw them a senior prom which was a huge hit. I plan to continue my involvement in the community by staying involved with the previously mentioned activities. Additionally, I hope to get involved with Habitat for Humanity and I would love to be in the Big Sister Little Sister program. Overall, this year has taught me so much, and I am grateful for all of the incredible opportunities that I have been given.

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