Over the summer, I worked as a camp counselor for the YWCA. I was placed in the “Explorer’s” classroom, which means I worked with kids ranging from 5th-8th grade. This was an amazing experience. Not only did I meet so many incredible people, but I developed my leadership skills further, made connections with some wonderful kids, and got experience working with a few kids with Autism. My role as a camp counselor was to implement daily activities such as arts and crafts, stay with the kids to make sure everyone was safe and having fun, and be a chaperone on field trips. I not only had a lot of fun doing this job, but I learned how to handle many different situations that involved conflict among the kids. With middle school-aged kids comes lots of drama, and I was the mediator between a couple of groups of people who did not get along. I made it clear that there would be no forms of bullying or exclusion in my classroom, and handled each conflict in the way that I felt would help the people involved learn from the situation. Aside from the occasional drama, I really enjoyed getting to know each kid and helping them have a great summer.
After taking Psychology 3313 and Neuroscience 3000 and genuinely enjoying them, I decided to become a tutor for these two classes through an honorary called Nu Rho Psi. I started this at the beginning of my second year, and have been doing it ever since. Not only is this a great way to keep up with my basic Neuroscience knowledge, but it is also a great way to meet new people within and out of the Neuroscience major. The tutoring is set up in a group style, where students are free to come and go as they please and ask any questions they may have from each week’s lectures. There are usually about 4 tutors in the room, which allows for smaller groups to be formed to review the material. Some students who need extra practice will stay and we will review the lectures slide by slide, really trying to emphasize the important parts. We also have created a bank of questions and outlines for each chapter for both classes. On the weeks of exams, we use this question bank to quiz the students which is a great way for them to see where they are at. The students that I am tutoring are typically younger than me, but there are some students who have been the same age or even older than me. The age range has not only allowed me to share my knowledge about life at OSU and certain classes, but also to receive great advice from fellow tutors and students who have had different experiences than me at OSU. I enjoy being able to use my knowledge to help other people excel, and tutoring has been the perfect way to do this.
I have been a Neuroscience Ambassador for a little bit over a year now, and it has a great experience that has taught me so much and introduced me to so many amazing people. As a Neuroscience Ambassador, it is my responsibility, along with my fellow ambassadors, to represent the Neuroscience program at OSU. From working orientations, to events throughout the school year, to open houses, I am always available to to the new Neuroscience majors to answer any questions and to act as a mentor to guide them through their first year. Working as an ambassador is great because we get to make lasting relationships as we talk to some of the same students at each event. For example, the picture below shows me and a couple of my fellow ambassadors with a group of freshmen. We ended up making a group chat for the freshmen to ask us any questions they had throughout the year, which I hope was a helpful tool for them. At orientations, we helped each freshmen schedule their first semester of classes. At open houses, we talked to prospective students about the major and about OSU as a whole. Lastly, at events throughout the year such as the Pancake Break in fall Semester and various picnics on the oval we talked to the new majors and checked in to make sure everything was going okay for them in their first year. Being a Neuroscience Ambassador has given me so many great opportunities and connected me to some incredible people and I look forward to seeing what it brings in the future.
In the fall of 2017, Buckeyes Against Alzheimer’s put on a senior prom for the residents of the Inn at Olentangy Trail. As a member of the board, we worked together to plan the best prom that we could. We decided to make the theme a masquerade, and had our members help to make masks for the students and residents. We invited the families of the residents, and worked with the staff at the Inn to make the event as comfortable as possible for the residents. We had a playlist of songs that we thought would be familiar to them, and we brought lots of good food. On the day of the event, we went early to set up and we went all out with the decorations. We had streamers, banners, masquerade themed posters, and LOTS of balloons, which ended up being a hit among the residents as they tried to keep them in the air and occasionally hit them right at the students with mischievous grins on their faces. We had the opportunity to talk to the loved ones of many of the residents as well as to watch the residents’ faces light up as they danced and talked to their family members. Overall, we had a great turnout at this event and the smiles on the residents’ faces were enough to prove that the prom was a huge success!
I have always been extremely involved in my church, whether it is working in the nursery during church services or helping with Vacation Bible School. Both of these things have helped develop my leadership skills. When I work in the nursery, I am the primary caretaker of children ages 0-3 years old. I usually have a couple of helpers, but as the most experienced, and typically the oldest, I am usually in charge. It is a part of my job to not only play with the kids and make sure they are having a good time, but to also make sure each child is getting equal attention from me and the other helpers in the nursery. When I volunteer with VBS, I am the leader of a group. This means that I am in charge of a small group of children, and I walk them around to various stations and make sure they are having a fun time while also learning a lot. I do my best to create a welcoming environment where everyone feels included. Working with kids has always been something that I love. Getting to play childish games and see every single child smile ear to ear when their favorite song comes on, or when they are picked for duck-duck-goose is an experience like no other. Children are the future, and being able to play a part in their development is a great feeling.
In the fall of 2016, I was elected the treasurer for Buckeyes Against Alzheimer’s. This club works to spread awareness about and raise money for Alzheimer’s disease. With more then 5 million Americans affected by Alzheimer’s, this is such an important disease to bring awareness to. As someone, who like a substantial amount of others, has been personally affected by the disease with the loss of a loved one, I am honored to be a part of an organization that is helping to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. As the treasurer, it is my job to not only request funding and manage the accounts, but to coordinate fundraisers. So far, I have coordinated a Blaze Pizza fundraiser, and a Torpedo Comedy Club Fundraiser. At the end of each year, we donate half of our remaining money to the Alzheimer’s Association.