Welcome to my Honors & Scholars e-Portfolio

Hello my name is Meredith Kitzel and I am a freshman majoring in Animal Science/Pre-Vet at The Ohio State University. I have always loved animals and after my horse, Tex, had emergency colic surgery at Ohio State in June 2011, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in equine medicine. Leading up to college, I was very involved in high school with sports, extracurricular activities, work, and academics. I learned leadership skills through my officer roles in Animal Lover’s Club and Key Club, as well as maturity and independence through my horseback riding career. These skills will prove to be useful links as I look towards becoming a veterinarian and a professional leader in the workplace. Academically, I was pushed to do my best work and grew to accept failure, but I also became determined to learn from my downfalls and better myself in a positive manner after a not so perfect test. I learned how to act in the workplace with professionals through my job at a small animal clinic, which provided me with useful skills for the future and a better understanding of the field of veterinary medicine. These skills that I have learned over the years will prepare me for my academic career at OSU and for my future.

In this ePortfolio, there are many resources and reminders of my current personality, interests, skills, and how I plan to use and implement them moving forward at Ohio State. Beginning with my About Me page, I have included a background and analysis of my life experiences and how I have encountered failure or success as a result. It also reviews how I became interested in veterinary medicine and my goals in my career aspirations. The Artifacts page will provide proof of my academic and personal goals being met during my time at Ohio State. In my G.O.A.L.S. section, I will review what I have done or plan to do during my time here to meet these benchmark goals and develop a plan to achieve them, which leads in part to the Career page. The Career page will contain all evidence of the skills I am developing to benefit my hopeful entrance in the field of veterinary medicine. And finally, my Year in Review page will highlight what I have achieved or struggled with throughout my first year and how I plan to learn from it moving forward into coming years.

Year in Review

In true nostalgic fashion, I am finding it hard to believe that in a few short weeks I will be finishing up my first year of college. Coming into college I knew I had to focus on my grades and make a point to get involved on campus, since I wanted to make the most of my undergraduate career especially with my future career interest in veterinary medicine. I definitely underestimated the adjustment to college life and academics. I struggled with parking, the bus system, navigating campus, and simply school in general. My first semester of freshman year was the first time I felt inadequate at school. I have always been a good student and I felt like the struggles I was having in my first semester would define the rest of my college academic career and consequentially myself as a person. Nearing the end of my freshman year I have grown considerably as a student and as a person. I have learned how to think critically and to embrace each small success in life through my involvement this year, especially through STEM EE Scholars.

This year I have especially expanded my critical thinking skills and scientific knowledge. I have done this through my involvement in STEM EE Scholars. Before joining the STEM EE Scholars program I did not have a comprehensive view of what the STEM field was like and what it truly encompassed. After starting classes, especially General Chemistry 1210, I realized that my current study habits and methods at the time were inadequate in order to obtain future success. So through the STEM EE Scholars seminar, I learned how to learn in a STEM field and how to find success. This significantly helped me to alter my study skills, in order to find success. I was not as open minded and did not employ adequate critical thinking skills at the beginning of the school year, but now I know my critical thinking skills have expanded and I have become more open minded.

By gaining insight into how to learn and find success in a STEM field early on, it opened many doors for self-exploration and engagement throughout the remainder of my first year of college. I joined the Pre-Veterinary Medical Association and was the most active member during the fall semester of 2015. I was then elected onto the executive board for the 2016-2017 school year, which will help me to continue to improve my leadership and networking skills while expanding my knowledge for veterinary medicine. Coming into college I really wanted to get involved in pre-vet and obtain a leadership position within the club, which is what I was able to do. Coming into college I also wanted to get involved in research to improve my critical thinking skills and I was able to join a lab in January 2016 where I will continue to improve upon those skills and learn laboratory techniques. I also wanted to study abroad in college, which I already have done over winter break when I went to Nicaragua, and it was truly an amazing experience.

Looking to the future I am planning to start my own research project and to pursue other study abroad, internship, and research opportunities. Over the course of this past academic year I have grown as a person especially in respect to looking outside of my initial expectations. I found myself getting involved in other opportunities, such as the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Voyager Team which recruits students to study abroad. I have also learned how to think on my own and problem solve. Being on my own for the first time at college forced me to be competent and responsible for all of my decisions; which I am so thankful for. I am looking forward to the next three years of my undergraduate career here at Ohio State and I hope at the end of it I will be moving on to vet school here or at another university.

 

G.O.A.L.S.

Looking forward to the rest of my undergraduate career and to my future profession as a veterinarian, the G.O.A.L.S. of Honors & Scholars will continue to provide assistance to help me get involved and find future success. The two most relevant G.O.A.L.S. to help me achieve my goal of being admitted into veterinary school and coming out as a competent and knowledgable veterinarian is Leadership Development and Academic Enrichment. These two specific aspects of the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S. are especially important in a career in veterinary medicine in order to be a sufficient leader and to remain up to date on current affairs and medical advancements, but they are just as important in order to present a competitive application for admissions into vet school.

Leadership development is especially important in terms of vet school applications in order to demonstrate leadership potential. A veterinarian is a leader and it is crucial to have competent skills in order to fulfill this role. In Fall of 2016 I will be joining the Pre-Veterinary Medical Association executive board. This is a step in the right direction in order to gain more leadership experience outside of the high school realm. Gaining more experience organizing and running a large club will help further my skills as a leader, which will hopefully be reflected in my application in two years to vet school. In four years, once I am hopefully in veterinary school, I will be learning how to become a leader within veterinary medicine and in another 10 years I will most likely be out in the workforce putting those skills into practice. Being a veterinarian means that you are in charge and hold responsibility for the patient, as well as the veterinary technicians working underneath you. It is important to begin to develop leadership skills early on order to be able to truly be the best leader and veterinarian possible.

The other one of the G.O.A.L.S. of Honors & Scholars that is relevant to my goals and career aspirations is Academic Enrichment. Grades are obviously very important for admittance into any competitive graduate program, such as veterinary school, but the experiences that are gained outside of the classroom are also crucial to the application, vet school, and having a career in the field. Right now, I am gaining experience working with a variety of different veterinarians in order to get a better idea of what this profession entails. I am also pursuing research as well in order to promote critical thinking skills, which is highly important in a career in veterinary medicine. In another four years, when I’m in veterinary school, I hope to continue to utilize my resources within the veterinary college and outside to further enhance my knowledge of the career through clubs and hands on opportunities with local veterinarians. Upon graduation and when I will hopefully be out in the workforce in another 10 years, I plan to continue to enhance my knowledge by participating in clinics, symposiums, and staying up to date on advancements that are being made in the field.

Overall, the two goals from the G.O.A.L.S. of Honors & Scholars that are the most pronounced and relevant to my current and future career goals are Leadership Development and Academic Enrichment. Leadership Development will help me to develop skills early on in my undergraduate career that will hopefully be built upon in veterinary school in order to become a great veterinarian. Academic Enrichment will also be important for helping me to achieve my goals by expanding my knowledge outside of the classroom in order to obtain diverse knowledge and hands on experiences that will benefit me in my future career.

 

Career

Resume – MeredithKitzel

Since beginning college in Fall 2015, I have improved upon old skills and developed new skills that I will continue to fine tune throughout the rest of my undergraduate career, to hopefully prepare me to apply and enter into vet school. From my participation in the Scholars program I have improved upon my time management skills in order to better balance the commitments for the program, along with my academics. STEM EE Scholars has supplemented my already developed time management skills that I gained riding horses competitively since age nine, which I still currently engage in and balance along with my academics and other activities. I also started into research in a field totally new to me, protein engineering, in order to expand my knowledge and challenge myself in a different area, which will promote my critical thinking skills. I am also working to continuously improve my leadership skills with my new position on the executive board of the Pre-Veterinary Medical Association for the 2016-2017 school year.  I also learned to appreciate diversity on my study abroad program to Nicaragua in January of 2016, which I am excited to share with other students interested in study abroad in The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science through my involvement in Voyagers. Voyagers will help improve my communication skills since I will be presenting in front of classrooms to promote study abroad programs. I look forward to continuing to expand on these skills in the years to come.

Artifacts

Cleveland Equine Clinic in Ravenna, OH  has truly become my new home away from home. The first time I went to shadow at the clinic was the summer of 2014, before my senior year of high school. I did this as part of my senior project, which aimed to gain experience in a potential career area. After that experience, I gained definite conformation that this was a career I was interested in pursuing, especially in relation to working with equine. After the completion of my senior project, I continued to go back and subsequently spent the entire summer of 2015 there along with both winter and spring breaks my freshman year of college gaining over 200 hours of experience in total.

The time I have spent so far at Cleveland Equine has been monumental in relation to the knowledge of equine veterinary medicine I have gained by being there. For applications to vet school, it is required to have a certain amount of hours logged working directly with a veterinarian and I have gained comprehensive and hands on knowledge of the field by doing so. By spending time at this clinic I learned critical thinking skills in order to deduce what is wrong with the horse. I learned to use my senses in order to detect abnormalities in the horse’s step to be able to treat the horse and how treatments vary based on budget and the age and job of the horse. Learning this skills has helped me to alter the way in which I learn. It takes more than just memorizing, it has required me to learn by doing and repetition. The more I learn to palpate legs and watch horses move; the better I will become at picking up on subtle abnormalities. This knowledge about learning can be applied to many other things in my life, especially school, in relation to the way I prepare and learn material.

About Me

PROFILE PIC ABOUT ME

Ever since I was a child I have always viewed myself as an individual. I saw myself as someone who had my own goals and aspirations, rather than living in someone else’s shadow. This view led me to try new things often and thoroughly engage with the community in which I lived; whether it was serving meals at a soup kitchen, volunteering with a therapeutic riding program, or serving as the president of my high school’s Animal Lover’s Club. From the time I started Kindergarten at a small Lutheran grade school, to attending a college-preparatory all girls’ Catholic high school, I have always been enthralled with learning and the knowledge it entails, without concern of other’s critique. Being at The Ohio State University is more than I could ever imagine, with its bountiful resources and outstanding programs. Four years from now I hope to see my name, Meredith Kitzel, on a diploma from The Ohio State University, and in another four years my name on a diploma from an accredited college of veterinary medicine. I am currently in my first year of undergrad, majoring in Animal Science, with the goal to become an equine vet.

Since I was young I had always loved animals, especially horses. When I was 8 years old I wanted to quit dance to ride horses, but it wasn’t until a full year later that I was able to convince my mom to let me trade my ballet shoes in for a pair of paddock boots. I have always been very committed to the things I find myself to be passionate about, and riding at that moment, 10 years ago to today, is one of them. I started riding at the age of 9 and have since competed through the intermediate level in the sport of eventing with my thoroughbred, Tex. Riding has taught me to accept failure, to be patient, and to become independent in many different ways throughout my young rider career. My goal is to successfully complete a CCI**, but I have currently not found the success I am striving for at the level. Roadblocks such as that, I view, are to test us and hopefully one day my hard work will finally pay off. I encounter these roadblocks in my day-to-day life, personally, socially, and academically in various forms.

In June of 2011, Tex, had emergency colic surgery here at Ohio State and simply experiencing his procedure and recovery set my mind on the goal to attend this world class university, to pursue a career in that field. Soon after Tex’s surgery I became more interested in STEM, through my desire to take more rigorous science and math courses in high school, and by getting a job at a small animal clinic in 2012, as well as an internship with an equine clinic during the summers of 2014 and 2015. Through my engagement of immersing myself more fully in the field of STEM, I have opened doors to explore my field of interest in veterinary medicine further, as well as my educational knowledge in the classroom.

When the opportunity to be a STEM EE scholar presented itself to me, I wanted the chance to develop connections with other students who share similar passions and to further my love for learning and STEM outside of the classroom. I enjoy collaboration with others to further enrich my own knowledge, as well as others. Often times I ask myself what I could do to better myself as well as others, and I feel like STEM is a valuable tool and resource to help me answer that question and learn more about the person I am and striving to become.

 

After taking the StrengthsFinder test, it was determined that my top five strengths are restorative, learner, individualization, responsibility, and discipline. By reading the descriptions of the strengths, it provided insight into how they may relate and be working in my life in regards to academics and future goals. These strengths are important tools to be able to utilize and can be a helpful resource to tap into.

My top strength was restorative, which indicates that I am good at dealing with problems and figuring out what is going wrong, in order to find a solution. In my current life, this strength plays a big role in helping me to deal with issues at hand whether it be figuring out how to best balance schoolwork and extracurricular activities or simply figuring out why my laptop is not working properly that day. Academically, I use this strength to identify why I may not be doing well in a class and as a result, develop a plan of how to raise my grades. This may include identifying study skills I have successfully used in the past or new study skills that I have been exposed to during my time here at Ohio State. Knowing that this is a specific strength of mine helps me to stay on track and always reflect on the work I have done and how I can better improve for next time. It helps support my goal of being a veterinarian because I know if I make a mistake, I will do everything I can to learn from it, to improve and make sure it is not made again. This, as a result, will help me find success and will help me to achieve my career goal by always working to fix my flaws and to learn from my mistakes.

The next strength that was identified for me was learner. As a learner, I have a strong desire to learn and always want to improve. This is very relatable for me, and in my current life I see this playing a role in my academic life especially. I always want to understand topics we are learning about completely and enjoy the feeling of finally being able to comprehend a difficult concept. Academically, I tend to focus on the things I know, and don’t know and how I can better help myself tackle those concepts that I struggle comprehending. Having the strength of being a learner supports my future goal to become a vet by helping me to focus on my weaknesses in order to improve them and I will utilize this strength in order to find academic success for vet school.

My third strength was identified to be individualization. This means that I am interested in the unique qualities of each person and have the ability to understand how different people can work together productively. In my current life, I am able to apply this strength when I am trying to understand relationships between certain people whether it is between two friends or a friend and me personally, in order to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Also, I use this in my current personal life to reflect on how to perform a skill to a higher degree of precision the next time I attempt it. Academically this can be useful in order to personally gain insights into my problem areas in order to not make the same mistakes. This can be related to and supports my future goals by helping me to perfect my abilities in order to do well academically in order to get into vet school and complete it successfully. This will help me achieve my professional goals, by helping me to be to be personable and work well with clients in my profession, as I am able to identify the best way to interact with various kinds of people.

Responsibility was the fourth strength that was identified for me as a result of the StrengthsFinder assessment. Having the strength of responsibility means that I take ownership for my actions and stay committed to my values related to loyalty and honesty. In my current life, I am mature and for the most part always follow through on what I said I would do. If I don’t I usually have the tendency to be upset with myself. Academically, being responsible helps me to stay on top of my work and to make sure I am prepared for any tests or quizzes. Being responsible helps to support my future goals by helping me to lay a foundation for what I need to do in order to accomplish the goals I have set out for myself to achieve. I can utilize my strength of responsibility in order to achieve my personal and professional goals, since I am dependable and can use my tendency to plan in order to organize what needs to be done and how to do it, without compromising my values. This will be useful in helping me to become a veterinarian, in order to provide the best care I can without losing sight of my values.

The last strength that was identified is discipline. This strength is described as enjoying routine and structure. Currently, this strength can be identified in my life when I am doing homework or am working to balance multiple activities. I regulate my time and create a structured schedule to follow in order to accomplish all of my goals. Academically, I am able to use the strength of discipline to complete all of my assignments on time and to be prepared for class, which stems from my reliance on familiar patterns to complete my work. Knowing my strength of discipline helps me to work to achieve my future goals by imposing structure on certain aspects of my life in order to meet deadlines, which will help me achieve better results that will help me get into vet school. Utilizing my strength of discipline to achieve my future goals helps to set an organized plan of action for me to follow in order to accomplish the task at hand successfully.

Overall, my five strengths summarized a very accurate representation of my characteristics that are useful assets in my life. They all tied together, and often overlapped in certain aspects such as organization and determination to learn from mistakes. These strengths are very important to my character and have a direct relationship with the successes I encounter related to those strengths.