Semester in Review

Autumn 2018 Semester

This first semester in college has been a very difficult adjustment to my life. Every weekend, I absolutely had to go back home and work at my mom’s restaurant so she could get one day off. Then, I would overpack my schedules with appointments, meetings, and other activities. Homework would take much more time than I originally thought it would, and I realized, I did not know how to properly study. As such, I have been meeting with a wellness coach and a nutrition coach to try and get my life back in order.

My wellness coach has been working with me to set weekly goals and try to achieve it. If I was not able to achieve my goals, then we would take about the problems that occurred and methods to try and solve it. I have successfully started to drag all the tasks I have to do in my head onto the reminders app on Apple devices so that I would feel less stressed and sleep better. My original goal of sleeping enough and on time has not been achieved yet. When I first went in, my goal was sleeping right—my day and night hours were flipped (work late into the night and sleep throughout the day). My first week, I successfully slept by 11:30 pm and woke at 7:00 am, but I would still feel tired throughout the day; therefore, we decided to set a goal of sleeping by 11:00 pm and waking up at 7:00 am. The following week of trying to achieve this goal, a lot of drama at college and problems at home made it impossible for me to sleep right. After falling out of a pattern, I was never able to achieve the goal as all sorts of problems came up, but we have been solving little problems in between and trying to eventually reach the goal of sleeping right.

With the nutrition coach, I have been setting mealtime goals—when I would eat and what I would eat. I do not meet with the nutrition coach as regularly as it was and still is very difficult for me to go from one meal a day (or not at all) to three meals a day with snacks in between. I  had problems with trying to fit meals in and had no idea how to pack food conveniently since I live in a dorm. As such, I decided to go in and talk to the nutrition coach for ideas. My nutrition coach suggested that whenever I went to get food at Curl, Scott, or any other places, that I bought enough for the next day.

As a first-generation college student, I was unsure of how big gaps in a schedule would actually work. I originally thought I would be able to go to libraries and study or do homework in the gaps in my schedule, but I would always add events/schedules or walk from place to place on campus rather than spending the time as I originally planned. As such, this semester’s schedule ended up being all over the place. Hopefully, my schedule next semester will be better than it is now. I planned for much smaller gaps (if any at all), 8:00 am class every day of the week (so I have a set time of when to wake up every morning), and ending earlier in the day (have time to plan stuff after classes finish to add appointments, meetings, and have a longer time to sit and work on homework).

General Resume

Attached is a general resume that is not tailored for anything. Much of the information on the resume can be found on different pages of my e-portfolio.

General Resume

My G.O.A.L.S.

The following are the ways I plan to obtain achievement in each section of the G.O.A.L.S.:

Global Engagement

I plan to attend more clubs, go to more volunteering events, attend the Biological Sciences Scholars events, and attend classes. The Ohio State University is a very diverse place. As such, as long as I look around, I am learning more about diversity (all students have their own unique story—and just by meeting new people and making new friends, I can learn more about the rest of the world).

Original Inquiry

I plan to engage in research—either by the start of the Spring 2019 semester or by the start of my second year in college.

Academic Enrichment

College Four-Year Plan

I plan to learn more about different minors in order to explore more of the classes that are offered at The Ohio State University. I also made a four-year plan of the different classes in want to (or need to take). I am on the Pre-Medicine track and therefore joined many clubs that seemed like it would enrich my knowledge on the medical field.

Leadership Development

Leadership Development

I plan to develop my leadership skills by volunteering more, searching for chances to apply for leadership roles, and continuing to work at my mom’s restaurant.

Service Engagement

I am constantly signing up for new volunteering events, and I plan to have a regular volunteering shift at The James for the Spring 2019 semester.

Family Background

Hello! My name is Jessie Ko. To start off about my family background, I am part of a Chinese family that owns a Chinese restaurant. The Chinese restaurant is called Peking House and it has been open for over 18 years. My family consists of my three siblings and my mom, and I am the second oldest. I live with my grandparents, my mom, my siblings, and my two cousins. Recently, my mom’s workers have moved in and now there are a total of twelve people living in my house—making my house very crowded. It’s nearly impossible for any of us to sleep on one bed since we only have king-sized beds. When I was first born (in Ohio, America), I was sent to live with my dad’s mom in New York so that she could take care of me. When I was supposed to enter first grade, I was sent to live with my older sister and the guardians that were taking care of her in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. During that last few months of second grade, my dad came to take us back to Ohio, and I have been in Ohio ever since. My dad transferred me and my siblings to my mom when I was entering fifth grade. Occasionally, I would go to China with my grandparents and visit relatives over the summer.

Most Recent

Star House Volunteering

September 14, 2018 – 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This event was done through the Biological Sciences Scholars. We organized clothing, sanitary items, gloves, and undergarments into the correct boxes. The Star House is an organization that provides clothing, food, and other services to homeless youths in Columbus. I enjoyed the change to reorganize the containers that would enable the workers at the center to quickly distribute resources to the needy when winter rolls around. I learned that many nonprofit centers/organizations run on donations and some form of aid from the government. I understood the reality of the phrase: “Every little bit helps,” and how when there are not enough donations of the needed items, the organizations/center are unable to do anything other than encourage people to donate those specific items.

Clean Up Columbus

October 21, 2018 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

This event was done through the American Medical Women’s Association. We had registered as a group and went to the Clean Up Columbus event through another association and spent time on our side of the street picking up trash. I found a lot of cigarette butts and spilled trash from nearby trash dumping containers. From this cleaning event, I learned that proper disposal and care for trash is important for both cleanliness and decreasing future hassles that may occur from improper disposal. I discovered that many people off campus, in the residential areas, simply throw their finished cigarettes onto the ground or into the grass—as such, I became slightly worried about the start of fires by the cigarettes which were improperly disposed of.

American Red Cross

October 22, 2018 – 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm & November 01, 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

This event was done through The Future Physicians of The Ohio State University. We met at the Oval near the Thompson statue, and we asked passersby if they were willing to sign-up to donate blood in the month of November. From this volunteering opportunity, I realized how awkward the recruiters for donators felt when going up to a person wearing headphones and asking them if they were willing to donate. I learned that recruiting is best done in areas with large amounts of people and with official signs. I held up a bag (10/22) or a t-shirt (11/01) with the American Red Cross in small print on the left bottom corner, this type of “sign” made me feel especially awkward (if recruiting, proper signs or pamphlets to be handed out can give some recruiters more courage to walk up to or speak out to people walking by).

November 01, 2018 – 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

This event was also through The Future Physicians of The Ohio State University. I went to the union after class, and this time I got to help with the registration and rapid pass. I sat at the table, texted the available phone numbers on the list of scheduled people about the blood drive, highlighted the names of the people who arrived for their appointment, handed the tablets for rapid pass to people who did not complete it yet, wrote name tags for the people who were donating, helped highlight some papers of the south campus blood drives, and (as the shift was ending—no one else was coming to donate) I decided to donate blood.

Wesley Glen Halloween Party

October 24, 2018 – 5:15 pm – 9:15 pm

This event was done through the Biological Sciences Scholars. I volunteered to be the person who stayed outside and made sure trick-or-treaters knew where to start their candy collection journey. As a first-time Halloween party volunteer at Wesley Glen, most visitors with their children knew better about where to go than I did; therefore I felt a little awkward and a little useless. I did manage to guide a few people (hopefully to the right places—they were there for the first time like I was) which made me feel like I was at least a little helpful. I learned a little about the history of Wesley Glen from one of the workers (his name was Michael), and it was rather fascinating. Some parts of Wesley Glen were built way before I was born (in 1969 I believe). For example, the Virginia Gay area was originally for retired female teachers, as they did not have pensions, nor were they allowed to be married; originally, only women were allowed in the Virginia Gay (named after the person who decided to build the building) area. I also learned the shocking fact that some residents pay $5000 a month to live in independent apartment-like areas, and typically can only afford the payments through Medicare from the government.

First Year Experience Series

Making the Success Series Work For You

September 10, 2018 – 9:10 am – 10:05 am at the University Hall in Room 043

This session went over the general topics all FYE sessions cover and where these general topics came from. The most common concerns are academic changes, living in a diverse place, social life decisions, fear of failure, personal responsibility, self-advocacy, identity development, personal wellness, money management, and time. Those concerns were then organized into smaller categories: Academic and Career Exploration, Diversity/Global Awareness, Finances, Health and Wellness, and Leadership/Civic Engagement. I learned that despite how everyone else looks like on the outside, they may be just as confused, stressed, and all-over-the-place like I sometimes feel. Despite the projector and computer not working in the room, we did all the activities and were introduced to the available FYE sessions.

Buck-I-CARE About Consent

September 24, 2018 – 9:15 am -10:15 am at Houston in Room 200

This mandatory session went over the meaning of consent and was required by The Ohio State University. We were given specific scenarios and we told to answer whether consent was given in the scenario. We also watched a clip of “Sex in the City,” and were told to give specific examples from the clip that were good examples of giving consent and some actions that they were not good (such as covering the girl’s face to prevent her from talking). I learned that communication is crucial and consent is only valid and given when not under the influence of any substances, coercion, or suppression from a position of higher power. Consent is voluntary, knowing, explicit, active, withdrawn at any time, and never implied. Consent is mandatory—all physical and social types of contact require consent.

Busting Stress Through the Breath

October 15, 2018 – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Derby Hall in Room 0150

This session went over different methods of breathing to either de-stress or relax and meditation. We were asked how and where we normally get our energy, and our answers were food, sleep, and exercise. We did not think of breathing until the session leader talked oxygen/breathing and about the length of time, we can survive without each thing. Breath was the most important as we cannot survive very long without breathing. I learned two new different ways to breathe. The first method was to press the pointer and middle finger to the temple (the area between the eyes) and rest the ring finger and the thumb on the two different sides of my nose. Next, close one side and breathe slowly through that nostril before closing the other side and doing the same. The second method was to breathe through the nose and out the lips (the lips need to be in the form as if sipping on a straw). I have been using these two breathing methods to calm down whenever I get overwhelmed, and it has somewhat helped.

A+ Research: Help for Your Writing Assignments

October 23, 2018 – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Thompson Library Room 150

This session went over some resources available to help with writing and the differences between regular questions and research questions. Research questions often required more information. Some resources available for help with research includes the subject librarians, our professors, and the website gives an e-book that describes the different parts of doing research. Then, we learned the acronym F.I.R.S.T. which stands for:

F – Focus your topic

I – Interesting Question

R – Resources Needed

S – Search for Evidence

T – Tweak the Arrangement of Information

Also, there is a writing center available on campus that provides help and review of our papers if we need help with editing, structuring, or starting our papers. I learned that quoting is copied word for word and used when the phrasing is accurate, has authority, is concise, and has unforgettable language, paraphrasing is used when making an emphasis or when needing simplicity and clarity and lastly, summarizing which condenses essential point(s) of your source into main idea(s). All paraphrasing and summaries must be in our own words, and all sources need to be cited!

Financial Aid: One Click Away

November 6, 2018 – 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm at 285/289 Student Academic Services

This session briefly explained the FAFSA (there is federal student aid app), special scholarships (, departmental scholarships, external scholarships (Bigfuture and Collegescholarships), and loans (FASTChoice – side-by-side comparison). Then I learned that to maintain aid for FAFSA, merit scholarships, departmental scholarships, special scholarships, and external awards. For merit scholarships, I had to have full-time enrollment and maintain a minimum GPA requirement. For departmental and special scholarships, I had to complete the FAFSA and complete all of the available applications. For external awards, I need to check with the eligibility requirements of the donor. For the FAFSA, I need to complete the FAFSA and meet the SAP (satisfactory academic progress). The SAP means, 1.9 after the first year and 2.0 after the second year, successfully complete 67% of classes enrolled, and has a maximum time frame (150% time to complete degree). The website to learn more about the SAP requirements could be found at The last thing I learned was that if I every needed help with financial questions, I would go to the Student Academic Services 1st floor buckeyelink services area.

G.O.A.L.S. Introduction

G.O.A.L.S. stands for…

Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider coursework, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.

Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced coursework, etc.

Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.

Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.

Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.

Autumn 2018 Scholars Events

Dr. Imitola Research Lab Visit

September 10, 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm at the Biomedical Research Tower

Dr. Imitola is a neuroscientist and physician that does research on brain cancer stem cells’ properties, inflammation transcriptional control of NSCs, modeling inflammation-induced neurodegeneration, and repair with iPSCs. I also learned about a mentor program for researchers available under Dr. Imitola. This program enables inexperienced researchers to be paired with experienced researchers and learn about the entire process before engaging in the actual research. Applicants for this program do not have to be major or minor in Neuroscience. During this visit, I got the chance to see how a research lab and machinery that costs a lot of money look like.

Undergraduate Research Q&A with Upperclassmen

September 13, 2018 – 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm at Ramseyer Room 100

Upperclassmen introduced the details of their research, how they got their job, and their experiences with at their job. Some ways they got their current research position was by sending their resumes to the professors who were in charge of the research they were interested in. The upperclassmen recommended contacting the professors towards the end of a semester, end of the school year (start of summer vacation), or the start of a new school year. There is importance in knowing what kind of research the professor is doing and reading some recently published articles of their work, and often when trying to get a research position, let the lead researcher know that you are interested, you know about what is being researched and avoid directly asking for pay and the position. This was a very valuable experience because I want to engage in research; however, I did not know where to begin.

Fall Student Party

September 21, 2018 – 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

This was a social gathering of biological sciences scholars that went together to a party that introduced some details of the Wexner Center for Arts and offered ice cream, pizza, and music.  The ice cream offered was Jeni’s ice cream, and I found out that my favorite flavor is salted caramel. The Wexner Center for Arts is a very beautiful place; the performing area is enormous with dim lighting, wide stage, and comfortable-looking seating. I only discovered that there was a Barnes and Noble Bookstore downstairs as I found the way out—which I probably should have gone to take a look at, but I was tired from a long day and was ready to go back to Barrett.

September TED Talk

September 26, 2018 – 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Students gathered to watch a TED talk over Ancient DNA and the difficulties of genetic recovery and cloning before discussing the pros and cons of such actions. Personally, I disapproved of such actions. Strict regulation of such research is needed in order for terrible events like in Jurassic Park do not occur. I know that Jurrasic Park is quite far-fetched, but nothing is impossible; therefore, precautions are still necessary for gray area research.

Stress Relief Craft

September 27, 2018 – 6:45 pm – 8:45 pm

At this event, we made slime and watch a movie about slime coming to life, have high elasticity, and is able to help cars fly. Having this chance to not have to constantly think about what I have to do was very nice. I have tried to make slime before, but the recipe may have been incorrect causing the slime not to work. The movie was quite odd; however, if I must come up with something that could be learned from the movie, then it would be to not be discouraged by failures or the disapproval of others. Another thing I learned from this experience was that taking some time to de-stress and relax is very important.

Public Health Overview

October 30, 2018 – 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – at Kennedy Commons

I met Dr. Miller with a group of other students and I learned about the possible options for jobs related to the public health field. There are many different categories that could be explored in the public health field. There are two categories that I had recognized—biostatistics and epidemiology. I am going to minor in epidemiology, and one of the required classes are biostatistics. I was not sure of the difference between these two groups, so I had asked Dr. Miller. He said that he was not entirely sure either; however, the main difference between biostatistics and epidemiology is that biostatistics had more math than epidemiology. If I decided against the pre-medicine track, then I would have another option available (that I know at least a little about) to change to. He also gave us his email if we had other questions to ask him (

Medical School Overview

November 15, 2018 – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – at Jennings 001

I have not gone to this event yet. I will update after I go.

About Me


Welcome to my e-portfolio!

My name is Jessie Ko, and I am currently in my first year of undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University, and I am majoring in microbiology and minoring in epidemiology. I may also be minoring in Studio Art and/or Medical Laboratory Science. I am on the pre-medicine track, and I hope to one day become a  doctor. I am currently involved as a general member of The Microbiology Club, The American Medical Women’s Association, The Future Physicians of Tomorrow, and the Biological Scholars program.

I am looking to engage in research during my time at OSU, and I am currently taking Chemistry 1210 and Biology 1113—both of which have a lab and will give me laboratory experience. I will be taking Chemistry 1220 and Biology 1114 (hopefully-I am on the waitlist) in the Spring 2019 semester.