Year in Review

This year has been very productive for my personal and academic growth. Not only has IA offered me a myriad of events to help me develop more as a proud OSU student.

During this year, I have made many new friends from the Tzu Chi Foundation where I volunteer. I have been able to talk to people of all ages from little kids to the elderly. This has helped me develop my social skills which will help me when I graduate and enter the business world. Also, I will continue to volunteer with this group for the betterment of the Columbus community. My involvement in the Kendo Club will also help me deepen my understanding and appreciation of the Japanese culture. I think this will allow me to be able to connect with and even greater range of people. Being a Chinese major, it is good to branch out and meet people of other nationalities besides Chinese/Taiwanese.

Moving forward, I expect to still be a productive member of the International Affairs Scholars and to help in any way I can. The IA Scholars program given me so much help and support that I feel it only necessary that I give back. As for volunteering, I hope to branch out and volunteer on campus. Helping the Columbus community is great, but I also want to help the OSU community become an even better place for every one. I hope to become a great kendo practitioner and help get the club more publicity. I was referred to the club by a friend who happened to see a random list of clubs to join. I hope to change this and make kendo a more popular sport here at OSU.

Being involved with IA has truly changed me for the better. OSU is such a big school and IA has given me a tight-knit community to be a part of. It has given me the confidence and the support needed to be a great student. It has also given me a chance to meet so many professors that I would not normally get to meet with my current curriculum. When I first got accepted into OSU, I wanted to be in the Business Scholars group. When I found out I was placed in IA, I was disappointed but now I’m glad that I got placed here. IA is like a second home to me and I would not trade it for any other organization here at OSU. I hope to help IA grow and become the best Scholars program here at OSU and I proudly represent myself as an International Affairs Scholar. I look forward to seeing what IA has in store for next year.

Nursing Home Visit


This is a nursing home I went to while volunteering with the Tzu Chi Foundation. While we were there, we kept the elderly company and also helped them wherever possible. This was a truly humbling experience.  Going to the nursing home really taught me to cherish those around me because they might not always be there. Also, I have a greater appreciation for my time as it seems like just yesterday I was a freshman in college. I will continue to do community service with this organization and help the Columbus community anywhere I can.

Tzu Chi Foundation New Year Ceremony


I participated in a New Year ceremony with the Tzu Chi Foundation volunteer group. We performed a sign language song from Buddhist texts and gave blessings to those attending. I’m not religious so this was truly something new for me. However, the group was very welcoming and didn’t ostracize me for not being Buddhist. I had never really thought about anything spiritual but now I may have to read up on some of Buddha’s works.

Thesis Defense


Here my friend is defending his Alzheimer’s thesis to a board of supervisors and scientists here at OSU. I attended his defense to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease because my maternal grandfather is suffering from it. Also, since I am pursuing a degree in business and Chinese, I rarely involved with STEM events. STEM has always been an interest of mine and as much fun as it is to be a part of the International Affairs Scholars, it’s nice to see other events. I believe that it is important to be attend events not part of my major so that I can expand my horizons.

Traditional Chinese Lion Dance


This is a pair of Traditional Chinese Lion Dance lion costumes. I taught three of my classmates how to do a lion dance routine so that we could perform at the Language Festival here at OSU. It was quite the learning experience for me as I had to teach my classmates who had no idea what this was in 4 days time. However, despite the time crunch we performed spectacularly! It was a true pleasure to share a bit of my culture with others. The story behind the lion dance is that every new years day, monsters and ghosts would return and haunt everybody. The lion dance was a means to scare off the monsters and ghosts so that they would not come back for another year. Among all of the fun events I have gone to, I think this one trumps them all. Teaching others is an amazing thing.

Kendo Tournament


I went to a Kendo Tournament at Case Western with the OSU kendo team. I wasn’t participating in the tournament but I learned a lot about Japanese culture while I was there. For lunch, we ate a traditional Japanese bento lunchbox. In an age where the Middle East, China, and Russia dominate American media, experiencing Japanese culture was not only a breath of fresh air but also a truly educational time. Kendo is such an ancient martial art form that it feels like I’m looking back in time. I can’t wait to participate in the next tournament!

Taiwan Study Abroad


During the summer of 2016, I went to Taiwan to study Mandarin Chinese to further develop my Chinese skills. However, learning isn’t all done in the classroom so I also went around Taiwan to experience what Taiwan had to offer. Here two of my friends and a former OSU Chinese teacher also happened to be in Taiwan where we took this O-H-I-O photo in front of Taipei 101. Studying abroad really broadened my horizons and helped deepen my understanding of what it means to be Taiwanese.


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

During my time at OSU, I have had the opportunity to explore and experience many different cultures. This led me to double major into Chinese which would compliment my major in Finance. This would allow me to hopefully work overseas after I graduate. On top of that, I have recently taken Japanese courses as well out of interest for the culture and language. During the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to study at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan to help develop my Mandarin skills. I also got to go around the island to experience the vibrant culture in Taiwan. The blend of Japanese and Chinese cultures in Taiwan truly makes a unique environment. Also, Taiwan is one of the most Westernized Asian countries in the Far East so it is awesome to see the blend of the best of the West and East. I encourage everybody to visit the beautiful island aptly named Isla Formosa by the Portuguese.


Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students will 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.

In my Traditional Chinese Culture class, we are tasked with finding links between Modern China and Ancient China. A research topic I chose was to question the effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, especially acupuncture. Through this project, I was able to learn about all kinds of weird concoctions the Ancient Chinese used to cure ailments from urine and feces to ground up animal bones. Most Traditional Chinese Medicine is completely bogus but the plant based medicines do have credibility. Acupuncture, however, actually has some scientific credibility to it. Targeting the various nerves in our bodies can have a positive effect on our mental and body health. Although I have not had acupuncture performed on me before, I can see why it became so popular all around the world.


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

In the future, as a Taiwanese American student, I want to do business in the Chinese speaking world, acting as a bridge between China and Taiwan. Also, since Taiwan has amicable relations with Japan, I could also forge a bridge between China and Japan. This is why I have chosen to pursue a dual degree in Finance and Chinese as well as looking into getting a minor in Japanese. This would definitely allow me to fulfill my aspirations to the best of my abilities. I am lucky to be attending OSU where the Fisher Business school is one of the top business schools in the nation. Also, the Japanese and Chinese language programs here at OSU are one of the most comprehensive in the nation. I strive to be the best in my classes because of the nature of what I want to do in the future. There will no doubt be a lot of pressure politically and socially if I am to act as an ambassador between Taiwan, China, and Japan due to deep grievances left after WWII. If I am not able to be the best in my classes, how can I hope to possibly open up lasting dialogue between these nations? To be completely honest, my GE courses are not my main focus as I am extremely busy with my two degrees. However, the purpose of the GE courses are to make students more well rounded and I believe that in getting two degrees and possibly a minor will make me as well rounded as can be. I am committed to excellence so that one day I may become the pride of my family as well as OSU.


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

I am currently involved with the Kendo Club at OSU. Kendo is an ancient form of sword fighting that can be found throughout the Far East with this being the Japanese form. Practicing Kendo teaches me a lot about discipline and grace, qualities that I strive to master so that I may become a better leader. Kendo is scored based on the flawless execution of strikes on an opponent as well as hitting the right spots. Discipline is required to show restraint when needed and to seize the moment when an opportunity arises. I believe a great leader must know when and where to retreat or go on the offensive. Gracefully striking your opponent shows mastery over the art as well as knowing the opponent. A leader must have complete control over what he/she is doing and also to know the competition inside and out. These two qualities are needed in the business world where performance at work does not decide everything. Social grace is also required when dealing with potential clients where knowing the person will aid in persuasion. This summer I have an internship with the government, however it is quite sensitive so I won’t give specifics but I do believe that what I will be doing will develop my professionalism as this will be my first job. My leadership style places an emphasis on fairness and trust. I believe that being too hard on subordinates will not only hinder progress on a project, but also inhibit any professional growth for me and the subordinates. Also, trusting in others is key when developing relations with others. If I don’t trust my subordinates to do their job, then I would be slowing down the project with redundant oversight.


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

I am currently volunteering with the Tzu Chi Foundation. It is a Taiwanese Buddhist organization that provides aid wherever needed all around the world. I have gone to nursing homes around Columbus to give the elderly some company and to help out where I can. I plan to continue my involvement with the organization because of its mission and commitment to helping out around the Columbus area.  Volunteering with them has made me realize how lucky I am to have a healthy body and to be in my prime. It is so easy to forget how quickly time flies and it has made me cherish every moment of my time here at OSU.

About Me




My name is Yao-Yu Liu and I am from the island nation(pending) of Taiwan. I am a very pragmatic and sarcastic person but I do enjoy helping others. Volunteering is a rewarding experience to me and I enjoy it greatly. The Taiwanese pride themselves as being one of the most welcoming and hospitable peoples in Far East Asia and I carry that pride with me every day. In high school, I was a member of the National Honor Society which required a set amount of volunteer hours. This led me to volunteer at a nursing home by performing the cello for the elderly. Seeing their faces beam with delight was one of the most rewarding experience I have had the honor of witnessing in my rather short life. I also led a Traditional Lion Dance group for the local Taiwanese community. Sharing my culture with others is one of my missions as a Taiwanese person. Letting others experience another culture promotes diversity so that one day we may see an end to racial discrimination.

I chose the International Affairs Scholar Program because I am passionate about globalization and the effect it has had on our society today. One of the main goals for me as an IA Scholar is to promote diversity and inclusion of all races and cultures. I believe that OSU does a great job at promoting these two ideas and I do not see much bigotry or ignorance on campus.