Our group’s artifact was the Student Academic Services Building, located at 180 West Lane Avenue.
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[Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements. For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation. An annotation is a reflective description of the artifact that attempts to communicate its significance. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]
Meera Mathur is from Mason, Ohio and is a freshman at the Ohio State University. She is pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience, while following a pre-health track in the hopes of attending medical school after graduation. Her hobbies include singing, laughing, baking desserts, and going on adventures. A recent graduate from Mason High School, Meera spent most of her high school years in leadership groups such as Student Government and National Honors Society, where she was the Secretary of Attendance. Meera also was a staff member for the Ohio Association of Student Councils and iBELIEVE Foundation, where she taught leadership skills to youth from all across Ohio and from Appalachian West Virginia. She was also involved in orchestra, where she played the violin. Lastly, she pursued her interest in public speaking by joining the Speech and Debate early on in high school, participating in United States Extemporaneous speaking and Original Oratory throughout her high school years.
Throughout her years at Ohio State, Meera hopes not only to pursue her academic ventures, but also to keep involved in the activities she enjoyed in high school. She is looking to join leadership clubs, service organizations, and maybe even an a cappella group. She also hopes to apply for a research position so that she can continue to learn more about medical science in real-life settings.
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Sophomore Year: A Reflection
During my first semester of my freshman year, I took what I considered to be a monumental risk. I enrolled for a study abroad program through the Honors program that gave me the opportunity to travel to London over winter break, along with taking a class during my fall semester where I could learn about the history of the city. Throughout my experience in that class and on my study abroad trip, my view on different cultures has broadened. I come from a family of travelers, and getting to experience a trip with my peers where we were allowed free time to engage with the city and its people made the event even more special. This trip gave me a small taste of what a study abroad in college looks like, and I plan to try and fit another one into my undergraduate career in the next few years.
As an Indian woman, I have also made a conscious effort to try and reach out to different cultural groups on campus. I attend many Indian American Association events since many of my peers are a part of the group, and I love watching my friends do traditional dancing as a part of the Fusion and Genesis dance teams. I would love to become a part of one of these clubs in the future in order to keep my ties with my culture as strong as they were before I came to college.
Ever since I arrived at Ohio State, I knew I wanted to take part in undergraduate research. My freshman year I had the opportunity to be a research assistant for the Worry and Attention lab that was in the Psychology building. The study I worked on examined the correlation between worry and attention, specifically relations among worry, attentional control, personality and social functioning. As a research assistant, I got the chance to work with participants during the study, as well as analyzing heart rate data and videos when I wasn’t running the study.
This semester I am working at the Stress and Health Lab in the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, where I am involved in two separate studies. Our first study analyzes how cardiovascular fitness affects the immune response in breast cancer patients and if this is related to age or mental health. We do this by using a typhoid vaccine to stimulate changes in the immune system and study the body responses. Our other study tests how chemotherapy possibly affects the way a breast cancer patient’s body metabolizes a high-fat meal by having the participant ingest such a meal and then examining their triglyceride levels, immune responses, heart rate, and blood pressure. During both studies I take the times that blood is drawn and questionnaires are started by the patient, and I get their vitals every hour or so. This is definitely a different experience from my freshman year and I love broadening my knowledge of what research can be in psychology. I would love to present at the Denman next year with the research that I am doing on breast cancer in my lab.
I personally feel that throughout my time at Ohio State, I have taken some truly difficult courses. As a pre-med student, a lot of the material I need to learn can be quite challenging. By managing to balance my schedule with these classes and my major and minor classes, I feel I have not only shown academic enrichment, but perseverance. To be honest, I am a perfectionist, and seeing myself getting bogged down with difficult classes and, at times, failure in these classes, makes it hard to keep going. However, I honestly am extremely proud with the progress I have made and the hard classes I have taken. If there is a class I am particularly interested in, I make it a personal goal to go out of my way and take the Honors version of the class in order to truly get the full academic experience.
I try and make every class selection, even my GE selections, relevant to my likes or my future aspirations. A lot of the GEs I have taken so far have been interconnected with several psychology concepts or even with concepts I’ve learned in my pre-med classes. For those sections where I can’t interconnect concepts with my major or minor, like History or Visual and Performing Arts, I try and take a class that I am most interested in. I don’t believe in taking classes that seem the most easy, or classes where I can just get an easy A. As a student of the Honors program, I am here to truly enrich my knowledge, and I want to take classes that will interest me, and maybe even expose me to an unknown passion.
I have gotten the opportunity to take on many leadership positions this year since I joined the Ohio Union Activities Board last semester. First of all, my experience in OUAB has by far been the best part of my time at Ohio State so far. The people there truly make me feel like I have found my home, and I look forward to meetings all week so that I can interact with them. The feeling of putting on an event that makes my classmates happy and excited is so rewarding. Through my membership in the Comedy Committee, I have gotten the chance to project lead Open Mic Night and will be project leading an event with Joel McHale coming up in April. I also was selected to be a Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador for my committee, and recently was elected Diversity and Inclusion co-chair. OUAB provides me with opportunities to strengthen my leadership skills every day. I get to learn how to delegate, how to lead without being overbearing, and how to interact with authority figures. I am hoping to run for an executive position next year. These experiences help me with concepts that I will need to apply in my future endeavors. Learning how to interact with others and speak in front of crowds is a big part of being a doctor, as well as taking criticism from authority figures. These are things I get experience with in OUAB, and I know these skills will pay off in the future.
This past semester I participated in sorority recruitment, which was definitely a huge personal decision for me. However, since joining Alpha Chi Omega, a sorority full of inspirational, passionate women who are dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence, I have never felt more at home. Joining AXO gave me an opportunity to participate more in service events, which I had never put much time into before. Whether it is making inspirational canvases to deliver to victims of domestic or psychological violence, or selling cookie dough on High Street to raise money for our philanthropy, CHOICES, I am able to participate in different events to help a cause that I am so passionate about. Psychological abuse is something that can influence mental illness, and as a future psychiatrist I am strongly against emotional abuse and the harms it can have. Since I am given a chance to spread awareness for this issue which isn’t often talked about, it feels like a personal mission for me to do so. I also was a part of Buckeyethon this past year, which gave me another great cause to be supportive of as a future doctor. All of these service opportunities give me a chance to give back to marginalized or less fortunate communities, and giving back is what I feel truly influences my growth.
Global Awareness: Global awareness is extremely important, especially at Ohio State, which has such a diverse environment and student body. I plan to work towards the goal of global awareness in many different ways. There are even a few ways I have been working towards this goal already. For example, I’m involved in the London Honors class, which is a class about various aspects of British culture and life. At the end of the semester, over winter break, our class gets to travel to London together to use the information we’ve learned throughout the semester and actually observe the culture in person. This is a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of global culture and it will definitely make me more aware of how people outside of the United States interact with one another and what traditions and behaviors are different or similar from American citizens. Another way I’m expanding my global awareness is by attending various different political events. I was blessed with the opportunity to hear Elizabeth Warren speak and even meet her after the event, since I helped register people at the event to vote. I also was able to see Hillary Clinton speak this past October when she came to campus to encourage students to vote. It was such an amazing experience, and it definitely opened my eyes to the different issues plaguing our country today and it inflamed my passion for social justice.
Original Inquiry: Ohio State is such an amazing institution, especially for research. There are so many distinguished professors that are working on studies and experiments, and they are usually always willing to work with undergraduate students. I plan to get involved with research throughout all four of my undergraduate years at Ohio State. I am already a research assistant at Dr. Vasey’s lab in the Psychology Department, helping to study the effect of anxiety disorders on reasoning functions in the brain. I get to run the study, helping patients get hooked up to an EKG, analyzing heart rates, and interacting with the patients throughout the study and going over the informed consent process with them. It is such a great opportunity to delve deeper into topics you’re interested in, and I absolutely love it. I hope to do research with someone in the Neuroscience Department throughout my time here at OSU, and possibly even complete a research thesis sometime in my junior year.
Academic Enrichment: Academics have always been a priority in my life, and I have always tried to challenge myself to work the hardest I can with my course load and types of courses I take. As an Honors student, this is still true. I am majoring in psychology, minoring in neuroscience, and am on a pre-health track. Therefore, I have a lot of classes I need to take before I graduate, but this doesn’t worry me, because I have a huge passion for science and how the human brain is tied to behavior. I want to take as many science courses as possible, and am very excited about all the prerequisites for pre-health that will increase my knowledge and passion for science. I’m also thrilled to take all the interesting classes for both my psychology major as well as my neuroscience minor. In order to achieve the goal of academic enrichment, I plan to take as many honors classes as possible, since that will provide me a challenging curriculum and an advanced schedule. I used my academic plan to space out my many science classes throughout my four years with other GE’s that don’t contribute to my major, minor, or pre-medical requisites, but still interest me. I am most excited to take my literature GE, which is called “Literature and the Self”. It delves into the psychology in literature; even though this does relate to my major, it also combines it with my love for reading and books.
Leadership Development: I want to take full advantage of everything Ohio State has to offer, and the best way to do this is to take active roles in leadership. As of right now, other than my research position at the Psychology Department, I am a part of Buckeye Campaign Against Suicide, The Grove, and a few other clubs. I hope to get more involved in these clubs as my time at Ohio State progresses. I also plan to get a job sometime in my four years, so that I can begin to save up money for medical school and get a head start on saving to pay off my student loans. Over the summer, I am planning to apply for internships. I am hoping that I will get to shadow a psychiatrist and see how the profession in person, and that I will gain some early medical experience. Hopefully, I will be able to apply for leadership positions in the clubs and organizations I am involved with, so I can better my leadership skills.
Service Engagement: Service is important, and I’m glad that Ohio State puts a big emphasis on it. Volunteering helps better the community and I am proud that I have the chance to better Ohio State and Columbus. Next semester, I plan to apply to become a volunteer at the Columbus Suicide Hotline. I feel like this is such an amazing opportunity to help people in need of a listener, and even though it will be a huge time commitment, I am willing to put aside the time because in the future, when I am a psychiatrist, I will be doing exactly this in my job. I also hope to volunteer at a penitentiary close to here, teaching prisoners about different things. I have a friend in Morrill Scholars who does this, and it sounds very interesting to me. I want to be able to help the community prosper, and by engaging in service, I can also subsequently work towards my goal of service engagement.