The Honors & Scholars Center at The Ohio State University utilizes the acronym of G.O.A.L.S. to describe the five areas that the organization hopes to expand upon and improve within each and every Honors & Scholars student. The acronym stands for Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. Global Awareness encourages students to cultivate an appreciation for diversity. Original Inquiry motivates students to get involved with research as well as other scholarly opportunities. Academic Enrichment aims to have students think about the significance and rigor of their course work in regards to their future aspirations. Leadership Development produces students who have expanded upon their leadership skills and are now ready to apply their experience to a career. Service Engagement prompts students to continually engage and give back to the community. Of the five goals, Academic Enrichment and Service Engagement are the most applicable to my personal and professional aspirations because of my determination to challenge myself while at The Ohio State University as well as my desire to give back to the surrounding community.

Academic Enrichment applies to my present goals as a student but also to my future goals as a working professional. In high school, I constantly challenged myself to take the most difficult classes available and to do everything I could to excel in those classes. In college, I have continued to push myself by choosing a difficult major with rigorous coursework as well as by selecting GE courses that will broaden my horizons and improve my knowledge of the world. I have also taken advantage of tutoring and other academic resources, and I have developed relationships with professors by attending office hours regularly. In addition to coursework, my academic experience at The Ohio State University has been complemented by the STEM EE Scholars Program. By attending STEM-related events and living among students with similar academic goals and interests, I have gained an immense amount of knowledge regarding STEM fields. In the next four years, I hope to become more involved in the STEM EE Scholars Program and to continue challenging myself through difficult coursework. In the next ten years, I plan on continuing my education by going to graduate school.

Service Engagement is important to me because service has been an essential part of my life ever since I was young. Everyone should participate in a service event at some point in their lives as it develops character and is truly a humbling experience. Since I started my first year at The Ohio State University, I have participated in Community Commitment where I was able to volunteer at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI). While at COSI, I packaged science experiment kits that were then sent to elementary schools across the country. Knowing that children were receiving the packages that I contributed to made me feel a sense of accomplishment. In addition to this event, I am also a part of the STEM EE Scholars BuckeyeThon Team. The mission of BuckeyeThon is to create awareness and raise funds for pediatric cancer. I plan on spreading the word about this cause and raising as much money as I can for BuckeyeThon over the next year. In the next four years, I hope to become more involved with the BuckeyeThon organization by applying to be a General Body member. In the next ten years, I plan on continuing to serve the community and encouraging others to do the same.


When I was four years old, my parents signed me up for an Irish dancing class at a dance school just five minutes from my house. With no previous knowledge of Irish dancing or even any Irish ancestry, they believed classes would simply be a way to keep my active self busy and entertained. After attending a few classes, I was completely hooked and would show my friends and family all of my new dance moves. What my parents and I didn’t know, however, was that what seemed like a simple hobby would end up becoming the focus of our lives for the next fourteen years.

Though I had almost no natural talent at the beginning, my love for Irish dancing fueled my determination to become the best I could be. Outside of school, I dedicated the majority of my time to eating healthily, going to practices at least five days a week, and cross training in preparation for competitions. At the age of 10, I was able to work my way up from small, local competitions to the World Irish Dancing Championships which was held that year in Glasgow, Scotland. Less than 1% of all Irish dancers qualify for this event, and by doing so, I was able to travel all over the world. My biggest accomplishment as an Irish dancer was placing 5th at the World Irish Dancing Championships in 2014. This placement defined my career as an Irish dancer as I proved to myself that hard work can truly lead to seemingly impossible achievements.

Now that I am at college and focused on excelling in my school work, I made the difficult decision to stop Irish dancing competitively. It had been such an important part of my life for so long, however, that I couldn’t imagine giving it up completely. Luckily, The Ohio State University has their own Irish Dance Club that meets every other week and travels to two competitions a year. I decided to join the club as it isn’t a tremendous time commitment, but it allows me to continue doing something that I have always loved with people who share that same love. Joining this club has proved that no matter how busy or chaotic my life may be, I can always find time for my passions.



STEM EE Scholars Interview Project

As a first-year student at a school as immense and prestigious as The Ohio State University, making contact with upperclassmen, graduate students, and professors can often seem like a daunting and rather uncomfortable task. When first assigned this project, I had a preconceived notion that it would be difficult to find people who were willing to take time out of their hectic schedules to talk to an underclassman about their own experiences as a student. My experience, however, was nothing but positive, and each person I chose to interview was eager to help answer my questions.

To begin the project, I contacted my STEM EE Mentor, Kristen Buzaki, who served as my upperclassman interviewee. My MATH 1152 Teaching Assistant, Han Zhang, who is currently a graduate student at The Ohio State University, allowed me to interview him during his office hours. In order to find a professor to interview, I used the SCOPUS database to comb through hundreds of scholarly articles related to the topic of data visualization. After reading a few articles written by Professor Sarah A. Murphy and emailing her about a potential interview, we agreed to meet in her office located in Thompson Library.

Each of these individuals were chosen based on their connection to or knowledge of mathematics and statistics. I chose to interview my STEM EE Mentor because she is currently a second-year Actuarial Science major. At the time of our interview, I was interested in finding out more about Actuarial Science and potential careers in the field. As an upperclassman in a STEM field, I knew she would be able to provide me with tips and other information that would be useful throughout my first year at The Ohio State University. My MATH 1152 TA was a logical choice for my graduate student interview because Calculus 2 is my most difficult class this semester. Building a relationship with my TA as well as gaining any information about how to be successful in the course would therefore be beneficial. My decision to look for professors who have researched data visualization originated from my interest in switching my major to Data Analytics. By choosing to interview Professor Sarah A. Murphy, I hoped to gain more insight into the unique applications of an education in data analysis.

By interviewing my STEM EE Mentor, Kristen Buzaki, I learned several important life lessons that I believe will help me throughout my next four years at The Ohio State University. When it comes to getting involved on campus, Kristen recommended that instead of overwhelming myself by joining as many organizations as possible, I should take the time to find one that I am truly passionate about. She also explained that dealing with difficult professors and facing adversity is not rare in college. Instead of complaining or acting like a victim, Kristen emphasized the importance of taking the initiative to turn the opposition into a positive learning experience. The advice that resonated with me the most was to not become too consumed with academics. Take these next four years to excel in the classroom but to explore interests outside of the classroom as well.

Talking to my MATH 1152 Teaching Assistant, Han Zhang, proved to be a very beneficial experience as well. Originally from the People’s Republic of China, Han attended Sun Yat-sen University for his undergraduate education. He double-majored in Environmental Engineering and Mathematics and is currently working towards a Master’s of Mathematical Sciences at The Ohio State University. During his interview, Han emphasized the importance of building relationships with professors. He recommends going to office hours regularly rather than only when the course material is difficult. To be successful in MATH 1152, Han suggests doing all of the homework and quiz problems independently as well as reading the textbook to reiterate points brought up in class. Han’s best advice was to always remain intellectually curious. Do not accept the answers for what they are; instead, investigate the problem to see why that answer is correct.

As stated previously, I used the SCOPUS database to find scholarly articles related to data visualization. After reading several written by Professor Sarah A. Murphy, I chose to analyze the articles entitled How data visualization supports academic library assessment and Data Visualization and Rapid Analytics: Applying Tableau Desktop to Support Library Decision-Making. In general, these articles discuss how quantitative information can be better understood when it is converted into a visual form. Professor Murphy has used the technology Tableau to visually represent library data which has consequently made several library processes easier. To my surprise, both articles were not difficult to read as they contained several visual aids that made the information easier to comprehend. Although there were several technical terms of which I was not familiar, the overall purpose of both articles was quite clear.

My interview with Professor Murphy turned out to be a lot more interactive than I had originally expected. After I asked her several questions, she was much more interested in letting me see the data technology in action. Professor Murphy walked me through several of the research projects that she was working on, allowing me to see the magic that occurs when numbers are turned into visually appealing images. Seeing what technology can do as well as how passionate Professor Murphy is about her work made me even more confident in my decision to switch my major to Data Analytics.

After completing this assignment, I am interested in continuing to pursue relationships with other students and faculty members who can help me make the most of my time at The Ohio State University. What I learned most from this project is that it is important to put yourself out there, even if it is uncomfortable at first, as it may result in an unexpected opportunity. While studying Data Analytics at The Ohio State University, I plan on seeking opportunities to broaden my horizons and enhance my education over the next four years.


My first week at The Ohio State University ended on a high note as I participated in Pay It Forward’s 21st Annual Community Commitment. Since 1997, nearly 1,000 OSU students have kicked off the new school year by giving back to the Columbus community. Gathering at the Ohio Union, students eagerly wait to see which agency they will be assigned to serve. In the past, students have worked at local food pantries, the Columbus Zoo, and other various nonprofit organizations. My group, which included several friends and fellow STEM EE Scholars, was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to volunteer at COSI, the Center of Science and Industry.

While at COSI, we learned about the COSI Center for School and Community Partnerships which aims to educate young people and inspire interest in STEM related fields. We helped contribute to this program by sorting and counting items which we then placed into boxes to create science experiment kits. Each kit included directions for the experiment as well as all of the materials needed to perform the experiment successfully. Once the kits were completed, they were sealed and sent to schools across the country. Participating schools are then able to partake in a virtual demonstration of the experiment hosted by COSI.

Volunteering at COSI made me realize all of the effort that is put into promoting and educating young people about STEM topics. With STEM being so prevalent in today’s society, it is important to make learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics engaging and memorable for all. By participating in Community Commitment, I feel like I have enhanced my STEM education as well as contributed to the future of STEM. Community Commitment truly made me aware of the opportunities Columbus has to offer OSU students, and I look forward to being able to volunteer at COSI again.

About Me

Hello, my name is Hannah Mazzei! I am a first year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, and I am pursuing a major in Data Analytics with a minor in Mathematics. I am also a STEM Exploration and Engagement (STEM EE) Scholar within the University Honors & Scholars Center. My interest in STEM related fields, specifically Mathematics, has always been a driving force for my educational endeavors. From spending hours solving Sudoko puzzles as a kindergartener to having the opportunity to take multiple math-based honors and AP courses in high school, I have always enjoyed challenging myself and testing my abilities within the subject.

In addition to pursuing my passion for Mathematics, I was also able to explore several leadership, service, and diversity opportunities throughout my time in high school. In both my junior and senior years, I was accepted into my high school’s Freshman Mentoring Program, a program in which highly-motivated and involved upperclassmen are chosen by faculty to help facilitate the incoming freshmen’s transition into high school. At the end of my junior year, I was also elected to the Advisory Board of my high school’s Key Club. As a member of the Advisory Board, I was expected to assist in the planning and scheduling of service opportunities, to run meetings, and to keep track of members’ hours. My participation in both of these organizations helped to improve my problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as my self-confidence when it comes to public speaking and being in a position of authority.

My time in high school was also defined by my participation in Math Club as well as Model United Nations. As a competitive Irish dancer, I expanded my knowledge of the world by traveling to Ireland, Scotland, and England. I was also inducted into both National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society during my junior year. At the end of my senior year, I was named a National Merit Finalist and the recipient of a Merit Scholarship award by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

When the time arrived to choose the school at which I would further my education, The Ohio State University was undoubtedly at the top of my list. With a world-renowned Mathematics program, the opportunity for undergraduate research, and the chance to further explore my interest in STEM related fields through the STEM EE Scholars Program, I was confident that The Ohio State University was the perfect fit for me. I am looking forward to gaining knowledge and experience through my classes, internships, and research. By dedicating myself to my studies, surrounding myself with a community of students who are also interested in STEM related fields, and taking advantage of the myriad of opportunities that this school has to offer its students, I know my time at The Ohio State University will be well spent.

Welcome to my Honors & Scholars e-Portfolio

Welcome to my Honors & Scholars e-Portfolio! Within my e-Portfolio, you will find information about me, my past accomplishments, and my future goals. Through my pictures and posts, I hope you are able to gain a better idea of who I am as a person, what I want bring to this world, and what I want to learn from it. As a first year student at The Ohio State University, I plan on taking advantage of the countless number of opportunities that this school provides to its students. Through my classes, internships, and research, I hope to gain knowledge, experience, and confidence within my field.