Semester in Review

In this Semester, Fall 2018, much has occurred that has changed who I am as a student. Firstly, this was my first semester at The Ohio State University. This was a major change in my life. I had to change and become more responsible and more self-reliant. I realized how much I relied on my parents to do things for me, as now I have to do those things for myself. It has made me appreciate all the things my parents have done and helped me through in my life.

Another change that has occurred in this semester is that I have got involved with undergraduate research. In fact, I have actually gotten my own research project to work on in the lab. This has been absolutely amazing, as it has provided an opportunity to apply the knowledge I have gained from my classes. From my undergraduate research, I have also gotten so much experience that I do not believe I would have gained normally. I also have gained more confidence in myself from working on my own research project in the lab.

Finally, this semester I have gotten involved in three clubs/societies. The first is Helix BBB. Helix BBB is a biological honors society at The Ohio State University. In this society, we do volunteer projects as well as projects that help educate students about the Biological Sciences. Another club I joined was First Aid Response Club (FARC). In FARC, we learn about first aid techniques that are important not only in emergencies but in daily life. With this knowledge, we help educate and inform the public about first aid techniques. We also help fundraise for first aid kits that we can provide to underprivileged and at-risk communities. Finally, the last club I joined was Doctors Without Borders (MSF) club. Doctors Without Borders club helps fundraise for MSF. The club also is planning on working with Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS). By working with CRIS, we hope to be able to help comfort those displaced from their home.


One of the main focuses of the Honors and Scholars Program are the GOALS. The G of GOALS stands for Global Awareness. Global Awareness is having an understanding of cultures and events that occur not only in your local community but in countries around the globe. The O in GOALS stands for Original Inquiry. Original Inquiry is the application of what is learned in class and creating novel questions and discovering new knowledge. The A in GOALS stands for Academic Enrichment. Academic Enrichment is the steps taken to gain new knowledge and skills. The L in GOALS stands for Leadership Development. Leadership Development is the pursuit of becoming a better person and leader in the community. Finally, the S in GOALS stands for Service Engagement. Service Engagement is the actions taken to help improve local and global communities. Here are the ways I have introduced the idea of GOALS in my life:

  • Global Awareness: I am currently taking Spanish 1155. In this class, I am not only learning how to communicate in a second language but I am also learning more about the rich culture and history of Spanish Speaking countries. I am currently hoping to be able to participate in the Molecular Genetics Trondbuss Research Abroad program.
  • Original Inquiry: I am currently involved in genetics research in Doctor Hay-Oak Park’s research lab. In this lab, I am helping perform research with yeast cells. The project I am currently involved in is studying the genetic mechanisms that govern yeast cellular stress response and apoptosis. I am currently hoping to obtain an MD PhD and do more genetic research on cancer and other genetic diseases.
  • Academic Enrichment: I am currently working on completing my general education requirements. I should be done with completing these general education requirements this upcoming spring semester. This spring semester, I am hoping to begin taking courses that are Molecular Genetic specific. Specifically, I am planning on taking Mol Gen 4606, Intro to Molecular Genetics. I am also planning on taking an Intro to Medicine course. I am also learning first aid skills through my First Aid Response Club. So far, I have been trained in Shock, Blood Loss, Heat Stroke, and Proper Use of NarCan. I am hoping to learn how to perform full CPR and how to help with mental health crisis.
  • Leadership Development: I am currently a member of Helix BBB. This program is The Ohio State Universities Biological Honor Society. I am currently hoping to find leadership opportunities in the clubs that I am currently participating in.
  • Service Engagement: Through my First Aid Response Club and Doctors Without Borders Club, I will be participating in multiple service projects that help promote safety and wellness. Through Doctors Without Borders Club, I am planning on volunteering to help raise money for Doctors Without Borders and also help with CRIS, a childhood refugee program. Through my First Aid Response Club, I am planning on participating in fundraisers for the purchasing of first aid kits for those in need. I am also planning on participating in educational programs that help educate the public on first aid techniques.


Hello, my name is Zachary Miller. For a copy of my resume, please click the link here: Zachary Miller S Resume-271oinb

I have experience in working in a professional research lab environment. I actively participate in genetic research in Doctor Hay-Oak Park’s Lab at The Ohio State University. In this lab, I am working on research in cellular stress response in yeast. With this project, the risk for contamination of the yeast cells being worked on is high. As such, I have learned how to create media and plates in a highly sterilized manner. I have also learned methods of inoculation of cells to media or plates that minimize the risk of contamination. I also have experience in the lab techniques of ELISA, Mass Spectroscopy, Human Tissue Microscopic Identification, Dissection, Autoclaving, Vacuum Plasma Treatment,  Microfluidics, Fluorescent Microscopy, and Confocal Microscopy.

I also worked at The Anderson Ethanol Plant as a seasonal employee. In this job, I was in charge of upkeep in the facility and helping with maintenance and repairs. As such, I gained experience in the handling of potentially hazardous materials. Specifically, I learned techniques in minimizing risks that could be involved in working in potentially hazardous environments such as Class One Division One areas. I also gained experience with using heavy machinery, Personal Protective Equipment, lock out tag out, confined space entry, air quality monitoring, and providing fire watch.



Associate’s Degree of Science

Through Ohio’s College Credit Plus program, I was able to take college level classes while receiving both high school and college credits for these classes. Though this program, I was able to take many classes that relate to my major. These classes include: Cellular and Genetic Biology, Ecology and Zoology, Human Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology I and II. Through these classes I gained knowledge on how to perform procedures such as DNA Gel Electrophoresis, ELISA Assays, and microscopic tissue identification.

While these classes certainly gave vital knowledge that will help me in my major, there is one very important class that should be mentioned. This class being Communications I and II. This class is important to me for two reasons. The first is that it helped me learn to better communicate with others. Before taking Communications, I was very anxious when it came to talking to others. This was especially true when presenting information in front of a large group of people. However, from this class, I learned skills that made me a much better communicator. While I may still get slightly nervous presenting in front of large groups, I can now do so effectively and with confidence. The other reason this class was important to me was the required volunteer service this class required. For the volunteer service, our professor had us help tutor kids from fourth to sixth grade in an after school program. The children who attended this program often had family or social issues that would contribute to their issues in the classroom. Thus, no only did we provide academic help to these children, but also provided comfort and support to them.

The Ohio Academy of Science State Science Day

During my senior year of high school, I decided to participate in my school’s science fair program. In this program, students were to think of an original experiment that they would like to perform. Students then had to do background research and create a procedure to perform their experiment. For my project, I decided to research what affect Barley had on Cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, is a bacteria that grows on the surface of water and produce toxic chemicals called cyanotoxin. During my background research on Cyanobacteria, I had discovered a forum in which one pond owner had mentioned that he/she had found that putting barley in his/her pond had seemingly helped clear up the Cyanobacteria. From doing more research, I had found a few publications that suggested how barley may help get rid of Cyanobacteria. However, these publications were rather speculative and rarely had any data that back the theories and suggestions made in the paper. Thus, I decided to test whether barley had any affect on the growth of Cyanobacteria. I also tested whether one theory provided by publications, which was that CO2 given off by the decay of the barley would help other microorganisms out compete with the Cyanobacteria.

While performing my experiment, I had come upon one major issue. My original estimate for the water testing that I wanted to perform to determine how much Cyanotoxin was present was quite low. The water testing I wanted to run would cost at minimum $800 per test performed. Thus, I had an issue with providing quantitative data. Yet, after quite a bit of pondering I came up with a solution. I decided to print images of my water surface on graph paper. I then found how much area on my bucket each square took up. By doing this, I could find with accuracy how much area on the surface of the water was covered by the Cyanobacteria. By doing this, I found that the barley had reduced the bacteria on the surface of the water by 50%.

I then presented this project at my school’s science fair. I earned a superior rating, which allowed me to present my project at the district science fair. At district, I not only earned a superior rating, but a perfect score from the judges. This score allowed me to present at The Ohio Academy of Science State Science Day, which funny enough is held at The Ohio State University. At State, I earned a superior rating, a perfect score from the judges, and two special awards.

High School Tennis Coach’s Award for Leadership

During my Senior year of tennis, we had a major influx of new students joining that had little or no experience in playing tennis. Because of this, our high school tennis coach had problems addressing every issue each player was experiencing. Seeing this, I decided to step up and help address these issues. During and after practice, I would give advice and help to anyone who would ask or who I saw was struggling. One day, my coach asked to speak with me after practice. So, after practice I went up to the coach and asked what he wanted to talk about. Coach told me that he had seen how I had been helping the younger players, and wanted to thank me for doing so. Further more, coach wanted to know if I wanted to step up into a leadership position on my team. Coach explained that, by stepping up, I would be primarily practicing with the JV team. Because of this, I would be forfeiting my position on the Varsity team. I was shocked by this offer. Giving up a position on varsity was never something I had considered. Yet, after thinking for a moment I knew what I had to do. I knew that the future of the team was worth more than the chance of playing on varsity, and by accepting his offer I knew I would be directly contributing to the future of the team. Thus, I accepted the coach’s offer. From then on, I was a senior team captain on the JV team.

At the end of the athletic season, my school has an awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the student athletes. That night, I learned that I had earned the Scholar’s athlete award. After the main assembly, the tennis team then met in a smaller group so the coach can give out special awards. During this, he gave me his Leadership Award. While giving it, he cited that while my year certainly didn’t go as I had planned it, he was grateful for the help I had provided and was proud to have had me on the team.

I do have to agree with him. Going in my senior year, I could have never imagined giving up a position on varsity, no matter the reason. Yet, looking back on it now I have never regretted my decision. By accepting his offer, I had gained so much experience on how to be a better leader and a better person that I am not sure I would have learned by staying on varsity. Sometimes, the opportunities given may not be exactly what we want. Yet, by taking these unexpected opportunities, we can sometimes gain something greater than we had ever imagined.

About Me

Hello, and welcome to my ePortfolio! My name is Zachary Miller. I am from the small town of Greenville, Ohio. I went to school at Greenville Senior High School. While in high school, I developed a certain love for science. Specifically, I fell in love with biology and human anatomy. This love of science led me to participate in my school’s science fair multiple times. My senior year science fair project studied the effect barley had on cyanobacteria, a type of bacteria that grows in water and produces harmful toxins. This project got me to the State Science Fair. At state, I not only got two special judging awards but also got earned a perfect score from the judges.

In high school, I also participated in the College Credit Plus program. This program allows high school students to take college-level classes for both high school and college credit. Through this program, I was also given the opportunity to explore the field of biology more by taking classes on genetics, ecology, and human biology. In these classes, I learned how to perform DNA electrophoresis and ELISA assays. Through participation in the College Credit Plus program, I was not only able to graduate high school with an honors diploma and The Presidential Award but with an Associates Degree of Science from Edison State Community College as well.

I am now currently attending The Ohio State University in the Biology Scholar’s program. I am currently majoring in Molecular Genetics on the pre-medical track. I am currently hoping to become a Physician-Scientist. It is my life goal to do research on genetic diseases and cancers. I have far too often seen the debilitating effects such diseases can have on afflicted individuals, and I refuse to stay idle while others suffer. By doing research on such diseases, I hope to be able to find better treatments or even cures that could help those susceptible to such diseases.