Year in Review

In my first year I think I grew a lot in what to expect and how to excel in college. When I first came into Ohio State I was overwhelmed with the scope of the university and all of the people within it. However the Health Science Scholars program allowed me to shrink the university down to a size that I was more comfortable with and I was able to grow as a person and student amongst my peers. I adjusted well to the larger course load and found techniques and times in which I studied best as well as groups that I could review material with. Outside of Health Science Scholars, I joined Relay for Life as a member of the team development committee. Here, I worked with others on my committee to help different teams organize fundraising events for the fight against cancer as well as advocated the symptoms and health checks that each person should be aware of. I also participated in and was certified in the Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement (DICE) program. This program was an enriching experience for me to grow in learning and exploring other cultures, thoughts and beliefs that I was previously unfamiliar with. Finally, I was able to find my place socially as I made friends throughout my experience in the dorms, classes and my extracurricular involvement. Going into next year, I am excited to be a peer mentor and teaching assistant for the Health Science Scholars program. Ohio State, although large and intimidating at first, ended up being a perfect place for me to grow and helped me become a more well rounded person and one who is better prepared for whatever lies ahead.

In my second year, I tried to build upon the successes of my first. As I went into my second year, I joined Pre-Optometry club, Crosswalk Outreach and continued my aforementioned roles in Relay for Life and Health Science Scholars. This year I really expanded upon my leadership skills as I joined the Crosswalk Outreach executive board to help serve local homeless individuals meals every week and mentored Health Science Scholars freshmen find their way through their first year as a teaching assistant and peer mentor. Both were great experiences for me and encouraged me to run for secretary in Pre-Optometry club. I ended up being elected to the secretary spot for my third year and I plan to retain all my roles from this year going into the next as well. In my second year, the classwork grew harder, however I feel as though I was able to find my way in developing new scheduled times to go to the library and continually finding friends to review notes together with. Despite the obligations of this year at Ohio State being greater than before, I believe it helped me continue to grow as a person as I learned to organize my time, develop my leadership skills and rise to the challenges that faced me. I’m excited to see what I might accomplish in my third year.


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 .
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 course work, 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.

Global Awareness- In my first year, I participated in the DICE program and received my DICE certification at the end of this. DICE stands for Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement, and was all about exploring diversity from all walks of life. It was a very enriching experience as I attended many presentations and discussions about very controversial topics or addressing prejudices within society today. In the discussions, although each individual had their own unique thoughts and background with the topics, each opinion was respected and heard out. In fact, it was very interesting to hear not only others ideas and opinions about topics but also their rationales and experiences that led them to feel that certain way. I believe that such parts of someone’s opinions are often overlooked and it’s boiled down to what they believe and whether or not you agree with them. In considering that most everyone with an opinion has such personal stories and backgrounds with the topics, I feel that more people might be able to respect other’s thoughts even if they do not agree with them. This is the same way I felt when attending the presentations. One of the presentations that stood out to me was one that was done based upon society’s acceptance or lack thereof associated with transgender people. I had not had much exposure to the topic but hearing his story really enlightened me to the lack of respect the world can show when someone is not the same as you. The DICE program really helped me learn and explore the diversity on campus at Ohio State, and helped me grow to advocate a greater acceptance of all those around you regardless of the variety in cultural background.

Original Inquiry-

Academic Enrichment- To consider my future in relation to my biology major, I interviewed Aaron Guo, a junior biology student about his future with his biology degree. When asked what his future plans were, he was interested in pursuing a career in medicine, veterinary medicine or research. I hope to apply to the optometry school while pursuing my biology degree. Aaron said that he was never sure what he wanted to do until sophomore year when he settled on the biology major. He did so because he really got interested in some biology classes, this is similar to what drove me to the biology field. I had a highschool biology class that interested me very much, and this interest was continued throughout all the other biology classes I have taken to this point. Aaron then elaborated that the hardest year of his college career was this past junior year when most of his science classes he had to take in one semester. I hope I don’t hit a year like that as I am trying to spread my science classes out across the years as much as possible. In order to best do this, I made a four year plan of my classes my freshman year. Lastly, Aaron said that although his time in the biology major wasn’t easy, he very much enjoys it and never really has times when he regrets it. This is how I feel about the major, although it gets difficult at times, as long as I have passion in what I am doing, I won’t regret my choice of major or career path.

Leadership Development- In my second year at Ohio State, I grew into taking on many more leadership roles, the first of which was in the Health Science Scholars community. I became a teaching assistant for the seminar class as well as a peer mentor for the incoming freshman class. Both were great experiences as I could advise and help those who were in a similar place as I was coming into Ohio State as a freshman. As a peer mentor, I met with my peer mentee to discuss any questions, concerns or updates he had about his new life at Ohio State. In being a teaching assistant, I oversaw the work of Health Science Scholars freshman as they learned skills and took advice on how to thrive in their years at Ohio State. Whether it be academically enriching through class schedule planning and making a resume or helping their daily life like helping make daily schedules and learning about nutrition and dieting. Outside of Health Science Scholars, I also became part of the executive board of a program called Crosswalk Outreach. I joined this organization as a part of my second year service project but it become so much more important to me than that. We met twice every week, once to make meals and pass them out to the homeless individuals up and down High Street and once for the executive board members to plan for the next outing and discuss any upcoming events we were putting on. These great experiences in leadership roles encouraged me to run for the secretary position in the Pre-Optometry club for the 2019-2020 year. I ended up winning the election and am excited to take on this new role as well as return as a peer mentor, teaching assistant and for the executive board in Crosswalk Outreach.

Service Engagement- In my first year at The Ohio State University, I participated in a lot of really meaningful service events through Health Science Scholars. First, I had participated in the Health Science Scholars Day of Service, where I helped maintain the landscape around the Martin Janis House. This community senior center needed help trimming hedges, pulling weeds and rearranging stepping stones. It felt really good to do a service for others who are in need, in this case the few workers at the house who had trouble keeping up with the maintenance that required far more than just a few people. To finish off the first semester, I participated in two events aimed at helping send food to those in need. Through Feed the Hungry and The Battle Against Hunger, I was able to help package premade meals in bulk that could be sent to the hungry. Although I was not able to personally see the results of my efforts, it was nice to know that someone somewhere could enjoy the meal that I had packed for them. To start off the second semester, I participated in a Chimes fundraiser with 4 other Health Science Scholars students. In this fundraiser, we paid to play in a dodgeball tournament. The money from this event went towards the focus of Chimes, children with terminal illnesses. Although the event was very fun, the fulfillment from helping these children in their dire situations was by far the best part. Next, I worked Relay for Life, an organization that I am actually a member of. This organization involves supporting those who have been involved with cancer in nearly every way that we can, whether it is honoring those who have passed away, giving rides or a place to stay to those in treatment, or supporting cancer research for future cases. To help out during this event meant a lot to me as cancer has had a large impact on my family, taking the lives of many of my loved ones. Finally, I volunteered to help at Heinzerling Foundation where developmentally disabled children and adults are taken care of and cared for. At this event, I enjoyed assisting my partner Kyla make crafts, play games and have a general day of recreation. I know that these days are not always happening and that when they are, they mean the world to the individuals in the Heinzerling community. I was just glad to help contribute to others’ pleasure and hopefully give them a happy memory as they did for me.


Artifacts – In my second year at Ohio State, I participated in an organization called Crosswalk Outreach. Every Sunday the group meets to make meals and pass them out to local homeless individuals up and down High Street as well as in the Columbus Public Library. After the first few outings I attended, I knew that this was a program that meant a lot to me because of how much it did for an often overlooked community. Stopping by to provide food and just a simple conversation to the individuals we encountered meant a lot to them. Many expressed how they had become accustomed to being ignored by those who walked past them and I could tell how happy a friendly face and conversation made both of us. In fact, by coming back week after week, I started to grow familiar with the individuals I helped and grew to knew them and they grew to knew me. As I became more involved throughout the year, I also joined the executive board and helped schedule events for the organization as well as assisted in providing materials for future outings. The experience that I have had in Crosswalk Outreach has really opened my eyes to how much we can help others around us by not only offering food and financial help, but also by remembering that being neighborly and friendly are basic human decencies that can mean so much but are often forgotten.

About Me

My name is Mark Molnar and I am a freshman at The Ohio State University and part of the Health and Science Scholars program. For me, I knew what my future college would be way back in the fourth grade. Ohio State was amongst the many schools my sister visited while making her college decision, and I was lucky enough to tag along during the tour. While on the tour some parts of Ohio State stuck out to me, the enormous group of friendly people, the large campus, but above all was the extremely impressive science program with its towering buildings and unbelievably bright staff. This excited me as I was already looking into careers in the health field, mainly for two big reasons. The first being the desire to help others. I’ve always been extremely sociable as well as caring. I’m a people person and wanted to help all those who I came across that needed it. The second reason was my love of science. It always interested me because science explained how and why everything worked and happened like it did. What more could an ever so curious kid like me ask for? And that is the exact same values and thoughts I’ve held since way back then, studying the sciences and aiding those in need. I eventually discovered an even more specific interest in eye care. So when the time came to decide on a school, I knew exactly where I could advance both of my main academic interests as well as the only place in Ohio where I could pursue a career as an optometrist as well. In fact all the pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit in so perfectly that there was even a scholars program that represented everything that I wanted to be. The decision was so easy, a fourth grader could’ve made it.