Taste of OSU (Campus) – February 21st (5:00pm – 8:30pm)

Taste of OSU is an event that is held annually. It typically takes place during the spring semester by the Office of International Affairs. It is an evening of festivities, performances, food, and various cultural exhibits that really allow different peoples to come together and learn about various other cultures. This event is free and open to the public which allows for anyone to experience this amazing and well put together event. 

There are two different components for Taste of OSU: the performances and the food. This year there were 51 of OSU’s student organizations that took part showcasing their cultures through food and/or performance. Members of countries from 6 of the 7 continents were represented, allowing for a diverse group of representation. Many students are part of student orgs that work hard to advocate and teach others about their culture, religion, etc and at Taste of OSU you learn how unique each group of people are. 

There were so many different types of foods showcased from Indian food to Puerto Rican food to Somali Food, there were really plenty of amazing samples that students could divulge in! Food tickets were one dollar each and it allowed you to try a sample of food you were interested in. I tried a few different samples and one of my favourites was the rice and chicken that I tried from  the Urdu club. Rice and chicken is one of my favourite foods from my own culture and it was amazing to see how someone from a different culture could make it feel like a completely different dish. Each country had amazing foods with unique textures, spices, etc and I really enjoyed trying some of them for the first time. 

The performance portion was also a very amazing experience that somehow gets better each year. There were students doing their cultural dances, playing cultural instruments, and really showcasing a mixture of modern and traditional performances. I enjoyed each one and the uniqueness of them. From the energy of the Argentine tango to the melodic Chinese Folk Music Orchestra, you could really see the passion and love they put into their performances. The perfromances were all great but I really enjoyed the Palestinian organizations danke dance the most. The history of the Dabke dance and what it symbolizes really is something that drew me to it. From doing a paper on this levantine dance last semester, it really amazed me to see these students showcase it so well. The dance is done with a group and each member dances through the steps together, showing the sense of community and love that this dance can provide not for the people who do it. 

I think Taste of OSU was executed really well this year, just like it has in the years prior. They always seem to find ways to improve on the show and execution and they really showcase the different cultures in such a great way. I hope to attend this show each year and continuously learn more about the various different cultures represented on campus. 

 

Spring Student Involvement Fair (Campus) – January 16th (4:00pm – 7:00pm)

The spring student involvement fair was a second opportunity for me and the rest of the other students to find organizations and clubs that we would be interested in participating in. It allows for students to get to know more information about some of these orgs. Considering there is about 1400 clubs on campus, it is guaranteed that you either will find a club you relate with and will enjoy or you could just make another org that does what you are interested in. 

Compared to the involvement fair that took place at the Oval and South Oval last semester, this one took place at various different rooms in the Ohio Union. I liked that this one was much smaller because I felt I had the opportunity to actually get to talk with the people at the different booths and learn about their orgs rather than be walking around aimlessly in the heat like last semester. Also, I felt I was able to get to know what the club meant to people and what they hope to achieve and do throughout the semester. 

One of the tables that I stopped at was the org: Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship (aka APTE). They explained to me that APTE is focused on exploring the role of social enterprises and sustainable solutions to societal issues. Basically, each of the members in this org is very passionate about finding ways to incorporate social impact into their lives and they try to come together to collectively make this world a little bit better. This program gathers together social entrepreneurs, students, and community members to learn, create, and collaborate on various different topics and through different meetings and events. Their flagship and largest event is the annual Business Generating Good Summit, previously known as the APTE Summit, where they bring speakers from around the globe to explore sustainable solutions to poverty. This year they are having speakers including the Jeni’s Ice Cream CEO and some other notable business owners that will share their tips for creating a sustainable lifestyle. 

Another notable table I stopped by was for the Muscle Movement Foundation or MMF. The Muscle Movement Foundation at Ohio State works to raise awareness and funds for families and individuals affected by neuromuscular disease. They raise money through different events in the semester and the one that is coming up soon that they are currently planning for is their 5k run. This is one of their biggest forms of fundraising and they have received a lot of money by doing this. WIth the money they have been able to help two people so far, a young boy around 8-9 years old and an older man as well. For the older man, his neuromuscular disease has impaired his ability to walk so he now remains in a wheelchair. MMF noticed when they visited his home that it was not wheelchair accessible and he could not easily get in or out of his home, so they decided they were going to use some of the funds to help build a walkway for him to be able to get in and out of his home more easier. I thought that was an amazing thing that they were able to do. It was probably a real struggle and somewhat dangerous for him not having a proper walkway and they were able to help out and make sure he was taken care of. 

These events reminded me how many different clubs there are at OSU and how much we all are able to use our energy to join a club we love and are passionate about but at the same time make a difference in this world. Whether it is sharing knowledge with one another, bringing in professionals to spread their knowledge, having fundraising events, bringing awareness for various things, etc, it is just great to see the amount of passion everyone has. I learned about more clubs today that I hope to join and get more involved with.  

Global Water Institute: Did You Know Event – East Africa (Campus, Academic) – January 14th (3:00pm – 5:00pm)

Global Water Institute held this amazing event filled with various speakers of different professions, educational backgrounds, ethnicity, etc, where they all came together to discuss GWI and how they all got involved in this program. This is the second year that this event is being held and it is occurring following the success of GWI’s first Did You Know: Ohio State Activities in Tanzania event last year, but this year they decided to focus more broadly on the entirety of East Africa. They had amazing speakers that included current students, graduating seniors, graduate students and professionals in their rightful careers, which allowed for there to be a great mix of opinions and experiences to share. 

They started out by explaining what Global Water Institute is. “This Ohio State program focuses on water issues and how they are about people, ecosystems, and financial realities. They are about climate and energy and old habits dying hard. Since really thorny water issues don’t have a single cause, the only way to make progress is to integrate all of those other pieces, people, energy, climate, economics, into the solution. What’s needed is a neutral technology integrator, combining the best pieces and ideas regardless of where they come from. That’s where the GWI comes in.” This program, to me, wants to create long lasting solutions through much research and trials, and by getting hands on data and experience in the respective country with these water problems. They emphasized how they wanted to focus on working with closely with the people of the village they are helping, which in the first years it was a small village in Tanzania, they make sure to do follow up trips to make sure and maintain the success of their implemented programs. 

Each of the speakers all work with GWI but do this through different efforts. Paul Gerber, who is with the Solar Engineering Service Learning, explained about a study abroad opportunity in Tanzania that he has for undergrad and graduate students of Ohio State. Through this study abroad, during the May-Mester, they were able to build and install solar panels in an all boys dormitory in Tanzania. The Ohio State students worked together with the Arusha College in Tanzania to make this happen and it seems to have positively helped the community and these young boys. 

Another speaker Ann O’Connell talked about how she and a few other professors in various different fields have come together to do Health and Education Research. They are working to develop and enhance methodology through workshops. They want to help improve self pride within the nation of Ethiopia and the increased pride these students could have for their country. They worked with Addis Ababa University to help work with the children and get research and help do their best to allow for these children to succeed and become what they want in the future. 

As and East African myself, I understand and appreciate a lot of the work they were doing and talking about. There are many issues within East Africa, and irrigation systems and water technologies are one of the many things they so desperately need. By providing the necessary tools, educating the youth of Africa, and helping create contacts and connections, it will really help these countries to succeed and thrive in the future. 

I feel like I learned so much about global Water Institute and I hope to get more knowledgeable about water systems in Africa and how I can help contribute to this cause myself. I know my country of Eritrea could use more knowledge and help in this area and maybe I could help create the change that will help the nation thrive. 

Step Expo (Academic) – November 20th (3:00pm – 4:00pm)

Second Year Transformational Experience Program (a.k.a STEP) is an opportunity for second year students to enhance their success at OSU.  Through interactions with a STEP Faculty Mentor and a small group of peers, participants have the opportunity to engage in a transformational experience across the course of their second year.  Fall semester is focused on community building, goal setting, personal growth and identity exploration through engaging discussions and activities. In the spring semester, the Faculty Mentor will guide students through the process of crafting a proposal for a STEP Signature Project.

I currently am in STEP and attending this expo was a requirement for it, but even if it was not, I would have still attended. The STEP expo was full of various students with different majors who were all presenting the different transformational experiences they experienced. The proposal that these students wrote during their second years was of the program/experience they did which gave them funding of up to $2,000. Prior to this expo, I was pretty confident I was going to do a study abroad, specifically one in Italy, and this expo gave me the opportunity to talk with some students that went to Italy for their project. Below I have outlined some of the key points of the conversations I had with each person, some of which happened to have gone to the same study abroad program. 

Lia 

(1) Lia went on the “Between France and Morocco” study abroad where sge learned about colonization, the impacts of slavery and the evolution of both of the cultures over time. 

(2) I thought it was interesting to hear how they were able to visit Paris and different parts of Morocco, which are completely different countries, yet still see many similarities. Many Moroccon people still speak French in addition to Arabic and continue to pass the language on to their offspring even after all this time.

(3) If I had the opportunity I would most definitely do a study abroad like this. Morocco and France are both countries I would really enjoy visiting and I would love to learn about the rich and deep culture they both share. 

(4) This project does relate to IA since it is taking place in another country and involves discussing world issues and history between two countries that were once one. 

Kelly 

(1) Kelly had the opportunity to do a semester long internship in London, England that was related to her major, Marketing. She found this program through Fisher, and she had the opportunity to learn under a high positioned woman in a prominent company, gaining valuable first hand experience and knowledge.

(2) She was a marketing major but was paired with an accountant which she actually enjoyed and she learned a lot of skills she wouldn’t have otherwise.

(3) I would consider doing an internship, especially one abroad, because I would be able to gain valuable knowledge and skills while working directly in the field. I would also gain knowledge about the different cultures and their traditions, food, celebrations, history, etct, which I would really enjoy and learn from as well. 

(4) It does since it is taking place in London, England!

Adrianna 

(1) She learned about Bologna and its position during various wars that took place in Italy and how it has transformed as a city throughout various eras such as the renaissance, middle ages, etc. 

(2) She told me that part of the class was spent visiting three additional cities across Italy other than the home city of Bologna which I did not know about and really excites me more about this program.

(3) I am currently considering to do this “Italian City” study abroad that she went on which I am currently applying for!

(4) It does since it is located in Bologna, Italy and discusses international impacts on this city.

Ava 

(1) She learned about Bologna and its position during various wars that took place in Italy and how it has transformed as a city throughout various eras such as the renaissance, middle ages, etc. 

(2) I found it interesting that her and some of the other students did last minute research on Italy and the different cities surrounding Bologna but yet were able to visit so many beautiful cities. She was able to go to Florence, Milan, Sienna, etc all while still attending class and not spending too much money. 

(3) I am considering it, she also went to the “Italian City” study abroad like Adrianne.

(4) It does since it is located in Bologna, Italy and discusses international impacts on this city.

Regan 

(1) She learned about Bologna and its position during various wars that took place in Italy and how it has transformed as a city throughout various eras such as the renaissance, middle ages, etc. 

(2) The most interesting thing I learned from Regan was the financial advice she gave me. Trains are fairly cheap and get people around quickly from city to city or country to country and she highly recommended me, should I go on this study abroad, to research ahead of time the different options I have. She recommended I visit some of the other countries I mentioned I would like to visit in Europe while I am there, which is what she did, and it saves having to pay for a flight going back to Europe during a different time.  

(3) I am considering it, she also went to the “Italian City” study abroad like Adrianna and Eva.

(4) It does since it is located in Bologna, Italy and discusses international impacts on this city.

 

All in all this STEP expo solidified what I wanted to do with my STEP funding, which is going on the “Italian City” study abroad. I got to talk with three people who attended that study abroad and they really seemed to enjoy their time and every aspect of the trip. I am glad I got to talk to some students face to face about the program rather than just reading the OIA’s description of the program. I hope to use my step funding this upcoming summer so I have to start the application process ASAP. I will take the advice and heed it when the time comes.

Breathe Hope: Fall Craft Event (Service) – October 15th (5:00pm – 6:30pm)

Breathe Hope is an amazing organization on campus that I wish I heard about sooner. They do a lot of amazing events around campus and in the central Ohio area to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis. They volunteer at events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, make blankets and other crafts for patients in the Pulmonary Unit at Nationwide Children’s hospital, and they also raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by holding yoga classes and other fundraising events throughout the year. They really believe in creating a lasting relationship with these patients and their families and making a change to hopefully bring an end to cystic fibrosis related deaths. I loved to hear how passionate the members of this organization were about creating change and educating people about cystic fibrosis and its impact on the children’s day to day lives. They really are very passionate about this cause and seem to invest a lot of their time into making sure that more and more people are aware about it. 

 

When I went into the event the members broke down what their organization stood for and what different events they were planning related to raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They had a lot of fun and unique ways to raise money that I feel will get people involved and help raise money such as candlelight-yoga events, a battle of the bands event, brunch at the Wellington, etc and the proceeds go to cystic fibrosis patients and the Nationwide Children’s hospital. The reason me and many other people were there, though, was to make goodie bags and crafts for the children in the Pulmonary Unit at Nationwide Children’s hospital. 

 

There were multiple stations, with each station doing various crafts that were going to comprise the goodie bags that the children would receive. There was a painting station, a goodie bag creation station, a chain-link station and then the station I was a part of: the card making station. Me, the president of Breathe Hope, Emily, and the treasurer, Maggie, all worked together to create cards that would keep good spirits with these children and bring them joy. I tried to create cards with puns and jokes that would hopefully make these young kids laugh and brighten up their day. We tried to create a fall theme and also had Halloween stickers that we used since it is coming close to that holiday. Many of these kids will unfortunately not be able to have a normal trick-or-treating experience since they will be in the hospital still, so we tried to bring the halloween spirit to them. 

 

I really enjoyed this event because I was able to do something that would better a child’s day and try to bring them more happiness. There are many children suffering from Cystic Fibrosis and it is unfortunate because there are many valuable parts of life that they miss out on because they are constantly being sent to the hospital. I am glad that Breathe Hope recognized this and works with the Cystic Fibrosis Association to try and help these children out. I am happy to have been involved in this event and I hope to get involved more with this organization!

 

IJS/JASCO Lecture: Michiko Yamaoka, “My Hiroshima Legacy: An A-Bomb Story of My Mother and Aunt” (Campus) – September 3rd (4:00pm – 5:00pm)

Michiko Yamaoka (aka Miko) is a native Japanese citizen who had her own close family directly impacted by the Hiroshima bombing that took place August 6th, 1945. This bombing was a devastating tragedy that impacted her mother/aunt and she wanted to share their story and the story of others impacted by this tragic event.

A few years before the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, the United States and Japan were on opposing sides of World War 2 and had ill will towards each other. Miko explained that tensions arose when Japan had launched their Pearl Harbour attack and the United States retaliated with an air strike on Tokyo, Japan’s capital. “This air strike by the United States was very devastating for the Japanese people,” Miko mentioned, because the morale in Japan became low and the citizens started to realize that their country is in fact vulnerable to air strikes and other air attacks.

Leading up to the bombing, the United States and Japan began developing many technological advances to use against each other. One of Japan’s major war weapons was the use of Kamikaze pilots. These pilots were given targets, usually ships manned by opposing countries, and they would deliberately crash into them risking their lives. “These kamikaze pilots did what they did because they believed they were doing good for Japan. They thought their sacrifice was for the sake of the country and that their life being risked was worth it for the advancement of Japan in the future,” Miko explained to us. 

The United States were also making their own developments at this time. They were working to create a massive and devastating atomic/nuclear bomb that could destroy an entire city. The U.S. worked intricately and carefully to create these bombs and even went through many trials and errors before discovering the final product of “fat man” and “little boy”, the two bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th. They also went through many meetings to decide which cities to drop these bombs, narrowing their list to 17 cities across the Japanese archipelago before deciding to go with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


“On August 6th, 1945, my mother was in her house 1 mile away from the epicenter of the bomb’s target. My mother’s sister was a few blocks east of the epicenter in a building. My mother was 20 at the time and my mother’s sister was 14 and like everyone else they had no idea of the devastation that was to come.” Miko said that her mother looked out the window just minutes after the bomb was dropped and all she could see was black smoke and red fire surrounding the entire city of Hiroshima. “She ran around the destroyed city looking for her younger sister amongst the heat rays and radiation but it did not stop her. There were bodies everywhere and they all were begging for water due to the massive heat.” Miko saidwhat caused her great pain was that she could not give these people water and that their bodies were burned to the point of no recognition. Her mother could not make out her sister from the many bodies and she was broken apart until she was told she was on an island right off of the shore of Hiroshima. “My mother went to the island and called out to her sister and heard a faint voice answer back in the medical hold where many of the survivors were being held. She was so happy and brought her sister back home but she unfortunately died two days later due to the radiation within her.”

Miko told us that although this devastation was so horrible and brought much pain to the people of Japan, she wanted us to know that the people of Japan hold no ill will towards America for this but instead war is the thing the Japanese people hate. I loved the message she left us with that “hatred and violence only brings suffering and if we all spread love and happiness to one another, jealousy and war will not arise.” I am very happy I attended this talk since I got much insight that I didn’t have and I gained the perspective of someone who was impacted by this horrific event.

Midwest Slavic Conference (Service) – April 7th (10:00-12:00 p.m.)

I decided this semester I would volunteer at an event that is not something I would have ever known about. I was excited to see that an event like this was happening in a department I am not familiar with and that it fit into my schedule, so I signed up. I never studied much about the Slavic region and haven’t had the opportunity to meet with anyone from this department so I felt I would gain a lot from attending this event!

I was informed that every year the Midwest Slavic Association and CSEES partner together to host the Midwest Slavic Conference. Presenters can be anyone from undergraduate and graduate students, independent researchers and professors from all across the United States and oversees. There are about thirty panels with about two hundred attendees from various accredited universities and colleges. They have been holding this conference here on Ohio State University’s campus for nearly two decades and everyone seems to enjoy having it here.

I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Pfahl Hall , which is where the conference was being held over on North campus. There was an abundance of people from all across the United States and even from around the globe. There were so many professors, graduate and undergraduate students and respected researchers in their fields sharing information with one another that they have gathered over the past year. Everyone there had so much knowledge about Eastern Europe and the Slavic region and it showed in their impressive presentations.

I volunteered for the last shift of the conference, which was on Sunday the seventh of April, and there was a lighter crowd than the previous day, so I was told. It seemed like there was about a hundred or so people that were still there presenting and listening to the last few panels. Since there was not much checking in and registrations that needed to be done, we were tasked to help pack up a little and were free to listen to the panels that were running.

The main panel me and the other volunteer, Grace, went to had multiple speakers presenting their research. There were a couple graduate students, professors and independent researchers in the crowd and some of them presented through the last hour. There was a graduate student from Oxford, Phillip Decker, and he discussed about Eastern Germany post World War II. He mainly focused on the end of the 1950s to the early 60s and outlined the rising fame of Dean Reed in respect to Eastern Germany in this time. Dean Reed was a man born in Colorado and wanted to venture to the entertainment business so he moved to Hollywood. He was not gaining much success in the United States, but he was in South America so he went on a brief tour there.

Reed started to gain a communist mindset while in South America which caused his deportation. He made his way around Europe and the former Soviet Union before permanently staying in Eastern Germany. Reed was the main character in many spaghetti western / cowboy movies which was of much interest to the Germans. They portrayed Americans as cowboys that had little respect and no care in the world. Reed promoted communist propaganda through these spaghetti western films and became well known in Germany.

I was glad to have the chance to learn about Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union by these amazing panelists. Philip and the other researchers allowed me to expand on my knowledge on the slavic regions and gave me much inspiration. These people are all recognized and respected in their fields and were given this platform to share their work. I want to be able to attend more events like this and be have the opportunity to share my own research. I am glad to have been able to attend this event and may come back next year!

Denman Undergraduate Research Forum(Academic) – February 20th(12:00 – 5:00 p.m.)

 

I got to attend the Denman Undergraduate Research forum and it was a pretty amazing event. There were, what felt like, hundreds of students in many rows with their tri-fold posters and energetic faces. So many other students, professors and professionals in their respective fields were in attendance to see what research ideas and results all of these students were able to come up with. For many students this is their first year presenting and for others it may be their 4th, but I honestly could not even tell the difference.  Everyone I was able to talk to had very intellectual and passionate reasons for choosing their particular topics and were really excited to share their hypothesis and all the findings they had.

Although I got to go around and see the different posters and briefly talk with the many of the students, I was very interested in one of the students studies and talked more in depth with her. I got to speak with Vickey Jin who is an accounting major here at OSU and she did her research on what high end brands and quick fashion brands can do to increase their social media presence.

“Social media is becoming bigger and bigger as the years go one and many successful businesses greatly benefit by having social media as a way to interact with their customers about deals, special events, new arrivals, etc. Instagram, specifically, is the most popular social media site for sharing videos and photos with about half a billion users each day, so the purpose of my research is to test Instagram users’ responses toward the posts shared by different types of fashion brands and to offer posting recommendations for companies to maximize their brand presence on Instagram,” Jin stated.
Jin explained to me that her study method was “longitudinal”  which allows for her to collect data from the same Instagram posts of two fashion brand types ,Quick Fashion and High End, for 60 days. She was able to gain access to this population through fashion brands that are recognized on Instagram  and that are also able to be publicly viewed. Everything from the post type (video or picture; ads or non-ads), date, number of likes and comments was recorded each day for 60 total days. Each comment that she was recording was categorized under each of the following 5 categories: talking to the company, talking to friends; commenting on the  actual product; commenting on the picture they see/model, and finally revealing things about one’s self. For this she mainly focused on the number of posts that fall under each of the above categories being recorded.


The first thing she started with was creating mean tables that she used to generate and determine the nature of the uploaded posts and how it affects the above 5 categories. Then she created correlation tables to determine what the correlation between the 5 factors and number of comments/likes of high end brand and quick fashion brand. So then, based on the significance test, she was able to draw a conclusion on how ads and pictures are able to affect the amount of comments and likes a company can potentially receive.

As for Jin’s results, the correlation tests  were able to show that for high end brands, the comment on the product and reveal about one’s self factors are relatively highly correlated with the number of comments and number of likes. For quick fashion brands, talk to company, comment on the product, and reveal about one’s self show a relatively strong relationship to number of comments and number of likes. The significance tests were able to help determine how the nature of the posts affect the 5 factors and what kind of post will help high end brands and quick fashion brands to maximize their brand presences on Instagram.

It was amazing to think that Jin, and the rest of the students there,  were able to come up with such interesting topics. Jin focused on the positive role social media can have for companies and since we live in the day of technology, utilizing it will benefit already established companies and even start-ups. I am glad to have went to this event and will use what I learned from all the students to come up with my own research hypothesis. 

ICS: Air Pollution and Human Health in China (Non-IA Event) – January 25th (4:00-5:30 p.m.)

Qinghua Sun, who is a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Public Health and also an Assistant Dean for Global Public Health, gave a very eye opening lecture about air pollution and its impacts on human health. He focused on the many global challenges and advancements happening in China specifically but also highlighted many countries around the globe that are also having increasing levels of air pollution and fine particle matters (pm 2.5 and pm10).

Sun has been doing research on the Air Pollution in China for some time now and he chose China because it is his birthplace and also due to the known fact that China is one of the leading countries in high amounts of air pollution in their air. Due to the high amounts of air pollution within China and many other countries, it has been able to impact people’s lungs drastically. Young children are starting to get exposed, causing an increase in lung dysfunction. The high exposure of pm10 and pm2.5 are starting to become deadly for our human bodies. When we inhale, the Carbon starts to grip onto our macrophages and it starts to build up as we continue to be exposed to these extreme levels of particulate matter.

Sun mentioned how pm2.5 can not be higher than 13-14 micrometer per cubic mile, and if it is in any city or country, then it is illegal. Unfortunately, there are many places with illegal levels of particulate matter. For example, Shanghai has a reported pm2.5 of about 16 and Delhi, India with more than 18. Although the United States is not nearly as bad, it is still at an unhealthy level in some areas. Places such as California, Texas, Ohio, New York, Nevada, Utah, etc have seen high levels of pm2.5 in the past and present. Back in 2005, Ohio was the leading state in the U.S. when it came to pm2.5 in the atmosphere, which really shocked me. Being that I grew up in Ohio, it really came as a shock to me that pm2.5 levels were really the worst in the country. It made more sense when Sun mentioned that we had many factories located throughout Ohio back then and it didn’t help that the states surrounding us were also high on the chart for pm2.5. Being surrounded by these states meant that the polluted air would just linger and the wind would push it into and around our state. Also since Ohio is far away from the ocean, there was no chance of the fresh ocean air to breeze through and clean the atmosphere up.

Sun’s talk allowed me to be more aware about what harms the environment and the air that we breathe. There are many things that need to change so that we can restore the Earth to a cleaner, more beautiful state and it will require time and effort by everyone on the Earth. Slowly reducing the pm2.5 and pm10 levels in the air and atmosphere by removing things that highly contribute to its existence will be a good first step. Not only will it help the Earth but it will benefit our health as well. I hope to see a reduction in pm2.5 within these next few decades and hopefully a reduction of it for good!

Breathe Hope: Blankets For Cystic Fibrosis (Service Event) – November 15th (7:00-8:30 PM)

Breathe Hope is an amazing organization on campus that I wish I heard about sooner. They do a lot of amazing events around campus and in the central Ohio area to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis.They volunteer at events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, make blankets and other crafts for patients in the Pulmonary Unit at Nationwide Children’s hospital, and they also raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by holding yoga classes and other fundraising events throughout the year. They really believe in creating a lasting relationship with these patients and their families and making a change to hopefully bring an end to cystic fibrosis related deaths. I loved to hear how passionate the members of this organization were about creating change and educating people about cystic fibrosis and its impacts on people’s day to day lives. They really are very passionate about this cause and seem to invest a lot of their time into making sure that more and more people are aware about it.

When I went into the event the members broke down what their organization stood for and what different events they were planning related to raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They had a lot of fun and unique ways to raise money that I feel will get people involved and help raise money such as yoga events, a battle of the bands event, brunch at the Wellington, etc and the proceeds go to cystic fibrosis patients and hospitals. The reason me and many other people were there, though, was to make blankets for the children in the Pulmonary Unit at Nationwide. Winter in Ohio can get really cold and to keep them warm we made cute fuzzy blankets that will keep them warm and cozy this winter season.

I have personally never been good at knitting or anything like that so I was a little nervous when I heard that we would be making blankets for the children. I still decided to go because I felt even though I was lacking in the knitting department I could probably help out in some other way. When I arrived I found that they had blankets that were already created which was quite a relief. They just needed for us to help make the blankets more unique with different designs and by creating frills on the ends of the blanket. It was good to have people on my team, who I found out were also International Affairs Scholars, that knew how the blankets should turn out so we ended up making a few beautiful blankets. I also decided to write a couple of cards, since the holiday season is coming up, and I felt I should just write some positive (and funny) notes to keep them going.

This event really helped me realize many things, one being that there is just so many things that we should all be grateful for. There are children and adults that are going through so much pain and suffering and we sometimes forget about the people we have in our own lives until it is too late. It really is a wake up call that we should all be trying to contribute to making this world a more beautiful and positive place where everyone is loved and accepted. Breathe Hope and other amazing student organizations on campus are contributing their time and efforts to making other people’s lives better and I hope to contribute to them as well!