Leadership Development: Summary of Mentorship Experience

My first-year mentee, Lyndsie Leipold, is from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She is majoring in Biology on the Pre-Vet track. Lyndsie had wanted to come to Ohio State since she was young. When she visited Mount Union after visiting OSU, she confirmed OSU was her favorite school.

I think Lyndsie and I have a lot in common. We both love dogs, donuts, adventuring, working out, and volunteering. She formed a great friend group through living on 5th floor in Smith-Steeb, just like I did last year. I found we are both intrigued by the prospect of  ghosts. Lyndsie made a short film with her friends having to do with her haunted dorm room. I went to Savannah over spring break, and my mom and I went on a ghost tour. I was sure that some of my pictures captured paranormal figures and faces. Next year, Lyndsie might go to the Mansfield Reformatory during Halloween. Another thing we have in common is getting lost when using the Columbus bus system. I have ended up in the middle of nowhere a couple of times, and Lyndsie has as well. This happened to each of us during snow flurries before, but instead of getting discouraged, I think we both looked at it like an adventure.

The differences between Lyndsie and me include what we are involved in. In addition, Lyndsie has a knack for science. She has taken many science courses, some in the same semester, that I do not think I would have been able to pass. My strengths are more math oriented. I learned that Lyndsie has a real passion for helping animals and is planning to be a vet. I love animals, too, but I could never be a veterinarian because I have so many allergies.

Lyndsie grew from the first semester because she developed her friendships further. She also grew in the second semester because she finally found a volunteer group that she enjoys serving with. This was very important to Lyndsie and her sense of self because she had always done a lot of volunteering in high school. I hope that she will continue to work with this group and find ways to lead in the future. Next, I think Lyndsie’s dog helped her through the stress of second semester. Being around Cooper is extremely relaxing, and I can see why Lyndsie decided to have him live with her at OSU. Lyndsie and Cooper brought joy to her classmates, and even brightened up the days of people she did not know at all.

In mentoring Lyndsie, I may have helped her with socialization and orientation. I tried to give her some campus involvement ideas and tips about good places to adventure. I also wanted to keep her updated on volunteering events that she could participate in to get her service hours completed. When we had conversations, I strove to be a respectful and considerate listener. We had fun on our explorations in Columbus, and these occasions hopefully gave Lyndsie an idea of what kinds of exciting opportunities this city has to offer. Whenever we both signed up to go to the same ACES event, we could count on each other to attend and be there if we needed someone to sit next to.

There are many benefits of a mentoring program. One benefit is getting to know a younger or older ACES member on a deeper level. Presently, there is not much motivation to meet ACES members from a different year. The first-year ACES bonded over living together and being in the same scholars lectures. The second-year ACES already bonded the year before and still remain close, so meeting first-years does not seem like a priority. The mentor program helps break down the barrier between first and second-year ACES. Moreover, another benefit of the mentoring program is that second-years have the opportunity to take on a bit more responsibility. They must learn to manage time wisely between their needs and the needs of their mentor. Communication skills grow as a result of the program, too. Working through busy schedules to find free times to meet means that mentors and mentees must follow up with each other often.

From being a second-year mentor, I learned about relating to others interests and finding common ground. I also learned how I could be a better mentor in future mentorships. I would have liked to involve my mentee in more activities and provide her with more resources for stress and time management. I developed as a leader through this program because I participated in self-reflection, face-to-face conversation, and guiding my mentee to certain involvements which suited her personality.

Second Explore Columbus Assignment

Lyndsie and I “explored Columbus” while staying close to our dorm. Finals week was keeping us very busy, so for our study break, we visited The Little Donut Shop. When I suggested it, Lyndsie texted back “Oh awesome yes I love that place!!” I was most looking forward to sitting down with Lyndsie to have a nice conversation and pig out on delicious chocolaty donuts. I was so excited when she I met her in the lobby and realized her dog Cooper would be joining us. He is such a sweet and loving dog!

It had been pouring all day, so I wore rain boots and carried an umbrella, and Lyndsie had her rain jacket. Fortunately, the sky cleared up for our short walk to The Little Donut Shop. When we opened the front door, we were hit with the scent of fry oil and cake. We approached the counter, and all the donuts were temptingly displayed with their creative, delectable toppings. I worked at this shop for a couple months last semester, so I talked with one of my old coworkers while Lyndsie and I picked out our treats. We shared a half dozen box–three for each of us. I even found a coupon to use! We both picked m&m and Milky Way donuts. She chose Cookie Dough for her third, and I chose Oreo. All the donuts from this shop are small cake donuts dipped in frosting and then dipped into a topping. The m&m donuts are vanilla dipped with m&m’s on top. The Milky Way is chocolate dipped with chocolate chips and caramel sauce drizzled on top. Cookie Dough is chocolate dipped with a chocolate chip streusel topping. Oreo is vanilla dipped and topped with Oreo cookie crumbles. I also ordered a hot coffee, which went perfectly with all the sweetness of our food.

The Little Donut Shop has a fun atmosphere. Their decor is modern and casual. All the seats are bar stools, so the tables are up high. Lyndsie and I sat along the wall. We were the only customers for while, until a group came in to taste test donuts for a wedding. Cooper stood between us looking up at the food, waiting for any crumbs to drop. He successfully managed to eat lots of crumbs because our donuts were messy. I enjoyed petting him for the whole hour or so that we were there.

The delicious chocolaty donuts that I looked forward to pigging out on did not disappoint. I think Lyndsie enjoyed hers too! My favorite was the Milky Way… it has been my favorite ever since last semester when I first tried it. Lyndsie reminded me that sometimes The Little Donut Shop donuts are served at OSU volunteer events. In fact, when ACES volunteered during Clean-Up Columbus last semester, the donuts we ate for breakfast were made by coworker!

I would definitely return to The Little Donut Shop. I try not to go often because the donuts are so rich and overloaded with sugar. When life gets hard though, a sugar overload can fix everything. I also would totally recommend it to other mentors and mentees. It is super fun to pick out the donuts, and they are easy to share. Mentors and mentees could even try a variety of flavors by splitting the donuts in half. The Little Donut Shop’s prices are reasonable, too. A half dozen is $6 and a dozen is $10. I can also attest that the Little Donut Shop takes precautions to ensure cleanliness and food safety. I am OCD about cleaning, and I felt comfortable there as an employee with how things were managed. The location is perfect for mentors and mentees that do not have access to a car and do not want to take a long bus ride. It is right across from the Union.

Through this assignment, I learned that exploring Columbus is not out of reach, even on a low budget and with limited time. There are many cool places nearby to explore. Supporting a local business is always rewarding, too. Another thing I noticed is that when going somewhere familiar, the experience changes depending the company. Lyndsie and I had both been to The Little Donut Shop before, but it still felt like a special occasion because we had never gone with each other. I make new memories at this shop every time I go in. Working there was very different from being a customer, and I enjoyed being able to just relax.

Second Semester Check-In

Are you enjoying the major? Why or why not?

Which class on your current schedule do you think will be the most challenging and why?

Do you think you will keep your same involvement next year? Why or why not?

What recommendations do you have for improving the ACES program?

Have you enjoyed the ACES living-learning community in Smith-Steeb? Why or why not?

Have you had the chance to explore your desired career through internships, field experiences, etc.?

What is your favorite memory from last semester?


My mentee, Lyndsie Leipold, is majoring in Biology on the Pre-Vet track. It was nice getting to catch up with her. I learned that Lyndsie’s first semester at OSU was difficult for a few reasons, but things seem to be going better now. Her dog, Cooper, was recently approved to live with her in Smith-Steeb. He is such a sweet and comforting companion.

In response to the first question I asked, Lyndsie said she is still enjoying her major. However, it is stressful trying to complete all her assignments while finding time to relax. Her most challenging classes are chemistry and biology. They are both very tedious and time consuming.

Lyndsie would like to be involved in something new next semester. We discussed clubs that would not require too much commitment but would allow her to destress. I suggested drawing on her interest in service when choosing a student organization so that she can satisfy her desire for involvement and complete service hours simultaneously. In high school, there were many ways Lyndsie could consistently serve the community. Her favorite place to volunteer was at the horse stables. I do not know of anything like that here in Columbus, but there are other volunteering opportunities that match Lyndsie’s previous experiences. My sorority visited the Community Shelter Board last week, and we served dinner to families there. Lyndsie was excited to hear about this because she had helped in a soup kitchen before. She will consider serving at the Community Shelter Board soon.

One recommendation Lyndsie has for improving the ACES program includes making the service requirement more attainable. She has trouble meeting the requirement of two service events per semester because many events are on Wednesdays, which is her busiest school day. She suggests changing up the service event schedule so that events are on a variety of days and times during the week.

Lyndsie loves the ACES living-learning community in Smith-Steeb. She is surrounded by supportive and caring friends that have her best interests in mind. Her friends and neighbors even help watch Cooper when she must go to class or get food. I told Lyndsie what to expect next year when she is no longer living near the same people. I said it would be sad at first, but it just allows for more branching out and adventuring to different parts of campus to visit a friend’s dorm.

Lyndsie’s Pre-Vet plan has not changed, and she has thought about doing an internship in the future. She would shadow one of her family friends who is a veterinarian.

A tradition Lyndsie and her ACES friends started last semester includes pizza, movies, and games. In one of their dorm rooms, the friends stay awake all night laughing and enjoying each other’s company. I named Lyndsie’s favorite memory from last semester “A Frozen Fish Tale.” One very cold winter day, Lyndsie’s fish died. All her friends from the floor decided to go with her to buy a new fish. They took the bus to a pet store and found the perfect little guppy. When they got on the bus to go home, they ended up in another part of town. The friends got off the bus at a stop but had no clue where the stop was located. They walked the whole way home in the snow, carrying their heavy shopping bags of fish supplies and the new fish. Two days later that new fish died. Although Lyndsie was a little upset for the fish, she still loved having so much fun with her friends on their exciting adventure.

Throughout the semester, I plan to use this information to mentor Lyndsie by checking in more often. I can help her find service opportunities and keep her updated on ACES service events.

Explore Columbus Assignment

Lyndsie (my mentee) and I wanted to take a break from campus. Since Sarah (my roommate) has her car at OSU, she suggested that we complete the Explore Columbus Assignment as a group. We decided to adventure to German Village because Lyndsie, Sarah, and Dana (Sarah’s mentee) had never visited before. We were looking forward to an afternoon filled with holiday cheer, and I could not wait to see the girls’ reactions to this beautiful part of town.  Sparkling lights and garland would be decorating the streets.

I knew we were approaching German Village when the the car started bouncing and bumping over a brick road. The sensation reminded me of the historic roads in my hometown. I could also tell that the stores were ready for holiday shoppers and tourists. Our first stop, a short walk from the car, was a warm and welcoming cafe called Pistacia Vera. Here they serve macrons, cakes, and pastries. I picked out macrons called Toasted Coconut, Raspberry Fig, Buckeye, and Holiday Peppermint. The cafe was so busy that we could only find a table outside. Luckily, we were all bundled in big winter coats, so the chilly weather felt comfortable. After finishing our sweet treats, we stopped at a store that sold very expensive dishware. We did not spend a long time browsing around because one wrong move could cause something to break, and none of us would be able to pay for it. Relieved to be out of that danger zone, we trekked onward. The entrance-way to our final destination was decorated for Christmas. We had arrived at The Book Loft, a group of pre-Civil War era buildings that houses a maze of books. Each of the 32 rooms is dedicated to a different genre. We grabbed a map to help us navigate through the narrow halls. We started downstairs in the Young Adult Literature area. I recognized all the books I had to read for a class I took this semester. One room led to another and and another. Dana and I found some unique items which we purchased. The item I bought as a gift for my friend was a hand-made journal with a colorful peacock embroidered on the cover . There were many notebooks similar to this. I loved looking at all the books signed by their authors, too. Once we had our fill of discounted novels and creative knickknacks, we tried to find a way out. After mindlessly wandering through the Loft so long, it was hard to get our bearings and locate the exit. I even lost track of how much time we had spent there. Fortunately, we returned safely to the car.

I would love to return to German Village soon and would highly recommend it to my family and friends. There are many novel restaurants to choose from. In addition, all the shops are just a short walk from the parking spots. I especially enjoyed German Village when I visited in the spring and fall because the warm weather allowed shop owners to maintain vibrant flower gardens. With all the options in German Village that suit a variety of interests, anyone could enjoy a visit to this magical place!

During our trip to German Village, I learned about the atmosphere of a small town. Although they saw many customers that day, all of the workers were kind and friendly. I worked at Bath and Body Works during Christmas break a couple years ago, and I know how crazy a Saturday morning can be. The shops must have hired extra workers for this holiday shopping season.

I think exploring a new city takes patience because small problems may occur. Problems can include getting lost, waiting in long lines,  and not being able to find parking.  Moreover, I learned to not explore under time restraints. Doing so may be stressful due to the unforeseen circumstances of an unfamiliar place. Having an open mind is the best way to gain new experiences because, without this, the experiences will feel forced. Furthermore, learning about the new city can allow personal and social growth. I feel more relaxed each time I visit German Village because I am getting to know the area better. Next time I go, I will bring other friends or family members who have not gone to German Village before, so I can help them explore the town for themselves.

This assignment was a success, and I am glad Lyndsie, Sarah, Dana, and I were able to share the experience together!

Mentee Interview Assignment

How did you decide on the major you have chosen?

How do you like to study? Have you found a good place for studying on campus?

What has been your most challenging class so far and why?

How do you plan to get involved on campus?

What type of volunteering and involvement were you involved with in high school?

Why did you choose ACES?

What do you plan to do with your major after graduation? Graduate or Professional school? Enter the workforce?

What is your dream job and why?

How will you balance academics and involvement?

What has surprised you about Ohio State since arriving on campus?

My mentee’s name is Lyndsie Leipold, and she is majoring in biology. I enjoyed learning about Lyndsie’s life and getting to share some of my experiences with her.

First, I learned that Lyndsie has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was a little girl because of her love of animals. Her family has always had some sort of pet in the house. They have owned cats, dogs, hamsters, and fish. Another reason she wants to be a vet includes that Lyndsie did a ten page speech on animal cruelty in eighth grade. She read about animals in abusive homes and saw many horrific images. Through this extensive research Lyndsie realized she sincerely wanted to help. She talked to a family friend about her dream job. The friend recommended that Lyndsie major in biology on a pre-vet track so she could graduate with more opportunities. After graduation Lyndsie plans on going to Professional school. After that she will enter the workforce as a veterinarian.

I also learned that Lyndsie’s school year has been extremely busy so far. Her classwork is time consuming, and her chemistry lab takes up to three hours. Chemistry is her most challenging class because of the time she has to spend completing labs and homework. Her favorite place to study is her dorm room. She works with her roommate and a group of their friends. They talk for a little while, but when one of them gets quiet to start her homework, everyone follows suite. They end up being productive, and if anyone has a question there is always someone there to help.

Despite feeling limited on time, Lyndsie has already gotten a job on campus at University Catering as a Student Cook. She also hopes to volunteer with 4 Paws for Ability sometime soon. Lyndsie was involved in countless extra-curricular and service activities in high school. To name a few, she participated in cross country, track, marching band, wind ensemble, Spanish Club, National Honor Society, Here’s Hope Horse Farm, and the Ohio Association of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. Her passion for involvement led her to joining a scholars program. She joined ACES for the volunteering opportunities and to meet new friends with similar interests.

Next, I learned that Lyndsie plans to balance academics and involvement by putting everything on a schedule. Lyndsie now keeps a desk calendar which she can reference when planning her upcoming activities. By using her time wisely she will stay on track. She hopes that prioritizing her time will become easier as the semester continues.

Last, what surprised Lyndsie about Ohio State is how quickly she got to know campus. After living on campus for just a couple months she can get around more effortlessly than she had previously expected she would. In addition, the fact that Ohio State provides a fresh start makes Lyndsie really happy. She has noticed that all the people here seem very nice, and she feels uplifted by their kindness.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


Global Awareness: I plan to study abroad in the summer of 2017. I would like to teach English to French students in France. In preparation for this opportunity, I am taking intense French courses that help me gain a global perspective. We cover French culture and history, so I am learning more than the language. In other classes I am learning about inclusive teaching. Inclusive teaching means accepting each student, no matter where he or she is from and no matter what his or her native language is. I will be an advocate for every student in my classroom.

Service Engagement: During my first semester at OSU I have been volunteering during H2O Church community engagement Saturdays. The group of students goes to Scioto Community, a nursing home for elderly people recovering from surgeries and illnesses. I have enjoyed this service because I learn so much from the residents of Scioto every time I visit. They have great experiences to share with my peers and me. I plan to continue volunteering at Scioto and growing relationships with the residents.





[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.   For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]