Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #4

I attended the Global Water Crisis event on October 24th from 6-7 PM in Page Hall 010. This serves as a replacement for a missed community meeting.

Michelle Cane from the Global Water Institute came to speak about the issues present around the world relating to water and the struggle people experience to have access to clean water. Their motto is “Water issues are not just about water. The Global Water Institute at Ohio State is not just about Ohio State”. It is not a single issue fix and requires cooperation from multiple facets of life and new ideas to improve existing systems. She mentioned how women in different countries have to walk miles to get clean water which results in less time for other activities and establishing infrastructure in certain areas.

This relates to IA because water scarcity is a worldwide issue. Climate change and other factors are rapidly changing the world we live in. We must adapt to these changes and do our part to make sure the world is not deteriorating because of our actions.

I am interested in getting involved in research with the Global Water Institute. Although business majors do not typically get research experience, I would like to explore this area more and integrate it with my Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability minor. Water issues will affect all areas of our current lives and it is important to address this vital part of existence.

Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #3

I attended the Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston STEP Expo held in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in the Ohio Union on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 from 4:30-5:30 PM. This served as a campus requirement.

I was able to walk around the expo and review 5 posters. The topics were as follows:

  1. The first poster I reviewed was titled “Australia: Human Impacts on the Natural Environment” and it was in the category of education abroad. Nicole Seilhamer went on a 4 week-long program to North Queensland in Australia. She studied environmental sustainability, ecology, history, and geology. She also did a variety of fun activities in nature. I thought the environmental aspect was interesting and I had previously looked into also doing this study abroad opportunity. I would consider doing a similar project or even this exact opportunity if I looked into other funding opportunities. This project relates to IA because it is a different part of the world and there are different cultures and experiences available.
  2. The second poster I reviewed was called “Exploring Japan through Sports, Culture, and Wellness” and was also in the category of education abroad. Alexis Perney went on a 16 day trip to the University of Tsukuba in Japan. She got to explore the country and then complete labs relating to her major in exercise science. This was interesting because it is not something that I would have considered doing. STEP allows people to travel all around the world have their own individualized experiences. I don’t think I would do a similar kind of project just because it does not relate to my personal interests but it is cool to learn about. This project relates to IA because this took place in a different area of the world with a different language and culture.
  3. The third project I reviewed was titled “Devenir Bilingue: A continuation of the path to French Fluency” and was also in the category of education abroad. Owen Morrish wanted to apply his French knowledge to real-life places and experiences. He spent a month in France and a month in Quebec and took classes in both places. I thought it was interesting how he made his own study abroad experience by combining 2 locations and his prior study of the French language. I would consider doing a similar project, perhaps relating to the German language as I have some experience with it. This relates to IA because it is another new country that provides immense opportunities for cultural immersion and use of another language.
  4. The fourth project I reviewed was named “BMW Consulting Project in Stockholm, Sweden”. Kyle Foley worked as a student consultant for BMW Financial Services and created a product market analysis for their future comprehensive offerings in the Nordic region. He collected research on future industry trends and utilized customer data on current products. I found this interesting because I am also a finance major and I am interested in BMW as a company and consulting as a career path. I would definitely consider doing a similar project if I had the opportunity. This project relates to IA by allowing students to work in a different environment in a new country.
  5. The last project I reviewed was called “Sustainable Agriculture Workshop” and was in the leadership project category. Maris Haugrud was able to take a week-long trip to Amesville, Ohio where a group of students participated in events and workshops focused on all facets of sustainable agriculture including an introduction to cultivation methods, food preservation techniques, woodland plant identification, observation of different farm models, and a comprehensive class on soil management. I found this project interesting because it is not typically what you imagine a STEP project to be. The presentation was very appealing and she was passionate about her time with this project. I would consider doing a similar type of project on a smaller scale as I am not the biggest fan of the outdoors. This project does not seem to directly relate to IA in the sense that it is local but you can learn lots about the world and farming/agriculture from this project.

Overall, the STEP expo was a good experience in learning about the types of projects available and some ideas for different trips.

Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #2

On Saturday, October 26th from 10 AM-1 PM I attended the CRIS Mural Painting Project I. This event fulfilled the service requirement.

We traveled to an elementary school in Westerville, Ohio and worked with around 15 elementary school children to paint the base of the mural. It was so nice to talk to elementary school students and be surrounded by such positive little students who wanted to help out. We first did whole group introductions and learned more about them and assigned them different roles. When asked which subjects they enjoyed at school, most responded with numerous subjects such as math, science, music, and art. I thought this was interesting and refreshing because I remember enjoying school this much and wonder what happened to change our perspective on learning as we become older.

This event related to the topic of International Affairs because the students attended this school are from a variety of places around the world and the mural is a way to bring them together. CRIS does lots of work for refugees and the mentor program allows students to connect with a college student. The organization as a whole serves the refugee and immigrant population in Central Ohio and also acts as a resettlement agency.

I am not typically an “artsy” person but it was truly fun to work with the elementary school students and paint something that would be on the walls of their school for years to come. The kids had a great time helping out where they could.

After attending this event, I am interested in learning more about the types of things CRIS does and possibly becoming more involved with the organization or other service events related to IA. While I feel I cannot consistently devote time to CRIS, I would like to help out and attend events as they come up.