Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #7

I attended the Multicultural Center training event titled Microaggressions on Sunday, March 1st from 6-7 PM. This was held in the Alonso Family Room in the Multicultural Center of the Ohio Union. This served as an academic event.

The presentation was led by Ashley Yong. She is a social justice engagement graduate assistant at the Multicultural Center. This session was the second of a series of training sessions and conversations based on issues of identity, implicit bias, diversity, and other important topics. Our focus this time around was defining microaggressions and understanding how and when they might occur. We discussed the slow buildup of offensive comments whether intentional or unintentional. This is illustrated in a short YouTube video linked here. The video argues that microaggressions are like mosquito bites and can continuously affect certain people and it only takes one more bite to be too much.

This event is related to the topic of International Affairs in that we are also people and must treat each other with respect in order to achieve world peace. We must begin to be more aware of our biases and recognize when our comments are out of line. To be successful in our individual careers we need to develop our emotional intelligence and learn more about those around us.

I have touched on this subject in the past with the Morrill Scholarship Program. In being more inclusive, we should take note of the things we are saying, whether intentional or unintentional, that affect how we interact with different individuals. Everyone deserves a voice and opportunity to express themselves in a respectful manner.

After attending this event, I am interested in completing the series and learning all that I can while I am in college. This is a prime time to be vulnerable and take steps to become a better overall leader and lift up those around us. I want to learn more about the types of microaggressions that others face and challenge myself to be more aware of these issues and speak up when something is not right.

Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #6

I attended the Multicultural Center training event Who Am I? on Sunday, February 16th from 8-9 PM. This was held in the Alonso Family Room in the Multicultural Center of the Ohio Union. This event served as a professional development requirement.

The presentation was led by Ashley Yong. She is a social justice engagement graduate assistant at the Multicultural Center. Our session was one of a series of training sessions and conversations based on issues of identity, implicit bias, diversity, and other important topics. The session was focused on an exploration of personal identity. We discussed social identity and how group membership affects our sense of self. We also talked about power and privilege and how we need to spend more time reflecting on how we view the world around us.

This event is related to the topic of International Affairs because our world is becoming increasingly aware of these issues. Inclusivity is a major focus and treating people with kindness is crucial. To be a leader in any industry in today’s world requires an immense amount of emotional intelligence and working with people from different backgrounds and experiences.

I have done extensive work with diversity and inclusion and identity in a variety of my organizations here at Ohio State. As a Morrill Scholar, one of our main focuses is finding our own unique identity in a sea of people. In Fisher, a large point of struggle is the idea of imposter syndrome. With so many successful people surrounding you, it is difficult to stay true to your own values and stop the comparisons with others. As a Resident Advisor, I have had extensive training on the 4 core values of residence life (inclusion, wellness, community, and learning).

After attending this event, I am interested in learning more about the other facets of identity. I want to learn more about myself and how I perceive others. The biggest takeaway for me is to simply be more aware of my implicit biases and focus on my personal core values.

Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #5

I attended the Buckeye Food Alliance Volunteering event on Saturday, January 25th from 3-5 PM. We went to Lincoln Tower to fulfill this service requirement.

A group of 9 IA scholars went to the Buckeye Food Alliance headquarters to help organize and clean the stock room. We began by taking inventory of all the items in the pantry left after the week. We then looked at all expiration dates to make sure the foods being distributed were safe and healthy. Later, we swept up the area and came up with recipes to hand out for meal inspiration.

I think it is really cool that this resource exists on campus. I don’t think many students are aware of it and we can help promote it for anyone that needs food on campus.

This event related to the topic of International Affairs because it emphasizes the fact that the world is connected through trade and imports and exports. The United States often provides support for other countries and I believe that it is our role to help people when we are able to. While this is not possible in all situations, I think that Buckeye Food Alliance is a great local start.

I had previously had experience with food pantries and volunteering to combat food insecurity. Last spring, I traveled to DC with the Morrill Scholars Program. We went to various locations in DC to volunteer with DC Central Kitchen, Capital Area Food Bank, and others. It was eye-opening to see the amount of need and also the amount of support from people in the community. Food insecurity doesn’t just mean financial need, it can also be the distance from fresh, healthy food.

After attending this event, I am interested in learning more about how Buckeye Food Alliance operates on campus and the other events that they host. I would definitely be willing to volunteer for them again.

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.

Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #1

To begin my second year in the International Affairs Scholars Program, I attended the Global Engagement Film Night on Wednesday, August 28th from 7-9PM.  I went to a showing of Honeyland, a Turkish documentary drama at the Gateway Film Center. This event fulfilled the academic requirement.

The documentary mainly focused on a female beekeeper that takes care of her mother and also tries to preserve the area around her. Her efforts are disrupted by a family that settles near her and has no regard for the effects of human behaviors and the environment. The film as a whole demonstrates how we as humans interact with natural resources and our considerations for others (or lack of it).

Coming in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I typically enjoy documentaries but I was interested to see how I would like one strictly based on the visuals. The family that came to the area seemed to have good intentions but were easily persuaded by the businessman to produce more honey which ended up killing them all. Everything is only good in moderation and by taking more when they shouldn’t have, the balance was set off. It really opened my eyes to the impact that small changes can have on the living things in our world. I previously knew some things about beekeeping but it was interesting to see the similarities and differences of how it is done around the world.

This event relates to the topic of International Affairs because of the different perspective that the film provided and the sheer impact of seeing what happens around the world. Changes made to the environment affect the entire world. We need to work together with other nations to ensure that our economic efforts are not ruining the balance in nature. We need to make sure that we are not overharvesting resources because it will kill other organisms in the process.

This topic relates to my potential minor in Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability as I am really interested in the different dimensions of work in this area and what we can do as individuals to preserve our planet. Humans are very greedy and profit-driven so it is important to remember the long-lasting impact that our actions have on wildlife and the world as a whole. As a business major, I feel that this could be useful in the field to remind people that money is not the most important thing in the world and that we need to consider the consequences of our actions.

After the documentary ended,  I had numerous questions pertaining to the storyline. Films like this always leave lots of room for interpretation and allow you to figure out how you would like to act after processing the information. Specifically related to the woman, I would like to know how she dealt with the death of her mother and what she did following the loss of the one person that was very important to her. I wonder if she eventually moved to the city or continued living in her village. I am also interested in how the makers of the documentary were able to film while witnessing some awful things occurring.

International Affairs Reflection #6

To finish off my first year with the International Affairs Scholars Program, I attended the Current Events Conversation on Thursday, March 28th from 7:30-8:30 PM in the Glass Classroom in Smith-Steeb. This event fulfilled the academic requirement.

Our academic chair, Sam Stelnicki led a presentation to update us on what business events were occurring at the time. She began with some definitions of the S&P, Dow Jones, and NASDAQ. Sam then discussed European copyright laws and the shift in the responsibility of the financial burden of copyright infringements. Another event that she talked about was that Uber bought Careem, the middle east direct competitor, for $3.1 billion. This is a key play as Uber is going public this year on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s initial public offering is estimated to be as much as $120 billion.  Additionally, Sam mentioned Huawei and accusations around selling goods to countries with sanctions. This behavior could disrupt relations between the United States and different countries around the world. Another topic discussed was the potential issues with Boeing 737s and what can be done going forward.

This event impacted me by allowing me to become more aware of what is happening around the world. As an International Affairs Scholar, I should be more aware of daily news but often find myself missing out on what is going on. This event relates to the topic of International Affairs because business is typically international in modern transactions and deals with economics and a variety of factors around the world. Although I am not specializing in international business, it is crucial to keep up with business news to make smart financial decisions for companies.

Personally, I enjoyed this event as I was able to review the things I already knew and learn more about events I had heard briefly about. While I already knew some terms related to the stock market it was beneficial to quickly review what they meant. Academically, I learned more about specific business topics that relate to my finance major. To make educated predictions and effective analysis for companies, it is vital to pay attention to different outside conditions. Overall, the conversation was beneficial in getting to hear the opinions of others and how they would respond in positions of power.

As previously stated, this event relates specifically to my core business classes that I am taking this semester. There is a strong correlation to my international business, business skills and environment, and business law classes. We have discussed specifics about the previous topics and can apply skills to these situations.

After attending the event I have a few questions. I wonder when Uber will officially become a public company and how much they will actually be valued at. It is difficult to gauge surrounding specific controversies. I also question how China will handle the issues with Huawei and how diplomatic relations will be affected by this. I am also interested in learning more about the issues with Boeing 737s and when this issue will officially be fixed.


International Affairs Reflection #5

For the second event requirement of the semester for the International Affairs scholars program, I attended the debate on Syrian Civil War: American Policy in Syria on Wednesday, February 13th from 6:00-7:30 PM in Psychology Building 006, presented by The Alexander Hamilton Society. This event fulfilled the non-IA requirement. The debate featured Michael Singh, the Lane-Swig Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Dr. Randall Schweller of the Ohio State Political Science Department. The moderator was Dr. Chris Gelpi of the Mershon Center.

This event impacted my overall view on government and American foreign policy. Before going to the event, I was skeptical that I would even pay attention because it is not something I am normally interested in. However, the debate was actually very interesting and I enjoyed myself. I had a preconceived notion that government was boring and such a large institution could not create quick change. I was impressed by the experience and perspective that both sides had on the issue. The back and forth discussion changed my perspective on taking troops out of Syria and allowed me to consider all implications.

The debate directly relates to the topic of International Affairs. We learn about what is going on around the world and Personally, I believe that we should withdraw the troops and focus on larger issues. Other countries will be able to sustain themselves without our involvement and sometimes it is better to let people figure things out individually. I learned a great deal on Syrian culture and what officially led to the initial conflict and I am glad I was able to be present for this heated debate. This relates to a lot that I have learned in high school and in my history class last semester.

I gained a lot academically from this event. Before attending this event, it was important to recognize my own personal preconceived notions as well as how the general public might react. When thinking of Syria, the first thing that comes to mind is the Syrian refugees. These are citizens that have fled the country as the Syrian Civil War has brought detrimental effects since 2011. Several countries are unsure whether they should let people in for fear of a terrorist attack or other crimes. Furthermore, the American people simply don’t have trust in government. The media has not helped the situation, as immigrants are portrayed in a negative light. People have been forced out of Syria as the civilian death toll rises. The war initially broke out after a combination of factors. I learned about the implications of all decisions and feel informed if I were to make a decision. Personally, I also thought about my current career path and whether I should alter it slightly because I find these topics so interesting.

By attending this event, I was exposed to ideas I am not used to and was able to gain a better world view and learn more about the differences between American and Syrian culture. After attending I would want to know more about possible career options in this field and how I could possibly tie it in with finance and business.

International Affairs Reflection #4

For my first event this semester for the International Affairs scholars program, I attended the MLK Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 21 from 7:45 AM- 1 PM at COSI. This event fulfilled the service requirement.

We began the day in the Ohio Union with a presentation reminding us of the purpose of the day and a series of presentations. Following the event kickoff, we took a bus to the service site. I went with a few other International Affairs Scholars and we were sent to COSI. While at COSI, our group specifically cut tubes that resembled arteries and put them in plastic bags to be sent out in educational kits to go with online learning videos that schools and groups can participate in. This allows the students to learn interactively and apply the concepts in real life. We later loaded up the boxes to be shipped out and headed back to campus to discuss.

This event solidified my interest in volunteering and assisting others whenever possible. We had the day off from school because of Martin Luther King Jr. so I think it is only appropriate we give back and offer our time to honor his legacy. I think it is great that we are provided with such opportunities  It did not change my beliefs but I enjoyed participating in some service work with my friends.

This day of service relates to the topic of International Affairs because kindness and giving back is so vital to good relations in the community and ultimately with other countries. The news is always portraying the conflict and issues in the world but we need some acts of kindness to solve world issues. Simple discussion between diplomats can reduce conflict and improve world relations.

I learned about the methods COSI uses to provide science education to local schools and the impact of our collective few hours of work. I was also able to meet new people who were willing to spend a day off of school volunteering. It is nice to see that almost 1000 people wanted to wake up early and be sent to a random site to help people in the Columbus area. This event doesn’t necessarily relate to coursework as I am not an education major but relates to a variety of topics discussed in my second year writing class and the Morrill Scholars program. We discuss a lot about visual culture and COSI provides a number of attractions with interactive exhibits. This day of service included leadership and delegating roles. We were split off into sites and then further into specific tasks at COSI.

After attending this event, I wonder how else I can become involved with volunteering at COSI. Growing up in Columbus, I have always visited COSI as a child and it is interesting to now see behind the scenes. We received admission passes as a thank you for volunteering which was really nice as we weren’t expecting to receive anything besides the warm feeling that comes with an act of kindness.