Leadership Development

My first year mentee’s name is Madi Hart. She is an Integrated Language Arts Education major. Madi is one of the most hardworking, mature, and dedicated students that I have met at Ohio State, but she also loves to have a little fun. I saw Madi out at football games and tailgates and I was so happy to see that she was jumping into the social life at Ohio State right away! Not only football festivities, but she also dove head first into getting involved in Student Orgs on campus like the Guiding Eyes for the Blind and Pen Pals. Her journey at Ohio State has been a really great one so far, one that I believe where she has learned a lot about herself and the people around her and where she has learned what she needs to do in order to give herself the best chance of success whether it be in school, relationships, or just for her own happiness.

I believe Madi and I have a lot in common. We are both, if I do say so myself, very reasonable thinkers. I think this will get us far in life because we are able to look at a situation that may be complicated in someone else’s eyes and pick out the main details, what’s truly important, what the whole situation is really about. That allows us to be good decision makers (except when it comes to picking a place to go out to dinner because we both like basically all types of food; another similarity!). Along with this, we are both able to be level headed thinkers and therefore can recognize when it’s time to work and when we it is time to go out and have some fun. When we work, we give it 110% and that has gotten us both a great deal to where we are now! I am from New York while Madi is from Ohio so seeing that two people with almost entirely different upbringings can be so similar and get along so well was really interesting to see. I would also say that Madi is more organized than I am in the present sense and in the sense that she has to a good extent the idea of what she wants to do in the coming years. I really don’t know. She is also more mature than I was at her age and I commend her for that. And from these differences, she has become my teacher in the sense that she has taught me so much through this mentor/mentee journey.

My mentee truly did make major changes from first semester to second. She get even more involved on campus and she made changes in her social life that in the end made her much happier, and I was so happy to see that because that is something I, too, and I’m sure a large percentage of freshman on Ohio State’s campus had to do freshman year. All of the changes she made were for the better I believe.

I grew as a mentor and a leader through this year. I really took control of my studies and buckled down. The classes I am taking at the moment might not be my exact passion, but this semester I realized that I need to do my absolute best in them because they will lead me to a really great place where I can ultimately get a job. There is time outside class to explore my passions and eventually everything will come together and I need to put the work in now in order to get there. So I am really proud that I became a leader in my personal studies this year. From being a second year mentor, I learned that there are so many amazing people around me at all times on Ohio State’s campus. It doesn’t matter what year they are, where they are from, or what major they are. Almost everyone who is admitted to this campus is an interesting, intelligent, and genuinely nice person! The mentoring experience helped me with my leadership development because for the first time on campus, I was the person that another student was looking up to. It really helped with my confidence and sense of purpose on campus! I came to care about Madi so much so I wanted to do everything that I could to help her do well, whether it was just reflecting on my past experiences or discussing how to time manage and pick and choose which things to give her attention to.

There are endless benefits to mentorship programs, for both parties involved. I have had many mentors at Ohio State, like Breanne Butters in the ACCAD building and Animation Club and Sarah Ryherd in Association of Computing Machinery Women’s division. Even in just reaching out to these two people alone, my college experience has improved ten fold. As freshman on campus, and even into sophomore year, it can be extremely confusing for students like me to know what needs to be done to get the most out of the college experience. It can be very overwhelming. If you have a mentor to look up to that is one, two, or even three (like me) years older than you, they give you such great insight because, in your eyes, you are walking down this scary and ominous path, not knowing what is going to happen two inches in front of your nose but for them, they know that path like the back of their hand because they just walked down it. And from the mentor’s eyes, since I just was one, I can honestly say that knowing how difficult freshman year can be and being able to make it a little bit easier for someone else really is an amazing feeling. And to see them succeed is even better. I really did have an amazing experience in the ACES mentoring program and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Second Semester Explore Columbus Assignment

For our second semester Explore Columbus assignment, Madi and I went to the famous Buckeye Donuts! This classic college eatery has a special place in my heart because it is the definition of a college restaurant and my family loves it. My family and I go every single time they come to visit and it always puts a smile on my dad’s face. So when Madi said that was where she wanted to go, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The history of that place literally oozes out of every brick in the walls. Its legacy hangs on every wall and can be seen in every newspaper clipping or t-shirt worn by a worker saying “Prince was here” on the back. And it lives on through every person that comes in and tells their friends and family about what a Buckeye rich culture it is right now. That’s why Madi and I wanted to go here. We sat at the classic belly-up style bar and had some city-wide renown donuts. The donuts are of course to die for and the service is just as great. The servers always have smiles on their faces and there is one man in there, who I assume to be the owner, and he never fails to put a smile on my face with his oh-so-70s groovy language. Right on!

Madi and I get along so well. As we did for our first Explore Columbus, we talked about everything from our finals to our families to our living situations for next year. Although this time we got even deeper, talking about friendships in college and how to look at them realistically and do what is best for ourselves and our mental health whenever we can because that is such an important thing to keep our eyes on not only in college but for the rest of our lives. She has taught me so much and shown me her incredible insight on so many topics, one could say “issues” or “problems”, that everyone faces at one point or another in life. These things don’t remain problems for long with Madi because she has the maturity, the strength, and the confidence to know exactly what she needs to do in every situation. It is really incredible and inspiring to see. She lives such a fun, thoughtful, and free life and I am so glad to be just a little a part of it. I am so happy that she feels comfortable to open up to me and respects and listens to me when I do the same because that is one of the beautiful things that comes out of friendship. Some of the things we talked about will remain between her and I but I can tell you that she has such a great head on her shoulders and I am so happy to hear about how successful she has been so far at Ohio State and all of the plans she has for ventures in the future. She is such a great decision maker and is mature enough to make the best decisions possible, I think, at most of the forks in the road that she has come across. She is ahead of the game in terms of getting on campus jobs. She is working at the Writing Center on campus, as an online grader, and an OA in the dorm she is living in next year. I think that is amazing! And she knows that too of course. She has a plan of success and she’s sticking to it and rocking it!

We would one hundred percent recommend Buckeye Donuts if you have not been there already. The place is always hopping with college students, the prices are incredibly reasonable and the staff seem so happy to be working at such a cool establishment. Madi and I had such a wonderful time together and the atmosphere that Buckeye Donuts embodies is so great for little talks like this like catching up with a friend. I wish Madi the best of luck as she moves on in her ACES and Ohio State career, and she knows that. I see nothing but success in her future and I am so grateful of the friend I gained through this program. She knows that whenever or if she needs someone to talk to I am always around and we have already established the fact that we are going to continue hanging out for as long as we are both at OSU!

Explore Columbus Assignment

For our first Explore Columbus Assignment, Madi and I decided to go to Kafe Keroac on North High Street. Kafe Keroac is not only a coffee shop. There was so much more than we were expecting when we went inside, which was awesome! There were collections of old comic books, magazines, board and card games, and instruments in every corner. I thought that it would be a little bit more of a hole in the wall place, however there were many students hustling in and out of there, waitresses behind the counter jumping around pouring hot cups of coffee into mugs and throwing bagels and cookies on plates, sliding them down the breakfast bar to hungry customers. There were also people who looked like they were there to say, sprawling their work out on the big tables around the corner. We were so surprised! It was a beautiful day when we went, so we decided to sit outside in the sun on the patio, which we enjoyed every much. Madi is the best! We had such great conversations about pretty much everything. We talked about all things Ohio State: our experiences so far, our classes, our friends. We talked about our families, our plans for the summer, and our career dreams. She has such a great head on her shoulders and she is handling all of the stresses that can come along with the first year of college so well! I am so happy that we get along so well and I want to visit her and her cat next year :). Madi and I definitely want to go back to Kafe Keroac! We both thought that Kafe Keroac had the perfect atmosphere to do work in the winter, and since it is so close to North Campus, we both are going to go back there. It has a very cozy vibe. During the fall and winter, it would be the perfect place to go get a cup of coffee and get to work in a  comfortable place with some friends. We both loved it and their food was just as good as their coffee. We would definitely recommend Kafe Keroac to anyone who is looking for somewhere cozy and social to go and study and have a really soft, chewy, chocolaty brownie with a creamy and delicious cappuccino.

On this trip into Columbus, we learned that the city is chock-full of really cool places to go and explore, even if you just want a cup of coffee! You can even run into some really great and interesting places less than a mile from campus. Kafe Keroac is one of these places! Being a short walk north of campus, it is one of those hole in the wall places that you can go to and get lost in. Right when you walk in, you can see that there is something for everyone. There are comic books, vinyl, instruments, all kinds of board games, muffins, cookies, breakfast food, coffee, iced tea, lemonade, outdoor seating, couches, tables to do school work — everything! All different walks of life could find something that they  enjoy at a place like this. On our walk to Kafe Keroac, we saw lots of construction, college students, and happy dogs being walked! This spoke a lot to what Columbus is like as a whole. With the college campus in its heart, the youth that the university and its students add to Columbus is what helps make the city feel so innovative and modern. The construction adds to this, showing that Columbus is continuously improving and making itself new and better every single day. The people outside walking their dogs shows how the city is always moving. The very first day that the temperature outside hit sixty degrees, everyone was up-and-at-’em, getting outside and again showing the youth and energy that the city radiates. We both commented on how these three things were some of the things that have made us fall in love with the city of Columbus so quickly. Being from a small town in New York that didn’t have nearly as much of a city feel or the amount of shops and places to walk around and see on a sunny day made me love exploring Columbus with Madi that much more. For anyone else who is looking to get a similar experience out of Columbus, I really recommend waiting for a nice, sunshiny day to go outside and take a walk through the streets of Columbus to a place like Kafe Keroac. Seeing everyone else in the coffee shop that were also out and enjoying the weather in such a cool atmosphere was awesome, and we would definitely recommend the experience to anyone!


Mentor/Mentee Second-Semester Interview Assignment

My wonderfully amazing, dedicated, intelligent, funny, and well-rounded mentee with an intrinsically good head on her shoulder’s name is Madi Hart and these are the five questions I asked her in her second semester interview.

“Are you enjoying your major? Why or why not?” – My wonderful mentee’s name is Madi Hart. She is a English Education major, and she is really enjoying it! She is currently taking classes that are teaching her exactly what she needs in order to be a K-12 English teacher, which is so great! She is so passionate about teaching so the fact that she can jump right into learning her exact interests freshman year is a token of how hard she worked in high school and all of the transfer credits she got to cover those general education classes that almost every major has to take. She is learning exactly what she loves and couldn’t be happier; neither could I!

“Do you think you will keep your same involvement next year? Why or why not?” – Madi is also getting involved in clubs that are taking part in events, studies, and daily activities that are right on par with not only her major, but also her interests outside of the classroom. From the clubs that she got involved in at the beginning of freshman year, she has not dropped any of these clubs because she was very careful in choosing these clubs and making sure she did not put too much on her plate from the start, which is so responsible and mature of her from such a young college student to do. So, she is going to remain in all of the clubs she is in as of right now: Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Pen Pals, and online grading through something called Grade Network. On top of all of this, Madi is going to add some paid work into this mix next semester. She has a position as an OA for next year, she is going to keep working with the online grading, she has a position as an OA for next year, and she also applied to work at the Writing Center, which I have utilized in my years at OSU and I think is one of the best resources on campus. She is also going to be on the Executive Board for the Pen Pals group and is very excited to work to make that program even better. So, if this blurb didn’t convince you already, Madi is an incredibly passionate student who is putting her energy and attention in the perfect places in order to set her up for a very successful future.

“Have you enjoyed the ACES living-learning community in Smith Steeb? Why or why not?” – Living in the ACES learning community was a positive experience for Madi. She said that it definitely gave her the comforting base that made transitioning to college just a little bit earlier because she knew that from the start she would be around great people who are intelligent, hard working, and have similar values and interests as her. However, she is looking forward to moving out of Smith-Steeb and into a single bedroom dorm in Nosker. She is ready to explore and live on a new part of campus and to meet even more great people, particularly outside of ACES. I felt the same sort of way when I was in the ACES learning community. The people I met there were and still are great friends of mine, but to be surrounded by the same people for all four years of college would defeat the purpose of the wonderful diversity we have campus. Having the base that the ACES learning community gives a student is wonderful, but then one must move on and learn not only about themselves and what they really want from their college experience, but also about all of the amazing people that live not even a mile from you no matter where you are on campus.

“Have you had the chance to explore your desired career through internships, field experience, etc.?” – Madi has definitely taken advantage of exploring her desired career through field experience. Her FEEP program has been a success for her in many ways. Even the struggles she has faced while “on the job” have taught her very valuable lessons and skills that she will need when she inevitably sees these problems again. Through FEEP she has learned how to manage a classroom, what teaching styles fit different kinds of students, and she has gained a lot of confidence that will help her lead classrooms in the future.

“What has surprised you about Ohio State since arriving to campus?” – Madi was surprised about how small OSU felt to her during freshman year. She said seeing people from her hometown all over campus definitely helped with this. She loves that now that the seasons are changing and it is getting a little warmer outside every day, there are more and more people being outside and enjoying the sun. She loves seeing everyone that goes to this school and loves the feeling and activities that warm spring days like this bring.

Mentor/Mentee First Semester Interview

My amazing mentee’s name is Madison Hart. She is an Integrated Language and Arts Education major here at OSU. She absolutely loves her major and the classes that she is in right now, which makes me so happy! Because of the many AP classes that she took in high school, she had lots of transfer credits when she got to Ohio State. This allowed her to schedule classes that she was excited to take right off the bat instead of having to take multiple general education classes that may have  been less interesting to her. I was so jealous of her for this because I had to take a full years worth of general education and pre-requisite classes freshman year in order to be able to apply to be a Computer and Information Science student, but I was so happy for her that she got to choose classes that interested her right from the start. Her midterm season was a little bit different than mine because, being an English major, lots of her midterm grades come from formal papers instead of formal tests. However, she loves writing so she says she is excited to start to write them up. Maybe she’ll even let me read one!

Madi is also getting involved on campus. She is in a pen pals club and guiding eyes for the blind club, incorporating two of the things that she loves the most: writing and dogs! I was so happy to hear that she took my advice to heart about getting involved on campus early. I told her that even if it feels like you’re throwing yourself into certain clubs, if they seem interesting to you just do it and try to do it as soon as you can. I wasn’t very involved in clubs my first semester and, now that I am and I know how much of a positive impact the clubs on campus have had on my experience here at Ohio State, I wish I got involved sooner and wanted to rely that information on to Madi.

She is surprised about how small the university’s campus feels to her. This is because her hometown high school sends hundreds of students to Ohio State’s every year, so she sees friends from her hometown often on campus. This made me so happy to hear because she says this is helping her feel more comfortable here.

Another thing she noticed about her life on campus is how her study habits have changed since she was in high school. Now, she feels she has more time in general because she is not in class straight from 7am to 3pm like we were in high school. She now has time between classes to go to the library and get work done. Because of this, she is finding that she procrastinates less, which is great to hear!

She is also finding that working in study groups is really helpful to her. She has been utilizing the study areas on floor 5 in Smith-Steeb Hall where all the ACES students live to “hit two birds with one stone”: spending time with friends and also getting work done. This is one reason why she really loves living in the ACES community in Smith-Steeb Hall. She thinks that living on the same floor as people that have common interests makes campus even smaller for her. She also feels as though living with the other ACES students provides a community that she feels she can always confide in. Living in this community has lead her to form close relationships with her peers that aren’t just in her classes. Having friends that live on the same floor as her, some even right across the hall, provides a group of people for her to go out to events with, and Madi really likes having that option. It made me so happy to hear that she is getting along with not only people in her classes but also has a nice group of friends that she can go home to at the end of the day or that she can study with when she doesn’t feel like walking all the way to the library on a Sunday morning.

Here are the exact questions that I asked Madi in our conversation:

  1. Are you enjoying your major? Why or why not?
  2. How have you gotten involved on campus?
  3. What has surprised you about OSU?
  4. What kind of study habits have you developed and have they worked?
  5. Do you enjoy living in the ACES community in Smith-Steeb? Why or why not?

Service Engagement

I have been and will continue to be involved in many community service events in or around campus including the World Kindness Day Meal Making event, volunteering at the Kroger Food Bank, and helping out at events like the Jingle Run and Clean Up Columbus. I plan to continue to engage in the community by getting involved in clubs on campus and getting involved that way. On top of this, I will continue to use ACES as a means of learning about new service events to get involved in because all experiences with service events and opportunities I have had have been not only fun but rewarding in the work we did. In particular, the Kroger Food Bank contributed to my understanding of the low income, unemployment, and homelessness problems that exist right here in Columbus. I learned that there are multiple food pantries in Columbus alone, and the day that we volunteered at the food bank for just 5 hours we provided meals over 200 people. That is an incredible number for just one day of operation of a food bank which relies heavily on donations and volunteers in order to continue its operation. This is a social issue that must be addressed and that I will do all I can in order to help those struggling to make ends meet.

What Carmel, NY means to me

The PDF file link attached to this post will lead you to a copy of an assignment I did for my Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition class about our hometown. I take much pride in and am very thankful to have been raised in the town that I was and expressed these thoughts in this assignment. In writing this assignment, I found that no matter how small my hometown felt and how much I thought that there was “nothing to do” in my town when I was in high school, the experiences that I had, the people I met, and the things I learned have all had a lasting impact on my life and molded me into the person that I am today. Before leaving for college, Carmel, NY is the only town I knew. I was born there, I went to all of my 13 years of schooling there, and I left it behind when I came to Ohio State. And now being away from home, I have even more of an appreciation for where I grew up and am extremely proud to be a New Yorker.


About Me

I am a passionate learner and a goofy risk taker. Over my 18 years, I been working to find the perfect balance between my academic life and my social life because I believe these are both extremely important to have incorporated into every day life. I am doing well finding this balance and am extremely happy and grateful every day for being able to live the well rounded life that I live. I graduated high school in the top five percent of my graduating class, ranking 15th out of 350 students, at the same time being voted by my fellow classmates for the Best Girl Friends Senior Superlative in my high school’s yearbook with my best friend Molly. Not to mention that every Friday my best friends and I would suit up for the Friday Night football game under the lights to cheer on our team, never disappointing in our war painted faces and our over the top noise making abilities in the front row of the student section. All the while, I do firmly believe that there is a time and a place to have a little fun and that these times are only when all work is done and responsibilities are taken care of. I mean, seriously, you can have more fun out with your friends after knowing all your work is over with anyway, right?

In high school, I took much pride in being Vice President of my high school’s Interact Club, a member of my school’s elite Concert Choir, and a part of the establishment of a club called Teens N Kids Mentoring. These were the three most important activities that I was involved in in my eyes. I always seemed to be out and about serving and being involved in my community through the Interact Club, which I absolutely love. With the Concert Choirs, we had the privilege of venturing to Italy to perform a concert tour during my sophomore year. This trip fueled my adventurous spirit and my love for travelling. I was also selected by the Vice Principal of our town’s middle school to be a mentor in the, at the time, brand new club called Teens N Kids Mentoring. In this club, we assisted 5th graders who were overwhelmed by their transition from the elementary school to the middle school and were therefore struggling academically and socially. We helped them get through this big change by offering them a warm and welcoming environment to be in with their peers after school got out, and I extremely enjoyed working with the kids very week.

Overall, I take much pride in everything I do. From performing community service, to singing in an internationally recognized choir, to helping the younger generation, to screaming my head off while cheering on my friends on the football field, I always do what I love and love what I do. I have found that I bloom where I’m planted and make the most out of every situation, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Year in Review

I have matured more in the past four months than I did in all four years of high school combined. College is the living embodiment of “pedal to the metal”. It seems as if everything I have done in college, from academics to social life to extracurricular activities including sporting, community service, and social events, have been not only brand new experiences, but experiences that you need to fully immerse yourself into in order to truly reap the benefits of it. And this new college life is one that requires lots of time management, planning, and energy in order to fit everything in and do every task to the best of my ability. With this said, the initial expectations I had at the beginning of the year were coming from a person who had never experienced college before and who seamlessly breezed through high school level courses and with my first four months of college under my belt, I can say that I most likely fell short of a few of these initial expectations. But that is more than okay. College academics has shown me the biggest challenge I have ever faced. But, I have come to realize that a college education is more than worth the time and dedication put into it. I have also learned that developing this type of work ethic and learning the material presented in lectures are some of the most important parts of the college experience, not so much the letter value that shows up on your transcript. We must not forget that there is a person who exists behind every transcript and that that person has a personality all of their own and is made up of the events that have transpired throughout their life. And it is up to us which experiences we chose to include in our lives. Looking back on my time at Ohio State so far, the experiences I have had have been nothing short of incredible. All that I have learned and all who I have met in my short time here have been astounding and incredible and I cannot wait to see where my next seven semesters of study lead me!