Year in Review

Freshman year has been one for the books. Navigating my first year in college during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, but has also incredibly rewarding; I have been challenged, learned, and grown as an individual and academic.

This year has been unexpected in terms of the progression of my career interests. I came to Ohio State most excited about the possibility of pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology after graduation. Today, while I am still very interested in that option, I am equally interested in attending law school. I have used my experience in Ohio State Mock Trial and the network of coaches and alumni in the program to learn more about this path, and am excited to learn more about the legal field firsthand as I volunteer and intern in the legal area in upcoming years.

I am also finding active ways to learn more about clinical psychology. I am thankful to say I found a fantastic opportunity to do so; I will be working as a research assistant in Dr. Cheaven’s Mood and Personality Studies Lab starting in the fall. I believe this will be an incredible way to learn more about clinical-psychology research first-hand and to gain mentorship by Dr. Cheavens, who is a clinical psychologist herself. 

Furthermore, I have honed in on my academic interests throughout the year. I came into Ohio State as a neuroscience and psychology double major, but soon realized that I was most interested in the clinical and abnormal areas of psychology. Therefore, I dropped my psychology major to a “Clinical Psychology and Individual Differences” minor. I also learned that I truly do have a passion for neuroscience. I came into the neuroscience major relatively “blind”, as I had never taken a neuroscience course before and solely knew that I had an interest in the neurobiological aspects of behavior. Over the year, my interest in neuroscience continued to increase. Specifically, I found behavioral neuroscience to be fascinating. I am looking forward to taking “Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience” next semester to learn even more about the area, and ultimately declaring my concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Lastly, the highlight of my year has been being part of the Ohio State Mock Trial team. I came into college never having done mock trial, and tried out on a whim. Trying out for the team has easily been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have developed a strong interest in litigation and law, have expanded my critical thinking, collaboration, and public speaking skills, and have met a life-long group of friends. I am excited to compete on the team for years to come.

My freshman year, while unconventional, has been impactful and memorable. I am extremely thankful for all the lessons and experiences I have gained throughout my first year at Ohio State, and am excited to see where next year takes me.

G.O.A.L.S.

Focusing on my G.O.A.L.S.- Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement.

Global Awareness.

Diversity can be seen as a “check the box”. What good is it to have individuals with different ideas, experiences, and backgrounds if they will just be a statistic and will not be thoughtfully listened to and learned from? Each individual’s perspective is incredibly valuable, and I strive to try and understand these diverse perspectives through intentionality and curiosity.

I was able to lead an initiative within the cohort of creating an anti-racism student group (Allies for Justice) that actively works with the OSU anti-racism task force to keep OSU accountable and work to make campus more anti-racist. The members of the group have a similar passion to combat racism and incredibly different ideas on how to get there. Working together and thoughtfully listening to each perspective has been a key factor in our group’s work.

My peers and I in the 2024 Eminence Fellows scholarship cohort are also working on a four-year long service project. We are currently in the planning phases of our project, and taking time to thoughtfully reflect on each individuals perspective to understand each member’s interest has helped me understand my peers better, and will help us create a project that we are all passionate about.

Original Inquiry.

I do not want to be a passive learner. I want to learn about the fields of neuroscience and psychology firsthand through involvement in research. I plan to start in a lab in fall of 2021, after I have taken important major specific neuroscience classes and general psychology classes.

I am currently taking Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience, which gives a strong overview into how the biology of the brain can impact behavior. This class has solidified my interest in exploring this area further through research.

In addition, I plan to complete an honors thesis my senior year. As of now, I want to focus this thesis on the neurological causes of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Academic Enrichment. 

I am incredibly fascinated by neuroscience, specifically behavioral neuroscience. I am also very interested in the law and am passionate about ensuring that it is applied equally and fairly to all individuals regardless of differences in age, gender, sexual orientation, and race. I have structured my coursework and extracurricular to allow me to most fully delve into my interests in behavioral neuroscience and the law.

Currently, among other classes, I am taking introduction to behavioral neuroscience and chemistry. I really enjoy behavioral neuroscience as it allows me to understand the biological basis for different behaviors and disorders. I also am enrolled in General Chemistry 1. This gives me the foundation to understand the brain from not only a biological and psychological perspective, but also from a chemical perspective. Although I only have to take through General Chemistry 1 for my major, I plan on taking General Chemistry II, Organic Chemistry I, and Biochemistry I to get a complete understanding of the chemistry of the neurons in our brains and how that works on a microscale to affect our everyday behavior.

To cultivate my interest in the law, I participate in Ohio State Mock Trial. Our program is currently listed as fifth in the nation! Being a part of the OSU Mock Trial team really allows me to learn about litigation and court-room dynamics first-hand. Furthermore, it helps me improve my public speaking skills, critical thinking abilities, and on-the-spot responses; these are all skills which are important to succeed in law school and in the legal field itself. Lastly, Mock Trial allows me to connect with incredibly. lawyers in the Columbus area, as the majority of our coaches are lawyers who have greatly enriched my understanding of a career in law.

Leadership Development.

As a high-schooler, I was involved in numerous clubs and had a leadership position in nearly every one. Coming into college, I wanted to be much more intentional about where I invested my time and what I chose to be an active leader in, in order to really focus and grow initiatives that I considered important. As a freshman in her first semester of college, I am currently exploring my different interests and responsibilities first before diving into any formal leadership positions. I want to be a leader to explore my passions, not to further my resumé.

As of now, my greatest leadership has come through my involvement with OSU Mock Trial. Although I have not sought out any formal positions, I feel as if every member of a successful team must lead by example. I do my part by ensuring I am working on my materials each day, come to practice prepared, and work with my teammates and coaches to continue to improve and become the best team possible.

Service Engagement.

Service is extremely important to me. I have been given so many incredible opportunities, which are really not worth much if I can not use them to improve the world around me.

This semester of college has been a whirlwind, but now that I am growing more accustomed to university life, I am actively planning my volunteering for next semester. As of now, I plan on working with CRIS Columbus (Community Refugee and Immigrant Services) to be a mentor to middle or high-school refugee students as they learn English and adjust to life in Ohio for the next two semesters.

Career

[“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 guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

Artifacts

I am very interested in research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. I realized that I was interested in the research after designing an independent research project my senior year of high school. This project focused on comparing the reported caloric values that are seen on nutrition labels to the actual caloric values as measured by a calorimeter. This research was spurred by the discovery that companies can have a 20% margin of error on the caloric values that are reported; I wondered if companies would under-report caloric values to make their products seem more appealing to customers, as many prefer lower calorie products. The research paper is attached here.

About Me

Hello! My name is Maria Sanchez Boedo and I am a rising sophomore The Ohio State University. I am majoring in neuroscience with a specialization in behavioral and systems neuroscience; I am also minoring in clinical psychology. I am passionate about learning about the intersection of psychology and neuroscience, and I plan on using this to help marginalized populations in one of two ways.

I am strongly considering pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology to ultimately become a psychologist in an in-patient treatment center specializing in addiction. I am also actively weighing the possibility of a completely different path: getting my JD and ultimately becoming an attorney.

To work towards those goals during my undergraduate years, I want to learn as much as possible, broaden my perspectives, and challenge myself in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and law though research, internships, and volunteering.

I am currently involved in OSU Mock Trial and it is by far my favorite activity. I really enjoy analyzing cases through a variety of perspectives and theories, thinking on the spot during a trial, and working with others to create complex arguments.

I am also part of the Eminence Fellows Program, which is a scholarship cohort here at Ohio State. We have spent the year developing a service project that we can work on as a cohort and refine over our time at Ohio State. I have actively researched and help create the “Horizon- Prison Education Expansion” project, in which Ohio State students will train as student tutors to help tutor individuals in prison who are choosing to take Ohio State classes for credit. We also plan to work on fundraising and gathering material so those who are electing to take classes while in prison have the best experience possible.

In my free time, I enjoy weight-lifting, playing guitar, and trying out new restaurants. I also enjoy meeting new people; I am very outgoing and love to learn about those arounds me.