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Like most, my freshman year was a whirlwind. I spent my first semester dealing with chronic mono that led to my winter break being spent in the hospital and in my bed recovering from surgery to remove my tonsils and adenoids, and I spent the last few weeks of the semester in a boot from what had eventually become a grade 2 ankle sprain. Thankfully, my second semester held nothing more than a few campus colds in contrast to my first semester of sickness. I came into OSU as a pre-law student, majoring in international studies with a specialization in relations and diplomacy and political science with no specialization yet. In addition, I was minoring in Spanish and hoping to specialize in Eastern European languages and foreign policy. I came out of my freshman year with the same two majors, however I changed my international studies specialization to security and intelligence, and my political science specialization is now political leadership and reform. I am still pre-law, but instead of taking Russian or other Eastern European languages, I took Portuguese and German- and am hoping to add Arabic in the upcoming years. I am hoping to minor in philosophy, and per the requirements of my security and intelligence major, I need to choose a language to minor in as well. I am lucky to be someone who is already fairly certain as to what I want out of my undergraduate career and as to what graduate studies I plan to pursue. Knowing that I want to attend law school, and in particular, an Ivy League law school, is something has driven me to be as involved as I possibly can on campus and in the community around Columbus. In addition to extracurricular involvements, I also am doing my best to maintain a high GPA, and I have so far been able to do so, as I have been on the Dean’s List for both the fall and spring semester.
As I have said, and will continue to say when I am asked about college and/or my scholars program: my first best decision thus far has been OSU, and my best decision at OSU has been the International Affairs Scholars program. I cannot imagine coming to such a huge and intimidating university without the backing community of such a diverse, inclusive, and enthusiastic group. Starting next fall, I will be serving on the leadership council as one of the events chairs for the program. I am so beyond excited to gain more experience in planning events, and I am especially looking forward to holding my own academic events, as those have been my favorites to attend in the past. As a scholar who has attended as many events as I possibly could (passing the required number), I hope to work towards encouraging the new incoming scholars to want to do the same by providing interesting opportunities to learn, discuss, and explore. In addition to my new position as a co-events chair, I will also be a student mentor for freshmen IA Scholars, and I hope to be a helpful and supportive resource, as I know that I would have loved to have an upperclassman whom I knew would be there for any questions or concerns that I had.
Through two academic events through my scholars program, I was able to hear from Rob VandenGerg, a graduate student in the sociology department who is also a member of the United States Air Force. At both events, he spoke about radical terrorist groups based in the Middle East. As a security and intelligence major who is especially interested in working with hostile regions and national security, I jumped at the opportunity to apply to be a research assistant for his project. I was accepted along with a handful of other undergraduates, some of which have already worked on this project, and next fall I will be enrolled as a research assistant for the Project on Radicalism and Social Media for one credit hour, bringing my total to 18 credit hours for the semester. I am hoping to gain more research and analytic skills from my participation, and I believe that this experience will further clarify what route I would like to take in regards to my security and intelligence major and what kind of law I would like to study.
Community Refugee and Immigration Services
As is described in one of my artifact posts on this page, I am now a volunteer intern for the Community Refugee and Immigration Services program in Columbus, Ohio. For this, one of my main jobs will include being the main contact/ resource for the International Affairs Scholars program’s mentors and leadership. I am hoping to use my position as an events chair in IA in order to further connect the two programs through events that are geared towards getting our scholars involved with the global community we have here in Columbus. In addition to working between IA scholars and CRIS, I am also hoping to contribute to raising awareness about and advertising for this great community program in addition to holding fundraisers and reaching out to businesses around Columbus in order to be able to provide more for the immigrant and refugee communities that we work with. In this upcoming fall, I will be matched as a mentor to one or a few students in a Columbus city school, and it is likely that I will be matched with Spanish/ Portuguese speaking students, as those are my strongest languages besides English.
Phi Alpha Delta
This past spring semester, I joined OSU’s chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, an international law fraternity. Through this, I am hoping to learn more about the profession of law, and I will definitely take advantage of any opportunities to network with faculty and alumni and learn more about select law schools.
Alpha Lambda Delta/ Phi Eta Sigma
For next year, I will be a member of OSU’s chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta/ Phi Eta Sigma First Year National Honors Society. I am hoping that this program will provide me with more community service experience, and I hope to continue to join honors fraternities after this program ends for me after my sophomore year.
Security and Intelligence Club
Although this club’s schedule conflicts greatly with scholars meeting times, I was able to attend many meetings towards the end of my second semester, and I am hoping to continue to be able to attend these meetings after my scholars meetings, as this club provides excellent opportunities to learn more about departments and careers in the fields of intelligence and national security.
[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.
Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc .
Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]
[“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.]
As an extremely opinionated political science major, it is no surprise that I enjoy getting involved in rallies, protests, and petitions when I can. This past fall, prior to the US presidential general election, I attended a rally for democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, the tenth of October in the South Oval at OSU. Some of my friends from my scholars program and I were lucky enough to be asked to view and participate in the rally from the bleachers behind the podium. This event further encouraged my interest and passion for getting involved in American politics. Now more than ever, I plan to continue my involvement and learning about different issues and the stances that politicians hold on them. This rally heightened my respect for politicians that make their careers out of addressing injustices and hate that still clearly exist in our country, and that some may argue are even getting worse at the time. (Note: this picture is a screenshot of Hillary Clinton’s Instagram story the night after the rally, and I am to the right of her outstretched hand)
My name is Riley Sayers, and I am an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University Columbus campus. I am currently on the pre-law track, double majoring in international studies with a specialization in security and intelligence and political science with a specialization in political leadership and reform. I am passionate about world issues, world languages, military sciences, and the humanities. As you may have noticed from my introduction, the languages I am currently learning/ have learned in the past are Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, and English. In addition to these, I hope to study Arabic and/or Somali in my time here at OSU. Ultimately, my goal is to create a functional international coalition/ security firm that specializes in immediate relief for civilians caught in hostile regions, government oppression, and genocide. How I will reach the status and obtain the influence to create such an organization is an answer that I am currently working to find through gauging my interests in different fields of government work, military, and law practices. As of now, I would strongly consider working in the State Department after law school. However, I know that I would also love to be involved in domestic politics or a law firm in our nation’s capital. In any case, I know that I will be working towards protecting and improving the relationships that exist between civilians and their governments. I will do this through strong and continuous education, as I have no doubt that I will live as a life long learner and never stop pursuing new degrees and specializations within different fields and languages along the way.