Science Presentation: Astronomy with Emily Griffith

I am very fortunate to be able to take Astronomy 2895. This is a course that helps Astronomy majors navigate the major, maximize opportunities within the department, and hear about current and past research done by astronomy professors. As an Astrophysics major, it is very helpful because I do not feel lost or singled out. Actually, taking the class has made me love the major even more because I’m getting to know others that are in the major as well. Aside from all of the helpful academic information, I also learn a lot about what graduate students and professors are doing for research. I always find it fascinating to hear their research processes and what they are finding along the way.

This week we heard a lecture from Emily Griffith. She is a graduate student studying Galactic Nucleosynthesis Right here at The Ohio State University. In a nutshell, Galactic Nucleosynthesis is when the chemical elements within the stars react to create heavier elements. Now, I don’t know if I did Galactic Nucleosynthesis justice, but the topic is really cool because it finds where elements, such as oxygen, originate from. Two of the stars that Emily spoke about were Core Collapse Supernovae and Type Ia Supernovae. She compared Core Collapse Supernovae (CCSN) to a Hummer and the Type Ia Supernovae (SNIa) to a Smart Car! CCSN’s are like Hummers because they have a lot of fuel but they are so massive that they burn through it quickly. On the other hand, SNIa’s are like Smart Car’s because even though they have less fuel, their small size allows them to use less of it over a long period of time. The SNIa’s were found to produce no O and Mg, while the CCSN’s produced all O and Mg. Both were found to produce some heavier elements such as Ca, Si, Fe, Ti, Mn, Ni, and Cu. So what does this mean? This means that the chemicals that the stars expel get mixed into new observable stars. Furthermore, understanding that the chemicals within our observable universe come from dying stars no longer leaves us wondering where and how we were made. 

I enjoyed the lecture a lot. I knew some of the material, but definitely not all of it. It made me excited to learn more about space. One thing that surprised me about the presentation is how it left me wanting to evangelize the wonders of space. I find the vastness of space to be riveting. There are so many questions that are waiting to be answered. There are so many questions that have yet to be asked! I cannot wait to see where the future of astronomy and space exploration goes. I wonder how new information will challenge old beliefs and ways of living. How will we adapt? I still cannot believe that in a few years, when I look up at the moon, scientists will be living on it. Anyways, I cannot wait for the future of space travel and its outcomes.

Campus Resource: Career Fair

As of now, there have been a multitude of career fairs ranging from economics to engineering. Currently, I have gone most of them (except for engineering) and they give me something to look forward to every week. Usually, I show up for the free stuff but time and time again I find myself staying for the connections and the job opportunities that are available in Columbus and the rest of the world.

Thus far, my favorite fair was THE Career and Internship Fair that took place on September 17th and 18th. This was definitely the first career fair that I went to without the sole intention of getting free stuff. I wanted to see what job/internship opportunities there were for my major (and  other subjects I was interested in). The first thing I learned was that I was definitely a rookie: I did not have a resume and I barely had nice enough business clothes to meet the dress code requirement. My initial reaction to counter my lack of preparation was to just own up to it. It turns out that I did not have to worry because there were students in casual business wear like me, and since I am a freshman most companies were not able to offer me jobs or internships. I am glad that the priority to find an internship/job is not too high for freshmen because it gives me a chance to understand how the fair works and what employers are looking for in a resume/worker.

From a glace, the fair can look intimidating, but it was actually a lot of fun! The representatives there were very kind and there was a wide variety of companies. Each representative was even willing to listen to freshmen and gave me tip on how to build my resume or even how to apply to their internships my sophomore or junior year. Personally, I didn’t find many companies that were a strong interest of mine. Each had their pros and cons, but I did not find one that I believe would challenge me but also be a fulfilling position. I did, however, make a contact with the NSA and Brightedge. What drew me towards the NSA was the possibility of getting more hands-on experience with things such as policy and maybe having some parts of astrophysics be incorporated in there somewhere. The NSA representative made it sound like it was a very collaborative internship, and knowing how much I enjoy working in groups, I thought it would fun to try it out. The company Brightedge caught my interest for a similar reason. They are one of the top tech companies which sounds very exciting to be apart of. They made their company sound like a good balance between innovation and working with the outside world. From my interest in these two businesses, I found that I value learning and developing new technologies while also finding ways for these technologies to benefit others. I believe that if I have an internship with either of these companies that I will definitely enjoy myself.

I am very happy that I decided to come to the Career and Internship Fair. It really opened up my perspective on what I want to complete during and after college.

And here’s the headshot that I got for free!

Student Organization: Buckeye Blackout

The first few weeks of school was a whirlwind of new people, places, classes, and professors. I was always doing something and felt my hobby (music and performing) slipping away from me. Since I did not have enough structure to manage it myself, I thought the next best thing was to join a club! The best place to do this was obviously at OSU‘s Involvement Fair. I enjoyed every second of it because it was just a small slice of all the opportunities at OSU. Although I lost the friend I came there with while navigating through the sea of people and booths, I found a very interesting club – Buckeye Blackout. Their booth had pictures of concerts and bands performing live at OSU, so I signed up and took a flyer about their first meeting without a second thought.

Before their first meeting, I was already having second thoughts because I truly did not understand anything about the club nor their mission. In addition, I did not even know if I had time to dedicate to any club. Either way, I fought my doubts and went anyways and that was the best decision I could have made.

One of the greatest things about the meeting is that I found a place with a low stress environment where people can have fun. Buckeye Blackout also combines two things I love: music and sustainability. Every semester they host a concert here at OSU where they promote OSU artists and ways to have a more sustainable campus. The club is almost too good to be true and I was so excited to get started that I signed up for financial and band council. Basically, I try to find different ways to fund the club so we can pay the artists and other expenses while also picking and choosing those artists. I would like to see Buckeye Blackout grow a lot in the future. Maybe to the point where we have two shows in the spring and winter  semesters. I would even like to see them partner with other sustainability clubs so we can have a bolder sustainability mission. Also, the partnership will possibly add to the missions stability. I cannot wait for the future of Buckeye Blackout and its involvement within the university.

Loving this club has made time management a lot easier because I actually want to work ahead so I can make every meeting. This not only helps my attendance and involvement with the club, but it also keeps me on top of my classes. Without Buckeye Blackout I probably would not have as much of a drive to get my assignments finished. Plus, the club meetings are only an hour long, and that is definitely a reasonable amount of time I can spare in my week. Buckeye Blackout is not a very strict club, so if I ever needed that hour to study for a midterm, they would be extremely understanding. I’m so glad I was able to find this club. It is allowing me to maintain my hobby and share it with others.

Academic Support

It’s already the third week of the school year and I had to prepare for my first midterm! I have never realized how much power that the word holds, until now. For example, whenever I have mentioned the word “midterm”, at least one student instantly becomes uncomfortable by the thought of it. But, what is not scary about a midterm? It is what practically defines a persons success/the grade in the class! So instead of trying to power through all of the Math 1151 review packets by myself, I decided to go to the tutoring sessions in the Math Building. I thought it would be more fun with someone else, so I invited my friend Kelsey

When I first walked in, I could not believe the amount of chairs that were full. This was very different (and refreshing) from what I am used to (which is having no one in the room with me). The tutoring system was really cool too. Instead of raising my hand, all I would have to do is stick a red card at the top of a rod. This made it easy for the tutors to see if I needed help, even from across the room. When the help came, the tutors were always very clear in their explanations. The room setup made it easy for me to collaborate with my friend Kelsey, but whenever we were struggling, there were also plenty of tutors to go around. The longest we had to ever wait is probably two minutes.

Last year, I would not have been in a tutoring session. I seemed to have had a lot of issues asking for help. I was too prideful, too lazy or just plainly embarrassed. I also realized that I only had this issue with my STEM classes. I don’t really know where this insecurity stemmed from, but I do have a feeling it was because asking for help was not the “normal” thing to do. I struggled for the majority of that year. My mentality was not only hurting my grades, but my confidence as well. So, I decided to take the initiative and change my habits. Thus far, I have been doing really well! Having tutoring so readily available in college makes the process easier. Plus, with the room mostly filled, I’m never there alone anymore!

Overall, I had a really great time. I left feeling confident and ready to take my math midterm. It was actually one of the few times I had left a tutoring session in a positive manner. I plan on going back again whenever I need help. This will definitely aid me in my mission to be more comfortable with asking for help.I plan on telling my friends all about the tutoring sessions too. There are just way too many benefits to using this resource that no one should not ignore it.  Also, having such a promising experience makes me wonder if all the tutoring sessions for my other classes are this nice.

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

[Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements. For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation.  An annotation includes both a description of the artifact and a reflection on why it is important to you, what you learned, and what it means for your next steps.  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.]

About Me

My name is Maria Scaccia. My experiences and environments have instilled in me a love for the natural world, science education, service, and exploration. Going into college, I wanted my major to reflect these values and even enrich them. I found the best fit to be Astrophysics and Astronomy, as it will better my understanding of the universe and prepare me for the future of space exploration. In coming years, I hope to expand Astronomy’s accessibility and prepare deep space exploration missions.

Besides astronomy, I have enjoyed writing and performing music with my band, Monday Night Project. This creative outlet allows me to connect with myself and others, while having fun. The band challenged my creative abilities as we moved from doing covers to writing our own song. After all of our hard work, we were able to finally produce an album. Although moving away to college has ended my time with Monday Night Project, I hope to find my place with another band at OSU.

I am definitely excited to see where my future goals lead me, especially since there are so many opportunities at OSU. I plan to take advantage of them all!

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  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.]

G.O.A.L.S.

[ “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 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.

  • 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.]