In order to become globally engaged during my time here at Ohio State, I plan on taking advantage of the interdisciplinary and global nature of my Geography major program and my Rural Sociology and Nonprofit Studies minor programs. These areas of focus concern cultures and ideas all over the world, and will hopefully help me to understand how our global diversity is an important factor we must rely on to solve the problems that face our world today. For example, I’ve been able to take classes in globalization, environmental and community development, and global biological geography, all pretty broad areas of study that encompass social and environmental issues all over the world. I had the opportunity to study abroad in New Zealand this past summer, and that has helped me learn what it’s like to be out of my comfort zone and adapt to an unfamiliar culture. In addition, this past year I have been on track to complete the Diversity, Intercultural, and Community Engagement Program (DICE) through the Multicultural Center, which has taught me about the global communities that are right here at Ohio State, giving me an understanding of the wide spectrum of backgrounds and perspectives on campus.
During my first two years, I’ve taken General Education courses in all different disciplines, which has shown me that research is an important part of every field. From a literary research essay in my English 1110H class, research on a historical art method in Art 2100, to a paper on the effects of climate change on weather patterns in my Environmental History class, I’ve gained valuable research skills that will be useful in my future classes. In addition, the ENR 5797 classes I took in New Zealand involved research through having conversations with locals about social and environmental topics as well as my own first-hand experiences in seeing the evidence of positive and negative environmental impacts. This taught me that research comes in many forms aside from searching online or working in a lab.
The honors program requires taking classes in 3000 or 4000 level classes as an underclassman, which has so far taught me important skills, such as learning to manage my time and to study. I’ve also enjoyed the small class sizes and the emphasis on critical thinking in my Honors classes. My major program allows me a lot of flexibility in considering different disciplines to take classes in, so I hope to continue taking courses from a wide range of studies so that I can better understand my academic interests and strengths. I hope that my minor programs will be complementary to my major in allowing me to focus in on the application of environmental, social, and rural issues in nonprofit organizations. In addition, I am a candidate for an internship at an environmental nonprofit organization this summer, which would combine each of the fields of study I’m pursuing.
This past year I served as the Honors Community Advocate for my residence hall, which gave me the opportunity to plan programs and to reach out to my residents. I learned how to plan events or put up bulletin boards that will address residents’ needs, and I also developed skills for reaching out to other staff members. For the upcoming year I was selected to be a Resident Advisor in an Honors residence hall, which will allow me to connect with first-year honors students and build on the skills I learned as an HCA. I was also selected to be a potential Peer Mentor for the Arts and Sciences Honors Survey courses, giving me another way to reach out to first-year students. I’m looking forward to these leadership opportunities and I will continue to seek out others in the future, such as a Site Leader for a Buck-i-Serv trip.
I’ve already participated in the Community Commitment Days at the beginning of the past two fall semesters, as well as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service this past January. Those were great experiences because I got to know other Buckeyes in a short amount of time while learning about local organizations that need volunteer service. I also donated money and participated in BuckeyeTHON for the past two springs and it was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever been a part of. In addition, I had the opportunity to go on a Buck-i-Serv trip to Biloxi, Mississippi last winter break, and I got to participate in a wide range of service opportunities such as pulling weeds and cutting out invasive species or playing with children and holding babies at local community centers. This was such an impactful experience because I got to meet some amazing people on the trip—both the students and the community leaders. Overall, I hope to go on a trip like this again and use my experience to become further motivated to serve at Ohio State and in the Columbus community.