G.O.A.L.S.

Global Awareness

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.

Original Inquiry

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.

Academic Enrichment

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.

Leadership Development

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.

Service Engagement

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.

Sophomore Year

Wow, I can’t believe my college career is already halfway over—it’s gone by so fast! I’m excited for the next two years but I’m also sad I only have two football seasons left here. During my second year as a Buckeye, I:

  • Was selected as the Honors Community Advocate for Bradley Hall
  • Served as a site leader during Ohio State’s Community Commitment Day of Service (we helped organize a Goodwill store!)
  • Took my first Geography class (and loved it!)
  • Was elected as the AOSCH representative for the Romophos sophomore honorary
  • Completed my third semester with a 4.0 GPA
  • Had a blast on my Buck-i-Serv trip to Biloxi, Mississippi (we pulled weeds and played with kids!)
  • Participated in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (we helped restock shelves at a hospice center)
  • Was selected as a Resident Advisor for this upcoming fall
  • Raised money for and participated in Buckeyethon
  • Was selected as a potential Peer Mentor for Arts and Sciences Honors Survey Class
  • Was selected for an internship at an environmental nonprofit organization
  • Declared minors in Rural Sociology and Nonprofit Studies
  • Completed two years on the Dean’s List
  • Was selected for a Buck-i-Serv trip to Lakewood, Colorado

How I Fell in Love with the Land of the Long White Cloud

It was 8:56 pm, San Francisco time, as I took a deep breath, pulled my backpack onto my shoulders, and took one last look out the window. I had a knot in my stomach as I walked towards the gate, and before I knew it I was on the plane, headed across the Pacific for thirteen hours to New Zealand.

Nearly two months later, I can’t explain why I was so nervous for this trip. Maybe because this was my first trip anywhere without my family, and I also wasn’t sure if I was going to become friends with any of my fellow Ohio State students traveling with me. I knew that early mornings, long drives, and jam-packed daily itineraries would become my life for the next three and a half weeks. But little did I know that breathtaking views, charming towns, friendly people, and way too much ice cream was also waiting for me on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

Here’s just some of the things we packed into 24 days in a country known to Māori as “The Land of Long White Cloud:”

  • Walked up the world’s steepest street
  • Pet (and smelled!) sheep
  • Watched sunrise over New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Mt. Cook/Aoraki
  • Milked cows (and then drank it!)
  • Went bungee jumping down into a 400-foot canyon
  • Saw one of New Zealand’s largest glaciers
  • Danced at a laundromat-turned-dancefloor
  • Saw penguins, fur seals, sea lions, kiwi, eels, orcas, dolphins, albatrosses, glowworms, and plenty of other wildlife
  • Got less sleep than we should have
  • Personally sent 26 postcards and took about 4400 pictures

The “study” part of studying abroad also turned out to be a blast. This program is part of the School of Environment and Natural Resources and was focused on sustainability, so I learned a lot about the country’s unique struggles in conserving resources and protecting endangered wildlife, but I also discovered how sustainability is much more than just an environmental issue. It is an individual issue in that we each have different ideas of what sustainability means. But it is also a collective social rights issue because it concerns every person in the world, and requires cooperation from all different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. I learned that we can best achieve high-quality, sustainable lives if we work to give everyone fairer access to resources, education, and the opportunity to share their personal views of sustainability. Only then will we be able to come together in celebration of our differences to protect our planet’s ecosystems.

For The Kids ♥︎

The second week of February this past spring semester would have otherwise been one of the hardest weeks of freshman year. It’s halfway between the beginning of the semester and spring break, and it’s when the first midterms and exams are creeping up on students. It also tends to be the coldest time of the year, when we still have to trek across campus in single-digit temperatures. It’s easy to feel homesick, stressed, or ready for the beach.

Hour Eight: My friends and I at BuckeyeTHON 2017!

But then I went to BuckeyeTHON and all of that disappeared.

None of your seemingly big problems matter any more when you hear firsthand the stories of families who have spent birthdays, holidays, and every day in an oncology ward. That huge statistics exam coming up means nothing after meeting amazing kids who have never had the chance to go to a normal school and play outside at recess. And being away from your friends, family, and pets at home doesn’t seem so hard after listening to the stories of parents who moved away from their homes, jobs, and everything else just so they can save their kids’ lives at a faraway hospital.

BuckeyeTHON was so incredible because I felt so many things that weren’t about me or my problems. I was heartbroken to hear these families’ stories and to realize that thousands of others across the country are going through the same thing that no one should ever have to deal with. I was inspired by the courageous way that these kids look cancer in the face and still have the bravery to live their lives and be themselves. I was touched by the incredible support their parents and siblings provide, and I learned that when a child has cancer, their entire family does, too. I was proud to hear about how Ohio State’s own cancer hospitals is one of the leading cancer treatment centers in the world. And I was amazed that over 3,000 Buckeyes could come together and raise over $1.5 million for a cause that needs our every last penny.

For The Kids ♥︎

After twelve hours of silent disco, free food, face-painting, bouncy castles, amazing student performances, ga-ga ball, and tutu-making, I croaked out Carmen Ohio with my arms around my best friends as tears streamed down my face and smeared my glittery orange face paint. I continued to cry into my ice cream from UDF as we walked back to our dorm in our tutus and t-shirts in the freezing February air. I was still emotional from these families’ overwhelming stories of overcoming cancer, but a little part of me was sad that BuckeyeTHON was over.

So the third week of February rolled on, and while I still had four weeks of exams and assignments to go before spring break, I didn’t worry about them as much. Along with my sore feet and my tutu, it all reminded me that there’s a lot left we need to do For The Kids ♥︎

Coursework from Freshman Year

Ten classes, two finals weeks, and countless papers, projects, and homework assignments later, I’ve made it through freshman year. I learned about several different academic subjects, but I also learned a lot about myself, so here are a few assignments from some of my classes this year that I think best show growth and discovery.

English 2367.01H: Second-Year Writing 

Argumentative Essay-1cr4ggo

English has never been my favorite subject, so I took this class to finish my last writing GE requirement as soon as possible. But I loved this class because it was mainly discussion-based and encouraged us to build critical thinking skills. We mostly read nonfiction essays about important social issues, which was interesting because it provided new perspectives on familiar topics, and gave insight that I think will be valuable in future classes.

This assignment was an argumentative essay on an issue of our choice, and it was the final paper I wrote in this class.  I wrote about sleep deprivation because it’s a problem that I struggled with at the beginning of this year, but I’ve become better at getting enough sleep since then. I was able to build on research skills such as finding reliable sources, extracting relevant information, synthesizing this information, and citing all sources. While I have written research papers before, this one was particularly interesting and it felt like a big step from the research papers I wrote in high school.

Art 2100: Beginning Drawing

This class was meant to fulfill my Visual and Performing Arts GE, and I initially was on the fence about taking it because I never liked art class in elementary or middle school. I always told myself that I wasn’t really good at art and that I wasn’t creative enough to be good at it. But this class changed all of that for me because our professor encouraged us to put our personal experiences into our art, which inspired me to tell a story with every piece I painted or drew.

This particular piece, Unrooted, describes the way that I’ve moved around a lot growing up. The places on the box represent places where my parents have been stationed, while the dandelion is the official symbol of the military child and serves to represent the way in which our childhoods are carried around from place to place like seeds in the wind. The dandelion’s growth in the cardboard moving box symbolizes the ability to thrive amidst change in an unfamiliar place, something that I have learned throughout my childhood. While this piece means a lot to me and tells my personal story, I was touched by how it resonated with a few of my classmates in ways that I didn’t expect. One girl spoke up about her experience immigrating from Mexico when she was twelve and how she had to adjust to a new home, new people, and a new culture while moving far away from the life she had always known. Another classmate shared how his extended family all still lives in Sudan and how he hasn’t seen them in nine years, and how he feels like he shares his identity between the U.S. and Sudan. While our experiences weren’t exactly the same, we found that we could relate to each other through a simple piece of art, which made me realize how powerful art can truly be.

History 3700: American Environmental History

Environmental Issue Paper-1ixcw15

This history class was probably my favorite class all year, but it was also probably the hardest. Our professor assigned about 200 pages of reading a week, in addition to six or seven paragraph-length study questions we had to answer for our weekly quizzes. I realize that I will have many more classes with this kind of coursework in the future, but at first I wasn’t sure if I could make it through this one.I fell behind in the reading in the first couple weeks, and as one of only two first-years in a classroom of thirty upperclassmen, I was nervous to answer questions in class discussions. But after bombing that first quiz, I pushed myself to catch up and keep up the rest of the semester. Being caught up with all the reading made me more confident in engaging in discussions, and I’ve since learned the importance of participating in class. The works we read were from authors with various perspectives who discussed several different topics in our country’s environmental history, and I ended up finding the issues quite interesting.

At the end of the course we could choose any environmental topic to write a paper on, and I chose to write about the impact climate change could have on natural disasters and other weather patterns. It was one of the hardest papers I had ever written because a lot of the sources used concepts and words that I didn’t know much about, but this only made it all the more gratifying to finish the paper. I was able to build upon my research skills while using my own personal insight, which I know will be important for future courses.

Doodle

doodle

Doodle

We call him Doodle.

Maybe our metallic blue minivan has a name because my triplet siblings and I were seven when he joined our family, but how can you not name a vehicle that has well over two-hundred thousand miles and has taken you just about everywhere?

Doodle is as much of a place as any of the countries and houses I’ve lived in. For ten years he has been a familiar old friend no matter where we were stationed, and I have probably fallen asleep more times in our van than in any of my seven bedrooms. From visiting our grandmother in northeast Ohio to spending eight hours driving through the Austrian Alps on the way to Venice and being dropped off for our first day of sixth grade across post, we have relied on Doodle for our every destination.

Moving every two to three years has made it hard to feel attached to any one place or house, but our trusty van has been with us for over half of our moves. Through the stress of military life and leaving people and places we loved, we could always count on Doodle to be in our driveway to welcome us after those rough first few weeks in a new place.

Now I’m old enough to drive, but I can never take Doodle anywhere without being reminded of when we were small enough to squeeze into our car seats on those long journeys down the Pennsylvania Turnpike or those times we stuck our heads out of the window to feel the rush of passing cars on the Autobahn. Tiny grains of sand eternally lodged in Doodle’s every cup holder evokes days of sitting out on hot Mediterranean beaches. A large discolored stain in the front passenger seat still smells of the coffee Mom spilled a few years ago in our rush to school one morning. There are probably still molecules of snow and ice from that winter we pushed through Northern Michigan to visit our grandparents, and I don’t know if we’ll ever find those last pieces of confetti from spending Bastille Day in Paris.

Our faithful minivan has been there from our first days of second grade to move-in day at Ohio State. He’s getting older, but Mom is convinced she can put another two hundred thousand miles on him. If any van can do it, it’s Doodle.

Because Doodle isn’t just any van. He is a place, a place where there are meaningful family conversations and awful jokes. A place where we complained that we were cold, tired, and hungry and fought over who got to use the comfy pillow. A place with probably enough Cheeto crumbs hidden under the seats to fill a whole bag. A place where we have belted out our first and our two hundred seventeenth renditions of “99 Bottles of Pop on the Wall” and played countless games of “I Spy.”

A place where I’ve grown up.

Freshman Year

With help from my amazing friends, family, and a lot of ice cream, I’ve made it through my first year in one piece! This year, I:

  • Moved away from my family and into college
  • Participated in Ohio State’s Community Commitment Service Day
  • Joined University Band
  • Was selected into Romophos Sophomore Honorary’s 85th class
  • Raised $400 and participated in BuckeyeTHON
  • Was elected as AOSCH representative for Romophos
  • Finished my first year with a 4.0 GPA
  • Studied abroad in New Zealand with the School of Environment and Natural Resources

G.O.A.L.S.

Global Awareness

In order to understand how 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 Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability minor program. 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. In addition, I plan on studying abroad at least once so that I can learn what it’s like to be out of my comfort zone and surrounded by a completely unfamiliar culture and way of life.

 

Original Inquiry

I hope to have the opportunity to participate in a research experience as an undergraduate, and I think my Geography major program is broad enough to encompass many different research inquiries. My minor is further specialized than my Geography program, so I would consider researching ways in which we can help to preserve our environments in the face of human-induced and destructive climate changes.

 

Academic Enrichment

My major program allows me a lot of flexibility in considering different disciplines to take classes in, so I hope to take courses from a wide range of studies so that I can better understand my academic interests and strengths. I hope that my minor program will be complementary to my major in allowing me to focus in on the study of how our environment interacts with geographical development, and economic and sustainability practices all over the world. I hope to be able to apply the ideas I learn in this more specialized discipline to the broader focuses in my Geography major. I will try to take the most challenging courses available to me and as many honors classes as I can, so that I can challenge myself as much as possible.

 

Leadership Development

I hope to become more involved in some of the clubs and student organizations here on campus, such as a club I found that reaches out to local military families, among others. Now that I’ve almost finished my first semester here at Ohio State, I feel more comfortable in involving myself in more activities and organizations for the semesters to come, so I will hopefully join a few more clubs and seek a leadership position in an organization that is meaningful to me. I also would love to serve as a tour guide next fall for prospective students or possibly a Peer Mentor so that I can share everything I love about Ohio State and help incoming freshmen in their transition to college.

 

Service Engagement

I’ve already participated in the Community Commitment Day for service at the beginning of the semester, and I loved it. I hope to be able to take part in opportunities like these in the future, and I also am looking to join student organizations that involve community service.  In addition, I would love to participate in Semester for Service so that serving others in the local area would become a part of my daily life, and I am interested in taking at least one service trip with Buck-I-Serv so that I can learn to serve others while working together with other people.

Career

EMPLOYMENT

The Ohio State University Honors and Scholars: August 2017-Present

         Honors Community Advocate, Bradley Hall

  • Plan Honors-related programs for students in Bradley Hall
  • Answer questions and assist first-year students with understanding program requirements
  • Attend meetings with residence hall staff and Honors Liason
  • Help set up and clean up Honors events

ZIPS Dry Cleaners: February 2016-July 2016; June 2017-August 2017

           Counter Associate

  • Engage respectfully with customers by receiving clothes to be cleaned and returning cleaned clothes
  • Discuss problems involving a customer’s garments with a manager
  • Organize and tag clothes to be cleaned
  • Maintain neatness and a clean appearance in the store

COMMUNITY SERVICE

At Ohio State University

Community Commitment Day of Service: August 26, 2017

Site Leader

  • Welcomed volunteers and explained the day’s events
  • Sorted and organized donated clothes at a local Goodwill store
  • Led a reflection activity to encourage motivation for future service events

BuckeyeTHON: November 2016-February 2017

  • Fundraised for childhood cancer patients, treatments, and research for a cure
  • Participated in a 24-hour dance marathon to connect with childhood cancer patients and raise awareness

Community Commitment Day of Service: August 27, 2017

  • Pulled weeds and cleaned up garden area at a local church

At Wilde Lake High School 

Sarah’s House, a local homeless shelter: June-August 2013-2014      

  • Cleaned rooms and provided necessities for families
  • Helped prepare and serve dinner
  • Supervised and play with children while parents attend employment seminars
  • Organized donation closets

SCHOOL AND LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES

At Ohio State University

Romophos Sophomore Honor Society: March 2017-Present

  • Raise money for an annual concert benefiting local charities
  • Elected as representative for the Association of Ohio State Class Honoraries

University Band: August 2016-Present

Education Abroad Program in New Zealand, with the School of Environment and Natural Resources: May 2017-June 2017

  • Explored the meaning of sustainability both within New Zealand and in an international sense
  • Connected with local cultures by engaging in tours and lectures from native Māori people
  • Built cooperation by living and traveling with peers from diverse backgrounds and academic goals

At Wilde Lake High School 

National Honor Society: October 2014-May 2016     

  • Guided senior citizens around community’s annual Health and Wellness Exposition
  • Participated in clean-up and renovations for a veteran’s home
  • Wrapped gifts during the holidays to benefit Howard County General Hospital

Lettermen Leadership Organization: June 2014-May 2016            

         Senior Office Aide: August 2015-May 2016

  • Organized student involvement in fundraising for causes such as teen suicide prevention
  • Gave tours and distributed schedules to incoming freshmen during orientation
  • Led freshmen in school spirit and leadership-building activities
  • Performed office tasks including organizing and filing forms, answering phone calls, making copies, and running errands

Marching Band and Wind Ensemble: August 2012-May 2016        

           President, Uniform Manager, and Squad Leader: June 2015-May 2016

  • Coordinated band events and make decisions on fundraising and meetings
  • Organized uniform distribution and maintenance
  • Taught drills and formations to members of squad

Cross Country Team: June-November 2012-2015