About Me

My name is Nikki and I am a freshman at The Ohio State University.  In the photo above, I am in the center, with President Dr. Drake to the right and my sister to the left.  My hometown is Dublin, Ohio.  Living in a town so close to campus, I grew up going to Ohio State football games as a buckeye.  Studying at Ohio State has been a tradition in my family, starting with my grandfather, who worked as the University Architect.  My dad also studied here, followed by my sister, and now I am continuing the tradition.  The vast number of opportunities here at Ohio State never ceases to amazing me.  I am very passionate about helping animals and the environment.  I am currently a Health Sciences Scholar and I hope to continue getting more involved in my community by taking advantage of all the opportunities during my time at Ohio State.

I am majoring in Microbiology with a minor in French.  I studied French throughout high school and I am excited that I can continue developing my understanding of the french language and culture.  It is my goal to attend veterinary school in the future.


Year in Review

Looking back on my first year in college, I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far and I am excited for the opportunities that I will come across in the future.  This past year, I earned executive positions in two great organizations.  I am the CFAES Student Council Representative for the Animal Welfare and Behavior Club, and I am the secretary for the OSU chapter of Silver Wings.  Through these organizations, I started to gain more leadership and teamwork skills.  Because of these organizations, and the difficult classes that I took this past year, I have learned the importance of time management and staying ahead on school work.  During this year, I also decided to switch from the pre-medical school track to the pre-veterinary school track.  This decision was difficult at first, but the more I get involved with animals, the more sure I am that I should pursue veterinary medicine.

Overall, I have had a great freshman year.  I have made many new friends through my classes, organizations, and residence hall.  I have been successful academically, and I have grown immensely.  I hope that I can continue to grow, to find new opportunities, and to continue to branch out from my comfort zone in the next coming years.


Global Awareness: I have expanded my global awareness though being involved in Volunteers Around the World, specifically the Veterinary Outreach Program at Ohio State.  Through this program, I am planning on volunteering abroad in Peru in December to aid veterinarians and to spread awareness about veterinary medicine.  In preparation for this trip, we have begun studying Spanish and learning about the culture of Peru.  I have also expanded my global awareness, and will continue to, through studying abroad.  In May, I will travel to the North Queensland region of Australia to study the culture, the relationship between humans and their environment, and environmental sustainability.  In preparation of this study abroad program, I have studied Australian culture, read Australian literature, and studied the ecology of the areas we will be visiting.

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:  I had the opportunity to interview Giuliana Ciotola, who is an upcoming senior majoring in Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife, with a Wildlife Science/Pre-Vet specialization.  Giuliana and I discussed her plans for the future, the process of becoming a competitive candidate for veterinary schools, studying for the GRE, the importance of a plan-B, and the options one has after veterinary school.  Giuliana told me about the ways that she has gained the hands-on and diverse animal experiences that veterinary schools look for, such as volunteering abroad at small animal clinics and finding internship opportunities during the summer.  She also gave me helpful advice on ensuring that I complete the prerequisites for each veterinary school, such as meeting with an advisor or digging through each school’s website and making a spreadsheet.  Giuliana also made sure to stress the importance of having another plan other than veterinary school, so that I always have the option to change my mind in the future.

Leadership Development: I have had the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through obtaining leadership positions within student organizations.  This past year, I was the CFAES Student Council Representative for the Animal Welfare and Behavior Club.  In this role, I attended student council meetings where I discussed college wide issues.  I also helped plan meeting and events, schedule tours and volunteering, and contact professionals to speak at general member meetings.  In this role, I was able to aid in decision making for the organization while working as a team with the other executive board members.  This past month, I was elected to be the President of the Animal Welfare and Behavior Club, so I will continue to develop my leadership abilities the next year by leading this organization.  I was also the Vice-President of the Veterinary Outreach Program at Ohio State, which is a part of Volunteers Around the World, this past semester.  In this role, I worked closely with the President to plan meetings and recruit new members.

Service Engagement: These past two semesters, I spent many hours volunteering at a variety of places in need.  During the fall semester of 2017, I got most of my volunteering hours at The Garden of Hope.  There, I worked with many of my peers to harvest vegetables and to prepare the garden for winter by pulling up landscaping fabric.  I also volunteered at the Chalmers P. Wylie VA Hospital, where I welcomed patients and families and handed out flyers.  I also worked with OSU’s Knitting club to knit small hats for babies in need.  During the spring semester of 2018, I got most of my volunteering hours at the Sunrise Sanctuary.  At this animal sanctuary, I helped to replace bedding, sweep barns, and prepare the sanctuary for summer.  I also helped the Breathe Hope organization make tie blankets.  Finally, I volunteered at a Red-Cross blood drive to help them spread awareness and to keep track of donors and appointments.


Over the summer of 2018, I spent over 70 hours volunteering at Sunrise Sanctuary.  Sunrise Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary that recuses all types of farm animals.  While volunteering here, I helped keep the facility running by cleaning barns, refilling water bins, grooming animals, and directing visitors.  I also had several opportunities to shadow large animals veterinarians.  While volunteering here, I practiced my communication skills, strengthened my leadership skills, and learned about caring for various species.

HSS Service Symposium Slide