Sophomore Year In Review

This school year started out completely different than I had imagined. I was renting an apartment, eating without the campus meal plan, taking mostly online classes, and living during a pandemic. Not the sophomore year I had in mind.

During the fall semester, I took my first advanced fiction writing class. I drafted a new story which is currently being sent to magazines with the help of my professor Nick White. I also took a tutoring writing class, which served as my pre-training to work in the OSU writing center. In this class, I conducted writing center studies research which I won an English department award for. At the conclusion of the fall semester, I completed my history minor.

During the fall, I joined Delight, a women’s campus ministry. I virtually met a lot of new people through this organization. I also served as a “shark” for club swimming’s sharks and minnows program (similar to a big-little program). I led my minnows in a virtual scavenger hunt across campus.

This spring semester, I started up an internship with CityScene Media Group. I found that I absolutely love working in editing. I get to write about new and exciting things happening in Columbus. I will be continuing this position at least through November.

Some of my favorite classes this spring academic semester include cultures of professional writing, advanced fiction writing, and feminist sci-fi. In my professional writing class this semester, I learned new writing and interview skills. In advanced fiction, I wrote yet another short story which will be sent to magazines soon. Feminist sci-fi served as a delightful major elective.

Even though this school year was nothing like what I planned, I still enjoyed it greatly. I grew a lot this year academically, professionally, and personally. This year was surprisingly more fruitful and encouraging than my freshman year. I am excited to see what junior year holds!

About Me

Hello, my name is Sarah Grace Smith (I go by Sarah Grace), and welcome to my page! I am a second-year Eminence Fellow and English major in the creative writing concentration, and I have minors in history and professional writing. Currently, I am working on a collection of short stories and am beginning research for a novel. I plan on going to graduate school in pursuit of an MFA in creative writing.

I chose to be an English major in college because of my love for words.  When deciding what to do with my life, a thought occurred to me: What if I actually pursued my dream job rather than just letting it be a dream? Being an author has been an aspiration of mine since the age of 6. With an English major and self-published author for a father, and an editor and grammar teacher for a mother, my choice was received with much enthusiasm by my family.

During my freshman year, I interned as a social media and communications assistant for Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society. In this role, I wrote articles for a quarterly magazine, reaching more than 60,000 readers. I also determined content themes, ran social media campaigns, and created and scheduled posts. Throughout the course of my internship, I expanded their social media engagement rate from 15% to 126%, added more than 600 followers, and created the company’s blog.

On-campus, I am involved in many clubs and organizations. As an Eminence Fellow, I am part of Cultivate Columbus, a service project which connects students with local communities, gardens, and organizations to promote sustainable practices, nourish communities, and work towards food justice. I am also involved in Delight, a Christian women’s ministry, Enlighten, an anti-human trafficking group, and club swimming.

In my spare time, I read, write, listen to and play music, practice yoga, and knit.  I also enjoy spending time with any animal (excluding snakes) or taking a walk in nature.

G.O.A.L.S.

Global Awareness

The summer of 2019 I served in Kathmandu, Nepal with victims of and those at risk for sex trafficking. I worked with an organization that helped prevent the sex trade while educating and training victims of the trade in life and career skills. In the future, I plan on studying abroad at least once. I strongly believe having a varied traveling experience is essential to building one’s character. Travel can help with eliminating cultural bias and developing open-minded conversations. I plan on taking any chance I have to travel.

Original Inquiry

As a creative writer, my goal is to complete a novel during my time as an undergraduate. I plan to do this with support from the English and Creative Writing faculty at Ohio State, many of whom I have already made connections with. I am also currently in the process of publishing my short stories.

Academic Enrichment

As an honors student, I plan on taking many rigorous courses during my time at Ohio State, especially in my major. To increase my breadth of knowledge, I also plan on completing a degree with Honors Research Distinction, whether that be through my novel or through a research paper. To enrich my experience as an English major, I am part of EUGO, the English Undergraduate Organization, which fosters an environment for intellectual discussion among English majors.

Leadership Development

I am currently a part of Delight, Enlighten, and Vocalize Columbus. Delight is focused on spiritual life and developing female leaders in the Christian community, while Enlighten promotes awareness about human trafficking and working to make a difference in the Columbus community. I am currently serving as the director of on-campus events for Enlighten. With Vocalize Columbus, I am the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Through all of these organizations, I hope to develop my leadership skills. I also plan on have had an internship that has helped me to explore possible career options.

Service Engagement

Serving with the organizations Vocalize Columbus and Enlighten, I hope to make a positive impact on the Columbus community. Last spring, I went on a Buckiserv, cleaning and performing environmental maintenance on parts of the Appalachian Trail. Through my Eminence cohort, other Eminence Fellows and I have created Cultivate Columbus, an organization that promotes community nourishment, food justice, and sustainable practices in the Columbus area. Through my church, Short North Church, I serve with New Life, a program that provides breakfast, clothing, and toiletries for the houseless.

Career

Internship Experience

CityScene Media Group  January 2021-Present

Editorial Assistant

  • Wrote over 40 web exclusives and 10 print mini features
  • Conducted interviews
  • Reached out to Columbus residents for quotes and stories
  • Researched article ideas
  • Fact checked and edited peers’ writing

Mortar Board National Senior College Honor Society  October 2019-August 2020               

Communications and Social Media Assistant                       

  • Produced content for quarterly magazine the Forum, reaching 60,000 readers
  • Determined content themes, ran social media campaigns, and created and scheduled over 350 posts for each of the company’s 4 social media platforms
  • Recorded, maintained, researched, and presented ROI
  • Expanded engagement rate of followers from 15% to 126%
  • Added more than 600 total followers
  • Conducted research on blogs and designed the company’s blog, writing more than 10 articles

Research Experience

The Ohio State University Department of History May 2020-June 2020

Student Researcher with Dr. Thomas F. McDow’s Research Collaborative

  • Conducted independent research on how African demographer Dr. James P.M. Ntozi’s work influenced the Ugandan government’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic
  • Collected data from government documents, scientific journals, and news articles
  • Compiled a research portfolio including a Wikipedia article, biosketch, list of relevant publications by Dr. Ntozi, and an interpretive essay

Volunteer Experience

The Journal Literary Magazine Reader December 2019-Present

  • Reviewed over 140 submissions of short fiction and nonfiction
  • Read 5 full length novels and selected 1 to be a semifinalist for Non/Fiction Prize

Buck-I-Serv Volunteer March 2020

  • Removed invasive species from Appalachian Trail and Cherokee Mountains
  • Learned about the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians