Event: STEP Expo

Location: Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom – Ohio Union

Date: Wednesday, November 20th

Type of event: Academic


Study Abroad in Seville, Spain

This student used her funds towards her study abroad experience in Seville, Spain. What was particularly interesting and exciting about stumbling upon this poster is that I have already planned to do the exact same program during the Spring of my sophomore year. She was able to use the STEP funds to support her trip so that she was able to learn a lot of Spanish and learn about the Spanish culture in the south of Spain. Programs like these are importantly related to IA because they are a method of fostering positive relationships across nations.



Sant’Anna Institute Internship Program in Sorrento, Italy

This student used her funds towards a ten week internship program that combined workplace learning with classroom-based studying. I found this poster very interesting because I am considering an Italian minor, so I could potentially participate in this program and take language or culture classes while I’m there to receive credit towards a minor. I will definitely look into and consider this program. This program connects to IA in that it encourages students, particularly those who may not have time for a semester abroad, to learn about other parts of the world while still taking classes and gaining real-world experience.


Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

This student used her STEP funds towards a summer study abroad program in Italy. However, unlike the previous poster, this student took advantage of this summer program to take classes not necessarily related to what she was studying at OSU. Because she is a nursing major, this student took the opportunity to study abroad to study something unique that she didn’t have time for during her traditional semesters. Her experience sounded very beneficial for her and I would definitely consider an experience similar to hers. Our scholars program in particular would greatly encourage a study abroad program like this that encourages traveling and new experiences.


Summer Internship at the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

This student supported his internship with the help of STEP. He had a particularly transformational experience that helped him solidify the thought of what he wants to do in the future. My favorite part about talking to him was that I got to tell him about CRIS and what I do as a mentor. He is looking for another experience similar to his internship but in the Columbus area, so I was able to share my knowledge with him. I would consider doing an internship, but probably not in the same area as this student because it doesn’t quite align with a career that I’m looking into. This project is extremely important to IA because immigration is a vital part to our world’s society and economy.


Service Learning & Community Service: The Puerto Rico Service Trip

This student originally wanted to use her funds towards an internship, but ended up going to Puerto Rico on a service trip! She loved her experience and advised to the group of us that were listening to her to not have just one expectation for how to use STEP because there are so many great opportunities. Even though a trip like this isn’t high on my priority list, I would consider doing a similar project because it excites me and seems like a very positive experience. This project relates to IA in that it fosters positive relationships between different parts of the world.


Volunteering at the Van Buren Shelter

Event: Volunteering at Van Buren Shelter

Location: Van Buren Shelter

Date: Monday, November 11th

Type of event: Service


This past Monday I took part in a service trip to the Van Buren Shelter. This trip was put on by Pay it Forward. Honestly, I don’t know what Pay it Forward is, but I’m fairly certain that they just offer volunteer opportunities. I found out about the trip because of my IA classmate Max. He sent the link about the opportunity in a group chat and I liked the sound of it, so I signed up!

I’m truly glad I went to the shelter. There, we spent our time working with eh soup kitchen. This is where the guests receive their meals. As volunteers, we first spent time cleaning and sanitizing before the guests were to show up. One kid made a comment about how you could tell which kids had held a job before (like at McDonald’s) and who hadn’t because some of the volunteers were not the best cleaners. I did my best at cleaning and once the guests were there I walked around the cafeteria and offered them cheddar sun chips. There were also garden salsa and original flavors, but my chips were the fan favorite. I was glad about this because it kept me busy and I got to interact with a lot of guests.

I was able to make these womens’ days. I was able to help provide them a basic right and necessity to life and seeing and hearing the gratitude from the ladies was awesome. Even though their situations may not have been the best, the majority of them were still kind and appreciative. I even got to have mini conversations with some of the ladies. This was important to me because putting faces to food insecurity problems makes them more real. Being in IA pushes me to find interactions like these and I think I am most thankful to IA for that. While it may have been a sad time to realize that not everyone has the opportunity to just eat whenever they want, I’m proud of myself to have taken even just a small part in this volunteer opportunity. I hope that more people throughout the university participate in opportunities like this not just because it feels good, but because people need to see these societal challenges first-hand and the guests at Van Buren benefit from our help.

Junior Women’s International Handball Team

Event: IHF Trophy 

Where: Montreal

Date: 10/14/19-10/20/19

I missed a week of classes. While it was rough trying to catch up and make up work from all that I had missed, it was for a pretty cool reason. I went to the involvement fair at the beginning of the year because I’m an eager-to-get-involved freshman. Encountering the Men’s Team Handball Club booth was the first step. They told me that they wanted to start a women’s team, which seemed promising. Because handball sounded like a fun sport to try out, I went to the introduction practices they held. There, I met JD. He’s the coach and I think he’s the best. He’s extremely dedicated to the sport and the players and with a calm, kind, and intelligent demeanor, I think he makes a great coach. During my first few experiences playing handball, I had a blast! That’s why I kept going back and with a few other girls decided to found the Women’s Team Handball Club at The Ohio State University. I was voted to be the Vice President of the team and have been trying to get more players ever since!

What does this have to do with missing a week of classes during my first semester in college? I missed that week because of handball, of course! JD has connections and because clubs like the one we founded here and others at schools like Penn State and West Point have been popping up, the Team USA handball people decided to have a Junior Women’s National Team for the first time in a few years. A few other girls in our club and I were invited to play on Team USA against other teams in the international competition, so we took the offer. We spent a week in Montreal representing our nation and playing tons of handball. It was an amazing learning experience.

Being a global learner (I received my International Baccalaureate Diploma in high school and I am an International Affairs Scholar at Ohio State), I found this opportunity particularly exciting. We were surrounded by people on the streets of Montreal speaking French and all the signs were in French. It was very different from my other traveling experiences because I have only been to Spanish speaking countries. I played against girls from a number of different countries who spoke different languages. During this experience I realized how important it can be to foster face to face relationships with people of other countries. In the future, I hope to have more interactions with people of different nationalities, and hopefully in their home countries!

McKibben to Speak on Climate Change and 2020 Election in Columbus

Event: Climate Change Talk

Location: 103 Kottman Hall, School of Environment and Natural Resources, 2021 Coffey Road

Date: Thursday, October 10, at 7 p.m.

Type of event: Campus


I wanted to go to this event because my geography professor mentioned it in class, so I dragged my friend Sarah along to accompany me because I didn’t want to go. I’m interested in climate change and wanted to hear about how it will come into play in the upcoming presidential election candidates’ platforms. It was on a Thursday during fall break, so I was lucky I wasn’t going home until the weekend so that I had the opportunity to attend the talk. It was at Knottman Hall, so Sarah and I had a lengthy bike ride across the bridge. The event was in a fairly small lecture hall (not like a huge auditorium) and Bill McKibben was on the screen because he talked to us over video call! The event allowed audience members to ask him questions and he answered them. However, unlike the title projected, the talk hardly revolved around the 2020 election. 

Hearing Bill McKibben, environmentalist and founder of (a climate change movement), talk about climate change and the future for our planet is an extremely important topic for the entire planet. This connects to IA because McKibben talked about how every country needs to put in effort toward this cause. Encouraging other countries is important, but we need to also focus on our own. We need to elect a leader with a progressive platform. We need to take charge and make changes to our governing body to have a leader that doesn’t ignore climate change nor put it on the back-burner. Essentially, we all need to start doing things now to combat climate change if we want something to happen by 2030. McKibben said that if we wanted to make real change we could.

My favorite part was when an audience member got up to the camera and asked McKibben- how do we pay for it (the green new deal)? And McKibben basically said- cost compared to what? That was so profound to me as he explained that the costs in the future from the effects of climate change are far greater than any preventative methods we would take now. One example is that as the temperature increases and the sea levels increase, land that people live goes under water, so they would have to be relocated (which costs a lot of MONEY). I thought that him acknowledging that the cost now is less than it will be in the future was important because it was an argument I hadn’t heard before. I think it should be publicized more. 

While I don’t plan on pursuing any career like my geography professor, Dr. Mark, or Bill McKibben, climate change is a matter that I take very seriously. I personally encourage others to look at it the same way that McKibben, Dr. Mark, and I look at it.

International Internship Panel

Event: International Internship Panel

Type: Professional Development

Location: Glass Classroom of Smith-Steeb

Date: Monday, September 9


Firstly, I would like to suggest that this event (if put on in the future) should use a sign up prior to the even in case it gets a similar turnout to this year. It was packed! I went down the elevator and while I still arrived a few minutes before the panel was supposed to start, I had to grab a seat on the floor and other people were in even worse spots by the end. I went with Sarah, the girl across the hall from me who I’m becoming good friends with, and out butts hurt a lot by the end. Other than uncomfortable seating, the panel was awesome!


I don’t think I realized that it was possible to even do internships internationally, but hearing about Portugal, France, and Canada as destinations to live and work while still being in my college years was exhilarating! Honestly, listening to kids who could potentially be me speaking in a few years motivated me. I think that I’ll look into internships, maybe even for this upcoming summer, and I hope to find an affordable one in another country that would give me a lot of good experience. I’d prefer to go to a Spanish speaking country, because Spanish is my major, however, I would enjoy being in Portugal or Brazil, too, because I started taking Portuguese! Honestly, I’d have an amazing experience in any country, but if I could practice the languages I’m studying, then it would be just that much better!


Considering IA Scholars deals with international topics, I think this event was perfect for the program, which is probably why the event had so many attendees. I hope there are more events similar to this in the future.


Greek Festival

Event: Greek Festival

Type: Social

Date: Friday, August 30th


Going to the Greek Festival was such an awesome experience and I already cannot wait for it next year! I’m very glad that IA promotes this event. I had such an awesome time for a few reasons. Where I’m from, there is a Greek Orthodox Church right next to my synagogue, so I’ve gone to their Greek Festival for years. It felt a little like home, not only because it was such a similar event to one I attend regularly at home, but also because my family is Albanian. My mother’s father escaped from Macedonia when he was 19. Since the former Yugoslavia is so close to Greece, they share many similarities. The food, dancing, and dessert (baklava!!!) all felt so familiar. This event was a great experience during a time of transition away from home. It mixed the new people of my new home with a culture familiar to me (and similar to my background).

I went to the festival with a few people from my floor like Irene, Maya, Olivia Breger, and my roommate, Sophie Yates. And while I was there, I ran into a kid I went to school with who now attends Capital University, which was really exciting!

Honestly, cultural festivals are my thing. I’ve gone to many and have been surrounded by different cultures (Albanian, Jewish, etc.) throughout my life. I really like interacting with people, hearing their stories, and learning about their backgrounds. This event really aligned with those passions of mine, just as my major (Spanish) does. I hope to hear about other cultural/music/arts festivals here and be able to attend them!

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 Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[ “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 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.]


[“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 Delete these instructions and add your own post.]