Day 31 (7/13/18)

  • Daily stand up to discuss progress on our presentation
  • Brainstorm session on putting together a demo for the VP
  • Worked more on developing the back end of the application
  • Given a tour of the data center for palm bay

Day 30 (7/12/18)

  • Discussed more on the back end of the admin page
  • Attended an end of year IT networking event. Introduced to the VP and a couple contractors
  • Worked on developing back end of admin page
  • Planned out more of our presentation for the application

Day 29 (7/11/18)

  • Stand up to discuss progress of Admin page
  • Attended a seminar on user experience and its role in development
  • Met with ITLP mentors to discuss big picture progress as an intern
  • Began planning the presentation of our health application

NICU in Nashville

For my STEP Signature Project, I combined hospital volunteering with shadowing which fit under the Internship category. For 8 weeks of the summer I volunteered in the Emergency Department of Akron City Hospital, and then for one weekend I traveled to Nashville, TN for Vanderbilt University’s Observational Experience Program. At Vanderbilt, I followed a NICU physician for a day, and he introduced me to all of the babies he was working with, I got to follow him on rounds, and I even got to watch a baby and mother get discharged from the hospital.

Before my STEP Signature Project, I knew that I wanted to go to medical school, but I had no idea what kind of doctor I wanted to become. I figured this would be a good opportunity to be introduced into a new field of medicine to see if I liked it, so when I was accepted into the Vanderbilt Observational Experience Program I decided to use STEP to travel there. Seeing newborn babies being healed was an incredible experience, and I was overcome with immense joy when I got to listen to the healthy heartbeat of a baby born premature.

Without STEP I may have never gotten this experience and would not have figured out that my path involves pediatrics or OB/GYN. I now know that working with children and babies is something I will enjoy because I got to experience it firsthand. I have experience with adults in the ER and I like it, but the love I felt for the tiny babies is unmatched. This Project has made me so excited for the future because I got a glimpse of what’s to come.

First and foremost, my STEP faculty mentor made a huge impact on my life. I had the incredible opportunity to work with Provost McPheron, and he not only guided me in my Signature Project but also guided me in life. He helped me learn about what is important to me and I will be forever grateful. I can go to him for advice any time, and he is always willing to share. My experience with STEP was made worthwhile because of him, and I can never thank him enough.

STEP also helped me to gain experience and earn hours in a clinical setting. I am currently just above 150 hours volunteering in the Akron City Hospital ED, and through this I have gained so much. I work with patient, nurses, and doctors, and I get to be a part of high pressure medical situations. This helped me to know that I can handle the stress of medical school and a career in medicine.

Finally, STEP gave me the chance to feel the happiest I have felt in a very long time. While I was shadowing at Vanderbilt, I went into a patient room with the doctor while he shared the information with her that her baby was healthy enough to go home. Her elation brought tears of joy to my eyes, and I was so happy to be able to be a part of it, even if I was just observing.

I think the most important thing I have taken from my project is my love for medicine. The path to a career in medicine is grueling, and it will take me at least 10 more years to get where I want to be, but I gained the confidence to know that I can do it. No matter what it takes, I will survive medical school and residency with bumps in the road and undoubtedly some sleep deprivation, but it will be worth it.


Canadian Parliament Internship Program

Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two
or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project

For my STEP Signature Project, I participated in the Canadian Parliament Internship. This experience offered me a multitude of experiences in policy and their practical use in the public sector like a government. My main activities entailed reaching out and replying to constituents through correspondence, researching various policy point, writing public relation advertisements for my Member of Parliament, attending pre-committee and committee meetings where I took detailed notes.

What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your
view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP
Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or
transformation that took place.

Being that I have never been out of the country before I had a few worries and preconceived notions about the trip and Canada as a whole before I went. I expected our neighbor up north to be very similar if not the same to the United States in terms of daily life and culture but when I went to Canada I swiftly learned things are not as I thought. The hyper fast paced life I was used to in the States didn’t exist as much in Canada, the people are as polite as they seem, their country is far more culturally aware and exemplifies it in their daily life far more than we do, and the Canadian people are able to exemplify this state of multiculturalism far better than anything I have seen in the States. My first visit to Quebec was a true taste of the multiculturalism in Canada as the Quebec people found strong ties to their French heritage. The second was with the indigenous peoples who fight every day for their full representation and acceptance in society. Finally, the observation and understanding that all Canadians are willing to pay into a larger healthcare system or any fully funded system to aid the entire population showed me that their society is willing to work together on things they deem is important to better benefit their society in the long term

What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP
Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in
#2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing
the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project
that led to this change/transformation.

The first activity that led to the personal transformation was going from Ottawa into Quebec during the trip. As stated earlier the first thing I noticed about the Canadian society that different from the States was their exemplification of multiculturalism. Traveling into Quebec I was immediately hit with their culture shift. Everything shifted from English into French, from stop signs to the average spoken language where about 80% of the population learned French as their first language and the 20% with English. This culture shock forced me to reflect on a new culture as I sought to make sure that I was fully appreciating it and everything it had to offer through an unbiased and non-prejudice eye. Living my whole life in the States has allowed me to life within a very small cultural bubble with small breaks from time to time that allowed me to fully appreciate a new culture and its multifaceted dynamics.

Another experience that drastically changed me in Canada was meeting one of the staffers in the Canadian Parliament. Her name was Bianca and she also worked for the Liberal Party but she was a native Quebecois. But it wasn’t her status as a Quebecois that made her transformational to me it was that she was a Canadian of African descent. As an African American myself she was the first staffer of African descent that I met while in Canada so in an effort to build a bond I asked her about her heritage. I told her in the states I identify as an African American and asked her what she identifies as and I was shocked when she and the other staffers started laughing. She simply replied ‘’I am Canadian’’, they all were laughing because my question is something that they are not used to hearing or why the racial category was even necessary. I learned that while multiculturalism is important in Canada there is still and overarching feeling of unity within the country despite racial or ethnic differences which when juxtaposed to the current relations in the States was something shocking yet refreshing for me.

A final experience and interaction that was transformational was not from specific person but simply the Canadian locals. From conversations about politics, social reform, and economics I learned how the States is seen in the geopolitical world as well as the first-hand comments and reactions of an international outside observer. Their thoughts and opinions became invaluable as I learned to navigate the new political environment I found myself in.

 Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your
life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or
development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or
professional goals and future plans.

This trip is extremely important to the value of my life and my life’s goals as I have always seen myself transitioning into the political world. After my undergraduate career I will be attending law school and become a practicing attorney for a few years until I decide I want to move into my political career. Interning in the Canadian Parliament with my Member of Parliament Kyle Peterson was the first major step I took towards that goal. I have gained some legal experience but never have I had the opportunity to gain real world political experience. Being in the Parliament I was treated as a fully functioning member of the staff where I was able to attend legislative meetings and committee meetings. These meetings allowed me to sit right being all the MPs as they discussed things from their governments budget to the international tariffs. The opinions I was able to offer as an American and the insight I was able to see as only a third-year college student became the backbone to my expertise. Seeing a countries political system function in front of my eyes while also having an active role in it fueled my personal goals of a political future more than I could have ever imagined.

Woodland Run Equine Veterinary Clinic

Name: Maile Moyer

This summer I worked as an intern for Woodland Run Equine Center in Grove City, Ohio. This project expanded upon my Animal Science Biosciences degree and allowed me to gain experience with animals as a future food animal veterinarian. I was able to network with other veterinarians and gain professional experience while also observing medical care for horses. In this internship I assisted veterinarians during appointments and surgeries when possible, caring for horses, and restraining animals during treatment.

Through this internship I learned that the job of a veterinarian is not all puppies and kittens, the job of a veterinarian is filled with stress and traumatic events. This project changed my view on the veterinary field as a whole because I was able to witness the behind the scenes events at a veterinary clinic. Even though I witnessed the bad along with the good through this experience, I discovered about myself that I am able to cope with stresses that come with the job of a veterinarian.

A veterinarian must often deal with clients that are not so easy to get along with. Many times the clients are also emotionally stressed due to their animals being ill. Veterinarians must be able to care for animals but they also have to help the owners of animals cope with the situation. After observing several veterinarians communicating with clients I realized the amount of communication skills this field requires and believe I would also be able to do this.

During this project there were several emergencies at the clinic where a horse had become loose and the veterinarian and vet techs had to chase and catch the horses. This is just one situation where I witnessed the ability to adapt to situations that a veterinarian must have.

My last week during this project I witnessed the euthanasia of a 13 year old horse that was unable to get along with other horses or able to have a job. This event also opened my eyes to how veterinarians must be able to deal with depressing events throughout their work day and then continue creating a welcoming environment for other clients. All of these events showed me that the job of a veterinarian is at times very emotionally and physically draining.

These realizations gathered from my project is important because now I am better educated about the field I plan to enter in to. I know the amount of mental stability this job requires and believe that I am capable of being successful at it. This experience allowed me to be better prepared for the future career I am going to obtain.

Canadian Parliament Internship

I interned for Member of Parliament Carol Hughes in Canada’s House of Commons from mid May to mid June. In her office I wrote letters to constituents, ministers, and ambassadors; wrote speeches for events my MP attended; and wrote columns for her website.

During my internship I adjusted to my first experience working a typical 9-5 job and being a young professional. Although there was a learning curve at first, I quickly adapted to the tasks set before me and the fast pace of life on Parliament Hill. As time went on, I found I was able to write more quickly and succinctly, as well we develop a rapport with my colleagues in the office and my MP.

In terms of changes to my worldview, being in Ottawa during a particularly tense period of US-Canada relations was incredibly interesting. Many Canadians I spoke with were incredulous about the politics in the United States at this moment. I was at the United States Embassy the day President Trump announced a trade war with Canada, and met US Ambassador Kelly Craft the next week. To be completely honest, being abroad in a political capacity made me embarrassed to be an American as I was asked to explain my country’s actions.

One of the key aspects of my experience was spending a week in my Member of Parliament’s riding of Algoma-Manitoulin Kapuskasing. By seeing Carol’s constituency in person, I was better able to respond to the needs of her constituents while in Ottawa. It’s difficult to serve a community when you don’t have an understanding of the people or the issues that matter to them. While I was in the riding I canvassed for the Ontario provincial election and spoke to prospective voters about problems affecting them and what could be done on a provincial level.

I also grew in a professional capacity by participating in all of the activity that happens on Parliament Hill. I attended receptions in Ottawa as a representative of my Member of Parliament, and was fortunate to engage with some incredible people in my desired future career field. I participated in a meeting with MPs and officials from Global Affairs Canada to discuss the Rohingya crisis, upcoming elections in Bangladesh, and Canada’s involvement in the region. I also spoke with Germany’s ambassador to Canada, Sabine Sparwasser, about current populist movements in Europe and the state of Germany’s coalition government. I aspire to work in US foreign policy in the future, and I was able to see opportunities that were not a part of my job description that enriched my experience.

The experience of interning in Canadian Parliament was an unparalleled opportunity for me. My specialization in Political Science is comparative politics, and it doesn’t get better than actually working for the government of another country and seeing its politics firsthand. As I mentioned, this was my first experience in my desired career field,  and it proved to be an invaluable learning experience.

Vinnie Pancini

Type of Project: Education Abroad

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two
    or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project

For my STEP Signature Project, I participated in the Canadian Parliament Internship. This experience was multifaceted and I gained a variety of skills that are valuable for working in the public sector. My main activities included researching various areas of policy, writing memos for my Member of Parliament, attending meetings and taking notes, as well as responding to constituents.

  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your
    view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP
    Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or
    transformation that took place.

Before this program, I had only been out of the country once. I was young and traveled with my family, so I was eager to travel out of the country by myself for the first time. I was also very nervous, because I have never traveled that far by myself and I was not sure if I would be able to figure everything out on my own. This trip helped me develop a new confidence in myself and my problem solving abilities as I traveled to my destination. I realized that I am fully capable of stepping out of my comfort zone and completing any task that I put my mind to. This trip also managed to challenge and change my perception of the world that we live in. At first, I did not think that Canada would be much different than the United States, but I quickly found that Canadians’ culture and identity is a lot richer than Americans typically give them credit for. Working in a public office allowed for me to reflect on the social and political differences between our countries, and to observe the effectiveness of different policies and programs. For instance, an argument against the idea of universal healthcare in America is the question of who will pay for it. In Canada, however, I was able to observe and understand how Canadians are willing to pay more taxes because they know that it will pay off in the long run when they get sick or injured.

  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP
    Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in
    #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing
    the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project
    that led to this change/transformation.

The first activity that led to the personal transformation previously discussed was traveling from my home to our accomodations in Ottawa. After my mom dropped me off at the airport, I had to find my gate and make a connecting flight in Toronto before finally arriving at Ottawa. I then had to take a bus from the airport to Ottawa, walk to my Airbnb for the night and then walk to our accomodations the next morning. This was a long and stressful process that I was worried about, because there is a lot of room for error in travel. However, I was able to execute my plan without any mistakes, and I started to realize that I was stressing out for no reason. I carefully planned out every detail of this journey and prepared as much as I could, which paid off in the end. I had to use my problem solving skills so that I could effectively navigate in this new territory and quite literally step out into the unknown. In school and in life, there are always going to be challenges and times of uncertainty. Traveling is a great way to build the skills and confidence necessary to be able to understand something that you don’t know and to not be afraid of making a mistake.

Interacting with many of the locals, particularly the other people working in my office, also helped to change my understanding of Canada as well as my place in the world. We talked a lot about the social, cultural, and political differences between our respective countries which really began to open my eyes to just how different these two countries are. I learned a lot about how different policies in Canada have shaped the people that live there and how the people that live there have shaped the policies. The two assistants in my office had an incredibly vast knowledge of Canadian politics and were very helpful at explaining things to me and helping to compare it to America. These interactions were critical in broadening my understanding of Canadian politics and in turn, American politics.

Another transformation that took place on this trip was me becoming more sure of what I want to do after graduation. I thought that I might want to go into the public sector and eventually run for office or go to law school. These options may still be in my future, but I am now more certain than ever that I want to research policy as a policy analyst. In this internship, I had to read a lot of reports about the effectiveness of verious policies and draft memos for my Member of Parliament so that he would know which policies he should support based on what was actually working. These exercises made me fully realize just how valuable it is that we are actually researching our policies and evaluating our public programs if we want to actually make change in this world. In my eyes, this is the most valuable way to help people and is easily something that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.

  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your
    life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or
    development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or
    professional goals and future plans.


After graduation, I would like to research public policy and help to develop better programs to address the social issues that are prevalent in America today. In the classes that I have taken thus far, I have been exposed to policies and systems that other countries use and it is relatively easy to compare the costs and benefits of different systems. However it was not until I was actually working in a different political system that made me realize systems that are drastically different than ours, for example in health care, can actually be successfully implemented. Not only are there a multitude of other more effective systems out there, but there are actual ways in which we can engage with these systems and determine whether or not they are useful and accomplishing their intended goal. This transformation is extremely valuable in my academic development because as I enter my junior year it is pertinent that I narrow down my interests and focus on what I want to do directly after graduation. Like I said, I believe that after two long years of exploring and weighing my options I have finally discovered my next step. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to start filling out applications for policy analysis graduate schools.

3M Australia Internship

This summer I interned for eight weeks within 3M Australia’s Health Information Systems (HIS) department in Sydney, Australia. During the first month of my internship I became upskilled in the HIS billings process and performed an internal audit of HIS’s billings in order to increase data accuracy and completeness. During the second month of my internship, I applied my training and took ownership of the HIS billings process, interacting with the Business Manager and key stakeholders to give regular updates on billings for the month.

I feel that this internship has had an immense impact on me as a professionally. Before this internship I only knew of the Consumer side of 3M (Post-it Notes, Command Strips, Scotch tape, etc.). And although I was in the Health Care division, I was able to learn about the other divisions of 3M, and the career opportunities within them. Additionally, I learned a lot about working for a United States company’s foreign subsidiary; I was very surprised at the close relationship that was maintained between the Business Managers in Australia and the Business Managers in the United States. My first few days at work I felt very overwhelmed and a little doubtful in my ability to perform in the demanding environment, however I was able to pick up the billings process very quickly, and my attentiveness to detail and problem solving skills truly helped me excel in my position.

I had traveled internationally before this internship, however I had always been with my family. Additionally, eight weeks was the longest I have ever been away from home. So, although living in a foreign country by myself, away from family in friends, was challenging at times, I look back on my time in Australia as a time of great personal growth. I feel that I have gained a greater sense of independence and no longer see my introvertedness as a weakness in social settings. Additionally, I have become much more adventurous in trying different cuisines such as kangaroo, fresh octopus, Vegemite, and Spag bol.

Undoubtedly I learned the most from my co-workers during my internship. The first two weeks of my internship I worked very closely with my manager, Denise Stewart, in order to familiarize myself with the HIS billings process. During those first two weeks she was very helpful in explaining the Australian hospital and healthcare systems, the 3M Health Information Systems products, and the HIS billings process. Furthermore, she provided excellent restaurant recommendations and activities to do around Sydney.

However, after the first two weeks Denise left to go on holiday for four weeks, and I was to see to the billings. However, I was not left on my own, the key account managers and product specialists were always available to answer my questions regarding customers and products. And whenever I had questions about Australian society, culture, or politics, my co-workers would gladly answer my questions and provide me with new perspectives on how the United States and Australia are similar and different. Many of the great hikes and scenic walks that I did on my time away from work were recommended by my co-workers.

Outside of the office, the friendships that I was able to form with other Ohio State students and students from other universities also interning in Australia really shaped my internship experience. I knew no one on the trip before I went to Australia, so it was very exciting to meet new people and get to share new experiences together. They pushed me out of my comfort zone: to try new foods, to hold a koala, and to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

This internship has given me the opportunity to apply knowledge I have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. It has also provided me with challenges and project experience that cannot be replicated in a classroom setting. This internship has greatly enhanced my problem solving and analytical skills, particularly around data integrity and source of truth. I also had the opportunity to enhance my communication and teamwork skills. I feel that I am returning from this internship with a greater awareness of the importance of the globalization of business in our continuously expanding global economy.

Day 28 (7/10/18)

  • Daily stand up to discuss development on updating the site and providing an admin page
  • Worked on providing data to the admin page
  • Attended a workshop for SPLUNK
  • Attended an all hands IT meeting to discuss quarterly logistics and upcoming projects