Step Reflection

STEP Reflection

Name: Jarid Jones

Type of Project: Research


  1. For my STEP project, I was involved in the sampling and data input for a research project in Dr. Ann Griffen’s lab. The study involved learning more about the oral microbiome and how it develops in our early development. I collaborated with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Dental School.


  1. What I learned about myself is that I am truly able to accomplish anything if I really put my mind to it. In the past, I had worked hard in many different areas in my life including academics, sports, and different groups, however, this summer, I continued to push myself in these areas and others. I tested my limits and improved myself in the areas I felt I was lacking, such as health and integrated learning through research.

Also, since coming to The Ohio State University, I have become more aware of the importance of diversity. This experience was a big contributor to that. I was exposed to new people and different lifestyles. I was also given the opportunity to continue to meet new people who have similar interests as me such as dentistry. This further developed my interest in dentistry.


  1. This research through both The Ohio State University Dental School and Nationwide Children’s Hospital gave me the opportunity to dive into a new world of research and learning. I was able to be engrossed in a community of researchers and research assistants who were more than willing to share their expertise and knowledge with me. This helped me develop my integrated learning skills. Also, I was able to experience living off-campus for the first time, which included learning to cook and balancing my life to live and eat healthy.


Interacting with people from a different living area of Columbus is what led to a change and growth in my diversity. Though this research project, I was able to work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital which offered a very diverse environment and allowed me to talk to and interact with people I normally would not have had the chance to interact with. It was a very different area for me and definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone. However, I am so happy that I was given the chance to do it, as I have become a better person because of it.


Finally, getting the chance to interact with current dental students, future dental students, and professors at the dental school was absolutely amazing. It was very beneficial to hear all of their different opinions on dentistry and be able to have all of my questions answered. Not only that, but it was great to have the opportunity to hear different views on questions such as, “Which dental school should I attend?” I was able to meet some amazing people who I am sure that I will stay in contact with for many years.



  1. The change in developing my integrated learning skills, balancing my life, becoming more exposed to diversity, and connecting with faculty, researchers, and students in the profession of dentistry all benefit me by working towards my professional goal of becoming a dentist. Each and every one of these pieces that I have gained from my STEP experience I will use and am already now using to achieve my future goal of going to dental school and becoming a dentist. All of these things help me to balance my life or enhance my education, both of which will help me both get into dental school and do well in dental school. These experiences will also help me to get the most out of the rest of my college experience, which I find very beneficial.

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