SP2020 Professional Development

On Tuesday, January 21st I attended the French and Italian Research Symposium that took place in Independence Hall. The symposium can fulfill the professional development requirement. The symposium gave opportunities to network with faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and learn about some of the research that has been conducted through the French and Italian department. 

The event was impactful in several ways. Learning about the research was extremely insightful. It showed that there are many ways to participate in research and that not all research must be STEM based. Also, it showed that research can be conducted abroad! 

On an international affairs level, the research symposium focussed on projects abroad. They discussed different research projects that are going on in France and Italy. Overall, the symposium had a very international focus. 

Lastly, attending the research symposium also helped me feel better prepared for my future. The event gave many opportunities for professional development. Some of the faculty and graduate students discussed different ways to participate in research. They gave several ideas on how to get started with research. They listed several methods on how to formulate a plan to conduct research, how to get in contact with faculty who can support your research, etc. The French and Italian department planned an amazing event!

SP2020 Academic

On Sunday, January 26th I attended the OUAB wellness/craft night that took place in the Ohio Union ballroom. This event can be used towards my academic requirement. The event helped me develop in several ways. 

The event was very impactful. The wellness/craft night was a chance to decompress, relax, and become more in-tune with oneself. For example, there was a portion of the night dedicated to making aromatherapy bracelets. Aromatherapy is a powerful tool in because the scents can trigger receptors in the nose and thereby send messages throughout the body and to the nervous system. In fact, scents can scents signals to the part of one’s brain that deals with emotions. As such, aromatherapy has been useful in reducing stress. Some other parts of the event included creating stress balls, zen gardens, eating healthy food, and learning about methods to improve one’s mental wellbeing. 

In relation to international affairs, mental health is a very important and worldwide topic that has had a lot of coverage recently. Mental health, though underrated, affects everyone in one way or another. The wellness/craft night that OUAB hosted aimed to bring awareness towards mental health in a way that supported creativity and the importance of social relationships. Overall, the event helped to reduce my own stress and anxiety and gave insight on how to stay healthy mentally. I was able to develop myself professionally too by talking to the staff, learning about ways to stay mentally healthy, and maintain relationships. 

Profession Development AU19

On Wednesday September 18th, I attended the Fall Career and Internship fair that was hosted by the Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University in the Union. This event can be categorized as professional development. Throughout the fair I was able to meet and talk with several companies such as Eli Lily, Nationwide Children’s, Medpace, and Mercy Health.

There are several ways in which the event was able to impact me. Talking with recruiters at fair gave me an opportunity to experience and prepare for interviews. Speaking the recruiters allowed for me to expand the network of people that I know. Even a simple in-person conversation can have a big impact when going in for an interview later. Having the opportunity to build a relationship with prospective employers should never be underestimated. After all, these people that you speak to may later be the ones who talk highly or badly about what you may bring to the table. Another way that attending the career fair was helpful is that it gave me the opportunity to talk with employers about their company and determining if it is the correct place for me. Having a conversation about a company and asking smart questions is much more helpful than simply researching and applying.

In relation to international affairs, career fairs bring in a multitude of different companies. In particular, companies that have a medical focus will always have an international focus too. This is highly due to the fact that health is becoming extremely global and international healthcare is becoming more and more important.

Overall, attending the career fair helped me develop professionally. I was able to meet and talk with prospective employers, build relations, and determine which fields I am best suited for. Finding a job or internship, which can be attained through attending the career fair, is largely a step towards what life outside of college may be like and I want to take that step.

AU19 Campus Reflection

I attended a mini involvement fair/open house of sorts in the John Glenn Building of Public Affairs on Friday, September 6th. The event should fulfill the campus requirement for international affairs scholars. The event highlighted several student resources, organizations, programmes, and events held on campus that may be academically, professionally, socially, or individually beneficial. By attending this event, I discovered many different opportunities available to students that I had not previously known about.

The event was very impactful. The Open house was a celebration of the College of Public Affairs’ 50th anniversary. One of the sayings that was highlighted throughout the event was “turning dreamers into doers,” which really resonated with me because you can have dreams, but you won’t get anywhere unless you take a step and put action to that dream. That saying made me analyze how much action I actually take into fulfilling my dreams.

I also gained a lot from attending the event. For example, I learned about a program called CSSP, or Columbus Service Support Program. The program exists to help students get more involved in the community. The program helps student organizations with finances so that they can get involved in volunteering in the community. For example, some of the funds they give can be used for transportation, supplies, or background check costs. Overall, it’s a great program to utilize in order to make a difference in the community.

Also, I was able to talk with people form the Student Wellness Center and learned a lot about the different kinds of stress, relief, and enjoyment. For example, spiritual wellness, as per the Student Wellness Center, is seeking harmony and balance by openly exploring human purpose, meaning, and connection through dialogue and self-reflection. I was able to gain a lot of individual insight while speaking to some of the Student Wellness workers.

Overall, the event was extremely enjoyable and, while not coinciding with my academics, I learned about so many different programs that would be able to help me grow and supplement my education.

SP19 Academic Reflection

On Wednesday, March 27th, there was an art exhibition, “DISPLAYced,” held at Trism. Attending this event fulfills an academic requirement. DISPLAYced was a fundraiser art exhibit that featured artwork by refugees and immigrants. The event brings awareness to and celebrated the stories and cultures of refugees and immigrants. All of the proceeds raised from the exhibit went directly to two different local nonprofit organizations: Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) and Us Together. From attending the exhibit, I learned a lot about the fight that refugees and immigrants face along with their culture that they cannot leave behind.

The exhibit featured several artists, three of which included Bol Aweng, Said Tameem, and Denis Kasaza. Bol Aweng fled from Southern Sudan in 1987 and developed/began the beginning of his work in art while living in a refugee camp. He used his memory, imagination, and the material available to tell the story of the Lost Boys. This story later became “The Journey of Hope” which described the obstacles that he and the other boys that fled have faced and what they learned. Later on, he graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Fine Arts. Currently he has been working to raise money and funds for a clinic that he, along with others, built in Piol village, Sudan.

Said Tameem, Denis Kasaza, Bol Aweng’s and many others’ story are amazing and inspirational. I gained a lot from attending the exhibit. Not only was I able to support the refugee and immigrant community in Columbus, but I learned to be more grateful for what I have. . In fact, I am a mentor for the Community Refugee and Immigration Services organization. Being a part of the organization and spending time with my mentee has taught me a lot as well. Part of the reason I attended the exhibit was to support CRIS, however I learned a lot from it too. In CRIS, as a mentor, I have a mentee named Pabina. She is as sweet and kind as she is an inspiration and amazing. Much like the artists whose work were displayed at the exhibit, she has faced many hardships. She is still learning English and has a hard time connecting with people, but she never gives up. People like Pabina, Bol Aweng, Said Tameem, and Denis Kasaza are the epitome of hardworking. From the exhibit, I also realized that all experiences, good or bad, can teach one something.

Although the event did not particular correlate with much of my schooling, it did appeal to my interest. Being a first-generation college student myself, I really care about people’s stories. IN fact, my parents fled from their home country, Cambodia to get away from the horrific Khmer Rouge, a genocide. Also, I’ve yet to take any classes pertaining to such, but I am minoring in Humanitarian Engineering, which focuses on engineering to help people and communities in many areas that refugees and immigrants may come from.

Finally, per the connection to International Affairs, the exhibit supported the refugee and immigrant community in Columbus, which has a huge global focus. Also, CRIS focusses on integrating refugees and immigrants more into the community. The exhibit, which supports organizations like CRIS, is really advocation for a better international focus.

SP19 Service Reflection

The Central Ohio Chapter for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) recently held a premier event NOSH gala that celebrated achievements within Cystic Fibrosis Research and brought together people who have been affected by or are passionate about helping CFF. The event was held on February 16th, which I attended. Attending this event and helping out would fulfill an international affairs service requirement.

As background, Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects every single organ in one’s body. It makes breathing extremely difficult and even painful for its victims. Often times, people who live with cystic fibrosis live with the risk of catching life-threatening lung infections. These fighters live their lives continuously being aware of any and all ways they could get sick. Those with CFF can’t be closer than six feet from others with CFF. Their food must be prepared in a specific way. Cystic fibrosis is a disease that squirms its way into every facet of one’s life and only give people an average of forty years to live.

By attending and volunteering at the NOSH gala I was able to give back to the CFF community and help make a difference for people fighting Cystic Fibrosis every day. Also, other than helping out the CFF community with my volunteering and gaining a better sense of appreciation for what I have, I also learned a lot from the event. One of the headliner speakers at the gala was Dr. Mitchell Drumm from the Department of Pediatrics and of Genetics and Genome Sciences at Case Western Reserve. Dr. Drumm was part of the team that is accredited for discovering the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. Since the discover, current medicines and treatments have changed and helped cystic fibrosis fighters’ lives. Listening to Drumm talk was a very humbling experience and I learned of a portion of what people who live with CFF face. It also made me realize that I often take simple things, like breathing, for granted. Being able to take a deep breath after struggling, would make anyone feel at peace. Speaking of this experience, I was also able to listen to a CFF patient’s story. For a long time, he’s struggled with CFF, but with new treatments he was able to finally breath fully. At that moment, he said that he broke crying and called his parents. Perhaps at this moment, I felt really glad to have been able to help and volunteer at a great event.

Overall, the gala was a truly inspiring event. I was able to learn so much being at the event. By interacting with the guest, who have done so much to help the foundation of may have been relatives or friends with CF fighters, I was able to see into what their lives may be. I gained a better appreciation for my own life and know do my best to not take things for granted. I have also realized how much of a family the cystic fibrosis community is. CF is a rare disease and its community is just as small. However, the community that supports CF fighters is just as strong and passionate as any other. Altogether, I am glad I attended as was able to volunteer and such an amazing event.

SP19 Non-IA reflection

The Institute for Chinese Studies (ICS) has been and will continue to conduct a series of lectures throughout the Spring 2019 term. Recently, on January 25, 2019, the ICS held a lecture, which was present by Qinghua Sun, “Air pollution on human health: A global challenge and the advancement of China.” Attending this lecture would fulfill a Non-IA requirement and, from listening to Sun talk, I realized that there is a lot I don’t know about the ailments that people are facing. Many people, I included, take simple things like decent air quality for granted. Sun’s lecture gave a brief look into the lives of people whom of which one of their worst enemies is the air itself.

The lecture discussed how particulate matter (PM 2.5) has become a significant and rising risk to several major diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In areas where air pollution has high levels, there can be major detriments to human health. In fact, Sun talked about hair PM 2.5 air pollution exposer can even affect and contribute to type II diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, hepatic diseases, etc. Being Microbiology Major on a pre-med track, I found all of the information to be extremely interesting. And Qinghua Sun, who is a professor and assistant dean for Global Public Health in the College of Medicine, seems to have done great work in analyzing and stabilizing air quality and control.

Personally, I gained a lot from going to the lecture. At the beginning of the year, my major was biomedical engineering on a pre-med track. I had chosen this field because I was still unsure of what I wanted to do: engineering or medicine. Just recently, I decided to switch my major to microbiology as I became more interested in medicine. Going to the lecture really reinforced my interest in medicine and in health. Also, not only did the lecture help to reinforce my passion in medicine, it also played to my interests in international affairs. The topic involved a discussion on different counties and how air pollution in one area can affect many areas around it. It discussed relations between countries and talked about the lives of people in different areas. Air pollution and particulate matter is a global problem. Yes, there are areas that are more so affected than others, but all should take an interest in global issues.

Although the event did not necessarily relate to much else I have learned in other coursework, I hope that, as I get further along within my major and start taking more medical focused classes, I can learn more about similar issues that can affect human health. Nonetheless, the event was very intriguing. Before hearing about the event in the IA weekly newsletter I did not know lectures such as this were held on campus and free for students. Looking at the list of other lectures within the ICS Spring lecture series, I would love to attend more. In fact, later this month, the Institute for Korean Studies (IKS) is holding a lecture, present by Han Chae, called, “A General introduction to Traditional Korean Medicine,” which seems interesting. All in all, the event was very interesting and I would attend more.

Non IA reflection

Non-IA Reflection

I attended an Environmental Film Series screening of “A River Below” on Monday, November 19th, which fulfills a Non-IA requirement. This screening was shown, on campus, in the CBEC building. The documentary was about the endangerment of the pink Amazon dolphins. Watching “A River Below” I realized that there is so much that I am uninformed about, and that people are out there constantly trying to make a difference.

Going into more detail, the film centered around two main characters. One man, Fernando Trujillo, played an important role within the documentary. Fernando is a Columbian scientist that has spent most of his life protecting dolphins and trying to make the government aware of the dangerously high mercury levels within piracatinga, a fish that was commonly sold. Once this information does get out to the public, however, Fernando began to receive threats from those who were catching and selling the piracatinga. He then mentioned something akin to that when biologists are afraid to tell the truth, there is something wrong with the world.

The other important character was Richard Rasmussen, a host of a very popular nature show in Brazil. Richard helped to show the horrific treatment of pink Amazonian dolphins to the world. The video that got out was of several men capturing, killing, and using dolphins as bait to catch the piracatinga fish. In the video, a pregnant dolphin was butchered and used as bait to catch fish. This discovery and the world’s reaction to it eventually led to a ban on piracatinga fishing.

Although two men helped to put a. ban on the fishing practice, there were several arguments over whether or not the video was accurate. Many wondered how the video was obtained and if it was legal or not. Also, the men in the video, whom of which were asked by Richard to go and “do what you [they] normally did” began to bear a hatred to the TV show host. They claimed that Richard essentially ruined their life, their standing, and the economy of their community.

All in all, the video made me realize that although some actions are taken for the greater good, there will be consequences. The men in the video made a living by catching that fish, and with the release of the video their community suffered the price. People are responsible for their actions. From now on, I will consider all the outcomes thoroughly before rushing head on into something. With this being said, I also believe that sticking to one’s beliefs and fighting for them is important as well. What is probably one of the hardest things is maintaining the balance between fighting for beliefs and causing others to suffer. In the end, people should look out for people. Richard, who seemingly paid off the people to attain a video, did a bad thing for a good cause. Also, as a side note, watching this documentary made me truly glad and proud to be vegetarian, seeing as there were some very gory scenes.

Moving on, the relation between this film and IA is that the documentary inspires people have a better understanding of what else is occurring in the world. In the end, I think this idea is very important. The film was really interesting and I am glad to have seen it.

Academic Reflection

I attended the IA mini-involvement fair that was organized by the IA chair Sam Harris and the IA Co-Chair Kelsie Parker on October 25th. This event showcased several different student organizations. Each student organization set up a booth that students, who were perusing the mini-involvement fair, could stop at and get to know more about a specific organization. The student organizations that stood out to me were Doctors Without Borders, Global Health Initiative, and Advocates for Women Of the World.

To begin, I aspire to be a Biomedical Engineering Pre-Med major here at The Ohio State University. As such, I have always been intrigued with the medical world. For this reason, the Doctors Without Borders organization was the first booth that I visited. The Doctors Without Borders at The Ohio State university is an undergraduate chapter within the International Doctors Without Borders organization.  I learned that this chapter aims to spread awareness about the different issues that developing and war-torn counties face as well as about what the international Doctors Without Borders organization does. The chapter also fundraises to further support the international Doctors Without Borders organization. And lastly, the chapter volunteers locally. This particular organization aligns itself with some of my coursework because I am pre-med and the organization focusses on several medical aspects.

The other organization booths that I visited were for Global Health Initiative and Advocates for Women Of the World. Global Health Initiative is an organization that focusses on spreading awareness and education about the different ailments and health issues faced by people. One thing that I learned was that the Global Health Initiative organization has an education outreach committee that organizes workshops that aim to raise awareness on topics like HIV/AIDS, women’s health, water quality, access to healthcare, and many other topics. A really interesting part of this organization is that they are partnered with the Peacework International, and, through the partnership, have travelled internationally to places like Guatemala, Haiti, and Peru to volunteer. Once again, this organization would align with my coursework due to its medical focus.

Moving on to the third booth I visited, Advocates for Women Of the World, I learned that this organization advocates for international women’s rights. They do this through action-based advocacy. The main focusses of this organization are on sexual assault awareness, girls’ education,  economic empowerment, and women’s health.

All in all, I gained a lot from the IA mini-involvement fair. The event helped me learn about several extremely interesting student organizations, some of which I am considering attending a meeting for. The event also made me realize that there are many amazing organizations on campus and that getting involved can be rewarding. I realized that getting involved is rewarding in both an academic and personal sense. Through many clubs, such as the ones mentioned above, academically, one’s awareness and education can be enhanced and, personally, one’s sense of fulfillment and desire to do good can be attained.

The IA mini-involvement fair was also a source for me to learn about different organizations that bring along with it an international affairs mindset. For example, the Doctors Without Borders educations members about the international program in which the organization is based off. The international Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is an international non-profit organization that provides emergency medical services to countries in need. In fact, MSF operations in over sixty-five countries.

Attending this event has been an academically rewarding experience. I enjoyed learning about the different organizations and feel more educated about how I can enhance my experience here at The Ohio State University. There is an involvement fair at the beginning of the school year, which showcases over seven-hundred student organizations, university departments, and non-profits. In comparison to that event, the IA mini-involvement fair felt more personalized and I was able to learn more about specific organizations. So, attending the IA mini-involvement fair was really helpful.

Service Reflection

Community Commitment day is a day where students and faculty alike gather to participate in a day of service. It is one of the largest community service events held on a college campus. Being able to participate has been extremely beneficial in many ways. The Community Commitment Day was held on August, 25th, 2018 and the group that I was in went to Goodwill.

I never imagined that going to Goodwill and doing tasks such as pricing items, disassembling shoe racks, organizing clothes, and unpacking boxes could affect a workplace so much. However, the woman that oversaw the location was so happy that volunteers were there to help her. I realized that even small tasks, like taking shoes off a rack and putting them away, could make a huge difference in a work place. Also, the manager had so much passion in what she was doing, which was infectious. She told us about Goodwill’s mission, which is essentially to help families and individuals by strengthening the community, providing opportunities, and helping people reach their full potential through learning and work. Goodwill is committed to inclusion and diversity.

Something that surprised me was the fact that the items found in Goodwill stores are not all donated from local people. Some of their products come from other stores that have want to give away other products. I never knew that some of the items sold at Goodwill are of new condition.

Looking at the experience in relation to international affairs, Goodwill is committed to inclusion and diversity. The company itself promotes the inclusion of many different people. The company prides itself in their mission to meet the needs of all job seekers. In fact, Goodwill has helped people train for careers in industries like banking, health career, etc. They get people the support they need, like English language training, education, etc. After realizing that Goodwill did this, my perspective on the company changed drastically and I began to truly appreciate Goodwill, not only for the fact that the sell donated items, but because their mission is overwhelmingly empowering.

I gained so much from going to Goodwill and helping the workers. To name one, I could enhance my teamwork through community service. Recently, in my engineering class, there was a discussion on teamwork and social intelligence. From this discussion, I gathered that participating in volunteer events can enhance ones’ teamwork and social intelligence. The reasoning behind this is that volunteer work strengthens community. Teamwork is a civic strength in that it requires a healthy community life to promote successful interaction and belongingness.

I also gained a lot in a personal sense from the experience. I felt satisfied afterwards. The feeling of giving back to a community is one that cannot be undermined. I could feel connected to the community. Also, the passion that the workers exuded, from the way they would sing in the backroom to how they cheered for us when we walked in, brought about a sense of community and connectedness. The act of helping itself also energized myself. Community Commitment Day is towards the beginning of the semester, so it helped to energize and renew myself for and from school. Participating in Community Commitment Day was a great experience.