TOPS Staff Spotlight: Meet Sheri

Where are you from?

I grew up in Wisconsin. I lived in Washington D.C for graduate school as well as Tucson, AZ for my winter internship for graduate school.

What is your job title with the TOPS program? 

Program Coordinator: Residential Coordinator

 What responsibilities do you have with your job?

  • I work with all students in the program, we meet at least bi weekly with each student, I focus on independent living goals. With the support of Students/Mentors I develop the social calendar and coordinate the community service program for the TOPS program. 
  • As the residential coordinator I work closely with housing/residence hall/student life departments as well as the staff at the University Village Apartment Complex that we have a partnership with. We have had a very exciting year hosting students in our first year being able to live in the residence hall. 

  What do you like best about working with TOPS?

  • The students! I love working with young adults as they navigate the transition to adulthood. 
  • My awesome team of coworkers!
  • The wonderful families that we serve.

 What are some hobbies/interests that you have?

  • I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. 
  • I enjoy hiking, playing games, cooking, going out to eat, and traveling.

 Any interesting facts about yourself.

  •  I am fluent in American Sign Language.
  •  I’m married to my awesome husband of soon to be 27 years, we have one adult son and an Australian Shepherd Stella and a grand pup: Redd (Belgium Malinois)
  • I am a Former Wrestling Coach (yes men’s team)

Sheri with her husband Jani

Sheri with her son Riley

TOPS Summer Skills Workshops

Join us for our 2021 Summer Skills Workshops, sponsored by The Ohio State University Nisonger Center’s TOPS Program. These interactive sessions run from 9:00am to 1:30pm on OSU’s Main Campus.

COST: $60 per workshop; 3 or more for $50 each

See the class descriptions below for more information:

Tuesday, June 22nd: Technology 1 + Thursday, June 24th: Technology 2

In a personalized, two-part session, these classes will address common technology needs and concerns of participating students. Common skills that may be addressed are email, internet navigation and safety, Microsoft programs, smartphone & tablet apps for daily life, and more.

Tuesday, June 29th: Grocery Shopping & Couponing

Students will learn how to prepare for an navigate the ins and outs of grocery shopping – with the session ending in a trip to the grocery store for a fun, interactive scavenger hunt. Students will also learn how to compare prices, determine needs vs. wants, and how to use coupons properly.

Thursday, July 1st: Eating Out on a Budget

Students will learn the proper etiquette of choosing, ordering, and consuming a healthy, budget-friendly meal at a restaurant. Table manners, tipping, and other skills will also be addressed and practiced. This session ends with lunch at a local restaurant to practice what has been learned.

Tuesday, July 6th: Safety and Community Preparedness

Students will learn how to be alert and prepared for staying safe in a community setting, including how to properly respond to possible threats or emergencies. Students will also learn how to safely navigate various transportation options in the community and the basics of self-defense and triage when encountering a potential dangerous situation.

Thursday, July 8th: Travel Training and Navigation

Students will learn how to safely and efficiently navigate using the COTA bus system, including determining the most appropriate route, bus etiquette, and troubleshooting. This session includes supervised time spent on COTA buses to practice navigational skills.

Tuesday, July 13th: Personal Wellness 1 + Thursday, July 15th: Personal Wellness 2

In a personalized, two-part session, these classes will address common wellness needs and concerns of participating students. Common skills that may be addressed are healthy eating and nutrition, developing and maintaining a successful exercise routine, navigating healthy relationships, personal hygiene, and more.

Tuesday, July 20th: Basics of Kitchen Safety

Students will learn the basics of kitchen safety in regards to food preparation, such as knife safety, stove-top cooking, and proper cleaning etiquette. Students will also learn about common foodborne illnesses and how to prevent them.

Thursday, July 22nd: Making Healthy Meals & Snacks

Students will learn how to discover and prepare simple healthy meals and snacks in their home kitchens. Students will learn how to follow basic recipes and how to determine the nutritional value of oven- and stove-less meals and snacks.

For more information, please email

Meet the 2021 TOPS Graduates

Griffin Kondracke- Griffin has received some good experience working as an aide in the gym teachers classroom and assisting with recess duty at St. Mary’s Catholic School. Previously he worked at the Jewish Community Center helping kids with snack time, crafts and supervising free play. He has also had internships at the RPAC, the James Cancer Hospital, H2O Recovery, and the Nisonger Dental Clinic. His favorite internship was working at the RPAC because he got to work with a lot of great kids that were his own age. During his time at OSU, Griffin took classes such as Astrology, Theatre, History, and Health. His favorite class was his theatre class because he enjoyed playing the roles that he was assigned. He also was involved in clubs such as Buckeye Olympics, and volunteered his time at community service organizations such as the food bank and the soup kitchen. Griffin has accepted a job working in Gahanna at a summer camp working with kids! He hopes to be a teacher’s aide for Pre-K children in the future. Griffin would like to thank all the members of the TOPS team as he will miss the staff and the friends that he made very much!

Zach Watts- Zach has had multiple internship experiences at OSU including working at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a PT/OT aide, working at the Early Child Learning program, and working at COSI as an outreach education/animal care specialist and Dino exhibit intern. Zach has been working for a couple of years at the National Veterans Memorial Museum as well. While at OSU, his favorite internship has been working at COSI because he loved interacting with the kids. Zach has taken classes such as American Jewish History, History of WW2, Solar System, and Planet Earth. His favorite class was his American Jewish History class because he liked the professor and loved how intricately she put all of the terms and phrases together from the class. He has been involved in multiple clubs at OSU including the Buckeyes Assemble, Marvel, and Disney Club. He has also been involved in community service events, and loved going to Chicago on a Buck-I-Serv trip to assist at risk kids with homework. He just accepted a paid position as a front desk associate at the National Veterans Memorial Museum! He is experienced in greeting visitors, assisting with tours and providing details about the history of the museum. His main areas of career interest lie in museum education, so this is a great fit for Zach!

LaMont Swift-LaMont has had multiple internship experiences while at OSU including working in the Nisonger Dental Clinic, working at the RPAC, the HRS (Health and Rehabilitation Sciences) building, the Habitat for Humanity Restore, OSU Air Force ROTC store, and Goodwill. He has been working for Goodwill for several years now as a paid employee. He helps in the donation center and is responsible for training new employees. His favorite internship experience was working with the Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) because he had an opportunity to learn how the cadets trained and prepared themselves. They were all very welcoming and took the time to train him as well. LaMont has taken multiple classes including Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Construction Management, Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, Art and Politics of Hip Hop, Construction Safety and Health, and Personal Finance. His favorite class was his Art and Politics of Hip-Hop because he loves music, loves making his own beats, and appreciated learning about the culture and the community building ability of hip-hop. LaMont has also been involved in clubs such as BuckeyeThon, African American Voices Gospel Choir, and Black Student Association. He specifically loved BuckeyeThon because of the dance marathon, and it warmed his heart to be able to raise money for kids with cancer and to see them dancing and having fun at the event. He also loved being able to serve the homeless at the Manna Cafe. LaMont will continue working as a paid employee at Goodwill for the immediate future. His ultimate goal is to work in the construction/construction management field.

Lena Meerman- Lena has several years of experience in sterilization and wants to continue in the field of dental or surgical sterilization after TOPS. Her most recent internship was at the Ohio State East Hospital in the Central Sterile Supply Department where she was responsible for unloading the instrument belt, scanning barcodes and putting away instrument trays based on surgery type, and putting sterilized case cart containers away. She recently interviewed for a position at Grandview Dental Care to perform tasks such as instrument sterilization, room turnover, tray preparation and patient interaction. Lena is a team player and loves working with other people and helping them out. She is currently still looking for work and would love to find a job in the dental or surgical sterilization field!


Griffin Kondracke

Zach Watts

LaMont Swift

Lena Meerman