TOPS Employer Testimonial-OSU Dining Services

At The Ohio State University, we are part of the Office of Student Life, Dining Services and we provide the Meal Plan for our Students who live in Campus Housing, Commute or need a place to eat on campus. Our mission is to support students’ and the university community’s educational experience by consistently delivering authentic service and extraordinary food. Students assist our Culinary team with food preparation and service. TOPS students have also learned how to assist with our convenience store and receiving deliveries, stocking of product and building student guests orders for pick-up.

This school year in 2020-2021, we have hired 6 TOPS students working in Traditions at Scott (3), Traditions at Kennedy (1), Connecting Grounds C-Store (1) and Traditions at Morrill C-Store (1)

We always need an extra set of hands in the busy service industry. They help us with daily food prep, stocking shelves and provide an opportunity for our Managers and Student employees to train and work with a diverse group of people.

Example of a TOPS student going above and beyond in the workplace:

“Matt Paulin is one of our TOPS students and I am always amazed by his great attitude and ability to make other student employees, line cooks, and guests alike laugh and dance together when he likes a song that is playing. It’s not a task that is quite related to work but it definitely keeps the mood positive at the station he is working at!”

 TOPS is a great program that has definitely added value to our team, and it has added resources and support to provide great service and food.

-Annette Misenko, Assistant Director of Operations, Student Life Dining Services

TOPS student Finn Gott bagging cookies at dining hall.

TOPS student Matthew Walsh unwrapping boxes.

TOPS student Matt Paulin serving up sandwiches.

TOPS Social Event: Paint Party Recap (4/13)

This semester TOPS has had a very good partnership with Dr. Walton’s Psych 4571 practicum students. They have worked with TOPS students on activities such as navigating the involvement fair to join organizations or clubs, being a workout buddy, doing 1 on 1 activities such as cooking lessons, planning social events, planning community service events, etc. We want to thank our practicum pair up volunteers for all they have done for the TOPS program this semester!

On Tuesday, practicum students from Dr. Walton’s Psych 4571 class Ellena Yohannes and Grace Stuart volunteered to set up a social event for the TOPS students.  TOPS student Finn Gott joined the event for a stress relieving paint party before the end of the semester.

It was a successful event that produced some good paintings and good conversation!

Finn with one of his paintings!

TOPS University Village (UV) OPEN House

Dear TOPS Families and Students –

University Village (UV) has been a housing partner with the OSU TOPS Program for several years!

Now is your opportunity to see it for yourself! Come join us at the University Village Open House on April 17, 2021 at 1pm.

Please see the attached flyer for the details and information on how to RSVP.

Even if apartment living is not your preference at this time, now is a chance to start exploring it.

I encourage you ALL to join us to learn more about University Village and what they have to offer.

For those of you joining the program, this may be a great opportunity to plan to meet roommates and see apartments.

So we can plan appropriately please RSVP on the Eventbrite link included in the flyer.

Too Far to travel?  Join us Via Zoom!

University Village is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: TOPS Open House!

Time: Apr 17, 2021 01:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 988 4033 5846


A group of TOPS Students with TOPS Mentors Caroline G. and Lindsey O., volunteered last week to put together lunch box kits for community events for Columbus school age students!

Rave reviews from our COSI Contacts: PROUD OF OUR Buckeyes  – WAY TO REPRESESNT!

Quote from one of the supervisors: “They built boxes for the DEA, PNC grant kits for preschools, and  mini kits that are going to community events. They worked really hard and were energized!”

Student Spotlight-Meet John

John is a 1st year student enrolled in the 4 year TOPS program. 

He is really interested in becoming a first responder.

He currently works as an information desk intern at McCampbell Hall where he screens people in, gives them masks, and greets them. His favorite part about his job is that he gets to talk with people from all different backgrounds and brighten their day.

John is part of the first class of TOPS students to live on campus. He really likes living on campus and it has taught him to always be aware of his surroundings and to gain independent living skills.

His favorite class he’s taken so far is Intro to Criminal Justice and he’s enjoyed learning a lot about different histories of court cases and the criminal justice system.

He likes OSU and the TOPS program because it’s a very diverse atmosphere where he gets to meet a wide variety of people. He loves meeting people from different cultures and getting to experience new things

He likes to journal a lot and listen to music (specifically country and broadway) in his free time.

He’s a second generation buckeye and he was born in Kien Giang, Vietnam!

John on the right with fellow first year student and roommate Quinn.

TOPS Social Event: Pixar Trivia Night at Ten Pin Alley in Hilliard, OH

Last Tuesday on March 30th, TOPS students Zach, Timmy, Finn, Griffin, Matthew, and Dylan participated in Pixar Trivia night at Ten Pin Alley. Ten Pin Alley is an entertainment center in Hilliard complete with bowling, laser tag, and arcade games. Mentors Allie and James, and ed coach Jacob attended the event as well. Some of the students also played some arcade games along with participating in trivia.

Zach Watts was one of the TOPS student planners who helped plan the event with mentor Ally Tefft. Some of the students ordered food, and some just came for the trivia. A good time was had by all and the event was definitely a success!

Thank you to students Zach Watts and mentors Ally and James for helping plan the event!

Here are some photos:

TOPS student Dylan with mentor James

Students and mentors having a good time!

TOPS student Griffin winning a prize from the arcade!

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Natalie

Natalie Davis is an alumni of the TOPS program at the Ohio State University, and graduated in 2018.

Since graduating, she has worked at Barks and Rec which is a business in Columbus that provides doggy daycare, boarding, and washing for man’s best friend. Barks and Rec is committed to creating positive social change within the community and providing employment opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Natalie’s job duties consist of playing with the dogs, cleaning up after them, and cleaning/bathing them.

A fun fact about Natalie is that she loves to horseback ride for fun!

TOPS Employer Testimonial-BistrOH!

  • Nutrition Services runs the food service operations at the Wexner Medical Center, both retail food service and patient food service as well as clinical nutrition.
  • We have hired 3 Tops student, 2 of them currently still work for us and we have had numerous interns as well.
  • Food service is historically a business that has always had a labor shortage so having TOPS students successfully fill some positions has been a huge value for Nutrition Services.  There are so many different jobs to do in our large operation which makes it is easy for us to find a fit for many TOPS students.  Also, TOPS students have always fit in very well with our team as the other staff members take pride in mentoring them and growing their skill sets to be successful.
  • Paul Kim first came to us as an unpaid TOPS intern, now he is a full time employee and one of our most consistent and reliable team members.  Paul began his internship cleaning tables and stocking condiments but he quickly felt comfortable doing more things.  Now he works in the kitchen assisting the chefs doing all kinds of kitchen prep work including cooking pizza and hot subs.  Paul’s eagerness to learn more tasks and do more has exceeded our expectations.
  • I would tell other employers that I also was unsure about hiring people with disabilities as I had no experience with it and that is understandable.  However, the TOPS program provides so much support you don’t need to have experience and you don’t need to be unsure.  The TOPS program provides on-site trainers, they help with anything and everything including paperwork, schedules….whatever needs to be done.  Helping people with disabilities succeed, learn new skills, and become independent is very rewarding on a personal level as well as good business.

-Chris Basmagy (Assistant Director, Hospital Nutrition Service)

TOPS student Paul Kim making a pizza

TOPS student Timmy Clary preparing bacon

TOPS Faculty Spotlight-Dr. Kelly George

Currently, I am an Assistant Professor – Professional Practice in the Department of Animal Sciences and Co-Director of the CFAES Center for Human-Animal Interactions Research & Education (CHAIRE). I obtained all of my degrees from OSU and have been working for the university since 2006.

I serve as an instructor to TOPS students interested in my field of work – the human-animal interaction.

I have had several TOPS students over the years, some of the students have taken more than one class with me.

I find that TOPS students are very engaged in the classroom. They often ask the best questions and help others to feel comfortable asking questions.

Professors should not be hesitant to have TOPS students in their classes. The support from your office has been great and I have not experienced any additional workload as a result of having TOPS students in my classroom. I believe this program provides a great service to a great group of students.

-Dr. George

Dr. George with her youngest grandson Ian and a baby Otter