5 things I wish I had known in my first few weeks on campus

It’s okay to ask for directions

I remember walking around completely lost my first week of college desperately trying to find my class. Despite having the Ohio State mobile app on my phone, I still could not seem to find my class. As I walked around campus and saw students who clearly were upperclassmen, I refused to ask for help. I remember thinking, “if I ask for help, they’ll know I’m a freshman!” However, as I look back and laugh at my freshman self, I realize how silly that was of me. Sure, if I had asked for directions they would have known I was a freshman…but who cares? On a campus of 60,000 students, the likelihood of me ever seeing that upperclassman again was slim to none. Even if I did see them again they probably wouldn’t even remember me. All I know is asking another student for directions would have been a lot less embarrassing than walking into class late.

Directions

The best way to learn the CABS system is to ride it!

If you are anything like me, you were probably handed what feels like five different versions of the CABS (Campus Area Bus Service) map at Orientation and during Welcome Week. I remember looking at these maps trying to figure out what all the different colors on the map meant and which bus went which direction…only to end up more confused. No matter how much time I spent looking at the maps, what I realized is the easiest way to learn the bus system is to just ride it! When I finished class for the day I would use the OSU Bus app to try and figure out how to get back to my residence hall via bus. After just a few trips actually on the bus, I felt way more comfortable with the system. Try it out now because you will appreciate knowing the bus routes when the snow starts to fall and the buses become crowded!

CABS bus

Always carry an umbrella

Since I grew up in California where the sun was shining almost 365 days a year, I didn’t believe anyone when they told me the weather in Columbus could change drastically in a matter of minutes. I remember my mom telling me before she left, “no matter how sunny it is when you leave for class, put your umbrella in your backpack.” As a typical teenager, I didn’t listen to my mom and I still remember my very first day of college leaving for class in my shorts and a tanktop and by the end of day looking like a drowned rat because of the afternoon storm that rolled in. Don’t learn the hard way: buy a small umbrella and just throw it in the bottom of your backpack!

OSU UmbrellaYou don’t have to be best friends with your roommate!

I still remember going to practically every Welcome Week event with my roommate. While this was great and made us both feel comfortable, when classes started and we started to make other friends I was kind of bummed that the girl who I had known for a week and seemed like she was my new best friend for life may not be. While we may not have been best friends, we were phenomenal roommates. There is a major difference between a best friend and a roommate. While yes, some people are best friends with their roommates (which is awesome!), if you’re not, that’s totally okay and normal! You don’t have to force yourself to be best friends! Just remember, there are tons of other places to meet your new best friend- try a student organization, on your floor, or in class!

Don’t be on your phone during class.

I remember looking around in my first college class and seeing older students scrolling through various social media on their phone. I, too, pulled out my phone as I tried to fit in during my next few weeks. However, one day in my Stats class, I accidentally held the home button and sure enough Siri began to talk to me. Let me just tell you how awkward it is when a professor asks a question and is waiting for students to respond and Siri says, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.” While I may have had to learn the hard way my first year, learn from me! If that’s not enough reason for you to put your phone away, just think about how much money you are spending to be in each one of those classes. Believe it or not, professors have a LOT of valuable information to teach you and you will learn a lot more if you are actually paying attention.

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Orientation: Past, present and future

We’re just two short weeks away from the first day of orientation for new freshmen beginning their first year at Ohio State this fall. Let’s see where we’ve been and where we’re going with orientation programs.

The history of orientation programs dates back to the early days of higher education in the United States. Harvard College, founded in 1636, was the first institution to implement a system by which experienced students helped new students in their transition to campus. Along with a personal support system, new students were introduced to certain “rites of passage”, which would likely be considered hazing today.

Toward the end of the 19th century, Harvard maintained faculty contact with students by assigning faculty members administrative responsibilities outside the classroom; one of these responsibilities was the orientation of new students. It wasn’t long before other colleges across the country became invested in the concerns specific to freshman students.

Today’s orientation programs have evolved from merely providing individualized faculty attention to focusing on myriad issues while responding to the needs of an increasingly diverse student and family population.

Orientation at Ohio State

In 1926, Ohio State enrollment had already reach 10,000 students, more than 25 percent of whom were freshmen. Freshman Week – later known as Welcome Week – started in 1927 under the leadership of President Rightmire as a way to help acquaint students with campus, to engage students in fellowship with one another, and to improve student retention. By 1947, orientation was a formalized university program.

Two-day orientation programs began at Ohio State in 1961; our schedule in 2015 is a modern version of what existed 54 years ago, including small group activities, advising and course registration, placement testing, and student identification photos. Staffs of upperclass peer leaders have varied in size – ranging from 11 to 34 undergraduate students – and represent the diverse interests and backgrounds of the university student body.

This year’s class of new students will meet their FYE Peer Leader at orientation, and these Peer Leaders will continue to engage in outreach and relationship development throughout the new students’ entire first year at Ohio State.

We look forward to welcoming our new students to Ohio State this summer!

Freshman orientation, September 1953 (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

Freshman orientation, September 1953 (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

 

Time and change will surely show

Exploring spring commencement of years past.

JUNE 6, 2010

Speaker: David Gergen (read his commencement address)

In the headlines: Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama resigns after 10 months in office.

The buzz around campus: The new Ohio Union opens in March with great fanfare and festivity.

On the radio: OMG by Usher featuring will.i.am.

In theaters: Toy Story 3

TV premieres: Glee, Pretty Little Liars

JUNE 12, 2005

Speaker: William H. Hall (read his commencement address)

In the headlines: Pope John Paul II dies at age 84.

The buzz around campus: The South Campus Gateway is set to open in autumn 2005.

On the radio: We Belong Together by Mariah Carey.

In theaters: Batman Begins

TV premieres: The Office, Grey’s Anatomy

JUNE 9, 2000

Speaker: J.C. Watts (read his commencement address)

In the headlines: North Korea and South Korea begin conversations that ultimately lead to a peace accord.

The buzz around campus: The Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute opens its doors.

On the radio: Maria Maria by Santana featuring The Product G&B

In theaters: Gone in Sixty Seconds

TV premieres: Malcolm in the Middle, Survivor

JUNE 9, 1995

Speaker: Shimon Peres (read his commencement address)

In the headlines: Death toll reaches 2,000 in Rwanda massacre.

The buzz around campus: Ohio State celebrates its 125th anniversary.

Birthday Cake on The Oval

On the radio: Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman by Bryan Adams

In theaters: Pocahontas

TV premieres: Singled Out, Road Rules

JUNE 8, 1990

Speaker: Edward H. Jennings (read his commencement address)

In the headlines: South Africa frees Nelson Mandela after more than 27 years in prison.

The buzz on campus: New university president E. Gordon Gee takes office (for the first time).

On the radio: Hold On by Wilson Phillips

In theaters: Dick Tracy

TV premieres: Twin Peaks, In Living Color

 

What Does Undergraduate Dean Wayne Carlson Do?

 

I’ve heard the following many times over the six years I’ve been in my current position at Ohio State University: “So, I get what my Department Chair does… he or she coordinates the activities in the department, assigns faculty and teaching staff to classes that are taught each semester, evaluates the performance of the faculty and staff, and oversees the budget of the department.

“And I get what the Dean of the College does… he or she sets the strategic short and long term goals for the college, supervises and oversees department chairs, does fundraising for the college, coordinates outreach and communications related to the college, and generally makes sure that the academic mission of the college is achieved.

“But what do you, as the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduates, do?”

I have two titles: Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Undergraduate Education. I report to the provost, who, as the chief academic officer of the university, is in charge of all educational affairs and activities, including research and academics. As one of the vice provosts in his office, my job is to coordinate all of the academic-focused units that report to me. These include the Military and Veterans Services Office and the ROTC, the Student Athlete Support Services, the Undergraduate Research Office, Honors and Scholars, including the Collegium and the Undergraduate Fellowship Office, the Service-Learning Initiative, and University Exploration, our office for undecided and re-deciding student advising.

This “business, or Vice Provost” side of my job also has me collaborating with external constituents, such as the Board of Regents and industry and community organizations interested in undergraduate education, as well as with internal groups, such as Student Life, Enrollment Services, and First Year Experience. I also coordinate the academic part of the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program, working closely with Student Life.

The “academic, or Dean” part of my job is more focused on the academic programming components associated with undergraduate education. This includes working with colleges on General Education expectations and curriculum, and with evaluating and assessing the learning outcomes that are necessarily part of this important curriculum.

I am responsible for overseeing and implementing policies related to undergraduate academic programming, working with colleges to propose and implement policies of the faculty with respect to the development of programming for challenging academic experiences, and working with colleges on curricula and requirements for baccalaureate programs and new and useful undergraduate programs.

One of the most important parts of the “Dean” job is to coordinate advising across the university. Academic advising, like many other functions at the university, is distributed throughout the colleges. For example, the College of Engineering employs its own advising staff, and they focus on the courses and curriculum required in each of its departments.

Arts and Sciences (ASC) has its own advising staff for its departments, and they are also very knowledgeable about courses and curriculum in the general education, most of which is in ASC. The same is true for every other college. But there are policies and processes related to advising that cross boundaries of the colleges… that’s where my office comes into play.

My office coordinates those advising activities related to university-wide interpretation. We also coordinate advisor training and develop technology tools used by the individual advising offices.

This year we are embarking on an effort to review and improve academic advising across the campus, and even across all of our regional campuses. We are conducting surveys and running focus groups of students, advisors, college reps, and the overall undergraduate community to determine where we are and what are the needs related to increasing the quality and efficiency of advising.

Our goals are fairly well defined, and will benefit students from the time they arrive at OSU:

  1. We will develop opportunities for better student-advisor engagement
  2. We will provide professional development for advisors
  3. We will define and assessing learning outcomes for advisors
  4. We will improve advising-related information availability and access
  5. We will look for opportunities for enhancing advisor collaboration

To get there we will need to

  1. Identify obstacles to these goals
  2. Build assessment criteria and processes
  3. Expand web and system services
  4. Enhance training for advisors
  5. Enhance communication to all of the campus, including to students, faculty, and administrators

These efforts are all part of what we call the “Quality Initiative,” which is a required part of the accreditation of the university by the Higher Learning Commission. But they are also an essential part of our long-term desire to meet the needs of our students, and to provide the kind of support that will help to achieve student success. All of our students, both continuing and incoming, will benefit immensely from this QI effort.

Interview with a First-Year Transfer Student

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Eric (above) is a first-year transfer student majoring in finance in the Fisher College of Business. He transferred from Passaic County Community College in Wayne, NJ.

What attracted you to Ohio State, and what made you decide to apply?

I was always aware of the great reputation Ohio State had regarding academics and athletics. Coming from a small community college in New Jersey, I decided I wanted to change my life in a dramatic way. The size of Ohio State intrigued me because I was searching for a school that could provide me with ample social, academic, and professional opportunities. When I took a campus tour, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. My gut feeling actually played a major role in my decision to apply. I felt I had to be here.

What are Ohio State’s best qualities and drawbacks?

The campus is beautiful. The interaction between professors and students is phenomenal, especially if you are willing to go to office hours and meet with your professors one-on-one. The food is excellent compared to other schools, both on and off campus. Student life is awesome if you are willing to sometimes step outside your comfort zone and get involved. There is so much to get involved in including intramural sports, clubs and Greek life.

The only downside for me was getting used to the sheer size of the campus and the amount of students here. It definitely took me a few weeks to learn how to navigate my way around campus without getting lost. Sometimes it feels hard to stand out among all the other students here, but I advise all first-year students to get involved with different student organizations and clubs so that they find their niche.

You are in a fraternity. How has that affected your college experience?

Being in a fraternity has made a strong social impact in my life. I definitely have a special bond with the members who joined at the same time as myself. My fraternity interacts with the community through our work with charities and we are heavily involved with intramural sports. But I wouldn’t say joining Greek life is completely necessary to enhance your social life. As long as you get involved through clubs and student organizations then you will meet a ton of unique individuals and make strong bonds.

How has your experience at Ohio State been different from  your previous institution?

Ohio State is totally different from my previous institution because I feel that I am truly on my own here. I cannot stress enough the idea of learning independence. You discover so much about yourself. At Ohio State you need to motivate yourself because there is no one to make you do your schoolwork, set your schedule, or get to class on time. I have gained a better sense of self and often find myself maturing because I simply have to in order to succeed. There are lots of academic resources available to students but it’s up to the student to take the initiative and utilize these resources.

Tell me more about the professors.

Most of the professors that I’ve had thus far have been brilliant. Most have been published many times. Since I am majoring in business, I am aware that the professors have various certificates including CPA (Certified Public Accountant), CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) MBA (Masters in Business Administration), and PhDs. The professors have had careers in business before teaching here. They are always trying to help you and I feel that they truly care about students.

Any advice for incoming/current first-year students?

Get involved! I cannot stress that enough. Get involved early and often. It is never too late to meet people through clubs and student organizations. You just need to make the effort to do so. There’s nothing worse than feeling alone on this relatively large campus. So take a step outside of your comfort zone and realize that you have the ability to determine your social and academic outcomes here at Ohio State.

Reflections of A First Year Out-Of-State Student

Where are you from?

Long Island, New York

What is your major?

Speech and Hearing Science

Why did you choose to come to Ohio State?

I chose to come Kiley Nolan Pictureto Ohio State because after looking at 19 schools, I knew I wanted to go to a large university where everyone was able to be themselves. I really loved the athletic atmosphere and traditions. I felt like I was very welcomed here.

What has been the best part about coming to Ohio State?

The best part about coming to Ohio State has been getting to learn so many different things from so many different people, faculty and experiences. I have learned so much outside of my realm of knowledge, my major, my prior experiences and places I have been.

What’s been your funniest moment as an out-of-state student?

The first week of school we were trying to order a pizza and I kept asking if we were going to order a pie. My friends looked at me and kept telling me they were ordering a “large.” I kept asking if we were getting a “pie,” and then someone said, “We’re not going to a bakery Kiley, we’re getting pizza!” At that moment I realized they don’t call “large pizzas” a “pie” here. I still to this day do not understand why these crazy Ohioans don’t call it a pie. All I know is I’m not in New York anymore!

Kiley Nolan Picture 2

What has been the most surprising part about coming to Ohio State?

The most surprising part about coming to Ohio State has definitely been that you are MUCH more than just a number. Coming to a large school, I was kind of excited to be just a number because I came from such a small high school. However, now that I am here I realize that I am WAY more than just a number. I can walk anywhere on campus and know at least one person.

What’s the best piece of advice you were given coming into college?

I was given two really good pieces of advice:

1. Make every day an adventure

2. Sleep is for when you are dead.

Both of those have held true this past year!

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of your college experience?

So much! I’m excited to have the opportunity to leave my mark on the university. I have seen how the people above me have accomplished so much in the Ohio State community and I would love to be able to do the same by the time I graduate.

If you could give one piece of advice to other out-of-state students what would it be?

I would tell them to say “YES!” Say yes to things people who live in Ohio tell you to do, to taking a random class, to having lunch with a family member, to going to a new state. Just say “Yes!”

Kiley Nolan 3

 

5 ways Ohio State is changing this fall

Ohio State will look and feel a bit different when you return to campus in August.

Classes start on Tuesday

For years, the first day of autumn classes has always been Wednesday, but the autumn 2015 semester will begin on Tuesday, August 25 in order to accommodate a new calendar that now includes an autumn break (see below). Many Welcome Week events–like the Student Involvement Fair and the President’s Convocation–will still occur in the days before classes begin, but you will likely see other Welcome Week events moved to different days to accommodate the earlier start date. Check the Welcome Week website later this summer for an up-to-date listing of 2015 events and opportunities.

Autumn break

Students and faculty will have two days off from classes–October 15-16–giving many the opportunity for a long weekend in the middle of the semester. In addition to starting classes one day earlier, the term will also extend one day later in order to accommodate this mid-semester break. Classes will end on Wednesday, December 7 and final exams will begin on Friday, December 9. The university’s academic calendar includes future autumn break dates through autumn 2019.

North residential district transformation

Four new residence halls on North Campus–Scott House, Torres House, Bowen House, and Raney House–are expected to open this fall, accommodating nearly 1,800 additional students living on campus. Two new dining facilities will serve students on North Campus: Traditions at Scott and Curl Market. Additional facilities are expected to open by autumn 2016 in order to accommodate both first- and second-year students with the university’s new 2-year on-campus living requirement. Follow the progress and get updates at the what’s growing on? website.

Dining plans

Beginning this summer, new plans offered through University Dining Services allow students to choose the option that best fits their lifestyle, eating habits and personal needs. Most plans include a combination of weekly traditional visits, $5 exchange (which allows students to exchange a traditional visit for a $5 purchase at any non-traditional dining location, or for a “Market Meal Exchange” at Ohio Union Market, Marketplace and Curl Market), Dining Dollars (similar to BuckID cash, but used only in dining facilities at a 10% discount; rolls over until graduation), and Buck ID cash.

Bike sharing

Ohio State is partnering with Zagster to bring a bike-sharing system to the Columbus campus, enabling students to navigate campus and surrounding neighborhoods via a one hour checkout on weekdays and three hours on weekends. This initiative fulfills a request by Undergraduate Student Government to have a bike-sharing program in place by fall. Zagster currently operates programs at Yale University, Princeton University, Santa Clara University and California State University, East Bay.

We are excited about these great changes taking place, and we hope you are, too–it’s a great time to be a Buckeye!

Columbus: The place to be in the summer

We are so close to summer I can almost taste the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and hear the crack of a bat at a Columbus Clippers game. Whether you find yourself in Columbus for the summer or just here for the end of the school year, there are countless opportunities to quench your boredom and explore the city. Here are some of my favorites:

The Short North:

For those of you who have not visited the Short North on High Street south of campus, I implore you to pull out your BuckID, hop on a COTA bus, and get on down there. Some of my favorite memories at Ohio State have been on the first Saturday of every month when all the art galleries and stores in the area open up their doors for Gallery Hop.

A store called Flower Child is my personal favorite in the Short North. Often described as an up-scale thrift shop, Flower Child has an outfit for any occasion and it has the best vintage selection around. Paired with a scoop of Columbus’s very own Jeni’s ice cream, your Saturday night just got a whole lot cooler.

Free Concerts:

The best part about staying in Columbus over the summer is the weekly concert on the Columbus Commons, which puts a local band on the big stage. Food trucks, including Mikey’s Late Night Slice, and Jeni’s all show up for the concert each Wednesday from 7-11 p.m. Frisbees, blankets, and a date are encouraged.

There are also free fitness classes offered at the Columbus Commons!

Easton:

Easton is the shopping mall where boredom goes to die. There are stores for every kind of shopper, from Nordstrom to See’s Candy and Jeni’s Ice Cream (it’s everywhere…). There are plenty of restaurants around and a movie theater.

Food:

I love to eat, and Columbus is known as the test market of the United States. If you love food as much of me, you will try Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace downtown and Hot Chicken Takeover in the North Market, which are two of the city’s pride and joys. Or if you are looking for a more upscale restaurant, be sure to check out one of Cameron Mitchell’s restaurants.

Zoo:

I have always loved sea turtles, and to get my fill I have always gone to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which was ranked the best zoo in the nation in 2009. Although this will require a car, the zoo is definitely worth the trip. With 10,000 animals all in one place you are sure to see your favorite and discover new animals. Like this one:

The Franklin Park Conservatory is also a great place to get your butterfly fix!

 

From the Blue Jackets to German Village there is always something new in the 614. Don’t like any of my ideas? Find your own hidden gems in the area and let me know what I have to try!

Interview with Dean Manderscheid of Arts and Sciences

Questions for Dean Manderscheid

Walking across the Oval, you might not think twice about the tall, scholarly individual walking across campus. You might totally mistake him for a professor walking to class. After all, Dean Manderscheid is a professor of mathematics, having taught for well over 30 years before becoming a Dean in academia. However, today he spends most of his time traveling around the country while also overseeing the largest and most diverse of Ohio State’s colleges, the College of Arts and Sciences. Although a humble and warm person, he holds a position of immense influence for the university — he is  the visionary behind a large section of the university’s academic growth, expansion and future.

What is a college Dean? What does it take to be the Dean of Arts and Sciences, one of the largest colleges in the nation? What is this man’s deal with donuts? After sitting down in his office in University Hall, my questions were answered as I had the opportunity to learn more about the man behind “Donuts with the Dean.” I learned that the Michigan-native came to the university from Nebraska a little over a year and a half ago and that he perfectly fits in the Arts and Sciences, due to his own wide realm of interests, from the social sciences to mathematics.

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It’s now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, it’s time to get to know the donut dean himself, Dean Manderscheid:

Can you tell me a little bit about what brought you to Ohio State? (Your background before becoming the Dean of Arts and Sciences?)

“Well I was Dean at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences for six years … I was contacted by the search firm for this position, that I’d been nominated Ohio State is always a university that I’ve looked towards at as a leader so I decided to look at this position. Before that I was at the University of Iowa for 20 years, on the faculty, starting as an assistant professor up through department chair, and so my wife and I decided to make the move here.”

How do you like Ohio?

“We love it because my wife is originally from upstate New York and I’m originally from ‘that state up north’ as they say, and so it’s closer to home for both of us.”

How is OSU different than Nebraska?

“Well Ohio State is a much bigger institution. At Nebraska there wasn’t a medical school for example, there wasn’t Vet Med, so it’s just bigger in general. The entire University of Nebraska, when I was there, was 24,000 students and here the College of Arts and Sciences (alone) is over 20,000 students, which gives you a feeling as to the size differential. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln is in a town of 300,000 and here you’re in a town of 2 million. So there’s lots of differences.”

Can you tell me about Donuts with the Dean? Was it your idea? 

“I’ve always loved donuts. And so I had a tradition in Nebraska where I often brought donuts into the dean’s office, and I mentioned this to our communications staff and they said, ‘well maybe we can do something around students with that’ and so we put our heads together and came up with ‘Donuts with the Dean.'”

“Students are very fond of it, it’s become the type of thing where I will show up at Donuts with the Dean and there are already 50 students waiting to get donuts and we tweet out the location just the day of, so it’s incredible.”

What is your favorite donut?

“A buckeye donut of course (laughing). But we tend to use glazed, because everyone seems to like Buckeye Glazed.”

Can you tell me about the event “Win the Dean’s Money” that took place right before Spring Break?

“That’s something that I started at Nebraska but I just carried over completely, the only change was we asked students to write essays at Nebraska, here they just have to do a tweet and follow me on twitter and have to hashtag ‘Win the Dean’s Money’ or something like that.”

Why did you choose to engage with students on both of these forums? 

“Social media fascinates me, because I see that’s where the future’s headed and it changes so quickly. And so, for example, when Twitter first came out people said, well you can’t say anything in 140 characters, and I thought “wow, what can you say in 140 characters” and I really got into it very early on. And blogging I started early also, just because I love the idea of sharing what I love and sharing things about the university I love.”

What do you think is the most important role of a Dean?

“A Dean sets a vision for a college, and where is the college headed. For example, what are the new majors that will be attractive to students. For example we started a neuroscience major recently and now over 800 students are enrolled, we started a data analytics major that just started this year and I predict we will have hundreds of students very soon … so setting a vision and setting a program that students will find attractive.”

Are there any potential new majors in the making for the future?

“One that I can talk about is coming fall of ’16 is Moving Image Production. Years ago we used to have a film major … for an institution of our size and given the importance of video these days, its really something and a mission that I think is obvious. Our students are finding it on their own and finding it at Ohio State, but we have to make it easier for them; we have alumni very well placed in the entertainment industry, we have contacts in the entertainment industry — we should use that. They’re happy to help our students, once again this is a major for those with artistic talent, where it can pay off very well.”

You have a background in mathematics, where did that stem from?

“I’ve always been good with numbers. I was always the kid in school who was first to memorize his multiplication tables and things like that and I’ve always been fascinated with numbers. When I went to college I was a math major but I thought I’d go to law school but I was just having too much fun with math so I decided to become a math professor … I became a professor — oh gosh — 30-some years ago.”

What is a misconception that students might have about a Dean?

“Well I’m not sure they even know what a Dean does … I think students aren’t sure who a Dean is, they think of a Dean as maybe the principal, but it’s a different role.”

How is the college of Arts and Sciences different from other colleges?

“The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college on campus. We teach over 60 percent of the credit hours at the university because we teach the bulk of general education courses, so every student on campus will take a course in the College of Arts and Sciences. We’re the college where they get their math, where they get their English, where they get there chemistry … basic subjects that are common to so many different majors.”

What is a typical day like for you?

“Well, lots of meetings, a day full with meetings. It starts pretty early, I tend to get to the office at 7:30 or 8. Sometimes I’ll have events in the evening and sometimes not. A dean’s day is pretty long, emails into the evening, but mostly meetings with faculty, with students, other administrators trying to set the agenda for the university.”

When you do meet with students, what types of issues do you normally meet about?

“I like to know whats on their minds. For example, I have a student advisory board (with about 16 students) and one of the things I asked them recently was, ‘well, we changed advising in the college, do you think it’s working? What are the things that we can improve? Or do you think we should have more students who are international? Or do we have the right number?’ Those types of questions. Really, I think student input is very important.”

Do you have any comments about the faculty you interact with at Ohio State?

“We have a very world-renowned faculty here at Ohio State but one of the things that distinguishes the faculty is that they could work many other places, some who have come to Ohio State because they felt Ohio State cared more about teaching, and that’s why they came here. That connection with the students is very strong here; the value we place on being an outstanding research institution, which we are, but also one that teaches and values teaching.”

If you could change one thing about the role of a college Dean, what would it be?

“(More) interacting with students. Fundamentally I went into being a professor to teach. As a Dean it doesn’t make sense for me to teach because of my travel schedule, and I wish I could teach more, and I do teach classes every so often … but interacting with students — it’s what I miss most about being a professor.”

**** Testament to this statement:

Instead of this being a one-way interview, the Dean spent just as much time asking me about my life as a student. We talked for more than an hour about my studies, family, favorite classes and my goals for the future. 

What is your favorite part of your job in general?

“Oh, feeling that I can have a positive impact on education in particular students … I work long hours but I really see the benefit when I hand a student their diploma and see how happy they are … graduation is my favorite time of year.”

 I noticed you said you took a lot of social science course in addition to your mathematics, do you think these interests help you with your role in the diverse College of Arts and Sciences?

“When I was an undergraduate I was in a special program at Michigan State where I could take any courses I wanted as long as my advisors or faculty members signed off on it so I took courses all over the place … and I feel like I’m doing that again now. Because I talked to a chemist one day, I talked to an English professor the next day, I talked to a linguist the next day, and I just have this, it just satisfied my intellectual curiosity which I haven’t lost, in fact it’s gotten stronger, so that’s why I think, in part, I make a good Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, that intellectual curiosity — I’ve never met a subject I didn’t like.”

Do you have any upcoming events?

“The April ‘Donuts with the Dean’ is coming up.  What I like about the April one is hopefully the weather is warm enough so we can set up outside.”

Do you have any goals for your college in the future?

“(To be the) best College of Arts and Sciences in the country, period. As simple as that. This college used to be five separate colleges that were put together in 2010, so (it’s) the idea is we are one of the largest colleges of arts and sciences in the country and we’re one of the best, now let’s use our size to be the best. So let’s do things to cut across boundaries … Departments on campus are kind of artificial things set up based on what was important hundreds of years ago sometimes, so let’s find out what’s important now and build on what we have to get there. It’s not that the traditional departments are unimportant, its just that there are other things that are important now too.”

Do you have any advice for students regarding their academic career/experience?

“Meet lots of people, take some chances, don’t do anything crazy but take a course, maybe take an anthropology course, you might not even know what anthropology is but you might like it. Take some chances in the courses you take and the people you meet, get outside your comfort zone every so often. Another bit of advice I’d like to give students: get to know your professors. They may look scary but most of them will want to talk to you because they’re passionate about their subject and if they see you’re passionate about it too, they’ll want to talk to you.”

What is your favorite Ohio State tradition?

“‘Carmen, Ohio,’ the singing of ‘Carmen, Ohio.’ You know, I didn’t get it until I first saw it… I knew it was a great tradition and it took me a while to see how important it was but now I just think it’s fabulous … I mean very few schools have an alma mater that everybody knows, and sings … I mean, I even know it now. I still remember, it was my first month or two on the job and I was at an Alumni Event in Los Angeles, and just seeing the alumni sing ‘Carmen, Ohio,’ — bam — it’s like they’re back on campus immediately.”

Is there anything you wish the student body knew about you, and if so what would it be?

“I love Ohio State just as much as they do.”

What to Expect When You Move Off Campus

I lived in Smith-Steeb my freshman year, so I had it pretty good. Super nice rooms, full service on-campus food options very close by, and an unlimited number of people to turn to if I needed help or advice. Don’t get me wrong, I love living off campus and I love my house now, but there are definitely times when living in the dorms seemed so much simpler.

When you live in a dorm, you pay a lump sum at the beginning of the semester to cover all of your food and housing fees, and that’s that. When you live off campus, you have to pay bills! It sounds crazy and way too adult-like, but it’s true.

Bills are definitely the worst part of living off campus. Now that you’re responsible every month not only for rent, but for gas, electric, cable/Internet and water, you need to be way better about managing your money and learning to budget. Here are some apps to help you.

Having to go grocery shopping and cook meals is also a big adjustment when moving off campus. You no longer have access to pre-made food whenever you want it (unless you get a commuter meal plan).

Doing your own grocery shopping seems great — you’re able to buy whatever food you want without your mom there to say no, but it’s really important that you are actually getting everything you need to maintain a healthy diet. Also, it is important to get things you know you can cook, and will actually eat. Here are some easy recipes to get you started.

The last thing I think is really important to consider before you move into your off-campus apartment or house in the fall is your relationship with your roommates. I got lucky. I met my current roommates on Facebook, when we all just needed a place to live, and now they are four of my best friends.

If you are living with people who are already your friends, it is important to work hard to keep that relationship in tact. Whether it’s about whose turn it is to vacuum the living room or who didn’t empty the dishwasher, there will be arguments in your home. It’s not always easy living harmoniously with several different people on different schedules.

But I can promise you, if you put in the effort to keep a happy environment in your house, it will definitely be worth it! A little work goes a long way, so it is important to just remember to pick up after yourself and remember that you don’t have any parents to clean up after you anymore.

Living off campus with four roommates has been the best experience I could have asked for. This article isn’t meant to scare anyone away! Just remember that with moving off campus comes a lot of independence, and you have to be prepared to seize it and make the most of it!

One last tip: buying a house pet is going to seem like the best idea you’ve ever had. Chances are, it’s not. Pets are a HUGE responsibility, so make sure you do all research necessary on the care for an animal, and make sure you talk to your landlord to see if pets are even allowed. Think before you adopt!