The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum: What It Is and Why You Should Participate

For those of you who don’t know, Ohio State is a research university! This means your professors, in addition to giving lectures, conduct research in their respective fields. More than 20 years ago, an Ohio State alumnus named Richard Denman wanted to shed more light on the undergraduate students who were conducting research alongside these professors, and give them an opportunity to present their work.

Thus, the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum was born! Here’s what you should know about the forum as a first-year student:

1. What is it?

The Denman is an event held over the course of a single day in the RPAC, where more than 500 students present posters summarizing their research projects and their results. Each project is judged by at least three people (faculty, graduate students, or corporate judges). Multiple winners are selected from different fields of study, receiving cash prizes. About 80 percent of students who apply to present are accepted.

 2. How much time would I need to dedicate to the process?

Students will spend anywhere from 10-15 hours a week on their research, whether it be during fall or spring semester, or over the summer. Students spend at least one semester, if not an entire year, completing their work. Dr. Allison Snow, director of the Undergraduate Research Office, recommends tailoring a semester schedule to suit your expected research schedule.

3. So I can get a cash prize… what else?

Winning an award at the Denman is much more than receiving a cash prize. This becomes a valuable part of your resume, and can lead to future research down the road, even after graduation. Presenting in and of itself is impressive, though, whether you win an award or not. It shows future employers or graduate schools that you are serious and passionate about your field!

4. How do I get started?

The best place to start is the Undergraduate Research Office website. There you can find out about their information sessions and workshops, contact a peer researcher in your field, sign up to receive emails about funding opportunities, and find their advising hours. You should also start reaching out to graduate students and professors about research opportunities they may have. Most students begin by volunteering in other research projects before starting their own.

5. This is the first time I have heard about the Denman, am I behind??

No, not at all! In fact, Dr. Snow advises that a student’s first year is the time to learn, observe, and talk to others who have already conducted research. Go to the forum (Wednesday, March 25 from 12 p.m.-3 p.m.) and ask presenters about their experiences! If you find after some investigation that you are interested in participating, your second or third year is the time to contact faculty, and start to form an idea of what kind of research you want to conduct. By senior year (at the latest), you should be ready to present your work!

Participating in research and the Denman is extremely rewarding, but it’s not for everyone. THAT’S OK. If it is for you, don’t let it overwhelm you! Take it step-by-step, use the Undergraduate Research Office as your guide, and before you know it, you’ll be presenting!

New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy, Successful Second Semester

It’s that time of year again! The start of a new semester, a fresh slate, and a Twitter feed full of #NewYearNewMe posts. Everyone wants to make positive changes for the new year, but sometimes following through can be a little tricky, especially for busy, broke college students. I’m here to offer you five easy resolutions that can make your academic, professional, and personal life that much better in 2015!

Dedicate time to go the RPAC a few times a week (and not just for the food at Courtside Cafe).

As Ohio State students, we are blessed to have such a beautiful facility at our disposal. Take advantage of the many resources it houses such as group fitness classes, personal training, and wellness coaching! When you’re done, you can treat yourself to the sauna, the hot tub, or even a massage!


Drop the “college kid” diet.

Yes, we know. Ramen Noodles are good. They don’t really do much for you, though. Give your body the fuel it deserves with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein. Also, take a couple minutes and visit the University Dining website to see what’s in the foods YOU are buying at the dining halls. Need help making healthy food choices? The Student Wellness Center in the RPAC can help you design a plan that’s tailored to your body’s specific needs! Lastly, when grabbing last minute items to “fill” a block, try those Good Greens Bars instead of chips or cookies!


Keep yourself, and your space, organized!

Sharing a space with one, two, or three other people can be hard. Sharing a messy and cluttered space is ten times harder. Do yourself (and your roommates) a favor by clearing out any junk that may have accumulated from last semester. This means the fridge, any common areas, desks, and closet space. I know you’re sick of accidentally grabbing your roommate’s socks instead of your own, or smelling that General Tso’s Chicken that’s been on the top shelf since October. Do you find yourself forgetting important deadlines or losing class notes? Invest in one (or more) of the following!


Start preparing for midterm exams NOW!

I know it’s hard to even acknowledge the existence of midterms after just finishing up “Syllabus Week”, but after last semester we all know that they have a way of sneaking up on us. Start organizing your notes now by keeping them in a safe and easy-access spot, like a binder or computer file, so that they will be easier to find and study from later. Also, start study guides of important tidbits your professors say in class (listen for “this will be on the exam”, or “this would make a good exam question”).


Branch out and meet new Buckeyes!

College isn’t just about passing classes and getting a degree. Make time to meet new people and get involved on campus! Little things like keeping your door open when you’re in your room or suggesting you and some floor mates go on a “dinner date” to Sloopy’s can make a difference in your semester! Take the leap and start a conversation with the person next to you in class. They might be involved in a club or organization you might be interested in!


13 Apps you NEED for College!

Walk into many college classroom, and what do you see? Other than paper, pencils, or textbooks, today’s lecture halls are filled with a large assortment of smart phones, tablets, and laptops. There’s the student with the Macbook on Pinterest, or the one texting on his Samsung Galaxy, or the group in the back huddled around an Asus tablet watching highlights from last night’s game.

Let’s face it: gadgets we may have purchased with graduation money to help with our “studies” may now be doing more evil than good; however, it is possible to transform your “iLikeToProcrastinate” 5s into your own personal assistant with these must-have apps for college students.

1. IStudiez

Let this app revolutionize the way you stay organized! This virtual planner, compatible with any Mac device, iCal and Cloud, will keep track of your assignments, deadlines, and even grades! Just plug in your class times. This app is $2.99 for iOS, but has a free light version.

2. StudyBlue

Sick of carrying that huge stack of notecards with you all over campus? Study Blue allows you to create thousands of cards, using not only words, but photos and audio as well! You can even borrow set of already-made cards from a friend! Free for iOS and Android.

3. Evernote

This app is the best of the best for note taking in class. Amp up your class notes by adding pictures, videos, audio and embedded URL’s! The features on this app are endless, and sure to please those who obsess over “pretty notes.” Free for iOS and Android.

4. Studious

Not only does this app help you organize class times, deadlines and exam days, but it also acts as your personal back up! No need to worry if you put your phone on silent when you walked into class, Studious will automatically silence it according to when you set your class times! Free for Android.

5. Self Control

When you’re faced with writing that final paper, everything else on the planet suddenly becomes more interesting. Kill procrastination with Self Control, the app that temporarily adds websites you select to a “blacklist” that prevents you from viewing them for however long you decide! BuzzFeed won’t win this time…(free for Mac OS X)

6. EasyBib

The website many of us cherished in high school has come to save us again with this easy to use app! Simply scan the barcode of the book, or enter the title, and EasyBib will input the necessary information! Yes, EasyBib really did just get easier. Free for iOS and Android.

7. Chegg

No need to break the bank this semester (or any for that matter); let Chegg help you find the best deals on textbook rentals! Just type in a title or ISBN number, and if Chegg has it, you’re ready to order! Free for iOS and Android.


IFTTT, also known as “If This Then That,” is literally your virtual assistant. Want to receive a text when the temperature drops below 32 degrees? Want all photos tagged of you on Facebook to transfer to your phone album? This app has plenty of these “recipes” to choose from, or you can create your own! Free for iOS and Android.

9. Sleep If You Can

Some of us need a little more help than others when it comes to getting out of bed in the morning. For all you snooze button enthusiasts, this app can make sure you actually get to your 8 a.m. class on time. In order to dismiss the alarm, you must take a picture of something (like you bathroom sink). This gets you out of bed, and on your way! $1.99 for iOS and free for Android.

10. Circle of Six

Staying with a group when going out for the evening is always the safest route. However, it’s possible to be separated, and if you do, you need to stay protected. Circle of 6 allows you to pick 6 friends to whom you can ask to pick you up (it gives them a GPS location), to call and create an interruption for you, and much more! Free for iOS and Android.

11. Mint

Trying to create a budget, let alone stick with it, can be a monumental task for college students. Mint is an app that syncs all of your checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards to one place so you can monitor your spending! Create spending limits for food, clothes, or utilities and categorize every expense with one of their many tags! Secured with bank-level security. Free for iOS and Android.

12. Venmo

Always messing around with cash to try and pay back this friend for a pizza, or your roommate for the cable bill? Simplify your life with Venmo. This app also syncs with your bank account, and allows you to digitally transfer funds to others, regardless of the bank they use! Also secured with bank level security. Free for iOS and Android.

13. My Fitness Pal

Being fit has never been so easy with My Fitness Pal! Simply input your weight and height, how much weight you would like to lose, if any, and start tracking! Healthy eating is a breeze with the barcode scan feature, which allows you to easily count calories during the day! You can also input exercise, weight updates, and much more! Free for iOS and Android.

20 Embarrassing Things You May Do In Your First Year (And Why It’s Okay)

Being a new student at Ohio State is truly a unique experience. There are dining halls to explore, special lingo to learn, class buildings to memorize and daily routines to configure. It’s inevitable that during this transition into college life you are going to do some things that will make you wish you hadn’t stepped on campus. I’m here to tell you’re not alone, and that every year, first-year students make a few “rookie” mistakes–I was in your shoes a year ago; I sympathize. Next fall, you can laugh about them, learn from them and (hopefully) avoid them in the future. Now, here is a list of some of the classic Ohio State mistakes and (potentially) embarrassing moments you may encounter:

  1. Pull out your map on the way to class the first week….or two.
  2. Wait until winter to learn the bus system (You may regret it come November).
  3. Lock your keys in your room three times in the first month. At least one of these times will be after a shower, and you will have to go to the front desk in a bathrobe.
  4. Refer to the Oval as “the hall.”
  5. Call your professor “teacher.”
  6. Forget your bath towel in your room (HINT: toilet paper will not work).
  7. Try to sneakily watch a video in lecture, failing to realize your computer volume is still on high.
  8. Run out of ways to use your name and graduation year to make new passwords for your Buckeye Link account, and resort to pet names and silly childhood nicknames.
  9. Convince yourself you have found “The One” in September. Break up in October.
  10. Burn half of your phone’s memory recording every single TBDBITL ramp entrance and Script Ohio performance.
  11. Everything on your holiday wish list WILL have the Ohio State logo on it.
  12. Walk away from a cardio machine because you secretly couldn’t figure out how to use it.
  13. Forget to press your floor in the elevator and/or walk the stairs to the wrong floor.
  14. Drop your “unmentionables” on the floor while doing laundry.
  15. Think it’s necessarily to pull the cord on the CABS bus (HINT: it’s not).
  16. Walk into the completely wrong building for class. Bonus points if you actually sit in the completely wrong lecture.
  17. Get General Tso’s chicken from Marketplace…twice in one day.
  18. Sprint across campus once you realize that your classes in Hagerty Hall and Hitchcock Hall aren’t conducive to a leisurely campus stroll within the 15 minute class change period.
  19. Tackle a stack of three food containers, a soft drink, and your room key on your way home from the Union Market. Spoiler alert: You’ll likely spill something at least once.
  20. Wear your lanyard around campus 24/7. Don’t worry: this stage will pass.

We have all been new to Ohio State at some point in time, so know (and believe) that we’ve all experienced our fair share of growing pains as we make this new environment our home. We’re eager to help guide you along the way!

Back to the Homestead: Tips for Moving Out

move out tips- messy room

Well, as hard as it is to believe (or not), it’s time to pack up the clothes, futons and storage bins into the family minivan and head home for the summer. For some, it will be nice to be rid of bumped heads from lofted beds and shared bathroom space with 87 million other people. For others, summer means babysitting little siblings and the return of the dreaded “curfew.” However you look at it, it’s goodbye to Ol’ Columbus town until August. To help make the summer transition a little easier, here are a few tips on how to successfully move out of the residence halls:


Look through the junk drawers you’ve created (yes, you have at least one). Toss any Involvement Fair trinkets or giveaways from companies in the Union that you don’t use. That’s less for you to move later, and makes space for more important things, like those pink light up “sabers” we got at the breast cancer awareness football game.


This is a great option so that you aren’t forced to move that futon you “absolutely needed” all the way home and back in the fall. Don’t forget to ask the super muscular, totally cute guy on the third floor for help. If you are that super muscular guy, tough luck, better hide. Here are some Columbus-based storage options to explore:

  • Storage Squad – the fee includes the pick-up of the items to be stored, the storage throughout the summer, and drop-off of the items in August.
  • College Boxes – same concept as Storage Squad.
  • SpareFoot Storage Finder – if you have a way to move the boxes from here to there, this website can show you the various locations of self-storage facilities in the area. Search by campus zip code (43210).


Mom doesn’t need to see the month-old milk you have been cultivating, or all of the Bagel Bites, Pizza Rolls and ice cream pints you acquired with your extra blocks at the C-Store.

rotten fridge


Unless of course you find your chemistry book to be a nice “beach read.”


Time to own up to the “incident” where that basketball “accidentally” made contact with the overhead light fixture. Or that hole you made to hang the collage frame you got at your graduation party that just WOULDN’T stay with Command Strips. Do your best to fix what you can to avoid unnecessary damage charges.


Start organizing the clothes and other things you won’t need until the fall, and separate them from the items you will definitely use in the summer. Yes girls, Uggs go in the fall pile. Resist.


As much as I know you will want to see everyone, try to refrain from inviting the WHOLE family to come and pick you up on move out day. Things will go a lot smoother if you aren’t constantly chasing after your little brothers riding in the red “elephant” carts, or trying to find Grandma who got lost on her way to use the bathroom. It will make the process more efficient, and allow you to get home and see everyone faster in the end.

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