Summer Sixteen

Drake loves the change of pace “Summer Sixteen” brings!

I know that we are all getting excited for spring break (2 more days, we can do it!); trust me, the sunshine and sand are calling my name right now. In addition to lounging on the beach, I also want to finalize my summer plans over break. I know summer may seem so far away, but it’s really not–it’s less than two months away. It’s time to start planning now, whether you are heading back to your hometown to spend some quality time with your family or to work a summer job, or studying abroad or traveling, or if you are staying in the great town of Columbus to take some summer classes, do research, or work.

If you are looking for summer employment, make sure you start searching early and send those job applications in. You can search for opportunities through Ohio State’s student employment site.

If you want to spend your summer engaged in research, reach out to a professor who is performing research in an area that interests you. Or, you can start your own research project! Information about funding for the summer and getting started in research is available through the Undergraduate Research Office.

If you want to have a Buck-I-SERV experience there are some summer trips happening, and the deadline to apply is Sunday, March 20 (the tail end of spring break).

Many people will be taking classes during the summer (I will be taking a few classes too!) and those classes make occur through another institution. I wanted to spend some time talking about how to make sure that you are taking classes that will transfer and steps to take to have a successful experience.

First things first, decide if you will be taking classes at Ohio State (either at the Columbus campus, a regional campus, or online) or at another institution.

If you are taking classes at Ohio State:

  • Check out the new Summer term 2016 structure. Things are changing and knowing the structure is crucial! The Registrar’s website also has some helpful information.
  • Go to Buckeye Link to schedule your classes; I’d recommend using the Schedule Planner feature to organize your classes.
  • Once you are registered for classes, the expectations are similar to what you’ve experienced in any other term, but be sure to pay attention to specific dates and deadlines that may apply just to summer term.

If you are taking classes at another institution:

  • I recommend starting at Transferology, which is a website that allows you to see how your credit will transfer to Ohio State. This way you will be sure that the class you are taking at your guest institution is an equivalent of an Ohio State course and will transfer.
  • If your course at your guest institution isn’t an exact match of an Ohio State course, you may still earn credit for it by having the course evaluated.
  • Make sure you are talking to your academic advisor; they are extremely knowledgeable on the entire process. The advising website also offers many helpful hints!
  • On the Buckeye Link home page under the “Enrollment and Academic History” heading is a link called “Transfer Credit Report” that will allow you run your report.

Drake knows it’s a bad idea to not think about your summer plans.

Regardless of how you are spending your summer, take some time to reflect on your first year of college and your Ohio State experience thus far. During my summer after my first year I made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish or experience during my time at Ohio State, kind of like my own Ohio State bucket list! Make sure you are planning ahead because summer will be here before you know it!

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!

Your Week in First Year Success: September 29-October 3

By now you probably recognize that the First Year Success Series features many sessions which address common first-year student issues. The First Year Success Series also offers many opportunities to learn about and explore topics you may never have thought about before. These sessions may touch on ways to get involved in the community, new ways of thinking about things, or common issues that aren’t often discussed. College is a time when we hope you take advantage of branching out to learn something new, so one of these sessions may be a great way for you to do that!

The Events and Violence Prevention at OSU
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness
October 1, 7:30-10 p.m.

What is unique about this session? One of the highlights of the Wexner Center for the Arts’ 25th anniversary celebration, The Events is an award-winning play that addresses the effects of mass shootings and the impact they have on communities. Students attending the performance as part of the First Year Success Series will have a discussion after the play about how art is used to address important issues and what students can do to prevent violence on campus.

Droppin’ Science: Introduction to Hip Hop Research
Theme: Diversity and Global Awareness
September 29, 1-2 p.m.

What is unique about this session? At Ohio State, you have access to research just about anything in which you may be interested or for which you have a passion. This interactive session will demonstrate how you can use the resources available to you to research hip hop culture. No matter what your interests are, this session will show you how easy it is to connect to the library resources that will help you learn more about the things you care about!

Not So Tech Savvy? Basic Tips for Academic Success
Theme: Academic Engagement and Career Exploration
September 29, 6-7:30 p.m.
October 1, 1:30-3 p.m.

What is unique about this session? You have probably noticed that the ability to use things like Google or MS Office (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint) are treated as basic skills. If you don’t feel confident in your computer literacy or want to take your skills to the next level, this session can teach you some tips and tricks to be successful!

Lived Experiences: A Day in the Life of Columbus City School Students
Theme: Leadership and Civic Engagement
September 30, 6-7:30 p.m.

What is unique about this session? As a student at Ohio State, you are also a citizen of the city of Columbus. Ohio State students have had a tremendous impact on the local community through their dedication to service.  This session allows you the chance to learn about what it is like to be a a high school or middle school student in the Columbus inner-city. Learn about the struggles and strengths from the students themselves and hear how students like you can leave a positive legacy on your new home.

Generation Rx: Every 15 Minutes
Theme: Health and Wellness
September 30, 5-6 p.m.

The Adderall Dilemma: The Truth About Prescription Stimulant Abuse
Theme: Health and Wellness
October 1, 5-6 p.m.

What is unique about these sessions? Many college students find themselves with so much to do, and so little time. In the face of this dilemma, many students chose to use and abuse prescription drugs to study and focus. This problem is prevalent, but isn’t often on the top of the list of concerns among college students. Come to these sessions to hear about the potential negative effects that this very common issue can have on your health.

There are so many different and unique session topics within the First Year Success Series. Use this opportunity to learn about something new and unique that you may have never thought about before. Whether it is something you find interesting or concerning, now is your chance to explore! Register for your sessions today at

Research — not just something done by faculty

I’m a science fair girl. I come from a science fair family. The site of a tri-fold display board brings back fond memories of projects on biorhythms and on dementia and on the impact of environment on memory recall. These are projects that won awards at the state science day, people!

The projects I remember from those bygone days are nothing compared to the sophisticated research on display annually at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum – the 2014 edition to be held on March 26 at the RPAC. The research happening everyday on campus – the discovery of new knowledge – is pretty impressive, even more so when we know that there are many, many undergraduate students who are contributing to and leading research efforts of their own. And that’s what we get to see at the Denman.

The Denman participants will present their research via a poster – and not like what you can find at the tent poster sales at the beginning of the school year:

They also present their findings orally to a pair of faculty judges. Participants are selected based on their abstract submissions, as the Denman is limited to only 550 projects. Recently, I had a chance to catch up with a student who I haven’t spoken with in a while, and he was gushing – gushing – about the three research projects with which he’s been involved in the last year. Three. He started his involvement in a professor’s lab as a first-year student. It’s never too early. And he’s not even presenting this year at the Denman – that’s how much great work  is happening here!

As you walk through the display floor, you never know what kinds of projects you’ll see. Some of the winners last year include projects titled:

  • Calculating Susceptibility from Local Field Inhomogeneities for Applications in Multiple Sclerosis Studies
  • Effect of Early Treadmill Training on Blood-Spinal Cord Barrier Permeability after Spinal Cord Injury in Mice
  • Biochemical Characterization of 6-phospho-β-glucosidases to Gain Insights into Cellobiose Utilization by Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052

I don’t know about you, but I love an intimidating title, not to mention the actual research behind it — for those of you wondering, Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 is “a saccharolytic, strictly anaerobic, mesophylic, motile, rod-shaped bacteria with oval, sub-terminal spores.”

Fortunately for me, the projects aren’t all in what we used to call the hard sciences. There are also the categories of business, arts, and humanities. Some winners last year in these categories included:

  • Let’s Talk Money: Impulsivity, Social Influence and Consumers’ Saving Behavior
  • Wyrd: The Woes of Postmodernity
  • Corruption and International Aid Allocation: A Complex Dance

So, if you find yourself inspired to find out what fascinating work your fellow students are doing, check out the Denman. I’ll be the one trying to look 20 years younger and setting up the card-table.