New Wave Realism Conference

IA Academic Event

September 27th, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 12:00-4:00pm

Through the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, I attended a conference focused around New Wave Realism. Building off of the Cold War, realism is a view of international politics that stresses its competitive and conflictual side, an ideology contrasting to liberalism and idealism. Specifically, this conference aimed to cultivate a new wave of realist thinkers in light of the increasing geopolitical conflicts arising with China, Russia, the U.S, and many other geopolitical entities. This event relates to current international affairs because it informed me about prevailing scholars and their research regarding realism, which has helped me to understand how the international atmosphere has developed to the point we see in the present. After listening to two researchers, as well as the following constructive criticism given by Mershon Center staff, I was still a bit confused as to the central focus of realism. In the future, I’d love to attend another event that goes even further into the meaning of realism in political discourse today, hopefully answering my underlying confusion regarding the tenants of the modern ideology.
The content of the presentations didn’t intersect with my academic goals, but the aspect of conducting research at the collegiate level is one aspect of the conference in which I want to implement into my career in the near future. From the few presentations I watched, I picked up a better idea of the level of complexity and clarity that is reached at the collegiate level of research. Going forward it, the event has encouraged my previous belief in research and I hope to find a way in which to contribute to a conference similar to this one soon!

Party at the Wexner Center for the Arts

IA Social Event
September 28th, 2019, The Wexner Center for the Arts, 8:15-11:15pm
After walking in to the exhibit area, my attention was immediately drawn to multicolored strips lining the walls, all containing a different explicit statement taken from various religious and political manifestos. To bridge the medium into the 21st century, the artist, Jenny Holzer, included an LED word scrawl with explicit expressions more similar to those found on the internet.
Each aspect of the exhibit serves as a testament to the various, biased manners in which we receive our news, and in turn, how we construct our world views. Although there could be a completely separate exhibit highlighting the positive examples of education and the institutions that promote those methods, this exhibit forced me to come to terms with the fact that in international affairs, as well as domestic affairs and almost any human interaction, our outlook towards the unknown and/or different is at least in part guided by inflammatory media that our society has normalized. After that exhibit had informed and challenged my beliefs more than I was expecting, given that I was a college student out on a Friday night, my friend and I completed a full sweep through the gallery, admiring the fused steel pins and glass of Maya Lin’s exhibit, as well as Ann Hamilton’s stacked newspaper gallery. When we finished, we caught word that there was a showing of Thelma and Louise in the Wexner center’s movie theater, so we rushed over and became witnesses to a classic of a movie.
Looking back on this whirlwind of events, I’m so glad that I was able to experience what the Wexner has to offer. Even though the forms of artistic expression I was able to view aren’t avenues I intend on focusing on in my academic career, I was given another example of the diversity of human expression, a reality that does connect to my academic career. In whatever career I pursue, I want to understand, advocate for, and participate in human expression, whatever form it takes.

Columbus Greek Festival

IA Social Event

August 30th, 2019, The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 7:00-10:00pm

Equipped with only an admiration for the Gyro and a faint understanding of the Orthodox church, I arrived at the gates of the Greek festival. Within them, I was able to witness a myriad of different dances, songs, and types of food that I had previously been unaware of, giving me a deeper understanding of Greek culture beyond the parade of stereotypical iconography associated with ancient Greece that is often present in the modern conversation.

Moving away from the dance floor and into the cathedral, I encountered one of the most ornate and breathtaking sights of my life. Adorned with gold mosaic, marble decorations, rainbows of stained glass, and a depiction of Jesus with a slew patriarchs of the Old Testament looking down at me from the inside of the central dome, the place of worship was unlike any I’ve ever experienced. Beforehand, I didn’t have a good understanding of the Schism of 1054 and the ways in which the Orthodox church split from the Catholic church, but with the help of a helpful infographic and an equally helpful church tour guide, my previous questions regarding the church were largely answered.

A common theme in International Affairs, cultural appreciation, constantly ran through my head in and out of the cathedral. This experience showed me the joys of appreciating the previously unknown, as well as reminding me why baklava might be the greatest culinary invention of all time. The event impacted my understanding of the Orthodox church by not only exposing me to the culture of those who make up the congregation but also informing me of the unique beauty and spirituality that can be found in the Orthodox church itself.

Although the event didn’t explicitly align with an academic or professional goal of mine, I gained a deepened appreciation for those who carry on their cultures amidst complete strangers. If a young kid can put on a dance honoring his culture in front of hundreds of strangers, the least I can do is watch. Going forward, this event reinforced in me the goal to simply strive to understand and appreciate those around me.




Community Commitment

Community Commitment

August 24th, 2019, Community Resources Center, 8:00am-1:30pm

Community Commitment was a campus-wide service initiative organized by Pay It Forward, a student organization dedicated to connecting students to service opportunities in and around the OSU campus.

Specifically, my group was assigned to the Community Resources Center just north of Columbus in Clintonville, which provides social engagement opportunities and transportation services in order to foster community within a group of individuals fifty years of age and older. My group and I were tasked with assisting a resident with yard work. A former OSU professor, our resident was overflowing with advice and hospitality. Laced between weeding her flower beds and dodging the typical garden pests, she spoke to us about her experiences teaching and how she truly enjoyed the classes that she taught and how the information she taught transferred to cultures around the world. For example, she talked to us about how the construct of a family in Ohio is unique from the family construct in Egypt, but that they both contain basic similarities such as empathy and compassion. Previously, I hadn’t truly explored the reality that there might be different family dynamics around the world, but once my resident brought it up, it answered a question I hadn’t even asked.

This event reminded me that there truly are communities throughout the U.S. and the world that are still based on personal relationships, something I forget often when I’m experiencing a rather unenjoyable display of humanity on social media or when I come across a horrid news story. It helped me to understand that although my main academic focus isn’t social work or service, those things are necessary in order to understand and appreciate the world around me, something that is a focus for me!

Maxwell Vore

Hello, my name is Maxwell Vore and I am a first-year student at Ohio State University and I am a part of the International Affairs Scholars program. I intend on earning a bachelor of the arts in International Studies with a specialization in Latin American Studies. My aspirations for college include completing undergraduate research, completing a study abroad program, and reading and appreciating a piece of literature in Spanish, the language I am studying and intend to minor in. Out of class, I am currently a member of Ohio State’s chapter of CCWA, the Collegiate Council of World Affairs, where I participate in weekly discussions about international issues, attend lectures regarding world affairs, and compete as part of the club’s Model United Nations team. Additionally, I am training to serve as a mentor for a young adult through CRIS, Community Refugee and Immigration Services, a non-profit which provides resources primarily to immigrants and refugees in order to facilitate their self-sufficiency in the Columbus, Ohio area. During my free time, I enjoy learning about topics I am uneducated in through reading non-fiction and fiction, and eating food that makes it necessary to have developed a running habit. During my time on campus, I hope to harness these experiences into growth that will allow me to better analyze and serve the world around me.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.

  • Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
  • Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
  • Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
  • Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
  • Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]


[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements. For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation.  An annotation includes both a description of the artifact and a reflection on why it is important to you, what you learned, and what it means for your next steps.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]