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This past year, I completed 40 hours of service at the Columbus Metropolitan Library as a tutor for kids in the grades K-12. At this position I would teach young students basic math, reading, and study skills. Every week, the kids would teach me a great deal from learning how to explain complex concepts in an understandable way to grasping how to be a good role model for young students. During my time at the library, I enjoyed the one-on-one interactions with the young kids and seeing how appreciative they were when the learned something new. This position served as a breath of fresh air from my daily grind at Ohio State and I will definitely be returning as a homework helper in the future!
My name is Zachary Waite. I am a first year student at The Ohio State University majoring in Neuroscience. I am from Rocky River, Ohio where I participated in many activities and organizations, ranging from Varsity Basketball to the National Honors Society. Throughout my four years at Ohio State, I hope to research mental diseases and disorders and make a difference within the medical community through extensive volunteering. After graduation, I plan to attend medical school and pursue an occupation involving orthopedics and sports related injuries.
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Personally, I feel like this past year has been one of the biggest years of my life. During my freshman year, I have grown so much as a person, student, and leader. I have pushed myself extremely hard academically, physically, and socially this year and it has only made me a better person today. Academically, I have learned how I study best and how to be successful while taking difficult courses. On the other hand, I have made several new friends and placed myself outside my comfort zone by applying for numerous leadership positions. In saying this, I feel like my freshman year at Ohio State has been very successful and has only set myself up to continue to accomplish more great things in the future.
Global Awareness: Over winter break, I participated on the Pinellas Country Sea Grant BuckISERV trip. This trip focused on restoring the local environment by cleaning Florida’s coasts and removing invasive species like the Brazilian Pepper tree from the surrounding ecosystem. I particularly enjoyed presenting at a local elementary school on the importance of protecting our environment and ways we can promote sustainability in our community from recycling to decreasing water usage in our daily lives. This trip opened my eyes to how important the topics of conversation biology and sustainability are in our modern world and I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to participate on this trip and learn more about a pressing issue in our society.
Original Inquiry: In my second year at Ohio State, I began working in the Gur Laboratory. This lab studies the interactions of prenatal stress, the intrauterine environment, and the gut-brain axis. Over the course of these two semesters, I felt as though I was learning more in the lab than I was in some of my lecture halls. Also, this experience helped me understand a lot of the material covered in my Neuroscience classes while most of the research techniques and subject matter crossed over to my time in the laboratory. Research has made me appreciate the field of science even more and has allowed me to think about complex ideas involving in a completely different way. Throughout the year, I learned many skills including RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, qPCR analysis, mice dissections, ELISAs, and much more. I would not trade for the world the many things I have learned over this short period of time and the several mentors I have acquired through the process. Next year, I plan on continuing my time in this lab and presenting at multiple research forums.
Academic Enrichment: In my interview with my Resident Advisor, she answered many questions that pertain to my career path. She gave me advise on how to enrich my medical school application with experiences that will help my chances getting into medical school. Specifically, she emphasized the importance of research, and, as a result, this summer I plan to start applying for several research positions around campus. Additionally, she gave me ideas of where I could volunteer during the semester like Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Wexner Medical Center. I am very grateful to have had this interview with her as she has given me quality advice on how to obtain my goals.
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: This past year, I have completed over twenty hours of volunteering at various locations around Columbus. A few of these include volunteering at the Martin Janis Community Center, the Martin Luther King Day of Service, and Relay for Life. Every single one of these opportunities this semester have helped me understand how much of a difference you can make in your community and taught me how I can continue to make an impact in the future.