On Saturday, February 24, I attended the TEDx event at the Wexner Center for the Arts hosted by the TEDx student organization at Ohio State. Although I was only able to stay for two performances, I was highly impressed with the speakers I listened to along with the list of other speakers performing at the event. At the event, I heard from two speakers: Harvey Blakeman and Sabrina Ali Jamal-Eddine. The first speaker, Harley Blakeman, discussed his incredible life story and how trauma from his childhood, the death of his father and mother’s drug addiction, lead him into the world of drug use and drug trafficking. He was arrested at the age of 19 and sentenced to prison in Georgia. After being released from prison, Blakeman moved in with his grandmother and started working minimum wage jobs to get back on his feet. Eventually, he decided to apply at Columbus State Community College, and soon after transferred to Ohio State, where he graduated with a degree in business from the Fisher College. Due to the difficulty of finding jobs after college with a criminal record, Blakeman is now a social entrepreneur and founded HonestJobs.co to encourage employers to adopt hiring policies that are more accepting and lenient towards former criminals. It was incredible to hear his story and everything that he had overcome and definitely put things into perspective for me in my own life. Although it’s not directly related to international affairs, I am curious to learn more about the societal attitudes toward those with criminal records in other countries because the issue of helping criminals get adjusted back into society is something that applies around the world. His talk allowed me to realize that I am incredibly privileged in my own life to come from a supportive family, and he also helped me understand that making mistakes is part of being a human; it will not prevent you from succeeding later on in life.
I also was able to hear Sabrina Ali Jamal-Eddine speak for the second time this year, and I was blown away by her words yet again. Jamal-Eddine is a student at Ohio State and spoke about a program she created for incarcerated male youth that encourages them to use poetry and hip hop to express their emotions and hardships. She performed one of her own poetry-rap routine and discussed the maltreatment of women in society, and it almost brought me to tears. Sabrina also talked about her time abroad in Ethiopia where she studied international healthcare systems and how they differ from the United States, and she hopes to eventually pursue a PhD in nursing in order to effect political change in the realm of healthcare in the United States. Sabrina’s speech was highly informative and relevant to international affairs because she discussed some of the comparisons between the countries in which she has studied and she hopes to advocate for underrepresented communities in the future. I was incredibly inspired by all the work she has done to educate herself about underrepresented groups and use that knowledge to help improve their lives. Her work reminds me that in order to fully understand and advocate for a group, you must be immersed within their life – being a bystander or serving them based upon your own preconceived notions of the group won’t cut it. I am grateful that I attended the TEDx event because it inspired me about my own future and the things I can achieve if I put my mind to it!
On Saturday, December 1, I attended a service project at Columbus Global Academy school hosted by Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), a program dedicated to helping and serving refugee and immigrant students in Columbus City Schools. In addition to the mentoring program for refugee students, CRIS also serves an instrumental role in Columbus to provide families with other services in regards to immigration or legal services. For the project, a group of IA scholars and CRIS mentors worked together to paint a mural designed by freshmen in IA to be displayed on a wall at Columbus Global Academy.
It felt extremely rewarding to complete a project like this one for the students at Columbus Global Academy because students who attend the school are solely immigrant or refugee students who are enrolled at the school for two years with the purpose of learning English. I felt as though the theme behind the mural was incredibly relevant to the mission of the school; a little boy sat by a tree reading a book while animals of all types surrounded him. Although this sounds a little cliche, I think the different animals represent all the different types of students that attend Columbus Global Academy and their various backgrounds.
The mural we painted reminded me of my Black Women Writers course that I took during spring semester last year. Throughout the class, we discussed intersectionality and the fact that individuals who identify with more than one minority group (i.e. a Syrian female) are hit with multiple levels of oppression, and consequently face challenges that are unique to individuals who identify with only one or no minority groups. For instance, in regards to access to education, immigrant students face added levels of oppression because not only are they in a different ethnic group, but they also often lack the ability to speak English, as is the case with many students at Columbus Global Academy. Because of the added oppression, I’m glad we could give back to a community who typically does not receive attention or messages of compassion from others in American society.
After attending the event, I am curious to learn more about the curriculum at the school and the ways in which students are presented information about the English language in their classes. I would also like to learn more about the retention rates at the school because immigrant students are more likely to drop out of school at higher rates than other demographic groups. Additionally, I think it would be interesting to know where students go after graduating from Columbus Global Academy and whether they enroll in higher education or enter the workforce. Overall, I am so glad that we were able to make a lasting impression at the school, and I am eager to find out how the students react to the mural!
On Thursday, October 25, I attended the International Affairs scholars’ mini-involvement fair in between Smith Steeb and Park Stradley! The involvement fair featured a variety of different student organizations at Ohio State that all center around the theme of international affairs in some shape or form, so it was a great way for first and second year International Affairs scholars to get involved with groups they hadn’t previously been involved with before. Some of the organizations I spoke with includes Advocates for Women of the World (AWOW), Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA), Global Health Initiative (GHI), and Doctors without Borders.
As a current member of Advocates for Women of the World, I was excited to see the club speaking to other students! The group’s primary mission is to advocate for the rights of women on a global spectrum, and it does so through four break-out committees: women’s health, economic empowerment, sexual assault awareness, and girls’ education. Each committee is action-oriented and strives to create fundraisers or other events to raise awareness and funds for different organizations that may impact women throughout the world.
The Collegiate Council on World Affairs was another great student group represented at the fair. CCWA consists of Ohio State’s Model U.N. team who are currently ranked number 1 for public schools in the nation, and the team travels throughout the country to delegate their proposals regarding foreign affairs. The group also has its own publication to raise awareness about foreign policy and international issues in its Alger Magazine.
Global Health Initiative and Doctors without Borders were also represented at the mini-involvement fair. It was really interesting to hear from both organizations about a different aspect to international affairs that’s not always discussed: health. GHI does a lot of work to raise awareness regarding health inequities in the U.S. and abroad and often brings in speakers to discuss these issues. Doctors without Borders, an international nonprofit organization, also holds many events to raise awareness about health issues across the globe. The doctors who contribute provide health services to primarily war-torn areas where access to health care is limited. The group at Ohio State strives to further the mission of the agency by raising awareness for the individuals in these parts of the world by volunteering in Columbus and hosting fundraisers to donate to the cause.
Although I am fairly involved at Ohio State and probably won’t have time to join other clubs, it was incredibly enlightening to learn more about the passions of other Ohio State students to get involved with world affairs and be more globally engaged. Most of the student organizations I spoke with host events, so I will definitely be interested in attending them once I hear more about it! In relation to my coursework, I took a Black Women Writers course in spring of 2017, which focused on a lot of the themes presented by AWOW and GHI. Many of the authors we read incorporated elements of womens’ health issues like sexual assault and inadequate access to health care, which reflects highly in the work that AWOW and GHI do to combat those issues. I think if I had to ask each presenter what in their life caused them to be passionate about the issues the group works to address, I would have been very intrigued by their responses. Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to see all the work Ohio State students are doing to be globally engaged!
Being quite the political junkie, I was eager to attend the “OSU to D.C.” panel hosted by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, held in Page Hall on Monday, September 17th. Among the panel were three Buckeye alumni who all offered insight on their own careers in Washington. All three panelists were also involved in Ohio State’s Washington Academic Internship Program (WAIP) and seized the opportunity to work as interns in D.C. for a semester while gaining course credit. Although the speakers’ experiences in Washington centered primarily around domestic politics (Office of Michelle Obama, Environmental Protection Agency, Capitol Hill internship), the WAIP program is extremely versatile and allows Ohio State students to intern in a variety of different fields, including those concerning foreign affairs. However, even a Capitol Hill intern could be working in offices or committees that involve foreign policy.
In terms of the advice the panelists shared, it definitely inspired me to question my own career goals after I graduate from Ohio State. I have always been interested in attending law school, but I am increasingly aware that there are a plethora of riveting jobs fit to my interests in D.C. where a law degree is not necessarily required. The speakers also commented about the ever-changing nature of their jobs, which put me at ease to know that there is a great chance that I can experiment in a lot of different fields. Aside from my future career, I am definitely eager to research more about my own options regarding the WAIP program after hearing about the panelists’ own experiences. Although I am deterred by the financial aspect of the program, I am highly interested in working in D.C. to understand more about my own interests and to tailor my resume to future employers. Having the ability to work on Capitol Hill or in another office or organization in Washington would provide me with a vast network of connections who could potentially offer me future employment or help me to make connections with other people.
As a Political Science and Public Affairs Journalism major, several of my classes have introduced themes that were discussed at the “OSU to D.C.” panel. One in particular that stood out to me was the concept of bipartisanship and the importance of being able to cooperate with those who have vastly different opinions than your own. Without a sense of civility between you and your colleagues, you will inevitably create more tension and potentially drive the other party away to a greater extent. The panelists spoke to the fact that everyone working in D.C. has a love for America and is working in some way or another to improve it. If I had the chance, I wish I could have asked the speakers how the WAIP program made them more appealing to employers and how it set them aside from other candidates. After hearing about this incredible Ohio State-run opportunity, I look forward to potentially working in Washington, D.C. after I graduate.
Hi! My name is Maeve Walsh, and I am a freshman at The Ohio State University. I grew up in Rocky River, OH, a suburb outside of Cleveland (go Cavs!), and with numerous relatives who are OSU alumni, I can’t wait to experience life as a Buckeye. I am double majoring in Political Science and Journalism, and I am part of the International Affairs Scholars program. Although I’m not sure where my career will take me, I know I want to incorporate my passion for politics, world affairs, writing, foreign language, and travel into my profession. As the former editor of my high school newspaper, I have gained a deeper understanding for the importance of journalism in our society, and I hope to advance my adoration of the written word by involving myself with The Lantern and/or the Journal of Politics and International Affairs at OSU. I am particularly passionate about helping underprivileged and marginalized communities, which is why I hope to get involved with Buck-I-Serv and other service groups on campus. In high school, I participated in Appalachia Service Project (ASP), a one-week service project in the summer dedicated to repairing homes for impoverished people in the Appalachian region. ASP quickly became one of my favorite activities, and my passion for social change definitely grew as a result. I love working with others, and I am eager to take advantage of opportunities at Ohio State where I can interact with both like-minded people and those with different perspectives. I also plan on studying abroad to further my relationships with teachers and students, while developing my understanding for my areas of study and different cultures.
[ “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 information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. 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 information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. 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 information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]
During the first semester of my freshman year at Ohio State, the most compelling and thought-provoking class I took was my Civil Rights/Black Power Movements class in the African and African-American Studies Department. Although I have always been passionate about human rights and learning about the civil rights movement in past history classes, I have realized that a significant amount of black history is neglected in textbooks. One of the recurring themes in the class comes from Frederick Douglass’s 1857 poem and the idea that “power concedes nothing without a demand.” Throughout history we tend to view racial protests as quick and instantaneous, when in reality, they take years if not decades to gain advances towards social change. After studying several racial movements and black leaders in the class, each successful gain toward progress was granted as a result of the struggle from a group of people. In other words, a social movement and fight for equality will not be successful if no one struggles throughout the process. This has been demonstrated throughout history with the number of black men and women who have been assaulted and killed trying to fight for their rights. Frederick Douglass’s poem is still extremely applicable to today’s world, and its message has developed my desire to find a career in which I can help the marginalized and has allowed me to be more empathetic towards minorities and those who are still deprived of their rights in society.
[Your “About Me” is an introduction and should provide insight into who you are as a person and a learner. This should include a picture of you that is appropriate in a professional/academic context. This information should be continually updated. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]