Sophomore Year in Review: GOALS

Global Awareness: What have you done so far to develop your Global Awareness? How do you plan to continue to work toward this goal? (For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.)

To develop my global awareness, I went on a study abroad trip to the United Kingdom this past semester. The trip was my first time being out of the country and also my first time flying. Having never been out of the country, I was never very globally aware, and it was honestly not something I had thought about very much before. The study abroad trip was, however, one of the most interesting experiences I have had in my colligate career and it allowed me to see the world from an entirely different viewpoint.  The sheer amount and diversity of things that we did during it made it a truly unique experience and I feel like I’ve actually learned a lot of information that I’ve not only enjoyed but will also actually use in the future. I was able to do and try so many new things, from new foods, to standing right in front of the stage at the globe, to meeting new people with entirely different experiences and viewpoints. In the future I would like to take additional courses focusing on global awareness and other cultures and then hopefully go experience them first hand.


Original Inquiry: What experiences have you had so far that have helped you to understand the research or creative process? How do you plan to continue to work toward this goal? (For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.)

My second year of OSU began my exploration of the research process. I was an RA in a social psychology lab, running participants through computerized tasks, dispensing medication, and taking blood samples. This upcoming year I will additionally working on a more complex fMRI study, still running participants, but with greater responsibilities. This new position has longer session lengths, requires more prepatory work, takes more biological samples, and requires more people and equipment to run. It will be more challenging than the previous experiments I have worked on and will require me to make on the spot decisions on what parts of the experiment I may have to cut due to time constraints. It is a step up for me and will help me learn more about the research process.  I also intend to begin working on a project of my own, working with the PI of the lab I am currently in. For this, I will take two thesis classes and begin working on my own experiments, analyze the data it produces, draw conclusions and then present the research at a forum. This will allow me to better understand the creation, data analysis, and writing parts of a research experiment, giving me insight into all of the processes that go on in the background of research that are required to make an experiment happen and be presented to others.


Academic Enrichment: How does your Honors Contract demonstrate a commitment to the goal of Academic Enrichment? How does your planned curriculum relate to your future aspirations? (Consider, for example, the following questions: Why did you choose the major(s) (and minor(s), if any) you chose? Why did you select the GE courses you have chosen? How do your selections demonstrate a commitment to excellence?)

I chose the Neuroscience major because I am interested in research, specifically related to the brain. I decided to add a psychology minor because the study of the mind is a great compliment to the more biologically based neuroscience. My planned curriculum includes research, extra science classes, extra neuroscience classes, and at least one graduate level course in addition to my normal requirements. This shows my dedication to my topic of study and how I am trying to maximally enrich my education here at the university. For my GE requirements, I am taking honors and upper-level courses, which offer more in-depth looks into the topics they cover, which will give me a better understanding of a large number of topics. Th wide variety of general education topics and the multitude of upper level neuroscience courses I will take as a part of my honors contract show my commitment to my personal academic enrichment  and will give me the background information I will need in order to delve further into neuroscience research at the graduate level.


Leadership Development: With which activities are you involved? How does your involvement contribute to your development as a leader? How does your involvement relate to your personal and/or career goals?

My biggest involvement on campus is with the Young Scholars Program, which provides need-based scholarships to minority students from the nine major urban cities in Ohio. I have previously worked as a Peer Leader for the program, working with pre-colligate and incoming freshmen to help prepare them for college life and the rigors of OSU.  Currently, I am an Academic Success Partner for the Young Scholars Program, meeting weekly with five of the freshmen scholars in a mentor capacity. These positions have contributed greatly to my development as a leader. I personally have a tough time getting to know and getting used to new people, and these programs have necessitated that I talk to many new people, which has made it easier for me communicate with new people, helping me develop my communication skills. My communication skills have been something I have always wanted to work on, and my leadership positions have helped me increase them, which has in turn made me a better leader.


Service Engagement: List the service-oriented activities with which you have been involved (both ongoing and short-term commitments). How do you plan to continue to engage with the community?

My biggest engagement is, as stated previously, the Young Scholars Program where I have worked over three hundred hours as an ambassador, a Peer Leader, a Peer Success Leader, and Academic Success Partner. I have also participated in A Day in the Life of a Buckeye where a high school student shadowed me for a day and volunteered for the Undergraduate Neuroscience Outreach Organization 5k run for Parkinson’s disease where over $1,400 was raised for the cause. I plan on continuing my work with the Young Scholars Program and I hope to one day be able to go back to my hometown of Cleveland and help other under-privileged students find a path to success.


Global Awareness:

Global awareness involves expanding your view point past your own experiences to better understand the lives, cultures, differences, and challenges of others. To achieve this goal, I plan to attend study abroad trips to England to learn about the culture, history, and experiences of those in Great Britain. I also plan to do service trips, both in the United States and around the world in order to better understand the difficulties of others and help promote global well-being.


Original Inquiry:

Original inquiry involves engaging in the research process, both inside and outside of the classroom. Instead of simply gaining knowledge, you are creating it. I plan to achieve the goal of original inquiry by getting involved in neuroscience research here at the university and possibly elsewhere across the United States and the world. I would like to get involved in research involving neurological disorders, in order to help ease the difficulties of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Eventually, I would like to work on my own independent project and hopefully be publish in a scientific journal.


Academic Enrichment:

Academic enrichment involves perusing excellence in your studies, applying the knowledge you gain to both the classroom and the real world. A large part of my plan for academic enrichment involves my planned courses for my major and the courses I will take as a part of the liberal arts education that Ohio State provides. As a neuroscience major I will be able to gain a deep understanding of the brain and nervous system. The more general liberal arts education I will receive will give me a broad and general understanding of many different aspects of academia. I will be able to expand my horizon past my main area of study and learn about areas of study such as philosophy, art, and history, areas which I may not have been able to experience if I did not pursue a liberal arts education.


Leadership Development:

Leadership development involves building upon educational experiences to develop leadership skills in order to become prepared to be a leader in your career field and in life in general. As a freshman, I do not have much involvement in which I have the chance to be a leader, I am however an Ambassador to the Young Scholars program here at the university.  As an ambassador in this program and a current Young Scholar at Ohio State I have the opportunity to speak to Young Scholars in high school about the opportunities and challenges they will face at OSU and help them better understand what it is like to live and study here. In addition to this, I plan to get involved in mentorship programs in the future and get involved in and lead one of the programs here based on helping those with mental health disorders.

Service Engagement:

Service engagement involves giving back to the community and serving society, both locally and internationally. Though currently not involved in any service opportunities, I would like to go on service trips both around the United States and globally in order to help serve in areas in greater need then the areas that I have grown up and lived in. I would also like to give back locally by mentoring younger people in order to better prepare the next generation for success and by joining a program based on helping those with mental health disorders in order to help some of the people in our society that are most in need.


My current aspirations are to become a behavioral neuroscience researcher and hopefully one day make a discovery that will make a great impact on the well-being people in need. As a first year neuroscience major, I am beginning on the track to make that dream a reality. In the coming years, I hope to better understand how the brain functions by taking neuroscience related classes taught by the wonderful professors here at the Ohio State University and gain hands-on experience in the field by getting involved in some of the innumerous research opportunities offered here.



At my first football game at OSU we faced Indiana and won. The school spirit and sense of community is why I love Ohio State so much.

About Me


Zachary Weisenseel is an incoming freshman from Cleveland, Ohio, majoring in Neuroscience. He looks forward to all of the new experiences Ohio State has to offer and to getting involved with the university’s great research opportunities.