Campus Seminar Post

This week, we were required to attend a campus seminar in the STEM field. This task was fairly intimidating being a first-year who hasn’t even declared their major yet. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to understand everything the speaker said, or what kind of seminar I would even find interesting. Luckily there were many seminars to choose from and I ended up going to one hosted by OSU’s Chemistry Department titled, “Scalable Multifunctional Nano-architectures for Energy Storage”. Because it was intimidating, I decided to go with one of my friends to make me more comfortable. I was a little nervous, but I was also excited to see how much of an advanced topic I would be able to comprehend.

The seminar wasn’t too far away so we got there with plenty of time before it started. There were more people than I had expected, and we were certainly the only undergraduates in the audience. Although we felt a little bit out of place, we weren’t leaving until we learned everything we could about scalable multifunctional nano-architectures for energy storage. The speaker, Debra Rolison, was introduced by a younger researcher who described her many feats. Among many other achievements including prestigious awards and honors, Rolison got her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently the head of the Advanced Electrochemical Materials section at the United States Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. She started off her talk in a very casual manner, speaking in a way that made us feel very comfortable about the information she was about to present. She also started off the presentation itself in a way that almost eased us into the more “research-heavy information”. This really helped me focus and stay attentive to the presentation.

The information that Rolison presented on was fairly advanced, and I won’t lie, I didn’t understand most of it. Despite this, I did understand the big-picture of the talk, and I did come away with more information than I came in with. The premise of the talk was developing a new type of battery to replace the dangerous lithium-ion batteries that can be found in cars, our cellphones, and many other devices. At the Naval Reseach Laboratory, Rolison and her team have changed the normal style of battery to make it more energy-efficient, cheaper, and safer. They have done this by developing a sponge-like material with pores inside. The anode material and the cathode material are formed into the pores in a way where the reaction has the most amount of contact points, making it much more effective than the standard. She also described the difference between many materials used to create batteries such as nickel, argon, lithium, silver, and the suggested material, zinc. Overall, it seems like Rolison’s team is on the path to successfully banning lithium-ion batteries for good.

I found the information that was presented very interesting. Although much of the theory and research behind the main points were unfamiliar to me, I was still able to get something out of this seminar. I think that I will also be attending more of these seminars in the near future. As undergraduates, it seems productive to involve ourselves in things that are more advanced such as these seminars. There are always new things to learn, and new connections to be made.

Campus Resource Post

Initially, I did not know what I wanted to visit for the Campus Resource Post. But at the beginning of the semester, I injured my shoulder and I saw a perfect excuse to visit one of OSU’s campus resources, the Wilce Student Health Center. I was very nervous about visiting the Wilce at first. I did not know how to schedule an appointment, what I would do when I got there, or who I was supposed to talk to. Luckily, the Wilce Student Health Center website walked me through every step of the way. First, I had to set up my Student Health Services account and submit the required documentation. After that, I was ready to schedule an appointment. Even the appointment-making process was easy to do. The website narrowed down my symptoms to a specific doctor that I should see for my specific injury. After viewing his availability, I booked my appointment with the doctor.

I managed to get into the Wilce fairly quickly, all things considered. I scheduled my appointment on a Thursday and got in to see the doctor on the following Monday. That was hardly a wait at all. My hope for this appointment was to learn about my injury and have a specialist recommend what I should do to help heal it. And that’s exactly what I got during my visit. The receptionist was very friendly when I walked in and she guided me exactly where I needed to go. After waiting for a short time, I got to see the doctor. He too was very friendly, and he informed me that although my injury was not as serious as it could have been, I should seek physical therapy to make sure I do not reinjure it. Following the appointment, I was able to schedule two weeks of physical therapy for my shoulder. Just like the other times, scheduling these appointments was just as easy to do with the help of the Wilce’s employees.

Just this week I have finished my last week of physical therapy at the Wilce Student Health Center. I can honestly say that the experience was better than I could have ever expected. Twice a week, for four weeks, I visited the Wilce to see my physical therapist, Andrew. Andrew was very helpful and friendly, helping my shoulder not only during the sessions, but also outside of the sessions by giving me at-home exercises to do. I have been to physical therapy in my hometown before, and I can truthfully say that this was as helpful as any other I have been to. I am far into recovery for my shoulder and I am still getting better every day. This is what I love about Ohio State. I honestly do not think that OSU is lacking in any campus resources. The fact that I can just walk outside and get the exact help I needed is incredible. I feel comfortable knowing that if I need anything, be it mental health care, campus safety resources, escort services, or more, I will not have to look far at all.

Student Organization Post

One of the things I was most excited about when I chose Ohio State was joining student organizations. There were so many options to choose from, I didn’t even know where to start. After the Mini Involvement Fair, I found a lot of student organizations that sounded interesting. Among these were Engineers Without Borders, Big Data Analytics, and the group I will talk about in this post, STEM Outreach. STEM Outreach sounded interesting for multiple reasons. First, it was a group that I had heard of before. Many of the 2nd year STEM Scholars I have met are either members or have tried out STEM Outreach. I had only heard good things about it. The second reason was because of what the organization does. STEM Outreach describes their purpose as, “to inspire K12 students to go into engineering or to be interested in STEM concepts, by teaching students how to build inexpensive science projects and the scientific backing for how they work” (from their organization page). I loved the idea of combining the STEM field with service, especially when it comes to helping kids. I remember loving all the STEM-like projects in grade school and I really liked the idea of helping other kids learn to love them as well.

It turned out that STEM Outreach was actually having a meeting the same night as the Mini Involvement Fair. A group of friends and I decided that we would go and check it out. This was good because I was way less nervous having a group of people to go with. When we got there, we were welcomed in and offered pizza. There were a good amount of people there but there were still seats for us. After a short presentation and icebreakers, were free to start on the project. We were tasked with building a small circuit that made a wire jump off a screw. During this time, we all got to know each other and bonded over the project. And the student leaders were super nice and helpful throughout the meeting. Overall, the meeting was a success. The best part was that we got to keep the projects we made! These are the projects we made at the last two meetings. The second one is the circuit mentioned above, and the first one is a flashlight that week made at the second meeting.

The first week or so, I found it difficult to find organizations I had interest in. For one, I have really late classes this semester, and many meetings take place during my physics lectures. After the Mini Involvement Fair, however, I found a few organizations that I didn’t know about that I would be interested in. STEM Outreach turned out to be a great choice. It will also be easy to fit this organization into my schedule. Meetings are bi-weekly on Wednesdays which works well and the events happen frequently enough that I can fit those in too. I think that being a member of this organization will be good for me in many ways. Obviously, I will be meeting new people and have something to occupy my time, but I will also be helping people while doing it.

Academic Resource Post

Today, I visited the Dennis Learning Center for academic coaching. Truthfully, I have never utilized a resource like this before. I have always been under the impression that tutoring and coaching weren’t for me, and I was thinking this could be a good experience. I think that there is certainly a stigma that comes with this kind of thing. Apart from myself, I believe that many people share this arbitrary feeling with me, that asking for help is a sign of weakness. I think that this partially comes from the experience we have had in high school where students are scared to ask questions because they will be perceived as stupid by their peers. I too was under this impression during high school and I am ready for a change. Needless to say, I was excited to see what this service had to offer.

I met with Sarah Hairgrove at the Dennis Learning Center’s north campus branch in Busch House. I was welcomed into the one-on-one setting and we got our meeting started pretty quickly. The first order of business was to decide what kinds of help I was interested in. After talking about it for a few minutes, we decided to talk about procrastination and study habits. Sarah was able to offer me some tips on how to combat this nasty habit. She suggested I start dividing my time and begin assignments (even just a little bit) right when they are assigned. For dividing time, Sarah said that splitting up large tasks into smaller deadlines worked for a lot of people. For example, if I had a 10-page paper due in a week, I shouldn’t say that I have a 10 page paper due on 9/18, I should say I have a 3-page paper due on 9/13, 9/15 and 9/17. This should help split up a scary deadline into more manageable parts. The second thing she suggested was to start assignments early. She suggested that if I have an exam a week from today, I should look at the first topic right after class. From my own experience, I can attest to the effectiveness of this tip. When I had a book to read earlier this semester, it took me a long time to pick it up for the first time. However, when I finally started to read the first few pages, it got easier and easier to read from then on. I think that these tips are really going to help me this semester, and during the rest of my time at OSU!

I noticed a lot of things during this visit. First, Sarah was very good at guiding me through the coaching process. It wasn’t just a lecture, it was more of a conversation between her and me. This was a great way of learning the tips and examples she was giving me. This also gave me a glimpse into the world of being a tutor/academic coach. I think that I might want to pursue a position like this in the future. Overall, this was a great experience for me and I will definitely be returning soon!

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 eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

[ “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 eportfolio@osu.edu. 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

[“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 eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

Artifacts

[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 eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

About Me

My name is Ethan Wert and I am a first-year STEM EE Scholars student at The Ohio State University. Right now, I am a Computer Science & Engineering Pre-Major and I hope to be accepted to the major this spring. I am from a small town in Ohio called Orrville, but when people ask, I just say I’m from “Akron-Canton area” to make it easier for everyone. Coming from a rural area was one of the biggest reasons Ohio State appealed to me. I am excited to change pace and experience a different style of life here in Columbus.

As far as hobbies go, I love a lot of different things. One of my favorite things is music. Not only do I love to listen to music, but I also play the guitar in my free time. Back in my hometown, I have also had the opportunity to play gigs with my friend on multiple occasions. I also love to watch movies, tv shows, and play video games. Favorites include any MCU movie, the Office, and Madden.

I am excited to start my progress in studying Computer Science. I have always been interested in programming, and I hope that learning more about it will make me like it even more. During my time at college, I hope to learn more about things like artificial intelligence and software engineering. I also hope to be a part of some internships throughout my time here. I feel that being in STEM EE Scholars will help me on my path to success. Being a member of the scholars communtiy will hopefully make connections and gain experiences that I could have never gotten anywhere else. Overall, I am excited that I am in a place with so many opportunities and possibilities to grow as a student and a person.