Graduation: Spring 2018
Major: Specialized Studies with concentrations in Environmental Geography and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Involvement on campus: Undergraduate research scholar for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs; Women’s Mentoring Program; Career and Leadership Development Center 21st Century Leadership Certificate, Professional Leadership Certificate, and Foundations for First-Year Students Leadership Certificate
Can you talk a little bit about your involvement on campus?
This is my third year as an undergraduate research scholar at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and I work on the energy and environment team. With this position, I work with the Master’s of Environmental Studies students as the environmental communications research scholar. I interview the master’s students and other research scholars who work at the Voinovich school about their research and connect it to larger themes in environmental studies.
I’m also in the women’s mentoring program through the Women’s Center at Ohio University. I’m a second-year mentee and it’s a great opportunity for undergraduate students to get paired with either a faculty member or professional staff member who has similar research interests or similar personal interests. That’s been really great for professional development experiences.
This semester I’ve also taken up a position with the Student Senate Environmental Affairs Commission as a Vice-Commissioner. Through this position, I’m looking to diversify my environmental studies interests and involvement as I look forward to graduate school and life beyond OU.
What has been your most valuable experience from these organizations?
My biggest involvement is my research scholar position with the Voinovich school and not only has that allowed me to explore environmental studies more broadly, it’s allowed me to fill a position in need. I have a journalism background and that knowledge and experience was something the school didn’t have. So it’s been really cool to fill a position that they needed and it’s been a great professional development opportunity as well.
What are your plans post-graduation?
Right now, my plan is to take a gap year and do some soul searching for a bit. Ultimately, I would definitely like to attend graduate school and my career path would most likely lead me toward teaching and doing research at a university. However, I would really like to explore doing some applied work in the field and using that to help me teach.
Can you talk a little bit about your internship experience?
I’ve had three major internships, the first one was after my freshman year at the Ohio EPA as their public interest center intern and that was super eye-opening because I thought that’s where I wanted to end up some day. However, through the internship, I learned that it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be, but it was nice to find out that early on in my college career that it was different than what I expected and ultimately not for me.
The last two summers I’ve worked with the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) as the social media coordinator for the conference at the University of California-Berkeley location in 2016 as well as the Northwestern University location in 2017. Those were really really great opportunities and I made a lot of great friends, but it was also a great professional development opportunity.
Do you have any advice for fellow Bobcats?
Try everything. You never know what you’re going to like or what you’re not going to like unless try things out. I came into OU as a journalism major and I kept that major for three semesters, but I probably should have switched after my freshman year. I was so scared that I was going to pick something wrong and that it would haunt me for the rest of my life. But, if you’re feeling that gut instinct that something isn’t working, try something else out. Freshman year doesn’t define your whole future and if you change your mind on what you want to do that’s okay.
What is your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?
I would have to say the sense of community. I had an experience during one of my internships where I injured my knee and I had to go to the hospital and get an MRI. I found out while I was there that my doctor graduated from Ohio University. As soon as I found that out and we made that connection, he really took care of my case and followed up with me, which was really nice.
Interview conducted by CLDC Social Media Intern Kate Ansel