Major: B.A. in Journalism (2009) and M.A. in Applied Linguistics (2016)
Hometown: Chardon, OH
Involvement on Campus: Taught classes in English Language Improvement Program (ELIP) and Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE). Campus Ambassador (now referred as a Student Ambassador) Linguistics Society of Ohio University.

Why did you choose Ohio University?

I visited once my junior year of high school and then attended the Scripps High School Journalism Workshop that summer. I was immediately captivated by the campus. It felt like home to me, and I knew I wanted to spend my college years at OHIO.

How did you choose your major and what excited you most about it?

Journalism was a great fit for me as an undergraduate because I got to cultivate my writing while also learning about other topics. The fact that Scripps was a top ten journalism school also helped! Additionally, I tutored international students in the OPIE writing lab during undergrad, which awakened a love of different cultures and gave me some lifelong friends! After taking a year off during undergrad, I decided to get my Masters in Applied Linguistics from Ohio University to be able to teach English to international students. I loved this program because the faculty are supportive and knowledgeable. My classmates were diverse and from many different countries, which allowed for important perspectives. We received a lot of hands-on teaching experience while also learning theory, which I loved.

Have you ever used Career and Leadership Development Center (CLDC) services on campus?

Yes, I met with them before I graduated from undergradwhere they gave me helpful advice for finding a job. I also learned about Handshake through the CLDC, where I applied for the Urban Teacher program that I am currently in! The hiring process happened really fast –I applied to the program and then was moved to a final interview the next day.While it was really exciting, it also required a lot of life changes for me –moving from Athens to D.C.and selling my house. I met with the CLDC to help determine if it was the right career move for me, and their guidance helped me determine that it definitely was. I’m really grateful for their support and insight!

Have you taken on any leadership roles at OHIO? If so, please describe.

During my masters, I was a graduate student representative for the Linguistics Society of Ohio University. This included activities such as planning social events and serving as a liaison between the graduate students and faculty.

Tell us about one of your most significant career development experiences at OHIO.

I had the privilege of teaching in the ELIP department for 3.5 years, where I received hands-on coaching and support. The training I received here was invaluable. ELIP gave me the ability and professional confidence to pursue the teacher training program I am currently in today. Although this was after my masters, I also took one of their classes during graduate school and attended professional development seminars they hosted, which really helped ease the process of writing in graduate school. If you have the opportunity to participate in ELIP classes or events, do it! It will make your life easier.

What is your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?

The Bobcat community is a supportive one. When I moved to D.C.this summer, the people who immediately were eager to help me were fellow Bobcats. Even though I was not super close with them in college, they welcomed me into their community and have helped D.C. feel like home. I think that’s a special trait we have – that we are adaptable and we create a safe and welcoming space for others to enter. That’s how I felt the first time I stepped onto OHIO’s campus, and that’s a big reason why D.C. has felt like home so quickly.

What advice would you give to your fellow Bobcats?

Do what you love. Find a supportive community so that you feel safe taking risks. Enjoy the local Athens community – it is a special, beautiful one!

What have you been doing since graduation and how did you get that job?

I’m currently in the Urban Teachers program in Washington, D.C. It is a four-year teaching training program where you receive a Masters of Science in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University. I was admitted to the program because I had a lot of teaching experience from the ELIP and OPIE departments at Ohio University, because of the master’s I received from the linguistics department, and because of the professional training and coaching I received from ELIP –specifically Elliott Casal (now in hisPhD program at Penn State University), Dr. Dawn Bikowski, and Dr. Joe Lee. I also applied to the program through Handshake, which I learned about from the CLDC.

Interview conducted by Makya Trussell, SACM Writer 

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