Meet the Scholars



2014 - 2015

Hannah Borowski

  • _N1A6416As a Linguistics major, I tend to focus more about the formatting, science, and history of words. Rarely do I focus on using those words to create texts, for example, a bio about myself. But that does not mean that I will not try this time around.

    To begin, my name is Hannah Borowski, daughter of Richard and Jane. I was born in Illinois, moved to Delaware, Ohio, and now have decided to further my education at Ohio University. My childhood, as everyone’s should be, was happy, simple, and full of education. Music played a huge role in my early life. It started with being forced to learn the cello. But then came the trumpet, and the piano, the ukulele, and the guitar and choir after choir. I learned quickly that music would always be one of my favorite aspects of life. If you see me walking on campus, I can almost guarantee that my headphones will be in with The Shins, Beach House, or “some other band you have just got to check out” blasting in my ears. Another life long friend of mine is reading. When I was little, I always loved reading anything I could get my hands on. I remember as a young girl, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien being the book that hooked me on classic literature, mainly because of the spirit of adventure, which played a huge role in my life later on. It started the summer before my freshman year of high school. The adventurous spirit in me finally got to spread its wings. I went to Belmopan, Belize for a week with my youth group to volunteer with local children. A week after that, I flew to Quebec City, Canada for a week with my French class to finally practice the language in real life. My freshman year passed, slower that life had ever passed. I knew something had to change. I had my first experience of real adventure and there was no looking back. So I devoted my sophomore year to finding a way to travel yet again. Successful, I left for Belgium in late August of 2012, not to return until early July of 2013. My junior year was spent expanding my understanding of many other cultures, my comprehension of French, and most important to me, traveling to as many countries as possible. I hit nine countries in ten months. From Normandy with my host family, Amsterdam with my friends, and England on my own, I will cherish every trip I took that year.

    As much as I loved my adolescence, I am determined for my future to be more exciting than my past. I am currently double majoring in Linguistics and Global Studies: War and Peace, studying Arabic, and getting a certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. My intention with my secondary education is to devote my life to the global fight for gender equal education, especially in Northern Africa and the Middle East. I want to work over seas for as long as I can, and one day, build my own school with a safe and happy environment for girls to learn. The Margaret Boyd Program is all about focusing on the positive development of women in their education and career, and I hope to carry that mantra to every country I travel to.

Lily Bradley

  • _N1A6404Hello! My name is Lily Bradley and I am a News and Information Journalism major in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism here at Ohio University. My home is Johnstown, Pennsylvania – a charming and quaint little town full of cultural heritage and history.

    All that I am I owe to God and my wonderful parents, J.B. and Amy. My Dad – a teacher and former professional NHL goaltender – taught me the importance of practicing compassion, commitment, and determination in everyday life. I can credit my love of performing and journalism to my Mom, who was the lead anchor of the 6 o’clock news while I was growing up and is currently the PR Director for a large hospital system and a college professor. More importantly, I will be forever grateful to my mom for giving me a personal example that women can have it all – a solid education, a happy family, and a thriving career. Also, I guess I could thank my parents for my two “built-in” best friends – my younger brothers, Boston and Cole.

    According to Felician Sister Mary Lauretta, “To be successful, the first thing to do is to fall in love with your work.” I have been performing for as long as I can remember, training and dancing the classical Cecchetti form of ballet for fifteen years and singing through countless musical productions over a span of six years. Although my pointe shoes may be behind me, I look at broadcast journalism as a new way in which I can perform.

    Some of my favorite things include pugs and bulldogs, diet coke with lemon, exercising, history, ghost stories, the New England Patriots, the color red, the fashion icon Jackie Kennedy, and my cat, Jinxie. 

    I am thrilled to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar and look forward to my time at Ohio University!

Hannah Britton

  • IMG_5149I am Hannah Britton, a student of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. A few things about my background would be: I am from Painesville, Ohio; I have a twin sister, a younger sister and a younger brother and I am very passionate about my diverse background. It is hard for me to sit down and write about all of the things that define me or have made me the person that I am. I believe that I am a combination of all of the people I have ever met and all of the places I have ever been. I believe that I am the person that I am today because of my experiences and the little things that seem so mediocre to me but could be amazing to someone else, vice versa. I take pride in all of the mistakes and failures that I have made thus far in my life, even the embarrassing moments that make me cringe to remember, because they each count as a vital learning lesson and character shaping event. These experiences have truly molded me into such a strong person so much to the point that I feel as though I cannot fear anything. Everything that happens in life is good, it’s all about how you look at it, and even what we feel are the worst moments in our lives have some good hidden in them. Some days I feel as though I am accomplishing a lot and other days I just want more, more for myself and the world around me. Since I have been a student at Ohio University I have earned some great honors and I want to keep striving for more, I don’t ever want to become complacent. Currently, I am the freshman representative for the NAACP here at Ohio University, a proud member of the Jfresh Newsroom and a Margaret Boyd Scholar. I hold a job in the African American Studies Office Suite and a member of various clubs on campus such as: Ohio University Recruiting Society, Black Student Cultural Programming Board and a new member of Public Relations Society of America. I am not sure where I want my studies to take me job wise, all I know is that I want to travel the world and soak up as many cultures as I can. I believe that diversity is the key to a successful world and we must become more accepting of differences and the unfamiliar to truly be a progressive society. Meeting new people, hearing new stories, and emerging in new cultures are the things that excite me most through this journey of life.

    I would love to meet up with anyone who would like to get to know more-

Sierra Cardiff

  • _N1A6431My name is Sierra Dawn Cardiff. I currently attend Ohio University and I am majoring in Early Childhood Education. With that degree I hope to become a teacher as I love being around kids and having a chance to be someone they can look up to and learn from. With my love for children I also love animals. I'm pretty sure I will one day be that women who brings every stray animal into her home.  Here at OU I am involved in the LINKS program and now MBSP and I couldn't be more happy or excited about both! I was born in Clarksburg, WV but I have lived in Marietta, OH since I was in first grade. Some important people in my life are my mother, Patricia Cardiff, my father, Warren Cardiff, my brother and sister, Logan and Seneca Cardiff and my niece Layla Cardiff. Growing up I was the baby of the family and I'm so thankful for that because I had amazing people to look up too. I believe that my family has made a huge impact on who I am today. I am extremely social and love being around and meeting new people. I've always been a people pleaser, which has its positive and negative effects. I am currently in a relationship with amazing man that I am so thankful for. I look to God in times of need and happiness and I hope I always keep my faith as it is very important to me.


    As for education, I attended Warren high school  where I was involved in student council, cheerleading, and track for four years and national honor society for one. I was also involved in a 4-H club. It is through these activities that I was able to create friendships, learn how to work in a team setting, and most importantly volunteer. In high school, volunteering my time for others was so important to me and it is something I hope to continue to do. Through volunteering, I was able to help community members and groups with projects or in times of need. During my senior of high school on April 26th one of my good friends passed away. That is one of the hardest things I had and still am overcoming. It showed me that my community can come together and support each other in a time of need. It was through this that I finally learned one of the biggest lessons of my life. Never take a single day for granted because we aren't guaranteed tomorrow. I'm so thankful to be where I am today, to be alive and to have the opportunity to meet and know people who have an impact on who I am.


    So with that I leave this, appreciate every day. Appreciate every person you meet. Help someone when they need it, or even when they don't. Hold the door for someone. Pray to God. Forgive. And lastly, smile, be happy, and work hard.


    John 13:7 "Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter."

Amelia "Mia" Chapman

  • IMG_5172Hello, my name is Amelia Chapman, but I often go by Mia for short. I am a Biological Sciences Pre-Medicine major in the Honors Tutorial College here at Ohio University. With that, I am pursuing German and Chemistry minors in the College of Arts and Sciences. After college, I plan to attend medical school with a concentration in cardiovascular surgery. I am a proud member of the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon here at Ohio University. Besides constant studying, I love to go out with friends, watch movies, and I’m a huge lover of music. I play the any and all things percussion, one of my favorites being jazz-styled drum set. I love to meet new people and I am so excited to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar!


    And remember… “Well behaved women seldom make history” –Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Olivia Cobb

  • IMG_5112Hello, I’m Olivia!


    I grew up in a Hiram, a college town outside of Cleveland, where there is never a shortage of good conversation, cornfields, or coffee. The most important things in the world to me are my family, my education, and my relationship with my surroundings.


    I’m currently majoring in English with the hope that I can break my most embarrassing addictions: ending all sentences in exclamation points and getting lost in flowery descriptions. My life passions float between running, writing, traveling, and anything that involves being outside and sweaty. I am a firm believer in overexpression and long conversations to discuss the state of the universe—beliefs which have so far served me well in the English department! I am left handed, an ex-Drama Club president, a poet, a swimmer, and most recently, a rock climber. I hope to find an endless well of life experiences here at OU that I can use to help others. I would love nothing more than to reflect fifty years from now and be able to call myself a life learner, an impactful and active member of society, and—as L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables would say—a kindred spirit. I cannot wait to take this next, and very exciting, step in my life as a Margret Boyd Scholar.



Mara Diaz

  • IMG_5157I am going to admit that writing about myself is not something at which I am very good because I have always been more of a talker than a writer, so I think I will start with a few general facts that I am sure you are all wondering. I am a native of Columbus, Ohio and am often described as an “old soul”. I was basically born to be an Ohio State buckeye being that I was born at Ohio State medical center, both of my parents and my aunt work there, my cousin goes there, I went to summer camps there all throughout my childhood, and more than 50% of my graduating high school class went there. Yet somehow, I ended up in Athens as a Bobcat and now an excited Margaret Boyd Scholar.


    I am the first born of my two favorite librarians, Karen and José Díaz. I also have a younger brother, Jacob, who is a junior in high school and plays eight instruments (he obviously received all the musical talent that was floating around in the gene pool). I went to Columbus Alternative High School and it was there that my interest in learning really came to life. I made life long friends there and had some really amazing teachers who pushed me to be the best that I could be. Also, after about 11 years of playing softball I became the captain of my high school team and was able to tap into my leadership abilities for the first time. I love just about all genres of music (except for country and screamo) but I have a special place in my heart for rhythm and blues music from the 50s and 60s. I am a big baseball fan and the Cincinnati Reds are my team. One of my favorite TV shows is Law and Order: SVU and I love the fact that I have the same birthday as Mariska Hargitay who plays one of the main characters.


    I first came to OU for the photojournalism program but halfway through the first semester realized that it was not what I really wanted to do as a career. I knew I wanted to remain in the Scripps College of Communication so I switched to communication studies and added a major in Spanish. I have always had an interest in Spanish since my father is from Puerto Rico. I went to a Spanish immersion elementary school and ever since knew the language would be an important part of my life. I am not sure exactly what career I want but I like the idea of being a foreign diplomat or a foreign representative for a company.


    Feminism is possibly the strongest belief I hold so with that in mind I will end this bio with a quote from one of my heroes Gloria Steinem: "The best way for us to cultivate fearlessness in our daughters and other young women is by example."

Sasha Gough

  • IMG_5076Greetings! I’m Sasha and I like long walks on the beach--just kidding. I think to know me best, you must keep in mind that I talk in song lyrics and think about Harry Potter 75% of the time. My true love in life is everything Disney and I try to go to the theme parks as often as I can. I love to write, and I love to admire other

     people’s art.


    My major is creative writing! I’ve been writing since I was in middle school, and it’s my passion. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with my degree, but I know that as long as I’m doing what I love (writing/reading) I’ll be happy.


    I live in a small town up in Northeast Ohio, but I don’t mind that. When I graduate, though, I have plans of living all over the country. New York, New York and Portland, Oregon appeal to me on an unspeakable level. I also have this pipe dream that I’ll spend some time in California, but we’ll see.


    I will also go on rants from time to time about things that I feel passionately about. I feel very passionately about most things. So if you like long winded conversations about anything that’s worth talking about, strike up a conversation with me.


    My ultimate dream is to change the world for the better. I don’t know if

    we’ll see anything substantial happen in our lifetime, but I would really like to be a part of the move forward.


    I’m Sasha Gough and I approve this message.

Nicolette Lacich

  • _N1A9803Ciao amici! (Hello Friends!) My name is Nicolette Lacich, commonly known by my nickname “Nic”. I do not speak fluent Italian; however, I am currently taking Italian Language courses here at Ohio University. Eventually, I hope to pursue the Italian Studies Certificate Program offered at Ohio University obtaining fluency and become certified upon graduation.    

    I was born and raised in a suburb of Youngstown, Ohio, where my parents and grandparents reside. Growing up I have always had an extreme passion for my unique ethnicity, my Mother’s side of the family is Italian and my Father’s side is Greek and Croatian; leading me to become a very proud Italian-Greek-Croatian American. Ultimately, this crazy Mediterranean mix has molded my beliefs and cultural values more than I can ever explain. The love, food, passion, and all around insanity that drives my family are what have made me into the woman I am today. I am a proud older sister of a wonderful young woman named Natalie who has brought more tears and laughter into my life than I thought possible.

    Throughout high school I was often referred to as an “old soul” as I have a love for anything historic and “past its time” whether that be a classic English novel or a black and white film each speak to me loud and clear. My hobbies include reading, writing, and traveling and I love to partake in each as often as possible. I am a hopeless romantic who admires all things Jane Austen as her writing encapsulates wit, romance, satire, and pure brilliance while tackling complex issues of her time.

    Currently, I am enrolled in the College of Business as an undecided major exploring my options in the business world. I envision traveling the world one day through my career. Choosing to attend Ohio University was a big leap of faith for me and I cannot express how happy I am that I made this move! I have met so many amazing young women and men who have a passion for life and the careers they are pursuing. The love that Ohio University and Athens, Ohio drive has made me happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I am very proud to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar and excited to have it be a part of my journey. I believe everyone has a story; I would love to hear yours.


Katie McMahon

  • _N1A6533My name is Katie McMahon, and I’m an Early Childhood Education major.


    One of my favorite quotes is “The doors will be opened to those who are bold enough to knock”, and I live by it every single day.  I can’t imagine all of the opportunities I would have passed up if I were too afraid to seek them. Along with that quote, I live by the motto, “a little kindness goes a long way.” It is so important to me to be encouraging and kind to every individual I encounter, because you never know whose life you will have an impact on.


    That’s my goal for being an educator; I want to make an impact on children’s lives. I want to work for Teach for America, educating and improving the lives of impoverished children all over the United States. I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum. When I was young I did not understand the difficulties of growing up without enough.  Later in life things changed and I learned what it’s like to not have enough. With this understanding under my belt, determination, and a proper college education, I hope to accomplish more than I can possibly dream.


    My senior year in high school, I worked at an after school latchkey program, and I accepted a full time position at the same program that summer. The opportunity to develop relationships with kids and watch them grow affirmed my love for education as I began my college career.


    I have had an incredible journey here at OU. During my first semester on campus I made strong friendships that will last a lifetime. I am also the treasurer of my A Cappella group, The Tempo Tantrums. I love it more than anything. Being a part of a group with tenacious, inspiring women was absolutely the encouragement I needed to apply for the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program.


    I am a fan of dogs (that’s an understatement I am obsessed with them), singing, laughing, and spending time with loved ones. If you want to get to know me better, send me an email at, I’d love to hear from you!



Alexandra McManamon

  • IMG_5070I think blackberries are the most aesthetically pleasing fruit. Aesthetics mean very much to me; I’m a studio art major. I grew up in the suburbs and that greatly influences the themes of my art work, as well as the consumption of processed foods and the ideas of memory and nostalgia. I am constantly fulfilling my need to create, if I am unable to draw, paint or physically create art, I like to write about art and I also attempt vegan baking. Outside of art, I educate myself about astrology. My sun sign is aquarius. Which is a sign strongly associated with creativity and innovation, which brings us right back to fulfilling my need to create. To create and synthesize is the most amazing process, its an ability I’m grateful to have, and one I hope to use to influence the world around me in a positive direction. 

Emily Morello

  • _N1A6483         Throughout my entire life, I always had one goal in mind for my future: become successful by hard work and dedication. Even at elementary age, I dreamed of college. Every time I visited a city with my family and we passed a university, I would ask if it was rated well for academics, and if it was, I put it in consideration for my future college. I knew I never wanted to settle for any ordinary job; I always wanted to aim for the most difficult occupations that seemed to change the world in some magnificent way. I figured the only way I could achieve my dream was to work hard in high school so I could attend a great university and receive a degree, which is exactly why I chose to study mechanical engineering at Ohio University.

             Before attending OU, I graduated from Howland High School, which is located in Warren, Ohio. My immediate family consists of my Mom, Dad, older brother (who also studies mechanical engineering at OU), and younger sister. My Mom’s side of the family is Spanish, and my Dad’s side is Italian, which ultimately leads to tons of love and craziness from my many relatives. My grandparents raised my family to open our horizons for new experiences, and to have this competitive spirit. Because of this, I have participated in many different types of sports, groups, and jobs. I love to water ski, wake board, and snow ski. I also am very passionate about running, so in high school I ran the 400 meter dash and 4x400 meter relay dash for our track and field team. Sadly, I had to quit because I injured my knees. I took up tennis as an alternative, and played freshman and sophomore year on a doubles team. After my sophomore year, I decided to quit school sports and stay active on my own time in order for me to hold a job as a barista at Jo for the Road Coffee Shop. I had a wonderful experience working there for over a year until college forced me to quit. This semester I will start my new job as a waitress at Lui Lui restaurant in Athens, Ohio.

             Besides sports and work, I was also involved in many clubs in high school. I was secretary of Spanish Club, a representative in Student Senate, and a member in the following: National Honor Society, SADD, Interact, FCCLA, and Ski Club. Some of the activities run by these groups included recycling at local schools, holding school dances, running blood drives, sorting clothes at local mission, meals on wheels, nursing home assistance, tutoring, and service projects. I have participated in each activity listed, and they all truly affect the community in a wonderful way.

                Overall, all my extracurricular activities in high school taught me to become more responsible, and love to try new experiences. I love being a part of groups and getting to know new people, which is why I continued to stay involved in them when I arrived at OU. I am now a member of Alpha Delta Pi Fraternity, Society of Women Engineers, Student Advisory Board of Mechanical Engineers, and Secretary of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. All of these organizations truly help me feel connected to Ohio University and meet a variety of wonderful people. I am so happy I can now say I am a Margaret Boyd Scholar as well and cannot wait to see all the wonderful experiences this program has to offer!

                After college, I plan to earn a MBA in graduate school with hopes of becoming an engineering manager at some point in my career. I have always enjoyed coming up with new ideas to improve the quality of an object, so this field seems perfect for me. I hope to someday invent a way to travel more efficiently and faster. Environmental hazards that automobiles produce seems like a huge problem to me, and I would love to some day participate in fixing that.




Mailé Orr

  • IMG_5079My name is Mailé! Orr. The exclamation point at the end of my name was a joke I started when I was 11 years old, and—to my father’s dismay—has become an integral part of my name ever since. I’m Viet-born, but I was raised here in the wonderful town of Athens. My brother and I were adopted as infants, and being an international adoptee has undeniably changed the way I view the world. Growing up in Athens has also provided me with some unique perspectives, and I believe my time here has been a true privilege.


    In high school, I was the poster child for excessive extracurriculars. As I found myself in a multitude of leadership positions, none compared to my experience as president of the drama club. Theatre is still a huge part of my life, and I’m thrilled to be pursuing a stage management major here at OU.


    I’m not really good at small talk about the weather, but I love talking about books and music. I’m always looking for new books to read and new music to listen to! My favorite book at the moment is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, but I also love reading memoirs and I have a soft spot for sappy YA novels. I’m also really interested in collecting CDs. My collection includes music from all types of artists like twenty one pilots, Minor Threat, and Beethoven.


    Along with theatre, books, and music, another passion of mine is social justice. I have a lot of strong opinions about issues ranging from feminism and racism to body mod discrimination in the workplace and the American education system. As Kathleen Hanna once said, “I would much rather be the ‘obnoxious feminist girl’ than be complicit in my own dehumanization." I love surrounding myself with other strong-willed, educated women and I’m honored to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars.



Allison Prybelski

  • _N1A6452Hi! My Name is, Allison Prybelski, but most people call me Allie for short. Or, as my younger self would only allow, Alliecat was the go to. I was born and raised in Perrysburg, Ohio with my older sister, Ashley. Although, I can come off as reserved at first I am an outgoing, semi-sarcastic, (in good company), whole-hearted human being. I have a true love for fine dining and dream of traveling the world, mostly to try all of the many different cuisines each country has to offer. In the mean time, I enjoy watching documentaries and conversing with great friends and family.


    I am currently studying Political Science at Ohio University and love every minute of this embracive, interactive college experience that the Athens campus has to offer! Besides being able to proudly say that I am a Margaret Boyd Scholar, I am also a member of the Ohio University Women’s Club Soccer team. I am beyond excited to see what other amazing opportunities and possibilities Ohio University has in store for me over these next four years.

Stevie Putnam

  • _N1A6387Hi, I’m Stevie Frances Nicole Putnam! And it is just Stevie, not short for Stephanie. Among my family I sometimes am called Frances, which is my middle name, when I am less than charming or you could say ‘challenging’ because my family believes I am channeling my Italian great grandmother.

    I love sports. I ran track and played volleyball in high school. I can play a round of golf, not by choice, but upon demand. I am an avid animal lover, primarily horses and dogs. Riding horses is a passion. Loving and caring for my dogs is my devotion. I feel a connection and understanding with horses, which enabled me to partner in a horse business with my father where we start young colts and work with other peoples horses (mostly with their owners because nine times out of ten, their the problem.)

    I am comfortable in any group, in any culture, and I am open to trying new experiences and adventures.  I enjoy people, but I am sometimes hard on them. I aspire to work in a field where I can legally carry a gun, be a first responder, investigate, and bring the bad guys to justice. I am not sure what that career will be. I just know that I am driven toward doing good for society, not necessarily by nurturing or caring for the sick, but by arresting evil.

    I believe I am more spiritual than religious, and I never forget to be thankful for my blessings everyday. I’ve been raised in a warm and loving family. I have learned to be caring but demanding of myself, and also to be compassionate and forgiving of others. I certainly haven’t perfected all of theses traits yet, but I consider it apart of my life’s journey. And oh! By the way, I LOVE fashion and if you’re ever up for a shopping trip, I am the girl to contact! My email is!

Cassandra Rich

  • IMG_5155My name is Cassandra Rich, but most people call me Cassie. I was born in Newport, Rhode Island on September 11, 1996. Growing up I was a military kid, and moved around from coast to coast. I have spent the most of my time in Chesapeake, Virginia, which is the third most boring city in America (Google it!). At Ohio University I am studying Pre-Medicine, with a minor in the Communication and Science of Disorders. Afterwards I am planning on attending medical school to pursue a path of Dermatology or Optometry. When I am not in class I spend my time at Pruitt field, as a member of the Women’s Field Hockey Team. I am a lover of iced coffee and the beach, and hope one day to visit all seven wonders of the world.

Rachel Rogala


     IMG_5166           Ever since finishing the first semester of college, it’s proven to be much more difficult to answer the question “tell us about yourself.”  I have grown in so many ways, in both personality and academically, that it’s hard to explain myself a couple paragraphs.

                So who am I?  First and foremost, my name is Rachel Rogala.  I’m an Information Design major here at Ohio University.  My passion for school and learning about other cultures have led me to pursue other paths as well—I plan on specializing in French language, minoring in Screenwriting and Digital Storytelling, and obtaining a certificate in War and Peace studies (all while avoiding the “fifth year senior” title). 

                I’ve lived in Hudson, Ohio all my life.  Although most kids are excited to move their lives from this small suburb to bigger and better things, I am extremely fortunate to have grown up in such a great community with my best friends and family.  At the beginning of the semester, it was hard to say goodbye to the people I have seen everyday since the beginning of kindergarten.  But, Ohio University has become my second home in just a couple months, and I am excited to see what Athens has in store for me in the next four years.

    I am an older sister, which explains my personality: I’m basically the third parent of the family, Type A, responsible, organized, and a tad OCD.  In my free time I love to read biographies of women in comedy such as Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler, and pretend to enjoy working out at the gym.

                At Hudson High, I was fortunate to be accepted in the senior class, New Dimensions, which challenged me to reflect on who I am.  This class was created in the 1970s and had the goal to equip seniors with learning and debating the humanities before graduation.  Famous questions of “who are you?” and “why are we here?” were mere icebreakers on the first day of class.  I am so excited to continue my search of who I am by being a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars.  I will end this bio with a quote that I follow everyday by Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Mara Siegel

  • IMG_5072My name is Mara (pronounced like marinara or Sarah, depending on your tastes). I’m a self-proclaimed artist trying to make it in the Real World. Atlanta, Georgia born and raised. Pursing a BFA in Theatrical Production Design and Technology emphasizing in Props Design, with a hopeful Women’s, Genders, and Sexualities Studies certificate. I am an only child who thinks of my friends and dogs alike as my siblings. I often dream of teeth and own a few too many pairs of boots. I am honored to be a part of a program as wonderful as this and hope that I’m able to live up to Maggie B’s legacy. I want to be a powerful leader alongside my 19 new powerful sisters.  

Niara Stitt

  • _N1A6503Hi, everyone! My name is Niara Stitt (pronounced ny-air-uh – I promise it is not too hard). I’m a Political Science – Prelaw major here at Ohio University, and I couldn’t love it more. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and finished junior and high school in the small town of Fairlawn, Ohio, just outside of Akron. Education has always been encouraged in my communities and in my family, and that began at a very young age.

                Growing up, I’ve always loved reading. I’d hide my book light under my pillow and read every night until I could no longer keep my eyes open. Among my favorites was Matilda by Roald Dahl. We had so much in common – minus the magic, of course. Since then, I’ve remained a bookworm, and that special connection led to another. I love analyzing novels, and learning how they can affect the people that read them. I have always been concerned with that question: “How can I create change?” It may be the most cliché question in our world, or the most important of all. Almost every setting of a novel, whether it is dystopian or bildungsroman, affects the very being of the protagonist. Change that aspect, and the entire story is different. But what upholds and creates the society and world that a protagonist lives in? Or our very own, for that matter? To quote political scientist Austin Sarat, “the law is all over.” It shapes everything we do, and defines what is and is not acceptable. This fact inspired me to learn more about the law, and how it affects our everyday actions.

                Since arriving at Ohio University, I have been able to act on this desire to create change. I believe that if you can even help one person in life, that is more than enough, because you never know how your impact on them will have a ripple effect in the future. The classes and clubs I have been a part of have given me so much more insight and perspective about the world around me. My interest prompted me to apply for the Law, Justice & Culture certificate, which I believe will allow me to expand my horizons even further.

                I still find inspiration from books, when I can find the time to read for pleasure. When I’m not quasi-studying on the seventh floor of Alden, I can be found looking for places to hike and take photos, or giggling at random posts on Tumblr in whichever coffee shop is the least crowded. That’s a summation of me at the moment! I’m so excited to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, and to see where it takes me and the other amazing young women chosen for the second cohort.

Adrianne Talmadge

  • IMG_5175Hello everyone! My name is Adrianne Talmadge, but everyone calls me Annie. I am a forensic chemistry student at Ohio University. I am a very proud member of the Marching 110. I also am a member of the varsity band, which plays during both men’s and women’s basketball games.

     I was born in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the small town of Arvada, Colorado. I lived there until I was about seven, and then moved to Findlay, Ohio for my dad’s job transfer.  I attended Liberty Benton High School, where I stayed very active. I was a member of the volleyball team before I decided to dedicate my time to band. I was a member of every band we offered at my school; marching, jazz, concert, pep, and musical pit. I also participated in speech and debate team, before it was disbanded. I was a member of Junior National Honor society as well.

    I was involved with quite a bit outside of the classroom as well. I was a 4-H member for 10 years, with my main focus in the shooting sports. I was State Champion in Ohio 4-H Pistol Shooting Sports in 2011.   I attended 4-H shooting sports camp, where I discovered my love for the Steel Challenge. I soon decided that I wanted to give back, so I became a junior instructor for the pistol project. My passion for learning pushed me to take classes in the shooting sports arena. I took both the basic pistol course, and I became a certified Range Safety Officer.

    One of my other passions is following my favorite television shows. Right now, I am working on bingeing my way through Fringe. I also am a devout fan of Hannibal, American Horror Story, and The Walking Dead.  I may have a slight obsession with Game of Thrones as well. The television series is amazing, but as always, the books are better. I absolutely love reading, as that is my escape from the stresses of student life. My newest infatuation is comic books and superheroes / villains. The Joker and Harley Quinn are by far my favorite duo. If someone was to take a peek at my Spotify playlist, they would find a menagerie of artists, from Gustav Holst to Pentatonix, with a few musical and movie soundtracks, and all of the classic rock they could handle.                             

    My life goal is to make it back to Colorado and use my degree in the private sector. I love the outdoors. Spending the day hiking my family’s property line in South Park, or fly fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park sounds perfect to me. Colorado stole my heart, and will never give it back.

    If you have any questions or just want to talk, please do not hesitate to email me at          


2013 - 2014

Anna Bekavac

anna_bekavacHello! I'm Anna, a very happy music therapy major here at Ohio University. I'm from Pittsburgh, PA, a city where the arts are incredibly alive, accessible, and inspiring. I am so fortunate to have grown up seeing performance after performance at the countless venues in the city, and the joy I felt each time I was immersed in the magic of a stage production was a feeling that I knew could never be topped by anything else.

I was in my first musical, Annie, in which I played "Annie," at seven years old, and I continued to take part in every show that I had the chance to throughout middle school, high school, and today. In high school, along with drama club, I was a member of the dance team, National Honor Society, and Red Cross Club. I taught religion to children from my church and took every chance I could to give back to my elementary school and parish, St. Elizabeth.

I am beyond passionate about my studies in music therapy being that I can use the joy that music brings me to enhance the lives of others! I would love to work with the elderly, since I believe they deserve so much for paving the way for new generations and since

my favorite music most likely comes from the 50s, 60s, or 70s. I am often told that I am an "old soul" since my hobbies include baking, collecting and listening to records, and shopping at vintage clothing and antique stores.

I didn't think there was anything left that could make my freshman year at OU even more spectacular than it already was, but then I was accepted to the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program! I can't wait to share this experience with 19 other phenomenal women.

Thanks for reading. Email me at - I LOVE to talk!

Tyann Carter

tyann_carterHola! My name is Tyann Carter! I am a freshman at Ohio University and I am currently enrolled in the University College, my current major is Pre-Engineering and I soon hope to change that to Mechanical Engineering.

I am from Cleveland, Ohio and attended Villa Angela – St. Joseph High School. There I engaged in several activities such as Drama Club, Varsity Bowling, Varsity softball,  Concert/Prep Band, and our school literary magazine Ventures. In the Drama Club I performed in many fall plays and spring musicals, I enjoyed every moment of it and hoped on continuing that when I arrived at Ohio University instead my wandering eye took me to Quidditch! Quidditch is the greatest game ever! It is from the Harry Potter series, it sounds very complicated but it really isn’t, and yes we do have brooms, sadly we do not fly, yet! It’s a great physical contact sport and the players all just a big family who are there to have fun! I am also involved in NSBE, which is the National Society of Black Engineers. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and just having a blast here at OU!

Roller coasters are my passion, anything and everything needed to know about a roller coaster is in my knowledge. I someday would like to design them or the animatronics that associate with the rides. My dream career is to be an Imagineer at Disney! I really enjoy animals, as a child I wanted to be a veterinarian, animals just fascinate me especially dogs! Did you know that dogs originated from wolves? Without wolves there would be no dogs! I enjoy drawing, even though I’m not very good, it’s still a great pastime of mine, along with video games (PlayStation, XBOX, computer, board games, etc.) they are all awesome, and watching movies mainly cartoony or action packed!

One day I inspire to be like my favorite superhero, Tony Stark, better known as, Iron Man! He is just amazing in every way. I admire his vast knowledge of technology, science, and math! I may not be able to build a super high-tech armor that flies around and is super awesome, but I hope to be as knowledgeable as he is!

To sum myself up, I pretty much enjoy everything! I plan to make my years here an enjoyable lifetime memory! I love to live my life as a psychotically organized adventure, something with a set goal, but with freedom to allow anything to make my life even more enjoyably chaotic than it already is!

Stay Cool!

Gabriela Clarke

gabriela_clarkeIndustrial Engineer major. Only child. Single parent household. Half Chilean, though it’s hard to tell.

I try my best. I don’t believe in using your background or your past as an excuse to not try your best. My biggest inspirations would be my mom and my grandfather for those exact reasons. While I believe in fate and the fact that there are some things we as humans just aren’t able to change, I also think that the value of the choices and decisions we make in life have the biggest impact on not only the person we ultimately become but the impact we are able to make on those we’re surrounded with. Obviously some decisions we make in life aren’t always going to be positive, it’s the choices we make after the fact that can put those decisions with our wisdom we gain or our mistakes. Through the Margaret Boyd Scholars program, I want to make an impact. I want to prove that despite obstacles and rough times, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel if you allow, and there is always an opportunity to be more and do more than what was ever expected of you. I’ll try my best to do this.

Be good, do good, stay good.


Bridget Cooper


Being welcomed as a Margaret Boyd Scholar is an absolute dream come true! I am so excited to be a part of this excellent program and get to know the other interesting women that have been accepted. I really look forward to spending time with everyone and sharing memorable experiences in the future.

I like to think my journey of self-discovery began in high school. It was there that I decided academics were a top priority, so I aimed to excel in that field. As a result, I became a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Spanish Honor Society and landed a recurring spot on the honor roll. English, Spanish, and History were always my favorite subjects and these were the classes in which I did best. My love of music and playing the clarinet also pushed me in the right direction. I joined the concert and pep bands, and was at one time a member of the high school marching band while we had it. In addition, I travelled to West Virginia University’s annual honor band each year to play alongside some of the most talented young musicians I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Later, I became a member of the Creative Writing Club and explored this skill of mine and found I had a real passion for it.

When I first came to Ohio University, I wasn’t all that sure what I wanted to do as a career, so I enrolled in the University College. Since the beginning of the fall semester, I have been exploring many different majors to see what is best for me. Just recently, I decided that photography was where my heart had always been and that I wanted to pursue it as my specialty. I grew up taking pictures of so many different things (landscapes, people, and pets) and loved every minute of it; capturing a moment that you can remember for a lifetime is what I admire most.

In addition to photography, some of my other hobbies include hiking, camping, taking road trips and travelling, going to concerts, playing my clarinet, getting lost in a good book, drawing, writing, creating nifty pieces of jewelry, spending time with friends, and watching all different kinds of movies. When it comes to television and films, I am a total nerd. I love seeing a movie with friends and being a part of the fantastic world that the director has concocted. In my free time, I enjoy researching different films and directors and learning all that I can about them.

I have been an Ohio native all my life, and grew up not too far from Athens, right along the Ohio River. Despite this, my family made a habit of leaving the state for vacation. Throughout the years, we have visited Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, both Carolinas, and even Canada to see the beautiful Niagara Falls. A little goal of mine is to someday visit each state and eventually travel overseas (I would love to participate in an education abroad program!). Just last summer, I went parasailing for the first time with my younger sister in Ocean City and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I hope to try some other fun albeit extreme activities in the near future so that I can live my life to the complete fullest, such as bungee jumping and hang gliding.

Some other facts about me:

  • I have been a vegetarian for 5 years.
  • I have an odd fascination with Celtic music that spans nearly ten years.
  • I grew up listening to classic 80’s rock music because my mom is such a hardcore fan, and now I’m hooked on the stuff too. Incidentally, Pat Benatar and Joan Jett are my idols.
  • I am a total animal lover and have had an interesting collection of pets over the years (hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets, rats, dogs, cats, and countless fish).
  • I love haunted houses and amusement parks.
  • My best friend convinced me to attend OU, and I’m so glad she did.
  • I become incredibly shy around new people, but once you get to know me I open up and become quite talkative.
  • I have a really good friend that lives in England.
  • I prefer to live in the moment.
  • My favorite season is autumn and I enjoy all things that taste or smell like pumpkin.


Alina Freeman

alina_freeman“We learn not for school, but for life.”

As my schools motto I heard this on a daily basis and it was engrained into every part of my education.  My high school became a second home; it’s where I was taught by phenomenal teachers, laughed with brilliant young women, and gained life long memories.  I was given the opportunity to find my voice early on and for that I will forever be grateful. 

My name is Alina Bernice Freeman and I am a pround alumna of Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Although I attended school in Shaker Heights I was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  I come from a large family of 7; I have two wonderful parents, two spontaneous little sisters and two handsome brothers.  Both my family and my time at Hathaway Brown hold significant places in my heart because they made me the young women I am today.  During my time at Hathaway Brown I discovered what I truly enjoy and what would be the driving forces behind everything I do. My love for diversity, dance and fashion started off as just interest, but blossomed into so much more. 

In high school I attended the NAIS Student Diversity and Leader Conference for three consecutive years, I was president of our Black Cultural Awareness organization and a member of the Student Diversity Committee.  Going to the conferences and being a part of the clubs meant more to me than just having something to put on an application or a resume.  It meant being an advocate for others who don’t feel safe because they are different from the so called “norm” and being an ally for those who feel as if they have no voice.  Dance has always been an aspect of my life in some way; whether it was African, contemporary or hip hop you could always find me moving.  I traveled to Spain during the summer of 2011 to take classes and perform in Barcelona with other members of the dance department. Dance is a nonverbal way for me to communicate and truly express my feelings.  It is a universal language; no matter where we live in the world dance is a way we can communicate and always understand one another. 

You would think that with so much time spent in school, doing diversity work and dancing that I wouldn’t have time for anything else.  I would almost agree if I didn’t always find some way to squeeze fashion into my life.  I was born into a family of fashionistas and love anything dealing with the fashion industry.  Alongside all of my academic books were piles of Vogue, Nylon and W magazines.  From an early age I knew I was destined to work in the fashion industry because all of my sketch books were full of designs. I had the opportunity of volunteering with Fashion Week Cleveland two years ago and after that experience I knew fashion was my calling. 

Ohio University was a bit overwhelming to a girl coming from an all-girls school with a graduating class of 81 students.  While it did take some time to adjust, I am finding a true home here at OU.  It felt even more like home when the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program came into my life.  I was more than rejoiced when I found out that I was one of the 20 finalist.  I am now able to have a small piece of my all women’s education integrated into my college experience.  I hope to continue my efforts in supporting social justice and spreading diversity during my time at Ohio University.  I have kicked off my first year by attending the 2013 National Women’s Studies Associations Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I am also a member of the Black Student Union and the Black Student Cultural Programing Board. Although I am not a dance major I will definitely continue dancing because I am a member of Athens Black Contemporary Dancers.  I am currently an undecided major because I have so many varying interest.  What I do know is that I will minor in retail management; it is the perfect way for me to incorporate my love for fashion with my academics.  I hope I have given you some insight into who I am. If you would like to know more please email me at! I will now leave you with my favorite quote by Maya Angelou.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.



Bianca Hillier


G’day, mate! Bianca Hillier here. Unfortunately I am not writing this bio from the sunny beaches of my birthplace, Perth, Australia. My South African born and raised parents raised my three older sisters and I in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. My foreign background is omnipresent in my life; whether it is my parents’ accents or the fact that I’ve only met my extended family a few times, having a family tree that spans four continents has shaped me into the young woman I am today by giving me the knowledge of different cultures and that it’s okay to be different.

My high school Saturdays were consumed by Cross Country and Track races, where I was captain during my upperclassmen years. Unfortunately, a chronic shin injury has made running an impossibility for me. In high school, my interests led me to a career as a pharmacist; that, however, was before I took my first journalism class. I joined the school magazine and enrolled in the Broadcast and Video Production class. Before I knew it, I was the good-morning-students-today-is-Tuesday girl on our morning announcements show, Studio112. After initial stage buzz, I fell in love with the other aspects of broadcasting, as well: producing, editing, filming, framing, etc. These fascinations, inevitably, prompted me to stray from any career in the science field, and I found myself declaring my major as “Broadcast Journalism” without having to give it a second thought.

What have I learned as a student at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism? A new definition for the word “busy.” I work at WOUB Public Media, the Emmy Award winning student television station in Athens, where I write and report stories for FM Radio and also anchor the nightly newscast, Newswatch. I also write in the News, Culture, and Column sections for Speakeasy Magazine, an online student publication for the university. Furthermore, serving on the executive board for OU’s chapter of the Radio and Television Digital News Association has provided me with the leadership role I so much enjoy having.

In the third week of college, I was accepted to the JFreshmen Newsroom program along with 19 other aspiring freshman journalists. My fellow students and I aim to inform and entertain the Bobcat family through an interactive multimedia platform, This program has fine-tuned my journalism skills, setting the stage for a brighter future than I could have imagined at the beginning of the year.

As for the future, my dream jobs include working for 20/20, 60 Minutes and the Today Show. Why? These shows are centered on people spanning the entirety of the world. I so desire to live a fascinating, ever-changing life; what better way to accomplish that than to travel the world and hear other peoples’ stories? I’m honored to be a part of the inaugural class of Margaret Boyd Scholars, where the stories of the 19 other young women inspire me to continue on with my dreams, because, as one of my favorite quotes states: “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”
What’s your story? Let’s chat! Feel free to email me at 

Alexa Hoynacke


My name is Alexa Hoynacke and I am a sophomore here at Ohio University, majoring in mechanical engineering through the Russ College of Engineering. I am from Lyndhurst, Ohio, which is a suburb on the east side of Cleveland. I graduated with honors from Charles F. Brush High School in 2013.

Since coming to Ohio University I have been very fortunate to be given the opportunity to be a part of many collegiate organizations. At the beginning of the 2015 spring semester I was offered a position as a research assistant with the Motor Control Lab. I am currently working with Dr. James Thomas and the rest of his team in biomedical engineering research. I am also Vice President of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Ohio University Chapter. Biomedical Engineering is the current path I intend on taking in addition to a Mechanical Engineering Degree. Following undergrad I hope to attend a graduate school, to further my Engineering career.

 Other engineering organizations I participate in at OHIO include: Bobcats Building a Better World and Society for Women Engineers. Bobcat’s Building a Better World is Ohio University’s Engineers Without Borders. It is an organization where teams work together to improve a disadvantaged community’s quality of life through implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineering students. In addition, I am a Mechanical Engineering Learning Community Leader.

Along with the amazing engineering opportunities I have been given at OHIO I have also been lucky enough to get involved outside the Russ College. In spring of 2014 I rushed Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity, and am currently an active brother. Prior to coming to Ohio University I attended the Outdoor Pursuits Freshman Red River Gorge rock-climbing trip. Since then I have been very involved in the Outdoor Pursuits/ New Adventures program at Ohio University. In the spring of 2014 I was hired as an Ohio University Tour Guide. Since then I have become a Tour Guide Coordinator and assist in running the Tour Guide program. For the 2015 Summer I will be joining the Bobcat Student Orientation Team and will be working as an Orientation Leader for the Engineering College. Both Learning Community Leader and Tour Guide Coordinator have been rewarding and enjoyable jobs. All of these jobs provide me with a chance to support both new and prospective students.

Finally, the creation of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, during my first year at Ohio University, has provided me with an excellent stepping-stone from which to start my higher education experience.  Being a Boyd Scholar has given me support, recognition, and opportunities all over campus. Through the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, I was able to attend a LeaderShape conference in Champaign Illinois. This one week long conference was absolutely life changing and I gained so much knowledge about leadership and being a productive member of the OHIO community. Since being a sophomore I have been able to work with leadership organizations on campus with Margaret Boyd such as the 21st leadership program and working with the Career Development and Leadership Center. My academic involvement in the Russ College of Engineering and my outside interests allow me to have a well-rounded OHIO experience.


Gracie Keyes

grace_keyesMeet me, Grace Keyes, the product of two amazing human beings: my father, Maurice Keyes, and my mother, Kimberly Keyes. My father gave me his height and amazing taste in music, while my mother gave me her quirky personality and eternal empathy for all living things. I have a sister too - she’s pretty awesome. Her name is Caroline and she’s a senior here at Ohio University. We’re polar opposites but we share the same love for cats and our beloved Athens, Ohio.

I hail from sunny Mansfield, Ohio. Mansfield’s not so bad. Shawshank Redemption and one of Lil Wayne’s music videos was shot in the Mansfield Reformatory - pretty cool, right? From kindergarten to my senior year I studied in the Mansfield City Schools District. City Schools gave me so many rewarding experiences and lessons that have reciprocated into life after Mansfield. I was active in student council, varsity soccer, French Club, and Key Club for all four years of high school. In addition, I served as a student ambassador for a series of teleconferences with peers from Mansfield, Ohio’s sister city: Mansfield, West-Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom. I swam on swim team from the time I was five to my sophomore year. Soccer was more of my thing, though. You can’t be physical while doing laps in a pool – it can get a little boring.

Ever since I can remember I have been concerned about the environment. When I was fourteen I cleaned up a waste-ridden slope by the local Value City in Mansfield. When different environmental expeditions I completed weren’t enough, I decided to take my passions to college. I am an Environmental Pre-Law and Global Studies: War and Peace double major. For me, Global Studies is a perfect complement to Environmental Pre-Law. The world is becoming more globalized and with that comes bigger environmental issues. Throughout the first semester here at OU, I spent my Wednesday nights at the Athena watching sustainability films being screened. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine a university and city so cohesive with my academic pursuits. I absolutely love it.

My love for international relations materialized with the aforementioned sister city experience. It was amazing to talk to people my age with almost identical concerns about cost of education, gun laws, and health care – to name a few. I also travelled to Italy and France my senior year of high school which piqued my interest in the world even further. I was always intrigued by travelling and experiencing different cultures, but was never sure how I could harness my interests in an academic way. When I discovered the Center for Global Studies here at OU, I was set. I chose to study Global Studies: War and Peace because it’s just like international politics - politics has always captured my interests. Listening to CSPAN and NPR really fires me up sometimes (you can laugh, it’s OK). I decided to get an International Cultural Understanding Certificate here at OHIO during fall semester through the Ohio Program for Intensive English (OPIE). The experience was very, very rewarding.  The process for receiving the certificate was very simple and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in different cultures and meeting new friends!

In my spare time I love to workout, explore Athens, read, and listen to music as loud as it will go, but my all time favorite thing to do is go to the movies. There’s something about a good movie with buttery popcorn and a pack of Twizzlers that is absolutely unparalleled. Along with being a Margaret Boyd Scholar, I am involved in a couple student organizations: Ohio Global Studies Union (OGSU), and the International Affairs Commission under the Student Senate in which I am an intern!

Hannah Kingsbury


Hey ya’ll, my name is Hannah Jean Kingsbury and I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. I come from a family of five, including my parents Mike and Holly, as well as my older brother Aaron and my three-legged Great Dane/ Lab mix, Stanley. Louisville, most commonly known for Slugger baseball bats, horse racing, and bourbon is also home to the University of Louisville Cardinals. Being a Cards fan has become difficult as I have recently joined the Bobcat family, but I’m making it work. I’m actually somewhat of a shoe fiend and my closet is currently home to over a hundred pairs. I may be a southern bell, but I’m a hippie at heart. I love animals, but I hate spiders. I’ve never broken a bone, *knock on wood*. I’m deathly afraid of cotton balls. I can never pass up a good T.V series. I’m a natural blonde. I have webbed toes. Coffee is my lifeline. I’m hard headed and stubborn. I like competition--maybe a little too much. And I never regret anything. “The more you are like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique,” -Walt Disney.

Among my favorite accomplishments are being a Bronze and Silver award winner as well as a camp counselor in the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, which has helped shape my love for the outdoors. I hope to incorporate my love for nature in my future career as a documentary filmmaker. I created my first documentary in 2013 which explored the graffiti scene in my local community. It was an amazing opportunity to explore an entirely new world right outside my front door. My most defining trait by far would be that I am a student-athlete. I have played an array of sports throughout school years including a short lived and sad softball career, becoming a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and being able to some-what snowboard. But my real passion is field hockey. I picked up my first stick in second grade and by middle school I was playing on a national level. Through my time in high school I helped my team to our first ever state championship, four district championship, and a national ranking of #19. I was also named to the 2013 NFHCA Midwest All-Region Team and competed in the AAU Junior Olympics in 2012. Now I am fortunate enough to play NCAA Division I field hockey for Ohio University.

I’m excited to be a part of the inaugural class of the Margaret Boyd Scholar program and hope to benefit from the diversity this group of girls beholds. If you ever want to meet for coffee feel free to email me at


Nora Kornelakis

nora_kornelakisBonjour tout le monde! My name is Nora Kathleen Alexis Kornelakis, and no, no one actually calls me by my full name, it’s just really fun to say super fast, so go ahead and give it a try! I am also not in any way the slightest bit French, but I am a little too obsessed with the French culture for my own good, which probably explains my passion for traveling and embracing other cultures in every way possible. 

I was born and raised in a suburb of Cleveland, called Parma. I attended a private grade school as well as a private high school all within 10 minutes of my home. I was raised in a household with just my dad and older brother so naturally I would consider myself somewhat of a tomboy, which also explains why I spent almost all of my free time growing up playing soccer and basketball with my brother and all of his friends. I think living in the same city my whole life surrounded by a lot of the same people is what sparked my desire to travel the globe and experience new things.

I was extremely involved all throughout high school in extracurricular activities such as being the French club president. I also developed other interests outside of the classroom such as things like fashion, art history, and design work. I recently was able to explore these interests further when I interned at the World Market headquarters in Oakland California for summer.

I am currently undecided at Ohio University but I am leaning towards a major in International Business with a minor in French. That could all be subject to change because I have a great track record of changing my mind, but I ensure you that the indecisiveness does not come from uncertainty but a problem I have with finding anything and everything way too interesting, well, except for math of course.

There is nothing more I want than to end up in the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of ” also known as, New York City, after I graduate from Ohio University. I cannot wait to walk the streets of Manhattan and live in a tiny studio apartment that probably costs an arm and a leg, and yes, maybe I have been watching Sex and the City way too much but living there has always been a dream of mine.

I am so happy I chose to attend Ohio University, where the opportunities for young women like myself are endless. I am even more excited to share this journey with 19 other intellectual women by being apart of the inaugural class of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program. I am anxious to see what the future holds and am beyond grateful for this outstanding opportunity. 


Rachel Marison

rachel_marisonAs one of the few Bobcats from out of state, I have felt at home since I visited OU almost two years ago.  When I’m not at OU, my home is Lake Villa, Illinois, a small northern suburb outside of Chicago.  I have a younger sister who is a junior in high school. My parents, my sister and I are all very close. Interestingly, I am very much like my father in that I am adventurous and don’t mind getting dirty.  I grew up riding ATVs and motorcycles and love to go shooting at the range. I am very outgoing like my family and we often have parties and get-togethers with friends and family.  Prior to coming to OU, I attended Lakes Community High School, where I played tennis, softball and was the manager for the boys wrestling team.  My summers were filled with sports, babysitting, and working at Six Flags Great America as a lifeguard.

One of my favorite quotes is by an author and historian. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, “Well behaved women seldom make history”. I love this quote, not for the impression that women try and misbehave, but for the notion that sometimes women need to step outside of their social norms to make a difference.

The northern suburbs of Chicago are quite a distance away from Athens. However, I decided to travel 500 miles to Ohio to create a very unconventional major. Currently, I am pursuing a BSS major in Counter-terrorism and Security Studies. Many people have asked why I chose such a major. My dad was my inspiration for such a decision. When I was in third grade he was deployed to Afghanistan for 14 months after the attacks of 9/11. Everything in my life changed. My dad came home after those long 14 months. However, others did not. It was shortly after his return that I decided to pursue a career in the Federal Bureau of Investigations or the Central Intelligence Agency to prevent any other such attacks.

I am thrilled to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar, along with these other exceptional women.  As the first woman graduate of OU, Margaret Boyd was clearly a strong woman and an inspiration.  I grew up around strong women and hope to instill an increased sense of confidence in the OU women around me. 



Stacey Mbelle


Habari gani. My name is Stacey Shariffa Mbelle. I was born and raised in Kenya, a place called Mlolongo a semi arid dry land mostly known as the location for the Jomo Kenyatta International airport.  I am of the Taveta and Kamba communities. My culture diversity has made me a big part of who I am now. Growing up as part of two very rich, very different cultures has definitely made my life interesting. For a very long time my Taveta culture influenced me more than my kamba community. It being my father’s tribe. I love reading inspiring books and quotes, I love listening to and making music and having down time with friends. I am very outgoing and definitely love being with people.

Growing up I knew that I wanted to be something more. More than what I saw everyday at home, more than what I saw in the village, more than what I saw on TV. You would say that I have a typical African child’s story, something tragic happens in the family and decides to be a doctor to help save lives. Some of it is true about my life but there is nothing typical about it. I live for the day and for the future. I believe very highly in an Almighty God and miracles. Truthfully the Lord has seen me through all my days and he has me right where I am meant to be. I am a living testimony. A testimony of faith and hope and love. Ever since I was a little girl I looked at the world a little bit differently, not as a place of sorrow and hardship but as a place of opportunity and success. Growing up without my mother or father was hard but I had family.  A family who would do anything for us and took great care of my sister and I back in Kenya. When I came to America with my sister I knew life would change. For the better or for the worse. It was my turn to write my own destiny.

As a Margaret Boyd Scholar I am looking forward to making this chapter of my life one of the most inspiring chapters. I believe in strength of the mind and that whatever life throws at you, you need grab it, seize it, for it is yours and only you can determine what happens to it, bad or good.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” – George Bernard Shaw  


Jessany Middleton

jessany_middletonI love being a Bobcat! I knew from my first day on campus that OHIO was where I'm meant to be, a belief that's strengthened by my acceptance to the Boyd Scholars Program! This year promises to be full of new discoveries, insights, and personal growth. I can't wait!

A few facts about me:

  • I love reaching out to new people and exploring the unknown, and I'm sure being a part of the inaugural class of Boyd Scholars will help me learn and grow in so many ways over the next four years. I can't wait to see the person I become!  
  • Travel is my life. There is nothing in this world I'd rather spend my time and money on than traversing the globe, seeing new places, meeting new people. I was an exchange student to Germany my junior year of high school, an experience that completely molded and shaped me into the person I am today in every possible way, and I've been hooked ever since. One of my goals is to study abroad for at least one semester, and volunteer in another country over summer or winter break.
  • My dad is a reggae musician, and music has been a huge part of my life since birth. I love all types of music, but especially rock and reggae.
  • I am a life-long vegetarian. When I lived in Germany I did eat some meat, at my hostfamily's request, but I prefer a mostly meat-free diet. 
  • Theatre is one of my favorite pastimes. I attended an inner-city school for the arts, where I developed a portfolio of monologues, scene work, and production performance. My senior year, I took a group scene from the female version of The Odd Couple to the State Thespian Conference, where we received all superior ratings.  
  • My favorite color is blue, my favorite food is any Indian dish with paneer in it, I'm afraid of heights, though try to challenge this fear when I can, and I've never watched an entire football game in my life.
  • I'm an undecided major, mostly because I have way too many interests! Following my love of travel, a major in International Relations or German is very appealing, but I also really enjoy Biology, Geology, Anthropology, Sociology, the list goes on and on! I'm hoping experiences in and out of the classroom can help me make my decision in the coming year.
  • I live in the fabulous Johnson Hall on East Green, the self-proclaimed "Best Place on Earth." My roommate, though we selected randomly, is my best friend on campus, and the reason I even applied to the Boyd Program.
  • I may or may not be the world's worst procrastinator.

Emily Quinn

emily_quinn“Nitwit. Blubber. Oddment. Tweak.

                   -Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

My name is Emily Quinn. I’m an 18 year old girl from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and I am lucky enough to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program. I am an undecided student at Ohio University, which, if you knew me, is quite fitting. I can’t choose what color I’m going to paint my nails, let alone the major that will dictate the careers I am eligible for in my adulthood. I am using my freshman year to explore my main interests – gender studies and film. While I’m still not sure whether or not I want to pursue these interests, I have been enjoying my exploration. I’ve joined several groups on campus that have helped me on my way.

I want to expand the world we live in now. My political beliefs and convictions are very important to me and play a big role in my life. For example, feminism is obviously relevant to me and my experiences. I refuse to idly stand by while the world stagnates around me – I want to be a part of the movement. My gender studies class and the clubs I am a part of have opened up a world of opportunity for me. I would love to be more involved in activism and the causes I believe in.

Growing up I was a very bookish child. I’ve read the Harry Potter series an unspeakable amount of times and I’ve always been able to connect with fictional characters exceptionally well. As a child, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were three of my best friends. They inspired me to try step out of my comfort zone, and they still do. Fiction has always been an enormously influential part of my life. I am constantly finding myself inspired by movies, tv shows, and literature. I aspire to join the ranks of authors and cinematographers. I want to create worlds for the next generation of Emily Quinns to take refuge in.

At any given moment I can be found watching a movie on my laptop, watching a TV show on my laptop, or reading a book. I’m in the front room in Baker Center more than I am in my dorm, so I can guarantee you’ll see me there. Chances are I’ll be doing one of the aforementioned things instead of the homework I should probably be doing instead. So to wrap this up, I’ll leave you with a few facts about myself and one more quote from the greatest wizard who ever lived.

I play the alto saxophone. I am allergic to cats, but I plan on owning one as soon as I can. I once met Emma Watson. I’ve never seen Star Wars. My favorite movie is The Breakfast Club. I love Game of Thrones. And I am one degree of separation away from President Barack Obama.

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

            -Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore


Zulfa Rizqiya

zulfa_rizqiyaHello!  My name is Zulfa Rizqiya, pronounced (zoo-fa) (riz-key-uh) for those who want to avoid a flub a la John Travolta at the 2014 Oscars.  I am an Athens, Ohio native and a fortunate one at that.  When my parents immigrated to the United States from Indonesia in 1991, Athens welcomed them with more than enough love to last to this day.  Having spent my entire life in this college town and inevitably enrolling in Ohio University, I claim to know everything there is to know about this town.  Nonetheless, Athens continues to surprise me, with one of the best surprises being the introduction of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program at OHIO.  It is an absolute honor to be a member of the inaugural class!  I look forward to learning, discovering, and growing alongside my fellow scholars.

I am studying Strategic Communication at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism with a specialization in Marketing and Spanish.  I am involved with ImPRessions, Ohio University’s student-run public relations firm, as an account associate for the GoBus account, and Thread Magazine as a stylist.  I currently work as a student writer for Advancement Communications and Marketing.  Previously, I have worked as a peer advisor for International Student & Faculty Services and as an intern for Assistant Dean of Students Dr. Jamie S. Patton in Parent and Family Outreach.

The connections and relationships I have made through MBSP have been the most valuable part of my college experience.  During my first year as a Boyd Scholar, I have had the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and sense of self-awareness through programs such as Alternative Spring Break Trip, LeaderShape Institute, and Interfaith Leadership Institute.

I have been recently bitten by the travel bug after flying for the first time this summer and am eager to explore new countries and cultures.  I am mesmerized by the fashion industry and can be found browsing magazines or the internet for the latest trends.  I am constantly searching for new artists to listen to while remaining loyal to my favorites.  I am always up for an adventure and love spending my time outdoors—how could I not when Athens is so beautiful?!

Sara Sand

sara_sandDuring an a relaxing afternoon by the lake when I was four-years old, I turned to my mother and said “Hey Mom, watch this.” As I pointed my toe out in front of me, my mother watched calmly as she expected me to begin an Irish jig that I had seen my sister do some many times. Instead, I flung my foot behind me, flipped forward, and ended sitting in the sand. When my mother asked why I did tried that, I simply responded “I thought of it, so I tried.”  Throughout my childhood here in Athens, Ohio, I always wanted to try the next challenge that came to mind. I always wanted to show people that I could do what they thought I couldn’t do. Instead of sitting in the armchair to watch television I would stand on my head. Instead of playing with my Happy Meal toy, I wanted to take it apart and figure out how it worked.

After watching me fall off too many monkey bars, my mother enrolled me in my first gymnastics class when I was six years old. Not only did she introduce me to a sport with which I would fall in love, but she introduced me to people that would shape my life in incredible ways. Through this sport I found people to inspire me to do far more than I ever thought that I could. This sport taught me self-motivation, time management, perseverance, and so many more of the inspiring words that my third grade teacher had plastered on her walls.  But more than anything, this sport taught me to be leader and to strive to inspire people through everyday actions. This led me to be team Captain for two years and even to be president of my church youth group.

But I never simply wanted to go through the motions that my coach told me to do. I wanted  to know why all of the body position and correctly applied forces made me do amazing flips. I wanted to know the physics behind it all. When I started my junior year of high school, I realized that I finally needed to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had always loved taking toys apart to understand how they worked and my favorite classes became my AP physics class and my math analysis class. I finally realized that through the study of engineering and physics, I could, not only study something that I found fascinating, but also make a transformative difference in the development of our world.

I am now an engineering physics major in the Honors Tutorial Program hear at Ohio University. I am continuing to coach gymnastics at Global Gymnastics, fully realizing that this sport could shape these young gymnasts to the same degree that it shaped me. I also am looking forward to new projects such as the Kanawha Climate Change Literacy project, possible research involvement, and hopefully study abroad opportunities. I hope that I will eventually be able to use my scientific and leadership skills to change the utility of solar cells and make enormous strides in solving the planet’s energy problems.

Claire Seid

claire_seidSmall children love me; I don't like dogs. I'm a daring pie smith (fruit, not cream). I knit subversively. Gray is my favorite color. I've worked at an alternative school, spent my teen years in a hoop skirt as a historical interpreter, and am currently an artists model. I entertain like it's 1955. I've traveled alone through the seedy underbelly of urban Canada, I'm a hardboiled investigator of sociological principles, and I'm proud to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar. 







Madeleine Toerne


Seymour Glass, an eccentric character in J.D. Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters, wrote: “I am a kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.”  I find this quote easy to identify with because of its humour and optimism.  I am Madeleine Toerne, and I am a very happy human being. 

I grew up in Walbridge, a small town in Northwest Ohio.  As an adolescent, I often complained about not living in the suburbs with most of my grade-school friends, however I am grateful now for the creative and adventurous qualities I have adopted because of the freedom of country living.  My neighbors and my brother and I spent our young lives riding bicycles, making home movies in our yards, and hiking down by the creek. 

At Ohio University, I’ll still be found on my bicycle and adventuring along the Hocking River.  Indoors, I love to read, listen to music, and chat and laugh with my buddies. My favorite musician is Joni Mitchell and my favorite book is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez.  On weekdays I’ll be in Ellis Hall analyzing Shakespeare or McCracken Hall discussing teaching techniques.  I am a Secondary English Education Major, with a double minor in English and Communications.  After being the pupil of a handful of very influential and very intelligent teachers at St. Ursula Academy, the all girls private school I attended, I discovered that my life’s purpose is to inspire young people to foster a desire for learning just as I have been inspired to do.  To me, the most rewarding life experiences are ones where we are expanding our knowledge by learning something new about either ourselves or our universe. Because as John Dewey expressed so factually, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” I am extremely grateful that the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program has chosen to guide and assist me in my educational journey. 


Erin Webb

erin_webb I must admit that writing is not my forte and this is something like my 38th attempt at writing this biography, so I think I’ll start with a few general things about myself. My parents are Steve and Lisa Webb. I was born in Reynoldsburg Ohio, though we recently moved to Pataskala Ohio. I graduated from the Reynoldsburg eStem academy, where I studied in the Design (engineering) Capstone. I love to travel and learn about different people and cultures. Though admittedly I am somewhat shy until I get to know the people I am around. I do enjoy a good book though when I watch one episode of SVU I watch three. My favorite colors are Blue and Green and I love dogs, and horses.  I am a Biological Sciences (pre-professional track) Major, hopefully on my way to medical school, and I could not be more excited to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar.

I remember my first day on campus, I was scared beyond belief. I was afraid that I wouldn’t make any friends, being stuck in a single, That I wouldn’t be able to handle my classes, and that I would spend my days in my room.  Looking back on that though now I realize how short sighted I had been.  I am simply not that kind of person, and I love being at Ohio University, Plus now I am a Margaret Boyd scholar! I also see now that being scared is normal and I am stronger because of it. I Believe that a person changes, but not because parts of us die but because new additions become more relevant or important to us. With each new lesson we get molded a little closer to the person we are and that molding never stops. Each new addition just adds to the old. My senior year of high school really added to the curious side of myself. I participated in an engineering capstone through the eStem academy of my school and basically played with robots all day. Though I do not think I would be best suited in an engineering career it did help solidify my plans to become a doctor. I love science and technology and particularly how things work together and interact with each other, much the way the human body does. Even as a little girl I was curious about the field of medicine. Whenever I saw someone who was hurt I would ask them how they got hurt and what was wrong with them. I was the Dr. Erin of our household I loved giving people their medicine and bandaging wounds (while pretending to perform surgery). These experiences molded into me the willingness to love and help others, a thirst for knowledge, and to never stop learning from those who came before you. I try to view every experience I have as a building experience, whether good or bad it molds me into a better person because I choose to learn from it. There are many years of learning still ahead of me and the rest is still unwritten. I am very excited that, for at least the next four years of my life, the experiences and friends I will make through the Margaret Boyd scholars Program will help mold me into the woman I was meant to be.

Leah Wilson

leah_wilsonMy life in the past year has consisted of the following: memorizing the location of every single country in the world, spray painting on cardboard, consuming Lay’s Hickory BBQ chips, working countless hours as a babysitter and a student secretary, learning to sing and play guitar simultaneously, playing obscure songs on piano and violin, traveling 3000 miles out west in a red minivan, tearing it up on my high school’s boys JV tennis team (not really though, only 3rd singles every now and again), and playing fetch with the love of my life – my dog, Winnie. So, yeah, I’ve been pretty busy. As of recently, I have added to the list as I found out that I have been given the honor and privilege of being one of the twenty girls selected for the inaugural class of Margaret Boyd Scholars. It’s funny how I even came to be here. One of my friends casually mentioned this program to me and I thought, “Yeah, that would be kinda cool,” but was uncertain with this being my first semester here at OU and being busy pursuing degrees in both Geography and Studio Art. I applied thinking there was nothing to lose by doing so. As the process began to start moving along, I realized how much I needed this program in my life. I knew that being a scholar would make me a stronger, more confident woman and that it would give me a greater sense of purpose on campus. Somehow I lucked out and was called in for an interview. A few weeks later, I found out I was selected for the Margaret Boyd Program. I called my mom, screaming and jumping around, saying, “I can’t believe it!!! I made it!” With my admittance to the Margaret Boyd Program, it is my goal to prove to myself that I have the capacity to make a positive difference for other students at Ohio University and for the rest of the world as well.

As for my background outside of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, I am from Lancaster, Ohio—a town that is about 45 minutes north of Athens. I come from a family of six (including myself), with three wonderful younger siblings that inspire me every day, and two devoted parents who have shown us unconditional love and support throughout the years. The majority of my childhood, I attended summer camp at Alley Park – a beautiful park near Lancaster. Over the years, I hiked many miles, learned a ton of goofy, cute camp songs (“The Little Green Frog” is my favorite), and made many friends and memories. But the most valuable thing I took from the experience was developing a fond appreciation of nature. I love hiking, camping, biking, going on walks, and just anything that lets me be in the great outdoors. Because of that love, I want to be an urban planner, focusing on utilizing the resources we already have, and bringing in more green space to cities all over the world. I’ve realized that my purpose in life is to preserve that beauty for future generations.

In high school, I was a four-year member of the percussion section of the Lancaster High School Band of Gold, and had the opportunity to be a section leader for my last two years there. I was also a three year member of the LHS Percussion Ensemble and had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans to perform for a Rotary convention along with the rest of my percussion friends. Senior year, I played on the JV boys’ tennis team and had a blast, despite it being my first and last season.

I was in post-secondary for my junior and senior years of high school and attended OU-Lancaster and earned 56 credits toward graduation. So, I am technically a junior as of this spring with all of my credits. As I previously mentioned, I came here to OU to major in geography, and eventually added studio art to the mix because of how many credits I had previously earned. Upon my graduation, I intend to go to grad school to master in Sustainable Urban and Regional Planning.

While my past was busy and exciting, my future is sure to be even brighter with my admittance to this wonderful group of women. Sharing my OU experience with my Margaret Boyd sisters is an inspiration, and will always give me another reason to wake up each day and do my best at all I take on. 

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