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Jonathan Renard

  • Habitat for Humanity member
  • Learning community peer mentor
  • Recipient of Rudy Leadership Award
  • Plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, piano

Adolescent to young adult education major, English minor

Patton College of Education

Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

You’re a learning community (LC) peer mentor. What's an LC?

A learning community is a group of students who have about two or three core classes together, including a University College class. Students get to know each other. The University College class helps you find a major if you are undecided. I came completely undecided. I was just one of those students that was going to college to find something that they wanted to do. I got put in a learning community, made friends, got to know my professor. I'm still friends with her today.

What’s the key to making the social transition to college?

The key to making that social transition would be to take chances. For example, when I joined (the Ohio University Student Chapter of) Habitat for Humanity, I went to that first meeting. It was a Monday night, winter of my freshman year. I came in, sat down, and for 30-45 minutes they gave a speech, "We're collecting money for this trip to Albany, Georgia. It's a $40 deposit." I sat there and went, I think I'll do that. I was like, "Hey, I'm gonna run to the bank really quick. Will you be here when I get back?" I ended up going on that trip and now I'm friends with all those guys.

And you eventually became public relations chair of Habitat. What have you learned about leadership?

I also participated in L.E.A.P. (Leadership-Experience-Action-Purpose) through the Campus Involvement Center. I've come to use the term "everyday leadership." When somebody says leadership, you think of Gandhi or these big iconic figures who made these great worldwide changes. But to be a leader you don't have to be that person. You can be a person that picks up some trash that somebody missed while they're walking to class. Or if a sign fell down, don't walk over it or walk around it, just put it back up. If somebody's having a bad day, talk to them. You can be a leader every day without having to change the world. I feel like there are a lot of students at OHIO like that.

How are the professors?

I thought I was just kind of lucky at first, "I'm getting all these great professors. This is nice." Three years later, I'm like, "I think they're all like this." You can tell with all the professors at Ohio University that they're passionate about what they're doing. And so you're much more open to learning it and excited about learning it.

Is OHIO a diverse campus?

Ohio University is a very diverse campus. I think it's critical because coming to Ohio University, you might not know every background or know every type of religion or race or socioeconomic status. It's a great way to learn about diversity and kind of be a part of it.

What kind of on-campus jobs are available?

There are resident assistants, peer mentors, tutoring, work in the dining halls. The nice thing about on-campus jobs is they work with your schedule. It's actually shown that students who are busy and are working actually perform better than students who aren't working. Not to say you have to work to do well.

What’s your advice for a campus visit?

Definitely come check OHIO out. When you do that, you actually experience it. It's not a name on a page with some facts and numbers about how many students go here and what they offer. Come here and see if you can picture yourself being one of those students.

“Definitely come check OHIO out. When you do that, you actually experience it. It's not a name on a page with some facts and numbers about how many students go here and what they offer. Come here and see if you can picture yourself being one of those students.”

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