You transferred to OHIO. How was the process?
Perfectly. I didn’t have any trouble with that.
Who is your favorite professor?
Geoff Buckley in geography and Art Trese in plant biology. I was just over at (Trese’s) house the other day making granola. As part of that sustainable agriculture class, he was like, “Hey, anybody want to come and hang out and make some granola and talk about stuff?” It was kind of community building. The whole class had undertones of community building and food production being part of that.
How would you describe your OHIO experience?
Before coming to college, I had a lot of desire to do stuff; I wanted to have a positive change. College has completely fulfilled that. College has allowed me to focus those desires toward something real. STAND Against Genocide is a national organization, completely student-led. It’s an awareness-raising advocacy and activism group against mass atrocities or genocide. We put on a lot of events to raise awareness, such as documentary screenings, speakers, activists doing workshops as well as phone banking, letter campaigns, and even personal meetings with our elected representatives.
What is a learning community?
Learning communities are the best. A learning community is a group of people in your major who are placed together during the first semester to experience the transition to college and the classes together. I was in the global studies learning community. Some of my best friends came from a learning community. In my LC we had three courses together and then we had the LC class. Outside of class we’d have extracurricular stuff that we’d go to. We’d go to football games together, music performances together, we would go to dinners and stuff.
How are you paying for college?
I got an Ohio University scholarship. I took out loans for the rest, and my parents are paying quite a bit because I’m trying to stay as debt-free as I can. I’m in the process right now of applying for the FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowship. I’m an RA (resident assistant), so that’s paying for my room and also giving me a salary. I worked last year in the dining hall.
How is residence life?
The residence halls are awesome. I was in the mod style – it’s basically about 15 people who share a common room that has bedrooms along hallways that branch off of the common room. The common room was always our hangout. We were always in there, especially late at night. I had a bunch of separate communities that I was part of, but my residence hall was the first one that I was in and my primary one.
You’re SafeZone-certified. What is SafeZone?
SafeZone is a certification. In the training, they educate you on LGBTQA issues and also how to be an ally to people who are struggling with that or, especially as an RA, coming into college, struggling with that, how to be an ally to them, how to be a friend to them, helping them be who they are and also a part of the community of Ohio University.
Did you study abroad?
I studied abroad in Angola. I set up a program for myself and it counted toward my major. I set it up completely with my advisor, and it was actually really easy. I had to register it with the study abroad office. It was completely what I was planning to do that summer anyway. I was working with my dad. I wrote a lot about my experience throughout the summer. I’m actually hoping to study abroad again before I graduate if I can fit it in. I want to do the typical study abroad where I actually take classes at another university.
"The Student Sierra Coalition is the Ohio University chapter of the Sierra Club. It's a really good place for us to practice the type of advocacy and activism that a lot of us want to do after school while still working on issues that are important now."