Ohio University

Experiential Learning Student Advisory Board

 

Meeting 1-ELSAB

The Experiential Learning Student Advisory Board is comprised of 16 members and has representation from all OHIO colleges, the regional campus community, and e-Campus. ELSAB members shape the work of OHIO’s Experiential Learning team by providing feedback from diverse perspectives about student needs, preferences, and hopes for experiential education. Student experiences and feedback are regularly shared with university partners such as the Center for Campus and Community Engagement, Career and Leadership Development Center, Research and Sponsored Programs, Creative Activity and the Ohio Valley Center for Collaborative Arts, Office of Global Opportunities, and others.  

Members meet monthly as a group and actively participate in projects throughout their appointment.  One academic year of service on the advisory board is expected with the opportunity for renewal.    

For information about joining ELSAB or to suggest a project, please contact experiential.learning@ohio.edu

 

Anna Brant Profile Picture
Anna Brant

Preferred pronouns: she, her, hers

Major: Biological Sciences

Interests: Paleontology, anatomy, creative writing, and drawing

Graduating Year: 2022

Involvement: I currently work as a research assistant in a paleontological lab on campus (Witmerlab) and as a peer mentor in the BIOS Advising and Resource Room. I am the volunteer chair of the Honors Community Council, and a member of the Undergraduate Research Immersion Program and Tri-Beta (Biological Honors Society). I am also currently pursuing a global leadership certificate and a museum studies certificate.  

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO? OR Why is experiential learning important to you? 

Experiential learning has profoundly impacted my experience at OHIO by allowing me to test and evaluate my interest level in different career paths in my field. Coming into Ohio University, I knew that I was interested in paleontology. However, I did not know much about the different types of jobs or about the specific types of research that would be available to me. Being part of a research lab and a research immersion program, I’ve been able to make more decisions about the type of career that I want in the future, the type of work that I want to do in grad school, and even the types of classes that I want to take during my next years at OHIO. 

Using one of your experiential learning opportunity as context, tell us upon a knowledge, skill, or attitude you learned in your experiential learning opportunity and how you have applied it in other contexts or to influence your future career path.  

Through my time as a lab assistant, I have learned more about the importance of persevering through initial issues and difficulties. For example, some of my work has included creating 3D digital visualizations of turkey brains by using 2D images from CT scans. The program that I used to create these three-dimensional images was a software that I had never before worked with. After I started my first project, I used a method that was rather ineffective and time consuming. As I continued to work, I asked for advice, experimented with the program, and re-read the software manual to develop techniques that made my work faster and more effective. Learning to work through challenging situations using creativity and persistence has been a valuable skill that carries over to many other aspects of my work. 

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 

In 10 years, I would like to have obtained a doctoral degree in paleontology and be working as a curator in a natural history museum where I could conduct research as well as oversee exhibit fabrication and collection management. I would also hope to have gained more experience in scientific writing and biological illustration. 

Learn more about Anna,

 

 

Melissa Damico Profile Picture
Melissa Damico

Preferred pronouns: she, her, hers

Degree: HTC major Environmental Studies, minor in Sociology, certificate in Law, Justice, and Culture 

Interests: Climate change, vulnerable communities, human rights, environmental justice, climate security 

Graduating Year: 2022 

Involvement: Sustainability Ambassador, Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar (starting fall 2020), Alpha Lambda Delta, Research Apprentice, Udall Scholar

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO? OR Why is experiential learning important to you?

Experiential learning is important to me because these opportunities fully emerge students in their experiences, which teaches skills that one cannot learn in the classroom. Experiential learning helps students craft a unique skill set that sets them apart.  

Tell us a story about one of your experiences that you feel demonstrates the power of experiential learning in a real-world context.   

While I was a research apprentice to Dr. Geoff Dabelko, I was tasked with finding if there was a link between climate change and older adults, specifically the Age-Friendly initiatives started by the World Health Organization. During this opportunity, I worked with the people at Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County who taught me the importance of interdisciplinary teams. By the end of the experience I realized that to solve complex, global problems, one must have an interdisciplinary perspective in order to understand the issue fully. Only then can meaningful interventions be made.  

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 

In ten years, I would love to be working for a governmental body, like the United Nations, creating and implementing plans to make communities more resilient to the effects of climate change and other hazards.  

Learn more about Melissa, 

Sydney Kennedy Profile Picture
Sydney Kennedy

Preferred Pronouns: She / Her / Hers 

Degree: Bachelor of Human and Consumer Sciences; Restaurant, Hotel, and Tourism 

Interests: Understanding foodways in our communities   

Graduating Year: May 2022 

Involvement:

Internship Experience- Food and Beverage Internship, The Westmoor Club-Nantucket, MA 

Community Involvement- Indivisible Appalachian Ohio (IAO) - a non-profit (501(c)4) dedicated to serving our communities and advocating for Appalachian Ohioans to our elected officials 

Campus Involvement- Member, Phi Upsilon Omicron-Fraternity for Human and Consumer Sciences; President, Food Matters Club; Secretary, Club Management Association of America; Member, M.I.C.E. Club (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) Member, Indivisible Appalachian Ohio University- Student Chapter of IAO 

Why is experiential learning important to you?

Experiential learning is important because it allows you to form meaningful connections to the people around you, helping you to better understand someone else’s passions, lifestyle, and culture. I strongly believe that you grow as a person, and as a professional, when you engage in this type of learning. Allowing you to take that extra step of applying your learning from the classroom. Not only that, but experiential learning gives you the chance to learn from peers, colleagues, and professionals from your field, offering different thought processes and perspectives than you might have considered on your own.  

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO?

One thing I have come to realize about experiential learning is that not every experience is going to be a great one. Sometimes they’re amazing and life changing, but sometimes they are the opposite. But one thing is for sure, you can learn something from every opportunity and therefore I have no regrets. 

Tell us a story about one of your experiences that you feel demonstrates the power of experiential learning in a real-world context. 

At my summer internship as a food and beverage intern, in Nantucket, MA, I was prepared to have the best summer of my life. Beautiful islands, great new friends, and an amazing opportunity to develop my skills in the industry. However, what quickly started as a great summer soon turned into a summer full of high school-like drama and an industry I was sure I did not want to work in for the rest of my life. I was so disappointed that my dream job was not at all what I had expected it to be. After coming home from the internship, I started looking at different career paths and found a new area of interest in hospitality: working with underprivileged Appalachians seeking access to proper nutrition. Had I never worked that summer internship; I would have spent the next three years looking forward to a career I would never find happiness in. Even though it was not what I was expecting, my internship still became life changing in the end. 

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Ten years from now, I hope to have a job in my hometown in Meigs County, Ohio, working to better my community’s access to healthy, affordable foods. Building on my encounters at Ohio University, as well as future experiences working directly with companies with similar interests in food access, I hope to apply my knowledge to make my hometown a better, healthier place to live. Most people can’t wait until the day that they can leave their hometown for good, but I am dreaming of the day that I call my town home forever. 

 

Danielle Klein Profile Picture
Danielle Klein

 Preferred Pronouns : She/Hers 

Degree : Industrial and Systems Engineering 

Interests : Health Systems, Global Connections, Environmental Geography 

Graduating Year : May 2022 

Involvement : Work in an on campus paleontology lab. have participated in the business in Cambodia study abroad, the Art in London study abroad, and been to Uganda for a research trip. Completed an internship in Washington DC with White Ribbon Alliance. Involved on campus in Student Senate, Russ College Ambassadors, Presidential Leadership Society, and Bobcat Student Orientation.   

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO? OR Why is experiential learning important to you? 

Experiential Learning has impacted my experience at OHIO by giving me opportunities to travel, learn about and experience different career fields, and find a dedicated community of lifelong learners and adventurers. To me, Ohio University is a place of great opportunity and experiential learning has truly made my Ohio University experience a world class one. Learning through experience is a deeper form of learning for me and has given me skills and knowledge that I will never forget.  

Tell us a story about one of your experiences that you feel demonstrates the power of experiential learning in a real-world context.  

Over the Summer of 2019 I traveled to Cambodia with the Ohio University Global Leadership Center. During this trip I worked with a team of Ohio University and American University of Phnom Penh students to create a marketing plan for a Cambodian startup, Dine With The Locals. Working in a team across countries and cultures taught me a great deal about how to communicate and collaborate. We faced many challenges over the course of our project from logistical hurtles to misunderstandings but by the end of our time in Cambodia we had grown as a team and as individuals. Learning how to communicate and work across cultures is an invaluable skill that I know have because of my GLC and Ohio University experience.  

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

10 years from now I hope to have worked in my field for at least 4-5 years and possibly go back to graduate school for a better understanding of health systems and public health. I have been interested in working in health systems since I spoke with an OHIO ISE alumna my senior year of high school. When I heard about the amazing opportunities to be able to improve patient care and outcomes I knew that I wanted to be a part of the field. After I graduate from Ohio University I want to explore the Industrial and Systems engineering and health fields to find where I can make the best impact.  

Learn more about Danielle, 

GLC: https://catsinthekingdom.com/ 

Paleo Lab: https://people.ohio.edu/stevensn/  

 

Jordan Lumbatis Profile Picture
Jordan Lumbatis

Preferred Pronouns: she/her 

Degree: B.S. in Biological Sciences 

Interests: reading, creative writing, hand lettering, watching hockey, watching documentaries and listening to podcasts, playing guitar, volunteering with my church  

Graduating Year: 2022 

Involvement:  Previously, I was involved in research through the Relationships and Physiology (RAP) lab on Ohio University’s Athens campus but am no longer engaged in this experience. Currently, I am involved in community engagement through shadowing local optometrists and working in a local optometry practice. These two experiences have provided me with imperative knowledge in the field of optometry and have allowed me to build on my interpersonal communication skills, practice problem solving, and learn how to appropriately engage in professional settings. I am also in the OHIO Honors Program, which encourages active engagement through direct experience, as well as a reflection process to aid in the development of our skills and knowledge. Additionally, I participated in the Women’s Mentoring Program, where I was paired with a female mentor in a closely related field of study and worked closely with her to build on personal and professional goals.   

Why is experiential learning important to you?

Experiential learning is important to me because it provides me with the opportunity to play an active role in the learning and development of skills and knowledge I acquire, opposed to a solely passive learning process. Having the opportunity to work hands-on within my experiences has allowed me to become more engaged, apply what I am learning in other areas of my life, and overall have a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me. The most important part of experiential learning, to me, is the reflection process. Reflecting on what I have learned enables me to make truly personal connections and, in the end, makes the experience much more valuable. It permits me to be creative, challenge ideas through problem solving, and learn from my mistakes. As the saying goes, “ I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”  

 Tell us a story about one of your experiences that you feel demonstrates the power of experiential learning in a real-world context.   

I started a job as an optometric technician at the beginning of the summer in 2019, right after the end of  the spring semester. This job has been one of the most influential experiences in my experiential learning journey so far. Reading about optometry and actually working in optometry are two very different things. There are just some things you have to learn by doing.  

Around two months into starting at my job, a little boy came in for his first ever eye exam. He was visibly nervous and held onto his mother’s hand while he sat in the waiting room. When I began to perform the preliminary tests, he started to cry, push away from the machines, and cover his eyes with his hands. Although I had already been working for two months, this little boy was the first patient I had ever had that was this nervous and upset. I had worked with patients who had some anxiety about having their eyes checked before, but not to this extent. I quickly realized how far the situation could escalate in a matter of moments and decided to slow things down a little bit. I showed the little boy pictures and explained, in extremely fine detail, what would happen and what he would see. I explained what the tests meant and how they could help the doctor. I even performed the tests on a fellow technician to show the little boy exactly what would happen. By the end, he was laughing and asking all kinds of questions, excited to learn more about his eyes and to get to pick out a pair of glasses.  

This moment was powerful for me. I realized just how much my actions could help ease my patients’ anxieties. Reading could not have necessarily prepared me for helping an upset child, only the experience of working with and helping other people could. Being able to empathize and communicate with others is not something you learn by sitting and reading a textbook, it is something you learn by going out and doing it. Each person and each exam are unique, even if the same tests are being done. Realizing just how much responsibility I have for my patients and their experience helped reinforce my passion for community engagement and passion for the optometry profession. It brought everything into perspective. These kinds of experiences have continued to occur, even to this day, and I know they are not only preparing me to be a better student in clinic, a better student doctor during externships, and a better doctor once I graduate - but also an overall better person.   

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 

In ten years, I will have graduated with a Doctor of Optometry degree and will be a practicing optometrist in either my hometown in Ohio or in North Carolina. I hope to join a private or group practice or possibly start my own, and specialize in either vision therapy or neuro-optometry. I would also like to give back to my community and hope to be able to travel around the area and give free or reduced-priced eye exams to those who cannot afford to regularly see an optometrist. Additionally, I would possibly like to do research on the side, focusing on vision rehabilitation and traumatic brain injuries. In my free time, I would like to develop and retail my own eyewear collection.   

Rachel Martin Profile Picture
Rachel Martin

Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers 

Degree: Environmental Studies  

Interests: climate change, biodiversity, hiking, biking, kayaking, trying local eateries/coffee shops  

Graduating Year: 2020  

Involvement: Ernest F. Hollings Scholar, Udall Scholar, DAAD Rise Intern, Blue Ridge plant surveyor, Voinovich Research Scholar, Research Apprentice – Biological Sciences, Study Abroad – Balkans and Bahamas.   

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO? OR Why is experiential learning important to you?

Experiential learning has allowed me to take the knowledge I have learned in the classroom and make it applicable. It has allowed me to gain skills for my major and general life that will continue to help me throughout life, in addition to giving me some of my favorite memories! 

Using one of your experiential learning opportunity as context, tell us upon a knowledge, skill, or attitude you learned in your experiential learning opportunity and how you have applied it in other contexts or to influence your future career path.   

One of my experiential learning opportunities was the Ernest F. Hollings undergraduate scholarship which also allowed me to work during a ten-week internship and attend conferences. I learned how to work in a marine environment – which we lack in Ohio – and gain skills working in a federal lab. One of the attitudes I had coming in to this position was to learn as much as I could from anyone that was available, which is a valuable skill to continue to do in entry-level positions and beyond. I was able to gain more knowledge than my original internship called for and make connections I can use in the future.  

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

In ten years from now, I hope to have completed my PhD in a field related to ecology and conservation. I hope to be conducting research specifically on endangered and threatened species and apply that to best management and policy practices. I would like to be working toward a career in government or academia, living in a city or environmentally friendly community! 

Learn more about Rachel, 

Lexi Murray Profile Picture
Lexi Murray

Preferred Pronouns: she/her

Degree: dual-degree in journalism and communication, majoring in strategic communication and music production.

Why is experiential learning important to you?

During my time at here, I have participated in many different types of experiential learning. I have traveled to NYC three times now through OHIO, first with the Marching 110 for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then for an internship at Kovert Creative for the summer going into my junior year, then again that fall for a networking trip with the organization OUMS, the Ohio University Multimedia Society. With OUMS, I have also traveled to DC for a networking trip. I have gone to Frisco, Texas for a bowl game with the Marching 110, and Houston for the National Turn it Gold Gala to volunteer through an organization I am the treasurer of, Turn it Gold OU. For winter break 2019-20 I also went to Spain through the MDIA school for a screenwriting and documentary storytelling program as well. Through my music production major, I have used the music studio provided by the MDIA school for projects recording bands and musicians in Athens as well as my own music. OHIO has so many opportunities for experiential learning, and through these experiences I have learned an exponential amount of information in regards to my majors and just professional development and networking in general. I have been able to apply knowledge I’ve learned in the classroom to these experiences and expand my network greatly.

Last year, for the music production studio in Scripps, I argued to have a piano provided for students to record. I spoke to the music production professors and the Dean of Scripps, Scott Titsworth, to find a way to get the studio a piano, and I am happy to report that I succeeded. I have been very fortunate to be recognized through Scripps for my leadership.  

Tell us a story about one of your experiences that you feel demonstrates the power of experiential learning in a real-world context. 

During my internship in NYC, I learned how important it is to ask questions when you need to, and to stay organized in a way that everyone can understand what you’re doing. I was constantly being asked to do things for other people, whether it was acting as a publicist for Lindsey Vonn during a Project Runway taping, or doing event production for True Food Kitchen, it matters entirely what the client wants and how they want it. Now, I have a remote internship through a music supervision agency out of LA, Creative Control, and they have told me how impressive my organization process is and well as my readiness to ask questions and be on the same page with them while working on projects.  

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

In 10 years from now, I picture myself in a small apartment in NYC, working at a major-music label on the business and administrative side of things, also songwriting on the side. I hope to have completed my MBA with the one-year masters program at OHIO. I see years of prior work turned into a leadership position at my place of work, and constant expansion of my network through a series of events and conferences. Without my participation in experiential learning, I may not have ever known that NYC was a place I wanted to work let alone live. After spending several months there personally and professionally, I know I love the constant hustle and drive experienced on a day-to-day basis just walking the streets of Manhattan.  

Learn more about Lexi, 

Katlyn Perani Profile Picture
Katlyn Perani

Preferred name: Kate Perani 

Preferred Pronouns: She, her, hers 

Degrees: Ohio University: Master of Public Administration (currently pursuing)

Ohio State University: Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs and Leadership, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science 

 

Interests: Economic development in Appalachia, poverty alleviation programs, and culinary/mixology arts. 

 

Graduating Year : Spring 2021 


Involvement: Throughout my time in my undergraduate career at Ohio State University, I participated in many wonderful internships and volunteer opportunities.

Internships

  • Community Relations Intern, City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department   
  • Economic Advancement Intern, The Ohio Department of Higher Education   
  • Administrative Assistant, The Ohio State University  
  • Ohio Youth Works Program Manager and Job Coach, Hocking Athens Perry Community Action

Volunteer Opportunities

  • City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department 
  • TRIO 
  • Perry County Farmers Market 
  • Somerset Community Garden 

Currently, during my Master's degree, I am involved in the following: 

  • Village Intern, Village of Somerset  
  • Economic Development Intern, Perry County Community Improvement Corporation 
  • Graduate Assistant, Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs  

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO? OR Why is experiential learning important to you?

Experiential learning has been important to me especially as I have developed in both my academic career and future professional career as a public servant. My various experiences in public and nonprofit sector internships have taught me that it takes a passionate individual with a drive to do what they must to improve the lives of their fellow citizens. Throughout my experiences, I have realized my passion for economic development and poverty alleviation programs and plan to work in that field for much of my career. In addition to homing in on my passion for public service, I have developed a multitude of social and technical skills which will serve me throughout the rest of my career and personal life. Without the on-site training and experience I received while on the job, I do not believe that I would be as advanced in skills such as critical thinking, logistics, professional writing, excel, and coding. My internships have given me a wealth of knowledge and experience that will advance me into the career of my dreams. 

Using one of your experiential learning opportunities as context, tell us upon a knowledge, skill, or attitude you learned in your experiential learning opportunity and how you have applied it in other contexts or to influence your future career path. 

All of my internships have shaped me in to the professional I am today, but the one experience that especially impacted my career was through the Ohio Department of Higher Education. My coworkers and supervisors there included me in meetings of important managers and leaders of all levels, introduced me to high level leaders in the state which broadened my network, gave feedback which improved my abilities/skills, and encouraged me to become the best professional that I could be. Even today, my experience at ODHE continues to impact my professional life in an incredible way and as such, I am very grateful for my experience. Additionally, as the economic development intern at ODHE, I realized my passion for economic development; so, it was at ODHE that I also discovered my career path of choice. All around, ODHE was a highly shaping experience for me.  

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 

In ten years, I hope to see myself happy and fulfilled in both life and a career that does a lot of great things for people. As a public servant, I hope to serve people as a facilitator of public programs that provide life-changing services to those that need it most. Additionally, I hope to become a leader in the field of economic development, especially in my home of Appalachian Ohio. Working to make Appalachian Ohio an even better place to live has become a passion of mine so as long as I am working towards that goal, I see myself being happy and fulfilled in ten years.  

 

Learn more about Kate Perani, 

Lydia Sander Profile Picture
Lydia Sander

Preferred Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers 

Major:  Bachelor of Arts in Music (Honors Tutorial College)

Interests:  Music, Entrepreneurship, Arts Education, Community Engagement, and Professional Development/Leadership 

Graduating Year: 2021 

Involvement:  Community Engagement and Professional Development/Leadership 

Why is experiential learning important to you? 

Experiential learning is an important aspect of education that is often underrated and underemphasized.  While classroom instruction is necessary, it doesn’t always allow for practical application of learned techniques and instruction.  In experiential learning opportunities, I can immerse myself in real-world environments that create thought-processes that may have not been otherwise explored.  As a music major, practicing my art in real situations is extremely beneficial to my career efficacy post-college.   I feel more prepared going into the music performing/education industry with the experience I have and will continue to develop during my college career.  Experiential learning helps to broaden experiences and educational opportunities in my career path. 

Tell us a story about one of your experiences that you feel demonstrates the power of experiential learning in a real-world context.

As a member of the Ohio University MTNA Collegiate Chapter, I am privileged to be involved in community engagement experiences on a regular basis.  One of the projects our chapter conducted focused on bringing classical music performances into non-traditional settings while collaborating with the interdisciplinary arts.  Our goal through this process was to make classical music more accessible, relatable, and immersive than the traditional concert hall experience provides.  While this project set out to benefit the Athens community, we (the performers and organizers) ended up benefiting more from the experience than we initially thought.  We began building greater connections with the community while learning to collaborate independently and collectively with other art forms.  We also gained new insights and perspectives through our interactions with community members of various ages and backgrounds, and now, we look at music and performance differently.  It was an emotional and impactful experience! 

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 

In 10 years, I hope to have graduated with one or more graduate degrees and started running my own community music school or interdisciplinary arts education center.  I would love to combine my enthusiasm for both music and entrepreneurship to create a unique, wholesome learning environment for the performing arts.  I plan to use my experiences at OHIO and beyond in my career path, wherever it might take me.  I am thankful for the opportunities that I have been afforded, and I look forward to new experiential learning opportunities! 

 

Hunter Schafer Profile Picture
Hunter Schafer

Degree: Bachelor's in Social Work

Interests: Hiking, Fishing, Video Games

Graduating Year: 2021

Involvement: I am a U.S. Army veteran currently working in veteran services at the Southern Campus.

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO? OR Why is experiential learning important to you? 

Experiential Learning is a great asset for any up and coming professional. Every individual should take the time to see different parts of the world, and experience cultures that you know nothing about. My time spent in the military allowed me to see many countries and helped me gain a deeper appreciation for not only my country but for the world we all live in. Experiential Learning doesn't have to be about visiting a new place, Experiences can be anything. Take time to live your life each day and experience something new each day, you will grow each and every day.

Using one of your experiential learning opportunity as context, tell us upon a knowledge, skill, or attitude you learned in your experiential learning opportunity and how you have applied it in other contexts or to influence your future career path. 

As someone who has seen different parts of the world and take the time to learn about the cultures I was around during my military service, those experiences are something I will take with me as I pursue my Social Work career. I hope that I will be able to use my experiences to become a culturally competent individual and be able to provide quality care for my clients.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Within the next ten years I hope to still be actively pursuing my future goals and never settling for anything. Wherever my Degree takes me I hope that I continue to feel a drive to pursue knowledge and am able to reach goals while simultaneously creating new ones. I don’t ever want to slow down and wish to continue an active lifestyle that will not only keep me mentally sharp but also physically fit and spiritually grounded. 

Hannah Shovlin Profile Picture
Hannah Shovlin

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her

Degree: Bachelor's in Adolescent to Young Adult Integrated Social Studies Education

Interests: My interests include learning about and experiencing other cultures through travel. I am also heavily involved in community outreach programs in Athens and nearby Stewart, where I have been student teaching for 3 years now.

Graduating Year: 2021

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO?

For the past 3 years I have had the pleasure of being a member of the Patton College of Education’s very own Creative, Active, and Reflective Educators (CARE) partnership. This unique partnership focuses on progressive and democratic teaching practices, which emphasizes the need to build students up not only academically, but also physically, socially, and emotionally. During my time in the partnership I have gotten to work in a number of classroom settings ranging from Pre-K to grade 12 within the Federal Hocking Local school district since the beginning of my sophomore year. My educational journey has also taken me to Nepal, where I was able to visit a number of schools as well as present at a professional development workshop for local teachers in the village of Chitwan.

Using one of your experiential learning opportunity as context, tell us upon a knowledge, skill, or attitude you learned in your experiential learning opportunity and how you have applied it in other contexts or to influence your future career path. 

My experiences over the past few years have made a profound impact on my life as a student, future educator, as well as a human being. By being able to actually become a member of the community I work with, I have been able to gain a new perspective of the local community, as well as the global community. I have been able to not only learn about different pedagogical theories and practices, but also actually be able to put them into practice myself in real-time through meaningful field experience opportunities. I have learned so much about students and how they learn best, as well as my own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. I have become more confident, yet also humbled by my experiences of travel. I have built upon (and continue to build upon) my understanding and respect of other people and their cultural identities through my experiences abroad, and hope to take these experiences with me to the classroom. In the 3, almost 4 years, that I have been an OHIO student, I have noticed quite the change in myself, and it is thanks to my unique hands-on educational experiences. I am more confident as both a student and worker, more outgoing in my community and civil involvement, more empathetic toward others, as well as better prepared for what lies ahead in the near future.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

In 10 years from now I see myself doing what I love: teaching. Though I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, I plan on taking with me the lessons I have learned through my experiential learning opportunities here at Ohio University. I hope to bring very similar experiences to my own students in order to help them grow into their fullest selves. I want to provide students of all backgrounds with meaningful and hands-on learning opportunities which they can take with them the rest of their lives.

Rasmia Shraim Profile Picture
Rasmia Shraim

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her 

Degree: Communication Sciences and Disorders (major), Sociolinguistics (minor), Diversity Studies (certificate)

Interests: Diversity and inclusion, communication, education, and language 

Graduating Year: Spring 2021 

Involvement : Undergraduate Researcher at Language and Culture Lab, President of Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS), Volunteer at English Language Improvement Program (ELIP) 

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO? OR Why is experiential learning important to you? 

I have found that my experiences at Ohio University have provided me with insight regarding the foundations of my future career as a speech-language pathologist. Throughout my experiences, I have learned many different skill sets that I will need to utilize in the future. I have had the privilege of running an organization, which has taught me time management and interpersonal communication skills. Volunteering to help students with their language fluency has enhanced my problem-solving abilities. Performing my own research has taught me consistency and general research procedures that I will need to perform in graduate school as a potential research assistant. My experiences at OHIO have taught me how to execute these skills better than any classroom curriculum could have, and I would not have been able to grasp these concepts as comprehensively had I not gained experience first-hand. 

Using one of your experiential learning opportunity as context, tell us upon a knowledge, skill, or attitude you learned in your experiential learning opportunity and how you have applied it in other contexts or to influence your future career path.  

My most recent learning experience that has provided me with true autonomy in exploring what I would like to do in the future would be pursuing elective research in the linguistics department through the Ohio Language and Culture Lab. This opportunity has trained me on professional research protocols such as sociolinguistic interviews and data analysis. Although I have contributed to a couple of existing projects, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue my own project regarding the comparison of different English variants and how they are perceived by Ohio University students.  

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 

In ten years, I hope to be a speech-language pathologist working in a culturally and linguistically diverse setting with children and teenagers. This is important to me because I believe that everyone has a right to the essential communication skills that every human must have to thrive. I would like to play a role in helping those who are perceived as different in navigating their individuality through language and communication. 

Learn more about Rasmia, 

      https://www.ohio.edu/cas/ohio-language-culture-lab 

Julianna Yates Profile Picture
Julianna Yates

Preferred Pronouns: She/her/hers 

Degree: Chemistry, Pre-medicine 

Interests: I really enjoy mentoring others and try to be a part of tutoring/ mentoring programs in the activities that I am involved in. In my free time I like to read, do jigsaw puzzles, and spend time with my family. 

Graduating Year: 2022 

Involvement: I have been Peer-Led Team-Learning Mentor and Supplemental Instruction Leader for General Chemistry. Both of these positions allow me to guide other students to improve their understanding of course material and develop effective study strategies. I am a member of the OHIO Honors Program, where we focus on experiential, hands-on learning and build our real-world critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I’m a research assistant for Dr. Melissa Thomas, where I’ve helped with her Amish and Mennonite Photobook Project and currently assist with the Vinton County Cancer Research Project. I am also actively involved in the AMSA Pre-med Club and Pre-Student of Osteopathic Medicine Club (Pre-SOMA). 

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO? OR Why is for general experiential learning important to you? 

Experiential learning is important to me because it gives us a chance to put what we have learned in the classroom into practice. No matter how many times you go over a concept in a class or in a training session, there are some skills that you cannot test until you put those concepts into action. Experiential learning is a way to implement what you have learned and transform abstract ideas into tangible actions, events, programs. Applying what you learn, getting feedback from others, and learning how to adapt to unexpected circumstances are all a part of experiential learning, which allows you to continually develop and transfer skills across activities. 

Using one of your experiential learning opportunity as context, tell us upon a knowledge, skill, or attitude you learned in your experiential learning opportunity and how you have applied it in other contexts or to influence your future career path.  

From the activities that I’ve been involved in, leadership skills are the main things that I’ve learned. Although I think everyone generally has an idea of what good leadership looks like, it varies in each situation as each is slightly different. Working with other students as a PLTL mentor and SI Leader have helped me to develop my own style of leadership and made me realize how complex a leadership position actually is. Working through different problems types of problems during the sessions have improved my ability to adapt to the way that different students learn and also the way that I interact with others to encourage a positive, peer learning environment.  

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 

Ten years from now, I hope to have completed my undergrad degree, medical school, and either completed or be in the process of completing residency (depending on my specialty).  Although I have not decided on a specialty as of right now, I am excited to learn more about what interests me and the many areas of practice that there are. I would like to be practicing in the Appalachia area to stay in the region where I grew up.  

Emma Zgonc Profile Picture
Emma Zgonc

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her

Degree: Sociology Undergraduate and Master of Global Health student

Interests: I am passionate about health advocacy and global health and learning more about the history and culture of the Appalachian region!

Graduating Year: 2021

Involvement: I am the president of OU’s chapter of the College Diabetes Network and a member of the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition. I am a fellow with the George Washington Forum and a member of the Accessibility Liaisons on campus. I am a council member for the Little Cities of Black Diamonds in Shawnee, Ohio. I have studied away on the Global Health Cuba trip and interned one summer with the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. I am now an intern with The Sugar Science, a diabetes startup company and volunteer with Good Works as a senior friend.

How has experiential learning impacted your learning and experience at OHIO?

Experiential learning has allowed me to become more involved with my community and learn how I can use knowledge from the classroom in real life. I am passionate about learning about health access and participating in various health related learning opportunities outside of the classroom has been crucial to my personal and professional development. Experiential learning has also given me the chance to become immersed in the Athens community and understand the value of hearing the stories of community members. Building relationships with people outside the academic “bubble” allows me to critically think about issues discussed in the classroom which directly impact the communities around me. Experiential learning opportunities around the Athens area have shifted my perspective and allowed me to appreciate the rich culture and history of Appalachian Ohio.

Tell us a story about one of your experiences that you feel demonstrates the power of experiential learning in a real-world context.  

My sophomore year, I decided to apply to a Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) meeting on a whim. I have never been much of a public speaker but decided to take a chance and advocate for diabetes policy on behalf of myself and the millions of other people with diabetes. I was accepted and attended the first ever DPAC training and hill day where I gathered with other diabetes advocates across the country to speak to congressional representatives about insulin pricing and other diabetes issues. During the first meeting with a representative I was incredibly nervous but quickly gained confidence and a renewed passion for advocacy and policy. My experience introduced me to valuable and cherished friends and mentors who continue to offer advice and support throughout my personal and professional life.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I plan to go to law school and focus on health policy and law. I am passionate about accessible healthcare and health education. Through law, I hope to advocate for others and fight for the right for access to medications, health services, and health equity. As I person with type 1 diabetes, I have witnessed how rising drug prices, inaccessible insurance, and health policies have a direct influence on the well-being of others. Through law, I plan to be a part of positive change in health outcomes and access.

Learn more about Emma,