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Experiential Learning Student Advisory Board

Student alumni board group photo

The Experiential Learning Student Advisory Board is comprised of 16 members and has representation from all OHIO colleges, regional campuses, and OHIO Online. Board 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, 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 the Experiential Learning Student Advisory Board, or to suggest a project, please contact experiential.learning@ohio.edu

 

Sydney Kennedy

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. 

 

Riley Long

Riley Long

Preferred Pronouns: She / Her / Hers 

Major: Pre-nursing

Interests: Hiking, backpacking, and the outdoors. I love the sciences and want to explore them through many different classes and research and wish to pursue healthcare in the future.

Class Year: 2026 

Involvement:

  • Active member of Red Cross Club
  • Member of Outdoor Pursuits 2022 Spring Break Appalachian Trail backpacking trip

Why is experiential learning important to you?

I think experiential learning is a crucial aspect in receiving a well-rounded, and immersive education in any subject. Especially in the health-related sciences, experiential learning allows you to put your knowledge into practice and learn how to utilize your skills, as opposed to passively retaining them through memory. Experiential learning allows you to better form connections with peers and mentors around you, and gain knowledge from seeing how other people learn and react in a learning environment.

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

While I’m only a freshman and haven’t yet had an immense amount of experiential learning experiences so far in my college career, the few that I’ve had have shown me the importance of experiential learning in everyone’s academic journey. I went to my first biological sciences research fair and got to see just how big the world of science is and was awakened by the many possibilities around me. Experiential learning has also made me aware of the importance of hands-on learning and learning environments that are different and separate from the classroom. Experiential learning has made me want to dive deeper into my interests and see all the Ohio University has to offer.

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

In the fall of 2021, I went to my first biological sciences research fair and got the opportunity to look at a multitude of different research topics being investigated. Since then, I have been yearning to get involved in research on campus and explore my interests in the sciences even more. I think experiential learning has the ability to open the doors for many people and can let people find interests they may have not even known they had.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

It’s hard to say for sure, since I’m still exploring my own interests and trying to figure out where I fit best in a health care team. I have always had an interest in women’s health, so I could see myself working in a women’s healthcare setting. I would love to work alongside and support the health of women during pregnancy. I’m excited to see what amazing opportunities Ohio University has to offer, and what the future holds.

Jordan Lumbatis

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.   

Maya Meade

Maya Meade

She/her/hers

 

Major: Journalism News and Information

Minor: Political Science

Certificates: Political Communication and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality studies

 

Interests: Making Vision Boards, Reading, Taking Walks

 

Involvement
Communications Intern for the Center for Campus & Community Engagement, LINKS Peer Mentor, Reservations and Events Assistant at Ping Recreation Center, Editor-in-Chief of Backdrop Magazine, President of Best Buddies OU, Women’s Mentoring Program, John Newton Templeton Scholar

 

Why is experiential learning important to you?

Experiential learning is important to me because it provides an opportunity to experience passions and interests in a hands-on or up-close environment. There is a lot of value it being about to participate in experiential learning opportunities because the things you take away are strengthened by the things you get to do and the connections you get to make.

 

How has experiential learning impacted your learning experience at OHIO?

Experiential learning has impacted my learning experience at OHIO by providing me with the chance to experience journalism and learn about the impact of journalism on communities.

 

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

In the fall semester of 2021, I was able to attend a journalism simulation at Ohio State University where journalism students from around the state were tasked with reporting on political topics and issues while covering the government that was created by the simulation. This is one of the first experiences where I was able to write hard news stories, get immediate edits and feedback on quick deadlines and network with amazing, well-establish journalists.

 

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

10 years from now, I want to be well-traveled and experienced as a journalist. Ideally, I would like to attend graduate school for educational leadership and policy planning and focus on a career in politics or education so I can promote media literacy and critical race theory in the education system. I don’t know exactly where I will end up but I know some of the things I want to do between now and then.

Julianna Yates

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.