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Meet the Scholars

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2021 - 2022 Scholars

Ankita Bansode
Ankita Bansode Headshot

Hi, I am Ankita, an international student from India.
I am pursuing Political science (pre-law) major through the College of Arts and Sciences and the Ohio honors program. Although I plan to study Law after graduation, I would love to pursue creating art full-time since I love writing and reading all kinds of literature.

Currently, I am involved with many on-campus organizations: The Post-Athens (My column is 'Answers from Ankita'), the NRHH, Poli-sci major association, and Ohio university Entrepreneur. I read books, write poetry and prose, talk about cats, and paint anything/anywhere during my free time.

I am truly honored to be chosen as one of the Maggie B's and is looking forward to a beautiful journey.

Julia Bee
Julia Bee Headshot

Hi! My name is Julia and I'm from Columbus, Ohio. I'm currently studying Sociology/Criminology with a focus on child and family studies. I've always loved true crime and learning about criminal justice - even as a kid, watching documentaries captured my imagination and has played a huge role in a lot of my hobbies! Now, I hope to continue exploring this crucial and fascinating field alongside the experiences I'm lucky to share with other inspiring Margaret Boyd members.

If you ever want to chat or recommend a new show you can reach me at Jb656520@ohio.edu

Abreanna Blose
Abreanna Blose Headshot

Hello! My name is Abreanna Blose, but most people refer to me as Abby. I grew up in Canton Ohio and graduated from Perry High School. The support of my wonderful family has allowed me to grow into the advocate, student, artist, writer, and the woman I am today.

I began writing as soon as I knew how to hold a pencil. I string together words to form everything from short stories to speeches and poems. This love for writing is what led me to Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. I am currently a Journalism Major on the track of News and Information. I plan to minor in Communications Studies and aspire to earn a certificate in Political Communications.

My hobbies include painting, reading, repurposing furniture and clothes, meditating, collecting crystals, and oddly enough- public speaking. I am a part of Ohio University’s Speech and Debate team and a writer for both Thread Magazine and Her Campus.

Like many of the opportunities I have found at OU so far, I am thrilled to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and can not wait to see what is in store for the next four years!

Isabella Curet
Isabella Curet Headshot

Hi! My name is Isabella and I am from North Canton, Ohio, a town about 2.5 hours away from Athens that’s just north of Canton city. Back at home. I spend 5 years in the YMCA Teen Leaders Program, which gave me the groundwork for being a good leader and teammate in my day-to-day life. I was involved in my high school’s Video Productions Career Technical Program for 3 years, which has lead me to major in Film at Ohio University. Eventually, I possibly plan to expand my studies to include Early Education, in order to work towards creating better and more developmentally healthy television programming for children.
In my free time, I love music, theater, art, and spending time with my friends. I play violin in 2 campus orchestras, and I am involved in the student-run Lost Flamingo Theater Company. I also love fashion, collecting fun and interesting clothes, and dressing to make myself feel good and to express myself.
I am grateful to have been chosen for the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program because my life and activities have largely been male-dominated, and I look forward to working and becoming friends with other women who want to make large-scale change in our world.

Elena Delach
Elena Delach Headshot

Hi! My name is Elena and I'm an Environmental Biology major. I am currently also pursuing a certificate in Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Resilience, and ​considering a minor in Outdoor Recreation and Education. I grew up in Montclair, Virginia (about 45 minutes outside of D.C.), but I moved to Ohio just before my freshman year of high school and consider myself an Athenian without a doubt.

I grew up loving nature but nothing solidified my appreciation for the outdoors more than living in Athens, where there are so many great opportunities for recreation and exploration. I enjoy biking, birding, hiking, and wildflower identification (ask me the best places in Athens to see flowers! I have a list!) I’ve dabbled in climbing and mountain biking but I would love to get more into both.

When I’m not stomping around in the woods, I enjoy eating bananas, laying in grass, boogying to live music around Athens, and stalking friends on Spotify. I also play soccer and I am a member of the OU Women's Crew team.

I am incredibly grateful to be part of a community like Margaret Boyd and I am looking forward to learning and growing alongside the other 19 lovely ladies in this program. Please feel free to reach out to chat at ed843620@ohio.edu

Carlene Edmonds
Carlene Edmonds Headshot

Hello! My name is Carlene Edmonds and I am from Cleveland, OH. I am an English Pre-Law major in the College of Arts and Sciences here at Ohio University. I am also currently pursuing a certificate in Law Justice and Culture, and am a member of the Ohio Honors Program. I am very interested in human rights and international relations, and hoping to one day work in international law. I am also in the Pre-Law Phi Alpha Delta fraternity and the Ohio University Equestrian Team here on campus. I am hopeful to become involved in even more campus organizations this semester. In my free time I enjoy reading, going to get coffee, and being active. I am so excited for this opportunity to be a member of the Margaret Boyd Scholar community, and cannot wait to become involved! Please feel free to reach out to me! My email is ce771620@ohio.edu

Jaden Gaither-Hillard
Jaden Gaither-Hillard Headshot

Hello! My name is Jaden Gaither-Hillard. I live in Springboro, Ohio. I grew up in a small town called Lebanon, Ohio and I graduated from Lebanon High School. My parents are Shannon Hillard and Jesse Gaither and I have an incredible younger sister named Willa. I also have two dogs named Mochi and Sushi and a cat named Kahlo.

I am thrilled to be apart of the Margaret Boyd Program! It will provide so many amazing connections and opportunities throughout my time at Ohio University. I am also apart of the Ohio Honors Program. Besides my education, I am also very passionate about politics, art, the environment and traveling/exploring other cultures. My biggest goal is to make a positive impact wherever I go. It is so important to me to bring kindness and patience to people and programs I am involved in.

I am looking forward to being in a Program that will assist my growth and learning throughout my time at Ohio University!
Feel free to reach out! jg281720@ohio.edu

Giah Harper
Giah Harper Headshot

Hello everyone! My name is Giah Harper. My hometown is New Albany, Ohio. I was born and raised in West chester, Ohio where I attended school
In Lakota until moving to New Albany where I graduated high school. I am an Anthropology student ,currently focusing on biological anthropology. I'm thrilled to be able to take part in this program!
I have many interests,way too many to name, but some of my favorites are photography, horseback riding, pageantry, music and activism. When I'm not focusing on school I like to dance around my room and do my makeup.
If you see me around campus please say hello. I'm always willing to talk!

Natalie Harris
Natalie Harris Headshot

Hello! My name is Natalie, but my friends call me Nat. I am an Early Childhood Education Major in the Patton College of Education. I am from Pomeroy, Ohio, which is only about a half hour away from Athens. I graduated from Southern High school with only about 45 people in my graduating class. Because of this, I have always felt more comfortable in a small town setting. Even though OU is a moderately big school, I feel as if it has a wonderful small town vibe to it.
I chose education because I grew up in a very big family. I have 6 siblings, 5 of which are younger than me, and 11 cousins, 8 of which are younger than me. I have always loved kids and truly understand how important elementary school is for growing children.
Some of my free time includes reading, watching movies, listening to music, and enjoying the outdoors. One of the reasons I love Ohio University is because there are so many places that I can just relax and read a book while listening to music outside.
I am so excited to be a part of Margaret Boyd with the rest of my cohort. Please feel welcome to reach out and chat at nh298320@ohio.edu

Makenna Koogler
Makenna Koogler Headshot

Hi! My name is Makenna Koogler! I am from a small town north of Dayton, Ohio. At Ohio University I am majoring in Wildlife and Conservation Biology in the College of Arts and Science, and I am also a member of the Ohio Honors Program. I fell in love with OU's beautiful campus and cannot wait to see it every fall for the next three years! I am also super excited to be a part of such an amazing organization that works to provide women with a community and sense of belonging.

In my free time I really enjoy reading, hiking, thrifting, and photography. I love anything to do with any kind of animals, especially amphibians, and I am extremely passionate about sustainability and environmentalism. I have always felt very connected to nature and wildlife, so I spend a lot of time outdoors admiring all of the pollinators and wildflowers.

On campus I am involved in HIKE Club, Outdoor Club, and I am a daytime sitter for the 4 Paws Campus Club. I would love to step into more leadership roles on campus, and I plan to use the skills I develop in this program to do so!

I am thrilled to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program! I cannot wait to meet all the other amazing women in this program! Feel free to contact me mk669420@ohio.edu.

Mirage’a Lamb
Mirage’a Lamb Headshot

Hello, I’m Mirage’a I like reading, playing video games, hanging out with friends, and learning about other people. I’m told I’m very understanding and easy to be around. My favorite season is winter and my least favorite is summer. If you see me around I’m always happy to talk!

Cassandra Nalazek
Cassandra Nalazek Headshot

Hello! My name is Cassie Nalazek, and I am majoring in Anthropology through the Honors Tutorial College. I am fortunate enough to have called Athens my home for my entire life, so when it came time to choose a college there was no question that I would become a Bobcat. Growing up in Athens has led to my appreciation for great food, the outdoors, a strong sense of community, and respect for every type of weather imaginable. It has been such an honor to share this wonderful town with my new friends and classmates since beginning my time at Ohio University.

While my major lies in the humanities, I am also on the pre-med pathway. I am passionate about providing healthcare in underserved communities such as Appalachia, and I have a strong interest in women’s health. I believe that studying anthropology will give me a unique perspective on medicine as I hope to build a career that enables me to create a healthier, more accepting, and empowering life for as many people as possible.

Outside of classes, I am a part of Pre-SOMA (Pre-Student Osteopathic Medical Association) and Power Gamma, the peer-health education group on campus. In my free time I enjoy reading, spending time with my friends and family, hiking, baking, working out, and listening to music. Please feel free to geek out about Taylor Swift with me! Back home I have two cats, Gus and Sophie, who I love dearly.

I am thrilled to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, and I cannot wait to see all the ways that this incredible community will allow me to grow as both a student and a young woman! Please feel free to reach out: cn423720@ohio.edu

Krupaben C Patel
Krupaben C Patel Headshot

I’m twenty year old Krupa Patel from a very beautiful state called Gujarat of India. I was born and grew up in India, the country who is rich in culture, festivals and in entertainment. I reflect a varied personality including ambition, and the quality of generosity and thoughtfulness. I am also very determine and curious person. I encourage fighting for an individual rights and what we believe in.

I’m a full-time student, stimulated by my curiosity for learning and succeeding as I want to become an excellent and successful women in current society. With the goal of becoming a Researcher in a particular cancer field and become a helpful person to others, I’m currently completing my bachelors degree in Biological sciences: cell/cellular and molecular biology at Ohio university and I’m an first year student, and also a first generation.
Apart from my interest in science, I also have interest in art. I love how artists represent their feelings and their thoughts in their art work. I particularly love the painting and sketches, I use to do sketches. I also enjoy reading and spending time with my loved ones.

Julia Elise Platt
Julia Elise Platt Headshot

Hello, my name is Julia Platt! My hometown is Pittsburgh, PA, and I graduated from Moon Area High School. At Ohio University, I am an English major in the Honors Tutorial College. I’ve always loved reading, and that passion quickly grew to writing as well, so studying literature was a no-brainer for me.

Some of my other passions include philosophy and law. I was on my high school’s Mock Trial team, and I am currently an Associate Justice on the Ohio University Judicial Panel. Also, I am very passionate about activism. The Margaret Boyd Scholars Program is perfect for me to be part of a community filled with intelligent women focused on lifting each other up.

In my free time, I love to watercolor paint, play the flute and piano, watch Sherlock, and write novels. A fun fact about me is that I have a creepily convincing British accent after watching too many British TV shows.

I am thrilled to be part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me!

Breanna Reidl


Breanna Reidl Headshot

Hiya! My name is Breanna Reidl and I am from Canton, Ohio.
I am a Communication Studies major at the Scripps' College of Communication, and pursuing a double major in psychology with a minor in sociology. The social sciences have always been a major interest of mine and I look forward to studying these subjects on Ohio University's beautiful campus.
I am a member of the Ohio University Speech and Debate Team, and the Student Professionals of Communication Studies (SPCS).

I feel so lucky to have been chosen for the Margaret Boyd scholars program and to be surrounded by so many intelligent women.

If you want to chat, talk to someone, or ask me questions about anything at all, you can reach me at br900220@ohio.edu :)

Jenna Reitz
Jenna Reitz Headshot

Hello! My name is Jenna Reitz. I’m currently studying Photojournalism at the Scripps College of Communication and pursuing a minor in World Religions. I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio where I graduated from Fairview High School. I grew up attending Cleveland Public Schools and moved to the suburbs shortly after the transition into middle school. Having been able to experience this diverse and cultural landscape early on in my education, social justice reform became a prominent passion of mine. Throughout high school, I participated in several movements around Cleveland, including March For Our Lives, the Women’s March, and various Black Lives Matter protests. It was during these events I realized the truly powerful impact photography can have on our lives.

I aspire to continue working as an advocate for underrepresented communities as a foreign correspondent and photographer. For now, during my time here at Ohio University I’ve become involved with several student organizations including GIVE, an organization centered around ethical and sustainable volunteering (especially within the Athens community!), OU College Democrats, and the National Press Photographers Association. I intend to study abroad this upcoming summer as well!

I am so excited to be a part of the Boyd Scholars program, with like-minded women who have the same drive and passion as I, to make a difference in the world! I can’t wait to see what these next four years bring!

Please feel free to reach out at jr624720@ohio.edu!

Olivia Rhae Mincks


Olivia Rhae Mincks Headshot

Hi!! My name is Olivia Mincks and I am from Wapakoneta, Ohio. I am a first-generation college student studying psychology at Ohio University, and plan on receiving my graduate degree here as well! I love people which lead me to want to pursue a degree in psychology. Being at Ohio University has been the most beautiful experience of my life. I am a part of the Young Democratic-Socialists of America club which has introduced me to so many amazing people.
In my free time, I like to educate myself on human rights by watching documentaries, reading books, or participating in marches. I am also a lover of art, I love playing music, doing make-up, and styling clothes. The diversity at Ohio University truly inspires these passions of mine, which is why I chose to go to school here.
Words cannot express my excitement to be in such a wonderful program as Margaret Boyd! Feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or even a little makeover! My email is om186820@ohio.edu. I am looking forward to all the adventures to come!

Julianna Rittenberg
Julianna Rittenberg Headshot

Hi! My name is Julianna Rittenberg and I am a Political Science major in the Honors Tutorial College. I am also a History minor and am pursuing the Professional Deaf Liason certificate. My goal is to one day either be a campaign manager or work for a non-profit. I am from Worthington, Ohio, just outside of Columbus. I chose Ohio University because, from the moment I stepped on campus, I felt like it was home. My older siblings (I am the youngest of four) all went to school here, and I knew it was the perfect fit.

Outside of classes, I am a member of Ohio University College Democrats and am an Associate Justice on the Student Senate Judiciary Panel. In my spare time, I can be found in Donkey, reading a book, or listening to Taylor Swift. Back home, I have two dogs and five cats, and I love to talk about them!

I am very excited to be a member of Margaret Boyd. I can't wait to see where the program takes me through my time at Ohio University. Feel free to reach out at jr976320@ohio.edu!

Riley Sargent
Riley Sargent Headshot

Hi! My name is Riley Sargent and I am from Carroll, Ohio. I am studying Political Science on a Pre-Law track and hope to cumulate certificates in Law, Justice, and Culture and Political Communications. I am a part of the Ohio University Mock Trial team, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law fraternity, and ACLU-OU. When I am not at school, I am hanging out with my little sister and my two golden retrievers, Linus and Harper. I am an avid Taylor Swift fan, a pop-culture connoisseur, and a runner. Some of my interests include sitcoms and 60s music.

I became interested in politics from a young age when I noticed the lack of woman leadership around the world and especially the state of Ohio. That experience in 8th grade led me to have passion for being a part of the changes I want to see in the political field.

I am so honored to be a part of a women focused group here on campus and can not wait to spend time with my fellow Margaret Boyd Scholars! Feel free to contact me with at rs182820@ohio.edu!

Beret Traum
Beret Traum Headshot

Hello! My name is Bea Traum! I am from Cleveland, Ohio, where I had graduated from Magnificat High School. I am currently studying Journalism with a News and Information Track. I am hoping to minor in Political Science with Certificate in Law, Justice, and Culture!
I am very passionate about social justice issues and hope to one day work for the Equal Justice Initiative as a Human Rights Lawyer. I am a part of the Ohio Honors Program and the Ohio University College Democrats!
Outside of school, I love to create art with colored pencils, read, and discover new music! You can often find me with my headphones listening to the Lumineers while reading my newest book on College Green.
I am so excited to be a part of such an empowering group and surrounded by amazing people in the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program! Feel free to reach out to me at bt403820@ohio.edu!

2020 - 2021 Scholars

Isabel Alvarez
Isabel Alvarez

Hi! I’m Isabel Alvarez and I am deeply honored to have been selected as a Margaret Boyd Scholar!

I was born in Springfield, MO, but grew up in Louisville, KY. I was fortunate to take several computer programming courses throughout my time in high school, leading me to become a Computer Science major in the Russ College of Engineering and in the Ohio Honors Program. I hope to pursue a career as a data engineer. 

On campus, I am involved in the Society of Women Engineers and, as a Chicana and LINKS student, the Latino Student Union. I have always valued community engagement and leadership, and I plan to use the skills I develop in the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program to contribute to these organizations as well as the Ohio University community.

When I’m not programming for my internship at OhioHealth, I can often be found working on a circuit board, planning a new cross-stitch design for a friend, or journaling while listening to a podcast (like TMG). If you want to talk about OU, the Russ College, the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, or anything else, feel free to contact me at ia638719@ohio.edu

Delaney Brander
Delaney Brander

Hello! My name is Delaney Brander, and I am an Integrated Social Studies major in the Patton College and a member of the Connavino Honors Program as well. I am also pursuing a Spanish minor and a Diversity certificate. I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and since the moment I stepped foot on the Athens bricks I've never wanted to leave. Athens and OU have a special welcoming feeling that I can't seem to put into words!

At home I love spending time by the beach at Lake Michigan and exploring all of the quaint coffee shops that GR has to offer. In high school I was very involved in student council, cheerleading, district planning for development of facilities, curriculum, and expansion, and additional activities as well.

I am very passionate high schoolers and their crazy ideas for our ever changing world, and this is what led me directly into my future career path as an educator and eventually an administrator! I hope that I can make an impact on my future students even half as meaningful as my past teachers have had on me.

At Ohio University, I am a member of Student Alumni Board and YoungLife in addition to this wonderful organization!I can be contacted at db966619@ohio.edu and I am so excited and grateful to be a member of this incredible program!

Caroline Chaulk
Caroline Chaulk

Hello! My name is Caroline Chaulk! I'm from Dayton, Ohio, and I graduated from Chaminade Julienne High School. I have two younger brothers and an adorable yellow lab. Both of my parents graduated from OU, so I am extremely proud and grateful to continue the Bobcat family legacy! I’m a Chemistry Pre-Medicine major and am a part of the Ohio Honors Program.

My academic interests are science and medicine, and the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened those interests even more. I love research, labs, and advocating for people, so it is no surprise that this career path found me.

Aside from academics, one of my biggest passions is volleyball. I played varsity for high school and nationally in the offseason. I absolutely love that sport. Now I spend most of my free time with my nose buried in a book. I am a self-proclaimed book nerd and my bookshelf is always overflowing. I can never have too many books!

I am thrilled to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and I’m so excited to meet all of the amazing women! Feel free to contact me at cc209519@ohio.edu!

Aanya Datta
Aanya Datta

Hello! My name is Aanya Datta and I am an International Student from Calcutta, India. I am currently double majoring in Sociology and Psychology. I am also a part of the EAP in Law, Justice and Culture, as well as a member of the OU Global Ambassadors. I also happen to be the first person, in my immediate family, to pursue an undergraduate education abroad!

I love to interact with, and make new friends, which is why virtual class was not as terrible as I thought it would be! I have a keen interest in politics and I am very passionate about debate. My love for speech and articulation motivated me to be a part of the OU Speech and Debate Club. Aside from talking and debating all day, I am very passionate about cooking- it's how I de-stress and I wouldn't survive without cooking at least 3-4 times a week!

As an international student, I look forward to being a part of the amazing cohort of inspiring women. The objectives of the program are ones that resonate strongly with all that I believe in, and I look forward to being a part of it!

I would love to get to know more people, so please do feel free to reach out to me at ad322719@ohio.edu !

Cora Fitch
Cora Fitch

Hello! My name is Cora Fitch, I'm a Media Arts and Studies major with a focus on audio production in the Honors Tutorial College. Music is a huge part of my life and is my big source of happiness and fulfillment for me, I've known for years I wanted to follow it into the future as my career. I have been experiencing the world of live events for several years in my hometown of Athens with a band made up of some of my best friends, and I decided to stay here to attend Ohio University largely because of the rich campus culture that is hard to find anywhere else.

I've also always had a love for nature, and spend much of my free time exploring the woods around Athens. I enjoy taking inspiration from the landscapes for my art, finding new wildflowers and plants in the spring, and sharing my favorite found places with friends. I'm excited for all my future experiences within the Margaret Boyd Scholars program and the opportunities it will offer me! 

Megan Handle
Megan Handle

Hello! My name is Megan Handle and I am a Social Work major through the Honors Tutorial College. I live in Waynesville, Ohio, a very small town Southeast of Dayton. You may know of us because of our famous Sauerkraut Festival, however I personally think Sauerkraut is gross.

Throughout high school, I was involved in many sports including soccer, swimming, and track. I also was a member of the National Honors Society, the Teen Alliance Council, and several other community extracurriculars. I am very excited to join the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program as one of my first college organizations. I cannot wait to meet all of the amazing women and be able to make some more friends! :)

In my free time I enjoy cooking and baking, doing any sort of arts and crafts, as well as going on hikes, so I am eager to be able to be on OU's campus. My favorite color is yellow, I love mac and cheese (I was born in Wisconsin), and my car's name is Patricia.
Feel free to contact me at mh616119@ohio.edu!

Emmarald Jean-Francois
Emmarald Jean-Francois

Hello! My name is Emmarald Jean-Francois. I've lived in Athens the past 6 years of my life but before coming to Ohio I lived in Wisconsin, Florida, and New York. I’m currently majoring in psychology with a minor in business, with hopes to go to graduate school and become a child clinical psychologist. I am also fortunate enough to be a member of the Pepsi Scholars Program 2021 cohort. I took French for 6 years and I aspire to travel to France, Belgium, Haiti, and perhaps Canada. In the future I hope to study abroad and hopefully visit one or more of these countries.

I am a very active person therefore when I have some free time, I enjoy hiking, hammocking, running, and playing basketball. Being a vegetarian for almost 6 years, cooking has become a huge part of my life and it's one of my favorite things to do. I’m passionate about helping children and making an impactful difference in their lives. I’m currently one of 5 people that facilitate an anti-racism course at Athens High School and have been doing so since this past summer. It has been so incredible to witness the growth of the students from the class.

I’m so thankful and excited to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program! I cannot wait to see where this program will take me, and the experiences and memories that are yet to come in these next four years!

Maellie-Jade Jean-Francois
Maellie-Jade Jean-Francois

Hello! My name is Maellie-Jade Jean-Francois, but most people just call me “Maellie”!

I was born in New York, and have lived in Florida and Wisconsin before moving to Ohio when I started middle school. As much as I like living in Athens, I love big cities and would like to live in one someday. Traveling is something that I hope to be able to do more in these upcoming years.

My parents are from Haiti, and I have two siblings; my older sister, and my little brother. My parents have always informed me about the importance of education so I am very excited for what I will learn at OU! Some of my hobbies are running, baking, playing the viola and ukulele, and pretty much any kind of activity that takes place outdoors. R&B is my favorite genre of music to listen to. I am pretty much always singing or listening to something by Stevie Wonder!

I am majoring in Interior Architecture and minoring in Industrial Engineering. Architecture has always been on my radar when looking at potential majors. It combines my interests and allows for me to be creative in my career. I am extremely passionate about anti-racism and social justice and I talk about it ALL the time. I hope that in the future I can use this passion and the skills gained from my major to support and advocate for minorities and other underrepresented communities.

I am very thankful and excited to be a part of this program and I can’t wait to meet and learn from all the other members!

Hannah Louck
Hannah Louck

Hello! My name is Hannah Louck. I am from Urbana, Ohio. I am an alumni of Urbana High School as well as Ohio Hi-Point Career Center (where I earned a certificate in Multimedia Marketing). At Ohio University, I am double majoring in History Pre-Law and Sociology. I am also a member of the University's Mock Trial team (Go Mockcats!). I am super excited to be part of an organization like the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program that is passionate about bringing together, and empowering, women from all walks of life.

Some things that I like to do in my free time are reading, gaming, painting, going on walks/hikes, working out, photography, and videography. I love doing things that are intellectually and creatively challenging in my free time. Some of my passions include politics, environmentalism, activism, and history. A fun fact about me is that I am vegetarian and have been for three years.

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to take part in this program and can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at hl150520@ohio.edu

Kendra McKitrick
Kendra McKitrick

Hello! My name is Kendra McKitrick. I grew up in Toledo, Ohio and graduated from Whitmer High School. I am majoring in Geography in the Honors Tutorial College, and I plan to attend law school after graduating from OU. I am a member of the Marching 110 Drumline, though I was at home this past semester and didn’t get the chance to march. In high school, I was on the Whitmer Drumline, was president of the Science and Environmental Club, and worked at a soup shop. I started attending protests as a freshman in high school, and I eventually decided that studying law would be the best way for me to support the issues I am passionate about. After traveling to the Pacific Northwest, I fell in love with this planet and realized environmental law was the direction for me.

I am writing this just days before I finally move to Athens. I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter in my life (but I’m so sad to leave my pets). I am thrilled to meet all the incredible women in this program, join more campus organizations, and to just enjoy this experience as a Bobcat to its fullest!

Brigid McSteen
Brigid McSteen

My name is Brigid McSteen and I’m an Athens native studying Retail Fashion Merchandising. Both of my parents attended Ohio University, along with my older brother, making me the final OU student in my family. Growing up, I couldn’t wait to graduate high school and move to a big city. But upon graduation, I found that I wasn’t ready to leave Athens because of how much I admire the community and values of a small town.
Growing up in Appalachia gave me a unique perspective on what I am passionate about. I chose to study fashion because it has always been an outlet for me to express myself and be creative while living in a small town. Being interested in fashion pushed me to question myself and experiment with trends that I wasn’t exposed to in Southeast Ohio. I love learning about new trends and studying older ones, and I spend a lot of my free time watching documentaries and exploring the history and future of style.
Due to my area of study, I find importance in advocating for sustainability in the fashion industry. As I plan to pursue a career in the clothing industry, I must take accountability for the damage that it has on the environment. I hope that in the future I am able to mend my love for clothing with my concern for the climate and make the fashion industry more ethical.

I am honored to become a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and I can’t wait to learn and grow with a group of such bright and talented women. Feel free to contact me @bm934719@ohio.edu.

Zoe Miller
Zoe Miller

Hi! I'm Zoe Miller and I'm from Little Hocking, OH which is about 30 minutes from Athens. I've pretty much been around Athens all of my life, be it for golf matches, to watch movies or grab dinner, or to go to basketball games or hockey matches. Initially I never thought I'd go to school somewhere so close to home, but I'm glad that I did.

I've felt for one of the first times in my life that I've found a group of people that I can truly relate to and trust. I struggled with finding friends all throughout school but even with the current situation I've been lucky enough to meet others who have similar interests to me and genuinely enjoy my company (and I theirs). I haven't gotten to be on campus yet, but I'm excited to hopefully do so in the Fall!

So a little more about me, I'm a Mechanical Engineering major with an interest in a Computer Science minor. I'm in the Ohio Honors Program, Pepsi Scholars Program, and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at OU. I love to be outdoors either golfing, walking my dog, or just relaxing with a good book. Inside, I like to crochet, play with my cat, and occasionally binge watch a show.

I'm super excited to be apart of the program and I can not be more appreciative for the opportunity! Everyone that I've met so far has been both friendly and encouraging and I can't wait to get to know everyone better soon enough.

Baleigh Radune
Baleigh Radune

Hello! My name is Baleigh Radune! I am from Jackson Ohio which is only 45 minutes from the Athens Campus. I grew up coming to Athens to experience all the urban enjoyments my rural town could not offer. When the time came for me to choose a college, though I visited many, OU was the only one that felt like home.

Currently, I am in the honors program at the Patton College of Education. I am a Pre-Early Childhood Education Major. I’ve spent the last seven years of my life doing theatre. Being a teacher for young children, I can combine my love for silliness, songs, and theatre, with my love for children to have the ultimate career. I love baking, drawing, and doing makeup. Above all, I love to express myself in the most unconventional ways.

I am grateful to have this opportunity and I cannot wait to see what the Margaret Boyd Scholars program has in store for me! Contact me anytime at br984319@ohio.edu

Faith Ryon
Faith Ryon

Hello! My name is Faith, and I grew up in Urbana, Ohio. I moved to Kettering, Ohio when I turned 12 and have lived there since. I am the second youngest of five kids and am currently the only one attending university. I am majoring in English education right now for no other reason than beside the fact that I like reading, teaching, and all my favorite teachers were English teachers. Writing isn't my strong point, but I'll get there eventually.

Throughout all of middle school and high school I was a part of the Junior Optimists, which is a nonprofit that does service projects for the community and gave me many opportunities to learn how to be an effective leader and speaker. Through this organization I gained my love for community service, traveling, and people.

I was also in band since fifth grade and in marching band all throughout high school. I am currently in the Marching 110 and hope to be in it until I graduate. I like to run (I’m not good at it) and do yoga (also not good at it), and I love to read and play video games. My favorite color changes weekly along with my taste in music.

I am excited to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and for what the next four years hold for me.

Allison Saaty
Allison Saaty

Hello all! My name is Allison Saaty, and I am beyond thrilled of not only being able to pursue my education at Ohio University, but also the opportunity to be in the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and see where this journey takes me in life.

I grew up in a small town about 30 minutes away from Athens, Ohio. Logan, Ohio. Although “The Hocking Hills” has a nice ring to it for tourists, (and don’t get me wrong the nature here is breathtaking and gorgeous) Logan is a place that needs a lot of work. Growing up in a town that is plagued with so much poverty, addiction, depression, and other despairs-- I knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue higher education and equip myself with the skills/knowledge necessary to make our small nook of the world a better place.

Another thing to know about me is that I am a very family-oriented person. My family, my friends, and my loved ones mean the world to me. I am also a cat mom to my fur-babies Nala and Mimi (pronounced “Meme”). I love animals and lead a plant-based lifestyle. And something I enjoy doing in my free time is play video games.

I am currently a Psychology Major (B.S.) in Ohio University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Psychology has been an interest and passion of mine for as long as I can remember and being able to study it at a higher level is a dream come true. I’m very excited to learn more about my field of study, psychology, and eventually pursue a career that I’m not only satisfied with—but I’m proud of.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or would just like to reach out, feel free to! My email is as296519@ohio.edu.

Samantha Schimmoller
Samantha Schimmoller

Hi there! My name is Samantha Schimmoller. I am from Springboro, OH, although, my heart belongs to Cleveland. Go Browns! I am in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism majoring in strategic communications. I hope to combine my love for writing with my passion for politics, fashion, or entertainment. I know that OU will provide amazing opportunities to explore my interests. I am also a part of 1804 communication and work for their creative department for the company GoBus.

I was very involved in high school. I was a member of the student council, Students Against Destructive Decisions and the Junior Council on World Affairs. In these programs, I developed a passion for leading, which I plan to continue at OU. In student council, I played a significant role in planning and advertising our school’s homecoming. I was also the project manager of the SADD club’s candy cane gram drive and was responsible for collecting sales for local charities. In JCOWA I was one of the leaders that was responsible for planning meetings that would educate students on different cultures and world events.

Feel free to reach out! ss303819@ohio.edu

Judinya Thwaites-Brevik
Judinya Thwaites-Brevik

Hello! My name is Judinya (but you can call me Nya). I am a Sociology Pre-Law major in the Honors Tutorial College and am currently working towards a certificate in Law, Justice, and Culture. I have lived in twenty-seven? twenty-eight? houses in six states. I have seen most of what this country has to offer and developed a deep passion for social, economic, and environmental justice.

Over the summer of 2020, I organized protests in support of the national Black Lives Matter movement; we held weekly rallies and marches that elucidated the struggles of the Black community. In high school, I was class president at two schools, on student council, and in the National Honors Society. I was also in rotary club, french club, community committee, Students Promoting Diversity and Equity through Education, and a committee member and dancer in Mini-THON (a funder to support families battling childhood cancer). In my free time, I love to hike, read, cook, and bake.

I am so excited and honored to participate in the Boyd Scholars Program. I cannot wait to see what the next four years bring and form connections with wonderful empowered women. I know that we will make a lasting impact on OU, Athens, and the world.

Emily Van Meter
Emily Van Meter

My name is Emily Van Meter and I am an Art History major. My dream to be a museum curator and some day have my own paintings in museums around the world. I love to paint and draw, be creative in any way I can, and, of course, spending as much time I can at art museums. I am originally from a small town south of Athens and grew up in the Athens area my whole life. I love to travel around the world and experience new things. I am so excited to be a part of this program and getting the opportunity to meet like minded women! I cannot wait to work with my fellow members and to empower one another throughout thick and thin. Being a strong woman is something I’ve always been proud of and I am so excited to be a part of a program where being a strong woman is at its very core

Samarra Wagoner
Samarra Wagoner

Hi! My name is Samarra Wagoner and I am from Cincinnati. I am majoring in Environmental Studies through the Honor’s Tutorial College and hope to use my degree to focus my research on the relationships between environment and politics. This path is something I have known I have wanted to do for a long time as I spend most of my time taken by the environment and its involvement with all aspects of life.
When I’m not camping or hiking, you can find me reading, meditating, or busy with my small business; HippySoulStudio. Probably more than nature, I love my pets whom I wish I could have with me here on campus. I also enjoy singing and hope to join a chorus group as I was involved in theatre, choir, and acapella all through grade school.
I am thrilled to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and do amazing things alongside these strong women. I know that the personal and professional growth along with the relationships will last me a lifetime and I cannot wait to see the accomplishments the 20-21 Cohort makes in the next 4 years and beyond. Feel free to reach out at sw689019@ohio.edu!

Baylee Wolfe
Baylee Wolfe

Hello! My name is Baylee Wolfe, and I am double majoring in Energy Engineering and Economics. I have a strong passion for the environment and spend most my time outdoors, which led me to pursue a degree that will allow me to develop more sustainable energy sources. Although sustainable energy is my ultimate goal, I have adopted a new hobby while in Athens, sustainability within the fashion industry. I created and run a small business named OU Upcycle where I buy and resell used bobcat gear to promote a more sustainable clothing option and give life to old bobcat apparel. A couple places you may find me are local thrift stores, working at Lam’s Garden, or meeting one of my customers at Donkey Coffee to sell a shirt and grab a treat. Adventure over to my Instagram page @ou.upcycle or feel free to contact me at bw271619@ohio.edu
I am from Racine, Ohio which is about half an hour south of Athens. With my mother and two of my older brothers graduating from Ohio university, I have spent a lot of time in Athens. The importance of relationships and a strong community has become evident as I spend more time in my small town and others. I have witnessed my small community making a huge difference in the lives of many locals. I hope that my journey as a Margaret Boyd Scholar brings me closer to the Athens community and gives me the opportunity to make a difference. So, as a Margaret Boyd Scholar, I look forward to not only being in an environment that fosters my own growth, but also for the opportunity to work as a team and help others through whatever projects we may pursue.

2019 – 2020 Scholars

Hannah Bowie
Hannah Bowie

Hello! My name is Hannah Bowie. I have lived in Athens, OH my entire life (some may consider me a “townie”). I am currently a Communication Studies major, this is subject to change further down the line in my college career. Both of my parents graduated from Ohio University, and have been employed at OU for over 20 years. I am also the oldest of three kids.

I love traveling and hiking which I was introduced to at a young age. Aside from that, I devoted 12 years of my life playing soccer. Whether it was recreational, club, or playing high school ball I enjoyed every second of it. Another thing I am passionate about is art. I have a deep respect for people expressing themselves through art. In my free time I like to paint canvases and do crafty little art projects.

I’m excited about being a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and I look forward to the journey ahead! Feel free to contact me at hb592718@ohio.edu

Luvina Cooley
Luvina Cooley headshot

My name is Luvina Cooley, and what they say is true. You can take the girl out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take Wisconsin out of the girl. Milk and cheese practically flow through my veins and Kwik Trip is the superior gas station (if you know, you know). I grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River, in a small town called Potosi. While I appreciated the opportunities that a small school provided me with, I couldn’t wait to get away and explore the world. When I visited Ohio University for my HTC interview, I instantly fell in love with the campus and the community of Athens itself. And so, I found myself traveling over 600 miles from home to attend college.

I have a passion for learning, and more often than not, my interests were focused on history, archaeology, and people’s stories. Unsurprisingly, I am majoring in Anthropology through the Honors Tutorial College, with a minor in Spanish and an emphasis on women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. I found my career path while participating in a competition called National History Day during high school. Though this, I fell in love with documentary creation and telling the little-known stories hidden in archives. There is nothing that compares to the earthy smell of an old manuscript and the knowledge that somebody who is now part of history wrote it.

Outside of academia, my nose is almost always buried in a book. I’ve read everything from Shakespeare to sci-fi and I’m always adding more titles to my wish list. If I’m not toting around a stack of books, you can usually find me playing my clarinet or peering through a camera lens. I travel a lot and photography helps me record the memories I make while I’m exploring the world.

I’m looking forward to seeing where the next four years will take me and feel so blessed for Margaret Boyd to be part of it. I can’t wait to meet so many new people. If you’re ever looking for a book recommendation, or a (highly caffeinated) new friend, feel free to reach out to me at lc963818@ohio.edu.

Audrey Crowl
Audrey Crowl

Hello! My name is Audrey Crowl, and I am a Social Work major in the Honors Tutorial College. I grew up in a big blue house which sits just 7 blocks away from my current dorm room (my mom and I counted the streets as one of our final pre move-in activities). I am a born and bred Athenian; flat cities are unwelcoming to me, local food seems to always taste better, and my favorite place to boogie is on bricks. I went into my senior year of high school thinking I’d end up far away from the place I’ve called home for my entire life, but the Athens magic somehow worked its way into the college application process and I ended up sticking around for another four years. 

Growing up in Athens made me appreciate many things, but most prominently brought me to understand the poverty and hidden struggles which exist everywhere. I went to school with kids who didn’t know where their next meal was going to come from, and who had parents with drug addictions and unstable jobs. I worked in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program at my high school to mentor some of the kids who dealt with these issues, and also started a charity organization called The Appalachian Food Project with three of my best friends to help support those struggling with food insecurity in the area. My passion for helping others has only grown in my time studying social work at OHIO, and I’m excited to continue to make a difference in my hometown throughout college. 

In my free time I love to play soccer, listen to music (preferably live), read a good book, watch a good movie or spend time outside. I am also a vegan, speak Spanish, and have a very cute dog named Juno. I’m extremely grateful and excited to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and join this wonderful group of impressive females. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! ac849918@ohio.edu 

Lizzy Daly
Lizzy Daly

Hi, my name is Lizzy Daly, and I am a HTC Communication Studies major and Sociology minor. I grew up on Tybee Island, a tiny beach town only a few miles outside of Savannah, Georgia. The beach was only a four-block walk from my house, and the marsh was right across from my front door. Because of this, I was lucky enough to be able to spend most of my days outdoors exploring the marine sanctuaries that surrounded my home, curating a passion and appreciation for the nature that surrounds me.

I was trained in ballet from the age of three, and from that moment, ballet became a large part of my life. It taught me how to hold myself, taught me discipline, and gave me an outlet to express myself through movement, movement which often stood in place of my words. I attended both performing arts, middle, and high school, which meant modern and ballet classes filled my schedule right beside English and math. Some other things about me; my favorite piece of clothing is pants, and it's hard for me not to at least sway when I'm listening to music and often catch myself dancing by myself on the walk to class. 

My mother is a teacher, and education has always played a significant role in my life. I feel very passionately about the power that education, from a young age, holds upon not only one's mind but also mindset. I believe there are numerous issues in the educational system, especially in the realm of educational inequality and hope to work towards a path that would allow these issues to be discussed and eventually hopefully improved.

I am very excited to enter into a group filled with amazing women, and I am looking forward to what is to come. Feel free to contact me ld121118@ohio.edu!

Jade Dutiel
Jade Dutiel

Hi! My name is Jade Dutiel and I'm a first-generation student from New Lexington, Ohio. My major is Communications Sciences and Disorders, I wish to further my education as a Doctor of Audiology.  I also hope to minor in History or Greek Archaeology. I choose this career by chance actually. At the very last minute, I switched into an American Sign Language course and fell in love with the language and the deaf community. My grandfather was deaf since the age of 13, so at first, it was a tribute to him, however, it has become much more. 

A little about myself. My favorite color is baby blue. My favorite animals are cats. My favorite flowers are daisies and sunflowers. My favorite movie is About Time. I don't necessarily have a favorite book, but my favorite author is Nicholas Sparks, hands down. I absolutely love music. However, the genre depends on my mood. Typically its 90's '00's rock, but pop and country have a place in my heart as well. I love to paint, not that I'm any good at it. I mainly just paint things I see on Pinterest. Pinterest is my best friend. I'm from a family of five, I'm the middle child with an older sister and a younger brother. 

I was very busy in high School. I bowled varsity for three years. In my senior year, I was co-captain, I also advanced to districts after placing 4th out of 200 girls at sectionals. For three years I did drama as both crew and cast. I was the secretary for the Class of 2019 for all four years. I was in our chapter of the National Honor Society. I was also on the Student Council for four years as well as Prom Committee for one. I graduated top 6th in my class and with honors. Currently, at OU, I am involved with the ASL Club. I am also a LINKS student. I'm a secretary for Ryors Hall Council. I'm hoping to get more involved with the American Red Cross Club next semester. 

I am excited to spend the next four years at Ohio University and with the women in the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program! If you ever need anything my email is jd775918@ohio.edu, feel free to email me at any time!

Iana Fields
Iana Fields headshot

Hi! My name is Iana Fields, and I am from Haymarket, Virginia, a small town about 45 minutes from Washington D.C. I am the oldest and only girl of three siblings, one 15 and the other four. I also have a pet turtle named Daniella, who I enjoy caring for very much. I am a military dependent or brat as called in the military. I was born in North Carolina and from there, I have lived all over the east coast: New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Maryland, and Virginia. Being exposed to so many cultures has positively shaped me into being the compassionate, open-minded person I am today.

I decided to come to Ohio University because I loved living in Ohio when I was younger. I am currently pursuing a degree in English- Creative Writing, a minor in Marketing, and a certificate in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. With my degree, I plan on becoming a book publisher and authoring some books of my own on the side. In college, I am currently involved in the Intersectional Feminist Alliance, Active Minds, F-Word Performers, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. I also write opinion articles for The Post and poems for The Odyssey.

During my free time I enjoy writing (obviously!), reading, and listening to music. I prefer to write poetry, but I will draft the occasional short story. My favorite poet is Maya Angelou because her poems are impactful and speak to me as a black woman. It is exceedingly difficult for me to choose one book as my favorite book, but a few books that I will read repeatedly are: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In terms of music, I listen to anything that makes me feel good and dance or that relates to what I am feeling. 

I am excited to be part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program because the program will help me grow as a strong, independent woman. I am also thrilled to be part of this wonderful group of women and learn from each of them. I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

Emma Harter
Emma Harter

Hello! My name is Emma Harter and I’m an aspiring social studies high school teacher.  Fortunately, I have spent a majority of my life in Athens. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to grow up in Athens because it shaped my deep passion for food, the outdoors, and teaching. I am an only child, but consider my two dogs, Jasper and Cleo, my siblings. The three of us have travelled all over Ohio in search of hiking paths, good dog parks, and everything in between. I grew up in a teaching household, where both of my parents taught in higher education. From an early age I recognized my deep passion for education and coaching. I took my love of athletics and shifted my role to coaching basketball. I look forward to completing my degree in AYA Integrated Social Studies Education, with a minor in coaching and sociology. I am also fortunate enough to be a member of the Connavino Honors Program 2019 cohort. 

I have a deep urge to travel and expand my perspective on the world. I have been fortunate enough to travel coast to coast in the United States, as well as, outside of America. In my free time I love reading, meditation, hammocking, listening to music, and watching the sunsets. Meaningful relationships, between family and friends (and my doggies), are the main focus points in my life. Many of the activities I indulge myself into are centered around developing the relationships around me. I look forward to seeing where the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, and Ohio University, take me and my fellow cohort. I’m always looking for new mindsets to bounce ideas off of – if you would be interested in chatting, my email is eh992918@ohio.edu. I look forward to hearing from you!

Jillian Hern
Jillian Hern

Hello there, my name is Jillian! I was born and raised in Pickerington, Ohio. I am proud to call myself a member of the Bobcat family, alongside my brother who is currently a junior, and my mother who graduated from OU back in ‘93! I visited my brother for Sibs Weekend my senior year of high school and absolutely fell in love. I knew instantly that this is where I belong, and it’s my home away from home (I just wish I could bring my two dogs with me). I am so beyond thankful for the amazing people I’ve met here, as well as the incredible opportunities I’ve been presented with such as the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program!

I attended Liberty Union High School in Baltimore, Ohio, where I graduated third in a class of approximately 120. It was a fairly small rural school, and yes we even had drive your tractor to school day. I was very involved during high school with clubs, sports, and volunteering. I played percussion in the marching band, and became field commander my senior year. My senior year I also took on the position of Student Body Vice President through Student Council. I held various leadership roles and participated in many other activities including Ohio Model United Nations, Foreign Language Club, Knowledge Bowl, Varsity Golf, National Honor Society, Math Club, stage management for school productions, and Chorale. I had many exciting opportunities outside of my school as well such as attending Buckeye Girls State and becoming Co-Director of the Arnold SportsWorld!

Here at Ohio University, I am majoring in Mathematical Statistics and I’m planning to pick up a minor in Business Analytics. I partake in the OHIO Honors Program, as well as sing in Women’s Ensemble, volunteer with Bobcats of the Shelter Dogs, and puppy-sit for 4 Paws for Ability! Ohio University is without a doubt my second home, and I am beyond excited to get to explore more alongside these beautiful and talented women! If you ever want to connect with me, feel free to email me at jh119116@ohio.edu, I would love to chat about anything that’s on your mind! I am an AVID dog lover (if you asked my friends to use one thing to describe me, they would all say I’m obsessed with dogs), a sucker for oldies music, and I possess a cringe-worthy sense of humor. I would be honored if you would like to share pictures of your dogs with me!

Aurelia “Ray” Johnson
Aurelia “Ray” Johnson

Hi All! My name is Aurelia Johnson, but everyone calls me Ray. I am extremely grateful to be a part of this program and with meeting all the new and existing members of the Margaret Boyd Scholars program. I have a lot to learn and share and am ready to get started! 

About myself, I am in the Ohio Honors Program as a Templeton Scholar. I am majoring in Biological Sciences as a Pre-Med focus, with goals of being a surgeon. I am minoring in Chemistry and completing a Global Leadership Certificate. I am a member of a few clubs already: TriBeta, OU Biological Sciences Honor Society, AMSA (American Medical Student Association) and Medical Mentors. Can you tell I want to be a doctor yet? 

I was born in Portland, OR but moved to Galena, OH when I was 6. Galena is a small town about 20 minutes outside of Columbus. I grew up loving and playing sports with my two younger siblings, who are my best friends. I played soccer and basketball at the high school and club level, and was originally offered a scholarship to play soccer in college. However, as a Junior, I had a pretty invasive surgery done on my knee to keep my patella in place. I still thought that I would play soccer, but I applied for the Templeton Scholarship and won it, so my plans obviously changed. I wouldn’t change my course for anything. Ohio University is my dream school and I love being here and exploring all my opportunities. 

I truly can’t wait to see where this journey takes me. I enjoy all the new found friends OU has brought me and am looking forward to meeting new friends in the future!

Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson

Hello, my name is Heather Johnson! I was born in Ewing, New Jersey but spent the last 9 years of my life in the small town of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania. Here at OU, I am double majoring in Field Ecology and Outdoor Recreation and Education and am hoping to receive my certificate in Geographic Information Science.

During my free time, I enjoy reading a good book, hanging with friends, or doing pretty much any outdoor activity. I have spent the past two summers working and living outside in different National Forests across the country and plan to continue doing that for as long as I can. My favorite activity is long-distance backpacking, but I also enjoy biking, skiing, and kayaking. I am beyond grateful to be able to attend a University that has so many spaces for outdoor activities in such close proximity.

All that being said, I am incredibly excited to be a part of this year’s cohort of Margaret Boyd Scholars. I look forward to getting to know all the other amazing women in this program! If you ever want to say hi, don’t hesitate to email me at hj752018@ohio.edu.

Belvia Ofosu-Frimpong
Belvia Ofosu-Frimpong

Hi! My name is Belvia Ofosu-Frimpong! I am 18 years old and turn 19 this coming May! When I have time to waste, I love dancing to any kind of music, cooking, and journaling! I am a Ghanaian American, and, being Ghanaian has defiantly come with some advantages and disadvantages. I have the advantage of knowing another language and in the process of learning another home language. The biggest disadvantage that came with being Ghanaian was the constant bullying but with this, I always had the joy in educating some of the close-minded people I have run across in my lifetime. 

I was born in Alexandria, Virginia but I grew up in Reynoldsburg, Ohio for the majority of my life. I went to Reynoldsburg High school and attended the Health and Human Services Academy. In my 4 years of being in High school, I was involved in nearly everything. Freshman year I got involved in the Reynoldsburg Youth Human Trafficking Coalition (RYHTC), during the four years in this amazing coalition I got the opportunity to educate my fellow peers and teachers on Human trafficking, meet survivors, help create a bill, and meet people like Congresswomen Joyce Beatty, being recognized by Mike Dewine, and many more people who are very important in Ohio and Washington D.C. 

I also joined the student council during my freshman year and throughout the four years, I was able to join the finance team I was able to put together a committee called culture committee (a committee to educate the students and teachers of the different cultures that surround them). I joined the prom committee for junior and senior year and I played a big part in bringing back our yearly parade that hadn’t happened in about 10 or so years. Being in the student council helped me gain a voice and I was able to use that voice to be on the announcements my sophomore and junior year and also advocate for the black students and during February I was able to tell the whole school facts about important black people during black history month!  

Transitioning from high school to college was a little tough but college has taught me a lot of things that I would have never been able to discover if I didn’t take the opportunity to come to college. I have grown in many ways that I didn’t think I could, and I can’t wait to continue to grow and see what the future holds for me.

I am so grateful that I am in the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and I can’t wait to meet new friends, create new connections, continue to and see where the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program takes me in these next four years! 

Leslie Ostronic
Leslie Ostronic

Hello! My name is Leslie Ostronic. 

I am from Lawrence, KS. Yes, it is quite flat and there are “real” cowboys, but it is not boring! I came to Ohio to pursue a photojournalism degree in Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication. I also plan to minor in either environmental science or global health to satisfy my love for science. 

My curiosity drives me to learn about anything and everything. I believe that choosing a career in photojournalism encourages my curiosity by exposing me to all types of people, pathways, and places. Outside of photography, my passions include backpacking, running, traveling, poetry, books, horseback riding, movies, snow skiing, impulsive adventures, and cancer support. In summer 2020, I will be spending 49 days running from coast to coast with the Ulman 4K for Cancer to raise awareness and support for those affected by cancer.

In high school, I was a nerd, athlete, and artist. I participated in National Honors Society, geography club, bike club, cross country, basketball, soccer, track, journalism, and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Photo Scholars Program. I was fortunate to be a part of teams in high school that encouraged women empowerment and leadership. I was worried I would no longer have a community like that in college, but I was lucky to find the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, and I am deeply humbled to be a part of it. 

Feel free to contact me at lo970518@ohio.edu

Jade Pettey

Hi! My name is Jade Pettey. I am majoring in HTC Sociology with an interest in Political Science. I was drawn to sociology because it is a field in which many topics intertwine and overlap. History, culture, social change, politics, and more all impact each other. To understand one aspect of your studies, you must look for context in another. 

Sociology also has a strong tie to activism. I’m currently involved in the state, regional, and local levels of an advocacy organization called YouthMOVE. We aim to bring youth voices into the decision-making processes of the systems that affect us: mental health, juvenile justice, foster care, etc. I highly recommend getting involved in any advocacy or activism group because you’ll build a support network while working for positive change!

Having grown up in Athens, I believed I would leave my hometown for college. But as I visited other universities and sought out their community connections, I realized the uniqueness of Ohio University’s integration with the wider Athens’ community. Remaining here has been great! I appreciate the local collaborative opportunities I have already experienced from my new perspective as a college student.

Last semester I joined Student Senate and College Dems, and in my spare time I enjoy relaxing with art and music. I’m excited for my experiences with the MBSP!

Jane Roche
Jane Roche

Hello! My name is Jane Roche (yes like roach) and I’m from Cleveland Ohio but I’m now happy to also call Athens my home. I’m a Political Science Pre-Law major and I’m hoping to minor in Anthropology and receive certificates in Political Communications and Law, Justice and Culture. I’m currently a member of the Ohio University Mock Trial Team and Ohio University College Democrats. Before I made my way to Athens I lived with my mom, dad, sister, and dog. My family has had a long tradition with law. With my grandpa, dad, and uncle being lawyers I grew up with law all around me so my family was a huge influence in my decision to pursue law. Also a quick fun fact: I attended an all-girls high school in Cleveland so being a part of a program that engages and empowers young women is so incredibly special to me.

Looking to the future, I would say ideal career would be permanent host on Saturday Night Live or Norweigan sheep herder, but in terms of practicality I’d love to be a strategist or legislative policy advisor for campaigns, politicians, or local governments. I’ve been passionate about politics for as long as I can remember. When I was eight years old I canvassed for president Obama and when I was 17 I was an organizer for the Cleveland March For Our Lives. I firmly believe in the power of our generation and I’m so excited to see how we shape history.

Beyond politics I have other interests. I’m a huge John Mulaney fan and I just love comedy in general. I love listening to music and my current favorites are The Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beach Boys. I also just finished reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new book. Oh! I can also play the piano upside-down! 

So, with all of that being said, I am so excited to be a part of this program. I’m always looking for new friends and opportunities so feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to answer any questions regarding Margaret Boyd or Ohio University Life at any time! jr785418@ohio.edu 

Katelyn Rousch
Katelyn Rousch

Knock knock. Who’s there? It’s me, Katelyn Rousch from Hamilton, Ohio! 

No joke, this is the Hamilton, home of both the best tasting water in the world and the famous donut trail of Butler County. 

While attending Ross High School, I enjoyed marching flute for the band, playing on the Varsity Tennis team, tutoring through NHS, hitting the buzzer in academic team, and playing witness for Mock Trial. I love reading, writing, climbing, biking, hiking, and traveling with my family. 

At Ohio University, I am an Honors Tutorial College student double majoring in Environmental Studies and Astrophysics. So far, I have joined University Concert Band, Meteorology Club, Society of Physics Students, and The Athens Effect, a science publication on campus. I hope to become involved in the Athens community through tutoring and other volunteering opportunities. 

I am grateful to be selected as a member of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, and am excited to learn alongside so many amazing women. 

Feel free to knock on my door with any questions, jokes, or anything else by contacting me through my email  kr918518@ohio.edu .

Molly Sanders
Molly Sanders

Hello! My name is Molly Sanders and I am extremely honored to have been chosen as a new Margaret Boyd Scholar. I am in the OHIO Honors Program majoring in Biological Sciences and pursuing a certificate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, with hopes to attend med school and become an OB/GYN. I am from a small town called Troy, Ohio where I grew up with the most amazing family that has supported me from the start. My parents raised my four older brothers and me to show kindness to all and to lead with generosity.

The one thing that my brothers instilled in me, besides how to do all the WWE moves, was a great taste in music. Going to concerts is my favorite past-time and I try to go to as many as possible. Top concerts of 2019: Travis Scott, Ariana Grande, Iron Maiden, and Gregory Alan Isakov. So, yes, my music taste is quite diverse. Throughout high school, I was always involved with the arts, especially theatre. My senior year I was able to serve as one of five State Thespian Officers for Ohio. I gained so much leadership experience that I will carry with me forever. I am excited to be a leader at Ohio University through this program.

Transitioning into college life was not difficult whatsoever, and I joined some amazing groups that made my first semester even better. I am singing with Women’s Ensemble and the all-female a cappella group, Title IX. I am doing service with Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed community service fraternity that I was recently initiated into. I am doing fun scientific activities with TriBeta, the honors biology society on campus. Ohio University is a dream and I am grateful for every day that I am here.

Some fun facts to finish this off: hot sauce is a necessity for all foods, my first tattoo was the female symbol, I enjoy organizing closets using the ROYGBIV system, the only fruit I do not like is honeydew, I am a full-time nanny in the summer, I have been a vegetarian for six years, and my favorite movie is anything scary.

These next four years will be filled with knowledge, experiences, and friends to last a lifetime. I cannot wait to see the role that the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program plays in my journey.

Olivia Tenoglia
Olivia Tenoglia

Hello all! My name is Olivia Tenoglia, but feel free to call me Liv!

I am an Environmental Studies major through the Honors Tutorial College. I am minoring in French as well as working towards a certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I discovered my passion for the environment during my first year of high school and believed that I wanted to work towards the development of new methods of “green energy.” After taking chemistry my junior year of high school and finding that it wasn’t exactly my strong suit, I soon realized that my passion lies in the social and political aspects of climate change. I am interested in the intersection between feminism and environmental degradation and the specific ways in which women are affected by our ever-changing world. I also hope to be able to use my French studies in my career after studying it for the past six years. 

I have lived in Athens my whole life and I’m a third generation Ohio University student on both my mom’s and dad’s sides. Having lived in Appalachia my whole life, I have developed a great sense of pride of this region and I hope to continue to better it throughout my career. In my free time, I enjoy baking (but not cooking), watching dog agility competitions, and playing softball. I have a small obsession with dogs and I am well versed in the tendencies of many dog breeds after working at a vet clinic for over a year. 

I can’t describe how thrilled I am to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars! I believe that this program will be invaluable to my development as a young woman in the workforce, not to mention the many other fantastic women I will now have the opportunity to meet. 

If you would like to talk dogs, feminism, or the environment, my email is ot189717@ohio.edu, please feel free to reach out!

Sophia Thomas
Sophia Thomas

Hi! My name is Sophia Thomas. I was born in Akron, Ohio, and I’ve lived there my whole life. You may know of Akron because of Lebron (go Cavs!!) but I attended his rival high school. At Archbishop Hoban High School, I participated in the fundraising committee on student council, student ambassadors, peer mentoring, National Honors Society, varsity lacrosse, and was the president of my school’s section of students against destructive decisions. I took full advantage of what my school had to offer, and I hope to do so again here at Ohio University. The Margaret Boyd Scholars Program is the first extracurricular program I have been invited to at OU, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. I am grateful for the chance to learn and grow alongside so many strong women. 

I am currently a psychology major in the Ohio Honors Program, however I am also exploring other paths such as child and family studies and social work. In the end, I just want to help people in the best way that I can. In my future time at OU, I am hoping to study abroad. I am so thankful for every opportunity provided to me by OU, and as a first generation college student I cherish each one. 

And now, a little bit about me outside of school! I am the youngest of four, and one of my brothers also attends Ohio University. I come from a big family. My parents each have eleven siblings, so I’m blessed to have 64 first cousins. As you can imagine, my family is the most important part of my life. In my spare time I enjoy reading fiction novels, hanging out with close friends, and trying new things.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson

Hello! My name is Alex Thompson. I am a first-generation student from Logan, Ohio. I grew up about thirty minutes from campus and I have a lot of family that lives in the Athens area. I have one younger brother and one younger sister. This past spring, I graduated from both Logan High School and Tri-County Career Center (located in Nelsonville, Ohio). My parents are both vocational school graduates. My mother is a licensed practical nurse at a nursing home in Athens and my father is a custodian for the school district in Logan. I would not be where I am today without their support.

At Tri-County, I was a student in the Nursing Technology program and very active in SkillsUSA, a student organization for vocational trades. I competed and placed in regional and state competitions for Medical Terminology and on a Health Knowledge Bowl team. I started at Ohio University as a Pre-Nursing major with hopes of obtaining my B.S.N. but became interested in Community and Public Health and made the decision to change my major in November.

I am very excited to be in the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and am looking forward to being a part of something that brings together and empowers women to be leaders. Growing up, I was not exposed to very much diversity and I have learned a lot this past year. I am looking forward to utilizing my time at Ohio University and in this program to learn as much as I can and become the best version of myself I can be. 

Lucy Thompson
Lucy Thompson

My name is Lucy and I hail from wild and wonderful West Virginia. I am incredibly honored and excited to be part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program; my first semester here at Ohio University has been spectacular, and I know that my participation in this program will augment my experience the next four years. Besides the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, my time on campus is occupied by majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies in the Honors Tutorial College, singing with the Women’s Ensemble, working on the women’s affairs commission in Student Senate, and going to my club meetings for the College Democrats and Student Sierra Coalition. 

My interests include obsessive list writing, backpacking, reading, crying in public places, and singing (my RA would say screaming) to Lizzo with my roommate for life, Jane Roche (Listed above! She’s awesome!). I am passionate about the outdoors, Star Wars, sweet potatoes, and getting funky with it.

If you would like to contact me my email is lt540218@ohio.edu; I love to meet new people!

2018 - 2019 Scholars

Diamond Allen
diamond allen

My name is Diamond Allen and I am a Saint Martin De Porres graduate, number 7 in my class. During high school, I participated in cross country, Women's Circle, served as vice president in Jewels and Gents and lended a helping hand whenever I could. In my free time I enjoy dancing and professionally bowling in a league where I received many awards and scholarships that assisted me in continuing my higher education at Ohio University. Along with bowling, dancing and running, I also enjoy reading, writing and drawing in my free time. I really enjoy helping others because it could be something as small as holding the door for someone that brings me joy. 

Courtney Archibald
courtney archibald

Hello! My name is Courtney Archibald. In my free time I love to play with my dog, Cleo, spend time with my friends and family, watch Netflix, do yoga, play sudoku or do other logic puzzles, and make many forms of art. My favorite color is purple, I’m fascinated by glitter and my favorite movie/book is The Great Gatsby. I love music, especially Taylor Swift, and I enjoy singing extremely loud in the car (no I cannot sing worth a hoot).

I am originally from Ravenswood, WV where I graduated from Ravenswood High School. During high school I was a majorette for the marching band, was on the varsity tennis team and was a part of the Quiz Bowl team. I also participated in the Inspire West Virginia and Youth Leadership Association club. I volunteer as a collegiate staff for the iBelieve Foundation, where I spent three weeks this past Summer (2018) working with high school students all across Appalachia on how to become role-models and leaders in their communities and schools.

Now, I am studying studio art with minors in screenwriting and digital storytelling and philosophy. I’m in the Official Astrology Club, National Society of Leadership and Success, and Student Senate. My work study is being an ambassador for the College of Fine Arts and it is the best job in the world!

College has given me an opportunity to become a strong and independent woman, and now that I am in the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, I will have many opportunities to use that to my advantage. Athens is a wonderful place to take walks, get amazing coffee and to find your people. I am so excited for my future here, and I cannot wait to see what the next four years has in store for me and the other scholars!

Hayley Brown
hayley brown

Hi, my name is Hayley! I am from the small town of Bellville, which is located about fifteen minutes outside of Mansfield or an hour north of Columbus, and I attended Clear Fork High School. I come from a family of five, my parents and my two younger brothers. I also have a dog named Woody and a rabbit name Beyoncé; she’s spoiled rotten. My parents are both educators for Clear Fork, I had my mom in fifth grade and my dad was my high school principal. You would think that would be weird but I loved it!

In high school, I was heavily involved with life. I lettered all four years in track and soccer, was in academic challenge, OCC leadership, NHS, Tri-M, history club, Buckeye Girls State, Bellville Fair Queen, marching band section leader and many others. My favorite aspect of high school was my FFA Chapter. I became a leader in the organization and learned to have a passion for agriculture. I was an officer for two years and president my senior year. With FFA, I traveled to Honduras and as far as Colorado! I led multiple state competition teams and was able to work with Ag Commodities, such as Ohio Corn and Wheat!

With the previous experiences in high school, I have been fortunate enough to find my passions in life! I am a double major with International Business and Management/Strategic Leadership. I hope to minor in Spanish and earn a certificate in Human Resources. I love to travel and I love to meet people! I know that OU was the best choice for me and will help me achieve this goal. When I heard about the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, I knew they would be a good fit for me and help me grow as an individual. Plus, it’s all women and I have never been apart of a strong women’s group! I can’t wait to grow here with the MBSP and OU!

If you’re looking for an adventure buddy, bad dad jokes, or a movie enthusiast, my email is hb279917@ohio.edu!


Zoe Chase
zoe chase

Hello! My name is Zoe Chase. I was born in Akron, Ohio, but I have lived in Athens most of my life so I definitely consider myself a townie. I am a middle child, with two older siblings and three younger ones. My family is an incredibly important part of my life, and I love being able to stay close to them while attending OU. In my free time I enjoy listening to true crime podcasts, reading, and writing. I was on my high school’s tennis team and I still enjoy playing. I also love hiking, which is awesome since Athens has so many great places to do so.

My first semester here at OU I was a biological sciences major; however, I am in the process of switching to psychology. I’ve always been interested in the mind and human behavior so I’m excited to be going down this path. I also plan on minoring in Spanish, and I would eventually like to study abroad in South America. Being a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program is such an exciting opportunity, and I am thrilled to be a part of such a great cohort of women. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Savannah Copeland
savannah copeland

Hello! My name is Savannah Copeland. I come from Urbana, Ohio, home of the world’s largest loaf of bread (Whether or not that is an official ruling, I really couldn’t tell you). It’s also the hometown of the voice of Mr. Krabs, Clancy Brown! Just a couple of fun tidbits to help you get to know what I see as the wildest little town in Ohio. When I’m not in Athens, I live in Urb city with my wonderful, amazing, brilliant mother Debra, who must be protected at all costs. I graduated Cum Laude at Urbana High School but, more importantly, my senior superlative was “Class Clown.” That’s pretty much everything that happened in high school, so I’m moving on.

I am an integrated media student here at Ohio University with the Scripps School of Communications and I could not be happier doing what I am doing. I am currently in Friday’s Live and The Evening Show (Please join them they are so fun!) where I am on cast and a writer. I am extremely compassionate about television, movies, and comedy, and plan to become a screenwriter/director someday. My absolute dream job is to be a writer for Saturday Night Live and I hope to live up to the goddesses of SNL, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, my personal heroes.

I have always enjoyed making people laugh and comedy is definitely my strong suit. My overall goal in life is to just be doing something where I am happy and I can entertain people, no matter the money I make or whether or not everyone approves. In the words of the all-powerful First Female Head Writer of Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey, “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”

The Margaret Boyd Scholars Program is one of the best things that has happened to me since coming to Ohio University and I plan on doing everything in my power to make them proud, as I could not be prouder of this club and the message it sends to women - that we can do whatever we want to do no matter what anyone tells us.

Feel free to contact me at sc620417@ohio.edu or scopeland722@gmail.com.

Alexis Cradlebaugh
alexis cradlebaugh

Hello, my name is Alexis Cradlebaugh and I would first like to prelude this introduction to who I am by acknowledging just how thankful I am to be a part of this program. I am ecstatic to work alongside so many powerful, intelligent women who support each other in their endeavors. It is an honor to be learning from the many prestigious advisory board members and instructors who are a part of the program. I am truly blessed to be welcomed into such a hard working and academically inclined group of female learners and leaders.

I became enamored by Ohio University the moment my gaze met the Appalachian landscape surrounding Athens. I love the heritage that the University cherishes and the legacy that its students and faculty carry. When I met the instructors of Scripps College of Communication I instantly felt at ease. All of the instructors are incredibly approachable and extremely knowledgeable. I am so thankful that I chose to extend my knowledge here at Ohio University.

I am from a small village outside of Dayton called Germantown, Ohio. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a career and technology center for my last two years of high school. There, I was able to get a head start in my profession of Visual Communication. I am currently on the Interactive/Multimedia track in the School of Visual Communication with hopes of double majoring with a degree from the School of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Being a creative, I find myself craving diverse interests to draw inspiration from. I love to read and believe that true knowledge comes from books. I enjoy nature and all that comes of it. I find comfort in the sounds and feelings that music provides. I think it’s important to step out of my comfort zone and become immersed in things that make me scared. Being a vegan, I am also very compassionate toward the earth and the animals that live upon it. I have an extreme passion for reducing my waste and spreading that message.

I hope to positively impact the fellow members of my cohort and those outside of this program. I am so thrilled to learn from the many women who contribute to this program as well and I can’t wait to learn from my experience as a Margaret Boyd Scholar.

Katie Gold
katie gold

Hello! My name is Katie Gold! I am from the small town of Granville, Ohio which is just outside of Columbus. I am a communication studies major, I plan on double minoring in political science and journalism, and I hope to get the Political Communication Certificate. Both of my parents are journalists who graduated from THE Ohio State University, but I broke the tradition and decided my home would be here in Athens, which has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My parents have come to love OU as much as I do and this change of heart has made my basement, (which is unapologetically scarlet and gray, and covered in OSU memorabilia), have a bit more green and white. I am also the oldest of two, and have two golden retrievers.

Since 2016, I have practically thrown myself into the political world and decided that I want to have some kind of impact on the world. In the past five years I have gone from not being interested at all in politics and stuck in my parents views, to a young adult who really loves political satire and reads the news more than your average elderly person. I also really love talking to people, like I will talk your ear off if you seem interested. On campus I have joined the Speech and Debate team, as well as OU College Democrats, ACLU and POCO.

However, music has been my refuge for years. Through middle and high school I was involved in basically every choir I could be. I also self-taught myself guitar, ukulele, and piano. Theater is also a long-time love of mine, which I very much miss being a part of. So, if you need a solid Spotify playlist, I’m your gal. You can catch me around campus (or in Donkey) listening to music and singing to myself.

I am so looking forward to these next four years in this program and meeting so many wonderful people! Feel free to reach out to me, I am always looking for new friends (especially those who are as caffeine dependent as I am). kg094517@ohio.edu

Kait Hall
kait hall

Hi, my name is Kait Hall, and I am a History major in the class of 2022. I am on the pre-law track, hoping to eventually go to law school. I am very excited to be part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, as well as immensely honored to have been considered and chosen as a member.

I grew up in Salem, Ohio, and went to Salem High School. However, I moved to North Bloomfield after my senior year of high school and gained 3 dogs along the way (bringing the number of dogs up to 4, which is awesome).

Throughout my adolescence, I have learned the value of service and leadership, which are areas that I aim to pursue throughout not only my time at OU, but my entire life as well.

As the youngest of four siblings and the only girl, I have developed the need to challenge myself. This need has caused me to take a rigorous course schedule, to enlist in various scholar and honor programs and to join the women’s rugby team here at OU.

I believe that in order to prosper, one must make themselves participate in activities that make them uncomfortable, as that is how one grows. Ultimately, my goal in life is to develop myself as a person to the fullest extent of my potential. I hope that my time here in this program and at OU will allow me to make strides toward reaching my potential.

If you would like to contact me with any questions about the program, OU, or just need a friend, my email is kh957417@ohio.edu and I may or may not check it compulsively.

Yasmine Kayali
yasmine kayali

Hello, my name is Yasmine Kayali.

I am from Shaker Heights, a suburb on the east side of Cleveland. I am majoring in Health Services Administration here at Ohio University. I hope to get a masters in healthcare management after I graduate and work for a nonprofit healthcare organization.

Before coming to OU I went to Shaker Heights High School. My favorite subject was German and by my junior year I studied abroad in Goslar, Germany for six months. I would love to continue studying German in college and even aim for a German minor.

This past summer I taught at a summer program for middle school aged girls from East Cleveland, inspiring me to apply for this scholars program. In the summer of 2019 I am excited to visit Germany again to watch my old classmates graduate!

Growing up I lived with my parents and sister who is currently a senior at Pomona College in California. My mom was born in Long Island, New York and my dad was born in Tripoli, Libya.

Outside of school I enjoy playing tennis, watching documentaries, and reading fiction. This winter break of freshman year I have started The Count of Monte Cristo.

Within my first semester I have joined the ACLU on campus; however, I am most excited to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Class of 2022. I look forward to spending my college career with this program and cohort of women. My contact information is: yk452117@ohio.edu

Ashley Keller
ashley keller

My name is Ashley Keller. I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Even though I grew up around a family of die-hard buckeye fans that bleed scarlet and gray I chose to become a bobcat along with my sister. I have two siblings, one older sister and one younger brother. After a few trips down to Athens to visit my sister I fell in love with the beauty and the brick. I am currently studying as a biological sciences major on a pre-professional track. If I’m not in class you can often find me at Donkey Coffee or in one of the many floors of Alden studying! I chose to pursue a medical career because the logistics of the body fascinates me, but also, working in a hospital can give me the opportunity to help others in ways I couldn’t otherwise.

Outside of biology I love learning about other religions and cultures. This curiosity started once I began my exchange year in Indonesia. I spent the entirety of my senior year living and going to public high school in Medan, Indonesia. I lived with a Muslim host family and spent the year becoming part of their family and learning the ins and outs of their culture and home. They showed me the depth and diversity of Indonesian cultures and how it intertwines with religion sparking my want to explore that of other countries. I hope to find a way to combine these interests in the future!

I am so excited to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars program, and I look forward to meeting all the people who are a part of it. Feel free to contact me at ak943517@ohio.edu

Brooke Klopfenstein
Brooke Klopfenstein

Hello! My name is Brooke Klopfenstein, and I am majoring in Biological Sciences with a pre-medicine focus and hope to earn a certificate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies. I was born and raised in Troy, Ohio, about 30 minutes north of Dayton, with my loving and encouraging parents, two younger brothers and the most adorable black lab you’ve ever met. The transition from my small hometown to Ohio University was a difficult one, as the oldest child coming from such a close-knit family and community, but soon proved to be one of the best decisions I had ever made.

I have always been very creative, curious, and ambitious, leading to my passions and hobbies of helping others and volunteer work, running and sports, and art and music, especially singing. Through each of these I have made so many great friends and memories that have led me to my career path and what I typically do in my free time.

Maddie McNamara
Maddie McNamara

Hi! My name is Maddie McNamara, and I am super excited to be a part of this year’s cohort of Margaret Boyd Scholars. I’m an adventurer, skier, dog lover, reality tv enthusiast and team player, and I can’t wait to spend these next years of my college career growing as a woman and a leader.

I was born and raised in the small town of Clarion, Pennsylvania (you may have heard of it if you are familiar with the local college, Clarion University, or the giant cow statue beside one of our busiest roads). I graduated last year from Clarion High School where I was active in theater, student government, the robotics team and the volleyball team. The years I spent in my small town and at my small school greatly influenced who I’ve decided to be in college because I’ve learned I don’t have to define myself by one interest. I always love trying new and different things.

Here at Ohio, I’m studying engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. I’m part of the small percentage of the population that actually enjoys math. There’s nothing quite like the rush you get when solving a difficult problem, and yes, I’ve embraced the fact that I’m a nerd. I also have a love for theater, and I hope to one day combine by passion for problem solving with my love of stage productions into a career. That is, if my full proof plan to go on “Survivor,” win, and spend my million dollars on world travel doesn’t work out.

If you would like to contact me, feel free to email! mm456217@ohio.edu

Paige Miller
Paige Miller

Hello! My name is Paige Miller, and I am so excited to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar!

I must confess: the last time I was asked to “tell a little bit about myself” I nearly broke my mother’s coveted mixer. My ideas are often too eccentric for their own good, though a notebook and a pen can keep me entertained for days. My pursuit of storytelling has led me from a suburb of Philadelphia to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism where I am pursuing a career in investigative reporting, data journalism and broadcast journalism.

If you couldn’t tell, writing has consumed most of my time, though I am also an amateur runner, an erratic shopper, a black cat lover and a passionate disability rights activist who never leaves home without a pair of headphones.

Jada Mitchell
Jada Mitchell

Hi, my name is Jada Mitchell and I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My major is exercise physiology pre-physical therapy and I’m hoping to minor in psychology. With that, I intend to work in a rehabilitation facilitation or become a geriatric physical therapist, working in a nursing home or hospital. Another option is working in a VA’s hospital in the rehabilitation wing. I guess you could say I don’t have it all figured out, but that’s what college is for! My first semester at OU was life changing to say the least. I’ve gone on a journey of self-discovery, both academically and socially, and I am looking forward to the further development of my character during my time here at OU.

I first heard about MBSP while I was hanging out in my friend’s MOD, I saw the poster and googled what the program entailed and thought “hey, this is pretty cool.” It wasn’t until my LINKS mentor and OMSAR advisor emailed me, recommending I apply for the program, that I decided to go ahead and do it. I am hoping to network and attain life-long connections that will benefit me socially and professionally as I follow through with the MBSP. In the spring semester, I’m looking forward to using the gorgeous study/lounge area that I will finally have access to!

Rory O'Malley
Rory O'Malley

Hola y'all, I’m Rory and I’m an HTC Spanish major. Like many an ear of corn, I have lived my whole life in Athens, Ohio. I wouldn’t trade Athens for any town, anywhere. Growing up here has given me some of the best and most unforgettable friends and experiences I’ll ever have. This town has made me who I am and formed my outlook on the world. I’m not sure where I’d be without Athens…

I love traveling and being outside doing all kinds of things. I grew up biking, hiking, camping, skiing, swimming, you name it. My family is one of the most important things to me, and I love doing these fun outdoor things with them. I am a firm believer in balance, so naturally I enjoy lazing around too, whether it be reading or watching Netflix. Some of my favorite shows are: The Office, AHS, The L Word, Bojack Horseman, Star Trek and Breaking Bad.

At Ohio University, you can often find me at Spanish club meetings or singing in Women’s Ensemble concerts! I’m an open person who loves trying new things and discovering new places, and I can’t wait to see where the Margaret Boyd program takes me and my fellow scholars.

Over these coming four years I hope to grow in not only knowledge but also experience. I love talking and sharing ideas, so if anyone wants to chat, my email is rm804516@ohio.edu!

Some more random facts about myself: my favorite color is forest green, I love weeping willow trees, my favorite food is the paneer my best friend’s mom cooks, I love shoes, and I’m passionate about equality for all.

Life is an adventure, and I’m having a blast. I can’t wait to see where I end up!

Ellie Palmer
Ellie Palmer

Hi! My name is Elise (Ellie) Palmer, and I am a music therapy major. Why music therapy, you ask? Well, it all began with my grandparents. I discovered music therapy shortly after both of my grandmothers – who were musicians and inspired my own musical interests – were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I loved the healing and impactful use of music and how it can help people of all ages, genders, classes, cultures and musical ability levels. I knew right away that I wanted to be a music therapist and bring meaningful musical experiences into the lives of those who need it. My primary instrument is piano, which I began playing at age 8 (thanks to the musical influence of my grandparents). I have also picked up other instruments such as the clarinet, ukulele, guitar and organ. In addition to my music therapy studies, I am also pursuing minors in psychology and French.

I am originally from a small suburb of Columbus called Bexley, Ohio, where I lived with my mom, dad, sister, and two golden retrievers. I attended Bexley High School, where I played clarinet in the band and also played field hockey. I devoted almost 10 years of my life to field hockey and basically lived on the field. I’m also passionate about mission work. I have participated in service projects around Columbus and have served in mission trips around the country and in Guatemala. Service is something that has become an increasingly important part of my life. I was immersed into a service-oriented life by my family and church at a very young age and it has shaped and impacted me in countless ways. Some other fun facts: I’m a huge Star Wars fan, I love traveling, and I can’t shop at CVS without buying peach rings.

I am so incredibly thankful to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program! It’s so wonderful to learn from and alongside all these remarkable women. I’m so excited to see what opportunities and experiences this program and Ohio University have in store.

For a college student, I’m surprisingly good at checking my email so don’t hesitate to contact me at ep260217@ohio.edu if you would like to talk or have any questions!

Ky Rodriguez
Kyajah Rodriguez

Greetings! I’m Kyajah Rodriguez, Ky for short. I’m a freshman political science pre-law major from Columbus Ohio. I’m a recent graduate of Fort Hayes High School where I was a member of The Acting Ensemble, Student Activities Council, The Mock Trial Team and served as Treasurer for the Senior Class Student Council. Now at Ohio University, I am a Promise Scholar, member of my residence hall council and a Margaret Boyd Scholar. Outside of school, I am an officer in training for a statewide advocacy group of young adults who, like myself, have emancipated from the foster care system. We currently have a piece of legislation in the House designed to combat homelessness in emancipated teens. I’m very involved in political and environmental activism. As an activist, I have found my most prominent calling has been using my platforms to work toward remedying the conditions of impoverished and marginalized communities. In my free time I am a reader, painter, guitarist and published writer/poet.

Fun Facts:

  • I am the oldest of 7 siblings. The only girl who isn’t a twin.
  • My favorite gemstones are blue kyanite and red jasper.
  • My favorite movie genre is science fiction with horror undertones.
  • I own over 30 plants.

Feel free to contact me anytime for more information at kr997818@ohio.edu

Gcinile Shongwe
Gcinile Shongwe

Sawubona , meaning “I see you” in isiZulu! My name is Gcinile Shongwe (no, the c isn’t silent). I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa as the youngest of three. In South Africa all names have meanings. Gcinile means “the last one.” If you’re still confused about the sound the letters g and c create, most people call me “Ga-nee-lay," but I would love to teach you the correct pronunciation.

When I was eight years old, my family and I moved to Athens, Ohio. Athens was small and strange. I no longer had to wear a uniform to school (yay), but the closest mall was almost an hour away. Nevertheless, I became accustomed to calling petrol, gas, and omitting the letter u in words like color and favorite. I’m grateful to have attended an elementary school with students from other parts of the world as it allowed me to feel less out of place. Athens quickly became home.

I’m an International Business student in the College of Business Honors Program and Dance major. The combination of the two welcomes a unique schedule filled with both lectures and movement classes. In the future, I hope to explore marketing and ways I can contribute to the business world. My passion for dance can be traced back to the age of 5 and continues to serve as a means of self-expression and uncovers feelings of ease.

While searching for student organizations to join, I was immediately drawn to OHIO Women in Business. Its goal to create a comfortable and encouraging environment while developing valuable skills and building confidence, which also resonates with the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program. I am appreciative of the two groups whose female members and mentors continue to inspire me and highlight the infinite capabilities women obtain.

I’m thrilled to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and look forward to the adventures ahead! Please don’t hesitate to contact me at gs586717@ohio.edu .

Cierra Smith-Carter
Cierra Smith-Carter

Hi there! My name is Cierra Smith-Carter and I am a first-generation student from Dayton, Ohio. I am currently a sociology-criminology major with hopes of being accepted into the communications program as well. I am so excited and honored to have been accepted as a Margaret Boyd Scholar. It’s such a wonderful program and gives strong young women the opportunities they may not have otherwise.

My passion lies in justice for the underrepresented and overly oppressed people in our society, ranging from those in poverty to lgbtq+ to all people of color, taking into account all of the intersections of marginalization. I want to go into the advocacy field, possibly even law, working to fix institutionalized oppression in the American justice system. I’m relatively unapologetic, but also know when to fight my battles. I try not carry the world on my shoulders.

Beyond being pretty ruthless with my goals of social equality and trying my best to be a good influence on my little brother, I love to write and support art in all of its forms. I performed spoken word poetry in high school and would love to get back into it if i could ever find the time. Writing my thoughts onto paper is so relieving, being able to lay it all out there in phrases only you can truly understand. The mind is a powerful and beautiful thing that, when given the opportunity, can flourish.

I credit everything in my life to my mother, the absolute strongest woman to walk this planet. She’s pushed me to strive for the best, never settle for less, and somehow, I think I may get there one day.

Allison White
Allison White

Hi, my name is Allison White! I grew up in a little town called North Ridgeville but spent my adolescence’s in another town call Olmsted Falls, both are near Cleveland, Ohio. I am currently studying physics here at Ohio University. Physics was never something I imagined I would be studying, in fact, ever since I was a child I dreamed of studying zoology and working in conservation for endangered species. One day I started wondering about the world and the universe around us and became fascinated by what surrounded us and decided I would take that curiosity and study physics.

Many people would consider me a rather non-traditional student. I graduated high school in 2015 and now, in 2018, I decided that I needed to pursue a higher education. During those years I toyed with the idea of going to school for zoology, but I was simply too scared to leave everything I had behind. Once I found my love for physics I decided I could not sit around and not know, I needed to know and I needed to pursue this, so I did!

At the end of my high school education I decided that I would join the Army National Guard! I have been in the National Guard for three years now, joining the Guard was one of the best decisions in my life. I have learned so much in my time with the Guard.

Another important thing to me is family. On breaks or time off you can usually find me with my family. I am the oldest sibling of eight, our ages range from 6 years old up to me at 21 years old. It’s a very interesting dynamic and always keeps me on my toes! While I have so many siblings, the only sibling who is fully related to is my sister. Me and my sister are very close in age and now that we are older have become very close to each other! My family is incredibly important to me and I am truly greatly for the family I have!

I am incredibly grateful to have been chosen to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and equally as grateful to be attending school at Ohio University. I look forward to seeing what is in store for me in these next few years!

2017 - 2018 Scholars

Jamie Clarkson

My name is Jamie Clarkson, and I was born and raised just outside Lancaster, Ohio. I graduated with distinction from Fairfield Union High School, but I followed a non-traditional education experience. I have always pursued something more for myself, and I decided to begin my higher education a few years early. I attended Ohio University-Lancaster my junior and senior year of high school. I learned a lot in my experience there and I feel it shaped me to the determined person I am today.

I am a first generation student pursuing a degree in Journalism: News and Information specializing in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I ultimately want to work reporting on global women’s issues, bringing attention, justice, and change to those facing oppression.

In high school, I was involved in the music program, participating in every ensemble I could. My passion was mainly in instrumental performance, which I decided to pursue in college. I am a proud member of the Marching 110. I am lucky to be able to continue my love for musical performance through college.

I am very family-oriented. I am the youngest of three, and I idolize both of my sisters. I respect Cassie for her pursuit of knowledge, creativity, and adventurous heart; and I admire Jessica for her wisdom, sincerity, and accepting nature. I am grateful to my parents for giving us every opportunity to succeed. As for my nieces and nephews, I love them very much and I am doing my best to be a role model for them, as my family has been for me.

The Margaret Boyd Scholars program is an amazing achievement for me. I look forward to where it will take me!

Caroline Craig-Bowden

Hello! My name is Caroline Craig-Bowden and I am studying Early Childhood Education and hope to minor in German at Ohio University. I grew up in the small village of Sunbury, which is only 30 minutes north of Columbus, with two loving and encouraging parents and an older sister who just graduated from Miami University. My mother was not only a parent but my German teacher for all four years of my high school career (no, I was not given a choice regarding what language I studied in high school). Yes, it was a strange experience but one I quickly adapted too. My mother’s passion for teaching was evident in the classroom and she encouraged me to pursue an education career. Through a program she created at the high school, I was able to travel to elementary schools once a week in the Spring time and teach German. I loved making lesson plans, presenting them in the classroom, and the variability and challenge of adapting the lessons for different learners. I found my own passion for teaching through the program. 

The Margaret Boyd Scholars Program is one that reminded me greatly of HOBY (the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference) which is a conference I had the honor of attending my junior year of high school. The conference emphasized the importance of leadership and using that leadership to inspire others in charity and volunteering. The experience was life changing and brought about live-long friendships. Through this program, I hope to make live-long friendships as well and challenge and be challenged to build on to important life skills by the other women selectively chosen to represent Ohio University. 

On another note, one could often find me at Ping recreational center on campus because of the passion I have for lifting and running. I have run two half-marathons and hope to train for and run a full marathon. I ran cross country for 6 years and track for 4 years in grade school. I have been lifting consistently for a year now and enjoy feeling stronger and seeing the progress one bit at a time. Lifting, for me, helps me to reach beyond my physical and mental boundaries every single day.

I cannot wait to see what opportunities this program has to offer!

Aleah Cumberbatch

Hi, I’m Aleah. I was born and raised in the beautiful twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Yes, I traded the Caribbean sunshine and beaches for cold, winter days in Ohio, but I’m sure that my OU experience will be worth it. I am often described as shy, when initially meeting someone, but rest assured that after a month of knowing me, you’ll be introduced to my loud laughter and cheesy jokes.

I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I would ultimately like to study Law, and hope that my psychology degree will help me to understand the human mind and patterns of behavior. During my first semester at OU, I became a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, with the intention of building my network, learning more about the law, and understanding what is required to prepare for law school. Of course, I’ve also watched every episode of Suits!

I love music and the performing arts! It is likely that you’ll see me around campus with my headphones, bobbing my head, tapping my toes or lip syncing. I love watching musicals, and, during my last summer vacation, I had the pleasure of performing in my first musical here in Athens. It was an awesome experience, and I hope to become involved in the fine arts here at Ohio University.

During high school, I developed a passion for volleyball, and have now been playing the sport for seven years. Playing sports has always been a major part of my life and I am always willing to learn and play a new one.

I look forward to being a Boyd Scholar. It has been a dream of mine to one day form an organization that encourages young girls to pursue their dreams, despite restrictions imposed by society. Through this network of positive women, I hope to gain the confidence and leadership skills needed to encourage and support other young women.

Through participating in a leadership program here at OU, I learned the importance of having a personal motto. I created my own, which is “To seek knowledge and growth whilst spreading my love of laughter with the world”. I will be guided by this motto throughout my life.

Alyssa Drexler

Hello friendly strangers or perhaps strange friends!

My name is Alyssa Drexler. I am from Lima, OH so if you’re a Gleek, you might know where I’m talking about! I am the second youngest of 4 kids. My family is essential to everything I am, and I am forever indebted to all they do for me. They encourage my need for both artistic expression and intellectual pursuit. That has led to my adoration for all forms of art which includes: physical art (painting, sculpture, etc.), theater, languages, dance, literature/poetry, fashion, and music. I love all of the activities that accompany these art forms, however, I have chosen to focus on music as a Music Therapy major. From a very early age in my life, I have come to know music as a very powerful healing agent. If I am able to utilize my musicality to engage with, celebrate, and revive others, that would be so fulfilling!

I have an immense sense of curiosity to learn and understand new things so I am looking forward to continually getting involved on campus. I am part of the LINKS Program. I am an Ohio Reach Scholar where I have volunteered with Athens County Children Services to mentor foster care youth. I am a member of the American Music Therapy Association of Students, and I participate in Women’s Ensemble and Choral Union. I am so incredibly humbled to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program as it advocates for women leadership and empowerment. We can all move forward when we realize how resilient and striking the women around us are, and I will certainly exercise this notion within this program!

If you ever would like to chat, you can either find me in Glidden practicing or email me at ad266516@ohio.edu.

Elizabeth Fowler

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Fowler and I’m from Ames, Iowa. I moved to Athens, Ohio my freshman year of high school. I’m majoring in mechanical engineering through the Russ College of Engineering. I have always loved building things and solving problems. My love for math and science along with problem solving skills helped me pursue mechanical engineering. This past summer I traveled abroad to England and Spain. After seeing other parts of the world, I want to work abroad and help other countries. Outside of school I enjoy binge watching The Office on Netflix. I love hiking in Athens and the Hocking Hills. I love all dogs including my all-white boxer named Lucy. I can’t wait to see what opportunities I will have being a Margaret Boyd Scholar.

Abigail Gifford

Hello, I’m Abigail Gifford but some people call me Abbe. I’m a Sociology-Criminology major here at OU. And yes, I do love the TV show Criminal Minds. When I’m not watching old crime or conspiracy television shows, I’m reading a book. A lot of the time I read Agatha Christie, The Queen of Crime but I also read many other authors. I have a family of 7, including my parents, Mary & Gary, my older sister Ashton, younger brother Gavin, and twin sisters Zoe and Gracyn. I also have two beautiful rottweilers named Esther and Gunnar and an equally beautiful cat named Stella. I live in a small cornfield covered town called Wakeman, OH, the home of absolutely nothing exciting. When explaining where I live, I usually say that its 40 minutes west of Cleveland or about 30 minutes from Cedar Point. I’ve actually spent the last four years working at Cedar Point as an Area Supervisor for catered events. This usually meant working 15 hours a day but it was my favorite thing. It took me a bit of time to get acclimated at college but I did eventually with the help of some of the great things I was able to get involved in, such as the University Hearing Board and the MBSP, as well as the amazing friends I have made so far.

Feel more than free to contact me at ag120616@ohio.edu

Caroline Van Hook

My name is Caroline Van Hook, I am studying Environmental Geography and Pre-Law at Ohio University. I moved to Athens when I was four years old for my mother’s job as a professor at the University. I was worried that going to college here would feel stagnant since I grew up in Athens. However, I was happily surprised to find that life at OU is much different than living here. I think it’s important for Athens locals to branch out, and for newcomers to see the love and shared community the town of Athens possesses.

I was homeschooled until my freshman year of high school, which may sound like a strange phenomenon. However, Athens has a large homeschool population focusing on an eclectic approach to learning and I had opportunities to pursue my own interests. Through homeschooling, my parents instilled a deep-rooted passion for education within me. In addition to my academic pursuits, I danced beginning at age 4. “Plie, releve, cambre forward,” my ballet teacher would repeat. The vocabulary of ballet consists of hundreds of terms with which I can define with my body. Dance is a language of its own, but not just for the words that define the movement. Dance allows me to hold the power of expression. To me, dancing is a way to express ideas and feelings to the world and to provoke emotion. My experiences have taught me discipline, an appreciation of the natural world, and reinforced the idea that it is essential to engage with others in a nonjudgmental manner.

Growing up in Appalachia has influenced my passion for environmental issues; I have seen firsthand the abuse of natural resources here, through practices of fracking, mining, mountaintop removal, etc. Realizing my passions at an early age gave me the ability to hone in on those passions and act on them. Accordingly, when I was fourteen I began working for Northwest Youth Corps, a non-profit organization established in Oregon committed to preservation and conservation of natural public lands. While working for NYC for four consecutive summers I performed maintenance and restoration projects in wilderness areas and backpacking trails in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. From this experience, I was able to obtain a position last summer working for the National Forest Service in Stanley Idaho, performing tree rehabilitation projects and trail maintenance. At times, it’s easy to forget all the inconceivable beauty the world has to offer. I attempt to see this beauty daily through hiking, traveling, and participating in groups which hone shared and respected communication. I am excited to embark on the rest of my college experience with the Boyd Scholars Program!

Katie Johnson

My name is Katie Johnson, and I am a Communication Studies major in the class of 2021. I’ve lived in Athens for the past six years because my dad got a job at Ohio University. Before that, I lived in Maine for the first 13 years of my life. I owe a lot of who I am to my experiences in New England. My beautiful surroundings, the rocky coast, and snowy mountains instilled in me a love for the outdoors. I spent a lot of time exploring Maine, and I eventually learned to bring a camera along with me. This is where my love for photography began.

While in Maine, I was a part of things like the Civil Rights Club and Builders Club which gave me opportunities to volunteer with the homeless and meet incredible people like Martin Luther King Jr.’s best friend Bill Anderson.  Experiences like these sparked my passion for helping others. At a young age, I learned to speak up for what is right, with the hopes of equality for all.

Moving to Athens only furthered my passion for leading through service and helping others. I quickly realized that Athens is the poorest county in Ohio and that Appalachia was going to be much different than the suburban east coast town that I was used to. Little did I know that the ups and downs that Athens had in store for me would set me on such an incredible journey. I got to participate in things like Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership where I learned about myself as a leader and the power of leading through service. I continued to play basketball and soccer, but sports eventually came to an end after four concussions.  I was lucky enough to be offered a chance to help raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer through the Turn It Gold Fund, in total we raised $19,000. Leading an extensive project like this showed me what I am capable of.

Since I’ve been at OU, I’ve been exploring my vast range of interests including photography, women gender and sexuality studies, anthropology, Spanish, and public health. Communications is the perfect fit for me because I can incorporate my diverse interests into a career that allows me to continue on the path of leading and making a difference. I am involved with many things on campus, but some of my favorites are peer health educators - Power Gamma and Better Bystanders. I’m the treasurer for the National Communications Association Student Club, I’m in CHAARG the all-girls workout club, I’m continuing my work with Turn It Gold for pediatric cancer, and I’m the Assistant Producer for Dean Titsworth’s Teaching Matters Podcast.

These are just some of the things I love and a little about what made me who I am today. I am forever grateful for this place we call hOUme and the experiences it has granted me. If you see me on campus, I will likely be sprinting from classes to activities, but please say hi! College has given me a new found love for coffee dates so if you ever want to grab coffee and talk my email is kj749615@ohio.edu. I am so excited and grateful to be a part of such an amazing program!

Rhea Lanier

Hello everyone!

My name is Rhea. Fortunately, I am not the mythological Greek goddess who was wife to a power hungry Titan that ate his own children. Originally I am from Columbus, Ohio and all my life I was taught to bleed the colors scarlet and gray. Although both of my parents were graduates of The Ohio State University, I chose to go to the school that truly felt like a home away from home.

I am currently a freshman, majoring in the Biological Sciences with a Pre-medicine focus. Throughout my childhood, I have always been curious about how the things in our world. Why does cheese mold? Why does grass make my skin itch? How do tomatoes turn from green to red? Small questions like these puzzled me as a young child and I have always wanted to know the science behind these everyday functions. In the past years, I have worked with children as a caregiver, tutor, and gymnastics coach, and the experiences I’ve gained working with these kids has motivated me to pursue a career in pediatrics, with a specialization in oncology or critical care. I want to be able to give all children the opportunity to experience their childhood to the fullest, despite the challenges they may face with their health.

Here are some fun facts about me:

  • I am an extreme “foodie” a person who is very interested in food. A recent obsession of mine has been watching food cooking tutorials on social media.
  • I was supposed to have a twin, but in the early stages of my life I absorbed my brother/sister.
  • I can quote the movie The Little Rascals in its entirety
  • Although I have not broken any bones, knock on wood, I have fallen on my face more times than a normal person.

My time here at Ohio University has been amazing so far, I am very thankful to be apart the Bobcat family and now Margaret Boyd Scholars. I cannot wait to thrive, grow, and build lifelong relationships with the wonderful women in my cohort.

If you ever need a new friend, feel free to contact me at anytime! rl584826@ohio.edu

Alli Mancz

Hey there!

My name is Allison Mancz, but you can call me Alli! I grew up in Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, and attended a small, Catholic high school. My family is different than most due to the fact that I have four older siblings at least ten years older than me, but that’s what keeps things interesting! I have had my two loving parents, brother, and three sisters as role models all throughout my life. Aside from my pup Bailee, my family is my strongest group of supporters, and I would not have made it to OU without them!

I am an HTC English major here at Ohio University but originally, I had no interest in this subject at all. There was no doubt in my mind that one day I would become a highly regarded wildlife biologist, exploring the world and constantly searching for new species. But coming into my senior year, things began to change and as I sat in my biology class one day, I realized that hours of labs and data were far from what I wanted. I then turned my attention towards English, and that has been my focus ever since.

That being said, I have several other interests in different areas of study including Law, Journalism, Environmental Studies and so on. My dream would be to write the next American classic and have a stable career in creative writing, but I am also intrigued by the study of the law and might decide to try my luck as a lawyer. We’ll just have to wait and see!

My personal interests include almost anything outdoors. I enjoy several activities like biking, swimming, hiking, and exploring but above all else, I love running! Long distance running has become one of my strongest passions ever since I decided to try cross country my freshman year of high school. I have completed one half marathon and have high hopes for completing a full marathon in the near future. Running along with reading and writing help me to relax and clear my mind. Some other fast facts about me include that I am a steadfast enthusiast of Law and Order SVU, extremely passionate about animals, and have an undying love of music. 

I would like to leave you with one of my very favorite quotes by the brilliant author known as Dr. Seuss, “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” You never know the difference you can make in someone’s life and through this program, I want to use this opportunity to make a difference in the world, even if it is just one person at a time. My email is am327816@ohio.edu  so feel free to contact me if you ever need a running buddy or just somebody to chat with - I am always open to meeting new people!

Hannah Martin

Since becoming a member of the Marching 110, I never knew that I would be a part of such a long and excellent legacy. With the long hours the band puts in every week and the multiple games that we perform at, the band became a cemented memory in my freshman mind. To be a part of such a great organization has made me realize that’s it's important to find your niche and run with it. Even though the Marching 110 helped me find amazing friends and motivate me to work hard and obtain a good work ethic, there was something more I wanted to do during my time at Ohio University. I applied to the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and once I was accepted, I knew that this program was the right choice for myself. I am extremely excited to start this four year long journey with a group of amazing women who are all aiming to make great strides in the world and help support each other along the way.

I come from Midland, Michigan where I am the only child. Academics has always been an important and crucial aspect of my personality and drive to achieve a necessary change in the world, and I hope to accomplish my dreams and aspirations through the Margaret Boyd Program. I am double majoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and History which I plan on using to continue onto graduate school or law school. I want to use my degree for many good causes which include working at a non-profit, teaching as a professor, or continuing onto receive my law degree to practice civil rights law. My end goal in my academic career encompasses the want to simply make a change in the atmosphere around me to create a more open, tolerant, and accepting society.

The one thing I try to relay to other people I meet is the need for more empathy and love in the world. I believe with my entire being that these two things are the key to creating a more harmonious society. To put yourself in someone else’s shoes for merely a few thoughts can make a world of difference to the human interactions and relations we all face. It can be difficult sometimes, due to imperfections of the human personality, however, with a little effort and understanding, one kind word or gesture can change someone's day for the better and create a butterfly effect. I make this a goal every morning when I open my eyes to the light of a new day because I firmly believe the little things matter and they are always worth the extra mile.

Jayda Martin

Hello, my name is Jayda Martin! I would, first, like to mention how honored and delighted to have been accepted into this program. It’s almost overwhelming to think of how many incredible and inspirational people that I will be surrounded by, both in my cohort and on the advisory board.

I am from a small town in Northeastern Kentucky that is cozied up in the crease where Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky meet.  What first made me start thinking about Ohio University was the campus. The amount of nature and brick was stunning and the fact that the Appalachian hills still rolled out that far was a comforting surprise. In the end, that specific aura that surrounds Athens drew me in and I am so grateful for that aura every day. I am currently double majoring in Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In the future, I would like to work for a women’s rights organization or a women’s resource center and eventually work toward a PhD so I can teach while conducting research. However, this is just a rough career plan. I am hoping my passion for intersectional feminism and people will guide me in narrowing down a career path. I am also working on becoming a fluent French speaker and I hope to learn Spanish in the future.

I am in love with every aspect of life and that is very evident when you take a look at the things I (try to) surround myself with. I am passionate about education, music, nature, art, and people. On any given day, you can find me reading a book on theology, watching a documentary on nature in the Arctic Circle or the politics during the 1970s in New York City, researching periods of art, trying to analyze a Buddy Rich song, or watching cooking videos.

 I am thrilled to be a part of such an outstanding program. I am looking forward to the experiences, inspiration, and growth that I will get from being surround by these incredible people. 

Ceren Ozcan

Hello!! My name is Ceren Ӧzcan!

I was born in the most beautiful city in Turkey called Izmir, which is why my name is as authentic as it is. I lived in Izmir up until 2008, and that is when my family decided to fly all the way across the ocean to start our new lives here in The United States of America. Moving to America with no understanding of the English language was most definitely the hardest dilemma I've faced in my life. Despite the fact I had to leave all of my friends and family behind, I was thrilled to begin my new life. On September 10, 2008, I landed at the Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. and few days after our arrival, I started my very first day of fourth grade in Lorton, Virginia. It took me a couple of months before I got the hang of people speaking a language that was strange to me, and after nearly 3 years I saw myself become fluent in a language that was once foreign to my ears.

After finishing fourth and fifth grade in Virginia, we made another move to Allentown, Pennsylvania. I stayed in Allentown sixth grade through my junior year in Parkland High School. In Parkland, I made the most amazing memories with the most amazing people I'll ever meet. I loved my high school. I knew the teachers, the students, and my way around the school. The people I went to school with were the people I wanted to graduate and go to college with, but of course, we had to move once more. As most of you may have guessed, I was bitter. I was angry that I had to start from nothing and form new relations with my teachers and the students. In my mind, it was nearly impossible to make a new friend group in my new school, but, I stand corrected. 

I refused to say this in the beginning, but I loved my new school. I was immediately welcomed by a fascinating friend group full of people who radiated happiness. They were genuinely passionate and interested in everything they said and did. Every single person I met had an amazing outlook on life. I was truly happy at Dublin Coffman High School. It opened up so many doors and opportunities for me. Most importantly, Coffman introduced me to Ohio University. Here at OU, I am studying Interior Architecture. So far, I love it! I can't wait to see what OU has to offer for me in furthering my education and career. 

If you would like to get to know me a little more, or just want to talk my email is co185116@ohio.edu.

Kennedy Rasberry

Hello, my name is Kennedy Rasberry! Yes, that is really my last name! I am from Gahanna, Ohio (model/actress Cara Delevingne once sported one of our varsity jackets—Go Lions!), which is about an hour and a half away from Athens. In highschool, I was a member of the basketball team and the Franklin County Youth Council. Both organizations taught me very important lessons about leadership and what it means to be a part of a team. I hope to use these skills in the Margaret Boyd Program and in any other organizations I become a part of in the future.

I chose Ohio University because of its prestigious Scripps College and also because I immediately fell in love with its beautiful and welcoming campus. Though I am currently undecided, I hope to utilize my interests in writing, politics and media to pursue a degree in strategic communications from the Scripps College of Journalism. In the future, I hope to have the opportunity to apply these interests to my career—though as of now, I am unsure what that career is.

I am so thrilled to be joining this year’s cohort of Margaret Boyd Scholars and I look forward to four years of self discovery and relationship building!

If you would like contact me, my email is kr511716@ohio.edu.

Julia Schneider

Hello! I’m Julia Schneider, and I’m currently majoring in History through the Honors Tutorial College here at Ohio University. I’ve always loved watching documentaries, reading historical fiction, and just learning about history in general. In the future, I don’t have a step-by-step plan for what I want to do with my life, but I think that’s okay. I’m interested in possibly becoming a teacher, possibly becoming a professor, or maybe going into a different direction altogether. One goal I’ve had for the past few years, however, is to volunteer for the PeaceCorps after earning my Bachelor’s degree. Diversity in cultures, history, and peoples have always fascinated me, so to be able to volunteer abroad, likely in Southeastern Europe, would be a perfect opportunity.

I’m currently involved in the Picardy Thirds, an acapella group, and next semester, I’ll be joining Women’s Ensemble as well. I’m also a member of Circle K, a volunteer club connected to Kiwanis, and the Jitterbug club, where we learn all the different styles of swing dancing. Fitness is a great stress reliever for me (as is sleep), so I love attending the Yoga, Zumba, and Cardio Dance classes at Ping Fitness Center every week.

I grew up in Stow, Ohio, but since nobody has ever heard of it, I’ve learned to just say Akron when people ask. As well as attaining a great public education, I also performed in show choir and sang in several traditional choirs during high school. Although my love for being onstage has decreased over time, my love for singing and music remain a huge part of me.

When I’m not here at OU, I live with my Mom, my Dad, my brother Danny, and my lovable cat named Calvin. I’m so lucky to have many family members close by. I grew up seeing my grandparents usually once every two weeks, attending family gatherings at least once a year, and enjoying huge Thanksgivings surrounded by my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m very grateful to constantly have such a strong support system there when I need it.

I feel so thankful to be in the Margaret Boyd Scholars and this chance to be surrounded by an amazing group of ambitious women. I can’t wait for all that may come in this program!

Alexa Shust

Hello all! My name is Alexa Shust although most people know me as Lexi. I am a local of Athens county. I grew up in a small town about 30 minutes from the university called Glouster. When I say small I’m talking small. My graduating class only had 42 people! Coming from such a small area made me fall in more love with Ohio’s campus. 

So here’s my life story in a just a few lines. I am the youngest of my family. My mom, Angela definitely pushes me to be the absolute best I can be. My father, Mike is the hardest worker I have ever met in my life. Lastly my brother, Mikey. Where do I even start, we grew up in the middle of nowhere so it was also just us. We are the best of friends and he is the strongest most loving person. I hope he is as proud to be my brother as I am to be his sister. 

Now more about my interests. I LOVE books. If I don’t have a book in my hand then I was probably on the volleyball court. I played volleyball year round from 8th grade through my senior year of high school. I also enjoy kayaking and any other adventures I can get myself into. I also took college classes while in high school so I was able to come in with 21 credits hours! 

During my time here at Ohio I am studying chemical engineering on a bio track which helps me get my premed requirements a bit easier. I am hoping to continue my education after engineering and move on to medical school. Where I hope to become a surgeon. That is my overall goal. 

I cannot wait to see where this program takes me. It is an honor to be a part of the 2017-18 cohort. Now let’s go on an adventure!”

Myriah Smedley

Hello, my name is Myriah (Yes like Mariah Carey and no I cannot sing but yes, I do it anyway). I’m from Cleveland, which I know is a shock because people from Cleveland rarely attend Ohio University. My mother is a retired middle school teacher and my father had a city job that I don’t know the title of, but I know he helps people with taxes.  I have a nephew that is almost three and is the love of my life, my best friend, and my headache. I also have two amazing sisters and if you ever met them, you have basically met me because we are almost too much alike. It’s kind of creepy. They both have made the humongous impacts on my life, and if it wasn’t for them I probably would be a hot mess. However, thanks to them, I am pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

As of right now I am undecided. I am heavily considering majoring in Public Health Communications and minoring in business, or majoring in psychology. Only time will tell. No matter what I major in, I know I will be doing some type of advocacy work or helping those who don’t have the resources to help themselves. That is one of my biggest passions and I am very excited to see the type of career path that is in store.

Jordan Thompson

My name is Jordan Thompson and I would be remiss if I didn't start with how honored and excited I am to be a part of this program! While reading the bios of the other scholars, I became a bit awestruck. I'm really looking forward to building relationships with and learning from them over the next few years!

I grew up in Solon, Ohio with my family which includes my mom and dad, my younger sister, and two dogs, Sunny and Midnight, who might actually be the cutest animals on the planet! My family loves to laugh, and on weekend mornings one would usually be able to find us playing a game of Pictionary at the kitchen table, or sitting together in the living room talking and telling jokes. I'm very close with my parents, so my first semester was a tough transition, but I've found my rhythm and now Athens is starting to feel like a second home!

I'm majoring in both history and world religions, but please don't ask me what I plan to do with that, because I have no idea...yet! What I do know is that I'm very passionate about studying history! And personally, I find it not only interesting, but also important. The issues we face today, whether they're environmental, political, or social, all have a history. And I believe that knowing the history of a problem is a crucial first step to understanding how to fix it.

My other passions include listening to music, politics, and reading. I love reading! Whether it's a memoir, a horror novel, or even book of poetry, I almost always have a book on me. I'm a huge nerd when it comes to sci-fi and superheroes, my dad introduced me to the x-files when I was little and watching episodes with him was always a super fun to spend time together, and I'm also a huge fan of the Marvel Universe. (Captain America is my all-time favorite superhero!)

Thank you for taking the time to read this! If you have any questions of just want to talk, feel free to contact me at jt158316@ohio.edu.

Charissa Tyas

Hello, my name is Charissa Tyas I'm a freshman here at Ohio University majoring in Psychology. I'm originally from Toledo, Ohio. But I now call Athens my home. The only thing missing is my large Catholic family. I have seven younger brothers, each of whom I love dearly. Growing up with an array of personalities has made me a very adaptable and forthcoming person. I would like to pursue law in the future and use my communication skills to help those who can't help themselves. My passions include volunteer work,my family, reading, and coloring books. All of which I consider relaxing ways to release stress and focus on what truly matters. 

That being said I am beyond excited to be apart of The Margaret Boyd Scholars program, and I can't wait to see what these next few years hold for me and the rest of my cohort.

Leah Warren

My name is Leah Warren and I am from New Zealand. I am studying Political Science and am on the Field Hockey team here at Ohio University.  

I was born in England and moved to New Zealand when I was 1 year old. I have one older sister who is studying History and classical studies in New Zealand. In my last year of high school I made the decision to study my undergraduate degree in America and my Field Hockey and Ohio University has given me the opportunity to do that. I am planning to study political science and am excited about the political science course at OU has to offer.  My hobbies included hiking with my family and of course playing field hockey. I also love to travel.  

I am very excited about the next 4 years at Ohio University and to be part of the Margret Boyd Scholars Program. I think woman empowerment and shaping woman as leaders is very important and am privileged to be able to work with the 20 girls in my cohort and the administrations of the program.

2016 - 2017 Scholars

Margaret Allen

My name is Margaret Allen, although I go by Maggie. I’ve lived in Powell, Ohio my whole life, a place around Columbus that consists of rich families and their entitled children. My father works at the Ohio Department of Transportation and my mother works at Nationwide. I have one sister, Abby, who is a senior Chemical Engineering student here at OU. My sister and I are very close and she is the main reason I decided to come to OU; I couldn’t imagine being far away from her.

I’m a Mechanical Engineering major. I’m interested in how things work, especially machines. In the future, I hope to design advanced prosthetics that can provide greater control for amputees. However, my dream would be to work at NASA. Even though I am new to Ohio University, I am overcome by the sense of community I have felt. I have had great experiences meeting new people, being challenged academically, and have found that home can be more than the place in which you grew up.

Regarding my interests, the first thing that comes to mind is a band called The Maine. Their music hits home because over the years their albums have fluctuated from despair and loneliness to happy, upbeat tones. I have grown up with their music and through it I have found the strength to be happy with myself and be stoked on life. I also am interested in movies such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Marvel, movies that, in general, transport me to a different place and time.

I guess I’ll finish this off with my favorite quote from John O’Callaghan, “The path is in the rear view, the future holds no weight.” At this point I’m leaving the past behind me, eager for the blank slate ahead of me. I’m excited for the world of possibilities ahead, the places I’ll go and the people I’ll meet. I’m looking forward to being a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars: the community of women I get to be a part of and the positivity we all can relay to the world.

Doreen Amoako

Hello everyone! My name is Doreen Amoako, but please call me Reen. It rhymes with green if that helps you remember, and that’s also my favorite color! I am from Pickerington, Ohio. I was born in New Jersey but Pickerington is all I know. I have six siblings all together. I am the second to last. There are 4 girls and 3 boys. Back home in Pickerington, I work as an assistant manager at KFC where I’ve worked since 16. They promoted me quickly so you could say I know it like the back of my hand.

To know me a little more, I am a first-generation Ghanaian. Both my parents were born in Ghana, which is located on the west coast of Africa. The two different cultures clashed growing up but was a great learning experience. Let me know if you’d like to talk about it. It really gave me a new perspective on life and showed me that I am an old soul at heart.

Here at Ohio University, I’ve opened my minds to new challenges. I am double majoring in marketing and management and strategic leadership. I hope to get a minor in international business. My career goal is to have a corporate job. I want to go to work in a suit with a briefcase where I can walk in my office to a coffee already on my desk. I am a member of African Student Union and I am also a first-generation college student in the LINKS program.

If you’d like to chat about anything let me know. And if you want to discuss why green is the best color on the planet, I am ready when you are. Some other topics that might spark a good conversation from me would be anything about natural hair, doing makeup or running hurdles. I am all ears.

Randi Bateman

Hello, my name is Randi Bateman!

I am a future educator, HGTV fanatic, and a wishful traveler. I am from Columbus. I am also a middle child; one of seven to be exact. Growing up in a family of nine is a unique experience, yet it is truly a blessing to belong to a family like mine. I always had a friend to play with and multiple wardrobes to “borrow” from. Between extremely loud game nights and Disney movie sing-alongs, my family never really understood the term “inside voices." Never was there a dull moment in the Bateman household.

What’s really nice is that I have a bit of family with me at Ohio University. My oldest sister, Jocelyn, is a graduate student studying public health. My other sister, Michaela, is a senior studying psychology with a minor in social work. Not only is family a big deal to me, but so is my religion. Without God, I have no idea where I would be. I thank Him for all the blessings that keep falling into my lap.

One thing about me is that I am extremely passionate about education. I am studying Integrated Social Studies in the hopes of becoming a high school history teacher. I believe history is powerful, it is who and what we came from, as well as where we come from. It shapes us into who we are. Further down the road, I hope to become an African-American studies professor. As previously stated, I am extremely passionate about education. I believe that education is the key to breaking down the barriers and limitations that many of us face today. Like the saying goes, knowledge is power. Knowledge can end poverty, increase one's health, foster peace, promote gender equality, and boost economies. I mean the list goes on and on!

I have always been one to switch up the routine and try something new.  When it comes to things such as style or music, nothing ever seems stays the same with me. You can always find me looking up random and unique places to visit. Traveling is very important to me because it brings me joy to see all that the world has to offer and experience things I haven't before.

At the end of the day, I am always looking for ways to live life to the fullest. I take on every situation with a positive attitude, faithful that there will be a blessing to come out of it.  Alex Elle once said, " Be you, All ways, always."

Sophia Boothby

Siyo! My name is Sophia Grace Boothby and you just learned how to say “hello to all” in Cherokee. I am an environmental biology major and a huge advocate for the environment and Native American rights.

I grew up mostly in historic downtown Fredericksburg, but I have lived almost everywhere along the east coast because my father is a retired Marine Sniper. Both of my parents are from Ohio and in an odd twist of events both me and my sister ended up at Ohio University. Growing up, I was my father’s “son” and my fondest memories were fishing and camping in the woods with my dad. He taught me to appreciate nature and treat it with respect, and I became passionate about everything science. My mother is from Cherokee descent, and in my high school years I got in touch with my native American roots and culture, even teaching myself some of the Cherokee language. My sophomore year, my dad and I were lucky to protest the keystone pipeline in Washington DC alongside some amazing tribes, which led the president to veto the bill (Thanks Obama). After a rocky first semester as a biochemistry major, I ended up deciding to switch to Environmental Biology to eventually pursue a law degree, so I could feel the triumph like what I felt in Washington DC that day.

The other half of my life is dedicated to the sport of field hockey. I am a proud member of the Ohio Field Hockey team, where I play the position of goalie (I never was one for skirts). A lot of people in Ohio do not know the sport of field hockey, so I encourage you to come see a game! Fun fact: it is the third most watched sport in the world; right after soccer and cricket. Since I am a goalie, I am covered head to toe in pads, and I am lucky to say that three hours a day I get to have a hard-plastic ball hit at me at fantastic speeds. It’s something I have done since second grade, and it has taught me so much about dedication and team work.

Some interesting facts about me: I am half an inch shy from six feet tall, my sister is also a Margaret Boyd scholar, I used to be a concert cellist, and I have scoliosis. Feel free to use these as ice breakers. You can also reach me at sb817216@ohio.edu.

Grace Cahill

Hello! My name is Grace Cahill. I am an environmental studies and English double major within the HTC. My interest in environmental studies began with my love of animals. As I learned how cruel our modern farming systems are, I also learned how environmentally devastating they are. I’m becoming more and more aware of the fact that most social issues are deeply connected to environmental issues. My dream is to combine my love for writing, activism, and the environment into a meaningful career. Aside from environmental studies and English, I love to learn about new languages and cultures. I also plan to minor in Asian studies; I currently study Hindi, and hope to pursue Japanese next.

I grew up in lovely Athens, but traveled to New Hampshire to attend a boarding school for high school. My boarding school wasn’t quite as cool as Hogwarts, but I learned so much there and really grew as an independent thinker. During my junior year, I traveled to Mussoorie, India to study abroad at the Woodstock School. In India, I learned that I love curry and really, really dislike monkeys. I’m always looking for ways to get back to the Himalayas, and I’m absolutely in love with all things India (except the monkeys, of course). I love to cook ethnic food from India and around the world, and one of my proudest accomplishments has been veganizing all my favorite Indian recipes.

When I’m not in class, I’m usually tucked into a secluded corner of the Alden library stacks, my favorite place on campus. Pretty much my happiest moments in life are when someone asks me for book recommendations, so if you spot me, please do. If it’s nicer weather, I’m probably enjoying the plants in the botanical gardens. I love to read and write and draw, and it’s rare to find me without a book and a sketchpad. I’m definitely an introvert, but I’m always eager to meet new people and have interesting conversations with them. I spent a lot of time debating in high school, and I love to have friendly arguments over different opinions.

My experience at OU has already been incredible, and I know that being part of the Margaret Boyd scholars’ program will make it even more special. I can’t wait to get to know the other incredible women in the program; they make me so proud to be a scholar and a bobcat! If you ever want to say hi (or share recipes, find a good read, talk about how cool plants are) my email is gc380115@ohio.edu.

Lou Duloisy

Hi there! Let me start off my telling everyone how incredibly excited I am to be joining Margaret Boyd Scholars. I hope that through this I can grow as an individual, but also through my cohort. I want to inspire others to challenge themselves whether it be mentally or physically, and I know that this program will help me do so.

Originally I am from a small town an hour outside or Paris, France. However, when I was young, my dad’s job lead us to Portland, Oregon, and later Cleveland, Ohio. Although moving around was difficult, I am incredibly thankful that I have had the opportunity to meet many different and wonderful people as well as having seen many incredible places. Moving around when I was younger fostered my love to travel, I hope that throughout my life I am able to travel whether it be through my future career or just for the passion of traveling.

I am studying biology here, and hope to continue onto medical school or graduate school in the hopes that my future career will help others, whether it be medicine or otherwise. Biology is incredibly in that it helps explain life, every time I step outside I can marvel in the small miracle that is a beautiful plant or when I run the delicate processes my body is going through every time I take a step. Science is just so cool, right?

When I am not in Alden studying or simply reading a good novel, one might find me walking around campus or finding new places to hike. I am a member of my hall council, the wildlife club and am a part of the sailing team. During sailing season, I am often at the lake sailing, or napping in the sun, or on the weekends at a neighboring college competing and connecting with other sailors. My dad sailed growing up, and sailing has become a special connection between us. When it’s too cold to sail, I spend most of my time reading, planning new events for my hall council, or learning about the wildlife in Athens through the wildlife club.

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will. – Selena Quintanilla Perez and Chuck Palahniuk

I hope, that through education or whatever opportunities come my way, I am able to change the world for the better, even a small change can help create the momentum for a larger change in the future even if I may not be alive to see it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you ever want to talk or get in contact with me, my email is ld295016@ohio.edu.

Abby Harder

Hello, my name is Abby Harder and you can typically find me quoting SpongeBob in everyday conversation or working on some sort of extracurricular program on campus.

I am a Journalism News and Information major, hoping to one day be an international correspondent for Vice News. I am passionate about women’s rights, running, traveling, meeting people, and immersing myself in new experiences. I write with the intention to educate readers about the stories and people that may not always have the chance to have their story told.

I come from the city of new found champions, amazing culture and coffee shops- Cleveland, Ohio. Since I was a child, I’ve always been drawn to the creative subjects- writing, art, music, etc. I found myself happiest writing essays, making art, and learning about the world throughout all of high school- which is what ultimately led me to journalism.

My family and friends have been a huge influence on my life. My dad, Kent, is from a very rural environment and grew up surrounded by Amish communities. My mom, Christine, hails from Cleveland and holds strong to her Austrian and Italian roots, resulting in lots of travel and ethnic diversity growing up. Together, they raised a very different, but very connected, family. Amanda, my older sister, is a nurse and Captain for the United States Army. My brother, Adam, is the athlete of the family and is a broadcast journalist for the United States Air Force; he has also played a very important role in my love for music and storytelling.

Together, these people and experiences have created me up to the present. I am currently a writer for Backdrop Magazine, a member of Society of Professional Journalists, a player on the Ohio University Women’s Football Rugby Club, and a member of JFreshman Newsroom.

With that said, the story goes on…

If you ever want to chat, my email is abbylharder@gmail.com.

Brittany Hesson

Hi! My name is Brittany Hesson and I am a mechanical engineering major here at Ohio University. I was born and raised in Marietta, Ohio which is about an hour from Athens.

Some of my passions include traveling, bicycling, golfing and spending time with friends and family. I also love to be outdoors. In high school I played softball and golf while racing dirt bikes. I have won two national championships and four local championships throughout my racing career. But, I have had to stop racing for the time being due to me being away at college. I plan on racing again after I complete my degree.

I have one little sister who is 12, and we couldn't be more opposite. My mother is a social worker who assists the elderly and my father is a field projects coordinator for a local oil company.

At Ohio university I am involved in many different organizations and clubs. I am in LINKS, Delta Zeta, American Society Of Mechanical Engineers HPVC, and Society of Women Engineers. I am so thrilled to add being a Margaret Boyd scholar to my list of organizations and I am excited to see where this opportunity takes me.

Madeleine Hordinski

My name is Madeleine Hordinski; I like to photograph, write, and read. I am from downtown Cincinnati and am studying photojournalism and social work. I’m a photographer for the local magazine, Interactivist, and I also like to make portraits on my own. Since I was young, I've drawn inspiration from artists around me, including my father who is a musician, and some family friends. My favorite things are making photos of strangers, finding beautiful walls, exploring museums, listening to Esperanza Spalding and Joni Mitchell, and eating Indian food. My favorite book is The Golden Compass and my favorite movie is Paris, Texas. 

Claire Klodell

Hello! My name is Claire Klodell, and if I don’t respond to you saying “Hi” to me in passing, please don’t be offended! I typically tend to zone out when I’m on the move, especially when I’m listening to music.

I am a Journalism major in the E.W. Scripps School Of Journalism, and could not wish to be anywhere else for the next four years. In middle school, I dreamed of being a hairstylist, fantasized about living in New York City, and possibly one day running my own reality TV show. If you have ever heard of Tabatha Coffey on Bravo, I worshipped her! She was a strong, female leader who earned money from telling other people what they were doing wrong, and how to improve their businesses. Granted, this was all a phase.

In high school, I discovered my love for storytelling. I lived in New Albany, a city not too far from Columbus, Ohio. There were more white-picket fences than opportunities to discover a potential love for writing. The only school paper in existence was “The Eagle Talon” in elementary school, which mainly encompassed stories such as tackling the daily lunch menu, and interviewing teachers to figure out their favorite food. Hard-hitting journalism!

Since I was never exposed to journalism in school, I was forced to find other outlets to write for on my own. I’ve written for minor publications, but one of my favorite pieces was for HuffPost Teen, a branch of The Huffington Post which caters to a younger audience.

Eventually, I discovered my admiration for storytelling through a blog I created my senior year. I believe journalism, in this generation, should highlight the ideas of those in less privileged backgrounds than people with advantages. I aspired to use social media to illuminate the lives of the people who are undermined by the repeated offenders: the ones who appear in the media too many times, solely because of their fame. So, I started a blog titled “Dear My Teenage Self,” which showcased the stories of elementary school students across Ohio. You can follow this journey, here! ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG55QmtIqc4)

I am so incredibly honored to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, and the chance to become inspired by the limitless aspirations of the women around me.

I would love to meet you!


Kyla Summer Miller

Hello! I am Kyla Summer Miller! I am almost borderline obsessed with makeup, fashion, High School Musical (and other nostalgic movies and TV shows from my childhood) and rap music. I’m from Crete, Illinois which is 30 minutes from the wonderful city of Chicago.

If I could describe myself in three words they would probably be outgoing, passionate and extra. If you’ve met me you would get it. I also speak as fast as 100 miles a second so just let me know when I’m speaking too fast because I don’t realize it.

In high school I was a member of the theatre department and show choir, Captain of the Scholastic Bowl team, Editor in Chief of the school newspaper, “The U Times” and a mentor to freshman for two years.

I’m majoring in Political Science with hopes of teaching for two years, then eventually working on campaigns and the ultimate goal would be a US senator and if I really want to dream extremely big I would like to eventually be Chief of Staff for a President.

I became interested in politics when during my sophomore year I became to realize injustices and oppression in the United States and throughout the world and I often found myself resenting the people in power. Then one day upon reading a quote by Lily Tomlin that said “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” It's such a simple thought but it completely changed my way of thinking and I decided that I was going to help fix or at least help all of the problems in America that bothers me.

Sarah Negash

My name is Sarah Negash and I’m a freshman here at Ohio University majoring in Integrated Language Arts Education. I’ve lived in Athens for the past 11 years because my dad got a job at the university, but before that I lived in the Netherlands, and Eritrea from birth to age 7. These two countries are where my mother and father, respectively, are from. Moving country so many times, and my mixed cultural background has allowed me to understand the world in many ways and foster my love for learning and travel.

Some of my greatest interests are English, reading, and art. It is for this reason that I want to be a high school English teacher. It is my wish to share my love for literature with future generations to come. When I think back to some of the most influential people in my life, several of them have been teachers and I would love to be able to make this impact on my future students. Outside of reading and writing, I am a huge art and music fan, and I love traveling. Throughout high school I was involved in my school’s drama and choir clubs, newspaper, and community service organizations as a volunteer. I love to paint and art journal and there is almost nothing I like more than going to museums. I have a twin sister, who I often get confused for, named Rosa. We are opposites of each other but because of this get along super well, and despite popular belief we are fraternal! Both of my parents are also educators and have instilled a deep sense of the importance in not only learning but also social awareness and education in me. Social justice issues are something that I find very interesting and important.

It is my goal through the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program to be able to learn more about myself and the larger world around me within this group of lovely women. I am so honored to be a part of this amazing program!

Kayla Pina

Hi, my name is Kayla Pina. I am from Rhode Island, the ocean state. In many was Athens reminds me of any one of many small new England towns. The bricks and old buildings remind me of home. I am a Chemical Engineering major. I chose to do this because I love math and chemistry. I also enjoy finding solutions to systematic issues, so if you ever need help with optimization I am your woman. To that end if I’m not in my room or spending time with friends I can be found on the third floor of the ARC, my favorite place on campus. Apart from academics I love music, and I am always willing to make someone a playlist.

Lauren Riley

Hello world! If you’re reading this call me L! I use a lot of exclamation points when I write so that’s the first thing you need to know. The rumors are true I am a townie, ah! I grew up in a very small town called Glouster, it’s about fifteen minutes out of Athens. There were 52 people in my graduating class so you could imagine how much of a shock it was to come to Ohio University where I have more people in my lecture halls than I did in my entire high school. I played volleyball year-round for twelve years and cheered for some ridiculous amount of years as well. I have an incredible family and they’re possibly my favorite thing to talk about. My brother, Brandon, also attended Ohio University and plans on moving to Boston, MA in the spring to work in the Diabetes Sector. My mother, Deb, is one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. And last but surely not least my father, Eric, has been and always will be my greatest supporter. I will never be able to thank my family enough for the life they created for me.

I started at Ohio University my senior year of high school taking general courses like ENG 1510 and PSY 1010. When I came in as a full-time student in the fall I thought I wanted to major in biochemistry but quickly discovered that my heart was somewhere else. The second week of classes I changed my entire class schedule and became a pre-nursing major. I’m hoping to continue my education after I obtain a nursing degree to become a nurse practitioner with a focus in psychology.

A few fun facts that make Lauren, Lauren: I love to run but I don’t do it enough. Topsail Island, NC will always be one of my favorite places on Earth. I have a passion for reading and writing. I believe Leonardo DiCaprio is the most talented man I’ll never meet. I’m in love with the piano. I’ve had three concussions throughout my life, two of them occurred my senior year of high school. I lost my memory for quite some time, went through several therapies, and still to this day struggle from time to time with memory and focus but in a way, I’m thankful for those head injuries because I know I’ve grown in so many ways I wouldn’t have if not for them. I’m also a LINKS scholar/peer mentor and I’m involved in a student organization called DOSES (Diabetes Outreach Support and Education for Students). I work for Baker University Center Event Services and it’s the coolest job ever! I’m a volunteer leader in a Christian organization called Young Life. I am a daughter of the King and I know that to be the greatest truth there is. And I HATE the word pamphlet, it just gets under my skin!

I was so nervous to write about myself because when I read about all the other ladies involved in the program I was completely blown away; some of them have lived in several different states, some are bilingual, and some are just flat-out amazing! I thought my life was so insignificant compared to theirs but then I realized, how lucky am I to have the opportunity get to know these girls? Becoming connected and building relationships is part of my story and I’m just getting started.

Feel free to reach out to me anytime! OU, OH YEAH!


Jalicia Ruttino

Hi! I am Jalicia Ruttino, and I’m studying forensic chemistry here at Ohio University. The most common response I get to that statement is “Oh geeze” and that pretty much sums up my feelings about it too. Just kidding, I’m so excited about it! I’m actually using it as my pre-med so I can hopefully become a Medical Examiner in the future. I’ve always loved the medical field, but I realized that even though you can’t always save someone you can always help to bring closure and justice.

Along with my challenging major, I am involved in a few other things on campus. I have found wonderful friends through my acapella group, The Picardy Thirds. We sing pop music that many of the people in the group actually arrange! I also have achieved two leadership certificates from the Career and Leadership Development Center. These are “Twenty-first Century Leadership” and “Professional Leadership Development”. I hope to continue to be involved on campus during the rest of my career here at OU.

Aside from life at OU, there are some other things to know about me. I grew up in a small town called Bellevue, Ohio about 30 minutes from Cedar Point. My family is super important to me. My parents, Denao and Jackie Ruttino met in the military when they were young, and are continuing their educations to this day. This has made me as driven as I am, because they are consistently bettering themselves and supporting each other through it. My sister, Jenea Ruttino will graduate from the University of Akron in the spring with a nursing degree, and I am so excited to see her thrive in her career. I am devoted to music, and I actually taught myself to play the bassoon! (Everyone’s favorite instrument!) I have a great love for pasta, especially gnocchi and eat it every chance that I get. I am a little picky about the sauces though, as my mom has always made homemade sauce for my family!

I’m super excited to be a member of the 2016-17 cohort of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and look forward to the opportunities and friendships that it will bring for all of us!

Sue Ryu

It may not be clear from my picture but I actually hate getting pictures taken of me, plus I had to borrow the blazer from a friend because I have no business casual clothing. Ironically, I love lugging my camera around (Nikon, of course) to memorialize random moments and things and people around me.

People are probably my favorite subject of photography; I feel like out of all things on the planet, people are the most dynamic and most adept storytellers. Humans are just awesome, and they’re definitely the driving force behind my interests.

Appropriately, I’m studying Anthropology through the Honors Tutorial College with a hopeful major/minor/something productive in Economics. With luck, I’ll eventually be working for the World Bank. But when I retire, I’m going to have a farm with bees and pineapples and chickens and alpacas and sheep. I’ll also have too many border collies which makes me nervous to think about but that’s a problem for future me.

Other important things to know about me are that I’m into anything chocolate except Tootsie Rolls, I love bees, hiking, camping, biking, and also lazy indoor activities like wearing long johns for two days straight and laying sideways in my bed on Instagram. I do need to mention though that I constantly feel the terrible and unyielding itch to travel, and it drives me insane. The good thing about this is that I always have a lot of escape plans and flight trackers, and will always be down for an adventure, whether it be to New York or to Mogadishu.

If you ever need a buddy to fly to India with, an Athens native to explore with, or even someone to study in the library with, please don’t hesitate to contact me at sr495714@ohio.edu.

Lauren Smith

I'm Lauren Smith and I grew up in Hiram, Ohio, a liberal arts college town outside of Cleveland. My dad (recently retired) had a career as a firefighter/paramedic/rescue diver and my mom works as a registered nurse.  Also at OU, my older brother Chris is completing his environmental geography degree. Our family and the progressive nature of the town shaped who I am today by sparking my desire to learn and keep an open mind. Also, we travelled to national parks, historic sites and a diversity of cities across the US, helping me to discover my current interests.

My major is environmental pre law, which is just a formal way to label my passions of the environment and history. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a career that will allow me to support them politically.  Despite most assumptions, I do not want to be a lawyer, but I think it would be really cool to be involved in a grassroots initiative.

I really enjoy the outdoors, music, traveling and politics.  I have been able to pursue a lot of these interests at OU. I go to Hocking Hills way too much, and I really enjoyed taking History of Rock and going to live music performances uptown.  This spring, I plan to study abroad in Northern Ireland where we will try to understand how a divided country transitions from conflict to peace and to embrace and learn from ideas outside of the US.  I also hope to become more directly active in political movements advocating for social justice and the environment. 

I am really lucky to be part of a group of people who are so passionate about making the world a better place, but in so many different ways.  Ahead, I am looking forward to my experiences and growth through the Margaret Boyd Scholar Program, as it will help me continue my interests and develop new ones. 

Vanessa Thiel

Hello! I'm Vanessa Thiel I was raised in the small town of Lynchburg, Ohio where I'm surrounded by my wonderful family. My mom, Kim, is from same small town and my dad, Kebba, is from the West African country, The Gambia. I am the oldest of three sisters; I take my position as the oldest sister very serious and strive to be a great role model for my sisters Skyla and Sophia.

During my high school career I was active in track, basketball, marching band and volleyball. I also participated in College Credit Plus earning both high school and college credits. The most fulfilling activity was volunteering at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, KY.

I am studying Urban Planning & Sustainability with a minor in Environmental Health. I hope to make an impact in today's world by helping cities develop ways to implement environmentally friendly living in everyone's day to day lives. We only get one Earth, so let's take care of it!

Outside of classes, I enjoy kayaking, hiking, and any sport that involves a ball -basketball and volleyball are my personal favorites. I am also an avid sleeper, clocking in a tremendous 10 hours a day. When I'm not sleeping, I spend a lot of time with my friends and building relationships with others. If you want to go to a basketball game or grab dinner I'm your girl!

I am extremely interested in studying abroad and plan to do so in the upcoming semesters. In my opinion, traveling and exposing yourself to other cultures is the best way to learn about others and yourself.

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Clancy Thomas

Hi! My name is Clancy Thomas and I have never read a Tom Clancy novel.

I grew up in Solon, a suburb of Cleveland. I attended Solon High School where I played softball and was a member of the band (I played the sousaphone during marching season and the bass clarinet during concert band!). Both groups taught me a lot about leadership and what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself, both of which are traits I hope to transfer to the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and the rest of my college career. Sadly, playing instruments is now more of a hobby instead of an everyday thing, but my love of music has not diminished. It’s rare to see me walking anywhere on campus without earbuds, and I take full advantage of the Spotify premium student discount!

About my family: my dad, Edward, is a teacher for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and my mom, Katherine, works for Progressive Corporation. I also have an older brother, Wyatt, who is a junior at Kent State. Most importantly of course, I have 3 cats, Anna and Contessa (who are sisters), and Macy (who I’m not embarrassed to say is one of my best friends). As a family, we love to travel! I am incredibly lucky to have ventured overseas many times. Traveling has developed my desire to be a genuine world citizen, and has instilled a love of history within me, which leads me to my next descriptor…

I am a history major here at OU! History is such an exciting field to me, and I could not be happier with my decision to study something I love. In the future, I’d love to do archival work and possibly conservation of historic buildings. (I’m also interested in political science and public policy, but that’s the beauty of being a freshman.) To me, there’s nothing like walking into a centuries old building and feeling the air teeming with the life of the past. Incidentally, my love of history is what drew me to OU and its beautiful brick paths and buildings. You can’t help but feel like you’re a part of something very special as you navigate the paths on campus that have been walked upon for generations.

I am beyond excited and honored to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar! I can’t wait to see what opportunities the next few years bring my cohort and me. If you have any questions, want to chat, or want to know the too-long list of “fun facts” about me that I omitted from this already lengthy bio, don’t hesitate to contact me at  ct101815@ohio.edu!

Jansen Wolfe

Hello! My name is Jansen Wolfe. (And if you’re wondering, there is no interesting reason behind my name other than the fact that my mom stole it from a co-worker.) I am currently an Exercise Physiology major here at Ohio University. I am from a small town known as Racine, which is located in the “boot” of Ohio. Those who know me may explain my personality as loud, random, outgoing and extremely different, in a good way of course. However, when it comes to my education I am a perfectionist who is extremely dedicated to my future goals of becoming a Physical Therapist. I love spending time with kids, which is why I plan to specialize in pediatrics for my career. In my free time, I coach an elementary volleyball team at my former school. I also read (mostly about WWII because I am a HUGE history buff) and nap as often as possible, because what college student doesn’t like extra sleep?? I am absolutely crazy about college football, and you can catch me on Saturdays cheering on my Michigan Wolverines.

I’ve never really been the girly girl type, because I was raised outside with two cousins who taught me how to play tackle football like one of the boys. One of my most noticeable qualities is that I say whatever comes to mind, which some may say is a bad thing, but I have come to embrace it. I am an only child, and I will admit I am extremely spoiled. I love old music, especially the Beatles and the Doors, and I am obsessed with tattoos. My favorite quote, which gets me through all the ups and downs of life is by General Patton. The war hero once said “Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”

My guardian angel, who makes all the success in my life possible, is my grandma Jude. She was diagnosed with cancer my freshman year of high school, and unfortunately lost the battle in the summer of 2016. She is the reason why I am so passionate about becoming a physical therapist, because I witnessed every day the improvements she made because of her amazing PT’s. She was not only my grandma, but my best friend and because of her, I have a desire to accomplish my dreams and the will to never give up.

If you want to get to know me a little more, or have any questions regarding the University or the Scholars Program, feel free to email me. I’m more than happy to answer any questions, my email is jw179715@ohio.edu!

2015 - 2016 Scholars

Ansam Al Harthy

Hi! My name is Ansam Al Harthy. I am from Oman. I have one of the most amazing parents in the world, Jamila and Sulaiman, and 2, publicly good, secretly annoying, siblings.

I am a Geography major. I am interested in agriculture and the food system. I would like to study more about the impact of food system in countries, especially the tropical and sub-tropical countries, and how it shapes their agricultural practices and influences their economy or whatever my academic life discoveries take me.

Remember to always challenge the mind.

I love being a Margaret Boyd Scholar and being around one of the most supportive, inspiring and amazing scholars and faculty. A great community to be a part of! I want to be an example of how someone can achieve academically regardless of his or her challenges. A true warrior for knowledge and education. I am a believer in good and accessible education for all. It is essential for our growth.

I love reading books, especially Paulo Coelho’s books. There is always time to talk about Paulo Coelho! I like engaging in conversations that are aimed to create a better understanding or discovering something new. (You have no idea how excited I get!) I love watching Batman movies and the animated series, as well as, Transformers!

If you have a great academic opportunity or an event or just want to talk about life and know why Batman is the best, here is my email aa876214@ohio.edu.

Camila Courreges Benecia

So just a general disclaimer, I'm only used to writing theatre bios which are always in third person so this bio might be a bit rocky... Anyway, my name is Camila Benencia Courreges (I know, it’s a long wordy name) and as you might be able to tell from the previous sentence, I am a theatre major. Right now I am hoping to earn a BFA in Theatre Production Design and Technology, but I am considering doing two BFAs and going into Performance as well! Even though theatre comes with a huge workload, I am also going to at least pursue a minor in Spanish, maybe more. That's enough about my school aspirations though, let's talk about my life.

I currently live in Athens, Ohio and have lived here for the past eight years of my life (I am a tried and true townie). However before I lived in Athens I lived in Philadelphia for six years, and even before that I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was actually born in Buenos Aires and lived there until I was four, hence the interest in earning at least a minor in Spanish. All of my family lives in Argentina as both my parents were born and raised there so, with the exception of my family, everyone calls Argentina their home.

I have one sister and two brothers whom I love very dearly. One of my brothers, Martin (pronounced Marteen), was also born in Buenos Aires however he was only one year old when we moved to Philly to follow a job offer my dad had received. My other two siblings, Lourdes (its French, everyone has trouble saying it...) and Nicolas (pronounced Neecolas) were both born in a hospital in Philadelphia. We later moved here to Athens; once again to follow a job offer for my dad, this time from Ohio University.

I think of myself as a slightly neurotic yet interesting person. I know I have many weird quirks and am stuck in the past saying things like “kk” and “awesome sauce” but those are just things that make me, me. I love almost every kind of music except for rap and heavy metal, but I especially love folk music and Broadway show tunes. I am definitely still a kid at heart and continue to watch shows like Young Justice and Ben 10 because I have not grown out of that phase of my life yet. I also love debating and intellectually arguing with people because I like to see other people’s points of view and I like to share my point of view with others.

Even though I have lived in Athens for a long time, I am still completely in love with the town and so grateful to be going to Ohio University. I am also grateful to be part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars (I know, cheesy transition) because these girls are like the sisters I never had but always wanted. Each one of them is so amazing and has so much to share with the world. It’s an incredible feeling to be in this group working towards equality, empowerment, and working to make Ohio University a better place. I could not be more excited to spend the rest of my years at the university in this program and with these girls!

Elisa Bergmeier

Walking in to my house one of the first things you will see is my fireplace, on the fireplace mantel you will see all of my Lego architecture creatures from through the years. I may be in college now, but my mom still keeps them up. These Lego creations were some of my first indications that I would be an engineer. Later on when I moved on from Legos I would spend hours in the woodshop classes in High School. I knew that I wanted to continue to build things so I decided to pursue a mechanical engineering degree here at Ohio University.

Not only am I a female in mechanical engineering but I also am a dance minor. I have been dancing since the age of 2 and have never let it go. Everyone thinks that dance and engineering are totally unrelated, they may be right, but I see the physics and science in dance. I think it is amazing how two things that are very different on the outside have many points of overlap. Dance has always been a part of my life and for that reason I don’t think I could ever let it go, it is my exercise, it is my relaxation, it is my time to think about the day but also a time for me to express myself.

I am also an avid traveler! I lived in Germany with my parents while they were on sabbatical for six months in Leipzig Germany. I have loved and craved traveling ever since. I also love to travel to National Parks and my current goal is to visit every US national park. These are just some of the few things that make me, me. 

Brie Boothby

Hi everyone! I’m Gabrielle Boothby, but please call me Brie.

I’m a Visual Communications/ Journalism News & Information major, with a minor in Marketing.  I am passionate about ice cream, sports, taking pictures, movies, puppies, First Ladies, making friends, and traveling.

I currently reside from Fredericksburg, Virginia, although I have lived in several different places over the years. My dad, Allen, is a retired Marine, so I moved from military base to military base when I was younger. My awesome mom, Kelly, is an elementary school teacher. Sophie, my younger (though much taller) sister, is a senior in high school who will be joining me here at Ohio University next year to play field hockey.

I attended Riverbend High School where I was extremely involved in DECA, Debate, Student Council, Student Newspaper, and FBLA. I played varsity and travel field hockey all throughout school until I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury my junior and senior year. Following that was two really long and hard years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy to get me healthy and back to normal. But everything happens for a reason, right? As a result of my TBI’s, I started my own local non-profit called “Concussion Discussion Fredericksburg” for other student athletes dealing with concussions and to raise awareness, and began blogging for an international non-profit called Safe Kids Worldwide. Through this I have been featured on NBC’s Today Show, and have spoken at sports safety conferences.

Anyways, all of that brought me 500 miles here to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, and I couldn’t be happier! On campus, I am involved in Alpha Delta Pi, Ohio Tour Guides, the OMSAR office, WOUB, and YoungLife. I am thrilled to be joining this year’s cohort of Maggie B’s, and can’t wait for the rest of my time here.

I love making new friends, so please feel free to contact me at gb162315@ohio.edu  

Ana Bucki-Lopez

Identity is one of the most difficult subjects for me because until now, some of the most important, life-shaping factors of my life have been completely out of my control. My life began in Sao Paulo, Brazil, until a year later my family whisked me halfway around the world to Belgium where I spent the next odd years traveling around Europe and getting prime British education. During this time I wasn’t quite old enough to truly appreciate the wealth of education I was receiving by being exposed to such an abundant amount of ancient classical culture and I never quite understood the importance of traveling and I must have even taken it for granted, to the point that an airplane ride or an eight hour car ride to a neighboring country was mundane. Of course there were language barriers among other challenges, but nothing I wouldn’t think of as an advantage now.

When my father’s job moved us yet again on another thirteen or so hour plane ride across the globe to the wide open bayous of Slidell, Louisiana I’d be lying if I said it was a smooth and easy transition. It wasn’t. In any way, shape, or form. I was introduced to a completely different form of culture and I hate to admit it but at eight or nine years of age the last thing you want to do is stand out. So inevitably I tried to fit in which led to an even more awkward pre-teen phase than most young Americans already have to face. Until then I had never felt different, I knew my family came from a diverse background but the school I attended in Belgium was a mix of children whose only common ground was the English language, and yet I suddenly found myself in an environment of high pony-tails, giant obnoxious bows and the world of cheerleading.

As much as I disregard the time I spent struggling to fit in in the unforgiving society that is middle school I have to be grateful for the influence this has had on my life. My family eventually moved again to the less rural city of Cincinnati, Ohio where I graduated from a dainty small high school where I once again was able to appreciate my education slightly more. It took me probably longer than it should have to become who I am now but I feel as though I am more flexible and able to find some form of blessing in my surroundings and I wouldn’t change a single aspect of my past. But now it’s my turn to take control of my life and take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself. I know I want to continue my parent’s legacy and travel as much as I can while learning about myself and the world around me. I am currently continuing my adventure of a life majoring in Mechanical Engineering and am overjoyed to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars.

KT Bugenstein

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and am incredibly happy to now be studying in Athens. I am a Media Arts and Studies student pursuing a career in screenwriting. I am a produced playwright and published poet. I love comics, television, video games, and movies. I enjoy knitting, reading, and making art. I try to keep active by spending time with friends and being involved in student organizations. I am so honored to be part of the Boyd Scholars!

Megan Clum

Hello! My name is Megan Clum, and I am a mechanical engineering major here at Ohio University.  I am from Thornville, Ohio, which is completely irrelevant because no one ever knows where that is.  Just know that I grew up basically in the middle of a corn field, with the nearest mall about 45 minutes away.  My father is an electrical engineer and my mother is the human resources manager at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster.  My younger sister, Melanie, is a sophomore in high school and a varsity softball player with mad skills.  I attended Sheridan High School, where I graduated last year as valedictorian and prom queen.  From age 8 to 18, I was a gymnast at All Starz Gymnastics.  My teammates and coaches became family to me, so not being able to see them very often is really difficult sometimes.  

The short time I have had at OU has been incredible and full of unexpected learning experiences, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I can already tell how much I will miss this place after I graduate.  After I obtain my mechanical engineering degree, I hope to get my master’s in either aerospace or biomedical engineering.  My dream job would be to work for NASA, but I am also very interested in tissue engineering and biotechnology, so I am not quite sure yet which path I will end up taking.  For now I am more than happy to be an engineering student, and I hope to be an advocate for women in mechanical engineering, because we are by far the minority in our field.

To close, I will tell you a few fun facts about myself that have absolutely no correlation, but make up a little of who I am.  The first dog I had was the same age as me and lived to be 18; he was a West Highland white terrier named Rudy (after the Notre Dame Football player), and I liked him more than I like most people.  I’ve never been able to burp - I just don’t know how.  I’ve been playing the piano since I was 12.  I have Duane’s Syndrome, which isn’t a very serious thing, I just can’t move my left eye because the muscles in it don’t work.  It’s actually kind of cool because I can look two different ways at the same time (and because it freaks people out sometimes). 

I am elated to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, and have already had such a great time getting to know so many wonderful women.  I can’t wait to see where I am headed next!

Karli Davis

My name is Karli Davis and I am a Sociology major here at Ohio University. I was born and raised by my wonderful family in this beautiful town of Athens, and am so thrilled to finally be attending the university I had always admired from afar throughout my life. While I am unsure about what exact direction I want to go with my major, I love people; and being able to meet, learn about, and help them as a career would be an absolute dream come true for me.

Other passions of mine include photography and dance. From flowers to artsy food setups, I have loved taking pictures ever since I first learned how to work a camera. And as for dancing, I have been happily moving to my own beat for as long as I can remember. I also have an adoration for music, am an avid tea drinker, always appreciate a good slice of watermelon, have a love/hate relationship with running, and am certain the elephant is my spirit animal.

With all of that being said, words cannot describe how excited I am to learn and grow during my journey as a student and Margaret Boyd Scholar here at Ohio University.

Elizabeth Harper

Hello! My name is Elizabeth and I’m from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I happen to be completely obsessed with my hometown. I am an avid sports fan and history buff and basically just love everything there is to love about Pittsburgh (If you haven’t been, you should totally visit!).

I’m an avid reader and I love to learn. I have an interest in many topics, including writing, photography, psychology, and history. I like music and I play the flute.  I love all things Disney and Pixar. I also enjoy being outdoors and hiking, and I’ve been trained to be a Boy Scout climbing instructor.

I don’t know what my career will end up being at this point, but I want to be able to do something I love while helping other people. I also hope to have the chance to travel and experience lots of different cultures and places. It is extremely important to me that I take advantage of as many opportunities as possible and learn as much as I can in these next few years. Currently I am majoring in Communication Studies with plans to pursue a double major in English.

Samirah Harris

Who am I? I am Samirah Harris; a young, educated and ambitious, hopeless romantic with an exterior shell of a curvy Nubian princess. I currently reside in Ohio University’s tiniest 2- person shoe box on the edge campus. But prior to the start of my college education, I lived in a bungalow in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio. A product of the public school system; one that as seen to be in danger of falling but, in all actuality, is crawling with innovative and effective teachers and students that actually do want to learn. My childhood differed from those of my peers in grade school. I had both of my parents, who were educated and were, in fact, educators in their own right. One of the unique parts of my life was living in a dual religion household. I have learned to appreciate the beliefs of Christianity and Islam. I have two siblings, who are way more interesting than I am, and a niece who always gets mistaken for my daughter.

My education prior to college can be described as anything but ordinary. I’ve had some victories and I have taken some losses but they have all made me a more competent person and student. I have strong beliefs in ideas like racial and gender equality, people being able to freely live in their truth, and the purity of love and sanctity of marriage. I am passionate about sports and education. I believe that world has happy endings just like any good Hollywood movie, they are sometimes just lost within regular life. My opinions on different aspects of the world come from the way they are presented to me. I am a very intense listener. I am the friend that people come to with their problems because they know I will listen and respond accordingly. Even strangers find comfort in confiding in me.

My task at Ohio University is to complete two degrees; one in Sports Management and one in Middle Childhood Education, focusing on math and history. My dream goal is to become a middle school math or history teacher and a middle school athletic director. Combining my passion for sports and education will allow me to put the student back into the student athlete. Too often in our society, a student’s academic abilities take a back seat to their athletic talent. I decided on math as one of my specializations because, like Lindsey Lohan said in Mean Girls (my favorite movie), “math is the same in every country”. Math is a universal language that only some have the gift to understand and speak; so those who can, should teach. I decided on history as my other specialization because I believe that students entering school in this millennium don’t get enough opportunities to learn about where they came from, especially students that look like me. You can’t plan for the future without knowing something about the past.

So, that’s me in a nut shell. A Nubian city princess wanting young scholars to be student athletes and not athletic students. I am just trying to do my part in creating and preserving a better world for the millions of individuals to come. 

Christine Horting

Hello!  My name is Christine Horting, and I am fabulous.  I grew up in the loving town of Herndon in northern Virginia until I began my studies at Ohio University.  Herndon is a very diverse community; this opened my mind to learning about others, their cultures, and their passions.  Since I love to brighten other people’s day and am usually found singing, I decided to combine these two loves by majoring in music therapy.  I am also pursuing a psychology minor and a writing certificate so that I can develop the skills that I will need in my future career.  I have been studying the piano and the trumpet for most of my life, and I like to geek out when I hear a good work of music.  I also love to read fascinating books about new ideas, and I am testing my ability to write fiction novels.  In my free time, I enjoy baking cookies and decorating cakes.  My goals are to learn as much as I can about the world and to give back as much as I can.  I am passionate about equal rights and am constantly trying to find ways that I can be more environmentally friendly.  I am excited to see where my future leads me!

Julia LaComb

My name is Julia LaComb, a pre-law major and native Athens resident. I was the first born in my family and remained an only child until nearly the age of 15.  Though he changed so much in my world, my little brother is a blessing and an inspiration for me. In my home, we all look after each other. We all have extremely different interests, which helps me keep an open mind, but our common goal is always the well-being of our family.

Besides my love for my family, I also have an enormous love for music. I have been a member of many different choirs and have had the privilege of learning from many different directors. I feel as if choir has helped me grow as a young woman. I have been very fortunate to experience great musical talent and perform with some wonderful artists. I have met some of the most important people in my life through my experiences in music right here in Athens. Currently, I am a member of the Ohio Women's Ensemble, Choral Union and the a cappella group, Title IX under the direction Dr. Paul Mayhew. 
I am privileged to call OHIO my home. I cannot imagine having these opportunities and extraordinary relationships anywhere else; which is why I am ecstatic to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, to continue to form unbreakable bonds here at Ohio University.

Darragh Liaskos

Hello! My name is Darragh Liaskos. I am a Media Arts and Studies major with a Music minor. Within the school of Media Arts and Studies I hope to focus in the areas of music production and social change. I am very passionate about music and social justice and change. That is why I have decided to dedicate my life to making music that can create a change in this world. 

I was born in Peekskill, New York, and lived there until I was about eleven. From there I moved to a little place called Amherst, Ohio. It is about a forty-five minute drive from Cleveland, Ohio. Both of my parents are European which has definitely shown me a different perspective of the world, and has helped me prepare for college. I have always said although I go to school in America, I go home to Europe. I am a first generation college student, which is something I take very seriously. My parents have sacrificed so much for me, and I truly owe them everything.

From the time I knew how to say the word until it was time for me to fill out the applications, I have had college on the brain. I have very high expectations for how I want my life to turn out, and I fully believe that without hard work and dedication you will get nowhere. When I found out I was accepted to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar I was thrilled! I know this program, with it's countless opportunities, will help me on my way to greatness.

When I am not running around from class to work to org meetings you can find me getting really excited about animals (mainly puppies), listening to all sorts of music (my favorite band is Twenty One Pilots) or watching some Netflix show I am currently obsessed with (right now it is Grey's Anatomy). I love to travel, and I cannot wait to study abroad. Oh! I almost forgot...something people should know if they really want to get to know me is that the Harry Potter World is something I hold very dear to my heart. I grew up wanting to be Hermione Granger, and I still do. My dorm is filled with Harry Potter merchandise, and I even brought all of my books with me. 

I absolutely love Ohio University, and have really come to call this place my home away from home. I cannot wait to take on all the amazing opportunities that this institution has to offer me. If you want to know more about me my email is dl011715@ohio.edu

Ellen Michelich

My name is Ellen Michelich and I was born and raised just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I am currently undecided, but I plan to double major in International Business and Business Analytics, while hoping to fit in a minor in Geography.

I am a proud Sagittarius, dog-lover, and reader, patiently waiting for the the next Game of Thrones novel to be published. I constantly miss Sheila, my Great Dane mix, when I am gone. I have no plan on what to do with my majors, but I hope whatever career I end up in will take me all over the country and the world.

I am looking forward to the experiences I will have as a Margaret Boyd Scholar, and the positive impacts I can hopefully create in the world as a result of these experiences. As Gandalf said in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us.” I hope to do good with my time. 

Nadia Mulhall

My name is  Nadia, which means, “hope” in Slavic languages and “dewdrop” in Arabic. Although I am neither Slavic nor Arabic,  Nadia  seems to suit me well. I was born in Nagasaki Japan, where I spent the first year of my life. I grew up in Yellow Springs Ohio, a village of 3,526 residents that also houses the newly revived Antioch College. Growing up in Yellow Springs I spent a lot of time outside, making fairy houses, climbing trees, and walking in streams. I was raised with influences from many cultures: Baha’i/Iranian from being part of the Baha’i faith, Dutch from my mother’s family, and a bit of Japanese culture from the time my family lived there. All of these elements (and many more) have changed the way I approach the world. Creativity was encouraged from a young age by my parents and teachers, so I naturally developed a love of making things.  Paired with my very meticulous nature, I enjoy fine details, especially drawing and embroidering.  

I am majoring in Studio Art here at Ohio University, and am very very proud to be a Margaret Boyd Scholar.

Madeleine Peck

Hi there! I’m used to writing up recaps of Student Senate meetings or stories about how a dorm on campus has fleas (no joke), but I’ll try my best.

My name is Madeleine Peck and I study journalism, news and information, here in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. When I’m not in class you can usually find me on the couch inThe Post newsroom eating fruit roll-ups and occasionally writing news articles. I decided to go into journalism after I realized I was too restless and curious to do the same thing day after day. I love getting to explore the world through the people I get to meet and share their stories with readers.

I originally hail from my beautiful, New England town: Newtown, Connecticut. I grew up there with my parents, Chad and Lori, and my two older sisters, Abigail and Sarah. We are now spread out all over the country but that just makes seeing each other that much more exciting and we have an iPhone group chat so who really needs face-to-face interaction (well, maybe).

Some of my favorite things include: 30 Rock, food, music by Beyoncé, the great outdoors, my family, my friends, food, laughter, and random acts of kindness.

“Be nice to each other. It's really all that matters." - Dawn Hochsprung

Maggie Riley

Hi, everyone! My name is Maggie Riley. I grew up in Akron, Ohio, where I attended Revere High School. During my time there, I kept myself busy through a plethora of activities including my high school’s sideline and competitive cheerleading teams, class council, National Honor Society, and working a few shifts a week at a frozen yogurt shop.

As I pondered the ever-important question of what I wanted to do with my life, it was honestly hard to pick because I felt that so many things are important and so many things are interesting. The subjects I enjoyed most were always art, math, and science, which I quickly realized is a somewhat odd combination. I decided that I wanted a career that was mostly math and science based, but also one that would allow me to tap into my creativity. After spending my first semester undecided within the Russ College of Engineering, I have been drawn  to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering and later hope to focus on the Energy and the Environment track. With the world facing such daunting challenges in these areas, I’m excited to be on a path that will prepare me well to make a meaningful difference for the future of the planet and all those who call it home.

When I began my college search process, I honestly did not think that I would decide on Ohio University. But because six other family members are graduates from Ohio University, they encouraged me to look into it and dampened my enthusiasm. I wanted to be independent and blaze my own trail, but as my senior year went on and more and more puzzle pieces began to fit together, I decided that it would not make sense for me to go anywhere else. Since I have been here, I have met so many amazing people, and I realize that I would not have been happier at any other institution. I have joined many great organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers and my sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. Later in my collegiate career, I hope to either participate in research or join a team that competes at engineering competitions.  The Margaret Boyd Scholars Program is the most recent piece to be added to the incredible puzzle of my college experience, and I could not be more excited about the opportunities this program presents and the people it will allow me to meet.

Ami Scherson

Hello, my name is Ami (like salami with out the  “sal”), Scherson! I am a freshman studying music with a focus in arts administration through the Honors Tutorial College. I am from the hometown of sports heartbreaks and wonderful art and food scenes -- Cleveland, Ohio. Ever since I was a child, music was engrained in my life. My father the keyboardist of his band in high school, as well as a well accomplished classical pianist, while my mother was a huge punker who played piano and bass guitar (which explains why I listened to the Dead Kennedys at a young age). Rather than pushing me to pick up an instrument, it just happened. When I was five, I started to play the piano and when I was thirteen, I picked up the cello.  Since then I have been on a wonderful musically journey, meeting incredible mentors and friends I can cherish for years to come. When I am older, I’d like to work in an administrative position in a symphony or orchestra.

I am half Japanese, half Chilean and as a result I can speak fluent Japanese. Sadly, the Spanish never stuck and I have given up on that language pursuit (Sorry Dad). I am extremely proud of my culture and family, and always make sure to represent both sides of my family in my everyday life. At OU, I am part of the Japanese Student Association and I work as a research assistant for a professor in Sociology. As for fun facts, I have a newfound obsession with crocheting, my biggest weakness is a bag of Sour Patch Kids, and I can hold pencils with my bottom lip. I am very excited to be a part of the Margaret Boyd Scholars, and if you’d like to get in contact with me, please don’t hesitate to email me atas200014@ohio.edu!

Iris Virjee

My name is Iris, and I come from an old farmhouse surrounded by cornfields near Mount Sterling, Ohio. My mother is a poet, school bus driver, and collector of vintage nostalgia. My father is an Indian refugee from Uganda, an artist, and an army veteran. I also have a younger sister, Lily, four cats, and a bunch of chickens.

Growing up gardening and treasuring second-hand junk gave me a deep appreciation for nature, which led me to take interest in the ways people have failed to care for the ground beneath our feet. Inspired by “The Natural Step for Communities” by Sarah James and Torbjorn Lahti, I've become particularly drawn to local-scale implementation of sustainable practices. So, when I discovered that I could study Urban Planning and Sustainability at beautiful OU, I was beyond delighted. My dream is to see beautiful green cities with vertical farms and clean energy sources and bike paths.

I'm already loving life here in Athens, exploring this amazing little town and the surrounding forests, meeting all sorts of fascinating people, and trying to break out of my shell.

Aside from that, I guess I'll just throw in a few things about who I am. My favorite color is burgundy. I love birds, especially the ones I watch from the kitchen window at home, like finches, mockingbirds, starlings, etc. My favorite plant, if I had to choose, is moss. I only write in cursive. I listen to a variety of music, but most recently I've been really into post-hardcore/ indie rock (think Shellac), and experimental hip-hop (think Milo), and  bluegrass murder ballads. I can sort of draw okay. I love the works and strangeness of Salvador Dali. My favorite poet is E.E. Cummings. My role model- in some ways more than others-- is Patti Smith. In my free time I like to take walks (preferably barefoot) and craft (before college I worked at Michaels Arts and Crafts Store). If you ever need a thrift or antique shopping buddy, I'm your girl. I'm very shy and quiet until I get comfortable with people. I may have a small obsession with terrariums.

I am so glad to be welcomed into the Maggie B program. I'm sure that this opportunity will help me and the rest of these unique and talented ladies to reach our full potential here at Ohio U.

“You shall above all things be Glad and Young, for if you're young, whatever life you wear, it will become you; and if you are Glad, whatever's living will yourself become.” -E.E. Cummings

Ruby Williams

My name is Ruby Lee Williams—if you don’t catch me with my nose in a history book, I’m probably online planning my next adventure, or taking a nap.

I’m an Integrated Social Studies Education major, and pursuing a Diversity Certificate. I’ve compromised on my favorite hobby, napping, in order to maintain a 4.0 this semester. My dream career is to become a high school history teacher, then pursue a PHD in Greek History. During the process of pursuing my passions, I plan to spend as much time as possible traveling and immersing myself in the diverse cultures of our world. I plan to do the majority of my traveling through philanthropy and volunteer teaching—I believe it is essential to give back to your community, as well as communities around the world. My goal is to use my experiences traveling to inspire and encourage my future students to explore, accept, and study diversity in a positive way.

If you ever want to chat, or get in contact with me, my email is: rw028214@ohio.edu

2014 - 2015 Scholars

Hannah Borowski

As 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

Hello! 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

I 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- hb842513@ohio.edu.

Sierra Cardiff

My 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

Hello, 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

Hello, 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 over-expression 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 Margaret Boyd Scholar.

Mara Diaz

I 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

Greetings! 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

Ciao 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

My 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 km238613@ohio.edu, I’d love to hear from you!

Alexandra Violet

I 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

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

My 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

Hi! 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

Hi, 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 sp658413@ohio.edu!

Cassandra Rich

My 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

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

My name is Mara (pronounced like marinara or Sara, 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

Hi, 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

Hello 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 at734513@ohio.edu.

2013 - 2014 Scholars

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 traveling, 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

“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 af908312@ohio.edu! 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, scrippsjfresh.org. 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 bianca.hillier@yahoo.com

Anna Bekavac

Hello! 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, ab141112@ohio.edu - I LOVE to talk!

Tyann Carter

Hola! 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

Industrial 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.

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

Gracie Keyes is a junior Geography and Environmental Studies student from Mansfield, Ohio. While she loves everything about geography, she is particularly interested in geographic information science and the way that geographic data can be visually represented and interpreted. Gracie went on the 2015 Balkans Expedition Program through Ohio University. After the program, she was an International Peace Park Expedition Embedded Fellow and worked in Peja, Kosovo at a non-governmental organization called The Environmentally Responsible Group (ERA Group). While at ERA Group, Gracie worked with other volunteers on a baseline survey focusing on Kosovo’s new national park: National Park Bjeshket e Nemuna. She is also a part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Ohio University’s Geography Club and International Geography scholars program, Gamma Theta Upsilon. Gracie is a second year Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar working with Dr. Geoff Dabelko. In the next couple of years, Gracie hopes to continue volunteering for Rural Action, serve with the Student Conservation Corps after graduation, apply to AmeriCorps, and eventually go to graduate school.

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 hk757412@ohio.edu.

Nora Kornelakis

Bonjour 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

As 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

I 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 host family'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

“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

Hello!  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

During 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

Small 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

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

My 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.