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New Student Spotlights

Thousands of Bobcats and their families made their way to Athens in June for Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO). At BSO student leaders, faculty and staff welcomed incoming students and their families and guests and connected them to campus resources. Incoming students left orientation with new connections and a schedule of classes for their fall semester. If you were unable to attend Bobcat Student Orientation in June please sign up for the July or August session. It's not too late if you still need to confirm your enrollment.

Read through these student spotlights and get to know some of your incoming first-year peers.

Reebha Chetty 

Reebha Chetty

Reebha Chetty, from Lewis Center, Ohio, will soon be joining Ohio University as an exercise physiology major within the College of Health Sciences and Professions.

Why did you choose OHIO?

After I discovered OHIO’s Early Assurance Program for their Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, I applied and was accepted. OHIO’s close proximity to scenic parks also influenced my decision.

What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year?

I was able to letter in cross country and track & field.

How are you spending your summer?

I have spent my summer running, reading, and sleeping.

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?

During Bobcat Student Orientation, I was able to explore food options at OHIO’s food halls and got a vegan cookie and brownie. I also got the opportunity to talk with other incoming first-year students in the College of Health Sciences and Professions.

What did you discover during BSO that surprised you?

During Bobcat Student Orientation, I was surprised by the slew of chain and local restaurants near OHIO’s campus.

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

This fall, I’m looking forward to exploring the parks near campus and meeting new people.

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home?

I’m planning on bringing album posters, plants and a rug to my residence hall.

What’s on your college bucket list?

Currently, trying Casa Nueva and kayaking are on my college bucket list.

Emma Ellis

Emma Ellis

Emma Ellis comes from North Canton, Ohio. She was selected as a Cutler Scholar and plans to enter the College of Business as an undecided business major this fall.

Why did you choose OHIO?

There are a million reasons why I love Ohio University, but by far my favorite part is how friendly and down to earth the people are. I love to be social and make new friends, and it felt like home the instant I stepped on campus.

What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year?

I was awarded one of the two Cutler Scholarships available to those majoring in business. I am so excited to be a part of this amazing program and for all the opportunities it provides. Of course, I am also proud of myself for graduating from high school with a 4.5 GPA and honors!

How are you spending your summer?

I am excited to spend my summer planning my graduation party and getting to celebrate all my friends as well. My family and I are also taking a road trip through the Northeast to see Niagara Falls, Vermont, and Boston!

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?

I loved meeting new people. It was so nice to connect with everyone in my major as well as meeting people outside of the business school. My orientation leaders Maddi and Liv were also super informative and friendly!

What did you discover during BSO that surprised you?

I was very excited to learn about the BRICKS program Ohio uses to make sure all its students receive a well-rounded education.

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

Meeting as many new people as possible! I can’t wait to make so many memories.

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home?

My roommate and I already have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to inspiration. We are bringing a ton of pictures and decorations to make our room feel as homey as possible!

What’s on your college bucket list?

I can’t wait to travel abroad. I’ve always wanted to visit Europe!

Bird Somkasem

Bird Somkasem

Bird Somkasem is from Johnstown, Ohio and will be a cadet in the Army ROTC program at Ohio University when he begins his first year at OHIO this fall. He is entering University College as an undeclared major intending to declare an engineering major and shared his thoughts after attending BSO in early June.
 
Why did you choose OHIO? 

I chose OHIO because of the amazing ROTC program that they offer, and because of all the outdoor entertainment in and around it.

What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year? 

My greatest achievements in this past year were making it to regionals for track and field, and getting accepted into Ohio University. 

How are you spending your summer? 

I am spending my summer working out at the gym and prepping for anything the OHIO Army ROTC throws at me.

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?  

Biggest highlights at BSO were the food at Nelson Dining Hall and choosing classes.

What did you discover during BSO that surprised you? 

What surprised me at BSO was the large variety of classes OHIO offers. I mean seriously! That’s incredible!

What are you most looking forward to this fall? 

I am looking forward to ROTC and meeting new people.

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home? 

I don’t plan on bringing much to transform my residence hall. I’m a simple guy who only needs a few things.

What’s on your college bucket list? 

My college bucket list is to go to every outdoor attraction in and around OHIO, make a group of close friends, get stronger at the gym, graduate with a high GPA, and befriend some of the professors there.

Braden Lloyd

Braden Lloyd

Braden Lloyd, from Norwalk, Ohio, came to campus for BSO in early June in preparation to enter Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering with a major in civil engineering.
 
Why did you choose OHIO? 

I chose OHIO because I love all the outdoor activities and all the experiences that OHIO has to offer.  

What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year? 

Being named Norwalk High School’s Senior of the Year, receiving a Golden Racquet Award in tennis, and being Student Council and National Honor Society president.   

How are you spending your summer? 

I am spending my summer working at the Huron Boat Basin, umpiring, and hanging out with friends and family.  

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?  

I loved being able to be on campus and start to find my way around. I enjoyed scheduling my classes and was even more excited to start college life.  

What did you discover during BSO that surprised you? 

I discovered the awesome support system that is available at OHIO. Not only is the support for academics, but for all aspects of the college experience. I’m looking forward to getting the interest survey back to see all the groups that would interest me.  

What are you most looking forward to this fall? 

Being on campus and getting involved and exploring everything that the campus has to offer.  

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home? 

I am not entirely sure of everything that I am bringing yet. I know I’ll be bringing a tv and my dad has some cool ideas to help make the room a neat space.  

What’s on your college bucket list? 

Exploring all the activities that OHIO has to offer is definitely at the top of my list. I want to attend sporting events and play piano with different groups. I also want to explore all the great food that is in Athens.  

Ian Yang

Ian Yang

Ian Yang plans to enter the School of Art + Design in the College of Fine Arts this Fall. He is originally from China, but has been in the states 5 years, and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He is looking forward to his move to Athens in the fall.

Why did you choose Ohio University? 

Ohio University has a long-established history and is one of the oldest universities in Ohio. In addition, Athens is an ideal place to study. A good environment and a safe community are the best choices for studying and living. 
 
What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year? 

What I’m most proud of in the past year is that I successfully completed my high school and was admitted to college. Last year was a year full of challenges. The outbreak of the epidemic has changed our lives. Many international students I know decided to return to their country, but I decided to stay in the United States to continue studying to finish my junior year. I am very fortunate to have been able to return to school in person again my senior year and graduate with my classmates.
 
How are you spending your summer? 

I will use my summer vacation time to get my driver's license and travel to other places with friends.
 
What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?  

Bobcat Student Orientation was a great experience for me. As a person who has never been to Ohio and knows nothing about college campuses, BSO was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the college life that is coming. I learned a lot of important information during the orientation. 
 
What did you discover during BSO that surprised you? 

I noticed that most of the members of the orientation team are Ohio University seniors. They had a very good attitude during the orientation and answered every question asked by freshmen in detail and patiently. 
 
What are you most looking forward to this fall? 

I am full of expectations for the upcoming university life with more challenges, and more opportunities, on a campus that is larger than high school. I look forward to accumulating more life experience and meeting more friends during the college time at Ohio University. 
 
What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home?  

I like music very much, so I will bring my guitar and midi keyboard to my dorm room, and a comfortable pillow.
 
What’s on your college bucket list?

  1. Join the band and choir
  2. Try all the restaurants in town
  3. Get a vinyl record player
  4. Participate in a sporting event
  5. Buy a car
  6. Find new group of friends
  7. Dress up as a mummy on Halloween
  8. Graduate on time

 

Jack Kenny

Jack Kenny

Jack Kenny, from Findlay, Ohio, will be joining Ohio University this fall and plans to enter the College of Health Sciences and Professions as an undecided health sciences major. 
 
Why did you choose OHIO?  

I chose OHIO because I was looking for a mid-size university with a reputable health sciences program. My research led me to Ohio University.

What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year?  

Completing a successful mentorship with a local cardiologist. This experience solidified my decision to enter the health sciences field.

How are you spending your summer? 

I am serving as a teaching assistant at a local science camp. My focus will be dissection. I will also be traveling to Corfu, Greece for three weeks with my family.

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience? 

Touring the beautiful campus, visiting the health sciences building and checking out my dorm.

What did you discover during BSO that surprised you? 

The wide variety of options in the health sciences field offered at OHIO.

What are you most looking forward to this fall? 

Riding my bike around campus and meeting new people.

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home?  

Comfortable seating and many electronics.

What’s on your college bucket list? 

Visiting local restaurants and checking out the nearby bike trails.

Kaitlyn Kilmer

Kaitlyn Kilmer

Kaitlyn Kilmer is coming to Athens from her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, intending to double-major in media arts production in the Scripps College of Communication and creative writing in the College of Arts and Sciences.
 
Why did you choose OHIO?

I have a lot of family in Ohio, so it has always felt like home. Athens is a beautiful campus too! But the biggest factor was the distance! Many of the schools I applied to were quite far away from home (which my parents weren’t too happy about). OHIO was the middle ground of far away…but not TOO far away. 
 
What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year? 

I was able to be one of three speakers at my graduation ceremony this year! And I mean, I graduated! I was able to finish both a minor in Chinese through Western Michigan University and get my seal of biliteracy from the state. I was also able to have the privilege of being the water polo team captain.
 
How are you spending your summer?

Unfortunately, lots of work. Working a full-time job and doing an internship has left me with little free time. Whatever free time I have is often spent hanging out with friends and going to the beach. 
 
What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?  

Honestly, the night before BSO was my favorite. Since we spent the night on campus, we got to experience both on and off campus Athens. Got a better understanding of dorms and walked around campus to familiarize ourselves with the layout. Seeing which dining hall was closest to my dorm, where I might hang out outside, etc. Also, that night we saw a huge rainbow over the entire campus! 

During BSO, [the highlight was] course registration. It is for SURE a relief to know that my classes are taken care of.
 
What did you discover during BSO that surprised you? 

I was surprised about the amount of safety precautions that were set in place - even an app! 
 
What are you most looking forward to this fall? 

For sure marching band! My marching band back home was anything but competitive, which always was disappointing to me. I’m glad to get back on the field in new colors! 
 
What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home? 

Blankets. Lots of blankets. And my giant stuffed animal Peep Leonard. He comes up to my stomach and I love him dearly. 

What’s on your college bucket list? 

Currently just wanting to go see the abandoned mental hospital [the Ridges]! 

Lauren Vernon

Lauren Vernon

Lauren Vernon is very interested in learning about cultures, languages, and ways of life different from her own as she enters the College of Arts and Sciences this fall. She has been passionate about travel, ancient history, and archeological museums for as long as she can remember so she says it makes sense that her major will be anthropology

Why did you choose OHIO?  

During my college search, I struggled to find a university that felt like home. But as soon as I stepped onto OHIO's campus I felt as if this was the university I'd been looking for all along – especially being from Texas. I felt as though OHIO radiated the southern hospitality that I was unconsciously searching for and truly felt that everyone cared for my success on an individual level that was unmatched. On top of this, OHIO's study abroad programs and resources for anthropology made OHIO even more appealing!

What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year? 

I'm most proud of the College Credit Plus courses I took this year! I challenged myself in taking college classes during high school this year, and I'm so glad I took on that challenge. I graduated with over 30 credits and still managed to graduate summa cum laude! The experience taught me so much about college and forever changed the definition of determination for me.

How are you spending your summer? 

I'm spending my summer relaxing! The last two summers I was either working or taking college classes during summer sessions, so I'm using this summer to take some time for myself and explore the new city I live in! 

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?  

A highlight for me was lunch! I met some great people from my orientation group, and it was really memorable chatting with other freshmen about how surreal it all was! Funnily enough, we all agreed that eating in a university lunch hall felt like it was out of a movie! It was really great making friends so early on.

What did you discover during BSO that surprised you? 

I was surprised that choosing my classes wasn't as stressful or "permanent" as I thought it was. I quickly realized that if I had any problems with my classes, advisers were there to help at a second's notice. This really put a lot of my worries to rest. 

What are you most looking forward to this fall?  

I'm really looking forward to being social! I truly can't wait until I get to socialize with people in a different way than I ever could in high school. From late-night chats to group study sessions, I'm looking forward to forming unique and lasting friendships with like-minded, motivated people!

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home? 

One thing I'm bringing is a picture of my dogs! My dogs are a very large part of my life and are more family than pets. My dogs remind me of home, so while they can't be with me on campus, I'll be bringing a cute, framed picture of my boys to make my dorm feel like home! 

What’s on your college bucket list? 

I have so many things on my college bucket list, but I've always dreamt of studying abroad! I've always been fascinated with travel and how people live across the pond. Much of my family lives abroad, so I've always wanted to more deeply understand the different cultures that make me who I am today.

Sauniya Randeri

Sauniya Randeri

Sauniya Randeri, from Charleston, West Virginia, will enter OHIO this fall as a translational health exercise physiology major in the Honors Tutorial College. 

Why did you choose OHIO? 

I chose OHIO because the staff was incredibly welcoming and helpful. I never felt out of place and I never felt like just a number. They knew my name and they got to know me as a person, and I really appreciated that. Of course, the Honors Tutorial College and my acceptance into that was a big enticing factor as well.

What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year?

Probably surviving an entire year of online school. As difficult as it was, we did it, and things are on the come up, thank goodness. Of course, also getting accepted into the Honors Tutorial College, since it is very prestigious. I was very, very proud of myself, and I'm so happy that I was given that opportunity. 

How are you spending your summer?

This summer I will be spending my days lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons. I very much love working and keeping myself busy, so my summers usually consist of those two things, which I love doing, so I'm pretty excited. 

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?

The whole experience was really exciting. It made things feel a little bit more real. One of the first things that was super exciting was getting my OHIO ID. That just made things a little bit more official because I am an official student now. Of course, scheduling classes—that was super fun. I got to see how my schedule will look through the fall. And learning about the orientation leaders, since the majority of them were students or they just graduated. That was really fun, to hear about their experiences what they loved about OHIO and why they love OHIO so much. 

What did you discover during BSO that surprised you?

I discovered the emphasis that is placed on mental health during BSO, and I really appreciated that. I feel like a lot of times students’ mental health is placed on the backburner because academics are the number one priority. But at OHIO you can tell that the faculty really, really recognizes that mental health as well as physical should be number one. 

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

I am most looking forward to meeting new people and exploring campus this fall. I've been there a few times, but I think once I'm living there, I'll really be able to walk around and get a feel for the campus, so I'm really excited. 

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home?

I'm a big picture person—I love taking pictures, I love hanging up pictures. I definitely plan to bring a lot of pictures to make my room feel as homey as possible. 

What’s on your college bucket list?

  • Number one would probably be a picnic on College Green. That was the first place I saw when I came to Athens for the first time and it was beautiful, and I lucked out and had a really gorgeous day. 
  • Going to Donkey Coffee. I've heard so many great things about Donkey Coffee and I've never been, so that's super exciting. 
  • Continuing to go to Bagel Street Deli. I went there once and it was amazing, to die for. So I'm so excited. 
  • Court Street Coffee, of course—all the food places.
  • Traveling abroad. That is one thing I definitely want to do in my four years at OHIO, and they do talk a lot about that during BSO, so I definitely think once COVID dies down a little bit, that will be something that I'll be able to do, and I'm really excited. 

I'm super excited for this next chapter!

Campbell Ferguson

Campbell Ferguson

Campbell Ferguson, from Hilliard, Ohio, will soon be joining Ohio University as a Special Education major within the Patton College of Education.

Why did you choose OHIO? 

My older brother went here, and I love the campus. I also had friends that were in the teacher education program, and they really loved it, especially the amount of teaching experience.

How are you spending your summer? 

Traveling! I just came back from Jamaica, and I’m going to Florida. Jamaica was a graduation gift. I went with family.

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?  

So far, walking around the campus. Everyone is helpful.

What did you discover during BSO that surprised you? 

I didn’t think the building (Patton Hall) would be this big, and found out that my residence hall, Jefferson, is right across the street.

What are you most looking forward to this fall? 

I am excited to start something new and to learn about what relates to what I want to do in the future.

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home?  

My artwork—posters of bands. Fleetwood Mac is my favorite band. 

What’s on your college bucket list? 

The whole culture of being in Athens. I am excited for something different from home.

Garrett Beam

Garrett Beam

Garrett Beam, from Springfield, Ohio, will soon be joining Ohio University as a Family and Consumer Sciences Education major within the Patton College of Education.

Why did you choose OHIO? 

The scholarships and Guarantee Plus. Also, I liked the academic program, when compared to other programs in Ohio. I liked how it’s well-balanced. I am getting more classes on topics—more in-depth content. I also like the sophomore clinical experience in the Child Development Center. I will be better prepared when I graduate.

What accomplishments are you are most proud of from the past year? 

I won Gold in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competition in fashion construction. I made a coat and pair of pants and was critiqued on construction and presentation skills. 

How are you spending your summer? 

Working at JoAnn Fabrics.

What were some highlights from your Bobcat Student Orientation experience?  

Getting to schedule classes, getting to meet people and hear about their majors and learning about the college, and finally, getting to see the great building.

What are you most looking forward to this fall? 

Getting to take a Food and Culture class and meeting new people.

What are you bringing to transform your residence hall room into your new home? 

My sewing machine! I make clothing and home décor. 

What’s on your college bucket list? 

I am looking forward to student teaching.