Student Spotlight: Bozeman Koonce
I am Bozeman Koonce, and I am from Athens, Ohio. I am a third-year student at Ohio University studying globalization development in the geography department. At the Voinovich School, I am working in economic development.
Tell us about your research or project work you’ve been engaged with as a Voinovich Scholar. What are your responsibilities and what have you learned?
At the Voinovich School, I have been working with data from 32 Appalachian Ohio counties throughout the region. We collect data and use that information to develop research-based solutions to help the community overcome economic challenges and create projects to build community resilience. Much of my project work has been focused on Coshocton County, working with Geographic Information Systems to create interactive maps to include in presentations and communicate our data to assist their communities in figuring out what they need to stimulate economic growth.
Why do you feel it is important for OHIO students to participate in public service like yourself?
I think public service is a great way to get to know where you're from or living and feel connected with that community. Being from Athens, I've grown up here, but am learning so much more about this region through what I'm doing with the Voinovich School. It's a lot of hands-on research and hands-on interaction. I feel like it’s especially beneficial for people who come to OHIO from different cities, maybe Cincinnati, Cleveland or Columbus to engage with the community and get outside of this little university bubble.
How has being a Voinovich Scholar supported your personal and professional growth?
Being a Voinovich Scholar has been very useful to see my potential in my program. Studying Geography, I focus a lot on the human and physical sides of how people interact with things, which has tied into my work as a Scholar. I've also been able to explore that regional connection to where I'm from and how my work can be used to make a positive impact here. I can learn from different community endeavors that we've talked about and translate that into something that will help me in my future career.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed being a Voinovich Scholar. I've been able to take what I've learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world projects and I'm really grateful for that. I am thankful for this opportunity that has allowed me to work towards my career goals as well as explore my interests in research.
What are your future career goals and plans after graduation?
I plan on pursuing a master's degree, either in geography or communications, or something of that nature. I'd love to work in a job that would allow me to help either people or the environment and give a service to make the world a better place than what it is now. I want to make sure that I make an impact on those who need it most.