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Apr 16
Student Spotlight: Amy Smith

Amy Smith smiling.jpegAmy Smith came to The Ohio State University and expanded her perspective and focus. Now, Smith looks forward to a future where she can help others discover new perspectives and their roles in the world.

Why did you choose The Ohio State University?

Ohio State provided vast opportunities, both academically and socially, to mold my own college experience. I loved all of the resources and different communities that existed throughout the campus. Ohio State provided options to navigate my interests and how they can be transferred into an academic and career-focused space.

Why did you pick Honors and Scholars?
I chose Honors and Scholars because I wanted to participate in a specific community alongside students with similar interests. Scholars allowed me to expand upon my passion for the humanities, both with on-campus and off-campus opportunities. I wanted to push myself to meet new people and take advantage of what Ohio State has to offer.
How has the Honors and Scholars Program contributed to your college experience?

Honors and Scholars has provided friendships and opportunities that I would never have expected. From exploring different cultural festivals and going to events in the arts to having movie nights with people in my hall and building friendships, the Humanities Scholars Program has ultimately shaped my college experience. It has helped me connect with new people, learn about people and cultures outside of myself, and explore what is possible at Ohio State. Scholars has shown me the unique and diverse people and opportunities that coexist on this campus.

amy smith kneeling with a black dog.JPGWhy did you pick your major?

History has let me learn and explore cultures and identities different than my own, educating me on experiences that have continued to be overlooked. It challenges me to analyze what I have come to know through a critical lens, pushing me to acknowledge various aspects and perspectives to what our society has labeled as history.

Are there any professors or staff who have helped you?

Dr. Hasan Jeffries has challenged me to think beyond myself and looking past the surface. His idea of facing the reality of the past and acknowledging it for what it is worth has pushed me to question my biases and critique what has become normalized or the standard narrative of certain histories in our country.

What does #TogetherAsBuckeyes mean to you?

#TogetherAsBuckeyes means that as a community, we will work towards a better experience not only on campus but in society. Ohio State has a large presence, not only in Ohio but throughout the country, so uniting in our common identity to reach a goal can create a force for change. Our university is rooted in comradely and collaboration, so adopting our traditions towards ending covid can unite Buckeye's past and present in an effort to better our country.

What are your goals and plans for the future?

I am planning on attending graduate school to get a master's in higher education and student affairs. I hope to work at a larger university in admissions, orientation, or academic advising in order to enhance and support the college experience for various identities.

Apr 14
Ohio State issues Johnson and Johnson vaccine update

President Kristina M. Johnson and Executive Vice President and Chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of Wexner Medical Center Dr. Harold L. Paz sent the following email to The Ohio State University community today (April 13).

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

We are writing to provide an important update on the use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier today and out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a pause in the use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine due to the development of a rare blood clotting disorder along with low platelet counts in six patients who have received this vaccine. These patients are all females between ages 18 and 48 who presented with this complication between 6-13 days after receiving the J&J vaccine. These cases represent six patients out of more than 6 million doses of the J&J vaccine that have been administered in the United States.

At the Wexner Medical Center, we have administered a total of 1,116 doses of the J&J vaccine since early March – less than 1% of the more than 163,000 total vaccine doses we have administered since December 14. We are not aware of any similar complications for our students, faculty, staff and patients who have received the J&J vaccine. Those who received the J&J vaccine in early March should be outside the 6-13 day time frame when this complication has occurred. The rest of our J&J vaccine patients (816) received the vaccine on Saturday, April 10.

At this time, 121 million people in the United States have been vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to note the type of rare blood clotting events that are being evaluated following the J&J vaccine have not been detected with either the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose vaccines.

If you received a dose of the J&J vaccine, please be aware of the following signs and symptoms of this complication. While this complication has only been reported in females, anyone who develops a severe headache, leg swelling (especially in only one leg), chest pain, or new-onset shortness of breath (either at rest or with exercise), should call 911 for very severe symptoms, the 24-hour Ohio State COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 614-688-VAXX (614-688-8299, choose option 3), or their routine health care provider.

We are also sending a MyChart message to anyone who has received a J&J vaccine at the Wexner Medical Center with guidance on symptoms to watch for and what to do if these symptoms develop. 

As of early this morning, we have stopped scheduling new appointments for the J&J vaccine at the Wexner Medical Center. We do continue to have appointments available for the Pfizer vaccine. Our next doses of the J&J vaccine were not planned until Wednesday, April 14, and anyone who is currently scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine in the coming days will be contacted to either reschedule their appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine or to cancel it.

The health, safety and well-being of our university community are our top priorities. We will await further direction from the FDA and CDC prior to beginning to offer the J&J vaccine in the future. We remain committed to vaccination – along with following the CDC’s recommendations of masking, physical distancing and handwashing – as a critical step in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sincerely yours,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD

Harold L. Paz, MD
Executive Vice President and Chancellor for Health Affairs
CEO, Wexner Medical Center

Apr 09
Eyako Heh Named James C. Gaither Junior Fellow

Heh_Photo.jpgThe Ohio State University senior Eyako Heh has been named a 2021 James C. Gaither Junior Fellow. Each year, through the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace offers approximately 12 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. They are selected from a pool of nominees nominated by several hundred participating universities and colleges. Each university may only nominate up to three students. James C. Gaither Junior Fellows work as research assistants to Carnegie's senior scholars.

As a member of the university's International Affairs Scholars program, Eyako is a senior majoring in political science with a minor in geography. Heh has maintained a stellar GPA while studying emerging technologies and cybersecurity. Heh participated in OSU's Canadian Parliamentary Internship program, during which time he researched contemporary threats to liberal democracies and online hate speech against immigrants. This experience built upon his passion for civil liberties and political advocacy while simultaneously expanding his international affairs and diplomacy interests. Heh also completed a research internship with OSU's Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, where he researched how surveillance disproportionately impacts Black and Brown populations by being overly pervasive and racialized. Currently, Heh is interning with the Digital and Cyberspace Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations while completing an undergraduate thesis on the relationship between spatial mobility, race, and state-sanctioned surveillance within the capitalist world economy. Heh has been published in the Dispatch and is a contributing researcher for a City of Columbus Report on Financial Security for Women & Families in Columbus.

As a Gaither Junior Fellow, Heh will work as a research assistant within the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Technology and International Affairs Program. "Research
into emerging technologies," Heh explains, "especially in the wake of mounting state violence against vulnerable communities, harbors the power of rectifying systemic inequities by introducing lawmakers to innovative and informed policy solutions." For this reason, Heh will pursue a PhD in political economy following his year as a Gaither Fellow.

Heh is Ohio State's second Gaither Fellowship recipient; the university's only other winner was Kevin Slaten in 2008. Ohio State University students interested in pursuing the Gaither Fellowship or other national fellowship opportunities should contact the Undergraduate Fellowship Office located within the University Honors & Scholars Center, More information on the Gaither Fellowship can be found through the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,

Apr 09
Ohio State University is a top producer of Fulbright U.S. student and U.S. scholars

The Ohio State University is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Students and Fulbright U.S. Scholars. Each year the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces the top-producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program. The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes the lists annually.

15 scholars and 19 students from Ohio State were awarded Fulbright awards for 2020-2021. Ohio State is among 17 institutions in the country to be named a Top Producer for both the Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar programs.

"We are delighted to see that the colleges and universities we are honoring as 2020-2021 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions reflect the geographic and institutional diversity of higher education in the United States," said Mary Kirk, Director of the Office of Academic Exchange Programs in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. "In supporting their faculty and administrators who pursue Fulbright awards, and supporting faculty advisors who guide their students through the Fulbright application process, these institutions benefit from new viewpoints from abroad and new international collaborations, which often lead to discoveries and breakthroughs that have a global impact. Fulbright U.S. Scholars benefit professionally throughout their careers by expanding the scope and reach of their research and bringing a global perspective to their teaching. Fulbright U.S. Students enrich their educations, advance their careers, and make valuable contributions abroad and at home.  Both Students and Scholars benefit by receiving the professional recognition that comes with being named a Fulbright Student or Fulbright Scholar."

"The fact that the Fulbright Program consistently recognizes so many of our outstanding students and faculty underscores the academic excellence at our university and the drive of our people to make a difference," said Ohio State President Kristina Johnson. "Buckeyes are committed to solving the world's biggest problems, and the opportunity to expand their perspective through global experiences will help them realize that goal by deepening their education and broadening the reach of their scholarship."

The Student Fulbright competition is administered at Ohio State through the Undergraduate Fellowship Office. The office assists all undergraduate Ohio State students interested in pursuing a national scholarship or fellowship. For more information about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, visit or contact The Fulbright Scholar Program is supported at Ohio State through the Office of International Affairs. For more information about the Fulbright Scholar Program, visit or contact Joanna Kukielka-Blaser at  

The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Over 2,200 U.S. Students and over 900 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators are awarded Fulbright grants annually. In addition, some 4,000 Fulbright Foreign Students and Visiting Scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research, or teach their native language.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given over 390,000 passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems. The global network of Fulbrighters fosters mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, advances knowledge across communities, and improves lives around the globe.

The Fulbright scholar and student rankings may be viewed on the Fulbright Top Producing Institutions website.

Apr 09
Student Spotlight: Kennedy Johnstone

2020-09-16 12_16_22.938 - Kennedy Johnstone.jpgKennedy Johnstone is a first-generation college student who found a home and family at The Ohio State University. Now, Johnstone is a graduating senior and looks to the future with hope, equipped with the lessons and love she received at Ohio State.

Why did you choose The Ohio State University?

I chose Ohio State because as soon as I stepped on campus, it felt like home. I got a sudden sense that this was my community, my family, and where I was meant to be. The vibe you get while on campus is unparalleled, and the energy is infectious.

Why did you pick Honors and Scholars?
Honors and Scholars helped me get involved as soon as I arrived on campus, in addition to helping me build a sense of community with similar minded students. Being a first-generation college student, I was really overwhelmed with what college would be like and making friends on campus. I thought being involved in a program like Honors or Scholars would help me transition to college life.

Why did you pick your major?

I chose business with a focus on marketing because I truly enjoy being creative and how words and images affect a consumer's perception of a product or service.
IMG_5472 - Kennedy Johnstone.JPGHow has the Honors and Scholars Program contributed to your college experience?

Honors and Scholars has helped me meet so many amazing people that I am grateful to call my friends and family. I have been able to build a great community as a part of the Humanities Scholars Program. I have gone to cultural events downtown like the Greek Festival, gone on a Chicago trip, attended faculty led discussions about a variety of topics, and even explored different areas of the city of Columbus.

What does #TogetherAsBuckeyes mean to you?

#TogetherAsBuckeyes means playing my part in our collective community to make changes and positive impacts. We are all a part of this community and must do our part to make it a safe and healthy place for everyone to enjoy.

What are your goals and plans for the future?

Right now, I am currently looking for job opportunities since I will be graduating at the end of this semester.

Apr 07
Reflections of a First-Year Buckeye: COVID-19 vaccination and testing updates, graduate program rankings

President Kristina M. Johnson sent the following email to The Ohio State University community on Monday, April 5, 2021.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Spring is finally here! It’s a time to celebrate new beginnings as we shake off winter and embrace the warmth and opportunities of the season. A wide variety of traditions and religions celebrate at this time; whatever your beliefs or practice, I hope you have had – or will have – a joyful and peaceful holiday. 

COVID-19 update, expanded testing, town hall

This spring, of course, is particularly special, as it brings with it hope that we might finally be coming out the other side of the coronavirus pandemic. But even with the positive developments on fast-tracking the distribution of vaccines – an effort in which we are playing a significant role – public health experts stress that we are not out of the woods yet. 

It is imperative that we stay vigilant and keep up with the public health protocols that have gotten us this far – wearing masks, keeping a safe distance from one another, and please keep washing your hands! In addition, I urge everyone who is eligible to sign up for and receive a vaccine to do so as soon as possible. 

As of last week, Ohio is among a group of states that is leading the way in making vaccines available to everyone 16 and older. We are so pleased to have been able to work with the state of Ohio to dedicate 25% of the Wexner Medical Center’s first-dose vaccine allocation to any Ohio State student, faculty or staff member, while maintaining our commitment to our patients and the central Ohio community. Visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website for more information on how to sign up for a dedicated appointment. The Wexner Medical Center administered almost 63,000 vaccine doses in March and gave a single day record-high 3,644 “shots at the Schott” on March 31. We are proud to be a part of the collective effort to end this pandemic and return to the activities we all miss and enjoy. Together, I know we will succeed. 

A reminder: Starting this week, we moved back to our twice-a-week COVID-19 testing protocol for all students. Again, this is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect our campus community and avoid a resurgence of the virus. This also coincided with the end of the second of our two instructional mini-breaks that, as you know, replaced a longer Spring Break due to COVID-19 concerns but also gave community members a chance to take a bit of a breather from academic rigors. I hope you took advantage of these days to fully rest and recharge. 

Finally, don’t forget to sign up for our April 12 Town Hall. Participants should register using their university email address and are encouraged to submit questions in advance. We will hear updates on the state of the virus and vaccinations and from our teams who are hard at work on fall campus reactivation plans. We will also have time for questions, which will again be moderated by Dr. Teresa Long. The town hall will be recorded and posted on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website

Commencement celebrations

We continue to actively plan for our spring commencement – actually, two commencements that are scheduled to be held on May 9, which is rapidly approaching. These will be the first in-person graduation ceremonies we have been able to hold since 2019, though they have been modified to ensure everyone can participate safely in light of ongoing COVID-19 concerns. 

Last week, we announced that commencement will feature four special guests with a diverse set of experiences. The university will welcome Mr. Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, as spring commencement speaker. Mr. Dimon’s remarks will be delivered virtually. Joining Mr. Dimon as speakers will be honorary doctoral degree recipients U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty; veteran NASA astronaut and the first Hispanic woman to go to space, Dr. Ellen Ochoa; and renowned chemical engineer Dr. Robert Langer, a co-founder of the biotech firm Moderna. Read more at Ohio State News

Graduates received an email today with instructions on how to reserve tickets for the ceremonies. More information is available at

I am so looking forward to publicly acknowledging the hard work of our 2021 graduates, and also to the August 8 in-person celebration with spring, summer and autumn 2020 graduates, who had virtual commencement ceremonies as a result of the pandemic. 

You have waited a long time for this moment, Class of 2020. It will be here before you know it! 

Community outreach and engagement

Last Tuesday was National Doctors Day, which was first observed in 1933 to commemorate the first ether anesthetic for surgery administered by Georgia physician Crawford W. Long on March 30, 1842. Then-President George H.W. Bush proclaimed National Doctors Day in 1991 to honor our nation’s many medical professionals. 

It has been a very challenging year for everyone involved in the medical field – especially doctors, who have been on the front lines of battling COVID-19 for over a year now. With this in mind, it was a particular honor last Tuesday for me to virtually visit the College of Medicine, where I was hosted by the dean, Dr. Carol Bradford, and had the opportunity to meet with a number of faculty, students and staff. We discussed the many ways in which health care can help advance the university’s mission to uplift and unlock opportunity for all Ohioans. I thank Dean Bradford and her team for facilitating such great conversations.

Discovery, learning and impact

Entrada Therapeutics, an Ohio State startup, announced the successful completion of a $116 million Series B financing. This biotechnology company is developing new ways of treating devastating diseases by delivering drugs into target cells – formally known as intracellular biologics. Entrada Therapeutics was co-founded by Dr. Dehua Pei, the Charles H. Kimberly Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the company plans to use the funding to advance its research and grow its pipeline of therapeutics. Read more at Ohio State News.

Sixteen of our graduate and professional programs are ranked in the top 10 in their fields in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2022 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools released last week.

Seven colleges have top 10 graduate and professional programs in the latest rankings: the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business (Fisher), Education and Human Ecology, Engineering, Law (Moritz), Nursing, and Public Affairs (John Glenn). U.S. News’ rankings of graduate and professional programs cover just a small portion of the programs offered at Ohio State, and not all programs are ranked each year. Read more at Ohio State News

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Stamatikos, who received the prestigious Bruno Rossi Prize from the American Astronomical Society’s High Energy Astrophysics Division. It is the third time in his career that Dr. Stamatikos has won the award, given annually for a significant contribution to the field with particular emphasis on recent, original work.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has recognized Ms. Trudy Bartley, associate vice president of local government and community relations, with the Regional Leadership Award. The award recognizes individuals who make extraordinary efforts to ensure the future viability of the region’s communities. 

The 15th Annual International Scholar Research Exposition is now available online. The exposition, supported by our Office of Research and Office of International Affairs, showcases exceptional research undertaken by more than 800 of our international visiting scholars. You can watch research-impact videos from 10 finalists on the Office of International Affairs website.

Thank you, Buckeyes, for all that you do. For those of you who observe Passover or Easter, I hope you had a joyous and safe holiday weekend.

Sincerely yours,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD

Apr 02
Student Spotlight: Laura Gaines

DSC_0133_Original - Laura Gaines.jpgLaura Gaines is an Honors student who knew what she wanted from her college experience before she decided to attend The Ohio State University. When Gaines arrived on campus, she found experiences, opportunities, and relationships she never dreamed.

Why did you choose The Ohio State University?

I wanted to work in data analysis and Ohio State was one of the few schools that offered a data analytics major. Combined with the amazing feeling I got when I visited campus, I knew Ohio State was for me.

Why did you pick Honors and Scholars?
I picked Honors and Scholars because I was an AP and Honors student in high school. I really wanted to seek out academic rigor. Also, I loved the advantages of priority scheduling and smaller class sizes. There is also a great community that Honors builds through the residence halls and the programming it puts on.
B984D8C2-7977-497A-BA45-610F066A1663 - Laura Gaines.JPGHow has the Honors Program contributed to your college experience?

I think the biggest contribution Honors has made to my college experience is the relationships I've made. My first experience at Ohio State was an Honors trip through the Outdoor Adventure Center. I met my roommate and boyfriend on that trip. I also work at the Kuhn Honors and Scholars House. My work has consistently been one of my favorite parts of my Ohio State experience. I can't imagine what my time here would've been like if I wasn't able to form these bonds.

What does #TogetherAsBuckeyes mean to you?

#TogetherAsBuckeyes to me means that we all work as Buckeyes, past, present, and future, to practice safe and healthy methods to slow the spread of Covid-19. We are working together to protect one another.

Are there any professors or staff who have helped you?

Dr. Sebastian Kurtek is an absolutely amazing professor. Dr. Kurtek is a great person to talk with about anything, and I've really appreciated being able to go to him for help even after I completed his class. I definitely need to give a shout-out to my wonderful Honors advisor, Joanna Spanos too. She has helped me with so many decisions, made me realize what I need to do for myself, and she genuinely cares for her students. I definitely wouldn't be where I am without her, and I'm so, so grateful for her guidance.

What are your goals and plans for the future?

After graduation, I plan to get a full-time job as a statistician or data analyst, potentially in Columbus.

Mar 31
Ohio State to resume twice-weekly COVID-19 testing for Columbus campus students

President Kristina M. Johnson sent the following email to The Ohio State University community on Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Public health is in a better place than it was during the winter peak, when hospitalizations, deaths and cases from the pandemic skyrocketed. Importantly, anyone 16 and older can now receive a vaccine in Ohio.

There is much reason for optimism. Yet, COVID-19 still poses a threat and we must not allow anything to slow our progress in the fight against the virus. At this moment in the pandemic, it’s important to redouble our efforts so that nothing disrupts our plans for a better summer and fall. 

Today, I’m writing with an update on the state of the pandemic, to ask the university community to hold on until we have reached the finish line, and to announce and explain why we are going to resume twice-a-week testing for both on- and off-campus students in Columbus, starting on Monday, April 5.

The state of the pandemic

The positive developments – especially vaccinations – since the worst of winter are leading toward a path that we all want: a spring re-emergence of in-person activity, including our first in-person commencement since late 2019.

However, several COVID-19 variants are circulating that are more contagious and can cause more serious illness, even among younger people. As is the case nationally and internationally, these variants are trending toward becoming dominant among cases here at the university, including among Columbus campus students. 

The identification of variants on campus was expected, based on activity seen elsewhere and because viruses routinely change through mutation. What can we do to respond? The key is to remain committed to our safe and healthy behaviors that we know will help keep the virus from spreading on campus and in our community. We cannot let our positivity rates, which at this point remain low, increase. 

For us to progress toward a more normal spring, summer and fall, COVID-19 spread must remain low. We all want to go back to a more normal life, but to do so we need to remain diligent by wearing masks, physically distancing, avoiding large gatherings and getting vaccinated. Student testing is another critically important component. 

What you can do to help

These conflicting developments may be confusing: Are we doing better or worse against the virus? While there are more reasons for optimism right now than at any time in the last year, we have to remain vigilant. Many at-risk Ohioans remain unprotected by the vaccine. There are ways for all of us to help as vaccinations continue:

  • Students: Get tested twice a week. Beginning Monday, April 5, Columbus campus students who live on campus, attend in-person classes, visit campus for any reason or interact with other students and campus community members must schedule and complete two COVID-19 tests each week. Students can schedule their weekly appointments via MyChart. Instructions to schedule using MyChart can be found at By increasing testing now, with cases still relatively low, we can prevent another rapid rise of cases. Ohio State’s on-site testing lab has significantly increased capacity this semester. Regional campus students remain eligible for weekly testing; that has not changed. 

  • Everyone: Get vaccinated as soon as possible. You can sign up now on the Wexner Medical Center website, or one of the thousands of locations, big and small, across the state. Check back often for open slots – they are frequently updated. The quickest path back to normality relies on all of us getting vaccinated as soon as possible. Visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website for more information about vaccination, including a link to the state’s search tool. 

  • Everyone: Do not gather with large groups. We want students to take the opportunity to relax during this week’s instructional break, but please do so safely.

  • Everyone: Continue to wear masks properly, over your nose and mouth. Continue to maintain physical distance. Continue to wash your hands frequently. 

The lessons we have learned since March 2020 tell us what is working. We know there was a case increase after the last two-day break, and we can’t afford to repeat that again. We also know increased testing frequency works. Earlier this month, we pushed the seven-day on-campus positivity average from 1.02% to 0.34% in under three weeks. We will continue testing twice a week for the next few weeks in order to suppress positive cases going into commencement. This is just the latest example of the Buckeye community adapting and responding to changing conditions during the last year.

There is a finish line, and though reaching it won’t be a straight line, we can get there with continued Safe and Healthy Buckeye behavior. By being proactive and careful now, just like we have all year, we are more likely to go back to a more normal college life – enjoying commencement with friends and family and, yes, cheering on the Buckeye football team at Ohio Stadium. We can do this – stay safe, and stay together – Together As Buckeyes.

Sincerely yours,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD

Mar 26
Student Spotlight: Kaitlyn Langbein

kaitlyn langbein SeniorPic.jpgKaitlyn Langbein decided to attend The Ohio State University because of the diverse community and endless opportunities. Now, Langbein is looking toward growing her community as she explores new opportunities in graduate school.

Why did you choose The Ohio State University?

I chose to study Spanish at Ohio State because there is a diverse community on and around campus. In addition, Ohio State had endless opportunities for me to explore my interests outside of Spanish. I am able to study a language and culture I enjoy and also take classes to help advance my studies before applying to graduate school.

Why did you pick Honors and Scholars?
I picked Honors and Scholars because I wanted to meet people with a similar passion for learning, but also to find a smaller community within Ohio State. Scholars has provided me with lifelong friends with different backgrounds that share similar a passion.
How has the Honors and Scholars Program contributed to your college experience?

Honors and Scholars has made my college experience one with fewer unknowns than I feel I would have had without this program. I was able to move-in early, explore campus and Columbus with new friends before classes even started. Scholars made making the transition from high school to college much easier.

58BA4DD2-D61D-4949-9802-BFAF8B114924 - Kaitlyn Langbein.jpegWhat does #TogetherAsBuckeyes mean to you?

#TogetherAsBuckeyes to me means that we all work as Buckeyes, past, present, and future, to practice safe and healthy methods to slow the spread of Covid-19. We are working together to protect one another.

Are there any professors or staff who have helped you?

Jenny Kuzmic has helped me immensely through different injuries, commuting issues, group project issues, and just life problems in general.

What are your goals and plans for the future?

My goals and plans for the future are to apply to occupational therapy school and receive my occupational therapy doctorate. I would then like to move to a more predominately Spanish-speaking area to treat patients.

Mar 24
Humanitarian Engineering Scholars Student Selected for Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship

An aerospace engineering student at The Ohio State University has become the first Buckeye to be selected to the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program.

Raghav Bhagwat, a third-year student minoring in aviation, is one of just 30 fellows selected from more than 280 applicants for the 2021 summer internship and executive mentorship program designed to inspire the next generation of commercial spaceflight leaders. His fellowship host company is Intuitive Machines.

Raghav Bhagwat
“I was excited and pleasantly surprised when I got the call from Steve Isakowitz saying that I was selected for the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship,” said Bhagwat. “It felt great knowing that I was chosen for this fellowship alongside such an exceptional group of students.”

Bhagwat learned of the opportunity during his previous internships from fellow interns who had been selected for the program. “I could see the positive impact that the fellowship program had on their professional careers and that inspired me to apply,” he said.

At Intuitive Machines, he’ll spend his 12-week long internship working on propulsion system development and testing of the Nova-C Lunar Lander. Intuitive Machines was selected by NASA as one of its Commercial Lunar Payload Services providers to deliver payloads to the lunar surface in support of NASA’s Artemis Program. This lunar lander will be used to deliver several NASA-sponsored instruments and additional payloads from other customers to the moon in the next several years and has its first flight planned for October 2021.

Fellows also receive one-on-one mentorship from accomplished members of the space community, including astronauts, engineers, entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and others. Bhagwat’s assigned mentor is Pete Worden, chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and former director of NASA Ames Research Center.

Bhagwat said his passion for spaceflight and the current work being done in the industry is two-fold.

“First, it allows us to design technology for, and enable the means for a human presence in the most hostile regions. This will eventually allow us to protect the long-term future of humanity,” he said. “Secondly, I believe that the discoveries made in space have the ability to benefit the daily lives of everyone on Earth.”

He noted that solar panels have improved sustainable energy on the planet, space physiology research has improved everyday healthcare, and space satellites can be used to provide GPS, access the Internet, track climate change and prevent natural disasters.

After completing his fellowship experience, Bhagwat will return to campus to finish his final year of his undergraduate degree. His expected graduation is May 2022. He plans on going to graduate school and pursuing either space propulsion or bioastronautics as an area of focus.

“Although I am the first Ohio State student to earn this fellowship, I highly encourage others who are interested in commercial spaceflight to apply and hope to see more fellows from Ohio State in the coming years,” he said.

Read more about the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program and meet the rest of this year’s cohort.

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications |

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