Page content

What I Did This Spring

April 01, 2012

Plenty of Ohio State students spend their spring break having fun in the sun. But for others, the end of March means service trips and study abroad opportunities.


Sarah Almusbahi - London, England
Ashley Bailes - Athens, Greece
Ashley Bailes - Athens, Greece
Ashley Bailes - Athens, Greece
Jacob Bogart - Haiti
Jacob Bogart - Haiti
Jaocb Bogart - Haiti
Jacob Bogart - Haiti
Jacob Bogart - Haiti
Jacob Bogart - Haiti
Jacob Bogart - Haiti
Jacob Bogart - Haiti
Michelle Brzoska - Buck-I-Serv in Myrtle Beach
Michelle Brzoska - Buck-I-Serve in Myrtle Beach
Michelle Brzoska - Buck-I-Serve in Myrtle Beach
Michelle Brzoska - Buck-I-Serv in Myrtle Beach
Danielle Capetillo - Rome
Danielle Capetillo - Rome
Danielle Capetillo - Rome
Deborah Lan - Buck-I-Serv in Stone Mountain, Georgia
Hannah McNamara - Dominican Republic
Hannah McNamara - Dominican Republic
Kyle Nappi - WWII historical tour of four Pacific islands
Kyle Nappi - WWII historical tour of four Pacific islands
Daniel Shank - Congressional Visits Day in Washington, D.C.
Kyle Nappi - WWII historical tour of four Pacific islands
Shiyuan Tian - Habitat for Humanity in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Shiyuan Tian - Habitat for Humanity in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Shiyuan Tian - Habitat for Humanity in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Shiyuan Tian - Habitat for Humanity in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Tom Zajdel - Honduras


Sarah Almusbahi

Majors: Biology, International Studies

Sarah Almusbahi

"I traveled to London over spring break with MUNDO. We volunteered to help with a soup kitchen at a local church, visited the British League of Muslims, went to a primary school outside London to talk with an extremely diverse group of students, and even had the opportunity to witness Parliament in action! We witnessed the disparity between the social and economic classes when we visited less publicized parts of London. Study abroad helps us, as students and individuals, to become better global citizens--which is imperative to the prosperity of society."


Ashley Bailes

Major: Sociology

Ashley Bailes

"A group of about 30 honors students traveled to Athens, Greece. We stayed in a hotel outside the Acropolis and explored Greece for about 10 days. We saw museums, the islands of Hydra and Aegina, and the ruins of Mycenae and Delphi. Greece is so different than the United States and in just a short amount of time, we were able to capture its grandeur. It's so important to study abroad because you can see a different side of the world, which can teach you so much about people, culture, history, and yourself."


Jacob Bogart

Majors: Globalization Studies, French

Jacob Bogart

"I traveled to Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, with the Haiti Empowerment Project. I am interested in studying non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and their impact on tent communities in rural Haiti. Through this trip, I was able to meet with and interview community leaders, school directors, and NGO representatives. These interviews are integral to the research thesis I will complete this summer. I also was exposed to Haitian culture and language through interaction with students and community members. As a group, we reflected every night on our experience in Haiti, which greatly enhanced my experience and transformed how I view service."


Michelle Brzoska

Major: City and Regional Planning

Michelle Brzoska

"I went on a Buck-I-Serv trip to Myrtle Beach and worked with Horry County Habitat for Humanity. We sheeted a roof and installed windows and siding. We also worked on a house that became run down because it was turned into a drug house. We stripped the inside, which included throwing away the many personal belongings that were left behind. This house will be renovated and given to a new family. Working with the volunteers of Horry County HFH was the most memorable part. They were all retired and it was inspiring to see that they spent their retirement helping others."


Danielle Capetillo

Major: Exercise Science

Danielle Capetillo

"This trip was part of Classics 656, about the topography of Ancient Rome. Eleven students went with two professors to Rome for eight days, exploring ruins, sites, and museums. Part of my decision to come to Ohio State was because I knew I would have opportunities here that other schools couldn't offer. The short term study abroad program was great because, although I knew I wanted to see other countries, I would miss my family and friends too much to study abroad for a whole quarter. This was an awesome way to learn about another culture and about myself."


Deborah Lan

Major: Biology

Deborah Lan

"I helped lead a group of Buck-I-Serv participants to Stone Mountain, Georgia, to volunteer at the International Community School and Refugee Family Services. We spent the days tutoring and mentoring a variety of refugee children. We also explored Centennial Park, had dinner with alumni, watched a Cleveland Cavaliers game, and learned what it truly means to be a part of Buckeye Nation. Two high points were reading my favorite childhood book to kindergarteners, and listening to 'Hang on Sloopy' on the way back from the game. Passersby yelled 'O-H!' and others responded 'I-O!!' So much Buckeye pride!"


Hannah McNamara

Major: Human Development and Family Science

Hannah McNamara

"I went to La Victoria, Dominican Republic. I am an active member of the non-profit organization Seeds of Hope for La Victoria. Seeds of Hope (SOH) works with 15 single-parent families in the impoverished city of La Victoria. SOH has been traveling to La Victoria for 13 years now. We teach first-aid, nutrition, and general well-being classes to the mothers. We bring a month's supplies of groceries to each family, as well as clothes and shoes to the children. We also refurbish houses and churches in the local community."


Eric Moyer

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Eric Moyer

"Seven other undergraduate engineering students and myself, all members of Solar Education and Outreach, traveled with the Haiti Empowerment Project for the second consecutive year to Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. This time we worked together with electrical engineering students from the Université Caraïbe to gain experience installing sustainable solar panel technology to benefit a high school in rural Haiti. The state-of-the-art solar panels powered lighting in every classroom with additional electricity left over. The weeklong adventure not only submersed us in Caribbean culture, but it also forged lifelong connections and led to a truly unforgettable experience."


Kyle Nappi

Major: History

Kyle Nappi

"I took a course focused on the history of WWII in the Pacific developed by history professors Peter Hahn and Peter Mansoor. They led us on a tour of four Pacific islands. The tour was arranged in partnership with the Greatest Generations Foundation. Eight students were individually paired with a World War II veteran. We walked on the 1944 landing beaches of Asan, Guam; saw the two atomic bomb pits on Tinian; stood atop the infamous 'Suicide Cliff' on Saipan; and walked towards Mt. Suribachi, on top of the black volcanic ash on Iwo Jima. All were humbling, honorable experiences."


Adam Pendleton

Major: Veterinary Medicine

Adam Pendleton

"My partner and I competed in the two-man draft shoe class at the American Farrier Association's (AFA) National Championship, and we placed fourth. During the competition the team had to make horseshoes to a set of specifications for a certain horse and then attach them to the horse's hooves--all within the allotted time. I was designated as a certified journeyman farrier right after high school graduation, one of the youngest ever. The journeyman farrier distinction is the AFA's highest certification, and is only granted once a farrier completes a series of exams."


Daniel Shank

Major: Aerospace Engineering

Daniel Shankn

"I attended Congressional Visits Day (CVD) in Washington, D.C., to represent the interests of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) with fellow students and professionals in the aerospace industry. We met with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and one of his staff members to teach them the importance of the aerospace industry. Then we had coffee with Ohio Senator Rob Portman. One evening all the AIAA CVD teams got together for a cocktail party to spend time hanging out. Overall CVD went very well and our information was taken well by the congressmen."


Leonard Swedarsky

Major: MBA, Strategy and Global Business Management

Leonard Swedarsky

"I traveled to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil, with the Fisher i4 program. With all the focus on Brazil worldwide, it was great to get exposed to how business is conducted there and to present consulting recommendations to our Brazilian client. I also had the opportunity to get off the beaten path and utilize my Portuguese by speaking with locals. I spoke with a 14-year-old selling candy on the street, residents in a favela, and a nice employee at a restaurant. This provided me with unique learning opportunities to understand the social and economic challenges Brazilians are faced with everyday."


Shiyuan Tian

Major: Accounting

Shiyuan Tian

"I led a team of 15 students from FisherCARES to participate in the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge. We spent seven days in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, working on the construction of a house. We felt lucky to get involved and have the opportunity to make changes and give back to the community. We completed a variety of tasks such as framing walls, hanging drywall and siding, installing insulation, electrical work, and landscaping. It was a meaningful and memorable experience for the whole team."


Katherine Wenner

Major: Animal Science

Katherine Wenner

"I had the opportunity to serve as a Collegiate Facilitator at the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. As a facilitator, my main responsibilities included teaching young leaders about citizenship and especially guiding a small group in preparing and presenting a briefing on healthy eating and living to the United States Department of Agriculture. I had the privilege to meet Second Lady Jill Biden and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and attended an assembly with them. While teaching youth leaders I personally learned a lot about leadership and citizenship."


Tom Zajdel

Majors: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Tom Zajdel

"I traveled to Choluteca in Southern Honduras with a group of engineering students and advisers to build several different alternative energy projects at a vocational school. We worked with local mechanics and electricians to build a small-scale wind generator from scrap metal and PVC to illuminate a tool shed. We also installed a solar panel array to run an aquaponics system that grows fish and plants simultaneously, and welded together a bicycle-powered battery charger that generates power using a disused car alternator. These projects are models for low-cost sustainable energy systems that could be implemented in third-world countries."