When Ohio State grads get their diplomas May 5, they'll have a star speaker: President Barack Obama. Obama is the third sitting president to address Ohio State grads, joining President George W. Bush in 2002 and President Gerald Ford in 1974. (More facts about commencement.)
Before they graduated, some members of the Class of 2013 took a minute to welcome Obama to campus--and tell him how Ohio State grads will change the world. (See more about the grads in the video.)
Read on for some Class of 2013 highlights:
Garnering big kudos: As an undergrad, Alex Chaitoff worked to bring clean water to developing nations. His work is recognized beyond Ohio State: he's been awarded both Marshall and Truman scholarships. He'll go to the University of Sheffield in England, for a Master's of Public Health, then med school in the United States. (More about Ohio State students' prestigious awards.)
Solving major problems: Many members of the Class of 2013 have already started tackling global challenges. Chibuokem Amuneke-Nze wants to use his chemistry background to create alternative fuels. Biochemistry major Zachary Bittinger has studied how to cure HIV. And Michelle Beres, an agribusiness major, got children involved in community gardens--piquing a new generation's interest in sustainable, healthy eating.
Improving the world: Ohio State students are big on service. Last summer, Becky Fussner spent a month in Ghana, volunteering at an orphanage. Her next project is closer to home: she'll be working with elementary school students in Indianapolis through Teach for America.
Creating Ohio's future: Ohio State grads are making the state a better place. Two examples: nursing grad Rachel Creevy, who has a job at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and Luke Sobota (electrical and computer engineering), soon to be a research engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base's Air Force Research Lab. (Buckeye bragging point: Forbes recently listed the College of Engineering as one of "25 College Diplomas with the Highest Pay.")
Overcoming huge obstacles: As a young child, Neil Knight was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome--and looked to science to understand the brain and the disorder. Knight graduates as an honors student with a degree in molecular genetics; he starts medical school this fall.