The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Special Report But for Ohio State Campaign

Broadening his world view

‘You’re going to another country, and it’s a big step.’ — Senior Camaren Williams

Camaren Williams

Camaren Williams wasn’t at Ohio State long before he realized he wanted to personally experience more of the world. But how best to do that?

Growing up in East Cleveland, Williams didn’t know many people who left his city, much less the country. But the senior earth sciences major wasn’t letting that stop him when he stepped on a plane and became the first person in his family to leave America.

“You’re going to another country, and it’s a big step,” Williams said, recalling that first study abroad trip to London. “I was nervous and excited, but I got acclimated after a few days, and I began to really like it.”

The journey was followed by another — to Morocco — to spend time with a host family and immerse himself in the culture of the largely Muslim country in North Africa.

“Having the experience of truly being an outsider in another culture was very interesting,” Williams said. “It gave me a new perspective, particularly on the backlash against Islam and Muslims in our country right now.”

His travels have broadened his point of view and helped him think more globally. Today, that may mean tuning in the BBC or seeking out international students to learn more about their home countries.

Williams has earned multiple scholarships, including one from the Keith and Linda Monda International Experience Scholarships Fund, which helped make possible his travels.

International viewpoints also have reached Williams through his work as a host for President Michael V. Drake’s office. In their capacity as presidential hosts, students attend special events and assist and converse with guests.

The role recently gave Williams the opportunity to meet Prince Albert II of Monaco, who visited Ohio State this fall to learn more about the university’s sustainability practices.

Williams made the rounds with Prince Albert as he visited with students and faculty to discuss projects such as designing and building electric cars.

As Williams considers a career working on environmental issues such as water quality, he’s glad he made the switch to earth sciences.

“I want to work in a science that gives me a chance to have a direct impact on a community or a population,” he said. “Earth sciences gives you more opportunities to do a variety of things since it’s so broad.”

No matter where Williams lands in his career, he’ll have his passport handy. (“I have a list in my room of countries I want to go to,” he said.)

Next up? Maybe Germany or Brazil or somewhere in Asia. And truth be told, every continent is on his long-term list.