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Buckeyes expand their horizons

October 04, 2018

These students took their Ohio State experience to distant lands and new frontiers.

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Megan Edelman

Fourth-year in communications

One evening, Megan Edelman found herself having dinner at the U.S Ambassador to Canada’s residence, talking to different political figures — including U.S. senators — while interning in Canada.

Edelman, a fourth-year in communications, was a part of the Canadian Parliament Internship, a five-week program that allowed students to work in the office of a Member of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. Her time in Canada consisted of writing and editing material sent to the Member’s Riding, writing a press release about herself and shadowing a member of parliament. “It felt like the work I had done mattered and was important,” Edelman said.

While Canada was hosting the G7 summit, she saw French President Emmanuel Macron meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

During her weekends, Edelman went canoeing, hiking, exploring Ottawa and even traveling to Quebec City. “I learned I was much more independent than I thought,” she said. “I was able to branch out of my comfort zone.”

Stephen Budweg

Second-year in hydraulic power and motion control

Not many college students get the keys to a $44 million rollercoaster, but Stephen Budweg did while interning at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Budweg worked the night shift at the amusement park this summer, repairing and inspecting rollercoasters, including the Millennium Force and The Maverick. This was the first time Budweg, a second-year in hydraulics and power machines, got experience working with the theme park side of hydraulics.

From working on smaller rides to eventually being in charge of his own rollercoaster to inspect, Budweg said this internship has opened doors for him.

“My biggest takeaway was how that industry works and the connections I’ve made there,” said Budweg, a student at Ohio State's Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio. “I’ve made connections with not only [Cedar Point] but the rest of the Cedar Fair Parks. 

“It gave me a better idea of what I want to move forward with after I graduate.”

Fikunmi Idowu

Fourth-year in industrial and systems engineering

Fikunmi Idowu traveled to Akokwa, Ghana, joining a group of Ohio State students at an orphanage where they tutored children, got water from a nearby river and assisted with other chores. The experience also enabled her to tour Elmina Castle, a former slave-trading post in Cape Coast and learn more about Ghanian history.

“I learned so much about Ghanian culture and also myself,” Idowu said. “I also discovered another side of Ohio State from meeting the people I went on this service trip with.”

The trip was part of a Buck-I-SERV initiative, and funded in part by a fellowship she received from the Second-year Transformational Experience Program. After her trip, Idowu said she has a different outlook when it comes to volunteering, and is eager to continue helping and connecting with those in need. 

“For me, I always want to make service a part of my life,” she said. “People give to you and you should give back to your community.”

Adrian Niedermann

Third-year in international studies and Romance studies

Adrian Niedermann used his double major in international studies and Romance studies to intern abroad for Proglobal, an agricultural product wholesaler, in Argentina.

Niedermann, whose focus is Spanish, Portuguese and Italian languages, worked to translate Proglobal’s online materials and website in Spanish and English[HP1] .

“The biggest takeaway was gaining crucial practice with my Spanish,” Niedermann said. “As much as I can practice it in class and with my family in the States, nothing compares to actually living in a country where they speak a different language.”

While abroad he was able to travel to other countries and cities in Latin America, including Chile and Buenos Aires. One weekend, he traveled to visit his grandmother who lives in Brazil. 

“It was really cool to practice Portuguese and carry on conversations in Portuguese with my grandma and her friends,” Niedermann said.

Nathan Baker

Third-year in psychology

The second floor of the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus is where Nathan Baker has spent time conducting research in Ohio State’s Language Sciences Research Lab, part of COSI’s Labs in Life exhibit.

Working alongside Ohio State researchers, Baker, a third-year in psychology at Ohio State Marion, analyzed the way people process and learn language by performing hands-on demonstrations with the public and conducting interviews after. In the future, Baker said he wants to pursue a career in industrial psychology, and getting experience with research as an undergraduate student will help that goal.

“It gave me a lot of experience with designing interviews and conducting experiments,” Baker said. “My project was specifically on learning in a lot of ways and I think that ties in directly to what I want to focus on.”

Baker received a $4,000 fellowship from the Office of Undergraduate Research, allowing him to conduct his language research. “Normally, I’d have to work three different jobs in completely unrelated fields to pay for college over the summer,” Baker said. “The chance to have funding while doing something that’s important to me and in my area of interest was huge.”

Nick Payiatis

Fourth-year in marketing

Not every internship has desks with treadmills, foosball tables or unlimited Coca-Cola products. But for Nick Payiatis, a fourth-year in marketing, this was just another day at the office.

For two months, Payiatis worked as a data strategy and analyst intern for the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. In his role, he was responsible for analyzing Coke’s consumer data.

“It was really the culmination of doing hands-on work and understanding how data analytics can translate into the marketing world and the future of technology,” said Payiatis, who connected with the opportunity through a Fisher College of Business Career Fair. 

Not only does he say he learned valuable skills he couldn’t have elsewhere, but Payiatis said the company culture encouraged growth. “They wanted me to be better, not only during my internship, but preparing me for after the internship and entering the job force.”

Michael Lee

Fourth-year in mechanical engineering

Michael Lee conducted research for three months at a top German university by working with cold spray, a technology used to coat surfaces of metals with particles of other metals.

Lee was one of 13 Ohio State students to receive a DAAD RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) fellowship that allowed him to conduct research with a PhD student from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in Germany 

At Ohio State, Lee studies mechanical engineering and has focused on material property analysis. But this summer, he gained experience with physical systems in manufacturing, a field related to his interests.

“I think the experience [in Germany] is going to lead to a smooth transition when I decide to eventually go corporate and join a company,” Lee said.

While Lee’s weekdays were mostly spent in the lab, he was able to travel almost every weekend visiting cities in Germany such as Frankfurt and Berlin and venturing outside the country to Paris and London. “Being able to [live and travel abroad] alone for the first time was a great thing and I feel a lot stronger from that,” Lee said.

Carra Gilson

Fourth-year in public health

Carra Gilson found the perfect intersection for her major in public health and minor in Spanish during a nine-week trip to Heredia, Costa Rica, through the International Studies Abroad program“Heredia, Costa Rica: Spanish Language and Latin American Culture.”

During the first five weeks, Gilson took Spanish classes at a local private school and was able to complete her Spanish minor. She continued the next five weeks in a service learning program where she worked in a nursing home and then a private clinic, finishing her public health capstone experience. 

Gilson was a recipient of the Wolfe Study Abroad scholarship, which she said allowed her to continue for the four-week service learning portion of the trip.

“I made so many incredible connections and not just with people but connections to the public health field and in a global mindset,” Gilson said. “I am so excited to bring back [those experiences] to graduate school classes and my undergraduate classes that I’m finishing and hopefully future work opportunities too.”

Katie Andraschko

Fourth-year in social work

Since her freshman year at Ohio State, Katie Andraschko has volunteered at Camp Oty’Okwa in Hocking Hills, Ohio, helping at-risk youth and children who have been victims of violent crimes. 

Andraschko was a unit leader and responsible for all girl campers and counselors. She said her goal was to build confidence and help the girls, who range in age from 5 to 17, feel powerful.

Andraschko, who wants to work with children who are victims of trauma, said volunteering has taught her patience and de-escalation tactics among other skills that will assist her in the future. “I think the summer was the best training I could have ever gotten,” Andraschko said.

Andraschko said giving the kids one week of childhood is the most rewarding to her and has kept her coming back for the past three years. “I couldn’t imagine my life without volunteering,” Andraschko said. “I think that it has forever changed my life and it is just something that you have to try out.”

Divya Krishnagiri

Third-year in biomedical engineering

Divya Krishnagiri, a third-year in biomedical engineering, worked as a research assistant at the Rehabilitation Technology and Haptics Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, this summer.

At the VCU Rehabilitation Technology and Haptics Lab, she worked with a researcher to create devices for individuals with visual impairments. Specifically, Krishnagiri worked on making a design program called Solidworks accessible to those who are blind or have a visual impairment.

Krishnagiri, who is co-president of the Biomedical Engineering Society at Ohio State, found the research position when she spoke to researchers from VCU at a Biomedical Engineering Society conference. Soon after, she was offered the research position.

“It solidifies my desire to be a PhD student; it gave me an idea of what it was like being in a lab for that amount of time,” Krishnagiri said. “It made me realize I could do it for five to six years if I want to get my PhD.

Emily Feltz

Fourth-year in political science

Emily Feltz studied abroad in Ireland and Jordan for three months on the Foundation for International Education’s programConflict and the Struggle for Peace: Explorations in Ireland and the Middle East.”

The first part of the trip was spent in Dublin, Ireland, studying peace and conflict theory, using the Northern Ireland Conflicts as a case study. The second portion of the trip was in Amman, Jordan, using the skills learned in Ireland to look at regional conflicts in the Middle East. Feltz also spent four weeks in an intensive Arabic language class.

“I want to work in diplomacy, and you can study these conflicts from the United States, but it’s hard to fully understand the environment and the people involved in them unless you are talking to them or seeing it all in person,” Feltz said. 

Feltz, a fourth-year in political science, said because one her instructors was a Jordanian ambassador to Israel, she was able to visit the Israeli Embassy in Jordan and speak to the ambassador.  “It’s a great experience to get to [ask questions to the ambassador] yourself and not just read about it,” Feltz said.

Jess Calo

Third-year in public health

Jess Calo, a third-year in public health, spent eight weeks interning with Doctor Care Anywhere, a digital health care platform, in London, England.

Calo found the internship with Doctor Care Anywhere through Fisher College of Business’ Summer Global Internship Program, which helped match her with internships that fit her interests. 

During her internship, she worked with the National Health Service development team working with the government to launch a pilot program through the public health system in England.

“I thought this was a really great opportunity to make a connection within business and get the experience in an actual office place rather than only doing public-health-based things,” Calo said.