Meet our President’s Club Scholars

Your support of academics, health sciences, and the arts opens a world of possibilities for Ohio State students. Here, President’s Club scholars share how the generosity of donors has helped to open doors to opportunities that may not have been possible.

Alfred Yates

Alfred Yates
Majors: Mathematics and Communication
Hometown: Sunbury, Ohio

I am having the time of my life. Every day, I am more proud of our university and of being a Buckeye. Thanks to all of the opportunities available at Ohio State, I have learned a great deal about math and communication, as well as the world, and who I am. I am grateful for the scholarship I have received through the President’s Club, and the generous and passionate Buckeyes who have helped me along the way.

I have the pleasure and honor of being the executive director of Pay It Forward, a group connecting students to community agencies and opportunities to increase the impact of students engaged in service and volunteerism at Ohio State. I am excited every day for the experiences I have as a student at Ohio State. I have been accepted to the specialized master’s program in finance at the Fisher College of Business, where I will continue to develop as a leader, an engaged citizen, and an aspiring entrepreneur before I pursue a position that allows me to help improve the non-profit community in Columbus. I hope to change the world one day by revolutionizing the non-profit sector. As Woody Hayes charged fellow members of our Buckeye family in his 1986 Commencement Speech, I plan to pay it forward for the rest of my life.

But for Ohio State, I would not have met my closest friends. I would not have become the student leader I am today or realized my greatest passions. But for Ohio State, I would not be who I am today—motivated by an unparalleled education with top-notch faculty, inspired by my peers and the alumni before me, and equipped with the skills to be a leader.

Emily DeDonato

Emily DeDonato
Majors: Biology
Hometown: Maumee, Ohio

When I came to Ohio State, I was astonished by the diversity of the student population. I quickly learned that everyone had a different background, outlook, and story to tell. Excited and intrigued, I actively looked for ways that I could reach out and get to know as many people as possible. I joined several student groups and took part in campus activities, yet I didn’t realize all that Ohio State has to offer until the end of my sophomore year.

My realization began when I decided to run for vice president of undergraduate student government (USG). During our two-week campaign on my road to the vice presidency, my running mate and I met with roughly five student organizations each day and listened to concerns, thoughts, and opinions. The student organizations differed in interests and backgrounds, ranging from the Filipino Student Association, to the College Democrats and College Republicans, to the Rubix Cube Club. I vowed that, once elected, I would continue the USG administration’s active involvement with the plethora of student organizations. USG plays a large role in helping many student organizations fund and organize campus events. As vice president, I tried my best to attend all the events I could including Muslim culture at Buckeye Mala, a festival put on by the Muslim Student Association; “Taking Back the Night,” a rally organized by Women and Allies Rising in Resistance; and a Black Student Association forum held after hate crimes were committed on our campus. These events and countless others helped me to more fully appreciate the university.

My scholarship from the President's Club lets me be actively involved without the need for a job while in school. Because of this, I have maintained a high GPA and am engaged in student government, undergraduate research, and various service opportunities. I will enroll at Ohio State’s College of Medicine this fall and hope to pursue research while in medical school. I have shadowed an emergency medicine physician and I may pursue this area in the future.

But for Ohio State, I would not have had the opportunity to learn from and work with so many different and interesting individuals. My Ohio State experiences have helped me expand my way of thinking and gain a better understanding for tolerance, collaboration, and consideration. I look forward to another four years at Ohio State.

Mike Lemon

Mike Lemon
Major: Industrial Design
Hometown: Towson, Maryland

But for Ohio State, I would never have been able to research how design can be used for social good.

As an industrial designer, I am captivated by aesthetic form, innovative function, and inventive ideas. While many in my field are drawn toward applying these interests to high tech electronics and consumer goods, my aspirations lie in using design as a tool for social good. The scholarship I receive through the President’s Club has made it possible for me to follow this uncommon path and conduct design research in rural Nepal next summer. I will be staying with a host family for an extended period before trekking the remote Everest province, looking for ways where design can improve the quality of life in this impoverished region.

The support I have received has made my projects financially and logistically possible, with mentors in my department and the Honors Collegium advising me along the way. I can truly say that Ohio State has made my dream of working in social design a reality in a way that no other institution could.

Greg Kemper

Greg Kemper
Major: Microbiology
Minor: Public Health
Hometown: Allentown, Pennsylvania

But for Ohio State, I would not have discovered my interest in medicine and future career path. My goal is to become a surgeon and network with health clinics in third-world countries to help them run clinics efficiently and locate any needed resources and funding.

Ohio State offers a level of research that surpasses many other universities. I have been involved with research since middle school and appreciate that Ohio State has so many resources and opportunities. In the midst of a large campus, there are ways to become a part of a tight knit community, such as the Honors Collegium. The many student organizations also appealed to me. I am currently the chair of local volunteering for the Global Health Initiative and help to organize clinics and other opportunities.

Thanks to my President's Club scholarship, I am able to study at Ohio State and meet many great people. As soon as I arrived on campus, I met two biological sciences professors who helped me feel comfortable and connect to other professors they respected. I am making connections through my advisers, fellow students, and other faculty members.

This interaction has helped me to target my interest in microbiology and interact with professors in these areas at other universities. I also found an outstanding cancer research opportunity where I work directly in the research field. Without the President’s Club scholarship, I would not have been able to find or pursue these amazing opportunities at Ohio State.


The But for Ohio State campaign is a $2.5 billion fundraising endeavor that invites those who believe in Ohio State to invest in our students, our faculty, and our potential.

*Gifts through April 30, 2016


—Kristin Ann Miller