Graduation is a time to celebrate. Tears of joy are shed, hilarious stories are retold and goodbyes are said.
For three EHE students who will graduate May 10, those enjoyable memories include the impact they have made on the Columbus community, research in their field and even the history of the university.
Comprehensive Human Nutrition program touches many lives
“What can I do to lessen the burden of chronic disease?
This is the question that is leading Stephanie Weaver, of Columbus, down her second career path. Whether she works for clients as a personal trainer and health coach or people in third-world nations who have no nutrition education, Weaver’s passion to make a difference in the lives of others started a decade ago.
“I really fell in love with health and wellness,” she said. “It isn’t just something I do every day, it is who I am.”
Even as she helped others improve their health, she struggled with her own.
Nutrition played a big role in regaining her health – and keeping her that way. The knowledge she gained along the way paved her path to Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology for its Human Nutrition program in dietetics.
Weaver credits Joshua Bomser, an associate professor in the Department of Human Sciences, for fueling her passion for nutrition and inspiring her to want to learn more.
The multidisciplinary nature of human nutrition provided Weaver with the chance to grow her interest in global nutrition, thanks to Assistant Professor Amy Acton from the College of Public Health.
Now that she has completed her dietetic internship, Weaver has just one more step to become a registered dietitian. She plans to conduct a service project in Haiti this summer with the hope of lecturing and teaching nutrition and getting involved at a diabetes program for children. And when the fall hits, Weaver will be right back here at Ohio State to pursue a master’s degree in human nutrition.
Leading Ohio State’s teacher licensure review
“She was truly unbelievable in supporting our efforts.”
Erica Brownstein, assistant dean of educator preparation, could not say enough kind words about graduate-to-be Carolyn Kaplan, a doctoral student in foreign and second language education.
“She was crucial to our university successfully passing the NCATE review process,” Brownstein said.
When the National Council for the Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) visits an institution, teamwork is mandatory for the success of the organization’s rigorous evaluation of licensure programs. Kaplan was integral to Ohio State’s triumph.
Known for having an especially detail-oriented approach, Kaplan was the perfect choice to become a student leader for the team.
The Akron, Ohio, native assisted the EHE Office of Educator Preparation in assembling the whopping 8,500-page (and 224 attachments) initial NCATE report. With more than 240 interviewees participating in the review, Kaplan kept track of the logistics.
In addition to the college’s Department of Teaching and Learning, Ohio State’s suite of 46 licensure programs includes the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Social Work and Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as well all five of the university’s campuses. Kaplan managed the communication between all of these units.
“We wouldn’t have been able to make it without her system-wide thinking, dedication and collaborative nature,” said Brownstein.
Kaplan’s work was appreciated so much that they’ve hired her as a postdoctoral researcher. She’ll be joining the office eight days after graduation.
Building a legacy of community
Before doctoral candidate Zhiru Sun entered the Educational Technology program, graduate students in her field didn’t have a way to stay connected with their peers.
In 2014, Sun created the Educational Technology Graduate Student Council and has served as president since the student organization’s inception.
“It’s a way for students in our program to stay connected to those who are going through the exact same thing,” she said.
She’s led the coordination of campus tours for prospective students, visits to the Columbus Zoo with students’ families and professional development information sessions to benefit students after graduation.
The native of Shanxi, China, also uses the Educational Technology Graduate Student Council to add a sense of community. As the communication chair, she encourages students to share their research ideas and build collaborations among the 12 program areas of the Department of Educational Studies. Nominated by faculty members, the council members are tasked with bridging the gap between the different programs.
“Our programs are not as different as they seem on the surface,” she said. “This organization recognizes all students and helps them build connections.”
After graduation, Sun aims to secure a faculty appointment.
“As a faculty member, I’ll be able to make even more of an impact on connection, within my pool of graduate students.”