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Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program


This is a creative space updated occassionally with program news as well as short reflection posts by the Fellows. Posts will reflect on current activities and events happening in the Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program. 

  • A Word from the Wise - Fardowsa Dahir

    03/8/21 by Staff

    What is the best piece of advice a mentor or mentor figure has given you? How has this advice impacted your life, decisions, and/or goals?

    The age difference between me and my oldest sister is nearly a decade. For years, I took this for granted. That me and the third-born made up a younger unit and our two oldest sisters made up their own. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I was born into a family of friends, trailblazers, cheerleaders and mentors. Better than any words they could string together, their example was eloquence in motion. They taught me to be fearless in my ambition, dedicated to the causes that move my heart, and to hunker down and do the hard work even when I didn’t feel like it.

  • A Word from the Wise - Tabitha Willis

    03/1/21 by Staff

    What is the best piece of advice a mentor or mentor figure has given you? How has this advice impacted your life, decisions, and/or goals?

    The best advice a mentor has given me was on the topic of complacency. A lot of things in life are about luck. There’s always someone who’s worked harder or smarter than you. Just because you’re the winner today doesn’t mean you’ll be the winner tomorrow. This has always stuck with me and pushed me to always be self improving and never be complacent in success because nothing is ever guaranteed to you.

  • A Word from the Wise - Shanvanth Arnipalli

    02/22/21 by Staff

    What is the best piece of advice a mentor or mentor figure has given you? How has this advice impacted your life, decisions, and/or goals?

    A faculty mentor that I look up to is my biomedical nutrition lab advisor, Dr. Ouliana Ziouzenkova. I joined Dr. Ziouzenkova’s lab back in April this year and it has been quite the experience. The best piece of advice she has given me was to not back down or be scared away from an opportunity because of the steep learning associated with it. Her lab's focus is mostly outside of what I learn in my major and adapting to thinking outside the box for my work in this lab was not easy. There was a struggle at the beginning, as is with any new experience, however, I admired her patience and all time and effort she invested into my understanding and learning to succeed in this lab. This was a major catalyst for my ventures in academia because it lit a spark of ambition that continues to grow over time. It completely restructured my self-confidence and the way I approach my work both in and out of class. Because of this advice, I challenged myself to explore research solely outside of my field of study. I am majoring in Environmental Science with a specialization in Molecular Science on the pre-med track. My lab research work focuses are in biomedical nutrition and developmental psychology, and I am currently writing my undergraduate thesis on parental metaemotion and practices towards child socialization goals shaped by environmental sociological imagination through my psychology lab. The research in the biomedical nutrition lab focuses on fundamental pathways regulating metabolic responses and examines their relevance for the development of the metabolic syndrome. Whereas my work in the developmental psychology lab focuses on the role of familial context and parental characteristics, in young children’s socioemotional development, more specifically, socialization of children’s emotion regulation. Through my work in the biomedical nutrition lab, I co-authored two publications, one regarding the consequence of antibiotics and the other discussing the osmotic and hemostatic collapses in the human body due to COVID-19.

  • Finding Hope Amongst the Chaos - Aayushi Chandra

    01/11/21 by Staff

    There were many things my dad cultivated in himself and in others, but two things specifically: kindness and joy. 

    He said kindness was always an option and a choice in opposition to anything else. Kindness is never fleeting and can be deliberately and intentionally cultivated. Although my dad was unable to speak or move for most of his hospitalization, his generosity brought tears to the staff’s eyes wherever he was. His forms of appreciation are not hard to carry out, but require careful attention.

  • BLF x Olive Leadership Challenge Recap

    12/8/20 by Staff

    This semester, our ’22 Fellows partnered with Olive, a healthcare technology company, to collaborate on the Autumn 2020 Leadership Challenge. Olive, which has recently attained unicorn status with a $1.5B valuation, is home to BLF Program Alum, Nick Eifel ’18 and Kylen Bailey ’19 who provided leadership and guidance for the program’s first Alumni led challenge.

  • Finding Hope Amongst the Chaos - Nikhil Desai

    11/23/20 by Staff

    COVID-19 has impacted me in many ways. Initially, like most Americans, I did not understand the severity of the virus and downplayed the potential impact it would have. As transmission rates and cases began to increase, I realized that the virus was much more serious than I had imagined. As time passed, my frustration grew; politicians were not listening to expert scientists that have dedicated their lives to understanding and handling national health crises. Instead of empowering experts, we decided to turn this pandemic into a political matter, and unfortunately, Americans have paid the price. In addition to incompetent leadership, our country has failed frontline workers who risk their lives every day as servants to their community. We sent doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals into high-risk situations without providing them with the necessary PPE and safety equipment to stay safe and do their job effectively; this is like sending front line soldiers into battle without guns and ammunition. Unfortunately, fatality is inevitable.