Scholar Spotlight: Taylor Lonas
From Toledo, Ohio
Political Science, Pre-Law | Legal Foundations Minor
Politics, Society & Law Scholar | Morrill Distinction Scholar
Secretary | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
African American Heritage Festival Co-Chair
Who's Who in Black Columbus 15th Edition
112th Class of SPHINX Senior Honorary
Recently, Taylor Lonas, one of our Morrill Scholars, answered a few questions about her time so far at The Ohio State University and in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Morrill Scholarship Program.
Tell me about your journey to becoming a Buckeye. What role did MSP play in that journey? And how has MSP helped you once you arrived on campus?
I can vividly remember the day I received my acceptance letter to The Ohio State University. As soon as I read the email out loud, my parents started to dance in celebration. It wasn’t until we realized that my tuition would be paid in full by the Morrill Scholarship Program (MSP), that my mother began to cry. I am confident that had it not been for MSP, I would not have spent my undergraduate career at Ohio State. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) for providing me with this invaluable experience. Once I arrived on campus, I became heavily involved with ODI and MSP upon volunteering and finding membership in various organizations housed within the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center. MSP has provided me with mentors, resources, and unwavering support as I have navigated campus and classes throughout the duration of my time here.
What is your major and when do you plan on graduating? Why did you choose that major?
I am studying political science on a pre-law track with plans to graduate in May of 2019. I have always been innately drawn to law, politics, and the discrepancies that can be found in legislation that affects minority communities. I chose to study political science with the goal to better analyze and better understand political and governmental institutions. This knowledge will undoubtedly aid me in my future career as an attorney.
Did you participate in a study abroad experience at Ohio State? If so, when and where did you go? And how did those experience(s) change you?
The summer after my freshman year, I spent 28 days in Merida, Mexico with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. At the time, I was a Spanish minor and wanted to integrate myself into the day-to-day local life to better understand the language. In my sophomore year, I traveled to Toronto, Canada with MUNDO, and during Spring Break of my junior year, I traveled to Bahia, Brazil with ODI and over this upcoming winter break, I will be traveling to Puerto Rico on another MUNDO trip!
As I have traveled somewhat significantly with Ohio State, I now work as a study abroad ambassador for ODI and the Office of International Affairs. I have been incredibly blessed to partake in these experiences and can undoubtedly say that traveling abroad has compelled me to experience growth like never before. I have undergone both a mental and spiritual maturation. Interacting with the native citizens on a daily basis while studying the rich culture and traditions of these countries led me to develop in ways I did not know were possible. I was intellectually fortified via the first-hand exposure to authentic customs while I simultaneously learned more about my own beliefs, customs, and self.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to gain political work experience with the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C. for one year before applying to law schools with an intended entry in autumn of 2020.
Who inspired/inspires you to succeed and why?
My loving parents and my younger sister, Simone, have been my biggest motivators and have continually inspired me to succeed throughout my collegiate career. I am forever indebted to them as they have provided me with support as I have studied, matured, and traveled across the world in these past four years. They remind me of my capabilities and consistently challenge me to use my talents to better my community.
If a high school student asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
I would advise an incoming student to be their best self. In explanation, never heed perceived limitations. Never count yourself out and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. In fact, I was once told to “become comfortable being uncomfortable.” It is the only way to experience growth.
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MiChaela Barker spotlight
Through the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, The Ohio State University and 10 additional Ohio colleges and universities are helping to increase underrepresented student success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. As one of 78 LSAMP scholars on the Ohio State campus, MiChaela Barker has found a community that not only understands her on a cultural level but on an academic level as well. Read more about MiChaela Barker.
Shelly Martin spotlight
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Zaid Hightower spotlight
The spring before Zaid Hightower was ready to begin classes at The Ohio State University, he received an email from the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male, inviting him to attend the Center’s Early Arrival Program (EAP). It was his mother who read the email and told Zaid that he needed to attend the program. Read more about Zaid Hightower.
Maya Prabhu Spotlight
The day in April 2013 that Maya Prabhu received the Morrill Scholarship will forever be etched in her memory. “It was a day of tears, hugs, and – most importantly – empowerment. Since that day, my experiences with the Morrill Scholars Program and the Distinction Scholarship have given me many tools and resources that I know will help me succeed in all areas of my life.” Read more about Maya Prabhu.
Daniel Moussa Spotlight
Daniel Moussa has long been interested in the sciences, and his background in sports has led him to focus on the “silent epidemic” of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which are often the results of sports accidents. “As someone who plays sports, I am aware of the dangers of concussions, which are a type of TBI, and their long-term effects,” Daniel stated. Read more.
Ignacio Munoz Spotlight
After just one week at The Ohio State University, Ignacio Muñoz was confident that he made the right choice when choosing which university to attend. A freshman at Ohio State, Ignacio is proud to be a Buckeye because he knows that the university will provide him with a current platform to build upon all aspects of himself as well as become a future springboard to propel him into his career and adult life. Read more about Ignacio Muñoz.
Rolando Muniz Spotlight
Rolando Muniz always understood the value of and the need for diversity and inclusion. At St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy in Toledo, Rolando was part of the school’s 20/20 Program, which helps underrepresented students by providing financial aid and scholarship opportunities. The program also pays for students' ACT and SAT and college application fees – or any other needed test or document – and provides additional support such as jobs outside of school and volunteering opportunities. Read more about Rolando Muniz.
Demondre Peak Spotlight
Sitting in his AP history course at Gilbert A. Dater High School in Cincinnati, Demondre Peak immediately fell in love with politics and history. From that moment on, he knew that he wanted to obtain a career where he could pursue his love for the art of debate and exchanging ideas. However, choosing a college or university that would develop him to his fullest potential was the first step. Read more about Demondre Peak.
Komal Paradkar Spotlight
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