Current Scholar Spotlight: Carly Sobol

carly solol with hands raised in the air on mountain topGrowing up in a small community in Dayton, Ohio, Carly Sobol was fortunate to receive a great education, be surrounded by inspiring individuals, and have a strong family unit. “My family was one of a few Jewish families in the neighborhood. I learned at a young age the value of tradition and the challenges that come with being unique. I loved explaining my heritage to friends and learning more about theirs.”

Her family also played a role in what she is studying at The Ohio State University. A recipient of the university’s Morrill Scholarship – given to students who show commitment to both academics and diversity by excelling in the classroom and making a positive impact in their communities – Carly is majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Jewish Studies.

Currently a junior, Carly’s plan is to graduate in the spring of 2018 with the post-graduation goal of attending medical school. Her choice of neuroscience stems from an interest Carly developed during a high school biology class and also from dealing with a family member battling significant health challenges. “My experiences in high school with my family member solidified my goal of becoming a doctor. I decided to go with Neuroscience when my AP biology class did a unit on the brain. I would stay after class every day asking deeper and deeper questions, wanting to understand more. Being able to connect my passion for changing the conversation surrounding mental health also fits in directly with the science of behavior.” As for her choice of minor, during her first semester at Ohio State, Carly realized she wanted to know more about Judaism from a scholarly perspective. “My minor has allowed me cross paths with many individuals I never would have as well as given me the tools to understand Judaism from a unique angle.”

Advice from a mentor taught Carly early on that when she sees something she isn’t happy with, she needs to take an active role to make it better. To give back and improve her community – and to utilize her interests in neuroscience and her Jewish heritage, Carly is involved in many activities and groups both inside and outside of Ohio State. A member of the Jewish National Fund, a philanthropic organization created to help fund community building projects in Israel, this past October, Carly chaired the organization’s National Conference College Summit. During the summit, Carly interviewed Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer and prominent scholar on U.S. and criminal law as well as a well-known defender of civil liberties.

Carly also serves as a mentor for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Post-Baccalaureate Preparation Program (TRI-P) mentoring program, which assists in preparing students for an appropriate post-baccalaureate option: graduate school, professional school or direct entry into the workforce. She is involved with the Ohio Union Activities Board for the third year. For Carly’s first two years on the board, she was a member of the Dates and Data Committee and now serves on the Lectures Committee.

To further her knowledge and involvement in neuroscience, Carly works as a Research Assistant in a Neuroimmunology Lab in the Institute of Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State, a position that allows her to advance knowledge of the brain and stress-induced anxiety. “I love that I am able to be a part of contributing knowledge to the translational scientific world.” She also serves as the treasurer of the Ohio State branch the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Throughout her time at Ohio State, Carly has developed networks within her fellow MSP Scholars, neuroscience majors, and Jewish Studies minors, networks that continually support – and surprise – her: “How is it possible to be on a campus with over 50,000 students, a place with its own zip code, yet I always end up running into a friend?”

Carly knows the value of all of those networks, of the people who are rooting her on during her academic journey and hopes that other students will see that value as well. “Take advantage of the space you are in. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and use the “cheerleaders” you have in your life to propel you forward. If you have a goal, there should be nothing big enough to stop you from reaching it.”


Prior Spotlights

Veronica Harris Spotlight

Veronica Harris Spotlight

Veronica Harris didn’t always know that she wanted to be a dental hygienist. She received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2010 from California State University, East Bay. “I was working as a juvenile counselor and was laid off from my job. I enrolled in a science course to keep me busy while I looked for work, and I became really interested in science and started to take more courses.” Read more on Veronica Harris .

Angela Frost Spotlight

Angela Frost Spotlight

Angela Frost always thought she would end up studying law. It is a field, she says, that touches literally every aspect of everyday life. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelor of Kinesiology in Sport Management, Angela took two years off from school to re-focus and to make sure that law was the career that she wanted to pursue. Read more on Angela Frost.

Zack Bazile Spotlight

Zack Bazile Spotlight

Growing up, Zack Bazile had always been involved in sports: soccer, football, rugby, baseball, wrestling and swimming. While attending grade school in Teaneck, New Jersey, during the summer, Zack’s mom enrolled him in track camp, a sport that he found he enjoyed very much. However, Zack’s path to becoming a champion long jumper hit a hurdle once he tried out for a track club team and participated in his first meet with the club. Read more on Zack Bazile.

Demetrice Allen Spotlight

Demetrice Allen Spotlight

Demetrice Allen excelled in high school as a gifted debater but coming from a single parent home and attending a Wisconsin high school that was in the bottom tier posed some challenges. “I didn’t have exposure to many different careers, so my background was so crucial to me being where I am today.” Demetrice’s journey to where he is today was one of new interests. Read more on Demetrice Allen.

Nima Dahir Spotlight

Nima Dahir Spotlight

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Nima Dahir’s curiosity stemmed from her involvement in service and diversity activities in high school. “I was in the Student Council, was the president of the Interact Club, an organization dedicated to community service, and was a member of groups that focused on increasing understanding of diversity throughout the school,” said Nima. The same passion she had for service translated to her educational studies. Read more on Nima Dahir.

Shelby Newsad Spotlight

Shelby Newsad Spotlight

A love for nature is what inspired Shelby Newsad (pictured on right) to major in biochemistry. “I’m a very curious person at heart who adores nature and the outdoors. I took organic chemistry my sophomore year and fell in love with the illumination of life it brings. Understanding the natural world has always been an interest of mine, but with biochemistry it has become my career,” said Shelby. Read more on Shelby Newsad.

Kenneth White, Jr. Spotlight

Kenneth White, Jr. Spotlight

After graduating in 1995 with a BA in Mathematics from Wayne State University, Kenneth White, Jr. knew that he wanted to continue his education, with the ultimate goal of obtaining a PhD. He had heard that only about 1% of the population has a PhD, and he added, “Being a black male, I wanted a PhD to be a mentor in terms of educational attainment.” Read more on Kenneth White, Jr.

Carlos Mendez Spotlight

Carlos Mendez Spotlight

Born to parents who emigrated from Puerto Rico to America, Carlos Mendez often struggled with his identity and belonging and found himself wondering how to succeed academically and socially. But with the help of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s (ODI) LASER program, Carlos found a place where he can relate to people just like him, and he wasted no time getting involved. Read more on Carlos Mendez.

Da’Quan Knuckles Spotlight

Da’Quan Knuckles Spotlight

Da’Quan Knuckles believes in making a difference. “I just want to give back to my community and to the people who helped me. Without my community and family, I wouldn't be here,” he stated. This past January, Da’Quan was honored for his community work with the “Youth: Capturing the Vision of Dr. King” award presented at the 30th Annual Commemorative Celebration sponsored by the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission. Read more on Da'Quan Knuckles.

Korrie Johnson Spotlight

Korrie Johnson Spotlight

Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Korrie Johnson had plenty of support from family and friends. “I had people who looked like me to serve as role models, give me support and tell me that I was going to do great things.” So when Korrie made the decision to pursue a PhD, he knew that it would be very important for any university he chose to have an active diversity unit. Read more on Korrie Johnson.


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