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

Martín Pérez Spotlight

Martín Pérez Spotlight

As a Latino, Martín Pérez understands the issues that many underrepresented students can face and the need for a community of like-minded individuals who want to celebrate and educate others on different ethnicities. As a first-generation college student, Martín also understands the value of an education, a viewpoint, he says, that’s summed up by the Kofi Annan quote, “Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Read more.

Brandon Blackwell Spotlight

Brandon Blackwell Spotlight

Student athletes often can face some hurdles when pursuing their college degree. Whether it’s trying to maintain good grades or practicing for a sport at which they excel, taking full advantage of the resources available from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) can alleviate some of the pressure of being a college student. Read more.

Alejandra Maíz Spotlight

Alejandra Maíz Spotlight

Conducting breast cancer research at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is just one way that Alejandra Maíz has used the knowledge she gained in the classroom, working together with her lab group and expanding on those ideas. A junior studying molecular genetics – an area that interests her because of the inheritance patterns of traits and diseases – Alejandra is also using her skills by volunteering at La Clínica Latina, a free clinic held by Ohio State’s College of Medicine for Spanish-speaking individuals that provides on-going, comprehensive healthcare. Read more.

Ariane Krumel Spotlight

Ariane Krumel Spotlight

The Ohio State University has a lot to offer its students: 175 majors, 14 colleges, and an estimated 12,000 courses. But beyond the excitement those numbers can generate for incoming undergraduates, transfer students from smaller schools might find Ohio State a little bit intimidating with a campus that covers more than 1,700 acres, has 451 buildings, and boasts nearly 50,000 undergraduate students. Read more.

Michael Mullen II Spotlight

Michael Mullen II Spotlight

Michael Mullen II, a senior majoring in Film Studies, has found guidance and support for both life and classes at The Ohio State University from the Todd A. Bell National Recourse Center on the African American Male (BNRC). “Between Tai Cornute, Todd Suddeth, and Robert Bennett III, I have found a trio of educated mentors who have done much to help me succeed,” he stated. Read more.

Paloma Arroyo Spotlight

Paloma Arroyo Spotlight

Advocating for the importance of diversity is something that Paloma Arroyo has always been passionate about; she has participated in Latino Role Models Day and in the Gates Millennium-HSF Bridge Builders Forum, where she assisted faculty with informing Latino parents and their children about the college. Read more.

Kiara Brown

Kiara Brown

While in the sixth grade, Kiara Brown found out about an opportunity offered by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Young Scholars Program (YSP) when staff from the Cleveland Young Scholars program came to speak at her school, the Cleveland School of the Arts. Read more.

Vincent Johns, Jr.

Vincent Johns, Jr.

Vincent Johns, Jr. has had a love for transportation systems ever since the age of four. “I chose to enter the field of civil engineering to help the aging infrastructure systems and to improve the safety and quality of our roads within our communities and nation,” Vincent stated. The need for infrastructure restoration was especially evident to Vincent in New Orleans. Read more.

L’Nard Tufts

L’Nard Tufts

Even before L’Nard Tufts attended his first class at The Ohio State University, as part of its 2010 cohort of the Early Arrival Program, the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male was there helping with the transition from high school to college. The BNRC’s Early Arrival Program introduced L’Nard to staff, faculty, and students who would become his mentors, supporters, and close friends. Read more.

Veena Phommarath

Veena Phommarath

For Veena Phommarath, The Ohio State University’s Upward Bound Program within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion offered the opportunity for her to figure out what direction her academic career would take, a “once in a life time chance,” as Veena put it, to experience what it would be like to be a college student. Read more.


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