Current Scholar Spotlight: Reginald Woods
Within his major of microbiology, Reginald Woods has found the perfect discipline, one that combines both his passion for science and his devotion to alleviating issues in minority communities. “My love of science and medicine pushed me to pursue microbiology. I also chose to study microbiology because the communities I am a part of have disproportionately suffered from diseases caused by pathogens and infectious diseases,” he said.
While studying microbiology at The Ohio State University, Reginald is supported by the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, which assists universities and colleges in diversifying the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce through their efforts at significantly increasing the numbers of students successfully completing degree programs in STEM disciplines. The program helps students meet faculty and staff within their disciplines, provides research opportunities, and supports students with their graduate school applications.
“What motivated me to become a part of LSAMP was the community of students who came from similar backgrounds as me and wanted to be successful in scientific disciplines. I knew before I entered my first year at Ohio State that being around individuals who are interested in advancing scientific and technical industries would be extremely beneficial to me, especially because I was someone who had lacked that type of community prior to college.” Now, as a third-year LSAMP scholar, the very community Reginald sought has brought him some of his best friends and biggest supporters, and he has no doubt that his LSAMP cohort and he will achieve “amazing things.”
In addition to the encouragement he received through LSAMP, Reginald’s mom and grandmother have inspired him. “Both of them never let any obstacle hinder my siblings and me in our educational pursuit. The sacrifices they have made have inspired me to work hard in the hope of representing them the best way I can.” Reginald is also inspired by younger generations of minority scientists who could look to him as an inspiration: “Having the privilege to attend Ohio State, pursue microbiology, and take part in so many amazing opportunities, has shown me that I have an obligation to help people who wish to acquire those same opportunities. Ultimately, the inspiration of my family and the opportunity to help cultivate future generations of minority scientists is what inspires me to succeed.”
Reginald plans to graduate on May 5, 2019. Post-graduation, he will pursue medical school to become a physician because he hopes to work with underserved communities and mentor subsequent generations of minority scientists. He also will continue to conduct research, in the hopes of decreasing the prevalence of HIV in underserved communities. “My ultimate life goal is be a part of the collaborative network of professionals who are actively working toward finding a cure for the virus.”
Underrepresented students make up just a fraction of those receiving degrees in STEM fields, and Reginald has this advice for those Buckeyes following in his footsteps: seek mentorships and stick with a discipline that makes you excited to discover more and not to pursue a field because you think you are “supposed” to do it. “Ohio State is a huge place, so take advantage of ALL the opportunities you can; you will be surprised by how fast time flies! I’d also advise them to not give up when things get difficult.” Understanding that a science major can be a demanding field to pursue, Reginald acknowledges that there will inevitably be roadblocks. But there are also, he says, great rewards such as gaining an extensive scientific knowledge base, critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills to be equipped to discover and fix complex issues worldwide.
"The work they do will inspire others, which is the beauty of being a scientist."
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
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
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
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, 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
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.
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. 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.