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

Neil Ramirez

Neil Ramirez

Neil Ramirez is a self-proclaimed “STEM enthusiast,” someone who believes that knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is important because “everyone should know how the world around them works.” When Neil was awarded one of the premier merit-based scholarships in the United States, The Ohio State University’s Morrill Scholarship, he had the chance to pursue his dream of a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Ohio State through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s (ODI) Morrill Scholars Program. Read more.

Daniel Moussa

Daniel Moussa

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.

Zamone Sawyer

Zamone Sawyer

Zamone Sawyer has been selected to receive an Undergraduate Student Pelotonia Fellowship, which provides one-year research fellowships to Ohio State undergraduate students who want to help cure cancer. When notified of her award, Zamone revealed, “I had to reread the message about five times because I just couldn’t believe it. After a few days, the prestige and gravity of the award sunk in, and I felt incredibly grateful and humbled.” Read more.

Michael Gundich

Michael Gundich

As a first-generation college student growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, induction into the Cleveland Young Scholars Program (YSP) opened a door to the resources that Michael Gundich needed to transition from high school to college. “Being selected as a Young Scholar meant that I had a chance in a place where the majority of the kids never graduate high school, let alone go on to attend college.” he stated. Read more.

Bryan Quijada

Bryan Quijada

Bryan Quijada, a Columbus Young Scholar and LASER Scholar, has been named as one of only 1000 Gates Millennium Scholars who will receive a good-through-graduation scholarship that covers unmet need and self-help aid and can be used at any college or university. Because the scholarship also provides graduate school funding for continuing Gates Millennium Scholars, Bryan is no longer limited to just four years of college; he can now go to graduate school if he so desires. “The Gates gives me courage and has changed who I am and where I hope to go.” Read More.

Rebecca Plumage

Rebecca Plumage

Rebecca Plumage, one of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Morrill Scholars and an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Tribe, has been named a Udall Scholar by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. Read more.

Michael Inman

Michael Inman

Michael Inman always had a strong connection to The Ohio State University – his mom, aunt and a cousin are all Buckeyes. Being awarded the Morrill Scholarship, Michael recalls, made him feel overjoyed: “I saw it as the universe telling me that I was meant to be a Buckeye.” Read More.

Jacyna Ortiz

Jacyna Ortiz

When Jacyna Ortiz was inducted into the Young Scholars Program (YSP) in Lorain, Ohio, the then 7th grader said she didn’t really understand the full extent of the opportunities the program was going to provide. Once she fulfilled all of the requirements, YSP would offer Jacyna a financial aid package consisting of scholarships and federal grants to cover her tuition and room and board at The Ohio State University. Read more.

Wynton Jordon

Wynton Jordon

For Wynton Jordan, the journey from a high school student to the 2014 Gene and Sheila Smith Excalibur Prize awardee began with a short letter from The Ohio State University inviting him to visit the campus. With those two days free on his calendar, Wynton headed to Columbus, and after his visit – with some advice from his dad – Wynton made the decision to attend Ohio State. Read more.

Taylor Stepp

Taylor Stepp

Even though he grew up in the small Appalachian community of Jackson, Ohio, where there were not many college graduates, Taylor Stepp always had the goal of earning a college degree. He didn’t want to receive just any degree; he wanted one from The Ohio State University which was the first school that Taylor sent an application to. Read more.


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