GPS Success stories

GPS Success Stories

The Graduate and Professional Student Recruitment Initiative 2019 hosted 125 students from varying colleges and universities across the U.S. including Puerto Rico. Sixty of those students were admitted and of those, 30 were offered fellowship funding (13 of those not offered fellowship were offered various departmental awards).

The Ohio State University, through its Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is pleased to welcome 42 GPS 2019 scholars to the Buckeye Family starting Fall 2020.

Below are a few of the stories from our 2019 Cohort.

Starr Davis h

(Undergraduate Institution: Oakwood University)

Starr attended GPS 2019 and was accepted to the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Program. She was awarded the Graduate Enrichment Fellowship.

Participating in GPS program was an enriching experience for me. It was amazing to have had the opportunity to interact with students from all over the country who also wanted to make a difference in their profession and to seek higher education. The workshops served as a great resource with information about scholarships and graduate expectations.

Being a part of GPS also allowed me to meet numerous community leaders and alumni from OSU at the GPS Banquet. Seeing the OSU alumni empowered my belief that I can also be successful and have an impact on others. The GPS program connected me with several students who were also interested in pursuing graduate degrees in the profession of social work here at OSU. Talking with them about the possibility of being in the same classes and of preparing for our careers together in the profession of social work was an impactful experience. I was super excited to see the faculty and staff, who I met as an Ohio State Summer Research Opportunities Program 2019 participant! It was a bonus meeting current students in the OSU College of Social Work.

This experience enriched my desire to be a part of The Ohio State University family, where diversity is welcomed and appreciated. Therefore, I am thrilled that I was awarded the OSU Graduate Enrichment Fellowship, which is greatly helping to make my dream of doing my graduate work at OSU a reality. I am truly grateful to have attended GPS and I hope to work with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the future to encourage more graduate students of color to attend and to graduate from OSU.

Ameer Dunston h

(Undergraduate Institution: Howard University)

Ameer Dunston attended GPS 2019 and was admitted into the Philosophy and History of Education program in the College of Education and Human Ecology. He was also awarded a Graduate Enrichment Fellowship award.

“I met Lane Washington, a then Ph.D. candidate (and now full Ph.D.) at The Ohio State University in May 2019 during my study abroad experience in Cape Town, South Africa which sparked my interest in pursuing graduate studies at Ohio State. Afterwards, I met Ashely Lomax, who received her master's degree from The Ohio State University, at a graduate school fair in D.C., and she informed me about GPS 2019.

My experience at GPS was extremely informative, welcoming, and inspiring to say the least. It was excellent touring the campus, learning more about my program of interest, and meeting faculty in the College of Education and Human Ecology in addition to the University representatives and faculty in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. During my visit, I acquired pivotal knowledge about the application process, fellowship and scholarship information, the expectations associated with my program of interest, and several other key factors related to pursuing graduate studies at Ohio State.

Attending GPS did have an impact on my application process and decision to attend The Ohio State University, and as a result of attending GPS I received an application fee waiver.. After GPS, I remember speaking with Dr. Thompson and he was extremely helpful with providing me with tools needed to complete the application process strong. Additionally, the level of engagement I encountered between current and prospective students, and faculty influenced my decision to enroll at Ohio State. As a result of my experience at GPS, I knew I could succeed and do well throughout the matriculation of my graduate studies at The Ohio State University.

Lastly, and most importantly, I was admitted into the Philosophy and History of Education program in the College of Education and Human Ecology with a Graduate Enrichment Fellowship award. My experience at GPS proved to be a success.”

Maria Ford h

(Undergraduate Institution: North Carolina A&T State University)

Maria Ford attended GPS 2019 and was accepted to the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. She was also awarded the Dean's Distinguished Graduate Enrichment Fellowship.

At GPS, I was able to meet people who are a part of multiple different aspects of the Graduate School, which gave me a better understanding of the community that is present to support students. It was made clear that they truly care about every student's success. I also appreciated the opportunity to participate in GPS because I was able to speak directly to current students which gave me a peak into life as a graduate student at OSU.

Because of GPS, I was able to receive a fee waiver for my application to the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP). Upon my acceptance to the program, I was also awarded the Dean's Distinguished Graduate Enrichment Fellowship. Since GPS was my first in-person experience with BSGP, I felt less anxious and more prepared to return for my program interview months later because I had already been familiarized with the program, faculty, and some students.

My GPS experience positively influenced my decision to attend The Ohio State University because it was easier to envision myself as a student here. It was comforting to know that I would have support not only within my program but outside of it as well.”

Kaitlyn Jones h

(Undergraduate Institution: The Ohio State University)

Kaitlyn Jones attended GPS 2019 and was accepted to both the College of Social Work and the College of Public Health. She was also awarded a Graduate Enrichment Fellowship from the College of Public Health.

I attended GPS 2019 to learn more about the College of Social Work and the opportunities and experiences that being a social worker could have for my future. It was amazing to be able to talk about making a difference in the world with other people who wanted to do the same. Although I was interested in obtaining a Master's, GPS opened my eyes to consider pursuing school to obtain my PhD one day.

I applied to The Ohio State University's College of Social Work and the College of Public Health in hopes of getting accepted into both for the Dual Master's program. By going to GPS, I felt like I was given the tools to feel confident and prepared when writing my personal statements and turning in all of my applications. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted me in a way that made me find strong connections with faculty, staff, and future students.

Not only was I was accepted into both programs, I was nominated by both colleges for a Graduate Enrichment Fellowship. I ultimately received a Graduate Enrichment Fellowship from the College of Public Health. I truly believe that without GPS, I would not have been able to figure out that The Ohio State University is the place I needed to be to excel in my future.

Javier Ramirez h

(Undergraduate Institution: University of Oklahoma)

Javier attended GPS 2019 and was accepted into the Master's of Higher Education & Student Affairs program in the College of Education and Human Ecology. He has secured an assistantship with the Multicultural Center.

“GPS was an experience that set The Ohio State apart from the other schools I was considering. Most importantly, before attending, GPS provided me a community of folks who come from similar backgrounds that allowed me to feel already more comfortable applying to such a big school. The programming was so authentic and intentional that I never felt like there was a dull moment, and I always came out with more knowledge on what I was getting myself into and more desire to attend the university. When I came back to campus in late February for assistantship interviews, I already had that sense of familiarity and excitement for my future on this campus solely because of my time with GPS.

The most impactful part of GPS was meeting faculty and current students in both the Master's and Ph.D. programs. Before, one of the struggles I had was that I tended to question and invalidate my research interests. However, physically meeting the folks in my field doing the work I aspire to do ignited that flame under me that my interests are valid and that The Ohio State is the place for me to develop my academic identity further.

GPS has allowed me to find my new home and I will forever be grateful for this experience. From my new connections to the university and ODI (shout out Graham Knight!), I know that I have been exposed to all of the necessary resources to thrive at The Ohio State. GPS is really THAT program, and I do not think there is anything else they could have done that would have amplified my experience because it was that perfect to me.”

Christine Ruffin h

(Undergraduate Institution: Pennsylvania State University)

Christine Ruffin attended GPS 2019 and was accepted to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Last fall I attended the GPS program and was able to visit the College of Veterinary Medicine. I was pleasantly surprised by the immense amount of planning that went into my visit on campus. Mr. Jae Denson and Ms. Sandra Dawkins from the Office of Admission, Recruitment, & Diversity organized an in-depth tour of the college and hospitals. Throughout the tour, I was able to speak with students and faculty and I even participated in a mock communication skills lab.

The GPS program overall allowed me to better understand the culture of Ohio State. I left the program with an overwhelming sense of comfort knowing there would be other students and faculty members of color. It was important for me to select a school where I could relate to other students and faculty through shared experiences and similar backgrounds. The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine quickly became my top school after this experience.

When I came back for my interview in January, I felt more at ease as I was greeted with familiar faces. Overall, my experience during the GPS program was the reason I chose The Ohio State University. The College of Veterinary Medicine not only takes a keen interest in developing students to become outstanding professionals within the field of veterinary medicine, but it is also committed to diversity within a profession that lacks diversity. I am ecstatic to begin my journey as a Buckeye!