Scholars and sisters: Twins accepted to Morrill Scholars Program for Autumn 2024

Twin sisters Cristina and Isabela Reina holding signs that say Doctor and Dentist.

Scholars and sisters: Twins accepted to Morrill Scholars Program for Autumn 2024

By Paige Galperin

Twin sisters Cristina and Isabela Reina have always strived to do everything together—classes, extracurriculars, and even summer camps. Now, they're taking it a step further, both heading to The Ohio State University as neuroscience majors and Morrill Scholars.

“My sister and I are like best friends, so we're really happy we can stay together and go to Ohio State with this amazing opportunity,” Cristina explained.

From a young age, the Cincinnati natives expressed an interest in healthcare: After working as an optometrist assistant in high school, Isabela hopes to explore a career in dentistry, and Cristina is aiming for the pre-med track. Attending Ohio State's Explorations in Neuroscience summer internship program, however, solidified their decision to major in neuroscience—and to become Buckeyes.Twin sisters Cristina and Isabela Reina in blue scrubs

“We went around the labs and saw so many different types of research; then, we walked around the medical buildings and through the hospital,” Cristina noted. “I really like seeing how there's so many opportunities at Ohio State since it's such a big university. There are so many things that I think will allow me to do the best that I can with my major.”

Another key factor in the twins' college decision was the Morrill Scholars Program, which they say connected them with like-minded students.

“MSP definitely solidified my decision to go to Ohio State, and I like all the opportunities it's already giving me,” Isabela commented. “I'm not even on campus, and there's already the living-learning community. We have a group chat with all the Morrill Scholars; when I post on Instagram, all the Morrill people reach out to me. It's been a great way to connect with people before I even step on campus.”

The Reinas were attracted to MSP because of its emphasis on cultural advocacy—a value they embraced when they co-founded a Hispanic Student Union at their high school, Ursuline Academy.

“Our school had an Asian Student Union and a Black Student Union, but they didn't have a Hispanic one, so we all decided to come together and make one,” Cristina said.

Founded at the end of the twins' sophomore year, the organization hosts monthly meetings open to all students, featuring discussions about Hispanic current events, music, food, language, and celebrities. They also partnered with Escuelas Hermanas, a Spanish-language service organization that provides virtual tutoring sessions for underprivileged students in Peru.

Additionally, both sisters played tennis, served as student ambassadors, and participated in Peers as Leaders, a program connecting underclassmen with upperclassmen mentors.

The Reinas look forward to meeting new people and attending Ohio State football games. Mostly, though, they are grateful for the opportunity to continue their journey together.

“I think it will be fun having my sister there to share the experience with me,” Isabela said. “In high school, we took similar classes, and we would always help each other out and study together. I feel like we'll continue doing that because we keep each other on track, and we just have fun together.”