Jesup Scott Honors College

2019-2020 Student of the Week Profiles

Rami Moussa

With a perspective broader than just his Biology major, Rami Moussa aspires to become what he refers to as “a student of life.” This Presidential Scholar is determined to sample everything the Honors College has to offer – from opportunities to Rami Moussagrow as a leader and a scholar to enjoying the fun outings hosted by the Honors Learning Community.

Though only a first-year student, Rami has already joined the Presidential Ambassadors and is one of the newest Honors Student Ambassadors! This is merely the tip of the iceberg, as he also helped plan this year’s BIG Event, is involved in Levis Leadership UToledo, and is a member of Campus Activities and Programming, the Muslim Students Association, as well as Alpha Epsilon Delta.

In the lab, Rami has investigated applications of cellular inhibitors and pathways present in pancreatic cancer cells that can provide for less invasive cancer treatments. Students like him aren’t content to merely digest a textbook, after all, and are driven to engage with the material hands-on – contributing to the development of research rather than just consuming it.

And yet, amidst all of this, he has still found time to enjoy the HLC poetry nights, Toledo Symphony Orchestra outings, and performances of Rent and Fiddler on the Roof! “Through the JSHC and events like these, I have been introduced to some of my closest friends and supporters who inspire and advise me along the way to accomplish all the goals I have set out for myself,” he said.

Why UToledo?: “At UToledo, I have found the ultimate balance between academics, student success, leadership, involvement, and the opportunity to really grow into the citizen, professional, and student of life that I aspire to become.”

Michael Sloma

Though his work focuses on the ability of machines to learn and display artificial intelligence, Michael Sloma measures the impact of his research in terms of people – and how their lives can be improved through technology.

Michael SlomaThe portfolio of this Computer Science and Engineering major’s work is diverse. Michael has explored the use of machine learning to predict the trajectory of ships in the ocean and guess at someone’s mode of transportation with a smartphone. He has also leaned on the processing power of artificial intelligence to improve matching between kidney donors and recipients. This research has taken him across the world, presenting his findings at conferences such as AAAI-20 in New York City and UbiComp 2018 in Singapore. “I’ve been lucky to meet researchers and students from around the world who are passionate about A.I. and machine learning,” he said. “It’s provided me insight into how we can use technology in a vast number of fields to help improve our lives.”

Apart from partially funding these trips, Michael credits the Honors College with preparing him professionally as a contributing member of his field. “I value the different teaching styles employed in the JSHC and the opportunity to engage more with other students and faculty, both in the JSHC and in my core classes through Honors Learning Contracts with my Engineering professors,” he said.

Favorite Honors Experience: “My favorite memory was taking HON 1010 with Dr. Page Armstrong. She was always supporting and encouraging us to expand our minds and to find and understand new viewpoints. I will always remember staying long after class ended talking with her about philosophy and different perspectives on life.”

Jalane Moti Jaleta

Though Honors classes strive to broaden student horizons through interactive discussions and community-based projects, sometimes these roles reverse! Students like Jalane Moti Jaleta join Honors to grow as critical thinkers and professionals. But in doing so, they also enrich the Honors College’s understanding of and connection to the world.Jalane Moti Jaleta

Jalane traveled from Ethiopia to UToledo for its Mechanical Engineering program and applied to the JSHC after her friend in Honors suggested it. “She said it had been a great learning experience for her, and after hearing about the different events and programs held in the JSHC, I decided to join and make the most of my time in college,” Jalane said.

After joining, Honors helped her learn more about her new home. “The different parts of Toledo have their trace of history mixed with present features, and the opportunity to explore that more in HON 2010 Multicultural Toledo was exciting,” Jalane said. Beyond learning more about the city, the JSHC helped engage her in tackling some of its challenges. An Honors section of MIME 1010 had her participate in Angel Pitch – an event bringing together entrepreneurs and business leaders to hear the students propose an engineering design or product idea that satisfies a need in the community. “This class enabled us to think critically and dive deeper into a project,” Jalane said, “exercising my leadership skills while creating something useful for big industries.”

Standout Accomplishment: “I am deeply proud of my leadership positions on campus! I am the Vice President for the Ethiopian Student Association – a group that introduces Ethiopian culture to students on campus and creates a community for our fellow Ethiopians. I am also an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers, where I have grown professionally and had the opportunity to positively impact the community. Lastly, I am the Public Relations Lead for Engineers Without Borders, whose mission it is to help international communities get access to clean water.”

Emma Stiffler

Though initially attracted by the offer of priority class registration, it didn’t take long for Emma Stiffler to find a wealth of deeper value in UToledo’s Honors College – fond memories, great friends, and rewarding courses.

Emma StifflerThe diversity of topics covered in Emma’s Honors classes, ranging from climate change and sustainability to business and non-profit related issues, offers a refreshing change of pace from her rigorous Nursing schedule. “I’ve gained a lot from my JSHC classes, as they’ve let me dip my toes into the coursework of other majors and further learn about the world around me,” she said.

Her enrollment in HON 2010 “Multicultural Toledo,” which introduces students to the greater Toledo area and its communities through historical and sociological lenses, inspired her commitment to volunteering in the city. “Toledo is much bigger than the town I grew up in, and I feel that has given me richer opportunities to give back to others,” Emma said. She has especially enjoyed tutoring children through the Students Organize for Syria campus chapter over the past year. “HON 2010 helped me familiarize myself with the city and learn about the different cultures and neighborhoods here,” she added.

Favorite Honors Experience: “It would have to be the HON 3010 Community Engagement class I took last Fall. We learned how to work with non-profit organizations and how to give professional presentations to their executives. Although we did so almost every class period, we always received honest and genuine feedback from our instructors and peers. This made me much more comfortable with public speaking and accepting criticism!”

Dylan Truong

While some Honors students travel the world on medical mission or humanitarian service trips, Dylan Truong is making equally meaningful change in his own backyard. The Sylvania native is the founding President of P.E.A.C.E. Project, a new Dylan Truongstudent organization on campus that seeks to stop the harming of children.

Short for “Protecting Every Abused Child Everywhere,” the P.E.A.C.E. Project provides support to youth experiencing bullying as well as abuse from neglectful parents or those struggling with addiction. “We do this through fun activities every Thursday and Friday to let them know others care and want them to experience healthy relationships,” Dylan said. The group connects with affected youth at local elementary schools in coordination with guidance counselors there. “Seeing the kids smile every time we visit them makes it all worthwhile!” he added.

As an aspiring dentist, these smiles will thread through this Biology major’s undergraduate years and into his career! Dylan’s Honors classes have helped him significantly prepare for this, strengthening his critical thinking skills and study habits. “My Honors Biology and Chemistry classes in particular were much more helpful and student-oriented,” he said. “If I needed help, I had more time with and access to the professor in these classes.”

Favorite Honors Experience: “Jesup Jam – I really enjoyed getting to meet everyone there, some of whom are now good friends of mine. All of the activities were super fun and the prizes were amazing. The best part was when my table won the Kahoot! JSHC trivia game and we all ended up getting lunch with Dean Appel at Phoenicia Cuisine!”

Walaa Kanan

Whether earning college credit as a high school student, completing the Honors medallion requirements in just three years, Walaa Kananor stepping up to fulfill the needs of her community, Walaa Kanan isn’t one for half measures. As a dual-enrollee at UToledo and Toledo Early College High School, she joined the Honors College to get the most out of her accelerated undergraduate experience.

“I decided the JSHC would expose me to new opportunities and experiences beyond when I was taking my high school classes here,” Walaa said. For example, her Honors capstone allowed this near-graduate to dig deeper into a project in her Social Work major studying the effectiveness of bystander intervention training related to campus sexual misconduct. “This project has taught me a lot about the issues relevant to my future career as well as the ins and outs of Social Work research, all while collaborating one-on-one with an amazing professor,” she explained.

Not merely driven by her own studies, Walaa is also a determined advocate for others. She is founder and President of the Epsilon Chapter of Mu Delta Alpha Sorority, Inc. – a Muslim interest, professional sorority with a mission to inspire leadership in all women and empower them through professionalism. After becoming interested in Greek Life, she noticed a representation gap in the community. “I came together with a group of resolute young women and we decided to bring a chapter of this sorority to UToledo for women like us to have an avenue to seek sisterhood, mentorship, and support through the various stages of their lives,” Walaa said.

Favorite Honors Experience: “Definitely the Honors seminars. I got to learn about the world without the traditional classroom setting and make connections with other Honors students across a spectrum of majors. The seminars served as a nice break from other classes that were heavy in tests and assignments. Instead, I was able to learn in an environment that promoted my creativity and was not stressful.”

Ahana Rahman

Ahana Rahman has a passion for research, a strength she attributes to the Jesup Scott Honors College. This Chemical Engineering major from Bangladesh traveled halfway around the world to UToledo due to its support of co-ops and Ahana Rahmaninvolvement of undergraduates in lab work. Beyond connecting Ahana with other ambitious students that have become her closest friends on campus, Honors has also pushed her to try things she otherwise wouldn’t have.

She is currently writing her Honors thesis about the effect of temperature-sensitive hydrogels on water purification. Without the thesis requirement to receive the medallion, Ahana says she may have never discovered her zeal for exploration and applying knowledge to improve the world. She even traveled to El Salvador to install ultraviolet water purification units during her freshman year! She found this once-in-a-lifetime experience to be not only educational, but also immersive and humbling.

Favorite UToledo Experience: “I am Co-Event Coordinator for the International Student Association. We have our 44th annual International Dinner on Friday, March 27th. It is the biggest international event at The University of Toledo, and we would love to see Honors students there!”

Hanna Palmer-Tesema

Hanna Palmer-Tesema joined the Jesup Scott Honors College to have in her peer group student leaders, researchers, and Hanna Palmer-Tesemachange agents dedicated to improving Toledo and the world. In doing so, the Biochemistry major surrounded herself with like-minded people who dive deeply into their fields of study – beyond the minimally required coursework.

Most notably, Hanna had the opportunity to take advanced seminars in Honors that blended multiple disciplines to shine a light onto key topics relevant to her major. Her “Health Transforming Science and Invention” class examined how cutting-edge medical treatments are developed and marketed while her “Health Disparities” class investigated class, race, gender, education, and other factors as social determinants of health.

Favorite Honors Experience: “I loved attending the JSHC Distinguished Lecture Series events and meeting professionals who graduated from Honors such as Dr. Mohamad Moussa. You learn a lot about a variety of world issues and interesting topics while meeting successful Honors alumni!”

Lauren Bachman

Go to classes, earn a diploma, get a job – that’s one way to approach college. But students like Lauren Bachman want more from their undergraduate experience – to grow as persons and find their place in a world beyond clichés.Lauren Bachman

The Jesup Scott Honors College has helped her do just this and become more well-rounded as a Chemical Engineering student. In addition to serving on The Voice of Honors executive board, she also developed as a leader when she co-founded a book club this year for JSHC students. Few members of the Honors Learning Community have more actively attended trips to Cedar Point, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, or Mud Hens games than she has. Lauren has leaned into these Honors experiences more than once during co-op interviews. Considering her upcoming placement with Lubrizol, the strategy may have paid off! Lauren also is a member of Engineering Council, a Chemical Engineering freshman peer mentor, a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and is currently pursuing membership in the Omega Chi Epsilon honor society.

Favorite Thing about Honors: “I enjoy meeting people outside of my major. Many engineers take most, if not all, of our classes together due to restricted schedules heavily focused in STEMM subjects. We often do not get to explore the humanities or social sciences content. The Honors College, especially through HON 1010 as well as the HLC and The Voice, has allowed me to experience these educational opportunities with people I would not have met otherwise.”

Kyle Hixenbaugh

While many of us are encouraged to “aim for the stars” when taking those first steps into our career and future, the phrase couldn’t be more applicable to Rockets like Kyle Hixenbaugh – an Honors junior majoring in Physics. His research specialty Kyle Hixenbaughis literally the formation of spiral galaxies!

Kyle says that Honors has allowed him to learn even more in his major, unlocking closer interactions with faculty members and opening doors to lab research on campus. This deeper dive into his program has helped him connect concepts through challenging problems in astrophysics, applying ideas from multiple classes or papers in each assignment. His close work with Physics faculty has also supported him through his application to the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Kyle ultimately hopes to become a professor himself and conduct cutting-edge research, using tools like the 1-meter Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope in UToledo’s Ritter Observatory. In fact, he has already gained experience working with the advanced instrument as a member of the campus observatory team! Being able to start his research as an undergraduate has proven a huge asset, as he is already making contributions to his discipline working alongside top-tier faculty.

Favorite Thing about Honors: The best part of joining the Jesup Scott Honors College has been the people I’ve gotten to meet. The majority of my closest friends I’ve made through Honors – whether by living in the Honors dorms, working here as a resident advisor, or by participating in JSHC student organizations.

Daniella Gamboa Pabon

It’s often said that home is where the heart is, a sentiment that rings true for international student Daniella Gamboa Pabon. Hailing from Colombia, her heart now finds that home in The University of Toledo. Alongside the impressive emphasis on Daniella Gamboa Pabonundergraduate lab experience in her Biology major, she found the admissions office here warm and welcoming. And, when a friend recommended that she join the Honors College as a sophomore, she jumped at the opportunity.

Daniella loves that the Honors “curriculum is built to capitalize on students’ unique qualities, providing them the platform to stand out and be challenged in unconventional ways,” she said. Her small Honors classes have been intellectually nurturing and have opened a space where all students can learn to respect different ideas while providing constructive criticism. Meanwhile, in her major, Danielle’s hard work led to an opportunity to co-author a paper that is pending publication in an endocrinology journal! Although her time as an undergraduate is coming to an end, this may not be the end of her UToledo story. Daniella was recently accepted to the Neurosciences and Neurological Disorders doctorate program offered by the College of Medicine and Life Sciences!

Favorite Honors Experience: “It would have to be Dean Appel’s HON 3010 Community Engagement course. It was a phenomenal class that promoted independent learning, involvement, and a sense of community. The seminar allowed students to interact with some of the most important non-profit organizations in Toledo. Seeing how each organization works together to emphasize how we are all citizens of a universal nation was honestly an eye-opening experience.”

Sanjay Koka

UToledo’s emphasis on mentorship, meaningful research experiences, and leadership opportunities naturally caught the Sanjay Kokaattention of Sanjay Koka when he was searching for a campus to call home. However, it was the “360° scope of education” offered by its Honors College that really sealed the deal. He knew his Biochemistry classes would satisfy his passion for science, but rounding that out with discussion-based humanities courses in the JSHC would challenge him holistically. Having found each of his Honors classes rewarding, it has made his major more interesting and enjoyable.

Sanjay’s biggest accomplishment on campus has been his involvement with his own organization, UToledo Precision Medicine. The group has been a passion of his and partners with the Center for Hypertension and Precision Medicine on campus. Through this organization, Sanjay has been able to foster great relationships with the faculty at the medical campus as well as educate other students about the emerging technologies and methodologies involved in using real-time data to effectively and efficiently treat patients.

Favorite Honors Experience: “My favorite aspect of my JSHC experience has been the Honors Student Ambassador program with Dr. Appel. My Honors classes freshman year pushed me to become more plugged into the JSHC, and the Ambassadors has been a great outlet for that. I have loved every minute of it!”

Anvitha Madhavaram

As Vice President of Relay for Life, Internal Director for RockeTHON Dance Marathon, as well as a member of Delta Delta Delta, Mortar Board, and the Order of Omega, life for Anvitha Madhavaram is never dull! This passion for purpose was a Anvitha Madhavaramseed planted early in her life, evident in her childhood pleas for her mother to fashion a white coat Halloween costume out of her father’s old dress shirts. Today, this seed is watered by the Toledo community as well as the world-class faculty, cutting-edge labs, and many research opportunities provided by UToledo that are helping this Bacc2MD Biology student achieve her goal of becoming a physician.

From Anvitha’s first day in Honors classes, she was challenged to explore her capabilities and identify new applications for her skills. Her Honors professors emphasized merging theory with practice and transforming abstraction into reality. Anvitha’s interest in a loved one’s battle with dementia encouraged her to seek out a lab on campus developing therapeutic targets to manage the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

There, she has carried out multiple drug discovery projects since her freshman year. She has designed optimal synthesis pathways for desired products, assessed low yields of compounds, foraged through endless publications, and refined procedures regularly to one day help alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. She has always wanted to understand and address the underlying mechanisms making patients ill in the first place, and UToledo has given her the platform to do so.

Favorite Honors Experience: “As human beings, we often fear the unknown. However, the unknown surrounding Dr. Ashley Pryor’s Inside/Out Honors seminar led to more self-reflection and curiosity than I could have ever imagined. Dr. Pryor along with the students in the class gave me the opportunity to not only expand my mind but also develop my self-awareness and identity along the way. The class has driven me to advocate for myself, always approach a situation with an open mind, and never stop learning.”

Kylie Hiser

Kylie Hiser comes from a small community full of people with bold dreams, big ideas, and a work ethic to match. Those Kylie Hiserqualities she cherished growing up Kylie saw reflected at UToledo – particularly in the Jesup Scott Honors College. She has valued every opportunity here to grow in a moment of failure, working harder for a single credit hour than she ever could have expected, and the challenge of finding her voice.

Among her achievements, Kylie’s participation in the Salford Exchange Program as a Biology major stands out. “Spending an entire year studying abroad in England was nothing short of extraordinary,” she said. Taking specialized coursework at an overseas university as an Honors student is not something many could easily manage, but this aspiring physician treasured the experience.

Favorite Honors Experience: “I am a teaching assistant, peer mentor, JSHC Student Ambassador, and resident advisor on campus – so you can imagine how many freshmen I interact with every day! Seeing the hard work they put in and the stress they go through reminds me that I was once there as well. Giving advice and talking about my experience in the JSHC makes me realize just how important it has been to my success here at UToledo.”

Megan Davidson

The long-awaited week for Megan Davidson is here! After fifty-three classes, nine semesters, and three co-op rotations, she is graduating this week with one degree, a JSHC medallion, and countless memories.Megan Davidson

“My proudest accomplishment at UToledo would have to be my involvement with Clean Water for the World,” the Chemical Engineering major said. For her CHEE 1000 orientation class, Megan helped devise and build a water purification unit for a design project. It utilized ultraviolet light and sediment filtration to provide clean water for a community without access to it.

Conducting research as an Honors student and writing a thesis helped her decide on a career in research and development. “Being the co-author of a published journal article has been a great way to get experience and definitely helped me stand out when applying and interviewing for jobs,” she said. Unsurprisingly, Megan already has a job at Cooper Tire & Rubber Company in Findlay lined up!

Favorite Honors Experience: “After my orientation course, I became involved in Walk for Water to raise money for building and installing more purification units around the world. I also traveled to El Salvador to install a unit in a health center and provide maintenance for previously installed systems. My work helping improve the lives of people in need is more important to me than any academic achievement.”

Jade McDaniel

Jade McDanielJade McDaniel prides herself in the research she has accomplished at The University of Toledo, work that has led to her interning at The Scripps Research Institute in California and at Bristol-Myers Squibb in New Jersey. “As a Medicinal and Biological Chemistry major, lab work and research are an important part of the career,” she noted. “Completing my Honors thesis thankfully pushed me to get experience with these things as soon as possible.”

Jade brought her talents to UToledo because of the unique programs offered here in the pharmaceutical sciences. To boot, she found the environment on campus welcoming and knew that the Jesup Scott Honors College would provide her with invaluable professional connections and skills that would last long after graduation. Jade cannot thank her peers, professors, fellow researchers, and advisors – including Dr. Viranga Tillekeratne – enough for all they have done to support her future here in Toledo and beyond!

Favorite Thing about Honors:
“It would have to be all of the opportunities Honors has provided me to invest in my education. For example, the Honors Academic Village gave me a place to live my freshman year that was focused on my studies but allowed me to feel comfortable, even though I was so far away from my home in Kansas.”

Rida Naqvi

Rida Naqvi joined the Honors College as a Biology student to jumpstart her participation in research early in her college career. Alongside research, the Rida NaqviJSHC has also helped her form meaningful connections with her professors, making it easier to understand course material and ask questions. But Rida has found much more than just academic depth in the way of opportunities at UToledo.

She is the proud President of the Muslim Students Association, the Treasurer of Students Organize for Syria, a member of the founding class of Muslimahs for Change, a student ambassador for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and so much more. As the President of the MSA this year, Rida initiated a dialogue between the three Abrahamic religions and hosted an Interfaith Panel alongside the Catholic Student Association as well as Hillel in recognition of Muslim Heritage Month. They were able to provide an outlet for students to ask questions and clear misconceptions with the help of the faith representatives. The discussion was very successful, Rida said, and ultimately helped to create stronger ties within the community.

Favorite Thing about Honors: “As I have had the opportunity to take Honors courses outside of my major, I have gotten to know many different people. Being an Honors student has made me more open-minded as I have explored different perspectives and gained a greater appreciation for the diversity in the Toledo community.”

McKenna Wirebaugh

McKenna WirebaughSecuring one co-op with a Fortune Global 500 company is impressive enough. But three additional rotations at BP later, McKenna Wirebaugh earned herself a full-time job at the company following graduation. Paired with her Chemical Engineering major and Green Chemistry & Engineering minor, she says the Honors College offered her the research background that many companies look for in applicants. “My résumé becomes more well-rounded and stands out to potential employers because of it,” McKenna added.

The receipt of her Honors medallion next month will be a fitting addition to this brimming document. With the non-profit organization Clean Water for the World, she helped build a water purification unit that was sent to Ecuador. McKenna also spoke at an international chemical engineering conference in Orlando, and spent her co-ops living in Chicago for nine months and in Seattle for three. She is also proud of her involvement on campus with Cru, where she has shared her faith story in front of 200+ students at weekly meetings. With her graduation in 21 days, her wedding in 70 days, and the start of her dream job in 101 days, McKenna’s future is bright!

Favorite Honors Experience: “Dr. Ashley Pryor’s HON 1020 class focusing on creativity was definitely one of my favorite experiences in the JSHC. For a group project on the dangers of cell phone use, we brought in my PlayStation 2 and challenged students to text and ‘drive’ on Mario Kart without crashing.”

Alexx Rayk

Finding a university with an honors experience that focuses on more than just academics mattered a lot to Alexx Rayk. At UToledo, this initial fit quickly Alexx Raykgrew into a defining mission. “The Jesup Scott Honors College’s emphasis on leadership, travel, and other forms of experiential learning has helped me grow personally and professionally into a well-rounded future health care professional,” Alexx said.

As an a Public Health major, Alexx has contributed extensively to research on campus and in the pages of academic journals. Their work in Dr. Heather Conti’s immunology lab has framed Alexx’s Honors capstone project and led to a published paper. Another publication soon followed about wealth inequality and its effects on personal as well as national healthcare, this time collaborating with Dr. Timothy Jordan. In fact, this faculty mentorship is what solidified Alexx’s desire to pursue a career as a physician-scientist. The opportunity provided by the Honors capstone project and Honors Learning Contracts allowed Alexx to dive deeper into specific issues relevant to their expertise, interest, and eventual career.

Favorite Honors Experience: “My favorite Honors memory is when I went to Guatemala during Spring Break last year. It was my first time out of the country and I now have a few close friends from around the globe. Working with people who don’t come from the same background, or have the same opinions as me, has helped me develop as an individual and has greatly prepared me for my future career.”

Roan Martin-Hayden

Roan Martin-HaydenAttending the Jesup Scott Honors College was a “no-brainer” for Roan Martin-Hayden after selecting his hometown university. The stature of its Engineering College and mandatory co-op program impressed him, all of it enhanced by the personal attention and opportunities afforded to Honors students. Roan’s Honors sections of major classes keep him engaged, with one Chemistry recitation section sticking out in his mind. The extra time with the professor spent expanding on the class topics instead of merely reviewing homework set the experience apart. “This undoubtedly helped my performance in the course and made it feel more like a ‘Chemistry Club’ than a just a recitation section,” he said. Equipped with mandatory co-op cycles and unparalleled access to his faculty, Roan feels exceptionally prepared to start his career.

Favorite Honors Experience: “I appreciate my HON 2010 Multicultural Toledo class, the JSHC Distinguished Lecture series, and the vast amount of opportunities to learn beyond the classroom as an Honors student.”

Madelyn Espen

Never let fear get in the way,” is Madalyn Espen’s motto, conceived as she began her journey here at UToledo. This Nursing major was attracted to Madalyn EspenUToledo’s strength in healthcare fields powered by the unique clinical and research opportunities for undergraduate students created by the Health Science Campus.

The Jesup Scott Honors College has helped her develop the empathy and communication skills crucial for nurses. She also values that the Honors curriculum examines diversity in different cultures and areas of the world. “I have learned more about humanity through the in-depth, controversial discussions in my Honors classes than a textbook could ever teach,” she said. The humanities courses built into the Honors curriculum she finds have also provided a nice balance to the logic-heavy science classes in her major.

Favorite Thing about Honors: “Honors courses allow for open discussions with unlike-minded people. Our society has fostered an environment of silence and avoiding tough conversations in which we disagree with one another, even though these are the exact conversations that instigate change and innovation.”

Samuel Simpson

Samuel SimpsonSamuel Simpson, President of the UToledo Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society, has brought much to the Honors community. This Blissfield, Michigan native with big aspirations fell in love with campus and the JSHC in the Fall of 2017. After attending one of the Honors Preview Days, Sam was won over by UToledo’s affordability and its balanced size – a research university that still feels like home. He has exceled in his major, even taking advantage of undergraduate research opportunities as a sophomore. Participating in the First Year Summer Research Experience not only provided Sam with valuable knowledge relevant to his field, but also began building his professional skillsets for use after graduation.

Favorite Honors Experience: This would have to be joining the Honors Student Ambassadors and being able to integrate myself fully into the JSHC community!

Rebecca Dangler

From being a swim instructor in Yokosuka, Japan for two and a half months to being appointed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to its Board of Trustees as a Rebecca Danglerstudent member, Rebecca Dangler has accomplished many things while at UToledo. An Accounting and Finance double-major from Westerville, Ohio, Rebecca brought her talents to UToledo for its personable atmosphere and beautiful campus. After her freshman year, she also realized all the Jesup Scott Honors College had to offer and knew it was something she needed to join. She applied as a current student and was accepted the summer before her sophomore year. Doing so allowed Rebecca to forge a deep connection with her Honors Business professors, helping her flourish in her major as a result. Now, she counts herself among the JSHC Student Ambassadors!

Favorite Honors Experience: “HON 2010 with Dr. Carla Pattin was my favorite course I have taken here at UToledo. Multicultural Toledo was engaging, and through it, I learned so much about Toledo. It helped me gain a new appreciation for this city and its history.”

Terri Draper

For Terri Draper, college is not just about going to class, taking notes, doing homework, and studying for tests. Terri says many of her opportunities at Terri DraperUToledo extend outside of the classroom. Her faculty push their students to interact with the community and experience every beautiful thing Toledo has to offer. Terri through all of this has built amazing friendships and been mentored by her instructors. A sophomore, campus by now feels like a second home for this TOLEDO EXCEL graduate.

Double-majoring in Adolescent and Young Adult Education as well as in English, Terri was attracted to the Honors College for its emphasis on creativity and self-discovery. With the help of the JSHC, Terri says, “I now better understand the impact of literacy in our community as well as the impact of literature in our daily lives. Art is a mirror held up to the world, and I see daily life experiences and struggles in what I read.” Instead of just being encouraged to read a book, the Honors faculty encourage Terri and her classmates to be the characters – to understand their stories from different points of view and make decisions thinking critically about what the text is really saying.

Standout Accomplishment: “After starting college, I knew I wanted to be more involved and confident in my abilities as a leader. I became President of Toledo Campus Ministry in my first year here and am now the Student/Faculty Liaison for The Voice of Honors, a career ambassador for Career Services, and am establishing a small program in the community to teach young people creative writing skills. Thanks to the JSHC, I have realized my goals for the future and am already working towards achieving them.”

Shaina Shah

Meet Shaina Shah, an Honors Pharmacy sophomore! Shaina crossed the state line as a Michigan resident to bring her talents to UToledo for more than just Shaina Shahits strong Pharmacy program. “The students and the faculty here at the JSHC were so far beyond welcoming that I immediately realized that this is where I wanted to spend my college years,” she said. Working closely with Pharmacy faculty in her Honors classes has allowed her to excel in her major, and taking classes with other JSHC students has introduced her to some of her closest friends.

Although Shaina has accomplished much already here at UToledo, she feels she will be proudest of her Honors thesis upon its completion. Shaina has the opportunity to work with Dr. Mary Powers on it, a professor of Pharmacy Practice. Together they are studying changing admissions trends in and criteria for the Doctor of Pharmacy Program.

Favorite Honors Experience: “This year I have deeply enjoyed being a Student Ambassador for the Honors College! Interacting with prospective UToledo students and helping them see all the benefits that come with joining the JSHC is an experience for which I could not be more grateful.”

Rupesh Boddapati

Rupesh BoddapatiAs a Bioengineering student in the Bacc2MD program, Rupesh Boddapati is on the fast track to his desired career. This Northville, Michigan, native values the integration of service and academics embedded in the culture of the JSHC. With service learning trips to developing nations and Honors courses that leverage his education into tangible improvements for Toledo, Rupesh appreciates the opportunities Honors offers aspiring leaders.

Despite the challenging courses in his major and the hours he has dedicated to service, he identifies personal growth as his standout accomplishment. “Becoming more independent and exposing myself to growth opportunities in the JSHC has really built my self-esteem and helped define my character,” he said.

Favorite Honors Opportunity: “I’ve lived in the Honors dorms since Fall 2017 and eventually became the Service Chair of MacKinnon, Scott, and Tucker Halls. This position has since opened the door to me for several prominent leadership opportunities on campus and beyond!”

Taylor Dallas

While many students wait until they are established in their program before studying abroad, Taylor Dallas dove headfirst into the opportunity. “Through Taylor Dallasthe Honors College, I was lucky enough to travel to Guatemala on a service learning trip last year,” the Pre-Pharmacy sophomore said. “It was the most impactful experience I have ever had, allowing me to directly aid others in the world.”

Taylor selected The University of Toledo for its accelerated Pharmacy program, enhanced by the ability of Honors students to take intellectually stimulating courses covering subjects not typically included in her major.

The difficulty of maintaining this level of performance can get to any student, though. After making the President’s list her freshman year, she realized she would need to tweak her study habits to continue excelling. She was unsure of where to begin, but through the Honors College, she connected with older students familiar with the demanding classes in her program. Taylor gained lifelong friendships with like-minded people in the JSHC that have helped her grow not only as a student, but also as a person.

Favorite Honors Experience:While I was in Guatemala, I was able to experience a completely different way of life and that exposure has changed how I view privilege and the ability of people to make a tangible difference in the world.”

Kelsey Gillmor

Kelsey GillmorAs an early conditional admit to The University of Toledo’s Speech-Language Pathology graduate program, despite just starting her junior year, Kelsey Gillmor clearly does not stray away from a challenge. The insight and critical thinking skills she has gained through the Jesup Scott Honors College have prepared her well for this momentous next step. “I chose UToledo not only because both of my parents are alumni, but also because I fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere, devoted staff, and distinguished Honors curriculum – making my decision to attend UToledo and the JSHC easy.” As an Honors student, Kelsey cherished studying abroad in Jamaica last Spring. “It was a rewarding week of fulfilling service and personal growth,” she said.

Favorite Thing about Honors: “I loved having the opportunity to enrich my freshman year by taking HON 1010 and HON 1020! The JSHC has introduced me to so many great people who play such a significant role in my life as a student.”

Max Nye

Juggling campus involvement and a full class schedule is something to which sophomore Max Nye is no stranger. A Bioengineering major from Richfield, Max NyeOhio, Max is currently serving as the President of The Voice of Honors and is a resident advisor on campus – which he celebrates as his two greatest accomplishments at UToledo.

“I chose UToledo because its Engineering programs are phenomenal,” Max said. “I joined the Honors College because I wanted a more personal experience within my classes and throughout my college career.” Wasting no time in doing so, he enrolled in an Honors section of BIOE 1000 in his first semester. “The Honors students were asked to complete a design project where we developed and presented an idea to fix an issue. My group chose to craft an adjustable sleeve for cups that allow the elderly who lack strength to handle them on their own,” Max explained. “That course sparked my excitement for the future where I could pursue solutions to better the world around us.”

Favorite Thing about Honors:The ability to get to know the Honors faculty outside the classroom."

Taylor Burchfield

Welcome back to campus, Honors Rockets! My name is Taylor Burchfield and I will be the face behind the Honors social media accounts (follow us!) this Taylor Burchfieldyear as well as the author of these student profiles. I am a senior majoring in Communication Studies with minors in Marketing and Professional Sales. I am from a small town near Cincinnati, Ohio, and was originally a part of the Honors Communication Team during my freshman and sophomore years. I gained unparalleled, real-world experience in that role and am so excited to be back with the JSHC to finish out my college career!

Outside of working within communications and marketing, my passion on campus is Greek Life. I am a proud member of Chi Omega and am currently serving as its chapter president here at UToledo. I am also a member of the Order of Omega, Gamma Sigma Alpha, and Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society. My chapter and Greek Life have given me countless opportunities to expand my leadership abilities and have provided me with friendships and role models to last a lifetime.

In the coming weeks, we will share in this section the stories of Honors students that embody the best of UToledo. I am looking forward to a wonderful year and hope I get the chance to meet many of you reading this!

Click here For 2021-2022 Honors Student Profiles

Click here For 2020-2021 Honors Student Profiles

Click here For 2018-2019 Honors Student Profiles

Click here For 2017-2018 Honors Student Profiles

Click here For 2016-2017 Honors Student Profiles

Last Updated: 6/27/22