back to news June 25, 2019

Arts and Sciences students receive Rising Star Awards

Four College of Arts and Sciences students have been honored with Rising Star Awards from the college's Office of Undergraduate Recruitment. The awards are part of the college’s recruitment, retention and recognition programs for undergraduate students. The awards are given to first-year students who participate in the Program for Advancing Scholarship and Service (PASS), engage in active involvement in campus organizations, demonstrate leadership and participate in community service.

This year's recipients are: Oajah Alcorn, Kiara Devese, Maria Khan and Ramona Stephenson.

Here, in their own words, they share their thoughts on their work and the award.


Oajah AlcornOajah Alcorn
My name is Oajah Alcorn, and I am majoring in psychology and minoring in media and society. Apart from being a student on campus, I am also an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences. I am a peer leader in the PASS program and member of Never Let Your Pen Dry and TBOC. This semester, I will be a research assistant for Attitudes and Persuasion in Wegener Lab. Post-graduation I plan to get my master's in media psychology to research how social media platforms affect our society and what we can do to improve it.


Kiara DeveseKiara Devese
My name is Kiara Devese, and I am majoring in biochemistry with a minor in bioethics. I am currently the outreach chair for the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students and the financial chair for Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in STEM. I also participate in Buckeye REACH, which is a volunteer mentorship program with men ages 18-21 at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center. I volunteer at the Wexner Medical Center as an ambassador and guide individuals throughout the hospital to their destinations. I additionally conduct research with the Sehgal lab specifically looking into genes that may trend in patients with leukemia and examining how this affects overall survival. After graduating, I plan to go to medical school to pursue a career as a cardiovascular surgeon.


Maria KhanMaria Khan
My name is Maria Khan, and I am a rising sophomore from Hilliard majoring in biology on a pre-med track. In the following academic year, I am looking forward to being one of the Peer Leaders of PASS, the fundraising committee chair of Mirrors Honorary and continue as an ASC student ambassador. As a Choose Ohio First Scholar, I also volunteer for a science outreach program. After I graduate, I hope to continue my education in medical school to one day become a physician. I am honored to be one of the Rising Star Award recipients and cannot wait for the rest of my time at Ohio State. 


Ramona StephensonRamona Stephenson
My name is Ramona Stephenson, a psychology major here at Ohio State. I spent most of my first year focusing on classes, and as a result, I was not as involved as I would have liked to be. That being said, I did become an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences. This is a position that has allowed me to work with and get to know some amazing people in a short time. I was also a part of the Program for Advancing Scholarship and Service (PASS), the International Learning Community, the Black Student Association and worked at the Mathematics and Statistics Learning Center as a greeter. These are all programs and positions that allowed me to find stability in my first year and will continue to help me connect with others in the future. Through PASS, I learned more about education abroad programs and plan to apply for the Between France and Morocco Education Abroad Program in May 2020. On March 5, 2019, I swore in to serve in the National Guard, and after graduation, I will continue to work with them while pursuing my master’s degree to achieve my goal of becoming a marriage counselor. Lastly, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the board who decided that I was worthy of this scholarship.


More About the Rising Star Awards
Consistent with the university’s mission, the Rising Star Awards, are used to support educational diversity at the university.  The fund is used to provide up to ten undergraduate awards to students at the end of their first year of enrollment in furtherance of the university’s diversity agenda with attention to, but not limited to, students from underrepresented groups who participate actively in Office of Undergraduate Recruitment programs.

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