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New Country, New School


The transition from high school to college can be one of the most trying challenges a young student faces. Add in a new country and being thousands of miles away from home and you have Cheryl Mukosiku’s experience, a freshman Botswana Top Achiever-Cutler Scholar. Traveling from Botswana to America to earn her undergraduate degree in biology, Mukosiku’s experience has been directly affected by the Cutler Scholars Program.

“I knew I could count on the Cutler Scholars Program to be my small family away from home and it certainly reduced home sickness,” said Mukosiku. Though she came here to study biology, Mukosiku has big dreams and plans. Ever since childhood it has been her dream to be a doctor and with the opportunity to come to America to study, her dreams are starting to become a reality. “I had always wanted to become a doctor. If it wasn’t enough to dream of this, I began to grow an interest in Neurosurgery which has stuck with me to this day. After I graduate, I may stay and do my medical schooling here─only time will tell,” said Mukosiku. While in high school, Mukosiku was vice chairperson of the debate team, president of Junior Engineers, Techinicians and Scientists (JETS), and was also vice-captain on the basketball team. Along with her extracurricular achievements, Mukosiku was also awarded best female in mathematics, best female in sciences, and best female prefect. She was part of a few global projects including iEarn and the Australian Mathematics competition. While here, her goal is to truly immerse herself in the culture by experiencing new places and people while also being involved like she was in high school.

“I want to make the most of everything that comes my way while in America. I love traveling so I hope to go to famous places─the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, New York City and more. I basically just want to have fun,” said Mukosiku. Mukosiku said, “The Cutler Scholars helped me a lot with fitting in. It was more comforting knowing that I wouldn’t be entirely alone as I began my college journey. It has become my home away from home.”

In this issue... >> New Country, New School 1 >>Alumni Updates 2 >> Alumni Reunion 3 >>Scholars Council 3

>>Director’s Note 4 >>Scholar Research 5 >>Summer Experiences 6-7 >> Scholar Retreat 8

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Alanna Beatty Eikenberry, ‘98, is now working at Greendfield Exempted Village Schools as a 6th grade reading and language arts teacher.

Cassie Costilow, ‘10, is completeing her fourth year audiology externship at The Scholl Center for Communication Disorders in Tulsa, OK.

Jesse Branner, ‘10, started as an associate at Bricker & Eckler in Columbus this September.

Alison Dawson Himes, ‘03, completed her Dermatology Residency in August 2013 and is currently working with Dermatologists of Greater Columbus.

Emily Grannis, ‘10, is now a Jack Nelson Legal Fellow with Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Arlington, VA.

Grace Nelson, ‘12, became a Registered Sanitarian in the State of Ohio in September and is currently working with Columbus Public Health.

Abigail Gilkey Blanks, ‘03, is in her last year of law school at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and is working as an intern at the chief counsel’s office for the IRS in Cleveland, OH. Christine Channell Brose, ‘04, became board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation this year and is now working with Gunderson Medical Center in LaCrosse, WI. Annette Ratcliff, ’06, received an Ohio State University Pelotonia Postdoctoral Fellowship, a two year fellowship that funds cancer research at OSU. Irina Panovska, ‘07, is now an Assistant Professor of Economics at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

Courtney Ginther, ‘13, is now working as a Middle School Intervention Specialist at Southern Local High School. Elena Mihajlovska, ‘13, became an Assurance Associate at PwC in New York City. Katie Black Milam, ‘03, celebrated the arrival of her new baby girl Harper Milam born this past summer.

Alison Leonard, ‘13, passed her nursing boards and is now a registered nurse. She started a new position in the emergency department of Holzer Hospital.

Annie Valente, ‘06, is now engaged to Jeremy Robin, whom she met in San Francisco in 2010. They live in Boise, ID.

Gabe Weinstein, ‘13, is now a staff writer at Sangre de Cristo Chronicle in Angel Fire, NM.

Stephanie Ksionzyk, ‘07, started as an office associate in the Education Studies office at the University of Wyoming. Colin McCrone, ‘08, is a Research Assistant in the Program of Computer Graphics at Cornell University.


Ethan Cotrill, ‘13, is now teaching middle school science as well as high school physics at Earle School District in Earle, Arkansas. He also started a master of science in education program at Johns Hopkins University .

Kevin Fritz, ‘00, celebrated the arrival of his fourth child Courtney Fritz born this past summer.

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Scholars Come Together Through Council Students in the Cutler Scholars Program are always expected to succeed. They surpass expectations often and commonly challenge one another to create new groups and new goals to achieve. They are doing all of these things once again through a group that they have revitalized: Cutler Scholars Council. “The Cutler Scholars Council is a way for all of the Cutler Scholars to bond and get to know each other outside of formal events and colloquium.” Junior Emrick-Scholar Kit John, Co-Founder of the group said. The group is focused on planning three events revolving around three main ideas including professional development, community service, as well as one event where the scholars can simply bond on a more friendly level. “The council is open for all of the scholars to participate. A lot of freshman and sophomores are involved this year, so I think the numbers could grow in the future. We also use the talents of other scholars to help us out on projects,” John said. The group, founded by scholars themselves, has a made a positive impact on the group by bringing them together not just as scholars but friends as well. “The original group was founded by Konneker-Scholar Kelsey Davis, Bush-Scholar Alumna Grace Nelson, McClure/Fuller-Scholar Jackson Lavelle and myself. We created it with the intent of getting to know one another in a more casual setting but then later we incorporated community service and professional development goals,” John said. For a group of successful young men and women, it can be difficult to find time to truly interact with one another on a friendly level. Luckily for them, they’ve put their success as well as their personal relationships first on their list of priorities. John says, “ All of the scholars are friendly with one another, even though we were brought together for an academic purpose.”

Alumni Reunion 2013

Current scholars posed with Rufus.

Makenzie Olaker, Konneker Scholar ‘17, with her family.

Grace Nelson, Bush Scholar ‘12, Jesse Branner, Bush Scholar ‘10, with Jackson Lavelle, McClure/Fuller Scholar ‘14.

Jack Ellis and Sue Ellis with Annette Ratcliff, Ellis Scholar ‘06.


Note from the Director DR. HERMAN “BUTCH” HILL,

Our expectation is that Cutler Scholars will make the world a better place. My experience with this fall’s colloquia has only made me more optimistic that this will continue to happen: Scholars, including our 10 new first-year ones, show an eagerness to tackle thorny subjects. Some of the world’s hardest problems are worsened by the difficulty that we have in discussing them. For example—as we discussed in the fall of 2008—HIV is a severe problem partly because of social taboos on conversations about sex. How do you solve a societal problem that you can’t talk about? Our current colloquium topic is water—more specifically, the increasing shortage of fresh water in the 21st century. This problem plays out differently in the developed world than in developing nations: we have never had a real water shortage, and they have never really had enough water.

An important component of our profligate water use in the U.S. is the flush toilet. One-third of all domestic water use in the U.S. is due to our outmoded toilets. Compounding the problem, city budgets typically have sanitation expenses that are second only to education costs. The developing world has a quite different water problem: it suffers from a lack of sanitation, due to a lack of clean water. Of the world’s 7.1 billion people, 2.8 billion do not have access to toilets. (Incredibly, 6 billion people DO have access to cell phones!) Lack of sanitation leads to a host of water-borne diseases whose victims fill half the hospital beds in those developing countries. Importantly, lack of sanitation also reduces access to education, particularly for young women. Neither sanitation in general nor toilets in particular are comfortable discussion topics. Despite this, it’s been good to see that this year’s colloquia are as full of frank and energetic discussions as the 2008 ones were about HIV. To be fair, some of the current great conversations have been due to our guest speakers: Moss alumna Dr. Natalie Cruse has contributed her extensive water-quality expertise, and Distinguished Prof. Richard Vedder has explained the “water diamond-paradox” of economics. The fearlessness, however, has had to come from the Cutler Scholars—and they have not disappointed.

Dr. Ping is fond of saying that Cutler Scholars are the living legacy of the program. I’m heartened that their legacy is willingness to take on thorny, even unmentionable problems.


2013-2014 Cutler Scholars Program

The Cutler Scholars gather at their weekly colliquium.

Research Teaches Scholars LAUREN LOFTUS, ‘14

What are you researching? How did you decide to do research on that subject? I work in Dr. Rack’s inorganic chemistry group. Our group focuses on synthesizing ruthenium and osmium metal complexes that contain sulfoxide functional groups in at least one of the ligands. Basically, we can make and break chemical bonds simply by shining a certain color of light on the compound. The bonding scheme will then revert back to the sulfur being bound to the ruthenium with time and heat, or in certain complexes, with a different color of light (usually green). I had Dr. Rack as a professor for a general chemistry class, and he would always find ways of incorporating his research into the class. The way light interacts with matter has always been an interesting concept to me, so this seemed like a great research group to join. What is one thing you hope to gain from this experience? The main thing that I hope to gain from my research is experience in a lab that will help prepare me for graduate school. By learning all of these synthetic and instrumental techniques, I will have a list of skills fresh out of my undergraduate degree that will hopefully give me an edge over other applicants. This is also a great chance for me to explore my interests and learn my likes and dislikes, which will help me in choosing a career.

NICOLE SOVA, ‘16 What are you researching? How did you decide to do research on that subject?

The lab I’m working in is studying how cancer cells travel through the bloodstream to form new growths, or metastasize with a focus on developing better techniques to distinguish stem cells from non-stem cells. I just started in the lab in September, so all the “research” I have done so far is learning lab techniques and helping out on other students’ projects. However, we hope to have me studying the techniques we use to culture the cells. I hope to determine if those techniques may be damaging our ability to study the lipid characteristics in the cell and possible new methods of handling the cells. The most interesting thing you have learned while participating in the research? I don’t think I can pinpoint one specific thing I’ve learned as the most interesting. Instead, I view the overall experience as the most interesting part. As a 19 year old, I am able to help contribute to cancer research and at the same time learn from highly qualified and passionate researchers.


Summer Experiences Broaden Horizons Outward Bound

CADEN BROOKER What is the largest impact

your experience had on you? “I would have to say that most of all, my experience pushed me in a way I have never been pushed before. The thought of walking 10 miles a day, up mountains, with 40 pound sacks can really make you question your physical capabilities. However, I found that I could push myself in a way that I never thought I could before. Finding my inner strength and perseverance is the largest impact my experience had on me.” What is a memorable moment you will never forget from your experience? “On just the second


day of the course, we settled into our campsite for the evening. I had to use the restroom, so naturally I went into the trees where I would be away from camp. When I was finished, I began walking back toward the camp, only to realize that I was walking in the wrong direction. I had no idea where I was. I panicked. I began running back to where I thought I came from, but that only proved to make things worse. With night approaching and my head filled with headlines of how a boy was lost and never found during his Outward Bound trip, I became the most scared I have ever been in my life. Then, I finally did the sensible thing. I blew the whistle that had been given to each course participant on the first day to be used in case this situation arose. After blowing my lungs out for at least 5 minutes, I heard a faint “Caden” somewhere deep in the woods. I made my way to the sound, blowing my whistle as I wove through trees and rocks. When I saw my course instructor I was filled with the greatest relief I have ever experienced.”

Outward Bound

TREVOR WALSH What is the largest impact your

experience had on you? “I think that this experience was able to expose my weaknesses and helped me find ways to work on them. I had never been on an outdoor experience such as this one, and being on Outward Bound brought out the “true me” when things got challenging. I was able to see how I reacted to the pressures of meeting goals and deadlines and relying on others just as much as myself. Impact-wise, Outward Bound strengthened not only my body, but also my mind and soul.” What did you do to impact others on your trip? “Because I was

the oldest in my group, I was often there as a person to look to for guidance in the beginning of the trip. It wasn’t a surprise to see others come to me for advice or to help them with a task. As the trip went on, however, I felt that the others had an impact on me more than I had an impact on them. You could see that each and every member had their own roles in the group. Others had perceived me as one of the leaders, but in my eyes they were making just as much of a contribution than anyone else. I had made friendships there that still persist to this day.”

What is a memorable moment you will never forget from your experience? “I will never forget our

times in the canoes, especially when we were singing. Nearly every day we had a different tune to sing. It got to the point where we got everyone in on it. Those had to be some of the best times at our Outward Bound Experience.”

Internship Exerpience

LYNZEE TUCKER What is a memorable moment you will never

forget from your experience? “The best day of my

whole internship was our first office BBQ. The sales, marketing, and engineering teams in the office got together and had a cook-out in the parking lot of our office building. We were split up into teams and held events after everyone ate. I was with 2 other sales territory managers and a member of our support team. The four of us decided to have a “Hula” themed team so we all wore dollar sunglasses, flowers, and grass skirts! Our team won most creative and enthusiastic, and I even won an event for our team. As an intern it was great to feel so accepted and part of a little family there at the office.”

What is the most important thing you learned while at your internship? “Relationships are everything. What can you take from the experience to help you in your future? “I really hope that the things I learned

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Network, network, network!”

at Fluke Networks will stay with me through my entire career. There are some lessons that you can’t learn in a classroom, and this internship provided the safest “real-world” examples to learn from.”

Abroad Experience

KARA FRISINA What is the largest impact your experience had on

you? “One of the most important things that I learned was to take charge and be independent. I couldn’t count on other people to know train times for me or know how to get around a city or find the metro when the signs are in Hungarian. I learned that I am a lot more capable than I give myself credit for and that gain of selfconfidence has been very rewarding.” What is a memorable moment you will never forget from your experience? “After my study abroad program, I went backpacking for 7 weeks across Europe with my best friend who I met and lived with in Spain. We decided to do a project while we traveled, about the people we met along the way. She, the writer, would interview them while I, the photographer, would take their portrait. The people we met along the way had an enormous impact on me and I learned a lot from what they had to say. I love traveling to see new cities and sights. I think meeting a new person is similar because they have a whole world of knowledge and experiences to learn from. It was especially interesting doing the project across different countries, because while it showed me cultural differences, it also showed me the powerful similarities that all humans share.”


CSP First Year Retreat The Class of 2017 participated in the first ever first-year retreat, a two and a half day off campus program lead by current scholars. On top of getting to know each other, the scholars engaged in a StrengthsQuest™ workshop, book discussion, small service project, and zip lining.


Cutler Scholars Newsletter- Fall 2013  
Cutler Scholars Newsletter- Fall 2013