FRIT Ambassadors

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Brando Bond

Brando Bond

I am majoring in Romance Studies and Security and Intelligence, and I plan to graduate in May 2022.

I chose to study Italian in college because since I was very young, I had always had a fascination for the language and the culture.  My mother would tell me about my Italian grandparents that she grew up knowing.  She always wanted to learn the language and grew up hearing it often, but it was hard for her since she is deaf in one ear.  This inspired me to want to connect with my heritage, and so I did.  I grew up speaking Spanish since I was 12 because I had many Hispanic friends. After becoming fluent in Italian, I found the Romance Studies major to be a great way to refine my Spanish. Then, I decided French would be a proper third language to pursue as it is very popular around the world.  I began to see the connections between all the Latin languages and many even with English which I find fascinating! I have since become fluent in Portuguese outside of my university studies.  Now, I am serving as a ministry leader in a Hispanic church and working as an interpreter for the Spanish community in Dayton, Ohio.  It is one of the most rewarding experiences being able to speak multiple languages and using them to serve the community. The programs at OSU truly equip you and immerse you into the many different cultures like no other.

Upon graduation, I will begin my journey in finding the best place to offer my language skills and will build upon them even more through the experience I gain by traveling and working abroad and here in the states.  I have considered many intelligence agencies and will continue exploring ways to serve my country and other countries with these languages. I am also a musician, so I plan to continue serving in the Hispanic church and other churches, singing in each language.


Cailyn Boyd

Cailyn Boyd

My name is Cailyn, and I am double majoring in French and Communication with the plan of graduating in the spring of 2022. When I first began at Ohio State, I declared French as my minor. However, I quickly realized that I wanted more opportunities to spend time in the language and learn about the culture, so I decided to study it more seriously. The experience, to say the least, has been immensely rewarding. As someone who values open-mindedness, diversity, and intellectual growth, learning a second language has been as fulfilling as it has been exciting. I am so grateful for the new perspectives and people that French has introduced me to.

After graduation, I would love to do international business and travel abroad for my work. Afterall, “if something is both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it.” -Erada


Kiernan Clegg

Kiernan Clegg

Hi! My name is Kiernan Clegg, and I am a third year student with a double major in Italian and Fashion Merchandising.

I plan to graduate in May 2023 and after graduation I am planning to join the fashion industry and use my knowledge of the Italian language and culture as a major asset for my employer. I hope to live abroad in Italy for a little while as well.

I decided to study Italian because I fell in love with the language while studying it in high school. Participating in my high school’s student exchanges, both hosting and traveling to Italy, made me realize the value of speaking Italian. Learning about all things Italian also allows me to feel more connected to one part of my ethnic heritage.

Initially, I was a Marketing major at Miami University, and after taking my first class of Italian there, I knew it would become a major or minor in my college career. After transferring to Ohio State the Italian and FRIT department made sure it was a very easy transition for me. The Italian department at Ohio State is like a close knit family. All the professors and faculty truly care about you and your progress in school. Everyone is constantly striving to do better and we work together to do that. 


Maddie Conley

Maddie Conley

My name is Maddie Conley, and I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in English and History with minors in Italian and International Conflict & Peace Studies. I’ll be graduating this spring in May 2022. After graduation, I plan to enroll in a Masters program in Library and Information Sciences, with a specialization in Archival Records Management. I declared my Italian minor not long after my freshman year here at Ohio State! I’ve loved my time with the Italian Department, which has radically shaped the course of my college career. Learning about intercultural competency in my Italian classes has had a large impact on my International Conflict & Peace Studies minor— just one of the many examples of how my time with FRIT has shaped me and my other paths of study for the better. Another amazing thing about the Italian Department is the incredible people — professors and fellow students — that I’ve had the opportunity to meet. I’ve made some great friends and gained some great mentors! Finally, FRIT’s location in Hagerty Hall introduced me to Crane Cafè, which may be the most important development of my college career. 


Aminata Diallo

Aminata Diallo

My name is Aminata A Diallo and I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in International Relations and Diplomacy. I am minoring in French and also African American and African Studies. I am from West Africa therefore I always had a bit of a French background. This is why I decided to pursue a minor in French studies at Ohio State when I enrolled. In the near future I want to become a diplomat which is why French will always be useful for me. 

During my time at Ohio State, I’ve met so many different people from all over the world. It has been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to carry many relations into the future. After graduation I plan to volunteer with nonprofit organizations to gain experience. I plan to use my degree to make many connections and explore the world ! I am very grateful for this chance to be an ambassador because there are so many OSU experiences I would love to share with others ! 


Jarod Griffith

Jarod Griffith

My name is Jarod Griffith and I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Romance Studies and a minor in Neuroscience with the plan to graduate in 2022. Initially, I planned on majoring in neuroscience but after taking some French classes I realized that my true passion was learning languages. I remember attending a FRIT welcome event to learn more about the French major but then I discovered Romance Studies. The possibility to learn more than one language within four years was something that I could not let pass me by. I’m glad to have made this decision as it is extraordinarily fulfilling.

What I love the most about this department is the welcoming atmosphere. I feel like I could approach my professors and have meaningful conversations not only about the course, but even about what is happening in my own life as well as the world around us. I feel that they care for me and my success as a student.

After graduation, I plan to apply for the Teaching Assistant Program in France where I would be getting first-hand experience of being in a French classroom teaching French students.


Kala McClure

Kala McClure

My name is Kala McClure, and I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in French with minors in Higher Education & Student Affairs and Women, Gender & Public Policy. I originally chose to come to OSU because we are one of the only schools in the state of Ohio with a World Language Education program. For most of my life, my dream was to become a French teacher. Although I changed my career trajectory during my second year, I knew that I wanted to stay a French major-- after almost nine years of studying French, I cannot imagine my life without it.

After graduation, I plan to go to graduate school to pursue a master's degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs. Although this does not have a direct tie to French language and culture, I will be far better equipped to support college students because of my well-rounded education on intercultural competency, intersectional feminisms, and inclusive leadership, each of which is represented by one aspect of what I study. 

I am extremely grateful to the Department of French & Italian, not only for playing a major role in my academic development over the years, but also for providing me with mentors and role models that genuinely care about my success.


Tristan Monteith

Tristan Monteith

My name is Tristan Monteith, I am majoring in Public Affairs, Political Science and French and Francophone Studies. The first day that I walked into my French 1103 class, my first college-level class ever, I was expecting it to be a General Education requirement. That class reminded me of my passion for French. I decided that I wanted to study French in my college career in some capacity, even` just minoring. The professors I have had in the French department have been my favorite at this university and have truly made my college experience what it has been thus far. I am so lucky to have these people to support me in my academics. 

After Graduation I would like to obtain my Master's in Public Administration and potentially attend law school after that to work in family, environmental, or international law. I hope that French serves as a way I can communicate with different people in my job if I am able. 


Preston Newkirk

Preston Newkirk

My name is Preston Newkirk and I am a senior studying Civil Engineering and French. I’m fortunate enough to have studied French since kindergarten and over the years I’ve witnessed first-hand how language can help build friendships with people from all over the world. The French language has expanded my opportunities and provided me the tools I need to work internationally. I plan to focus my career around humanitarian engineering work and my French language skills. After graduating, I hope to join the Peace Corps and teach math and science in a Francophone country. 

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Past FRIT Ambassadors

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Dakota Daniel

Dakota Daniel

My name is Dakota Daniel and I have a double major in nursing and Italian. I will be graduating in the spring of 2021 and while I am not sure of my exact path in nursing, I hope to work in critical care. In addition, I am looking into being a medical interpreter for the Italian and Italian-American population in Columbus. I decided to continue studying Italian in college after taking four years of the language in high school, and Dr. Aski encouraged me to take the minor to a major. As I’ve continued learning Italian, I have realized how valuable it is to speak a second language, not just for communication but the critical thinking skills and cultural appreciation that come with language acquisition. Learning Italian here at Ohio State is also particularly special because you are able to form personal and professional relationships with your instructors. Every professor cares deeply about their students and truly wishes for them to excel in all aspects of their life.


Tristan Monteith

Tristan Monteith

My name is Tristan Monteith, I am majoring in Public Affairs, Political Science and French and Francophone Studies. The first day that I walked into my French 1103 class, my first college-level class ever, I was expecting it to be a General Education requirement. That class reminded me of my passion for French. I decided that I wanted to study French in my college career in some capacity, even` just minoring. The professors I have had in the French department have been my favorite at this university and have truly made my college experience what it has been thus far. I am so lucky to have these people to support me in my academics. 

After Graduation I would like to obtain my Master's in Public Administration and potentially attend law school after that to work in family, environmental, or international law. I hope that French serves as a way I can communicate with different people in my job if I am able. 


Rose Tyler

Rose Tyler

Hello! My name is Rose Tyler, and I study French and psychology here at Ohio State and plan to graduate in the spring of 2021. After graduation, I plan to enroll in a doctoral psychology program where I'll research children's cognitive and social development. I loved taking French in high school and wanted to continue practicing the language and learning more about French culture. I love how the department here is big enough to bring professors from France and to offer amazing study abroad opportunities, but also close-knit enough that I know most of my fellow French classmates and have grown close to them over the years. I'm so grateful for everything I've learned from the FRIT department and my summer abroad in Paris!


Jarod Griffith

Jarod Griffith

I plan to graduate in 2022 with a major in Romance Studies and minor in Neuroscience. I initially did not plan on majoring in Romance Studies but rather in Neuroscience. I had planned to take French 1103 as my last language course but it was during this class that I really began to understand the language and the culture. I enjoyed that I could think in a different way, communicate with more people across the globe and better understand the differences as well as the similarities across cultures. I then went to the FRIT welcome party to learn more about the professors and the majors that were offered. I was most intrigued by Romance Studies major. I liked the idea of being able to learn multiple languages during my undergrad and wanted to know if this is something that I would be interested in. So I took a Spanish class to see if I felt the same joy that I had while learning French… and I did.

What I love the most about this department is the welcoming atmosphere. I feel like I could approach my professors and have meaningful conversations not only about French, Italian or the course program, but even about what is happening in my own life and in the world around us. I feel that they care for me and my success as a student.

I am uncertain of what career I would like to pursue after graduation whether that be teaching, interpreting, continuing my education or even something entirely different. I do know for sure that I do not see a future where I don’t speak another language every day.


Owen Morrish

Owen Morrish

I am a senior with majors in Romance studies and migration studies and a psychology minor. I first became interested in language learning after visiting Montréal at a young age, and have since enjoyed learning French, Italian, and Spanish on the Romance studies major. I am proud to be part of the inclusive FRIT community and love the department’s emphases on intercultural competency and post-colonialism. After graduating in May 2021, I plan to pursue an MA in Migration Studies.


Athena Markowski 

Athena Markowski

My name is Athena and I am majoring in Journalism and double minoring in Italian and Media Production and Analysis. I plan to graduate in 2023. I study Italian because it connects me to my heritage. My grandpa immigrated from Italy, and I want to pay homage to my family by continuing to study the language and culture. After graduation I would love to move forward with sports journalism and one day travel to Italy to experience their sports culture. 


Preston Newkirk

Preston Newkirk

My name is Preston Newkirk and I am a junior studying Civil Engineering and French. I’m fortunate enough to have studied French since kindergarten and over the years I’ve witnessed first-hand how language can help build friendships with people from all over the world. The French language has expanded my opportunities and provided me the tools I need to work internationally. I plan to focus my career around humanitarian engineering work and my French language skills. After graduating, I hope to join the Peace Corps and teach math and science in a Francophone country. 

 


Alexis Vance-Townsend

Alexis Vance-Townsend

Hello! I am a senior majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in French. At first, I chose to study French as a minor because it was a natural continuation of my studies in high school, but I quickly found out that it was a nice break from the heavy science/math curriculum of my major and rounded out my college education. I’m also very interested in French aesthetic and francophone culture, so it has been very rewarding to further my knowledge and experience with it. I love that the department is relatively small because you really get to know much of the amazing staff on a fairly personal level. It personally makes me more likely to come out of my shell during class. Upon graduation this spring, I am planning on taking a gap year before I apply to medical school so one, I have a bit of a break before drowning in work again, and two, so I can gain some more valuable experience in the medical field. In the more distant future, I am excited to use my French experience in working abroad for doctors without borders, and upon retirement, it is my dream to have a small house in the south of France.