OMSAR – An outlet for undergraduate Bobcats of color

The Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention (OMSAR) is a sub-branch of the Office for Diversity & Inclusion. The Office for D&I is also home to the Women’s Center, Multicultural Center and Programs, and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center.

My video demonstrates why OMSAR is a premiere outlet for undergraduate OU persons of color, by focusing on the social programs, scholarships, academic and extracurricular opportunities the office provides.

OMSAR is mostly known for LINKS, a peer mentoring program for first-year minority students that helps ease the transition from high school into college, where often few students share similar ethnic identities. Therefore, I mainly focused on the LINKS program but included aspects of OMSAR that do not relate to LINKS.

I also investigated OMSAR’s work through other organizations, specifically the LGBT Center.  I tied my topics together by interviewing LGBT Center director delfin bautista, to learn about LINKS strengths and weaknesses from an outside source that has OMSAR knowledge.

There are a variety of pictures and descriptive texts in this video to allow viewers to gain a deeper understanding of OMSAR’s impact.


I love Court Street, you love Court Street, we all love Court Street.

In this video I recap my conversations with a few alumni of Ohio University to see what they think about Court Street after leaving Athens, Ohio to pursue their careers. I asked them what they think about Athens’ iconic brick road and how it has changed over the years from when they were students.

College Coffee Fix: 5 affordable fair trade coffee brands

If students are the heart of college, then caffeine is the life blood. And while many will jump at the chance to score a cheap cup of joe, cost isn’t the only factor. College students rank sustainable business practices as an important factor in where they buy their coffee. A 2016 study conducted by S&D Coffee & Tea Inc. found 40 percent of millennials “ think more positively of places that offer coffee with features like local, sustainable, fair-trade certified, single origin, etc.”

While some millennials are willing to pay extra to get fair trade products, that’s not realistic for everyone. Here’s five fair trade coffee brands that won’t break the bank:

Silver Bridge
  • Specifications: Fair trade, organic
  • Roasts: Variety, all made from Arabica beans
  • Prices:  $11.99 for a 12 oz. bag

Lorraine Walker founded Silver Bridge Coffee Company in 2008 after experimenting with making specialty blends in a popcorn popper. Not only is this Ohio-based business a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of American and Fair Trade USA, Walker also is a strong supporter of women in business. Silver Bridge sells Cafe Feminino blends, a foundation that “provides grants for women and their families in coffee-producing countries such as Peru, Columbia and Guatemala.”

If that’s not enough to sell you on Silver Bridge, consider this: It is the only Ohio company to offer 100 percent recyclable disposable coffee pods.

Find Silver Bridge Coffee online or in Ohio supermarkets. For a price break, find the coffee blends at the Athens Farmers Market during the summer and fall.

Equal Exchange
  • Specifications: Fair trade, organic,
  • Roasts: Variety
  • Prices: starting at $9.95 for a 10 oz. bag

Equal Exchange co-op prioritizes small business owners. In promoting fair trade practices, it connects consumers in North America with South American growers. Their coffee is made from organic beans and comes in a variety of blends, from dark to light roasts.

All products are available at the website, and can be purchased in a variety of forms, from 10 oz. bags to environmentally-friendly pods. There’s even a wholesale option for those looking to buy in bulk. Now: Get 10 percent off and free shipping when you sign up for the mailing list.

Grounds for Change
  • Specifications: Fair Trade, organic, shade grown, carbon free
  • Roasts: Variety, including specialty and seasonal
  • Prices: $10.95 for a 12 oz. bag

Grounds for Change is a certified organic and fair trade coffee company in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission: “To support social equity and environmental sustainability through fair trade, organic, shade grown coffee.”

Shade grown coffee beans grow under a tree canopy and are not exposed to chemical fertilizers. Grounds for Change says this helps its coffee — brewed only in small batches — be as fresh as possible. The coffee is available in dark, medium and light roasts, with limited availability for seasonal flavors. You can also join the Coffee of the Month club and receive a different blend every month for up to a year. A three-month subscription starts at $69. 96 and ships free!

Buy Grounds for Change online here. 

Archer Farms
  • Specifications: Fair trade, direct trade
  • Roasts: Variety, as well as seasonal
  • Prices: $8.99 for 18 pods, or $6.69 for a 12 oz. bag

You already purchase many of your college essentials at Target, so why not add fair trade coffee to the list? In August 2016 Target’s Archer Farms brand launched its fair trade coffee line. Amanda Irish, VP of Target Owned Brands, said in an AOL article the company overhauled its coffee production to give customers not only better options, but more sustainable ones.

Both the beans and 95 percent recyclable pods are available at Target stores and online. Don’t miss their specialty brews as well, like hot buttered rum and apple cider donut.

Pura Vida Create Good
  • Specifications: Fair trade, organic, shade grown
  • Roasts: Variety, from bold to mild (also decaf)
  • Prices: $10.95 for a 12 oz. bag

Available both for individual and wholesale purchase, Pura Vida Create Good coffee is locally roasted in small batches to guarantee freshness. The company is also doing its part to educate consumers about the fair trade process. Its Create Good Foundation is a public charity that funds projects for at-risk children in coffee-producing countries.

Pura Vida’s unique coffee blends range from spicy and full-bodied to delicate and sweet. With flavors and names from all around the world, these roasts are sure to please.


College Coffee Fix is a weekly newsletter that seeks to educate and connect college students about fair trade products.

Welcome to the Jungle: Your up to date Newsletter on the Cincinnati Bengals

Image result for bengals photos

If you are a Bengals fan who wants up to date information on everything Bengals this is the newsletter for you. It seems like over the last few years the Bengals have been in the news a lot. But, rest assured this letter will cover many of the Bengals social media outlets, local news on the team, and some off the field information regards to community involvement and partnering with other local Bengals neighborhoods around the greater Cincinnati area. Here are this weeks Top 5 headlines that you should know about.

1. The Bengals eyeing free agency signings.

For the Bengals, one problem that the team ran into this past season was failing to sign the right people and dealing with departures for more money from other teams. This year the Bengals are looking for experience, veteran leadership, and dynamic athletes.


Reports close to the team say the team doesn’t plan to pay a lot in free agency this year. The big dilemma the Bengals are faced with is bringing back that veteran leadership. With players like Andrew Whitworth and Domata Peko who are in their 30’s many wonder how many productive years they have left to give? Both have been great leaders for the team on both sides of the ball but the front office is left to wonder if it is time to move on.

2. Bengals preparing for upcoming draft.

After 6 consisstant years of making the playoffs the Bengals ended the 2016 season 6-9-1. The first losing record in 7 years. The Bengals now have the 9th overall pick in the draft and are looking to draft big. The last time the Bengals had a top ten draft pick they got wide receiver from Georgia, A.J. Green.

In Todd McShay’s Mock draft on he has the 9th overall pick in the draft being Marshawn Lattimore a cornerback from Ohio State University.

3. LB Trevor Roach retires at the age of 24.

Roach reported that his reason for retiring early is because he says, “I didn’t love football like I used too.”


4. Bengals claim rookie wide receiver from Dallas.

Last week the Bengals decided to sign unrestricted free agent Chris Brown from the Dallas Cowboys. The Bengals saw a lot of Brown at Notre Dame last year due to the fact the Bengals were looking at his teammate, Will Fuller, as a possible first round draft pick.


5. Get that special someone a Bengals Valentines Day card.

Hard to believe it but since today is Valentines Day the most popular traffic on the Bengals website and social media platforms are the really catchy Valentines Day cards.

I hope you all find this newsletter informative and insightful for all you biggest Cincinnati Bengals questions.





5 pleasant vacation photos and their assumed unpleasant backstories

The stories behind these vacation photos will haunt your dreams and possibly change your perspective on life.

Vacations are a time to relax, unwind, and let go of the stresses of your life. They can be a time to try something new, to be spontaneous and exciting. The folks in these photos appear to be enjoying their vacations, but take a closer look and you will just barely make out the tragedy in their eyes.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures via Petr Kratochvil

1.) An afternoon of sea kayaking took a turn for the worse when the cruise ship behind these adventurers ran into the massive iceberg just out of the frame.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures via kai Stachowiak

2.) Edith, an avid motorcyclist and self proclaimed badass, rode out on that dusty road with no intentions of ever looking back at the life she once knew. Until she realized she forgot her suitcase.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures via Piotr Wojcicki

3.) Seymour prefers to spend his vacation in his backyard, deep in thought and silent reflection. He always makes sure to leave his phone, keys, pants, wallet, and other everyday distractions inside before venturing out into nature.

Photo by PublicDomainPhotos via Jean Beaufort

4.) All Penelope ever wanted was to be able to enjoy a refreshing week out on the slopes. Upon arriving at the lodge, however, she was forced into volunteering for the search and rescue team, and has not left the resort since.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures via Petr Kratochvil

5.) Sebastian wanted to go to Disney World. Instead, his forgetful and utterly incompetent parents took him and his sister to some lame island resort in the middle of the Caribbean or whatever.

7 times you went, “aaaaargggh Jaden Smith”

Argghhh Jaden Smith. There are some dumb tweets in the world but his just might be the hardest to forget. It’s tricky to pin the guys angle. Does he intentionally take a new spin grammar because he is such an individual? I’ll let you decide.

For the record, there are no spelling mistakes here on my part.

1.) “There Is No Nutrients In Our Food Anymore Or In Our Soil OR IN OUR WATER.”
Photo via Google Images

Part of this is true.

2.) “The Great Gatsby Is One Of The Greatest Movies Of All Time, Coachella.”
Photo via Google Images

Fitzgerald would have disapproved of Toby Maguire, although can’t speak for Coachella.

3.) “Just Watched Doctor Strange, Im Completely Blown Away, And I’m Going To Dedicate The Rest Of My Life To Those Practices. Thank You”
(Photo via Google Images)

Remember Jaden, it’s Leviooosa not Leviosaaa. You’ll need that knowledge for your next defense against the dark arts exam.

And good luck with transfiguration, charms and potions.

4.) “If Everybody In The World Dropped Out Of School We Would Have A Much More Intelligent Society.”
(Photo via Google Images)

He has found his niche, and it is fixing this nations education system.

5.) “Education Is Rebellion.”
ugh (Photo via Google Images)


…unless you’re learning karate

6.) “If A Book Store Never Runs Out Of A Certain Book, Dose That Mean That Nobody Reads It, Or Everybody Reads It.”
(Photo via Flickr)

To be pondered on my next walk in the woods.

7.) “The Age Of Adaline Might Be The Best Movie I’ve Ever Seen, Excluding Twilight.”,_2.jpg
We’re all proud of you (Photo via Google Images)

aaaaarghh, but I hear the first one isn’t all that bad.

“Ill Never Forget The Blogs That Believed In Me Since The Begging.” J. Smith.

Gamma Phi Beta: my second home in Athens

When thinking about my favorite place in Athens, my first thought was the best bars and special food places. As I thought about this longer, I realized the reason I love being uptown is because of the people I see when I’m there. This quickly changed my favorite place in Athens to the Gamma Phi Beta house. The best way to describe why is because it is a second home. Although I do not live in the sorority house, it is a place I can be myself with all of my friends.

Gamma Phi Beta big-little reveal, Photo by Allison Divens

Being able to have access to a house with multiple rooms is awesome. When I’m at the house I have the option to spend time in many of my friends’ rooms, be in the living room to relax or go hang out in the movie room. As I’ve learned the movie room is an excellent place to take a nap, which is a plus if I’m having a long day or there’s people in my dorm room.

My dorm room can be small and crowded at times. I have never been a homebound person, even when I lived in a spacious house with three other people. The past two years of living in a small room with three other people only makes me want to be out and about even more than before. In a way, the house is going somewhere else and an escape.  

Another fun room in the house is the kitchen. At most times during the day I know I can go downstairs to the kitchen and find many of my friends hanging out or doing homework. For me, it’s really nice to have others working on projects and being productive and caring about their academics. This motivates me to be better, and it’s fun at the same time. Also, I get some free meals each week at the house. This is always a perk, especially when I’m tired of dining hall foods but too broke to buy real food!

Another reason the Gamma Phi house is my favorite place on campus is because I know I will always be laughing there. I enjoy my time alone, but I’m very much a people person. While at the house, I have the opportunity to be a part of a family and hear all about my friends’ lives. Someone always has a funny story to tell about their professors or something hilarious about one of our friends.

I enjoy being at the house because there’s also a craft room where we can go to hang out and do projects or arts and crafts. I will be honest and admit that I may be one of the least crafty people ever, but I enjoy learning how to be better and try new things. At the house, we do many bonding activities. These can include anything from game night to watching The Bachelor or even decorating cookies.

Gamma Phi Beta philanthropy event, Photo by Abby Hagelberger

Finally, the Gamma Phi Beta house is my favorite place in Athens because I have the ability to grow as a person and bond with so many greats women that I can call some of my best friends. There’s a wide range of individuals who guide me and give me the advice I need to be the best version of myself.

At the end of the day, there’s always excitement and happiness in the house. It doesn’t matter if we’re hosting bid day or hanging out in pajamas eating Chipotle because I know that either way I will enjoy my time I spend there.

Court Street: my favorite place in Athens

Between the crowds of students, the look and feel of red Athens blocks, and the unique shops and local restaurants that line it, there is nothing quite like Court Street in Athens, Ohio. My own father, a 1984 alumnus of the communications school, always told me, “it is like a whole other world down there.” I never truly understood what he meant until I visited Athens for the first time when I was touring the Ohio University campus with my family back in 2012, but after I saw Court Street for myself, I knew exactly what he had meant.

Court street has a feeling that is special, there is something unique and indescribable about its character. It is my favorite place in Athens because it is the heart and soul of the city. This is where the culture and conversation of the town has been originating since 1804. The history and charisma of this place can be felt by walking up and down the brick lined sidewalks of Court Street. So many generations of students and staff have had unforgettable college experiences on that street, growing up and growing together as a community. Court Street feels as though it is part of Ohio University because of its architecture and closeness to the campus.

Court Street only stretches for about a half mile, but that is all it needs to be one of the most picturesque and charming I have ever seen. Somehow it gives you the feeling of being in a lively city without ever losing that small-town charm that Athens has. Running into friends or professors, attending nationally recognized events like the Halloween parade with 25-foot-tall puppets and live music, or going to the Ohio Brew Week, there is always something new and exciting happening on Court Street.

Students and staff walking down Court Street

Local businesses like The Athena Cinema, Bagel Street Deli, Casa Nueva, or Tony’s Tavern make Court Street and Athens a one of a kind destination. These shops give the street a home-grown, connected community feeling that I have not experienced anywhere else.

Taking a stroll down Court Street never fails to remind me of just how lucky I am to be in a place like this and that it will not last forever. It is my favorite place in Athens because I know it will be where I come back to when I visit my fellow Bobcats in the future as an alumnus, just like my brother and my father before me. The street reminds me of the bonds that I have made here and the relationships that I will never forget with some of my best friends in the world.

Court Street and college green were the first two places in Athens that I saw, they left me in awe, giving me an affinity towards the town and the University. These places made me want to be part of the Bobcat legacy. They are still a large reason why I have such a strong affiliation to this place today. Court street has helped me to grow both socially and professionally as a human being. My favorite place in Athens has taught me life skills that I will take with me forever from this community.

Some Bobcats can still be found on Court Street at 2 a.m. on a Monday

On the weekends, Court Street can be so crowded that it’s often difficult to even walk down the sidewalk. But on some weeknights, the only people who can be found on this street are the few who have time to get drunk and those who have to take care of everyone who has time to get drunk.

Passion Works Studios brings community members together for fall fling


Passion Works Studios hosted a “fall fling” Saturday, October 22, for community members to mingle with Passion Works artists and celebrate the autumn season. The fling consisted of live music, free food, pumpkin decorating and more!