Alumni News

June 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Junior Finds ‘Perfect Fit’ in Russian, Global Studies, and War & Peace

Delaney Dixon in front of Grand Tetons

Junior Delaney Dixon visits the Grand Tetons as part of the Ohio Fellows Program.

For rising junior Delaney Dixon, Russian, Global Studies, and War and Peace Studies are “a perfect fit.”

“When I came to OHIO, I had planned to major in Political Science and International Relations. When I learned about Global Studies and the War and Peace theme at the Majors Fair, though, I knew I’d found what I was meant to study.” Dixon was looking for areas of study with an international emphasis that would help her meet her goal of becoming a foreign officer in Russia.

Dixon’s studies at Ohio University have involved many memorable, hands-on projects and simulations to reinforce course lectures.

Simulating the Bosnia-Herzegovina Peace Treaty Debates

“In my International Peace and Political Science class, we conducted a simulation of the peace treaties for the Bosnia-Herzegovina wars of the 1990s. I was the foreign minister of Russia. [Visiting Professor] Dr. [Clayton] Cleveland must have spent so much time setting that up. I loved it. It was so much fun. The whole point was to have each country sign a treaty for the wars, and it was a lot harder than we thought because we were limited to what our countries knew in the 1990s. We had to maintain the authenticity of each country. We had to really engage with our nations. We participated in very structured debates that lasted precisely five minutes. It was incredibly realistic, and that’s what my classmates and I wanted. This is what we want to do with our lives,” Dixon states.

Dixon is minoring in Russian while also completing OHIO’s 21st-Century Leadership Certificate. She sees her various areas of study as an ideal combination that will help her shine in the job market. “Professional Leadership is applicable in any major of minor setting. The certificate will help me stand out when I graduate.”

Studying Russian, Traveling to the Tetons

“Plus, learning Russian really specializes me,” she explains. “I wanted to study a language that would interest me and set me apart.” Dixon is a member of the Russian Language Association on campus. In Spring 2016, the group held a festival in which members of the association enjoyed Russian food, spoke in Russian, and listed to Russian music.

Dixon is also a member of the Ohio Fellows Program, which allows students to travel and engage in hands-on learning experiences while also interacting closely with faculty and alumni. In May 2016, the Ohio Fellows traveled to the Teton Science School in Kelly, Wyoming. It was a life-changing experience for the students, providing education in both leadership and environmental science.

“To see the sun hit the Grand Tetons at 6 a.m. was amazing. I felt so included in the project and the area. We learned about the land, the glacial movements, and fire ecology. We even went on hiking trips and climbed from one butte to another. It was meant to be a challenge hike, and it was definitely a challenge,” Dixon explains.

The trip also allowed students to see for themselves the changes the Earth has undergone.

“I was sitting by a mountain lake and picked up a stone. I asked one of the Teton graduate faculty, Matt McGee, ‘How old do you think this is?’ His answer was amazing: ‘Definitely three billion years old. It’s a glacial stone pulled down from the Tetons by ice. These mountains are babies,’ he said.”

Planning on Giving Back as an Alum

Dixon noted her gratitude to the alumni donors, particularly alum Ralph Haberfeld ’69, who funded the group’s travels. Haberfeld earned his degree from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

“Ralph asked us, ‘What will you do when you’re an Ohio Fellows alum in my position?’ I’ll give back,” Dixon says. “I want to give students opportunities like the ones I’ve had. The alumni are so generous. I’ve never had to pay a dime.” With her many areas of study and experience, Dixon will be an asset to OHIO and its future students for many years to come.

“I love the Ohio Fellows and the alumni donors. I love everything I am studying in school. The alumni and faculty at OHIO help us learn new leadership skills, to see leadership qualities in ourselves, and apply them in real life. I’m just so grateful.”

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