April 28, 2021 at 1:21 pm

Class of 2021 | Mashael Aldossary Masters English, and Then Linguistics

Mashael Aldossary, portrait

Mashael Aldossary

Mashael Aldossary is an international student from Saudi Arabia. She came to Athens with rudimentary English and spent two years in the Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE) before beginning a B.A. in Linguistics.

She heads toward graduation this spring with a GPA of 3.964 and is receiving the 2021 Outstanding Linguistics Undergraduate Award.

Her piece of advice for new students: “Do not let the circumstances control you because you can control them!” Her circumstances included having to learn English before starting her degree and having two children during her time at time at OHIO. And she still finishes her undergraduate degree with a near-perfect GPA.

Next, she will be working on getting an M.A. in Applied Linguistics here at Ohio University.

Q: What was your ah-ha moment at OHIO—that point where you said to yourself, “I’ve got this!”?

A: I was worried about my English. I was asking myself how I was going to succeed at OHIO because I just started learning English intensively when I came here in 2014. So, my ah-ha moment was when I finished the first semester at OU with a high GPA!

Q: What stands out in your mind as you think about graduating despite COVID?

A: I thought it would take a long time until I graduated, yet there is just one week now left for my graduation. It went so fast, faster that I expected. I still remember my first advising meeting with Dr. Michelle O’Malley.

Q: Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life?

A: It is a hard question. Most of the professors who I had at OU were nice and excellent. However, there are two professors I remember who made an impact on my life. The first professor is Dr. Chris Cho in our Linguistics Department. I was telling her how hard it was to do one of her assignments due to the difficulty of the academic language. She told me that I should never look down on myself because I am an L2 learner. She told me that being an English native speaker does not imply that you are going to be an excellent student. She made me believe in myself more.

The second professor is Dr. David Bell Chair of Linguistics. I was pregnant, and I was asking him – with eyes filled with tears – to excuse me for two weeks when I was having my baby and to give me more time to do my assignments. He told me. “Do not worry, the most important thing is you and the baby.” I will never forget those words; they were exactly what I needed to hear at that time.

Q: What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO? And how did you overcome challenges or obstacles in your path?

A: The hardest hill was when I got pregnant with my second child in my junior year. It was challenging to have nausea and to go to classes and participate. It was tiring to carry a heavy backpack and to move between classes, especially the last three months. It wasn’t always easy to overcome all of this. I just had to be patient until everything was back to “normal.”

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

A:  I had a lot of great memories at OU. My favorite one was participating in the cooking club; we made a lot of good cookies with the help of nice ladies.

Q: What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss?

A: Try to not miss any opportunities you have at OU because there will be a time when you wish you had been more involved. Participate in clubs, get as many certificates as you can, etc. And, most importantly, remember that we all have things going on in our personal life. You are not alone in this. Do not let the circumstances control you because you can control them!

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

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