April 1, 2021 at 11:26 am

Sarah Ladipo Interns on Capitol Hill, Gets Research Apprenticeship on Harvard Study

Sarah Ladipo at US Capitol

Sarah Ladipo ’23 at the U.S. Capitol

Sarah Ladipo’s  professors “sparked a fire in me for politics and philosophy — they made me realize that through civic engagement I can make such a big difference.”

Now she’s in Washington, D.C., working on Capitol Hill as an intern in Sen. Rob Portman’s congressional office, where she is helping to represent the great state of Ohio. Through the work she is doing on the Hill, she has been helping Ohioans and people nationwide.

The sophomore—a Cutler Scholar studying Philosophy, War and Peace Studies, and a Global Leadership Certificate—also is collaborating with the Gender Sci Lab at Harvard University through an apprenticeship with Harvard alumna Dr. Myrna Perez Sheldon, director of the Cutler Scholars program and assistant in Classics & World Religions and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

As an apprentice researcher, Ladipo will conduct research related to Sheldon’s ongoing project on the history of scientific and religious theories of race mixing, and the history of mixed-race women in the United States. Research will include processing archival documents, transcription of 19th-century texts, independent bibliographic research, as well as experience in editing and proofreading academic texts. Additionally, the research apprentice will have the opportunity to participate in the organization of a major international conference on race and science to be held at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in early 2022, experience in editing work for the flagship history of science journal Osiris, and collaborative projects with the Gender Sci Lab at Harvard University.

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

A: My favorite professors have been Professor Alfred Lent of Philosophy, Professor James Petrik of Philosophy, and Professor Lauren Elliott-Dorans of Political Science. They made me understand how politics and philosophy are interconnected, and they sparked a fire in me for politics and philosophy — they made me realize that through civic engagement I can make such a big difference.

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

A: During that last few months of craziness, I was able to talk to Ohioans and people across this nation and help with the problems and questions they’ve been having with the insurrection on Jan. 6, stimulus payments, the impeachment trial, and questions about the integrity of the elections and the presidency.

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

A: Back at OU the hill I was trying to climb was to find out my passions and who I am as a person. How can I make my mark not only at OU and Athens but the entirety of the world. (I looked around the beautiful campus of OU and wanted to one day have a building name after me.) Also, with me being in a prestigious full ride scholarship program The Cutler Scholars Program, I wanted to live up to the program’s four pillars: intellectual curiosity, leadership, civic responsibility, and character.

I wanted to get myself highly involved in various organizations on campus:

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

A: The first week of school when everyone was on college green for the clubs fair!

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

A: Please take advantage of the opportunities at OHIO, there’s so many resources with faculty, organizations, and offices at OU to help cultivate you to become best person you can come.

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