Andrea Raţiu’s Composition

Art of Game Design

Art of Game Design, which is aimed at learning 2-D graphic design, as well as in-depth 3-D modeling, texturing, and level design. The purpose of this module is to teach creativity and allow it to blossom in game design. No previous experience is required.

Instructor: Professor Matt Board, specializing in technical art and Interactive Media Studies. His digital sculptural work had been featured at various exhibits, and he recently has completed an educational game titled, Mysteries of the Core.

  • Inspiration to offer this course:

Professor Board teaches game development at Miami. He loves making games and    3-D Art. He also enjoys passing along his skills and knowledge.

  • What students will get out of this course:

Board intends to give students an understanding of what it takes to make video games using industry standard software.

  • Class activities and projects:

World-building courses using the game production software, Unreal Engine.

  • What success looks like in this field after college:

“The field is competitive and close knit. You have to work very hard to achieve success in this field.”

  • What students do as a final presentation:

Students will present their game worlds at the end of their course.


Design and Build an Interactive Robot

Engineering: Design and Build an Interactive Robot, which focuses on programming robots using computers. Learn robotic communication using wires and programming language, then, design a robotic vehicle using that knowledge. The freshly designed robot shall then be used to compete against other students’ robots. One winner will emerge.

Instructor: Professor James David Leonard, trained in electrical and computer engineering, is an adjunct instructor at Miami University. He mostly teaches electronic labs and senior capstone courses.

  • Inspiration to offer this course:

“My 10th grade grandson and I enjoy little projects similar to this project and I wanted to try it with a small class.”

  • What students will get out of this course:

Engineering has always been a passion for Dr. Leonard. When he wakes up in the morning, he cannot wait to get to work to take the next step on a project. If engineering is this type of match for any of his students, he hopes to send them into their career with the same enthusiasm that he has enjoyed.

  • Class activities and projects:

Students will build an autonomous vehicle controlled by an Arduino micro controller, and it will be programmed to solve a specific task.

  • What success looks like in this field after college:

“The field is wide open from building Martian Land Rovers to building micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) to explore and deliver medicine inside people, to locating and rescuing people underground and underwater.”

  • What students do as a final presentation:

Students will demonstrate what they built and programmed in order to attempt the Miami Ninja Robotics Challenge.


Inside State and Local Government

Inside State and Local Government: Leadership and Public Affairs, in which students shall divulge into leadership interests. Students will focus on the complexities of public policy, as well as the intricacies of politics and economics.

Instructor: Dr. Mark Morris, who practices public administration and political science. He teaches in the Department of Political Science and also works in a research center on campus.

  • Inspiration to offer this course:

“Very few incoming students know anything about public leadership or the Public Administration major. This course provides some background and information for students who may consider becoming a public leader.”

  • What students will get out of this course:

Dr. Morris hopes students will have a better understanding of state and local government, and perhaps consider studying it more when they go to college.

  • Class activities and projects:

Lots of in-class activities will be provided in order to learn about public leadership; field trips to city council meeting and local court will also occur.

  • What success looks like in this field after college:

Having acquired the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in public service makes individuals successful in this field.

  • What students do as a final presentation:

Students will go through a creative process to decide their final presentation for themselves.


Meet Rakhsha Khatri

Arriving from Pakistan, Rakhsha Khatri has worked to open new doors for herself in the United States. At 12 years old, she traveled by plane for two days—landing in Dubai, London, New York, and finally, her home in Cleveland, Ohio. She began to experience the limitless amount of opportunity here in the United States of America.

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Rakhsha Khatri, a resident of Cleveland, lived in Pakistan until age 12. — Contributed photo

She expresses that she is neither Pakistani or American, but simply human. Khatri and her parents left Pakistan not only to begin a new life in America, but to escape threats of sexual assault and early marriage for their daughter. In the United States, she demonstrates individual capacity of overcoming the typical stereotypes surrounding her life.”With opportunity, came struggles and problems in terms of family. I don’t have the same culture to back off from.” Being a young Pakistani woman pursuing considerable goals is a great barrier-breaker for someone like Rakhsha Khatri.

Coming to the United States, Khatri started to realize her passions and goals in life. She aims to do whatever possible to repay a debt of gratitude to her parents. Given the circumstances in her native country, Khatri plans to change the world for the better. Although there were no opportunities for women to advance in Pakistan, Khatri found some in the United States, deciding on a path to pre-medicine studies. Moreover, she practices six languages fluently: English, Spanish, Hindi, Mandari, Urdu, and Sindhi.

Khatri made it to Miami University on a more spontaneous note, considering that she applied to many other institutional summer programs. She always adhered to keeping her options open, but settled on coming to the aesthetic and academically-rich Oxford campus. She was in the Miami University Summer Scholars Program as part of the module, Health and how to Change the World.

“There are a lot of opportunities present to many people here, no matter what background they come from; coming from Pakistan where there weren’t as many opportunities and seeing that there’s so many opportunities available here is really nice and helpful.”


Meet Michael Zrzavy

Coming from New Hampshire, Michael Zrzavy is the son of two PhD-wielding intellectuals. What sets him apart are his various interests, which
range from his proficiency in music, to his capacity in the subject of science. He plays most of the woodwind family of instruments, as well as percussion instruments. In science, Zrzavy achieves success with his ability to work well in labs, logically and critically approach solutions, and make meticulous measurements. His main aspiration in life is to help people, mainly children who struggle medically.

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Michael Zrzavy is convinced he is heading in the right direction of life. — Photo by Andrea Ratiu

Besides English, Zrzavy is also proficient in German, considering that his father emigrated from Austria. In addition, Zrzavy’s mother is an Ohio native and part of the
1982 Miami University Alumni. Both of Zrzavy’s parents work in the field of scientific research, which led to his early exposure to education, especially pertaining to science. He now plans on majoring in biochemistry in order to work with antibiotics to see how antibiotics fight the resistance strength of bacteria.

Michael has decided to pursue the study of pre-medicine in order to become a pediatrician. “I really love working with kids, and if I can put together my love for helping people and my love for kids, then that would be an ideal thing for me.” His inspiration also flourishes from his early experiences around the profession, expressing, “as a kid I had a really awesome pediatrician.”

On more general terms, Zrzavy stresses the importance of needing doctors all around the world, and what medicine means for him.  At the Miami University Summer Scholars program, Zrzavy studied Search for the Cure: The Discovery of Novel Antibiotics. “I really like medicine because I can help people,  and there’s always a place for a doctor in the world.”


Journalistic Integrity: A Reflective Essay

The news media industry is constantly changing, attempting to adapt to the fast pace of the modern world. A great deal of many similar cynical remarks occur when a person openly decides to major in journalism; people will diminish, discourage, and degrade and an individual aspiring to go out there and artfully bring news to the world. Everyone knows journalism is dying, correct? No, that is not the case whatsoever. This is only the beginning, the inception of a new generation of journalism.

Common trends affecting media professionals today are based on a broad spectrum of many modern technicalities. Social media in particular is sweeping the news industry with the opportunity to deliver news to the world with simply one click. Photography has become more advanced, and even introduced the new journalistic concept of videography. The rise in technology allows journalists to go beyond the paper and reach out to more audience, bringing in the business.

I personally see myself fitting anywhere in journalism—may it be on-camera reporting, the aesthetics of photography, article writing on a specific beat, political analysis, or even an editorial position. There is so much to learn about journalism that constantly allows me to have hope for the future of this career. To be quite frank, I too believed that journalism was unfortunately dwindling, but this is something I have always had a passion for. News shows are my most favorite programs on television, AP Government was my most favorite class, and writing on my own is the most relaxing pastime; it would be a shame for me to let all of that go. At Miami University, I was introduced to so many internship opportunities that it was hard to count, more than any major available at the campus. I had no idea that there are so many intricacies to journalism that new ones arise every single day, that the technology surrounding the world continuously keeps journalism afloat. New types of positions seem open up at every waking moment.

My earlier impressions of journalism have evidently changed in the short, not even two weeks at the Miami University Summer Scholars program. I got to speak to a myriad of guests, ranging from people at WVXU, The Cincinnati Enquirer, WCPO, and many more news sources. From what I have seen, all of the journalists I have encountered seemed highly satisfied with their positions and what they do for the public. My impression of journalism in general is that it is still, and will continue to be a viable business. It has never died, nor shall it ever, because the population will always rely on the news for information.


July 14, 2016                                                                                                               Andrea Marta Raţiu