Eleanor Vu

Business Academy:
First step to the industry

Business class settled in a large study room with 28 students divided into seven groups. Each of the groups sat around a round table, listening attentively to their professor, Dr. Jeffrey Merhout. The whole room was covered in the silence of the students focused on Merhout lecturing leadership and management. A few minutes later, the silence was broken by the curiosity of several students asking some questions.

Students listen attentively to their professor. — Photo by Eleanor Vu

Coming to study business at Summer Scholars Program 2019, the students got to know the basic overview of how business works and figure out if they are really passionate about business. “We give them an ‘airplane view’ of the things you should recognize in business,” said professor Helen Koons, Merhout’s colleague.

Every class, they touched on each major field of business: accounting, marketing, management and supply chain, among other specialties. The groups of students also had to participate in a hypothetical project where they came up with a new creative product for Apple and identified details of the product that they managed in order to make it. The directive: it should be the most unique and innovative product that they could think of. The project lasted until the very end of the summer program, when they presented their projects.

Business Academy students work on their project. — Photo by Eleanor Vu

Business Academy had two experienced professors in Merhout and Koons. Each had their own way to approach the lessons and provide the students with interesting lectures. Merhout often gave students lectures with Powerpoint slides or notes on the board, along with videos and prompts for discussion. He was also interested in Q&As with his students as he wanted them to be as interactive as possible. Meanwhile, Koons also provided the students with diagrams, visuals and contents by using Powerpoint. However, she usually asked them to answer her questions about business news by looking up information with their laptops, and tried to relate the lessons to reality so that her students could have a better understanding of business knowledge. They both had a number of ways for the students to relax such as watching videos, taking a break, chatting, etc. “They are very good. Both of them have different personalities. Each of them is good in their own way,” said Tara Kuriger, a student in the module.

The Business Academy module attracts students who always work their best to explore the complex world of business. They not only studied to satisfy their curiosity, but they were also ambitious individuals who wanted to figure out it they could find themselves a suitable position in the industry.

“They are very smart, very hardworking. They do a great job,” Merhout said. “I love when they ask a lot of questions.” 

Five Questions with Chase Harris

Chase Harris — an incoming Miami University sophomore from Cincinnati — is studying biology with a premedical co-major and working as a counselor in this year’s Summer Scholars Program.

Chase Harris is a pre-med student at Miami. — Contributed photo

Question: Why did you choose to study at Miami University?

Answer: I chose to study at Miami University because for a long time I knew it was the perfect school for me. One of the important things I looked for in each college and university was their commitment to diversity and inclusion. That is one aspect Miami does not fall short in. With the office for diversity and inclusion available to students and staff committed to this diversity such as Steven Profit, Nloh Massango-Dibo and Dr. Kelley Kimple showed me Miami was the school for me. I also participated in the Summer Scholars Program and the Bridges Scholars program before attending Miami. These programs allowed me to get a feel of this university and allowed me to decide Miami was the school for me. 

Q: Why did you choose to major in Biology with a premedical studies co-major?

A: I chose to major in Biology with a premedical studies co-major because I really enjoy and am interested in biology. I have always preferred the sciences over English and writing through my previous stages of education. I also plan to attend medical school after I graduate from Miami so I added the premedical studies co-major to make sure I am on track for medical school. At first I was majoring in biochemistry but I decided to change it because I wasn’t as passionate for chemistry after taking chemistry classes.

Q: How have you changed yourself since you went to Miami University?

A: I believe I have changed a lot in a positive way as I completed my first year here at Miami. College is a lot different than high school and I had to adjust very quickly. I had to change a lot of habits. I worked very hard fine-tuning my studying and time management skills. I also grew a lot as a person as I started at Miami, I was surrounded by and encountered people from different walks of life and backgrounds. I had to learn how to educate people personally dealing with micro-aggression and had to learn how to advocate for my education and equity in treatment on a daily basis. Encountering all of these new experiences and challenges allowed me to become stronger and grow as an individual.

Q: Can you share a little about your future plans?

A: My future plans are to continue to do good academically and get presidents list as soon as possible. I plan to gain more leadership positions besides community service chair of the Black Student Action Association. Upon graduation from Miami I plan on going to medical school and going into residency for emergency medicine. I also plan to get my MBA with my future MD degree and I hope to open my own free clinic to provide healthcare to those who don’t have access and can’t afford it. I also hope to eventually lead in running a hospital.

Corine Rogers: Honor to an old friend

Seventeen-year-old Corine Rogers lives in Stafford, Virginia. She is going to be a senior this year in Colonial Forge High School.

Corine Rogers is working with friends to launch a non-profit group. — Contributed photo

Recently, Rogers has taken part in starting an non-profit organization called Stafford’s Road, whose goal is to advocate for improvements to rural roads. The organization was founded after a close friend of hers, Helen, passed away in a car accident, which Rogers says was caused by road conditions in her county. Even though it was not originally her idea of setting up this group, she has certainly made a great number of contributions to it. It was all started after the first board meeting a couple of days after the tragic accident, when Rogers and friends showed up to ensure that kind of thing would never ever happen again. With encouragement from a board member who said the students’ speeches moved a lot of people, Rogers and friends moved to form the organization. “We don’t want to have what happened to Helen, her family and her friends happen to anyone else again because of something that the county is at fault for,” Rogers said. “We are trying to get the county to own up to their responsibilities and stop waiting for another accident like this to happen again.”

Rogers and her friends have done a large amount of work to create Stafford’s Road.  They began with surveys getting information about the worst roads of the county from the public; and then selling and distributing signs saying “Cut these trees for Helen, please” as overgrown vegetation blocking the view was a main cause of Helen’s accident. The group of students has also voiced their opinions at the board meeting many times, presented the board members with the information they found from their surveys and research. They were invited to the Capitol Building to meet with a congressman and many delegates, and have been in the local newspaper, which has helped them a lot in gaining recognition. Currently, Rogers and her friends are working on creating a website and logo, making pamphlets, and preparing for the fundraising in the near future to get them set up. They are still going through the legal process of making themselves an official non-profit, which will take a long time. However, “once that’s done, we will be able to do a lot more,” Rogers said. She believes Stafford’s Road will both honor her friend and protect others from a similar fate.


Annie Tong: Being different in the choice of musical instrument

Annie Tong plays a Chinese harp with 26 strings. — Contributed photo

Annie Tong is incoming senior this year in Sunnyvale, California. She has been actively involved in a large number of school activities such as math club, badminton team and she is also the vice president of her school’s Chinese club. Outside of school, she has learned to play musical instruments, one of which is the Chinese harp. She has been playing it for seven years, developing an endless passion for the instrument.

Tong first discovered Chinese harp when she saw someone playing it in a Chinese TV show. “After playing so many years of piano, I thought it was really boring because everyone plays it, so I started looking for something more different,” Tong said. That was when she asked her mom to find her a teacher for harp. After many years of work, Tong is becoming more and more professional, and has participated in a great quantity of activities. For example, there was a multicultural festival in her school, where she was asked to bring and play the Chinese harp. She has also been teaching the harp to a lot of kids, aged first- to fifth-grade.

Tong has her original harp with 26 strings, while she bought a smaller version of the harp, with has 21 strings, and left it at school for the students to study. In xxx, Tong competed in an international competition called American Protege Fall Music Talent Competition in New York, where she did a duet with her sister, who plays the piano, and performed “Emperor of West Chu,” a traditional Chinese piece.

Tong believes that playing the Chinese harp has had a great impact on her, especially her hearing. Unlike playing the piano, which relies on reading music, harp musicians must carefully listen to each musical note and be in tune with the music. Furthermore, she has also broadened her musical knowledge as she has learned and listened to a variety of genres of music such as both traditional and modern Chinese music, Western songs. “I am very glad now that I decided to play the Chinese harp,” Tong said. “I will continue playing it even after I enter college because it is something that I love a lot.”

Even though Tong doesn’t plan a professional musical career, she will never stop playing the Chinese harp. 

About the author

Eleanor Vu likes the look of life through a lens. — Contributed photo

Eleanor Vu is a rising senior of Foreign Language Specialized High School in Hanoi, Vietnam. She is currently living with her mother, older sister and younger brother in the capital while her father is away from home for his job. She has been actively involved in many school activities such as sports events, logistic jobs, voluntary work. Outside of school, Vu likes watching Netflix, drawing, traveling, and hanging out with her friends. Vu has also been interested in photography since junior year, when she started to realize how gorgeous everything was through the lens of a camera. As she has gradually gotten familiar with the camera, she has also developed a passion for media. She really wants to seek a career in this field, where there are a lot of amazing people doing their fantastic jobs. However, as she doesn’t know the possibility of her pursuing an occupation in the industry, she decided to participate in Summer Scholars Media Matters program at Miami to find her answer. She hopes that after this camp she will be certain about her decision on choosing media.