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Our Alumni

Buckeyes are expanding our land of opportunity

It’s a story we’re proud to hear a lot: Alumni who received help at Ohio State go on to open doors for future students.

A young black woman in a graduation robe smiles brightly as she shows her diploma, and her son, who seems to be no older than 5 or 6, grins. He’s wearing a little suit with a scarlet bow tie and graduation cap.

Jayda and George Jackson on a day worth celebrating (Photo courtesy of Jayda Jackson ’22)

Lately, it occurs to me that the through-line to our Buckeye stories, summed up in a word, is “opportunity.” I think of how often I hear alumni talk about the support they received and the doors that were opened within our compassionate community.

As we look forward to spring commencement — and the sense of unlimited opportunity that comes with it — I am reminded of a recent alumna and the personal story she shared at our candlelight ceremony before her graduation in December.

Jayda Jackson ’22, as a single mother and engineering undergraduate student at Ohio State, faced obstacles unknown to most of her peers. During her first semester, she was reluctant to share that she had a child.

When she eventually told her classmates that if they were studying together after 5 p.m., they would be joined by a cute 3-year-old named George, she wasn’t sure what their reaction would be. What she got was admiration: “You study engineering, and you have a kid? I can barely do this without one!”

When Jayda was invited to a Women in Engineering shirt tie-dyeing event, she asked to bring George. “They welcomed us with open arms, and there was even a toddler-sized T-shirt for George,” Jayda says. “Moments like this made me feel so good to be a Buckeye.”

Not only did Jayda’s fellow students and Women in Engineering members embrace her, she also found organizations such as ACCESS Collaborative, an academic and social support program for Ohio State students who are parents. This gave her the boost she needed to complete her demanding studies along with an even stronger desire to be a Buckeye for life.

Our story on Ratmir Timashev ’96 MS celebrates the opportunities he found at Ohio State, where professors — forever dedicated to presenting possibilities for students — advocated for him and supported his dreams. In true Buckeye spirit, he is paying forward by creating opportunities for current and future students.

One of his mentors, now-Emeritus Professor Terry Miller, recognized Ratmir’s potential, cleared a path for him to become a Buckeye and along with other faculty provided excellent academic, research and leadership options. Terry also saw the value of interconnected disciplines and built the world-class chemical physics program that drew Ratmir here.

I continue to be energized by the stories of Buckeyes. When you have a moment, tell me about an opportunity that grew out of your Ohio State experience or one you helped cultivate for someone else. I always love to hear from you at

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