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Campus & Community

President Kristina M. Johnson answers your questions

She talks helping students, teaching financial literacy, what she’s looking forward to this fall and the toughest times of her life.

Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson, a white woman with short blond hair, smiles cheerfully from the sidelines of a fall football game.

(Photo by Logan Wallace)

  • Q With your third fall at Ohio State coming up, what are you looking forward to most? — Erin Casey Barengo ’13, ’16 MS
    A

    We are getting back to our signature, uniquely Ohio State events, and I am excited for that! I am looking forward to welcoming our new class of Buckeyes at Convocation. And I can’t wait to be back in the ’Shoe — the 100th year for Ohio Stadium, which is really exciting for all Buckeyes. I also plan on going to more field hockey and lacrosse games, which were my sports in college.

  • Q What struggles in your own life have helped you lead Ohio State through these divisive times? — David Carr ’82
    A

    I lost my father when I was a sophomore in college, and I was diagnosed with cancer when I was a senior. When you are threatened with losing someone close to you or you are facing your own mortality at that age, you learn to understand what is really important. You realize that people are more alike than we are different. We have the same challenges. It is important that we work together to create a more vibrant future rather than focus on the ways we are different.

  • Q How do we plan to empower our students and alumni to be financially literate? — Ray’Chel Wilson ’19
    A

    Financial coaching falls within our mission as a land-grant university, and it is important to me. Recently, our Ohio State Extension was honored by the Ohio Treasurer’s Office for the interactive spending simulation it offers 12- to 18-year-olds. The “Real Money. Real World.” program helps them understand how much money it takes to manage a household and to raise a child, how to make decisions around saving and spending, and how education and career choices affect financial stability. As a result, they learn to make the kind of decisions with their money that they will need to make as adults.

    We also want all Ohio State students to have a strong financial foundation after graduation. Through the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program, we are working to expand access to financial coaching and other resources to help students graduate with little to no debt.

  • Q How can recent graduates best support the university and current students as they transition to alumni life? — Josh Scheid ’19, ’21
    A

    One of the best ways for young alumni to help graduating students transition from college to career is through internships and mentorships. Our alumni can help Ohio State students get that first job. A great way of paying forward is to advocate that your companies or nonprofits take on an intern, which allows another Buckeye to gain valuable experience. I suggest contacting your Ohio State college or department to offer your assistance in a way that works for you and current students.

    I also encourage recent graduates to support the wonderful Buckeye Leadership Fellows program, which creates experiences that help undergraduates build their networks and the skills they will need to succeed after graduation. Alumni and community leaders actively participate in the program as coaches and mentors. Find out how you can get involved on the Buckeye Leadership Fellows website.

Ask away! 

Do you have a question for President Kristina M. Johnson? Email it our way at askthepresident@osu.edu.

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