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Student Profile: Mya Lepley

Mya Lepley happily sits on a red bench with her arms wrapped around her crossed legs.

Mya Lepley, a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a pre-Physician Assistant focus, is a full-time student at main campus, but continues to find reasons to bring her back to Ohio State Newark, where she started her education.

A 2020 graduate of Utica High School and lifelong resident of Newark, Mya followed in the footsteps of both her mom and brother and began her post-secondary education at Ohio State Newark. Mya was able to take a majority of classes at the Newark campus during her first three years with limited commuting to main campus.

“I personally gravitate towards the smaller class sizes, because I learn best from talking to the professors and answering questions in class,” Mya shared. “So, when there is a smaller class size where I am answering questions and professors know who I am, that is where I want to go.”

That familiarity has been a benefit that Mya continues to enjoy. She was in the first organic chemistry class offered in the new John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology, which was taught by the same instructor she previously had for general chemistry. Mya took Physics 1200 in the fall of her sophomore year at the Newark campus with Dr. Ed Smith, and progressed to Physics 1201 on main campus this past fall. Where she was one of 20 in her Newark class, she found herself in a massive lecture with 500 other students and labs taught by teaching assistants in Columbus. When she had some confusion on new topics in the second course, she emailed Dr. Smith, who welcomed her to his office hours in Newark to help her master the coursework. Mya credits the culture of the Newark campus in allowing her to foster these meaningful relationships.

“I am going back next semester for a human physiology class that I scheduled at the Newark campus,” Mya shared. Although it’s the only course she’ll be going to Newark for, and it was a class she could have taken at main campus, the Newark course is taught by the same instructor that Mya had for her first introductory biology class years ago. “I really liked that teacher, so I think I would rather take it at the Newark campus.”

The financial benefit of attending the Newark campus has also been greatly appreciated. “With wanting to go to grad school, it’s nice to not have to take out loans,” Mya shared. “You have undergrad and grad school, and being able to diminish the cost of one of those is great for me.”

Through the years, Mya has received numerous scholarships from the Newark Campus Development Fund, including The American Legion Post #65 Scholarship, The William S. Moore, III Scholarship, The Park National Bank and Associates' Scholarship honoring William T. and Jane Cook McConnell, The J. Gilbert and Louella H. Reese Scholarship, and The Alethea E. Sleight Scholarship.

“It’s also really encouraging to know someone is looking at what I am doing and being like ‘We believe in you. We want to see you succeed.’”