Jayson E. Velazquez
School of Environment and Natural Resources
Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability - Honors
Jayson Velazquez’s greatest senses of success and self-accomplishment have come throughout his senior year. As he reflects on being honored on this year’s Homecoming Court, serving as the 114th president in the SPHINX Senior Class Honorary, and being recognized as a CFAES Distinguished Senior, he feels seen and appreciated. It hasn’t always been easy. He started off with a low GPA after his first semester of college and has worked extremely hard to earn everything he has access to today. He never let up and knows he couldn’t have done it without the support of his mentors, faculty, and staff in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as his program directors in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Jayson would like to acknowledge the financial, academic, and professional support he has received from the Morrill Scholars Program through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). Some of his most rewarding experiences came from knowing that he could turn to ODI and find the help and resources he needed to succeed. The “Panamá: Through the Lens of AgriCulture, Sustainability and Diversity” education abroad program was Jayson’s most formative experience. He remembers his excitement as he applied for his first passport, and the feeling when traveling outside of the United States for the first time. He credits this trip with providing him the insight he needed to commit and dedicate his future studies to environmental and social justice concerns in Latin America, and more specifically in Puerto Rico.
During his time in CFAES, Jayson worked as an Inclusion and Outreach Coordinator in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, serving to further recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students in his academic unit. He is also proud to have worked as a Sustainability Programming Lead in the Department of Energy Management and Sustainability through the Office of Student Life. This summer he will be interning with the Keney Park Sustainability Project in Connecticut.
Jayson has been accepted into multiple graduate schools and is deciding between various fully-funded opportunities to engage in community and climate resilience planning and research in Puerto Rico.
Jayson would like to recognize Dr. Joseph Campbell as his Ohio State faculty mentor. Jayson shared, “Dr. Campbell has been an amazing professor, and I’ve taken [several] of his courses that guided my interest in community resilience and development. He also believed in me and my academic plan when I asked him to be my Honors Advisor, even before I was academically eligible to apply for the program. He’s been guiding my undergraduate research thesis and continues to be someone I can talk to about post-graduate opportunities, while also allowing me to contribute to his current courses and serve as a mentor for his current students.”
Service, involvement, and accolades: Buck-I-Serv - Once Upon a Time in Appalachia | Morrill Scholars | SPHINX Senior Class Honorary | Boys and Girls Club of Columbus, volunteer