Hello, I’m Ruth Kamanga, a sophomore at Ohio Dominican University studying History and Political Science – and I’m also an international student from Zimbabwe. The decision to choose ODU was one that felt right from the start. I was fortunate to receive generous funding from the Honors Program and a merit scholarship, which helped ease my family’s concerns about financing my college education.
One of the primary reasons I chose ODU is its Dominican ethos, something I experienced during my time at a Dominican Catholic High School. Despite not being Dominican or Catholic myself, the pillars of prayer, study, community and service resonated with me profoundly. They shaped my high school years and continue to guide my life today. I wanted my university experience to be more than just academics; I sought a place that would foster my holistic development, and ODU offered exactly that.
My love for history stems from an extraordinary teacher I had who encouraged questioning, thinking and analyzing. His passion was infectious. It’s through his guidance that I learned to appreciate the importance of understanding our past to make sense of our present and shape our future. My analytical mind enjoys identifying patterns and discrepancies, making history a perfect fit for me.
In addition to history, I’m also drawn to political science. I have a burning desire to effect change in society, and political science offers a pathway to understand the systems and structures that govern us. My dream is to get into public service or legal analysis, aiming to enact change at a legislative level.
A memorable moment for me was during the first week of classes in 2023 when my history professor invited me to his office hours. He acknowledged my growth and assured me I was on the right path. His words filled me with gratitude and awe. It’s humbling to know that the faculty here believe in my potential and are willing to invest in my journey.
What makes ODU special for me is how diverse and rich the conversations you have can be. Our dining hall is a little world of its own. It’s honestly not uncommon to walk past conversations where people are talking about big world issues like justice and inclusion over lunch. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by friends who honestly believe in the common good, and everything that involves, and it’s incredible to be at a place with others who care about these ideas.