Our organizational model for developing talent and valuable research

Through SCOPE, the Battelle Center’s Student Community Of Practice and Engagement (SCOPE) model, we are actively helping students’ pivot from a student-stance to their professional footing.

Our SCOPEs create connections between students’ interests and the broader environment in which they are pursued. In the process, we hope to foster graduates who demonstrate systems-thinking and the “6C’s” of education: Cultural awareness/Cosmopolitanism, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Character.

Each student community is centered on a topic of national and international importance, such as:
  • Space Innovations
  • China’s Rise: Science, Engineering, and Innovation
  • Emerging Threats/Disease at the Human-Nature Interface
  • Energy Transitions.
The students bring their curiosity and passion for a topic, and we help them refine and lead research with important national policy considerations and results they can deliver to professional audiences.

Each SCOPE involves an integrative theme, persistent projects, and key faculty anchors who partner with Battelle Center to cost-share, collaborate on proposals, co-advise student research, and advocate for transformational student experiences. I am most grateful to Prof. Marjorie K. M. Chan, director of the Institute for Chinese Studies, Prof. John M. Horack, Armstrong Chair for Aerospace Policy, Prof. Caroline Wagner, and Prof. Jeffrey M. Bielicki for investing themselves in this inaugural role.

Our goal is for students to produce quality research and analysis that are not only defined by their individual passions and curiosity but are highly relevant to current events and valuable to decision-makers. I am grateful to the many people outside the university who have validated the value of students’ lines of inquiry.

Our SCOPEs entail more than student-led research, however. They are intentionally multi-disciplinary and integrative, because graduates need fluency in the context of their chosen industry, as much as the content of their degree.

Battelle Center provides a place to combine disciplines — just one integration solution to balance a university’s expansiveness and departmentalization. In Battelle Center’s SCOPEs, we address domains’ technical AND non-technical dimensions and muster conversations, connections, special guests, international interactions, book salons/discussions, and civic engagements to challenge and enrich students’ thinking, regardless of field of study.

We also provide professional skills training and coaching that most of us did not receive until we were 1, 5, or even 10 years into our career so that The Ohio State University’s talent is graduating that much further ahead. Our coaching and training creates differentiators for the students and hopefully dispel the very natural anxieties associated with becoming a young professional. Who doesn’t want to know about: how to network and break-the-ice in professional social settings; conflict management; job-hunting; ethics and integrity; team-leadership; negotiation/self-advocacy; traveling abroad; effective presentations; handling professional mistakes and failures, and sustaining customer-focus?

Each of us at The Ohio State University contributes in our own way to sending students into the wider world, prepared to add value and gain experience as young professionals. Considering our increasingly interconnected societies, we hope to enable students to be curious learners for the rest of their lives, capable of adapting and broadening the value they add as the world changes. Battelle Center’s SCOPEs set students on this path to professionalism with some competitive advantages.

Curiosity-driven approaches to Complex ‘Systems’

Battelle Center’s SCOPEs entail exciting, integrative themes that address the U.S.’s place in the 21st century:
  • Space Innovations
  • China’s Rise
  • Energy Transitions
  • Emerging Disease/Threats at the Human-Nature Interface.
Across the themes, consistent questions emerge:
  • How does exploring “up there” [in space] make things better “down here” [on Earth]?
  • How do cultures approach differently science, engineering, and innovation?
  • How does international “Leadership” vary with the context in which it’s required?
  • How can visualization of complex data clarify the policy choices we have before us?
  • How do law and policy balance competition and cooperation?
  • How do societies adapt to change?

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The Battelle Center was established at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs in 2006 through the generosity of Battelle, the world’s largest non-profit research and development organization and long-time neighbor to The Ohio State University. Originally the Battelle Center focused on improving education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. In 2011, it pivoted toward the challenges of encouraging innovation and economic development. In 2016, the partnership between Battelle and the Glenn College was strengthened with the inclusion of Ohio State’s College of Engineering in the center. Today, these organizations and Ohio State’s Government Affairs Office provide advice and support to the center's director.

Dr. Jeffrey Bielicki

Assistant Professor, joint appointment with the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Engineering

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Dr. Marjorie K.M. Chan

Director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at The Ohio State University's East Asian Studies Center

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Dr. John Horack

Neil Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy, joint appointment with the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Engineering

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Dr. Caroline Wagner

Ambassador Milton A. and Roslyn Z. Wolf Chair at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs

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