GSO Teaching Fellow: Ortis Yankey

Meet Ortis Yankey, a graduate student orientation (GSO) teaching fellow and geography doctoral student. Read on to learn more about his favorite places in Kent, what he enjoys doing in his free time and what advice he has for incoming graduate students.

GSO Teaching Fellow: Ortis Yankey

Where is your hometown? 

I come from Ghana.

Why did you decide to come to Kent State? 

I decided to pursue my Ph.D. at Kent State because the Department of Geography has well-known and knowledgeable faculty. My Ph.D. focuses on spatial epidemiology and geographic information systems (GIS), and there are faculty members at KSU within this field who are undertaking innovative research. I consider it a great privilege to be tutored under such great minds. 

What is your favorite place in Kent? 

My favorite place in Kent is McGilvrey Hall. On the third and fourth floors of this building, there are numerous geological artifacts such as rock minerals and fossils that are displayed in the hallway. We also have beautiful and informative posters of research conducted by faculty and students posted on the walls.

What advice do you have for new graduate students? 

I would say that being in graduate school is demanding, and the imposter syndrome is very real. There will be times you will feel exhausted and even question whether you're fit for the program. But rest assured, you're not alone in this journey. We all went through the same cycle. Build up knowledge and experience, and do not be shy to seek help when you don't understand something. There are plenty of resources available at the university that are tailored to meet the needs of graduate students. Also, make time for yourself, eat well and sleep well. It shouldn't always be about academics – take a walk around campus, make friends and enjoy the serene environment.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

In my free time, I enjoy walking on campus with friends and jogging. In addition, I love to explore campus and the city of Kent.