Spotlight Nathan Ritchey

Q&A with Nathan Ritchey; Honors Mathematics and Neuroscience Majors with Minors in Chemistry and Psychology

Nathan Ritchey; Honors Mathematics and Neuroscience Majors with Minors in Chemistry and Psychology
  • Flashes Fighting Hunger Manager
  • EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) for Community Care Ambulance
  • Brain Health Research Institute undergraduate researcher
  • Phi Delta Theta president
  • Phi Beta Kappa scholar
  • volunteer at UH Portage

What is your area of research or interest?
I am interested in neurotrauma. In my lab, we study the affects of spinal cord injury on urogenital function, as well as ways to recover these functions using pharmacological studies.

What made you interested in pursuing this area?
I first became interested in neurology after my father’s stroke. Luckily, he made a full recovery, but the entire situation represented the mystery and complexity of neurological systems.

Can you tell us more about Flashes Fighting Hunger (previously known as Campus Kitchen) and what it does?
Flashes Fighting Hunger is a student run food pantry that seeks to fight food insecurity while also reducing food waste. We take food that would otherwise be thrown out and work very quickly to get it to those in need. We serve about 100 households in the area, and are on track to recover 100,000 lbs of food this year! That is 50 tons of food that would otherwise go to waste!!!

What do you enjoy about being a Manager for Flashes Fighting Hunger?
My favorite part of this position is the people. The people we serve are so grateful for everything that we do! We are truly making a difference in their lives. At the end of the day, working at Campus Kitchen is the most fulfilling thing that I have ever done. No other student organization has such a direct impact on people’s lives, relieving them of the burden’s caused by food insecurity.

How can students become involved with Flashes Fighting Hunger?
Students can get involved by going to the helper helper website and looking for shifts labeled campus kitchen. They can look up Campus Kitchen at Kent State or follow this link as well. https://www.kent.edu/community/campus-kitchen Here, they can find more information about our organization as well as ways to get food or get involved! I would also be happy if you put my email (nritche3@kent.edu) on this for people to contact with any questions about Campus Kitchen.

What are your favorite accomplishments or projects you have worked on so far?
My favorite accomplishment is receiving the flashes humanitarian award. I received the award for my work at Campus Kitchen.

How do your studies or classes at Kent State support you in your sustainability endeavors?
Many of my classes have moved into a paperless format. This allows us as students to limit the amount of paper we consume for notes, tests, etc. This has been very important for me, as I used to go through several reams of paper each semester.

What type of work, research, or projects are you working on this year?
This year, we are very excited to announce the beginning of the mobile food pantry! We will be using census data and our new mobile food unit to take food directly into the areas that are most affected by food insecurity.

What career or path do you see yourself pursuing after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on going to medical school. During my time in medical school, I will be studying to continue my research as a neurosurgeon.

What is one of your favorite spots on campus? And what makes it your favorite?
My favorite spot on campus is the kitchen. I have so many good memories in the kitchen area, that it feels like a second home.

Anything else you’d like to add/tell think is important to mention? (anything else I missed?)
I initially joined Campus Kitchen for selfish reasons. I joined to get hours to look good for medical school. But after only a week, I realized how much good this organization does. I realized how much we were helping. I was hooked. Since then, I have dedicated over 1000 hours to this organizations. I have driven through a blizzard on Christmas Eve and I have given up time with my family and friends, but every second was worth it. I have never regretted spending more time at Campus Kitchen. Of all my college experiences, I am the most proud of my work at Campus Kitchen.

Thank you Nathan!

Flashes Fighting Hunger