Meet OSU's Kayla Tomak!

Every week, we spotlight an Ohio State student doing amazing things! If you know someone who should be featured here, email us at [email protected]

The Basics

Name: Kayla Tomak

Age: 21

Hometown: Macedonia, Ohio

Year: 4th year graduating!

Major: Social work with a minor in math

Extracurriculars: Volunteer at the Suicide Hotline in Columbus, Vice President of Pride OSU

Life as a Buckeye

What is it like being Pride’s VP?

I love being on the EBoard for Pride OSU. It is a ton of work, but it really pays off. As the VP, I do a lot of the things that no one else wants to do or can do. If someone has an emergency, I take on their role for the time being. So it is a very flexible position. My favorite thing is getting to meet all the new people that come to meetings, especially if they are just beginning on their journey of self-discovery or coming out. 

Why do you want to be a social worker?

I want to be a social worker mainly because of personal experience. I want to go into the mental health field because of my own personal mental health diagnosis. It took me a long time to find social work because I didn’t know how to make a career out of helping people who are suicidal, but when I finally found social work, the puzzle pieces came together. I love that social work really puts an emphasis on ethics and social justice. Other fields don’t put as much of an emphasis on diversity and social justice like social work does.

What was the best part about being a peer leader?

Being a peer leader was the best experience I had in college. The staff was extremely supportive, I was given so many opportunities for professional development, and the job was fun! The staff really cared about how I was doing not only as an employee or as a student, but also as a person. They became my family. I also loved meeting and making connections with first-year students. People always give freshman slack for being young and naive, but they will surprise you in so many ways. My old first-year students who are now sophomores or juniors will still come up to me to say hello!

What’s you’re favorite place to study?

Any classroom, really. Freshman and sophomore years I would study in Smith Lab every week. They have a really cool study space on the first floor that I would go to.

What is your favorite place on campus?

The Oval. That may be basic, but I think the Oval really gives you a good idea of the spirit of campus at any given time. For example, the first warm days after a brutal winter, Oval Beach is packed with everyone soaking up the sun. 

What is your favorite place off campus to go? 

Grocery Shopping. I’m half-kidding. I really love Kingmakers, it is a board game parlor that is fun to take friends to!

What’s one class you recommend everyone take?

I suggest everyone take one of the kinesiology courses that are offered! I took a rock climbing course and it was amazing. There’s also things like yoga, hot air ballooning, soccer, karate, and even skydiving. 

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Right now I think it would be really cool to explore Greece. I would also love to go to Italy or Spain again.

What is one thing you wish OSU would change?

I would love to see the Counseling and Consultation Services continue to expand. They just recently expanded in the last two years, but students are still having to wait weeks to get an appointment. I think more funding needs to go to CCS. I would love to see CCS reach out to different student orgs and academic departments, because I think some populations are less likely to feel comfortable seeking services. CCS can do a lot more to expand and bridge the gaps between their services and the students who need them.