December 11, 2017

Destination Dominican Republic: Student-Athletes Traveling for Service-Learning Experience


Dec. 11, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A dozen Ohio State student-athletes are destined for the Dominican Republic from Dec. 15-19 for an international service-learning experience. The Department of Athletics, SASSO and Buckeyes Go International are partnering with Soles4Souls for the fifth time. Previous trips have included travelling to Costa Rica, Jamaica, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Buckeye student-athletes will facilitate shoe distributions at local schools and communities in the Barahona area. In addition to the service, they will participate in a variety of cultural immersion activities, such as baseball, dancing, cooking lessons and a visit to a local mining operation for the gemstone Larimar. will be along for the ride, documenting the excursion and providing daily updates. Follow along here.

Soles4Souls is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing. More information on Soles4Souls can be found at
This marks the first winter trip for OSU Athletics and two new sports programs will partake in the adventure as cross county and wrestling are sending their first representatives on a service-learning experience.
Belkis Sanchez, a senior athletic academic counselor, will serve alongside Kim Doran (director of instructional support services) as staff leaders. Sanchez is a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; affording the Buckeyes an unique opportunity to learn more about the Dominican from Sanchez’s direct perspective of her home country.
Kyle Michalik was recently named one of two captains for the 2018 Ohio State baseball season, and will handle trip captain duties as well. He will lead daily reflection activities for the group.
Brady Blackwell | Sr. | sport industry major | men’s soccer
Katie Burgee | Sr. | biology major | women’s lacrosse
Courtney Daniels | Jr. | marketing major | field hockey
Christine Frederick | Sr. | accounting major | women’s cross country
Hannah Hites | Sr. | psychology major | rowing
Kylie Knight | Jr. | marketing major | women’s soccer
Catherine McNutt | Sr. | civil engineering major | rowing
Kyle Michalik | 5th-year | human development and family science major | baseball
Yianni Pavlopoulos | 5th-year | logistics management major | baseball
Fritz Schierl | So. | exploration major | wrestling
Evan Stifel | Sr. | nursing major | men’s cross country
Bailee Sturgeon | Sr. | sport industry major | softball
Future Buckeyes Go International service-learning experiences will occur in May and August 2018.