Office of Student Life

Kindness at Ohio State

2021 Instagram Walls Contest Winners

During the Spring of 2021, the Office of Student Life and Center for HumanKindness at the Columbus Foundation hosted a contest for all students, faculty and staff members from any of Ohio State's campuses, alumni and community members to submit artwork to be featured in outdoor spaces around campus, creating Instagrammable moments. In addition to seeing their artwork displayed around campus, winners of the #BeKind Instagram Wall Contest will also receive $500 to donate to a non-profit organization from the Columbus Foundation's Giving Store of their choice. The contest has closed and we are excited to announce the winners! 

The five contest winners are:

Sarah S., Ohio State Staff Member
Artwork: Heart Hands

Sarah chose to represent kindness with two human hands forming a heart, to symbolize the people of the Ohio State community. She made the piece unique to the Ohio State community by incorporating Buckeye elements. The Ohio shape and heart shape in the center are radiating light, to show how acts of kindness can spread.

Sarah is giving to The Ohio State University Nisonger Center. When researching causes, she found that The Nisonger Center's values very much aligned with kindness and they carry out their work by being person/family-centered, compassionate and hopeful.

What does kindness mean to you?
Kindness means caring. It means showing compassion, generosity and empathy for others, with no expectation of anything in return. More kindness leads to a more caring society.

Roma P., Ohio State Alumni
Artwork: Candy Hearts

Roma began her creative process by thinking back to elementary school Valentine’s Day parties. Valentine’s Day was always one of her favorite days – decorating her card box, picking out cards and passing out the goodies to her classmates. The Candy Hearts remind her of how easy it was to spread love and kindness as children and to bring that experience into adulthood while embracing the differences, diverse perspectives and struggles we all face.

Roma is giving to BuckeyeThon, an organization she believes in rooted in kindness. As an undergraduate student at Ohio State, Roma was involved in BuckeyeThon all four years. BuckeyeThon raises awareness and funds for children and programs at Nationwide Children's Hospital Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transport Unit. Being in the organization not only taught her how to be philanthropic, but it showed her how to give unconditional kindness to kids and their families, some of whom they may never even meet.

What does kindness mean to you?
Kindness has a unique definition for everyone but to me, kindness starts by practicing more love.

Kim T., Ohio State Staff Member and Parent
Artwork: Scatter Kindness

Kim was inspired by the spring season when creating her masterpiece. While getting ready to fertilize her yard, it made her think: Like a dandelion spreads its seeds, kindness does the same. It only takes one plant to reseed and spread to many plants. One person can do the same with kindness and it will spread to many, and many will then spread it.

Kim has chosen to give to Girls on the Run of Central Ohio. She was inspired to give back to this organization after seeing first-hand the impact it had on a friend’s daughter who, with support from the organization, made friends and learned she could do anything she put her mind to.

What does kindness mean to you?
Kindness is a virtue that everyone can have, need and spread.

Madison T., Ohio State Student
Artwork: Be Kind Butterfly

When Madison saw the prompt for the contest, her mind automatically went to the butterfly and angel wing murals that are across the country. Once she had the concept, she determined she would weave in the iconic things that make Ohio State, Ohio State. The lines of the butterfly resemble the paths of The Oval and the interior of the butterfly highlights the iconic university landmarks and buildings. To make the piece interactive, she took one of Ohio State’s most iconic traditions of ‘Dotting the I’ to inspire people to literally and figuratively be the “I” in kind.

Madison decided to give to the Mental Health America of Ohio organization after having experienced mental health struggles of her own. Mental Health America of Ohio educates the public on mental health as well as provides mental health support and resources for everyone, no matter someone’s financial status, race, or gender.

What does kindness mean to you?
Kindness means showing and practicing empathy and respect to every individual, no matter where they come from, their religion, race, gender identity, or income. 

Taylor M., Ohio State Student
Artwork: Brutus Polaroid

Being from Ohio, Brutus has always been one of the main things Taylor thinks about when she thinks about Ohio State. With this in mind, she thought a piece of art featuring him along with the iconic Ohio Stadium would make for a perfect Instagram wall. Taylor plans to donate to the Columbus Humane Society because she loves helping and being kind to animals.

What does kindness mean to you?
Supporting others no matter what you have going on because you never know how much it can mean to them.

What’s next?

The Instagram Walls will be installed around campus over the summer so our Buckeyes can begin taking pictures and sharing kindness during the autumn semester. Follow @StudentLifeOSU on Twitter and Instagram for updates on the walls and other #BeKind ideas.


Scatter Kindness

  • Smith-Steeb Hall Screenwall – 70 W 11th Ave

Be Kind Butterfly

  • Bradley Hall (Kennedy Commons) – 250 W 12th Ave

Brutus Polaroid

  • Norton House Screenwall – 2114 Neil Ave

Candy Hearts

  • Scott House Screenwall – 160 W Woodruff Ave

Be Kind Hands

  • Houck House – 61 W Lane Ave