Apr 29, 2011

Swing for the Fences – join the Chicago Alumni Network Softball Team!

The Chicago Alumni Network is moving from game-watch parties to game-play parties this spring – and you can be a part of the action! At least eight to ten more alumni are needed to fill out the team in time for their first game this weekend. Need a good way to get some exercise and meet fellow UC alumni? Come on out and show us what you’ve got!

Local Bearcat hangout (and the site of many memorable game-watches over the years) O’Leary’s is a proud sponsor of the team, and will be the official post-game celebration destination. To participate, please email Chicago Network Leader (and recent UC Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award Winner!) Dave Watkins at dwatkins@mymdu.com.

The cost is $50 per person, which included seven regular season games, a team t-shirt, and some free food and drink from O’Leary’s.

Want more details? The league is a 12-inch co-ed softball league and will play at the Lincoln Park South fields, right by the Lincoln Park Zoo and across from North Ave. Beach. Games are every Saturday and the season begins April 30.

It’s not too late to get in the game and represent the “C” in Chi-town!

Apr 28, 2011

UC Alum Recognized for his Service with Young Alumni Award

During his time at the University of Cincinnati, Drew McKenzie was an engaged leader. He served as president of the Class of 2005 and was active in UC's Greek Life.

After graduation, Drew transitioned into his new role as a dedicated UC alum. He has been a regular volunteer for UC, serving as a docent for the Art and Architecture programs. He is the current co-chair for the Greek Affairs Alumni Council at the Alumni Association and served as president of the Beta Diogenes Club. Drew also remains active with his fraternity, currently serving as a board member for the chapter's building company.

Drew's dedication to UC has been boundless, which is why he is this year's Jeffrey Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award recipient.  He has always gone above and beyond the call to lead others - both as a student and an alumnus.  His service continues to leave a lasting impression.

Check out our interview with Drew and let us know if you have memories of Drew to share! Tell us your own story or congratulate him below.

Remember to keep an eye out for more upcoming posts about this year's UC Day Award winners.

Apr 27, 2011

Get your clubs ready for the Columbus Golf Outing!

Outside of the Cincinnati area, UC alumni living in the same city share a strong common bond. If we know each other already, we immediately feel that sense of camaraderie. If we meet and learn each other’s college lineage by accident, we’re apt to exclaim, “Hey, you’re a Bearcat, too? Great!” And maybe we even add the trademark “Ooooooohhhhhh, U-C!!!” with the signature “UC” arm gesture!

I think that feeling of brotherhood may be even stronger here in Columbus. Even though we’re less than 100 miles up I-71 from campus, sometimes it can feel like we’re on another planet. Since we’re surrounded by the alumni and influence of another university, it’s extra fun and rewarding to connect with fellow Bearcats among all the Buckeyes. After all, we know where we came from, we know how much our UC experience means in our lives, we know how much UC has advanced in recent years, so we are very Proudly Cincinnati.

There are more than 6,700 UC alumni in central Ohio, and our activity level is rising along with the fortunes of our alma mater. Greater Columbus annually sends an increasing number of students to UC (click here to see a photo album of the most recent Senior Sendoff event, where alums give our area’s UC freshmen-to-be a warm welcome to the UC family). And each year, one outstanding high school senior receives scholarship aid from the Central Ohio Regional Alumni Network to attend UC.

That scholarship fund, as well as UC Athletics, will benefit from our third annual Central Ohio Regional Network Golf Outing coming up on Monday, June 27, at the Riviera Golf Club in Dublin. In the first two years of the golf outing, we have raised about $20,000 for the Central Ohio Regional Alumni Network Scholarship Fund and UC Athletics.

If you like to be with other Bearcats … If you like to play golf and support a great cause … If you want to meet our special guests, including UC Football Coach Butch Jones, former NCAA and Olympic champion George Wilson and his UC teammate, former basketball coach Tony Yates … Then please plan to join us. Click here for more details.

And if you want to get more involved in UC Alumni Association or Proudly Cincinnati Campaign activities in the Columbus area, please contact me at besturm@columbus.rr.com or by phone – work 614-228-1101 or home 614-985-1128. We’re in the midst of our 1819 National Face-Off competition right now, so if you’re not currently supporting UC — even in a small way — this is a great opportunity to pitch in!

- Contributed by Brad Sturm, A&S '82

Apr 21, 2011

UC celebrates Earth Week

UC Students plant trees
Earth Day is all about demonstrating commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, and the University of Cincinnati is no exception.  UC has been celebrating Earth Week on campus, with various events geared towards environmental awareness and responsibility.
Bearcat Bike Share

The Princeton Review also recently named UC among the nation’s leading green universities for the second year in a row.  This was in part thanks to:

UC DAAP students have also been hard at work with finding eco-friendly design solutions, recently winning the International Staples EcoEasy Challenge.

Earth Day is a great time to get out and do something good for nature, with events being held nationwide.  Click here to find an event near you!

Apr 13, 2011

Game on Bearcats: May the best city win!

Twenty alumni cities. Only one of them will bring home the prize. The UC Alumni Association is proud to present...

Bearcats nationwide are putting their game faces on for the 1819 National Alumni Face-Off. From now until June 30th, alumni networks from coast to coast will be facing off to prove which has the most UC pride and 1819 spirit. 

So maybe you're in Chicago, Atlanta, DC or even all the way out in California! Here's your chance to demonstrate your pride in UC - and your city - all at once. With each $18.19 gift, your local Bearcat network will go up in the ranks. In the end, the city with the highest alumni participation rate will receive national bragging rights and some fun Bearcat prizes to help keep UC close to home.

So don't let other Bearcat cities outshine yours. Check out the current standings and if you haven't given back to UC yet this year, now's your chance to help your city rise above the rest!

Apr 11, 2011

Recent Speaker and Scholarship Recipient Reflects Upon Florida Event and Donor Appreciation

The email asked: "Are you on co-op in Florida and available to speak at our UC event?" After instantly replying "I am at your service," I thought-- I have no clue who and what I just agreed to. But boy am I glad I did! Later, I uncovered that I agreed to be a student ambassador and speaker at a Proudly Cincinnati: Tower of Strength, Rock of Truth event in Florida this past February.

It was truly inspirational to stand in front of innovative and motivational UC alumni and share my experience of how UC changed my own life. My palms were a bit sweaty, yes. However, after being so warmly welcomed in the receptions by President Williams, Dean Chatterjee, and the hospitable UC Foundation and alumni attendees, I further solidified why I love UC-- the faculty and alumni offer tremendous support.

Without the support of UC donors, I would have never been able to participate in so many wonderful opportunities--studying, researching, and working abroad in seven different countries in just four short years. I owe tremendous thanks for the scholarships, fellowships, and co-op opportunities that were made possible by UC alumni, faculty, staff, and friends. It was equally rewarding to hear how UC impacted so many people's lives at this recent event in Florida.

No matter where I may be in this world, one thing is certain--I proudly display my convocation pin I received on my first day of college (which has traveled with me all over the globe), as I am always Proudly Cincinnati.

~Victoria Fromme
senior urban planning student in DAAP 

If you missed Victoria's live account of her UC experience during UC's February appearances in Orlando and Naples, check out the video above. Her story should make us all Proudly Cincinnati!

Apr 7, 2011

Up Close with our UC Day Alumni Honorees – Meet Chicago’s Dave Watkins

Congratulations to Chicago Alumni Network leader (and regular UC Where You Are blog contributor) Dave Watkins! He’s this year’s winner of the UC Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award, which will be presented June 9 as part of the UC Day Celebration at the Kingsgate Marriot on UC’s campus. (Event registration is now open, and a complete list of award winners is available here.)

Dave was nominated for his tenacity and patience in establishing a considerable alumni presence in Chicago. His efforts have turned into the model for building a successful, engaged network of alumni. Chicagoans for Cincy is now the fifth largest contingent of Bearcats outside of Cincinnati!
Distinguished Service Award Winner David Watkins (pictured on the left)
tailgating with fellow UC alums at a Chicago Cubs game

“I’m honored to be recognized by the Alumni Association for my activities in Chicago. It means a lot to join the ranks of previous award winners like Bob Dobbs, Glenn Sample, Russell Myers, and many other UC legends.  This accomplishment wouldn’t be possible without the great folks I’ve worked with over the years, people like Bob and Rose Fealy, Eva Maddox, Chris and Spes Mekus, Mark and Mary Kay Mitters, and so many others. This award isn’t just for me; it’s for all Chicago alumni who have gotten involved to support their alma mater and connect as alumni and friends.”

When Dave first started working with the Alumni Association more than 15 years ago, he literally started from the ground up – sometimes holding events that would attract only a few people. Dave’s nominator, friend and fellow Bearcat Markus Kremer, notes that this passion existed far before he began building the network:

"As soon as I met Dave back in 1987 I realized how much he cared for the University.  Dave considered it a privilege to provide support to the University while in school.  That same level of caring, if not more, has been carried through to his alumni years.  He continues to develop meaningful relationships with alumni in the area and always makes himself available to other alumni who visit, live, or work in the Chicago area.  Dave sets an example for other network leaders and alums with his continued efforts to support and promote the University of Cincinnati at all times.”

You might even say that Dave's enthusiasm has had a ripple effect with other Bearcat networks across the country. Case in point...Markus was so inspired by Dave's spirit of volunteerism that he took it upon himself to revitalize Milwaukee's Bearcat network after making it his new home in 2006. The network now boasts several big events a year to keep its more than 800 UC alumni connected.

Got your own great Dave story to share, or want to congratulate him yourself? Weigh in by commenting below! And keep an eye out for more about our UC Day Award Winners before the big day June 9th!

Apr 1, 2011

Proudly UC Beyond Our Borders: Matt Gill of Cleveland

“To educate tomorrow’s citizens, we must expand opportunities for global engagement in our curriculum.” ~ University of Cincinnati President Gregory Williams

In an ongoing series of posts, UC Where You Are will take a look at the unique experiences and learning opportunities afforded to students who are currently studying abroad. Most are grant or scholarship recipients who might otherwise not had the opportunity to contribute their experiences to the global classroom.
Matt Gill at the Bosphorous, aka the
Istanbul Strait in Istanbul, Turkey.

We continue our series by introducing you to Matt Gill, a fourth year industrial design major from North Ridgeville, a community located about 30 minutes outside of the Greater Cleveland metro. The recipient of a $500 Globalization Grant, Matt just wrapped up two quarters in Germany. Here is his story:

University of Cincinnati: Let’s start with the basics: What is your major at UC, when do you expect to graduate, and what are your plans after graduation?

Matt Gill: I am a fourth year (of five) industrial design: product major at UC’s College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP). I will graduate in the spring of 2012. I hope to start off my career at a product design firm on one of the coasts. I haven't picked an exact specialty, such as consumer electronics, medical or furniture design, so I would like to be somewhere that explores a wide variety of products to design.

Why did you choose the University of Cincinnati? What did the campus (or your program of study) offer that other colleges or campuses did not?

The industrial design program at UC is incredibly well-equipped. Few other schools have the kind of facilities available to students that DAAP does: three 3D printing machines for fabricating prototypes, a laser cutter and multiple milling machines introduce students to the cutting-edge technology being used in the field. Together with the co-op program, I knew I would get invaluable real-world experience that would never occur in a classroom alone. I also found the co-op program would expose me to the kind of design companies I hope to work for after college.

Campus was also a big draw for me; it's not often you see highly-ranked industrial design programs in a state university, and UC is #2 nationally. The variety of colleges and majors really provide a great atmosphere where DAAP students are not isolated in our own private art school. We get to have a real college experience and learn from those following careers paths far different than our own.

When did you decide to study abroad? How did you come to choose Germany as your location?

We had been shown a presentation by previous Wuppertal exchange students who are in industrial design (our two industrial design programs have an exchange partnership) and it seemed like such a priceless experience. A year or so later, I received an e-mail from one of our professors, Steve Doehler, stating that students interested in any of the exchanges should send in their portfolios ASAP. I spent the next three nights hardly sleeping, polishing my portfolio and then sent it away. At the end of the week I got an e-mail back with the subject "You're going on exchange!" and Steve had placed me in Wuppertal, matching my portfolio up with the workflow there.

How do you anticipate your study abroad work to influence your future career options?

I found that in Wuppertal, the professors are very detail-oriented. Spending a semester there helped me hone my skills and think strongly about the decisions I make as I work on my projects. It immensely helped me understand the engineering side of design, something very important since my field often works in tandem with engineers.
Tell us a little about your experience. What were some of the highlights of your trip?
The Austrian Alps, a favorite destination of Matt's
during his study abroad experience.

I started my exchange off with a trip that was hosted by our Director of Design, Soo-Shin Choi. For almost two weeks, my classmates and I visited major design destinations in England, Germany and Italy. After that I traveled to Spain with my fellow UC exchange student, Anouk, who is also in industrial design major. I then began to visit various places throughout the semester including Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Turkey and the Austrian Alps. My three favorites have been Spain for the amazing relaxed atmosphere and weather, Turkey for the extreme difference to our westernized American culture and the Alps, because it's where I learned to ski for the first time. These places were just plain fun!

The destinations that were probably best for me in regards to my profession were Braun headquarters in Germany, Pininfarina (a design consultancy that has made – and continues to make – many iconic automobiles) in Italy and Square1 design studio right next door to Wuppertal in Dusseldorf. My professor, Mr. Trauernicht, owns the studio with another professor, Mr. Topel, and they were kind enough to show us around and take us out to lunch to give us a better idea of what professional design means to them.

Hagia Sophia, a former basilica - and later, a mosque -
 that is now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey.

Did you study abroad while you were in school? Where is the last place outside of the United States that you've been to? Share your story below!