Oct 28, 2011

UC's ambitions continue to draw attention

The University of Cincinnati continues to turn heads with progressive goals and recent accomplishments. The university garnered some noteworthy attention this past week regarding university-wide goals and achievements including innovative ideas to stimulate economic development, President Williams' State of the University address, Dean Thomas Boat's vision for the College of Medicine and the continued excitement from UC Athletics including UC's win over USF and the hiring of a new athletic director.

 Photo courtesy of the University of Cincinnati.
UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Carlo Montemagno was featured in a Cincinnati Enquirer Article, "UC an engine for innovation." Dean Montemagno discussed the Entrepreneurial Innovation Center. According to the Enquirer, the innovation center will provide the college's 140 professors and 4,300 students access to workshops, mentors, lab space and an engineering accelerator program to help build and launch businesses. This entrepreneurial initiative will not only create high-tech, high paying jobs while driving economic development, it will create an opportunity for UC to develop products that could change the world.

Later in the week UC's President Gregory H. Williams gave the State of the University Address at the All-University Faculty Meeting where he discussed the university's big dreams and how these dreams are in UC's reach through UC2019. Based on President Williams speech, it is evident UC is on its way to being one of the best institutions in the nation. President Williams also pointed out three areas of opportunity that UC “must address if we want to achieve our aspirations of being one of the finest universities in the nation.” Those opportunities are:
  • National Academy membership,
  • industrial funding,
  • and the number of research/scholarship doctoral degrees awarded.
When President Williams discussed UC2019 he quoted Walt Disney saying, "If you can dream, you can do it."

 Photo courtesy of the University of Cincinnati.
President Williams wasn't the only one talking about UC's ambitious dreams. UC's College of Medicine Dean Thomas Boat shared his vision for the college this week, which includes:
  • Making the UC College of Medicine the preferred destination in the Midwest for the best medical students, graduate students, residents and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Making UC Health the regional care center of choice for patients who require complex procedures.
  • Joining the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Michigan and Washington University in St. Louis as elite biomedical research institutions in the Midwest.

And how could we forget the beloved Bearcats. They broke into the Associated Press Top 25 this week with their victory over USF, bringing their record to 6-1. Following this win, UC announced the hiring of UC's new Athletic Director, Whit Babcock.

UC continues to make big things happen. What makes you proud to be a Bearcat?

Oct 25, 2011

UC Alum Brings Detroit Architecture Students to UC

Professor Farlow gives
architecture tour of UC to students.
UC alum Mark Farlow came back to campus and brought his current architecture students with him on Oct. 9. Accompanying him was his colleague Karen Swanson. Both Professor Swanson and Professor Farlow teach at the University of Detroit Mercy, teaching for the Masters Studio at UDM in the architecture thesis year.

Farlow also teaches an advanced design studio to graduate students at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, MI.

Professor Farlow organized the one-day field trip to include students from both architecture schools. The tour began with an early lunch at Clifton’s Skyline Chili. Then, UC Professor Terry Boling launched his campus walking tour starting at DAAP. The students marveled at the variety and richness of the architecture on the UC campus.

They toured the buildings designed by notable architects like Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Wes Jones, Bernard Tschumi, Frank Gehry, Gwathmey Siegel, Leers Weinzapfel, Morphosis, and I.M. Pei. The tour also included a visit downtown to see Fountain Square and the Contemporary Arts Center (designed by Zaha Hadid).

Both professors Farlow and Swanson believe that experiencing architecture is important - more so than seeing it in pictures or on the internet. The field trip was an essential learning opportunity for the 25 students who attended. Professor Farlow organized a similar field trip to UC last year for his LTU students so an encore performance was definitely needed.

You may recall that the weather that particular weekend was wonderful. The students all hope to return soon! Thanks to DAAP Professor Terry Boling for his informative tour.

Oct 21, 2011

Nominate an Outstanding UC Alum

UC Alumni Awards
Is there an alum you know who has made significant achievements in their professional career, has been extensively involved in the university and the community or has demonstrated remarkable leadership abilities? Now is your chance to nominate them for a University of Cincinnati Alumni Award! Nominations will close January 31, 2012. Awards will be presented at the 2012 UC Distinguished Alumni Celebration on June 14, 2012.

“The Distinguished Alumni Celebration gives UC the opportunity to formally recognize our most outstanding alumni for their professional accomplishments and exceptional commitment to the university and in many cases, to the world,” said UC Alumni Association Executive Director, Myron Hughes. “Since 1956, the UCAA has extended awards to more than 130 alumni.”

Please consider nominating a fellow alum for one of the following awards: 

The William Howard Taft Medal Award
This award is given to an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati solely on the basis of notable achievement in his or her field. The Taft Medal differs from the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in that it is not restricted to service to the university. The award is in honor and memory of Dr. William Howard Taft, LLB 1925, twenty-seventh president of the United States.

2011 UC Alumni Award Recipients (from left) Drew E. McKenzie,
Dr. P. Eric Abercrumbie, Dr. Marilyn A. Edmondson,
Richard G. Foley,David Watkins, and Dr. J. Richard Wuest
The Jeffrey Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award
This award is given to a UC graduate, 35 years of age or younger, on the basis of significant professional achievement in his or her field of endeavor, and continued service and involvement with the university and community. This award is in honor and memory of Jeffrey Hurwitz, BBA '72, MBA '73, former president of the UC Alumni Association.

Alumni Distinguished Service Award
Dedicated alumni who, through their service, make an outstanding contribution to their university are usually over-modest, always unpaid, and unthinking of reward. Nonetheless, recognition is important, for an action that begins by aiding the advancement of a university ends in the improvements of the social structure in which we live. The UC Alumni Association issues the Alumni Distinguished Service Awards to provide that recognition for those who have faithfully rendered outstanding service to the University of Cincinnati.

The UC Alumni Association Mosaic Award
The UC Alumni Association’s Mosaic Award is presented to an alumnus who has demonstrated leadership while enhancing our shared community through cultivating collaboration, fostering inclusiveness, championing the cause of the underrepresented, and promoting greater equity and opportunity for others.

Oct 20, 2011

Alum Sports UC Cycling Gear

Jeff King, a 2000 UC graduate with a BS in Construction Management, recently participated in the Triple Bypass race - a one day, 120-mile bike ride from Bergen Park (Evergreen) to Avon, Colorado - while sporting his UC cycling jersey. Find out what Jeff had to say about the race and his UC experience!

What were some of the most memorable experiences you had at UC? What types of activities were you involved with at UC?

My most memorable experience while at UC would be meeting my lovely wife. I also had a very close circle of friends while at UC. I miss time spent with that special group of friends. I ran the 800 meters for the track & field team from 1994-99.

How did UC transform your life?

I was tripped and pushed off the track during a meet at Marshall. I was upset with getting
tripped and instead of finishing the race, I dropped out. Coach Schnier was not happy
with me after the race for not getting back on the track and finishing, “giving it the old
college try.” Two things I’ve always taken away from that race and Coach’s talk
afterward: First – finish what you started, and second – don’t put yourself in a position to fail, which was the whole reason I was tripped in the first place.

The most important thing that UC taught me was how to be a professional. The co-op
program UC has is top-notch. Getting out of the classroom and providing practical
experience is something that cannot be taken away when coming out of school. My
professors at OCAS always had time for me, whether it was a question about a subject, or
discussing future plans with my career.

What makes you proud to be a graduate of UC?

I am amazed at the number of people in Colorado that have ties to the university. When
I wear my Bearcat gear, I often have people comment on either graduating from UC or
being from Cincy.

Explain what you did after graduating from UC. What are you doing now?

After graduation, my wife and I spent five years in the Washington, D.C. area where I worked
as a Project Manager for a large commercial contractor. Currently, I am working as a
Project Manager for JE Dunn Construction in Denver, Colorado. My current project is
the new Encounter Africa Project at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs,
Colorado. Encounter Africa consists of a new elephant holding barn and exhibit space for the
elephants and lions at the zoo.

Talk about cycling a little. How did you transition from a track athlete to a cyclist?
Do you always wear your UC gear during races? What did the Triple Bypass
Cycling Challenge entail?

I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for almost 20 years so I try to stay as active as I possibly
can. I ran for many years and continue to do so, but took up cycling several years ago
when I was battling a lower back injury. It helps to live in Colorado which is very
bicycle friendly.

The Bearcat Jersey was a x-mas gift a year ago; I try to wear it on as many rides as I
possible can.

The Triple Bypass is a one day, 120-mile bike ride from Bergen Park (Evergreen) to
Avon, Colorado. The challenge includes riding over 3 mountain passes (Squaw Pass,
Loveland Pass and Vail Pass). It took me around 11 hours to complete. While riding I
had many compliments on my Bearcat jersey, including one from a fellow UC alumni.

Oct 18, 2011

UC Alumni Spotlight: Denny DeMoss

University of Cincinnati engineering alumnus and Vice President and Project Director at Sargent & Lundy, Denny DeMoss, shared a story over the summer that changed my way of thinking. Denny told me about two experiences he had with salmon fishing. The first time he went fishing there were eight fishing lines tossed into the water, and by the end of the day three to four fish were caught. On Denny’s next salmon fishing trip there were 40 lines tossed into the water, and by the end of the day around two dozen fish were caught. What Denny told me next was that no one pole caught more than two fish, that with more fishing poles came more opportunity. On the first trip there were missed opportunities because there were less fishing poles.

This story provides a valuable lesson and also describes why Denny gives back to the University of Cincinnati. He wants every student to have opportunities and he’s helping to supply the poles. Denny has a joint scholarship with Tom Beringer, another UC graduate who is also a Chicagoan for Cincy. Although as Denny says, “It is not giving back but passing it along,” his story shows that donating to the University is the right thing to do.

Denny got his BSNE in Nuclear Engineering from the College of Engineering in 1977 from UC. Even though engineering is a demanding major, Denny still made time to spend Tuesday nights at his fraternity house Theta Chi, play intramural sports, participate in Homecoming, and most importantly, just hang out with his friends at the same Skyline on Clifton where the current undergraduate class still hangs out.

Denny’s advice to current undergraduates at UC is to “Dream a little bigger than you think.” He says although it is easy to stay where you are, one should explore a little more and learn to do new things. Taking advantage of new opportunities will help make you a well-rounded person.

Of course Denny sets the perfect example when he passes on what I thought was the most important advice: to do charitable things.

- Robert Fealy, BBA ’73
Chicago Campaign Committee Chair

Oct 13, 2011

Will you be there? Homecoming 2011

One of the most anticipated weekends by UC alumni is almost here! Homecoming 2011 kicks off tomorrow, Oct. 14 with the traditional Homecoming parade from 7-8 p.m. along Calhoun St. and Clifton Ave. Following the parade, join fellow Bearcats fans at the Myers Alumni Center for the Cincinnati Favorites Pep Rally from 8-11 p.m. Enjoy your favorite Cincinnati cuisine while greeting Coach Jones, your favorite Bearcat football players, cheerleaders and the Bearcat mascot during the CATWALK.

The excitement continues Saturday, Oct. 15 as the Beacats team-up to take-on the Louisville Cardinals. If you haven't purchased your tickets, buy them here and help us turn the Cincinnati Riverfront Red and Black!

Don't forget to ''check-in' for the Homecoming 2011 Check-in Challenge for a chance to win awesome prizes! How does it work? Follow the UC Homecoming 2011 Check-In Challenge list on Fourqsuare on your mobile phone and complete two or more tasks in the challenge by "checking-in" to the places listed. Show your phone to a UC staff member at the 1819 table during the Pep Rally Friday, Oct. 14 and get a FREE UC water bottle, license plate frame or other sweet UC prizes! First-come, first-served!

Share your pictures and memories on the University of Cincinnati Alumni Association Facebook page and tweet them to @UofCincyAlumni with hashtag #UCHomecoming.

For more information about Homecoming events, visit the Homecoming website.

See you tomorrow! GO BEARCATS!!

Oct 10, 2011

UC Prof Uses Card Games to Solve Medical Challenges

When it comes to solving healthcare challenges – diabetes, obesity, stroke – Professor Mary Beth Privitera feels that creativity holds the key. In fact, she’s so passionate about helping her students think outside the box that she created a card game that challenges them to develop creative solutions to medical problems.

Her approach was detailed in a recent article in the e-zine Soapbox Cincinnati. The associate professor of biomedical engineering  has developed the puzzle/card game featured in the article as a way to spark creative thinking among her students. 

The game puts students into teams of three to five, deals them a medical problem, then challenges them to develop a medical device to treat it. With game problems such as “a non-invasive knee replacement” and constraints defined as “all patients have an allergy to plastic,” players have to open their mind just to understand what exactly needs to be designed. Students work together to create the device, get it to market, navigate federal and international healthcare regulations and find ways to finance their projects. The process, Privitera argues, helps students move past the most obvious answer, and think outside the “triangle”.

“The Medical Device Innovation Program, with its clinical partnerships, allows for those creative and seemingly silly concepts to be fully explored in hopes to improve clinical care.  Our culture of team building and collaboration across disciplines within the university safety net promotes risk taking and exploration beyond what you can do in industry,” says Privitera.

The game has already proven itself to be a hit. Several British universities have already shown interest in Professor Privitera’s methods, and a U.K. version of the game is being developed in partnership with Nottingham University.  In addition, students used the game during the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) IdeaLab at Northwestern University this past June, a workshop that helps students better understand biomedical design through a series of case studies, creative experiences and intensive hands-on exercises.

There’s no telling where the game will go from here, but one thing is certain: Professor Privitera’s students are without a doubt more prepared to come up with creative solutions in the real-world. As the professor says in the Soapbox article, “Creative solutions are important in the real world for difficult-to-treat patients. If a treatment doesn't work well for a patient, and that's all a physician has, then you as a patient don't have the best possible outcome.”

That’s something we can all agree on!

Oct 7, 2011

UC Alums Help Construct Florida Atlantic University Football Stadium

This past summer we caught up with two UC alums Sean Stichter, BS in Construction Management ‘03 and John Pearch, BS in Civil Engineering ’08, while they worked on the Florida Atlantic University Football Stadium.  See what they had to say about their experiences at UC and how UC has helped them in their careers.

What were some of the most memorable experiences you had at UC?
Sean: UC’s win over Wisconsin (10th in the Nation at the time) in 1999 (we rushed the field and the goal posts came down); being part of Homecoming Committee and working to create a memorable Homecoming experience; attending Colin Powell’s on campus speech in 1998; and watching great UC basketball players such as Kenyon Martin, Danny Fortson, and many others.  My friend and I attended almost every home game.

John: Serving as Chapter President for the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity; and viewing first-hand the transformation of the campus construction from endless rows of temporary chain-link fencing to the beautiful campus showcased today.

How did UC transform your life?
City Place Office Tower
Sean: UC not only gave me a top rate education, but helped to develop the life skills which have allowed me to be successful in business as well as in my home life.  In addition the 6 quarters of co-op experience allowed me to hit the ground running after graduation and land a great job.

John: UC exposed me to the professional world through the co-operative learning program, including three separate projects with my current employer.  It helped me to “get my foot in the door” during a time where competition for job placement was at its highest.

What makes you proud to be a graduate of UC?
Sean: Recruiting and talking with young talent coming out of the construction management and civil engineering programs every year.

(left to right) Sean Stichter, Jonathan Pearch,
Dr. Saad of UC, and Jeff Zebrasky UC co-op
John: I’m proud to be a Bearcat because of the weight that the degree carries in our profession.  Due to the success of the co-op program, UC graduates are known for entering into the profession with more knowledge and understanding of the work tasks, thus exceeding employer expectations. I’m proud to carry on the tradition.

What did you do after graduation?
Sean: I was recruited by a prominent national Commercial Construction Management Firm (Centex Construction) directly out of college.  The firm was primarily based in Florida and Texas but has since been acquired by and international firm (Balfour Beatty Construction).  I’m currently working with the same company as a Project Manager managing the construction of the new Florida Atlantic University Football Stadium.
John: Following graduation, I moved to Orlando, Florida to participate with the construction management team in the construction of a $250 million expansion to the existing four-star Peabody Hotel.  I am currently operating as a Project Engineer for the construction team building the new Florida Atlantic University football stadium.

What was your role in the Florida Atlantic University Football Stadium project? What was it like to work on the stadium?
Sean: I’m currently one of two Balfour Beatty Project Managers Assigned to the Project.  Early in the conceptual phase of the project I helped with estimating the project cost, establishing budgets, and identifying savings opportunities.  I joined the stadium project team about halfway through the construction process.  This was due to the fact that I was managing the construction of a High School Football Stadium in Pompano Beach, Florida.  Once I joined the Stadium team I took over management of the purchasing and buy out of the Commissary and Concessions package which was roughly 3 million dollars of addition scope.  In addition I have taken on the responsibility of managing the completion of the exterior skin of the 6 story pressbox tower.  My daily tasks include coordination of trade work, creation and issuance of contracts, creation and issuance of change orders, and Coordination with Owners & Architects.

John: My role for the project is to aid the project managers in specific scopes of construction including the site work, finishes, and miscellaneous metal work.  It is my job to read and evaluate the contract drawings and specifications to ensure correct installation by my respective subcontractors whom I manage.  Meanwhile, I also monitor progress of the work and any subcontractor cost impacts via changes to the drawings. The experience of working on the stadium can be defined as unique yet challenging.  As a member of the construction team, you not only have to build as it is shown on the contract drawings, but also for the end user.  In this case, the construction team communicates daily with the FAU athletic department, the coaching staff of the football team, the administration of the Sun Belt Conference, and broadcasting networks such as ESPN.  Additionally, the project is defined as a “fast-track” project involving a start date and finish date for the 30,000 seat stadium only 12months apart.

Anything else you would like to highlight about your career or your relationship to UC? 
Sean: Since graduating from the University of Cincinnati I have been involved in the construction the Port Everglades Security Upgrades Project, Palm Beach International Airport Terminal Expansions, Palm Beach Therapeutic Center and Special Olympics Gymnasium, City Place Office Tower, Blanche Ely High School Football Stadium, and the Florida Atlantic University Football Stadium.  I’m constantly pushing to hire more UC co-op students and full time graduates.  Over the past decade Balfour Beatty has had an successful history of employing UC graduates, and look to not only continue that relationship, but to strengthen it.

We recently hosted a representative of the University of Cincinnati Construction Management Program here in South Florida.  During his visit he was able to review our operations, tour our jobsites, and see firsthand what the UC co-op students and graduates do.  It was a great opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the University (see first picture).

John: My time spent at UC was unforgettable.  I continue to be an advocate for the University for any young, uncertain minds that are wavering between selections for higher learning institutions.  I inform them that they would be regretful for not putting UC at the top of the list.

Oct 4, 2011

From Co-op to Company President

When cooperative education was created at the University of Cincinnati more than 100 years ago, it was based on the premise that gaining experience before graduation not only prepares students for success in the work force – it also provides an opportunity to impress a potential employer before ever hitting the job market.

College of Engineering alumnus John Miller is proof of cooperative education’s value, and is visiting UC this week to enlighten current students with insights into what it takes to be successful. Through hard work, study and determination, he was able to leverage a co-op assignment with the Standard Oil Company (SOHIO) into a 26-year career that saw him ascend company ranks from a co-op student to President, Chief Operating Officer and Director of the company.

Miller achieved a number of impressive milestones and earned numerous promotions along his way to the top. He served as Vice President of Finance during a critical time in the company’s history – when SOHIO was arranging for the extensive funding needed to develop its Alaskan crude oil reserves and pay for its share of the costs of constructing the Trans Alaska Pipeline. He later served as Vice President of Transportation when the pipeline and marine network associated with delivering Alaskan crude to market was being put into operation.

With his record of success in these capacities, he was elevated to Senior Vice President of Technology and Chemicals, a position he held until being elected President and COO of SOHIO in 1980. After leaving the company in 1986, Miller leveraged his business knowledge to found and lead TBN Holdings Inc. and Petroleum Partners, Inc.

Demonstrating a base of knowledge that goes far beyond petroleum, Miller also served as Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for seven years, and was Chairman during the last two years of his term. Today, he is Chairman of the Board of Graphic Packaging Holding Company, an integrated provider of paperboard packaging solutions to multinational beverage and consumer products companies, as well as Cambrex Corporation, a supplier of goods and services to the life sciences industry.

Students who meet with Miller will undoubtedly gain a unique perspective on what it means to take advantage of opportunities presented to them through co-op and experiential learning. So what was the best piece of advice anyone gave you? What would you tell the students of today that you wish someone had told you? Comment below!