Jul 29, 2011

Bearcats finding spots on NFL squads (and other football notes)

NFL fans everywhere let out a collective sigh of relief Monday, when the longest work stoppage in league history came to a close. Now that teams finally had the green light to start making moves for the upcoming season, four former Bearcats were signed by pro squads in just a matter of days:
  • Kicker Jacob Rogers (New Orleans Saints)
  • Wide receiver Armon Binns (Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • Tight end Ben Guidugli (St. Louis Rams)
  • Wide receiver Vidal Hazelton (San Diego Chargers)
If that weren’t reason enough to celebrate, UC Football was also recently recognized with the BIG EAST Conference Academic Excellence Award for the 2010 season. After calculating the grade point average of students on each football team’s roster, the Bearcats came out on top in the conference – achieving a cumulative average 2.68 GPA during the 2010-2011 academic year.

The ‘Cats also had an all-time record high team GPA of 2.90 for Winter Quarter 2011, and senior running back John Goebel  earned the 2010 BIG EAST Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Congratulations to all the current and former players who worked hard to make these achievements possible!

Finally, game times have now been announced for five of the first six games of the season, so start making plans to be there in 2011!
  • Sat., Sept. 3 – UC vs. Austin Peay State – 7pm, Nippert Stadium (Bearcat Blitz opens at 3)
  • Sat., Sept. 10 – UC at Tennessee – 3:30pm
  • Sat., Sept. 17 – UC vs. Akron – 3:30pm, Nippert Stadium (Bearcat Blitz opens at 11:30)
  • Thurs., Sept. 22 – UC vs. North Carolina State – 8pm Nippert Stadium (Bearcat Blitz opens  5)
  • Sat., Oct. 1 – UC at Miami – 1 PM
What game are you looking forward to most this season? Weigh in and tell us below!

Jul 28, 2011

UC Alum, Arnie Leff, shows his support for UC in California

A UC flag waves outside of Arnie's house in Boulder Creek, CA.
Arnie Leff, College of Medicine '67, is many things. An unapologetic patriot. An American hero. A veteran. And yes, a fervent supporter of his beloved University of Cincinnati. Arnie is also the topic of an intriguing biography; Paging Dr. Leff, penned by Gabriel Constans.

You may not agree with Dr. Leff’s stance on everything covered in this book, but there is no denying the astonishing life he has lived. Grab a copy of Paging Dr. Leff and let us know what you think!

Jul 26, 2011

Yu Yin credits UC Alumni Association for her strong start in the business world

When Yu Yin became a member of the UC Alumni Association’s volunteer Board of Governors in July, it highlighted the global nature of the UC alumni family, the career development assistance available through the UCAA, and the manner in which lifelong Bearcats continuously pay it back and pay it forward with each other.

Yin, a native of China, received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from the Northeast Agricultural University in China before earning another master’s in business from UC in 2010. She is a tax consultant with Deloitte Tax LLP in Cincinnati, and credits her UC Alumni Association experience as a new grad for her strong start in the business world.

Since I became an international graduate student in UC’s College of Business, I have seen the significant influence of the UC Alumni Association. The organization holds a lot of events and activities that tremendously help students from outside of the United States. In this way, we feel like the Alumni Association is a bridge connecting international students with more UC friends and families. We also feel like the UCAA is a big family whose members care about every student and alumnus.

When I was invited to join the UC Alumni Association Board of Governors, I was certainly thrilled. I am a beneficiary of the UCAA, and my wonderful experience with the Alumni Association highly inspired me to accept the Board appointment. In fact, involving myself with the UCAA was a life-changing event for me.

I was very frustrated about job hunting as I approached my graduation. Then I attended an international graduates reception held jointly by UC’s international office and the UCAA, and I met a lot of international students as well as alumni. They all expressed their interest and concerns about my life and my job hunting. One of the alumni was Mr. Steve Simendinger, who was president of the UC College of Business Alumni Advisory Board back then, and also a former president of the UC Alumni Association board. He encouraged me and gave me great advice about how to build a network in order to expand my contacts.

He also introduced me to other UC alumni, including Mr. Chris Dalambakis, a manager with Steelcase, Inc., and Mr. Bob Carroll, a tax director with Deloitte, who might have additional contacts in my field or further job hunting guidance. Ms. Maureen Moorhead, a UC alumna and volunteer with International Friendships, Inc., who generously provided me with career coaching to equip me with the necessary job hunting skills. After these conversations and help, I felt much more confident and was able to expand my network a lot. Eventually I found a job in my field, which I enjoy very much.

I truly appreciate all the help and concerns from the alumni of UC, and I appreciate the opportunities provided by the UCAA. I’m eager to become one of them, which would give me the opportunity to devote myself to the UC community. I would like to be advisory and helpful to alumni who may need help just like I did. Thanks, UCAA, for giving me the chance to serve on the Board of Governors!

Yu Yin, BUS ’10

The UC Alumni Association offers a range of career development resources, from the kind of assistance Yu Yin describes to a powerful online tool called Career Resource Network and vibrant LinkedIn community, free to everyone in the UC alumni family.

Jul 20, 2011

Proudly UC Beyond Our Borders: Rachel Kohler

As a student, UC alum Rachel Kohler had the opportunity to study abroad in Grenoble, France during the fall quarter in 2010. Rachel, a double major in French and English shared her experience with us.

How did you decide to study abroad and why did you choose that specific place?

As a French major I always knew that I wanted to study abroad in France to increase my fluency of the language, but to also become more culturally aware. I wanted to experience a foreign country and  I’ve always been attracted to the allure of France.

Where did you stay during your trip abroad?

I lived with a host family during my stay in France. I absolutely loved staying with a host family. It allowed me to observe a dynamic that was very different than mine and offered me a better immersion experience in both the language and the culture. Living with a new family in a completely foreign setting was hard to adjust to at first, but my family was very warm and welcoming. In my particular situation I had five host siblings, four of which lived at home. I come from a small family with just one brother, so having the opportunity to have sisters was wonderful.

What were some highlights of your study abroad experience?

What really made my experience was the friends that I made during my trip. I studied abroad with a program that wasn’t in direct affiliation with my home university, meaning that I didn’t know anyone in my program prior to arriving in France. This forced me to be outgoing and make new friends. I made friends within my program (of about thirty people) who come from all over the United States, from Alaska to South Carolina. I also made friends within my host university from all over the world. It was easy to form a connection because we all share the same passion for French.

I firmly believe in the quote “Wherever you are it is your friends who make your world,” by William James. Without friends your experience won’t be as worthwhile. When I arrived in France I didn’t have any attachment to home, no sense of comfort, so I was forced to find friends and make a connection in France, which along the journey teaches you a lot about yourself.

I also liked the change in atmosphere and the new environment. Coming from Ohio, the terrain is much different from Grenoble where the city is encompassed by the Alps. The city is fairly large, but still has a quaint feel to it, and is a much older, historical town adding to the charm of it.

Why was this trip so important to you and your education?

Being a French major I felt that it was my duty, my responsibility, to go to France and learn. It is important to experience the French language in France because it contains a certain richness that can only be found in its country of origin. To fully comprehend the language on a deeper level and gain a true sense of the culture, it is necessary to study/travel abroad, without it, you’re missing out on so much.

How do you see your experiences abroad helping with your career and future?

I think studying abroad definitely gives me an advantage when it comes to career opportunities. Having the experience of living in France for an extended amount of time may open doors for me to work abroad in the future. Studying abroad in France for almost four months says that I am capable in the language and am able to get by and may open up possibilities within my career field. I hope that I find a career involving my French abilities since I am very passionate about French, and I think studying abroad is a stepping stone into my future and where my career may lead me.

Anything else about your experience you would like to share?

It’s hard to have expectations going into a study abroad experience. At first, it’s overwhelming, then it’s exciting, and then it’s frustrating, but once you get over all the logistics of it, you realize that all the effort you put into planning is entirely worth it, because any expectations you may have had are blown away with excellence. Studying abroad was absolutely the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. Not only did I have the time of my life, but I learned a lot and now hold this unique experience close to my heart.

Jul 15, 2011

Jack Laub: WWII Vet, Basketball Star, and Lifelong Bearcat

Jack Laub (A&S 1950) is a proud, lifelong Bearcat with some amazing talents. Since his time at UC, Jack has traveled the world and gained some incredible life experiences, but he will always treasure the time he spent both on and off the basketball courts at UC.

Most famously known for his basketball career, Laub began as a varsity player for Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY, joining the City College of New York after graduation. Laub played from 1943-1945 under coach Nat Holman, and has been recognized for his impressive performance, being elected to the City College of New York Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Laub during World War II

After attending City College of New York, Laub joined the Merchant Marines during World War II in 1944.  For his service and devotion to the United States in the liberation of France during WWII, Laub was conferred the honor of “Chevalier” of the Legion of Honor, one of the highest honors awarded in France, this past June. After being discharged as a Lt. Sr. grade in 1946 as a Staff Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, he was awarded a basketball scholarship at the University of Cincinnati to pursue medical school as a psychology major.

Laub, nicknamed the "Black Cat", helped lead UC Bearcats Basketball to four conference championships, putting Cincinnati on the map as one of the top college basketball teams in the nation.  Since Laub played two years of basketball at City College and four years at UC, he is the only player in NCAA history to play for six varsity years.

After graduating from UC, Laub was one of the first two Bearcats to be drafted into the NBA in 1950.  Laub was recruited by the Baltimore Bullets, but was soon traded to the Minneapolis Lakers and eventually Scranton Miners.  While he was with the Miners, Laub helped the team win two championships.

"Black Cat" Laub
Laub stayed true to his connection with UC however, as he was eventually asked to be the university’s first assistant basketball coach. Laub was ecstatic to return to his alma mater, later serving as head scout for UC. As an assistant coach, Laub helped UC earn its first appearance in the National Invitation Tournament in 1951.

Laub left basketball for a time, joining Pfizer & Co. in 1954. Laub devoted his business career to reducing prescription costs for consumers, and together with business partners, helped pioneer the idea of discount drugs. He helped open the first discounted drug store chain in the New York area, and later helped open the first mail-order pharmacy, streamlining the purchase of generic drugs. Because of these achievements, UC's McMicken College of Arts & Sciences honored Laub with the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award.

In 1959, Laub returned to his basketball roots as head coach of the U.S. Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy at age 32, but has remained a proud Bearcat ever since!

Read more about Jack in UC Magazine.

Do you know Jack? What are your fondest memories of him or the basketball program during his time at UC? Post your comments below!

Jul 14, 2011

Alumni Represent UC in Milwaukee

Thanks to all the Bearcat alumni and friends, including UC football legend and radio announcer Jim Kelly, who came out to join us before the Reds-Brewers game in Milwaukee last Saturday. We were thrilled to have members from both the Milwaukee and Chicago networks join us for local favs Skyline and Graeter’s to watch the Reds take a much-needed divisional win from the Brewers…in extra inning, dramatic fashion no less.

We tip our caps to the Milwaukee fans for the way they support their Brew Crew. The pre-game atmosphere around Miller Park on game-day is absolutely electric.

Congratulations to Sarah Markland, winner of the autographed Aroldis Chapman baseball, and everyone else who took home some great UC gear.

Special thanks to UC alum Nick Landers, brew master for Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery, brewing some of the best beer in Wisconsin since 1987. Nick treated tailgaters to a sampling of Lakefront’s finest craft brews and will be hosting a special tour for UC alumni at a future date.

Be sure to check back for details on the upcoming Lakefront Brewery Tour! Go Bearcats in Milwaukee!

Jul 12, 2011

Are you ready for some (Bearcats) football?

Since most of the country is sweltering in the mid-summer heat, it’s a great time to look ahead to the cooler days of fall – and the return of football this September. In fact, single game tickets are now on sale to UCATS members, and will be available to the general public starting Monday, July 18. So to help you get through the dog days, here are five reasons to look forward to the upcoming season:

1.  18 starters returning to the team: Highlighted by unanimous First Team All-Big East senior quarterback Zach Collaros, senior running back Isaiah Pead and senior receiver D.J. Woods, as well as senior linebacker J.K. Schaffer and senior defensive tackle Derek Wolfe, the Bearcats are retaining a number of stars on both sides of the ball.

In fact, each player listed above has been named to a watch list for a variety of national awards: Pead and Collaros are on the watch list for the Maxwell Award (given to an outstanding offensive player); Woods is on the watch list for the  Biletnikoff Award (given annually to the nation's most outstanding wide receiver); and Schaffer and Wolfe are on the watch list for the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy (awarded annually to the nation's best defensive player). With no clear preseason frontrunner in the Big East, the Bearcats have a solid chance to utilize this talent and depth to make a run at a BCS bowl for the third time in four years.

2.  Tailgating and pre-game traditions old and new: Make sure to stop by the Bearcat Blitz in and around the Myers Alumni Center, beginning four hours before Nippert Stadium home games against Austin Peay St. (September 3, 7:00 pm), Akron (September 17, TBD), North Carolina St. (September 22, 8:00 pm) and Big East rival Connecticut (December 3, TBD). You’ll be right in the middle of the action and have a front row seat for the team’s Cat Walk path to the stadium. A variety of exciting changes and additions to the game-day experience are also in the works, and the two games taking place at Paul Brown Stadium will give fans a chance to develop new tailgating or pre-game traditions.

3.  A nationally-ranked recruiting class: Butch Jones and his assistant coaches wasted no time pounding the pavement and shoring up needs on both sides of the ball; leveraging the many positives of playing at the University of Cincinnati (including the new Sheakley Athletics Complex) to land one of the most anticipated classes of recruits in UC football history. The incoming class was ranked #41 according to Scout.com and placed #45 on Rivals.com. Some additional food for thought: the #41 ranking on Scout.com marks the first time the Bearcats have ever cracked the top 50 list, and they also came in third among Big East teams.

4.  Sweet road trips: The Bearcats away game schedule is highlighted by a trip to Knoxville to play the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, September 10 at 3:30 pm. The later kickoff time makes this a perfect opportunity to make the drive Friday night or early Saturday morning and take in the atmosphere at an iconic college stadium. The Bearcats also travel to Pittsburgh (November 5) for the first time since the historic 45-44 thriller that propelled the ‘Cats to the Sugar Bowl in 2009, and take slightly longer trips to play South Florida (October 22), Rutgers (November 19) and Syracuse (November 26). Of course, if these are a bit too far away, there’s always the short trip up to Oxford to watch the Bearcats play Miami for the Victory Bell on Saturday, October 1 at 1 pm.

5.  Two games at Paul Brown Stadium: The Bearcats played perhaps their most exciting home game of the season last year under the lights downtown, coming up just a bit short against a powerful Oklahoma team, 31-29. The larger capacity and improved access to amenities make the game-day experience more exciting than ever at PBS – and gives Bearcats fans a chance to be even louder and more supportive of their team. On the flip side, both Louisville and West Virginia’s fan bases travel extremely well, so get your tickets now and make sure the stadium is rocking on October 15 and November 12.

Try to stay cool during these hot summer days – and remember – football season is right around the corner!

Jul 8, 2011

Columbus Golf Outing Raises $12,000

Golfers are rarely satisfied. We want to hit the ball a little straighter, a little longer, or a lot closer to the pin. We always come away thinking, "If only I could have..." Well, on Monday, June 27, for one afternoon, we had it all … All the golf, all the Cincinnati, and all the UC we could ask for!

On that day, 80+ UC alumni and friends participated in the third annual Central Ohio Regional Alumni Network Golf Outing at Riviera Golf Club in Dublin and “got it all,” no matter what our scorecards showed. How else can you describe the opportunity to spend a beautiful day on the golf course enjoying old and new UC friends, meeting some Bearcat athletics VIPs, and supporting student scholarships in the process?

The Columbus-area Bearcats got acquainted with UC football coach Butch Jones and women’s basketball coach Jamelle Elliott, as well as former Bearcat basketball greats Tony Yates, Roland West and George Wilson, plus former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl offensive lineman John Jackson (a Cincinnati native).

The event was sponsored by Kroger and food was provided by Skyline Chili, Montgomery Inn and Graeter’s. That’s right — it was like Taste of Cincinnati!

The day included both silent and live auctions, a raffle and door prizes galore as everyone went home a winner!

Most importantly, the event raised about $12,000, which was split between UCATS and the Central Ohio Regional Alumni Network Scholarship fund, which helps incoming UC freshmen from the Columbus area.

Thanks to all who attended and contributed, including my fellow Columbus Regional Committee members Scott Simmers, Chet Chaney, Dave Tenwick, Mark Inzetta and Bob Mayer. Special thanks to Scott, who is quickly becoming known as Mr. Bearcat Golf, for all of his hard work!

Looking ahead, we’re preparing for our annual Summer Sendoff event in late August, hosted by Ashland Inc.; each of the last two years we’ve drawn about 125 freshmen-to-be and their families. And of course the regional alumni network will be organizing game-watches as the Bearcats kick off their 2011 football season.

Chris A. Pore, College of Engineering ’77

Jul 5, 2011

2011 DAAP Fashion Show attracts international attention

It's not surprising the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning 2011 Fashion Show sold out and attracted an international audience, with attendees coming from as far as Europe. The highly-anticipated, 60th Annual DAAP Fashion Show, displayed students' fashion creations during a professionally modeled, choreographed and lighted event.

Not only has DAAP's fashion show gained international attention, the School of Design has been recognized as an international elite. In 2009, BusinessWeek named UC's School of Design to the "A-list" of design schools, which includes the world's top 30 design programs. I.D. (International Design) magazine listed UC among the top 10 design schools - the only public institution to make the list.

DAAP's internationally renowned design program has produced numerous award-winning designers. One UC alum, Stan Herman, a native New Yorker and 1950 graduate of DAAP, is a three-time Coty award-winning designer and past president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Herman pioneered the designer uniform, for clients including FedEx, McDonald's, Amtrak, Avis, TWA, United Airlines and Jet Blue. As past president of CFDA, he led the launch of the “Fashion Targets Breast Cancer” initiative that raises public awareness and funds for the breast cancer cause. He was also served as the president of 7th on Sixth for seven years and has been a best-selling designer on QVC. In 2006, he was recognized with CFDA’s highest honor - the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Herman is just one example of the various success stories that started in DAAP. Check out this year's fashion designs from the 2011 DAAP fashion show, and just think, you may be wearing some of these students' creations one day!

Jul 1, 2011

DC alum helps Biomedical student swap UC labs for DC labs

DC co-op student Jacob Turner
prepares DNA in one of the
National Institutes of Health's labs.
Meet third-year UC student and future Biomedical Engineer Jacob Turner. A first generation college student and a small town Northern Kentucky native, Jacob is letting nothing get in his way of a well-rounded Bearcat experience – and a bright future in the biomedical research field. His latest venture: A dream co-op job with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington D.C., thanks in part to DC alum John O’Shea.  We asked Jacob a few questions to uncover some of the challenges and highlights of both his co-op search and on-the-job experience so far.

How did you become interested in as complex an industry as biomedical engineering and research?

At the beginning of my freshman year, I jumped right into undergraduate research in the Functional Tissue Engineering Lab at UC, under Dr. David Butler. It was in that lab that I gained my most valuable experience and really found my passion for biomedical research. I really just liked the idea of doing work that might eventually benefit a human life.

How did you navigate the co-op job search process?

When my first co-op rotation rolled around, I began reaching out to labs all across the country without much luck. Given the state of the economy, finding a co-op position (especially in a research lab) is not so easy. But through networking at UC, I was fortunate enough to meet with and get some solid advice from UC’s Provost, Dr. Santa Ono. He was incredibly helpful and connected me with a UC alum, Dr. John O’Shea, at one of the NIH’s 27 institutes – the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease – and the rest is history. I made plans to relocate to Bethesda, MD!

What is it like working at NIH?

The NIH is an inspiring place to be because everyone is there for a common cause: to help others through science and medicine. There’s always something new and exciting being discovered. There’s also a great sense of family and belonging despite the fact that most of my co-workers are from a different parts of the world.  UC prides itself in the level of diversity its student body and staff display, and the NIH is much the same. In front of my desk sits an Italian; to the right, an Englishman; and directly behind me is a Chinese man. It’s wonderful hearing each of their unique stories and what brought them to NIH, and I have learned more from my conversations with them than any book could ever teach me.

What kind of work are you doing at NIH?

The work I’ve been assigned here is far different from what I used to do in the FTE lab at UC, which consisted primarily of cell culture and experiments. I work in the Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch of NIAMS, and we are focused on understanding how T-cells fight disease in the immune system. The work is very intricate, utilizing a very novel technology called next-generation sequencing, which creates an incredible amount of data to be analyzed.

My job has been to write programs that analyze the millions of lines of data and extract the important things.  Besides one introductory course, I was absolutely new to programming and had to spend the first month teaching myself how to program by reading through a couple bioinformatics programming books. I had also just made the switch from tissue engineering to immunology, so I spent a lot of time studying immunology and molecular biology journals. I’ve since written many different programs for the lab and successfully found a number of novel regions in the genome that could control the way T cells mature or fight disease. I’m starting to get more involved in experiments, and if time allows I’ll get to study one of the regions my programs found in mice.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience so far?

One thing I love about NIH is that they always have lectures by famous scientists. I have been privileged to sit in on lectures and learn from scientists like Jane Goodall and at least three Nobel laureates. Today I went to four lectures - it was a lot like class, but I loved it.

Being an undergraduate researcher at the NIH has been extraordinary on many levels, but most notably, it has been extraordinarily humbling. All of my co-workers have an MD or PhD degree, or both, and at least 15 years of experience in medicine and research. They are the best in the world at what they do, and I get to sit in between them at a desk just like theirs, and work on solving complex problems in immunology with them. It’s a humbling, intimidating, and incredibly enjoyable place to sit.

What has it been like adjusting to life in a new city?

Expensive. Living in one of the richest areas of the country isn’t easy on a student paycheck. Rent is double here compared to Cincinnati, but other than that and the incessant traffic, I really like the DC area. It was lonely for the first few months because NIH was devoid of anyone close to my age, but a flood of summer students arrived a couple weeks ago and I’m collaborating with one now. I’m away from my girlfriend and family, so I’m definitely anxious to get back home.

What’s your next venture?

I’m not too sure. I may stay home in Cincinnati and try to get an industry co-op, but if I decide to do research again I have a potential opportunity in Australia. My most immediate adventure will definitely be getting back to campus for fall quarter classes!