Jun 29, 2013

UC's Latest Accomplishments

UC has seen quite a few  accomplishments recently. From reaching the billion-dollar milestone in the largest fundraising campaign in UC history, to continually providing cutting-edge research and learning opportunities, your alma mater has given many people a reason to be proud.  There are many reasons to be proud to be UC alum this year. Some of the accomplishments include:

  • UC among “Nation’s Best” for sixth straight year – UC has once again been named one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education for the sixth straight year.
  • Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – UC will be one of the first to offer MOOC for free. This seven week service is offered to students who will master tools necessary to generate new ideas and transform those concepts into viable new products and services. 
  • International College of Medicine – UC and a partner Chinese University will apply this summer to local governments in Chongqing to open an International College of Medicine and start teaching medical students in China, largest source of UC’s international students.
  • Former Athletic Director inducted into Hall of FameBob Goin, UC’s former athletic director (1997-2005) was in ducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame on June 14. Goin had previously been inducted into the University of Cincinnati James P. Kelly Athletics Hall of Fame.
  • Ranked No. 1 for industrial design – UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) was named as the country’s best undergraduate industrial design program for the second straight year. The DAAP program is tied with the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. 
  • “Green” University – UC is named in the top tier of the nation’s “green” universities for the third straight year. 

These accomplishments are just a few of many from the past year. The success to make UC such a standout institution comes from the help of UC faculty/staff, alumni like you and students of UC. To learn about more of the accomplishments visit the UC Magazine website.

Jun 28, 2013

UC’s Proudly Cincinnati Campaign Tops 100,000 Donors

Today, the University of Cincinnati announced it surpassed President Santa J. Ono’s ambitious challenge to reach 100,000 unique donors by the end of UC’s Proudly Cincinnati billion-dollar campaign. The campaign will officially end Sunday, June 30, with more than $1.05 billion raised and more than 100,000 unique donors.

“With such strong support from the UC community, we have made history yet again. I want to express my sincere thanks to the generous donors who helped the Proudly Cincinnati campaign finish strong,” President Ono said. “I couldn’t be more Proudly Cincinnati than I am today.”

By meeting President Ono’s challenge, the Proudly Cincinnati campaign surpassed two of the most ambitious goals in UC’s history: raising more than $1 billion and securing more than 100,000 donors in a single campaign. Only one percent of the nation’s colleges and universities have ever raised a billion dollars in a single campaign.

President Ono issued the “100K Strong Challenge” in February, when the billion-dollar milestone was announced. The campaign had roughly 92,000 donors at the time.

“Private support has transformed UC into a world-class institution,” said Rod Grabowski, newly installed president of the UC Foundation. “We are fortunate to have such a committed and generous network of donors, alumni, students, faculty, staff and community partners.”

According to both Ono and Grabowski, the impact of this private support will be felt on UC’s campus for generations to come. Funding for scholarships for the best and brightest UC students, improvements to the UC campus and facilities, and support for renowned faculty and endowed chairs remain priorities for the university. To that end, the UC Foundation will continue to fundraise for UC to the tune of $125 million per year.

“It’s a very exciting time to be a part of the Bearcat family,” Ono continued. “The conclusion of Proudly Cincinnati is really just the beginning for UC, the #HottestCollegeInAmerica.”

For more information about UC surpassing the 100,000 donor and $1 billion goals, including photos and video of the announcement, visit proudlycincinnati.org or track the conversation on Twitter: @ProudlyCincy #UC100KStrong.

2013 Grad Lives UC Life to the Fullest

Carlo Cruz
Enjoyably peculiar.

That’s how recent graduate Carlo Cruz describes his time at UC – an impressive career that saw him not only gain a world-class education, but also a new perspective on himself and the world.

“UC provided a unique opportunity to discover a diverse life, not only in academia, but also socially and culturally as well,” says Carlo.  “For instance, I have spent the past several years traveling to countries like South Korea, India, and Chile through the study abroad program and witnessing a variety of cultures along the way.  UC has allowed me to embrace these differences and truly develop myself as a globally conscious individual.”

Carlo participated in the innovative ACCEND program, which allows students to earn a bachelors degree in their chosen field as well as an MBA in five years. He ended up earning a BS in Chemical Engineering with minors in Chemistry and Materials Science in addition to his Business degree.

“My engineering background serves as a great backbone of technical skills, and my business education has furthered my skills in strategic planning, marketing, and interpersonal development,” Carlo says. “My education has allowed me to become not only an analytical and rational professional, but also a forward-thinking and business oriented individual”

His journey was supported and enhanced by the generosity of others. Carlo received a scholarship through the Darwin T. Turner Scholars program, which was essential to his success in the classroom and allowed him to take part in multiple activities and clubs. The Turner Scholars Program is one of the oldest ethnic scholarship programs in America and is named after Dr. Darwin T. Turner, the youngest person ever to graduate from UC.

Carlo made the most of his opportunity, and ended up being a part of so many groups that one résumé could barely contain them.

“In addition to the Darwin T. Turner scholars program,” Carlo remembers, “I was involved with the International Dance Team (Dhadak), the Midwest Dhamaka, the Asian American Association, the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, Student Government, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the News Record to name a few organizations.”

Not only did Carlo participate, he even took the lead in planning and executing a charity Bollywood Dance Competition (known as the Midwest Dhamaka) with Saloni Hemani. The event featured more than 150 dancers and received tremendous support from the community, who bought every available ticket for the event and enthusiastically applauded their performances.

“The sold out crowd was incredible, as well as the joyous feedback we received after the event, says Carlo. “It was my favorite UC memory and speaks to one of the best qualities of this university: the embrace of diversity.”

Another well-known cornerstone of UC, cooperative education, is what provided Carlo a springboard to employment after graduation. In addition to working as a student researcher and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he co-oped at Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing.

“These cumulative experiences allowed me to integrate my analytical mindset to the business world,” says Carlo. “I was able to witness problems common to the workplace will enhancing my knowledge of corporate culture and business strategy.”

Just this month, Carlo began working as a full-time specialist at Toyota. And while he has completed his time at UC, he doesn’t plan on giving up his pursuit of multiple activities.

“I plan to continue as a freelance photographer and videographer,” he says.

Thanks to the generosity of Bearcats around the world, more than $101 million has been committed to scholarships and financial aid during the Proudly Cincinnati Campaign, the largest and most successful fundraising effort in UC history. In addition, more than 480 new scholarship funds were created, and nearly 11,000 students (including Carlo) who received scholarship support have graduated during the campaign. Learn more here.

Did you receive a scholarship at UC? Tell us about your experience with a comment below.

Jun 26, 2013

UC Alumni 'Link Up' in Charlotte

UC alumni prior to the second-annual golf outing in Charlotte
On Saturday, June 8, the UC Alumni Network in Charlotte gathered for the second annual golf outing at the Skybrook Golf Club in Huntersville, NC. The event was organized by Charlotte Alumni Network leader, Ryan Minges, and a dozen alumni attended the event. The alumni golf outing is just one example of the events hosted by the  UC Alumni Network in Charlotte throughout the year.

If you are one of the 2,642 alumni living in the Charlotte area and would like to get involved with the UC Alumni Network in Charlotte, please visit the networking page for more information. Join the network's Facebook group to connect with other alumni in Charlotte and to receive information about future event opportunities.

Jun 24, 2013

Freelance Video Spawns Millions of Views And Career for UC Alumnus

Patrick Meier and Chaske Haverkos
When Patrick Meier graduated in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, he wasn’t sure how he would start his career. Like many new grads, Meier, a 2009 graduate of DAAP, worked a few jobs to get by but desired to use his degree. So, Meier started Contrast Productions and looked for freelance opportunities to jumpstart his career. Soon after starting his freelance work, Patrick produced a music video that catapulted him to internet stardom.

“My first major music video production was for a friend Nick Petricca and his band Walk the Moon,” Patrick explained "I thought I could make a music video for them and inject them into the music scene. I had an idea for the song ‘Anna Sun’, and I called Nick out of the blue from my car one day to share my idea.”

Meier ended up working with Nick Petricca to film the music video over the course of two days with the help of 80 or so extras. The shoot included a 2 ½ minute continuous take at the Mockbee, an iconic venue in Cincinnati, culminating in a dance sequence choreographed by Kim Popa.

“After finishing the music video and posting the video to YouTube, it was picked up by an established blog and blew up like crazy,” Meier explained. “It’s the main reason I have my current position as Director of Video & Motion Graphics at Eric Mower + Associates (formerly Strata-G Communications). Eight months after producing the video, I took my job here. Shooting as a freelancer led to professional relationships that spawned more video work, and ultimately my career.”

To date, the ‘Anna Sun’ video Meier produced has more than 7 million views on YouTube. Meier’s video for Walk the Moon was just the start. After the video he worked with a few local artists, and eventually worked with Eve 6 to create a new video for their song ‘Curtain’ in Long Beach, CA at Shoreline Aquatic Park.

“Eve 6 played at an event with Walk the Moon, saw the ‘Anna Sun’ video and wanted to touch base with the producers,” Meier said. “I was contacted by the lead guitarist and he gave my information to the label. I was approved to work on the video, and only had about a week to develop and pitch a concept for the video.”

Meier wanted to create a video that could go viral, and reintroduce the band to the music world.

“We came up with an idea to film the whole song backwards. It was a surreal approach.  The frontman had to sing the entire song backwards while walking backwards during a single shot take,” Meier described. “There were events that took place during the video that reinforced the reverse motion technique. In post-production, we reversed the footage so all of the movements were very unnatural, but his mouth matched up with the vocals. ”

Meier wasn’t alone in the creation of the Eve 6 video. Another DAAP alumnus and Eric Mower + Associates employee, Chaske Haverkos, helped Meier bring his concept to fruition.

“Patrick and I had worked together for a while and I helped him with a previous music video,” Haverkos explained. “Patrick had talked to me about the Eve 6 video opportunity and I was interested in working with a band of that level of stature. It was a challenge because we wanted to make some sort of viral video and had to think outside of the box.”

Both Meier and Haverkos established professional relationships within the music industry by producing music videos like the Eve 6 video, which helped them develop their careers. Meier and Haverkos also credit their education at DAAP for providing a foundation for success.

“I felt like there was a good mixture of creative freedom in DAAP, and I was able to explore things on my own accord. I learned how to practically apply design principles,” Meier explained. “The principles I learned at DAAP have translated to the work I do every day.  Lessons in painting, drawing, video, photography culminated into my fine arts degree that has taken me so many places.”

Haverkos echoes Meier’s sentiments about UC. “The degree I got from DAAP and the experience I have from there has proved to be very valuable. I graduated with a foundation of design knowledge needed for professional life.”

Meier and Haverkos are just two of many alumni who use their degrees to pursue their professional dreams, and develop extraordinary careers. Do you know someone who has extraordinary success while putting their degree to use? Comment below!

Jun 22, 2013

‘Bearcat Hangouts’: Bringing Alumni Together in Your City

Say you live in the Chicago area — long-time resident or newly relocated. You love watching your Bearcats, ideally with other UC alums. What’s a Chicagolander to do?

2010 UC vs. Fresno State game watch at O'Leary's in Chicago
That’s an easy answer:  Get to O’Leary’s in the River North area. It’s been Chicago’s Bearcat Bar since the fall of 2004. Alumni network leader Dave Watkins, A&S ’92, happened to be dining there and started chatting with the owner because he needed a venue for his upcoming UC-XU Crosstown Shootout game-watch.

“Official” Bearcat hangouts like O’Leary’s act like glue for alums in cities with UC Alumni Association-coordinated networks.

“Everyone knows to head to O’Leary’s and they’ll find other Bearcats watching the UC games,” Watkins said. “And it isn’t just about sports — it’s great to just socialize with someone who can relate to going to UC.”

The Washington D.C. counterpart to O’Leary’s is Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. A couple years ago, Adam Thurn and a friend wanted a place to watch Bearcats games and looked near a metro stop, since traffic and parking can be problems in D.C.  Penn Quarter fit the bill, and it has hosted eight football and three basketball game-watch parties, plus a Bearcats Happy Hour, in the past year.

Inflatable Bearcat in front of O'Leary's
“Having a place everyone knows about, and which doesn’t vary from week to week, simplifies our planning and provides continuity for alumni here,” said Thurn, CEAS ’10, who helps lead the D.C. network.

In Columbus, Bearcats gather at Gresso’s, whose owner works closely with the local UC group, even providing menus with dishes renamed with a Bearcats theme. That key ingredient — an interested, hands-on owner who can spot new business potential — is crucial in setting up a “Bearcat hangout.”

“You need to find an owner who is actively engaged in day-to-day operations, because it’s easier to get the support you need right away without going through a middleman,” said Andrew Maurer, CEAS ’09, of Columbus.

Building such a relationship with the owner and management benefits everyone involved.

“We generate a lot of money for them, so the people at O’Leary’s have been great to us,” Watkins said. “They’ll use Montgomery Inn sauce on their pulled pork sandwich and discount it for us a couple times a year. If I provide the Skyline, they’ll provide the fixings for coneys. One of their bartenders has even concocted a ‘Bearcat Shot.’”

Young Bearcats fan at Gresso's
Veteran network leaders feel that establishing, promoting and cultivating a “Bearcat hangout” is a necessity in growing a vital alumni network.

“The hangouts make it much easier for those who are just getting involved,” said Columbus’ Shaun Simpson, Bus ’00. “Sporting events provide a common bond which makes it easier to engage with each other and grow the group.”

For alumni in other cities looking to develop a “home base” for alumni activities, the Chicago, Washington and Columbus network leaders suggest a simple, two-step process:

  1. Find the right combination of an accessible location and an enthusiastic owner who sees the value of working with you. It also helps if the venue has private areas that can host closed events.
  2. Once you find such a place, stay with it. Promote it virally, via social media and other channels in the city. And at events, make it look like a Bearcat hangout as much as possible.

“It’s been the single most important thing we’ve done to grow our Chicago network,” Watkins said. “Whether they’re regulars here, they have moved away but are back in town visiting, or they’re just passing through, alums love having a place to watch the game with other UC people and feel at home. One told me, ‘It’s like Homecoming without the parade!’”

Want to start up a “Bearcat hangout” in your city? Contact Sam Walston at Sam.Walston@uc.edu or 513-556-4404.

What's your favorite "Bearcat hangout"? Let us know with a comment below!

Jun 21, 2013

Five Outstanding UC Alumni Recognized for Accomplishments

Last weekend, the Kingsgate Marriott was packed full of the University of Cincinnati’s finest alumni, supporters, leaders, faculty, and staff.  They gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of five outstanding alumni for the UC Distinguished Alumni Celebration, which took place Thursday, June 13, 2013.

The annual event is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many contributions and overall excellence of UC alumni in countless fields of endeavor throughout the world.  The event recognized five alumni and was hosted by Dan Hoard, radio voice of the Cincinnati Bengals and UC Football and Basketball teams.

Dr. Joseph P. Broderick
Dr. Joseph P. Broderick (Med ’82) was honored with the William Howard Taft Medal for Notable Achievement for his notable achievements in the medical field.  He is one of the world’s foremost researchers, teachers, physicians, and leaders in battling the effects of stroke, and has attracted over $82 million in sponsored research funding over the last 15 years.

Bill Keating, Jr. 
Bill Keating, Jr.  (Bus ’76, Law ’79) was awarded the Alumni Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding, generous contributions to UC.  He compiled a Hall of Fame career through academic and swimming excellence at St. Xavier High School. He was awarded the coveted Jimmy Nippert Award as UC’s outstanding graduating student-athlete.  After graduating from UC Law School, Keating has had a successful career with Keating Muething & Klekamp and dedicates his time and energy to a variety of community causes.

Dr. Jeffrey T. Burgin, Jr.
Dr. Jeffrey T. Burgin, Jr. (A&S ’97) was awarded the UC Alumni Association Mosaic Award for his leadership in our shared community.  He embodied the message of learning, cultural growth, and service to others as his career in higher education has taken him to six universities through the eastern half of the United States.  He credits his time at UC for building  the foundation of his career, which is responsible for uniting diverse groups of students, facilitating multicultural appreciation, and diligently overseeing aspects of student well being.

Dr. Robert A. Coppola
Dr. Robert A. Coppola (CECH ’00) and Robert E. Richardson, Jr. (CEAS ’02, Law ’05) both received the Jeffrey Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award for continued service and involvement with UC during significant professional achievement.  All awardees were required to be 35 years or younger and a UC graduate.

Coppola was a Bearcat in both football and baseball, was active in his fraternity, and grew his business All Star Chiropractic in Northern Kentucky to a million-dollar business in just a few years.  He has been involved with a range of philanthropic activities, from holiday gift and food drives to youth mentoring and counseling to volunteer leadership in cancer-fighting fundraising.  His passion for UC continues to show in his support and leadership for a variety of efforts at the university.

Robert E. Richardson, Jr.
Richardson established the first college chapter of the NAACP in the Tristate, was elected Student Body President his senior year, and was consequently awarded the Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence.  He currently serves Of Counsel with the law firm Branstetter, Stranch and Jennings, PLLC, serves as a Construction Market Representative for the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) for eight states, including Ohio, and was elected Secretary of his alma mater’s Board of Trustees, becoming its youngest-ever elected officer.

The event had over 20 sponsors and held a full audience, including President Santa Ono.  For more information on the UC Distinguished Alumni Celebration and the awardees, visit the Alumni Association website.

Congratulate these alumni with a comment below!

Jun 11, 2013

UCF Welcomes New Development and Alumni Relations Leader

Rod Grabowski
This past week has been an exciting breath of fresh air for the UC community.  On June 3, 2013, Rodney Grabowski began his role as the President of the University of Cincinnati (UC) Foundation and Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, and acquainted himself with his colleagues at the UC Foundation All-Staff Meeting on June 10, 2013.

He comes from the University of South Florida (USF) with over 20 years of fundraising experience, where he served as the Senior Associate Vice President for University Advancement and Campaign Director.  He was responsible for the branding and successful completion of the USF Unstoppable Campaign, the university’s largest fundraising and outreach effort ever with an annual giving program in excess of $85 million.

Prior to his tenure at USF, Rod held key development positions at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, and Alfred University in New York.  In addition to his 23 years of fundraising, leadership and management experience, and charisma, he brings a strong understanding of higher education’s unique fundraising landscape.

“I am pleased to welcome such an accomplished, energetic and enthusiastic individual to the UC family,” said UC President Santa J. Ono.  “Rod’s fundraising expertise and ambitious attitude will be an asset to the university.”

The senior team, including Rod Grabowski (featured second
on left) recognizes staff with a thank you lunch. 
In other words, he’s perfect for the job.  The Proudly Cincinnati campaign pushed UC into the top one percent of all colleges and universities when it reached its goal of $1 billion four months ahead of schedule, and plans to break another record by reaching 100,000 donors  before the campaign’s end.

“Rod possesses the visionary leadership needed to help us achieve our strategic goals for the university, and I am honored to call him my colleague.”

Visit our website for more information about Rodney Grabowski or the 100k Strong Challenge. Welcome Rodney to the university with a comment below!