Congratulations to Alyssa Albek and Kelsie Gerard!
Two UC students were awarded the fourth annual Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship award for the 2017 spring semester. Alyssa Albek has worked for the First Year Experience and Learning Communities program as a Peer Leader and Peer Leader Coordinator for over two years. Kelsie Gerard has also held her position with the Cincinnati Project for two years, working as a research assistant as a part of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.
The Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship recognizes hard-working student employees who maintain their academic excellence. This year a $1,000 scholarship will be bestowed unto two full-time UC undergraduate students who are currently employed at UC.
Why Larry Elsasser?
A well-known Bearcat alum, Larry Elsasser, Ed ’65, MEd ’73, served as a UC employee for 35 years. For most of those years, Larry served as the director of Tangeman University Center.
In 1961, Elsasser was recruited to play baseball and basketball. Although baseball was his passion, he had a memorable basketball career, playing guard when UC defeated Ohio State in 1962 for the NCAA championship. After graduation, he played professional baseball for the Kansas City Athletics, the forerunner to the Oakland A’s. He later became a Cincinnati Public school teacher, then a math teacher at Raymond Walters College, where he also worked as assistant director of the Campus Center. In 1970, he transferred to the Uptown Campus as assistant director of Tangeman University Center, where he became director in 1976. Larry retired in 2005.
Larry’s commitment to the university and to the students at UC was always professional and enthusiastic. With Larry’s passing in 2010, his colleagues and friends at the university established a scholarship in his name to recognize UC students, who also serve the university as student employees.
2016 Scholarship Recipients
Two UC students were awarded the fourth annual Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship award for the 2017 spring semester.
Alyssa Albek began working as a Learning Community Peer Leader in the First Year Experience and Learning Communities (LC) program, leading LC meetings twice a week with approximately 20-24 first-year students. She is responsible for planning and implementing social events for members, providing individual mentoring, and relaying content focused on four target areas – integrative learning, professional and civic responsibility, intellectual and self-management skills, and university engagement. Lauren Bosselait, Associate Director of First Year Experience and Learning Communities, says of Alyssa’s work, “Alyssa is confident in her abilities, but doesn’t take herself too seriously. She has always shown enthusiasm in the positions she has held in our office…Alyssa is a thoughtful, knowledgeable leader.” In May 2016, Alyssa was promoted to Peer Leader Coordinator, in charge of supervising and mentoring 20 other Peer Leaders so that they are successful in their roles.
Kelsie Gerard began her work with The Cincinnati Project, an organization within the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, as a first year student and since then has grown tremendously in her role. Kelsie works as a qualitative researcher focusing on community-police relations in Cincinnati. Dr. Jennifer Malat, Professor and Associate Dean for Social Sciences, says of Kelsie’s work, “Ms. Gerard has excelled in all aspects of the work… Ms. Gerard is unfailingly reliable. She responds promptly to emailed assignments or requests to pick up additional work. The work she completes is of the highest quality.” Recently, Kelsie attended the annual NAACP Conference to collect data, and routinely locates information needed for various projects as a part of The Cincinnati Project.
Two UC students, Veronica Boyd and Colin Barge, received the annual Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship. They were each awarded $1,000 for the 2015 Spring Semester. Veronica works in the UC gecko lab and Colin works at the Mainstreet Connection Center.
Veronica Boyd returned to school as a non-traditional student and single parent in order to study the Biology of Animals. She works in the UC gecko lab, studying their color vision abilities. She particularly enjoys this student employee position because no harm comes to the geckos in their lab. Veronica states, “The value I have received through my employment at the University of Cincinnati is the ability to work in a lab setting with animals and learn different things about them. I work in the gecko lab and thoroughly enjoy taking care of them.” The experiments she runs are simple food reward tests for choosing the correct colored dot. Veronica says that her “career goals are to work with animals to help conserve and protect them.” She would like to work at a zoo with conservation efforts or work for a wildlife protection agency.
Colin Barge began working at the University of Cincinnati’s MainStreet Connection Center in June 2012. Since then Colin says that he has learned so much more about UC than he imagined possible. Growing up in a small non-diverse community, UC was an eye opening experience for Colin. He has learned skills that he will use the rest of his life such as how to speak clearly, and be patient with customers. Colin says, “The best part of being employed on campus is getting to connect with the students, faculty, and staff every day. Every day I get asked hundreds of questions, but my favorite is when an alumni asks for a map and says something along the lines of “Nothing looks the same as when I was here!” It is very special to get to see that sparkle in their eye that many incoming freshman get in awe of all the different architecture on campus.” This reminds Colin that UC's campus is ever-changing, and always improving. Colin is proud to call himself a Bearcat.
"As someone who has funded the majority of my education myself, this scholarship was a huge help. It brought peace of mind knowing that I would not have to take out a loan for Spring semester. This scholarship allowed me to focus more on my studies since I was not worried about my finances and I am so thankful for that."
Two UC students were awarded the annual Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship award of $1000 for the 2015 spring semester. Cody Curry has worked for American Sign Language/Sign Language Program as a student worker since 2013. Jeff Seemann began working with the Campus Services Marketing Department at the beginning of Summer Semester, 2014.
Cody Curry began working with the American Sign Language/Sign Language Interpreter Program in the spring of 2014 as a student worker. Cody says “Since joining the ASL/SLI department, I have learned more than I could have imagined, and have strengthened my interpersonal communication skills and my ASL skills. It is also through my work in the ASL/SLI department that I have decided to apply for graduate school in Audiology. In this field, it is very important to have knowledge in deaf culture, in the deaf community, and to have sign language knowledge. I want to be able to communicate with my future patients as an audiologist, and I believe that my student worker position has definitely set me up for a successful future in my field.” Cody will graduate in 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Of his work, Dr. Kathie Maynard says, “Cody is insightful, energetic, smart, and dedicated. His performance has consistently been on task and very helpful for the program. I believe Mr. Curry to be a competent and committed student, scholar and leader.”
Jeff Seemann has worked for Campus Services Marketing since Summer Semester 2014 as a marketing student assistant. Jeff says, “When I arrived at UC, I was hoping to expand on my knowledge of electronic media. It's not easy being the 45-year-old taking classes full-time on a college campus, but I think I'm making it work. I was fortunate enough to be offered a job working with digital signage in Campus Services/Marketing, a field I had never dealt with before. I have since been able to expand my skill set and add to my resume. I know I'm growing alongside technological changes instead of playing catch-up and merely adapting, and I've learned more than I thought was possible. I'm excited to see what the next 2+ years will bring.” Jeff will graduate in December 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in E-Media. Of his work, Vicki Rogers, associate director of Campus Services Marketing, says, “Because of his experience in the ‘real’ world, Jeff has understood our systems and learns faster than any other student assistant I have ever worked with. His eagerness and astounding ability to accomplish any assignment makes me wish I could hire him full-time.”
"I'm a non-traditional student, having returned to college to get my degree after 20 years in the work force. Being a single father and a full-time college student is a lot more stressful than you might think, especially when it comes to my monthly budget. Winning the Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship gave me breathing room. Knowing that I could focus on my classes instead of my bills was a tremendous relief, and it made the entire semester much much easier."
2013 Scholarship Recipients
Two Campus Services student employees, Kelly Huston and Kati Klinger, were awarded the inaugural Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship award of $500 each for the 2013 spring semester. Committee members from Campus Services and SALD reviewed 40 applications for the scholarship.
Kelly Huston began working at the MainStreet Connection Center (campus information desk) in TUC in 2008. Kelly says “working at the MainStreet Connection Center allows me to help alumni, current Bearcats, and future Bearcats, as well as the staff and faculty that make the university what it is. Many times alumni will stop by the information desk and usually say something like, “things sure have changed since I was a student here. That reminds me that I am part of something bigger, and that no matter how much things change, one thing remains the same…that is the love one has for his/her alma mater.” Kelly will graduate in 2014 with bachelor’s degrees in construction management and architectural engineering. She has had cooperative education experiences at Bunnell Hill Construction Company in Lebanon and Varo Engineers in Columbus and studied abroad in London in 2011. Of her work, Information Center Manager Janet Wolf says, “I often call Kelly my hero because she is the one who I can count on when we are in a bind. She is so deserving of this award.”
"I never had the chance to meet Larry Elsasser, but I know his legacy and spirit live on through the lives of those he impacted at UC. It was a privilege to have received a scholarship dedicated to honoring his memory. Having a student job during my time at the University of Cincinnati allowed me to interact with generations of Bearcats on a daily basis, and I am proud to be part of his lasting legacy."
Kati Klinger has worked for Campus Recreation since 2011, first as a fitness floor coordinator and nutrition consultant and now also as a building supervisor. Kati says, “it is apparent that I would not be who I am today without the experience of being a University of Cincinnati student employee. My employment has been my springboard, developing me personally and equipping me with all the necessary skills for future success.” In addition to working for Campus Recreation, Kati works in the College of Allied Health Sciences in the Dietetics area, and was a peer leader. She will graduate in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics. Of her work, Fitness & Wellness Coordinator Brandi Hester says, “Katy works very hard at her multiple jobs with Campus Recreation and also manages many extracurricular activities. I feel that she is beyond deserving of this scholarship.”
Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship Submission Requirements
The applications for the fifth annual Larry Elsasser Memorial Scholarship will be open beginning October 2017.
The scholarship is awarded annually to no more than two student employees who work at the university and meet the following criteria*:
- The student must be an undergraduate and enrolled as a full-time student at the University of Cincinnati at the time of application.
- The student must be employed by the university as an enrolled student worker at the time of application for the scholarship and award.
- The student must have completed two semesters of academic work and hold a cumulative university grade point average of 3.0 or better.
- Application form (self-nomination) including a resume and brief essay (800 words or less)
- Supervisor evaluation with attached letter of recommendation to be completed by the student's employer.
*Omisson of any of the above criteria will disqualify applicants from consideration.
Scholarship Award Criteria
A university committee consisting of representatives from Campus Services and Student Affairs will review all applications submitted for the scholarship. Determination of the scholarship recipient will be based on:
- Completion of the required forms (20%);
- Demonstrated inability to meet finanical obligations for expenses related to academics (30%);
- Demonstrated work as a student employee (30%); and
- Supervisor review and comments (20%).