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Alumni Association

Proudly Cincinnati June 2012

Academic Master Plan lays out UC Road Map

The University of Cincinnati unveiled its Academic Master Plan (AMP) last month, with concrete steps to achieve the academic goals in the UC2019 Strategic Plan. "Education is action," said Senior VP for Academic Affairs & Provost Santa Ono. "We sought to generate a road map that would guide our academic endeavors toward an accelerated transformation." AMP includes targets for the next several years including UC's graduation rate, study abroad, and students engaged in co-ops.

Here's a video and more information about the UC Academic Master Plan.

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Alums help create Disney 'Cars Land'

UC alumni played lead roles in designing a new project at Disney California Adventure Park that will take visitors through Radiator Springs, the fictional town in Disney's "Cars" movies. David Van Wyk, Michael Browne, Cathy Ritenour and Emily O'Brien--all DAAP graduates from the 1980s and '90s--began working for Walt Disney Imagineering as co-op students and followed their career paths to Cars Land. The high-energy project reflects the way these alums describe their UC educations. "At the time I was in DAAP, I didn't fully appreciate what I had, which was all the design disciplines under one roof and the chance to work on large group projects," said Van Wyk. "It's ironic because both those things are integral to my work now, and I love it."

Read more about UC's influence on Disney's Cars Land.


'Victory City' getting broad attention

Orville Simpson's historic gift to UC is attracting national attention. The Associated Press recently reported the story of the self-taught architectural designer and his "Victory City" collection, given to UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) with the promise of an estate valued at more than $10 million. The Victory City Project, a decades-long passion of Simpson's, envisions dramatic solutions to urban sprawl. "When I saw his work, I thought he was a genius," said DAAP Dean Robert Probst. "His work is just amazing and far ahead of its time." Simpson's gift will catalyze the study of futuristic urban planning at DAAP and provide facilities to support the new Simpson Center for Urban Futures.

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Congratulations, UC Class of 2012!

UC celebrated an historic Commencement as 5,521 students earned a collective 5,636 degrees at the June ceremonies. The number of graduates is up 14% from 2011. Both figures are the largest for UC Spring Commencement in at least 35 years. A snapshot of the Class of 2012 provides an interesting look at UC's evolution. Eight percent of the class graduated from distance-learning programs, while 58% took at least one distance-learning course. About 46% of the degrees awarded are from the science, technology, engineering, math and medical areas. Graduates represent 63 countries, 46 states and 80 Ohio counties. The average age is 27.

Read more about the UC Class of 2012.


The passing of a truly great Bearcat--Jack Twyman

The UC family lost a legend in May with the passing of basketball Hall-of-Famer Jack Twyman. A six-time NBA all-star with the Cincinnati Royals, Twyman set records as a Cincinnati Bearcat during his three varsity seasons in the 1950s, becoming UC's second All-American. His retired #27 hangs on the wall of Fifth Third Arena. Twyman may have became better known for his compassion and devotion to others. His friendship with Royals teammate Maurice Stokes--he became Stokes' legal guardian to help with issues stemming from his paralysis following a game injury in 1958--revealed the depth of Twyman's generosity and character.

Read more about Jack Twyman's life and legacy.

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New Graduate challenged to overcome stuttering, help others

Damian Wilson remembers stuttering since he was 5 years old. Because of it, he underachieved in high school and lasted less than a year in college. Wilson worked a variety of jobs that minimized his need to talk to people. Then he decided to go back to college, entering UC's College of Allied Health Sciences in 2007 at age 27. "All those years, I was hiding," he said. "But if I don't open up or speak, how will others ever know me? I finally understood that, and now I want to help others who stutter understand that as well." The communications sciences and disorders graduate is focused on being a speech language pathologist, helping children who face the same challenges he worked so long to overcome.

Read more about Wilson's winning battle against stuttering.


Innovation and Entrepreneurship = career development

Venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and UC alumna Elizabeth Edwards has made an indelible mark on the Greater Cincinnati business community by fanning the region's entrepreneurial flame. Edwards, who received her MBA from UC in 2004, co-founded "Cincinnati Innovates," an annual competition for funding among creative and marketable ideas. UC alumni, faculty and others have won more than $100,000 in grant awards since the competition began. "If you think college is a good investment," Edwards has commented, "you'll like entrepreneurship even more. The average net worth of an entrepreneur is nearly six times greater than their employed peer."

Learn more about Cincinnati Innovates. This year's competition has a July 15 entry deadline.

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