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New Children’s Book Explores UC’s Firsts and Famous

In collaboration with President Santa J. Ono, UC alumni Joel Altman and Jerry Tsai recently released a new children's book featuring the storied history of the university and its Bearcat mascot.

Date: 8/26/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-2019

UC ingot   The Bearcat mascot, who just turned 100 last year, introduces readers to the University of Cincinnati’s firsts and famous in a new children’s book sponsored by President Santa J. Ono and published by Mascot Books.

Written by UC alumnus and Cincinnati native Joel Altman with colorful illustrations by Tim Williams, “Bearcat’s Journey through UC!” includes contributions by UC alumnus and former Student Government President Jerry Tsai. The hard-cover book, intended to appeal to children and the child in all of us, gives a tour of UC’s beautiful campus and features famous figures and firsts in UC’s history, including:
  • Developer of the first antihistamine, George Rieveschl, Benadryl inventor.
  • Marian Spencer, the first African American woman to serve on Cincinnati City Council.
  • Philanthropist Carl H. Lindner Jr.
  • Basketball legend and business leader Oscar Robertson.
  • Physician Daniel Drake, the founder of UC’s College Medicine.
  • Darwin T. Turner, the youngest person to graduate from UC.
  • William Howard Taft, the only person in U.S. history to serve as U.S. President and Chief Justice.
  • Ashley Brown, Broadway performer who starred in the production of Mary Poppins.
  • Faculty member and first man to walk on the moon Neil Armstrong.
  • Architect Michael Graves.
  • Herman Schneider, founder of the world’s first cooperative education program.
President Ono provides a brief Foreword. “Bearcats Journey through UC!” is available for purchase at $14.95 per copy at the UC Bookstore and two websites:

Mascot Books

More About Joel Altman, Author
Born in Cincinnati, Joel Altman attended Ohio State University for two years before transferring to the University of Cincinnati after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, to study criminal justice. After graduating from UC, he joined the FBI and served as a uniformed officer and worked at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. During his career as a police officer he served as an executive briefer, community relations representative, mountain bike patrol officer and field training officer. Joel was selected in 2006 by the FBI to attend the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Explosives K-9 School and served as an explosives detection K-9 handler. Altman and his canine partner, Kurt, served together for seven years, working for both the FBI and later the Department of Defense. Altman's first book was based on the life of his K-9 partner as a way to share with readers the types of jobs that dogs can do for their human companions. After leaving the Washington, D.C. area in 2013, Joel joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, where he serves as a Public Affairs Specialist for District 9 (the Great Lakes region).

Aside from his career, Altman enjoys writing children's books. He is the author of a series of books for the Cincinnati Reds and currently lives in the Cincinnati area with his wife and daughter.