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Cincinnatus Freshman is a Scholar and an Athlete

Cincinnatus Award recipient Brian Barney says he was looking for a college experience that offered excellent academics and athletics.

Date: 11/10/2011
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Other Contact: Cincinnatus Information
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-2420
Photos By: Lisa Ventre
Brian Barney says he remembers telling his mom that he really wanted to make the University of Cincinnati his college home. The 19-year-old health sciences major and member of the UC men’s track & field team adds that he was also stunned when he became one of 10 incoming freshmen to receive a full, $88,000 Cincinnatus Presidential award to cover tuition, fees, room and board and books over four years.
Brian Barney
Brian Barney

Cincinnatus is more than an award for academic achievement. Students are also considered for awards based on their school and community leadership activities as well as their involvement in community service. As part of their scholarship commitment, each scholarship recipient will perform 30 hours of community service each year.

Prospective freshmen for next fall could be considered for renewable awards totaling more than $22 million in four-year scholarships. To be considered for the awards, high school seniors with a minimum 3.2 unweighted high school GPA must complete an application for UC admission – including high school transcripts and official test scores directly from the testing agency – by Dec. 1.

Consideration for upper-level awards will be based on the qualifying student for each academic program. Students eligible for the top awards will be invited to campus to take part in on-campus interviews for further selection.

Brian Barney

“When I got the call that I was a finalist, my jaw dropped,” says Barney, who came to UC from South Holland, Ill. He is majoring in the health sciences exercise science track in the College of Allied Health Sciences.

In track & field, Barney is joining a team that had a spectacular season last year. Overall, both the men’s and women’s teams accumulated a total of three All-Americans, three BIG EAST champions, one Junior National qualifier, 16 NCAA first round qualifiers, and three NCAA final round qualifiers.

Until competition officially gets underway in January, Barney has been practicing with the team five days per week and as a result, he says he’s taking in some fascinating Cincinnati scenery as he gets to know the Queen City. A recent practice run led the athletes through Cincinnati’s historic Spring Grove Cemetery.

“I love UC so far. I couldn’t wait to feel like a real UC student when I started classes this fall,” Barney says. “I take pride in the fact that I am able to be here. It’s such a nice place.”

Barney says UC held all the opportunities he was looking for – a high-quality academic program in the College of Allied Health Sciences and the opportunity to compete in a sport that has been a passion since he was 10 years old.

He says he also has met staff members who are truly interested in seeing students achieve success, specifically highlighting the University Honors Program and the fall retreat for incoming freshmen. He’ll be one of 60 academically talented students taking part in the University Honors Program’s LeaderShape Institute Dec. 10-15.

Barney also says he has benefitted from his first-year experience (FYE) learning community. These learning communities help freshmen experience the feel of a small college within a large, research university, as well as build friendships with classmates as they explore common areas of academic interests.

“I sit with that group in my big lecture hall classes like anatomy and chemistry, and then we’ll go eat after class or help each other study,” Barney says.

Barney adds that he wants to get more involved with the CPAWS community outreach program for athletes, and he enjoys meeting students through H2O, a student organization that emphasizes spiritual growth, leadership development and community service.

Most of all, Barney says it has been pretty easy to settle into UC. “I can go to CenterCourt by myself, talk to someone as I’m waiting to swipe my card, and join that person and his or her friends for lunch or dinner. People are pretty approachable here, and there are many people here who really care about the students.”

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