Commencement and Career Are The Latest Successes For UC Graduate
Danny Pierson will be joining the region’s morning rush-hour commute – but he’ll be driving south.
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Lisa Ventre
Danny Pierson, of Massillon, Ohio, says he was a Buckeye through-and-through and grew up in Buckeye territory. “But when I was looking at universities and I visited UC, it was game over. I loved this campus and I loved how co-op was integrated into our curriculum.”
Pierson is graduating on June 8 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He has landed a job in a management development program with L’Oreal USA Inc. in Florence, Ky.
Pierson says his college experience has been a swift and amazing journey. He credits one of his cooperative experiences in packaging and manufacturing with leading to the job offer at L’Oreal.
The university’s cooperative education program alternates full-time terms of academic study and paid work experience. Pierson’s college is the home of cooperative education, which was founded at UC more than a century ago.
For Pierson, it has been an amazing journey indeed, stretching all the way back to when he was just an infant and adopted from Taegu, South Korea. His Ohio parents, Rob and Nancy Pierson, first met as college students at Kent State and knew they wanted to adopt a child after they married. That’s because at only 16, Pierson’s mother, Nancy, was diagnosed with cancer. Her treatment left her unable to have biological children.
Pierson was adopted by his loving family at only a few months old. After he left home to attend UC, he became a passionate advocate for other cancer survivors when he joined the student organization, Colleges Against Cancer. The organization works with the UC Center for Community Engagement to organize the annual Relay For Life at UC in April, which raises money for education, advocacy and research programs. His mother has joined him at the event every year and has walked in the Survivor Lap, which is celebrated by cancer survivors as well as those who are still in the battle against cancer.
Relay For Life at UC is the largest collegiate Relay in its division, which includes Ohio and Pennsylvania. Danny’s leadership in the event also grew over the years. Last April, he served as event chair, when students celebrated raising more than $1 million over the 10 years that Relay For Life has been held at UC. The total raised last spring amounted to more than $151,000, and online fundraising continues through Aug. 31.
Pierson was also active with the RallyCats school spirit organization, the student Engineering and Applied Science Tribunal, and was also a student member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
He worked co-ops with his county engineering group during his sophomore year at UC. He worked two quarters doing undergraduate research with Vadim Guliants, a UC professor for the School of Energy, Environmental, Biological and Medical Engineering. But he believes it was his co-op in packaging and manufacturing at MillerCoors in Trenton, Ohio, that gave him an edge on his job as he leaves college. “I think working in Florence, Ky., will be an easy transition from college into my career,” he says.
Pierson also adds that UC’s diverse campus led to connections to his native country, South Korea. “I’ve made some Korean friends here, and they’ve helped me out in trying to pick up the language.”
He’s hoping that in another six years, he can visit South Korea. He’s aiming to visit the country when South Korea hosts the 2018 Winter Olympics.