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UC Freshman/Turner Scholar Strives To Build A Better Understanding Of Latino Cultures

Tiffany Simons is constantly stretching for – and achieving – her goals.

Date: 11/19/2012
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
High school seniors who are seeking scholarship consideration from UC must send their complete admission application (including high school transcript and official test scores) by Dec. 1.

University of Cincinnati freshman Tiffany Simons of Springdale, Ohio, is not letting any injury slow her down, despite using a motorized scooter to navigate campus during fall semester. The 18-year-old Darwin T. Turner Scholar – an e-media (College-Conservatory of Music) and Spanish (McMicken College of Arts and Sciences) major – is truly taking the campus by storm, according to her Turner Scholar advisors.
Tiffany Simons
Tiffany Simons



UC’s Office of Ethnic Programs and Services directs the Darwin T. Turner Scholarship Program to promote academic success, foster diversity and build future leaders.

Simons is an outstanding example in her pursuit of scholarship and leadership. Her physical setback is due to a muscle injury that developed over time from dancing, intense workouts and lifting. She says it was further aggravated after tryouts for the Indianapolis Colts cheerleading squad, as well as the UC Dhadak International Dance Team. “I was selected for the dance team, but had to sit out because of the muscle injury,” she says.

Simons also says she is a rather exceptional example of multiculturalism. “I think I represent every culture but Asian.” It was her interest in identifying with her Latino heritage and her Hispanic friends in high school that led to her pursuit of perfecting her Spanish and educating others about the culture.

Simons’ passion for building bridges of understanding of Latino cultures evolved into her website, Qué Hay De Nuevo (What’s New).  She also belongs to the UC student organizations, Latinos En Accion and Club Hispano. She hopes to become a bilingual broadcast journalist.

The Darwin T. Turner scholarship is named in honor of a UC alumnus who later became one of the greatest scholars in African-American literature. In 1947 and at age 16, Darwin T. Turner became the youngest person ever to graduate from the University of Cincinnati when he earned a bachelor’s degree in English. He earned his master’s degree in English in 1949.

The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program was founded at the university in 1976. Turner scholars are expected to participate in activities under the Office of Ethnic Programs and Services to improve their intellectual, personal and professional development.

Tiffany Simons

“One of our recent service-related Turner activities was participating in the BRIDGES Walk for a Just Community,” says Simons. The annual walk downtown is a celebration to promote diversity, inclusion and social justice. 

“It’s not just a scholarship program,” says Simons. “Every week, we get together to get resume tips and talk about how we’re doing in school. The staff in Ethnic Programs and Services is our backbone. They’re someone to turn to if we need to talk. As a Turner Scholar, we make the commitment to visit the office at least once a week.”

“We call ourselves the Turner Family, and we provide programs for leadership, networking and professionalism – anything we can do to get the student acclimated to college and on the path to success,” says program director Brandi Elliott.

“Tiffany has truly embraced the Darwin T. Turner Scholarship program,” says Elliott. “She’s a self-starter and is so creative – just full of life and energy. I’m looking forward to seeing what she’ll accomplish at UC over the next four years.”

Elliott is a 2001 graduate from the Turner Scholars Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology (A&S) and then achieved a master’s degree from UC in mental health counseling, before earning her doctorate in urban educational leadership from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH).

Simons also lives in Darwin T. Turner Hall, which was dedicated on campus in 2002. It was the newest residence hall to be constructed on campus since 1971.

Video: We Are Turner (Produced by Tiffany Simons)

Qualifying Criteria for the Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program

UC Freshman and Transfer Student Scholarships

Proudly Cincinnati – Supporting Student Scholarships