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PROFILE: New Cincinnatus Scholar Is All Settled In At UC

UCís Cincinnatus IX Scholarship Competition is coming up on Feb. 12. Meet one of the nationís top students who says the scholarship and UCís high quality programs were too good a deal to pass up.

Date: 12/27/2004 8:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
UC ingot
Michael Brothers

University of Cincinnati freshman Michael Brothers may be from King of Prussia, Pa., but heís certainly familiar with the UC tradition. ďIíve think Iíve been a Bearcat fan since I was a little kid. Both my dad and great uncle went to UC, and so did a cousin. At first, I was thinking, ĎI donít want to go to the same school that you did.í But then, the ties were just too strong.Ē

This chemistry major and Honors Scholar was one of 12 students last spring to be awarded a full $66,000 Cincinnatus Scholarship to UC to pay for his tuition, books and room and board. The next Cincinnatus Scholarship Competition is coming up on Feb. 12. Thatís when thousands of the nationís top high school seniors will compete on campus for four levels of scholarships in a series of essay and leadership exercises. The scholarship selection process also examines a studentís commitment to community service. Cincinnatus Scholars complete 30 hours of community service each year as part of their scholarship requirement.

Michael attended one of the alternate dates for the competition last February. Three alternate dates for Cincinnatus will be held this year: Feb. 4, Feb. 22 and Feb. 25. Qualifying high school seniors are invited to the competition after they apply to UC. To be considered, all applications and materials must be received by the UC Office of Admissions by Jan. 15, 2005.

Michael Brothers

ďI was just amazed by the caliber of people from all parts of the nation who came to the competition,Ē Michael recalls. His advice for competitors this February: ďWhen you get to the competition, just be yourself. Donít try to put on a false front in group competition and donít try to write what you think everybody wants Ė write what you believe. That strength of character will show through more than anything.Ē

At the time that Michael first visited campus, much of the first phase of MainStreet was still under construction. However, part of the competition was held in the Great Hall, giving Michael a glimpse of what was to come. ďI got to see just how much time and effort UC is spending on constructing new buildings and maintaining the old ones.

ďI just saw so many opportunities here. I think Swift Hall must have some of the most technologically advanced classrooms in the nation. Plus, Iím really interested in the undergraduate level of research.Ē He says heís leaning toward medical school, ďand thatís a pretty heavy lean.Ē

Michael is already building connections outside the classroom by living on the Honors Scholars floor in Daniels Hall and serving as treasurer of the Residence Hall Association. Heís a member of the Caducea Premedical Society. Part of his community service commitment over fall quarter was dedicated to the UC Into the Streets day of community service. He and other volunteers did some landscaping and cleaned up the trash in communities on the outskirts of UC.

He says it was community service that helped shape his life, and is perhaps leading him on the pathway to medical school. Michael helped initiate a volunteer-based peer tutoring program at Upper Merion Area High School, pairing seniors and juniors with freshmen and sophomores. By the second year of the program, he was head coordinator. ďBy the end of the year, we assisted 30 students. The results were amazing. One girl went from failing her math tests to having a ďBĒ average.Ē

Michael says that when students offer service, they get back spiritually what they give. Itís that dedication that reflects the spirit of the Cincinnatus competition, which is named after the Roman farmer who led his city to victory when Rome was invaded in 458 BC, but then returned to his farm.

High school seniors interested in Cincinnatus Scholarships can check the Web site or call the Cincinnatus Hotline at 513-556-3400.

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