Cincinnatus Scholar Is Already On The Pathway To A Successful Career
Josh Kaufman, a full Cincinnatus scholar, is volunteering at the Cincinnatus Scholarship competition for the last time on Feb. 12, as he nears graduation.
Date: 2/7/2005 8:00:00 AM
By: Jacob Dirr Other Contact: Dawn Fuller
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
When students begin to arrive for the Cincinnatus IX Scholarship competition on Feb. 12, Josh Kaufman hopes to be one of the first people at the University of Cincinnati they meet.
Each year, the nation's best and brightest high school students journey to UC to take part in the competition, which assesses academic abilities, creative skills and leadership potential. Kaufman has been volunteering at the annual event, which awards over $11 million in scholarships, since he became a full Cincinnatus scholar five years ago.
“It’s really fun,” Kaufman says. “It's nice to be able to talk with people and answer any questions they have."
Being one of the 400 student volunteers is rewarding, Kaufman says, because it gives prospective students the chance to interact with people who have gone through the same thing they will.
Kaufman remembers making the four-hour trip from New London, Ohio to campus with his dad for the Cincinnatus IV competition. As the only student from his high school who attended the competition, Kaufman says the experience was exciting because he came to have fun and do as well as he could.
“It was an opportunity to meet a lot of talented and interesting people,” he says, “With 1,500 competitors, the expectations weren’t that high.”
So when Jim Williams, director of Enrollment Services, called him one Saturday morning to tell him he had been chosen for one of six full Cincinnatus awards, Kaufman says he was shocked.
“By then, I had settled on attending UC,” Kaufman says, “so that was the best news I could get.”
Like many Cincinnatus scholars, the 23-year-old has taken full advantage of the university’s commitment to providing opportunities for a first-rate education.
Graduating this year with a degree in Business Information Systems and Real Estate, the Carl H. Lindner Honors-Plus Scholar has nothing but praise for the program and encouragement for prospective Cincinnatus students.
In addition to his $64,000 scholarship, Kaufman says one of the true gems of the program is the support and networking system he found when he came to UC.
“Talking with everyone who is a part of Cincinnatus, it's easy to see that it’s a great group of people. Everyone is very nice and really helpful,” he says.
That support system enabled Kaufman to pursue a minor in philosophy in addition to his business major. He also became involved with the UC Mock Trial Team, where he twice achieved national success as an All-American Attorney while competing alongside his brother, Dan Kaufman, an electronic media student and fellow Cincinnatus award recipient. He also muses by writing opinion pieces in the student newspaper and by maintaining his own blog, joshkaufman.net. “I read, think and write about a lot of things,” the blog reads. “Every once in a while, I post them here.”
Janet Winter, whom Kaufman and other Cincinnatus students call "their surrogate mother at UC," is a Student Financial Aid program manager who says Kaufman exemplifies the Cincinnatus scholar. “He’s a credit to the university and a credit to the Cincinnatus program,” she says. “Josh represents exactly what the university has wanted Cincinnatus to represent.”
After he graduates, Kaufman will work at Procter and Gamble, where he started as a co-op his sophomore year. The skills he learned at UC and P&G have helped him enormously, Kaufman says.
“It's wonderful,” he says. “After I started working as a co-op, it was really easy to come back to class and understand the real-world context of the classroom work. Between class and co-op, I've had a very well-rounded education.”
Most of all, Kaufman says, Cincinnatus has been most helpful in giving him the freedom to try to quench his constant thirst for knowledge.
“I have a very strong desire to understand how the world works,” he says. “I may not be able to know everything, but learning something new is a great feeling.”