UC Freshman Moves into New Living and Learning Community
Allison Ng is a pioneer as she moves into new student living quarters close to campus.
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Andrew Higley
Allison Ng of Green Township is just beginning college life as a freshman at the University of Cincinnati this fall, and yet she’s already thinking about spring break. That’s because at her Bearcat Bound Orientation over the summer, the 18-year-old biology major learned about service opportunities at UC and became intrigued by the spring break trips that took students to areas ravaged by hurricane Katrina – trips organized by the University Honors Program for academically talented students, of which Allison is a new member, and by the UC Center for Community Engagement (CCE).
Then, she says she received an e-mail from the CCE, inviting her into a new student living experience – the Community Engagement Leadership House. It’s located above the Center for Community Engagement at the university-affiliated Stratford Heights Community on Clifton Avenue. Allison is now one of the first students to move into the suite-style housing that exemplifies UC|21 ambitions to build 24-hour-a-day learning, living and social environments.
“They had an open house and I got to see the house, and I thought this would be a fun way to meet new people who share my interests,” says Allison.
Kathy Dick, director of the CCE, says the students living here will build their leadership skills through service and will pioneer the direction of the living and learning community.
The living community holds two floors of suite-style housing above the CCE office which just moved to Stratford Heights last spring. The housing also holds a kitchen, dining area, TV lounge, study and laundry room in the basement.
Allison says she served leadership roles in community service as a student at Oak Hills High School. She was president of the Key Club her senior year and was public relations officer for Key Club her junior year in high school. She was also a dedicated volunteer in middle school as a member of the Builders Club. She has also volunteered tutoring students in elementary school.
“It’s a way to work with a lot of different people from different backgrounds and different situations. You receive as much as you give. Service has really made me appreciate what I have.”
That includes her outstanding performance academically, which led to a UC Cincinnatus Scholarship Founders-level award as well as a scholarship from UC’s Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program, one of the oldest ethnic scholarship programs in the nation. Both emphasize community service with students as a part of their scholarship commitment.
Allison’s dedication to service supports a federal report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which found that the Midwest had the highest volunteer rate for adults, college students, Baby Boomers and older adults. That same organization found that people who volunteer have greater longevity, higher functional ability and lower rates of depression and heart disease.
Meanwhile, Allison is looking forward to this new experience at UC – something her parents didn’t have when her father, Pak, graduated from the College of Pharmacy and her mother, Yim, graduated from the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. She’s about to embark on a journey that’s defining the new research university.