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PROFILE: UC Student Will Sing in Quintet At Convocation

Leslie Gerhardstein is one of five UC students who will sing the national anthem and the UC Alma Mater at Convocation. This formal welcome to new students will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, at Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center.

Date: 9/15/2003 8:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Andrew Higley
UC ingot New students, their parents and their families will get to see and hear Leslie Gerhardstein when they attend the University of Cincinnati Convocation on Sunday, Sept. 21 at Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center. Leslie, a 19-year-old middle childhood education major and graduate of McAuley High School, is a member of the UC student quintet created for Convocation that will sing the national anthem and the UC Alma Mater at the ceremony.

Leslie Gerhardstein
Leslie Gerhardstein

All five students performing in the quintet – Leslie, Brian Hilner, Richard Huff, Ben Lewis and Sarah Korfhagen, know UC’s newest students very well. That’s because the five worked as Student Orientation Leaders (SOLs) over the entire summer, leading sessions about what it’s like to be in college and taking their student groups through the campus so that the new students would be able to find their classes in the fall. The first year students will be addressed by UC President Joseph A. Steger at the Sept. 21 Convocation, their formal welcome into the UC family.

Leslie says the quintet has been rehearsing virtually every day, so that they’ll have a perfect performance for Convocation.

Sarah Leggesse, program manager for Educational Services, says Leslie was recruited for the quintet on the recommendation of the peers who had worked with her at UC Orientation. Sarah recalls asking Leslie to sing a few notes in the office. “After some cajoling she got up and faced the group and the sound of ‘Amazing Grace’ filled the office. Other office workers stopped what they were doing and came out to see her.

“Leslie has a beautiful voice," Leggesse continued. " Almost immediately, I asked her if she would be willing to sing at Convocation, and she agreed.”

Leslie, a UC sophomore from White Oak, developed her singing talent through training at the College-Conservatory of Music during her high school years. “I started taking lessons at CCM right at the beginning of my freshman year in high school, straight to my freshman year at UC.”

Leslie Gerhardstein
Leslie sings a few bars in front of the Shoe.

And Leslie says she was familiar with UC long before she reached her college years and recalls attending the Bearcats events as a little girl.  Her dad, Keith, earned his math degree from UC and her mother, Tara, is currently a double major in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services. Leslie says her mother is interested in teaching English to high school students.

Leslie has already gained experience with children by working for the UC Child Care Center. Working for the UC Orientation program, she spent the summer as a Student Orientation Leader and is now assisting with the On-Site streamlined admissions program.

Leslie’s advice to new students, particularly college commuters like herself, is to get involved with UC outside the classroom. The SOL job continued Leslie’s interest in leadership experience that she had during high school, plus she says joining her Greek sorority Delta Delta Delta brought new friends and new opportunities. “At first, when I was a freshman, I just came here to go to class and to go home. But once I got involved and started meeting new people, I didn’t want to leave! It totally changes your perspective.”


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