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Elizabeth Debenedictis '14 (CEAS)

Choosing the University of Cincinnati is why I am Cincinnati Smart!  Attending UC is one of the best academic decisions I have made so far!  What attracted me to the University of Cincinnati was primarily the cooperative education program – but what was even more unique than the co-op program was the UC International Co-op Program.  With this, I worked in Stuttgart, Germany, where I significantly improved my language skills, became more familiar with German culture, and had ample opportunity to travel.

Because of the research areas of engineering I learned about in Germany, I decided to participate in undergraduate research back at UC.  I soon started working in UC's NanoWorld lab, an internationally recognized interdisciplinary laboratory that performs highly focused nanotechnology research. 

Tutoring English Language Students through the Conversation Partner Program and freshmen engineers through the Freshmen Engineering Program were also great opportunities in collaboration and passing knowledge and experience along to other students.

Lastly, the University of Cincinnati Honors Program has supported me through my experience in Brazil as a short-term worker in an orphanage during a staff shortage.  Although I have had many enriching experiences at UC, this is easily the most life-changing - it made me closely analyze the distinction between want and need, and the duty of those who are able to serve to help those less fortunate.

What makes me Cincinnati Smart is that when faced with opportunities, instead of asking, "why?" I ask "why not?"  We are better able to achieve our full potential when we view situations as opportunities and challenges rather than as problems or roadblocks. There are endless possibilities at UC – to learn, to teach, to serve, and to expand one's horizons far past Cincinnati, Ohio, or even the U.S. itself.​

Fun Fact about Elizabeth's photo: Her picture was taken at a beach where they filmed some scenes for the film, "Cloud Atlas".