Mark Schutte, a UC sophomore who’s majoring in civil and environmental engineering, is one of the 14 University of Cincinnati students who were awarded the full Cincinnatus scholarship as they entered UC in fall 2008.
A graduate of St. Xavier High School, Schutte is the last of three brothers to attend UC and the son of two UC alumni. So when it was finally time to decide on a college, Mark found himself at a crossroads—should he follow the family tradition or strike out for new adventures? “I had applied to seven schools, but when it came time for my college visit to UC, I was really impressed,” he says. A dynamic campus, a challenging academic program and tuition paid in full—it was an offer he says he could not let slip by and he says he has been happy with his decision ever since.
Schutte says he was also looking for a university that had an Engineers Without Borders student organization—an organization that finds sustainable solutions for improving quality of life issues—which he also found at UC.
“Right now, we’re working on a project to reconstruct a dilapidated schoolhouse in Burere in Northern Africa. They have to hold classes outside the school, because the building is so unsafe,” he says. “We’re looking at a way to make the bricks to rebuild the school right there on site, and the group is planning a trip to begin construction and to teach the villagers how to complete the project,” Schutte says.
Schutte exemplifies the Cincinnatus emphasis on service as well as leadership and academics. Every student who earns one of the four levels of Cincinnatus scholarships is required to perform 30 hours of community service each year as part of their scholarship commitment. He currently volunteers at St. Francis Soup Kitchen. “Every now and then, someone comes up to me and tells me how much they appreciate my being there, and that’s what makes service worthwhile to me—both the served and those who serve benefit from the experience.”