Awards & Scholarships

Questions or comments regarding the scholarship application process? Email community.engagement@uc.edu.

Ms. Patricia Stewart Adams Bearcat Buddies Award

This scholarship is awarded to UC undergrads who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to the Bearcat Buddies Tutoring Program. This scholarship amount is $1,000.

The scholarship is named after Mrs. Patricia Stewart-Adams, a UC graduate and esteemed educator with 45 years of experience. Ms. Pat made invaluable contributions to the Bearcat Buddies program during her time at UC and continues to be an exemplary advocate for low-income student success. This award is named in her honor.

  • Enrolled at the University of Cincinnati (full-time)
  • Undergraduate only
  • Must be a second year student or above (first year students are encouraged to apply next year!)
  • Must be currently enrolled and in good standing with the Bearcat Buddies program
  • Must have two semesters of experience in the Bearcat Buddies program 
  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • All majors are encouraged to apply
The digital application is to be submitted via Microsoft Forms. Please submit all documents in PDF format. The application will ask you to complete the following:
  • First and last name.
  • Year of study and expected graduation year
  • Number of semesters you have tutored with Bearcat Buddies
  • A current resume
  • A professional headshot. If you do not have a professional headshot, you can get one taken for free on campus at the UC Career Studio. 
  • A screenshot or downloaded file showing the previous Fall semester's grades and overall university GPA.
    • If you were not enrolled in classes in the previous Fall semester, please substitute your most recent semester's grades.
    • Unofficial transcript (screenshot or download from Catalyst) is acceptable. Official transcripts are not expected.
  • Uploaded responses to three short essay prompts (200-250 words/question)
  • Completion of two recommendation forms by one community member and one Bearcat Buddies peer of your choosing. 
    • You will be asked to send the link to the recommendation form at the end of the award application. 

 Mrs. Stewart-Adams is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science and a Master’s Degree of Education. Patricia has 45 years of educational experience working with a diverse population of students in the inner city. She began her educational career as a third grade teacher in the Mount Healthy City School District. She soon became a Reading Specialist and worked with students and schools to close the achievement gap in reading. Patricia spent two years as an Assistant Principal at Eastern Hills Elementary School followed by 12 years as the Principal at Heberle Elementary School, the largest elementary school in Cincinnati Public Schools. Patricia also spent time as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati leading others to become school administrators.

Patricia’s passion to see low-income students become successful, led her to the Executive Director position at GRAD Cincinnati. GRAD Cincinnati’s mission is to raise expectations and achievement for all students by building high impact partnerships within the community to provide a premiere college readiness, access and support program.  The organization works with teachers, parents, principals, colleges, universities and Cincinnati Public Schools to provide over 3,500 students with resources they need to achieve academically, graduate from high school and enroll in college. 

During Patricia's time at UC, she made great contributions to Bearcat Buddies, and the program would not exist without her guidance and mentorship. This award is named in her honor.

Please upload 3, 200-250-word essays in response to the following prompts:

  • The Ms. Patricia Stewart-Adams Bearcat Buddies Scholarship is designed to go to a student who goes above and beyond program requirements. Please describe the ways you believe you have exceeded the minimum requirements and how these efforts have contributed to the program?    
  • What are your career goals? How will your experience in Bearcat Buddies influence your achievement of these future goals? 
  • Bearcat Buddies allows college students to engage in relationships across different ages, race, and socioeconomic status as a starting point to dispel stereotypes. How has your experience in Bearcat Buddies helped you to see through stereotypes that often accompany the students we serve? 

Applications are now open and will close March 24, 2024.

  • In your essay responses, include specific examples of service you performed, who or what benefited or changed as a result of your service, what impact you made, and the impact the experience had on you. Do so in a way that is not a laundry list of tasks, but tells a story of your experience.
  • Recommendations from a community agency representatives or members outside of the university community are preferred to recommendations from individuals within the university. Please do not provide a recommendation letter from a family member or relative.

Civic Engagement & Social Change Scholarship

The Civic Engagement and Social Change Scholarship recognizes one undergraduate student for their efforts to make our world a better and more inclusive place through democratic engagement, advocacy, and other civic engagement efforts. This scholarship amount is $1,000.

  • Democratic engagement refers to efforts to register individuals to vote, educate individuals on voting issues, ensure ballot access for historically disenfranchised groups, and increase voter turnout. This could also include running for office or volunteering for candidates or political organizations. 

  • Advocacy refers to public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. This could include activities like organizing, training others to organize, educating legislators, educating the public about the legislative process, community-based action research, organizing rallies or marches, and collecting signatures for petitions or ballot issues.  

  • Civic engagement refers to any other way in which citizens can address issues of public concern. This could include things like regularly volunteering for a community-based organization or nonprofit, active membership in a group or association, or fundraising for charities. 

  • Enrolled at the University of Cincinnati (full-time)
  • Undergraduate only
  • Must be a second year student or above (first year students are encouraged to apply next year!)
  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • All majors are encouraged to apply

The digital application is to be submitted via Microsoft Forms. Please submit all documents in PDF format. The application will ask you to complete the following:First and last name.

  • Year of study and expected graduation year.
  • A current resume in PDF format.
  • A professional headshot. If you do not have a professional headshot, you can get one taken for free on campus at the UC Career Studio. 
  • A screenshot or downloaded file showing the previous Fall semester's grades and overall university GPA.
    • If you were not enrolled in classes in the previous Fall semester, please substitute your most recent semester's grades.
    • Unofficial transcript (screenshot or download from Catalyst) is acceptable. Official transcripts are not expected.
  • Submission of the application essay       
  • Completion of a recommendation form by an individual of your choosing. 
    • You will be asked to send the link to the recommendation form at the end of the award application. 

Please upload an essay of no more than three pages in response to the following prompt:

Please describe how you have worked to make our world a better and more inclusive place through democratic engagement, advocacy, and other civic engagement efforts since you have been a student at the University of Cincinnati. In your response, be sure to:

- Identify the community issue that motivated you to create social change/ why you decided to get involved. 

- Explain what you did to create social change.

- Identify what your results have been so far. 

- Describe how your social change work has demonstrated inclusion. 

- Explain how you plan to continue your social change work after you graduate from the University of Cincinnati.  

Applications are now open and will close March 24, 2024.

  • In your essay responses, include specific examples of service you performed, who or what benefited or changed as a result of your service, what impact you made, and the impact the experience had on you. Do so in a way that is not a laundry list of tasks, but tells a story of your experience.
  • Do not frame essay strictly from a deficit view; it is important to recognize and acknowledge possible differences between yourself and the community you are serving, but do so in a way that is respectful of that population.
  • Recommendations from a community agency representatives or members outside of the university community are preferred to recommendations from individuals within the university. Please do not provide a recommendation letter from a family member or relative.  

Annie Fitzgerald Award for Leadership and Service

The Annie Fitzgerald Award for Leadership and Service is awarded each year to University of Cincinnati undergraduate students who have shown leadership and possess a passion for service. Students who apply for the award must be actively participating in some form of community engagement and/or service to qualify for this award.

Two scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded one in each of the following categories:

  1. Rising Star award
    An emerging service or community leader entering their 2nd or 3rd year

  2. Achievement award
    A student who shows commitment to leadership and service focused on a particular project, area, community partner, group or issue entering their 4th or final academic year

The award can be applied to one semester or spread out over consecutive semesters.

  • Enrolled at the University of Cincinnati (full-time)
  • Undergraduate only
  • Must be a second year student or above (first year students are encouraged to apply next year!)
  • Must be actively participating in some form of community engagement and/or service
  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • All majors are encouraged to apply

The digital application is to be submitted via Microsoft Forms. Please submit all documents in PDF format. The application will ask you to complete the following:
  • First and last name.
  • Indication of which award you are applying to
    • The Rising Star award goes to a student who will be entering their 2nd or 3rd year. The Achievement award goes to a student who will be entering their 4th or final year.
  • Year of study and expected graduation year.
  • A current resume in PDF format.
  • A professional headshot. If you do not have a professional headshot, you can get one taken for free on campus at the UC Career Studio. 
  • Uploaded responses to three short essay prompts (200-250 words/question)
  • Completion of a recommendation form by an individual of your choosing. 
    • You will be asked to send the link to the recommendation form at the end of the award application. 

Please upload 3, 200-250-word essays in response to the following prompts:

  • Provide examples of your service during your time at the University of Cincinnati. How have your service experiences helped others? Do you feel like you have made a difference?
  • How has service strengthened your leadership skills? How do you believe your service experiences will impact you in your future leadership roles? 
  • Give an example of how you demonstrate innovation, inclusion, or impact in your service to others.

Applications are now open and will close March 24, 2024.

  • In your essay responses, include specific examples of service you performed, who or what benefited or changed as a result of your service, what impact you made, and the impact the experience had on you. Do so in a way that is not a laundry list of tasks, but tells a story of your experience.
  • Do not frame essays strictly from a deficit view; it is important to recognize and acknowledge possible differences between yourself and the community you are serving, but do so in a way that is respectful of that population.
  • Recommendations from a community agency representatives or members outside of the university community are preferred to recommendations from individuals within the university. Please do not provide a recommendation letter from a family member or relative.  


2023 Recipients

Headshot of Lisa Harris

Lisa Harris

3rd Year, Speech Language and Hearing Sciences.

Ms. Patricia Stewart-Adams Bearcat Buddies Scholarship

Lisa is a rising 3rd year student majoring in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences. She has tutored in Bearcat Buddies for four semesters and currently serves on the Social Media Lead Tutor Subcommittee.

Headshot of Maya Goertemoeller

Maya Goertemoeller

4th Year, Medical Sciences

Civic Engagement & Social Change Award

Maya is a rising fourth-year majoring in Medical Sciences with a minor in psychology, integrative health, and wellness. She volunteers with 1N5, a mental health nonprofit where she has incorporated eating disorder prevention into youth programming.

Headshot of Ashley Bruner

Ashley Bruner

3rd Year, Psychology

Achievement Award

Ashley is a rising fourth year studying Psychology and minoring in English, Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies, Global Health, and Medical Humanities. Among others, Ashley actively participates in Bearcat Buddies, Psychology Club, & Psi Chi.

Headshot of Perry Li

Perry Li

3rd Year, Medical Sciences

Rising Star Award

Perry is a rising 3rd year medical sciences student from Algonquin, IL. He has been heavily involved in GlobemedatUC, RefugeUC, and Bearcat Buddies with a passion for improving public health education outcomes and literacy for refuge students.

Past Recipients: Annie Fitzgerald Award

2022 Recipients

Headshot of Simhya Karthikeyan

Simhya Karthikeyan

2nd Year, Medical Sciences

Rising Star Award

"Reflecting on Annie Fitzgerald’s quote, I resonate with her passion for service. To me, her quote extends the importance of solidarity as an ongoing process, and that is also a commitment to sustainability in the work that I do."

Headshot of Andrea Szep

Andrea Szep

4th Year, Medical Sciences

Achievement Award

"To me, Annie’s quote symbolizes layers of service that are intertwined with developing as a leader. It represents selflessness on all levels, from giving something as small as a meal to improving something as large as an entire environment."

2021 Recipients

Headshot of Daniel Posmik

Daniel Posmik

4th Year, Business Economics

Achievement Award

Hometown: Munich, Germany

" For me, making the world a better place means promoting that thought as an activist. It means telling the story of inequality by recognizing the intersectionality of identities and their respective struggles."

Headshot of Adam Elzarka

Adam Elzarka

3rd Year, Medical Sciences

Rising Star Award

Hometown: Mason, Ohio

" Through my involvement, I have not only been able to learn and build relationships with students who come from different backgrounds, but also experience challenges that I have never faced before.."

2020 Recipients

Headshot of Gerald Crosby

Gerald Crosby

4th Year, Interdisciplinary Studies

Achievement Award

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

" All these experiences have changed my perspective about service. I became a leader and a voice for my community. I have learned a lot about myself and the biggest lesson that I learned was that everyone has something to offer the world."

Headshot of Maria Bobrowski-Artola

Maria Bobrowski-Artola

3rd Year, Public Health & Policy

Rising Star Award

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

"The makeup of my identity as a Mexican immigrant as well as analyzing my privilege has inspired a perspective that allows me to navigate advocacy and service for meaningful social change."

2019 Recipients

Headshot of Ellena Privitera

Ellena Privitera

4th Year, Medical Sciences

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

"My service showed me how inadequacies in our healthcare and social service agencies let people 'fall through the cracks.' I now see myself as a system-breaker, hoping to use my career in healthcare to engage professionals with their communities."

Headshot of Rishi Mehta

Rishi Mehta

2nd Year, Medical Sciences

Hometown: Mason, OH

"It is through a combination of service and unexpected leadership opportunities that I have come to learn about my leadership style, which is referred to as 'servant leadership.'”

2018 Recipients

Headshot of Rickey Terrel

Rickey Terrel

5th year, Chemical Engineering

Hometown: Mason, OH

"In the Spring of 2015 I began developing the Hughes High School Science Fair Program. I wanted to create an opportunity for high school students to both explore their scientific interests and create meaningful relationships with STEM majors at UC."

Headshot of Caroline Lembright

Caroline Lembright

3rd year, Political Science and International Affairs

Hometown: Fort Thomas, KY

"My volunteer work changed the trajectory of my college career. In the classroom I learn the ways systems of government function; however, it is through my volunteer work that I see how these systems shape the lives of everyday people."