Annual Report

The Division of Student Affairs Annual Report serves as a snapshot of our student outcomes for the past year. Our staff work tirelessly to deliver a Bearcat-worthy student experience. We are delighted to be on this journey of discovery with our amazing students and we're excited to share the highlights with you. Please contact us at 513-556-4119 to obtain a print copy.

Message from the Vice President

Debra Merchant

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Division of Student Affairs is pleased to present the 2019-20 annual report.  The academic year started out like many others, with a record number of students enrolled at the institution and record numbers of students living on campus. Fall semester included successful programs such Welcome Week, the Latinx Student Summit, the Gen-1 Induction Ceremony, fraternity and sorority recruitment, and Hispanic Heritage Month. These programs and others celebrated the diversity of our campus population and invited students to experience all UC has to offer. However, no one anticipated how much the strength and resolve of the Bearcat Community would be tested in the Spring Semester. 

The Coronavirus pandemic disrupted every aspect of the student experience. As the University transitioned to remote instruction and operations, Student Affairs programs and services were suddenly disrupted; shifted to remote and virtual formats; and in some unfortunate cases, canceled altogether. Student’s daily lives were impacted greatly. There were significant increases in usage of the Bearcats Pantry, mental health services, and student emergency funds. These critical services helped mitigate the impact of a now global pandemic. 

It is important that I give many thanks and praise to the Division of Student Affairs team, who led many aspects of the shift to remote operations and provision of emergency support for students in need of assistance. While this was a new experience with no playbook, the divisional team kept student needs at the center of decision-making and supported students to finish the academic year with the determination we know exists within Bearcat Nation. 

As we continue to face these uncertain times, we place critical importance on supporting student success, meeting student needs, and creating a strong sense of belonging among the campus community. We have learned a lot as we, along with our students, faced a myriad of challenges, and we will continue to innovate our programs and services to meet students where they are—whether that be online or in-person. 

Debra Spotts Merchant, JD 
Vice President of Student Affairs  

Mission & Purpose: Student Affairs advocates for and meets students' diverse needs by providing innovative co-curricular experiences that enhance well-being, foster life and academic skill development, engender responsibility and grow leadership capability. 

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Strategic Pillars & Goals

The Division of Student Affairs achieves this mission through its four strategic pillars:

  • Accessible Culture of Academic Success
  • Engaging Relationships and Experiences
  • Holistic Development of Students
  • Intentional Student Advocacy

The strategic pillars are supported through four primary goals:

  • Strategic Student Affairs Presence: Create a vibrant, student centered, on-campus and virtual divisional presence
  • Enhanced Capacity to Serve: Enhance the division's capacity to meet the needs of an evolving and growing student body
  • Inclusive Campus Culture: Lead the development of a culture in which all students are empowered to thrive
  • Student-First Communication: Improve student-centered critical decision making and response protocols, processes and practices

Student Affairs in Action

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Services and programs are intentionally designed to support and promote a culture of academic success for all students. Students who participate in academic support services will achieve academic success, be retained, and graduate.

  • The Bearcat Experience residential curriculum has enhanced student learning and development through living on-campus. Residents consistently have higher GPAs than non-residents and have shared that satisfaction with all aspects of campus, including access to educational resources, is higher.
  • The Student Wellness Center provided presentations to DAAP students who were preparing for Co-op. Presentations discussed managing stress and mental wellness in new professional environments. Over 350 students participated in this opportunity.
  • Student Conduct and Community Standards provided students with an online option to complete substance abuse education related to alcohol use. Since its inception, there has been a noticeable decrease in recidivism rates associated with alcohol violations. In 2018-2019 there was a 5% recidivism rate for alcohol offenses and in 2019-2020 there was a 1% recidivism rate.
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Programs and experiences will provide students a safe space to engage with members of the UC community who can support their continued development and success. Students will cultivate relationships and have experiences that create bonds and support their retention and success at the University of Cincinnati.

  • The Student Wellness Center hosted four sober tailgates and 23 late-night programs. Both programs are designed to provide students with alternative substance-free activities during typically higher-risk drinking times. Over 1,000 people attended the sober tailgates and over 2,600 students attended the late night programs. 28% of late-night program participants reported that attending the event reduced their alcohol consumption that night.
  • Student Activities Board and Student Activities & Leadership Development hosted its largest student organization fair with over 300 student organizations participating and over 5,000 students attending to learn how to get involved on campus.
  • In response to how Fraternity & Sorority Life has enhanced the student experience, a student responded " forming and stabilizing a new council, specifically one where I feel represented. The office has provided mentorship and structure to help us succeed."
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Leadership and educational programs are focused on the holistic development of student participants. Students will discover and define their personal values and goals and identify how those will be realized at UC and beyond.

  • The Office of Institutional Accessibility partnered with Student Government on efforts to transform their disability/accessibility awareness approach. This included a presentation on disability culture as well as partnering on the popular "Dining in the Dark" Experience.
  • The AACRC hosted the Transitions Early Arrival Program for students to cultivate a sense of belonging and develop meaningful relationships with students, faculty, and staff. They heard from the Vice President of Student Affairs, participated in yoga and other mindfulness sessions with a counselor, and participated in a scavenger hunt to learn about important resources across campus.
  • Through monthly leadership seminars and inclusive sports programming with Special Olympics, Club Sports was able to ensure students were getting more than just exercise. 92% of students participating in the leadership seminars and inclusive sport programming reported a positive experience, and 86% of participants said they would use the skills they learned in a future job or leadership commitment.
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Intentional student advocacy programs educate and develop a UC community that is inclusive and affirming. Students experiencing consistent inclusion and respect throughout campus are empowered to fully engage with the UC community.

  • Parent and Family Programs developed support for Spanish-speaking families this year through the Familias group, which offers a network of support at UC for Spanish-speaking families.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services trained over 100 student workers, 500 facilities staff, and 130 Mental Health Champions on Supporting Students in Distress.
  • The AACRC and Student Activities & Leadership Development collaborated to develop the Sankofa Leadership Institute. Participants discovered how interpersonal skills advance the liberation of their communities, developed a stronger sense of intersectional identity, and learned strategies on how to lead intentionally.

The Division at a Glance

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115 full-time employees

310 student employees

1 in 4 divisional staff hold leadership positions in local, regional, and national professional boards or associations.

More than 25 presentations were conducted by Student Affairs staff at local, regional, and national conferences.

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398 student organizations

44 club sports organizations

45 fraternal organizations

21,522 students involved in at least one student organization

Students participated in 295 leadership development experiences offered through divisional departments and student organizations.



Students logged 79,923 total hours of community service, which correlates to a value of $2,197,833 added to our community.

$498,869 was allocated to registered student organizations to attend conferences, host programs, participate in academic competitions, and meet the basic operating needs of these groups.

93,191 new users on CampusLINK, a 112% increase from the prior year.

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400 Resident Assistant applications - the highest yield ever!

1,000 Hall Opening Team volunteers

Points of Pride: Staff Highlights

Awards and Honors

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Dr. Nicole Ausmer, Director of Student Activities & Leadership Development, participated in the TEDxCincinnati Women event. She was one of three women selected from more than 160 auditions. In addition, Dr. Ausmer was the 2020 African American Cultural & Resource Center's Village Keeper of the Year.

Daniel Cummins, Assistant Dean of Students, received the CECH Chuck Altenau Outstanding Service Award.

Dr. Brandi Elliott, Director of Ethnic Programs & Services, received the YWCA Career Woman of Achievement Award.

Dr. Juan Guardia, Assistant Vice President/Dean of Students, received the NASPA Latinx/o/a Knowledge Community Outstanding Senior Student Affairs Officer Award.

Carlos Herriott, student worker in Marketing & Communications, received AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education's 2020 Outstanding Student Award.

Ewaniki Moore-Hawkins, Director of the African American Cultural & Resource Center received the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Beta Zeta Zeta Chapter 2020 Community Woman of the Year Award. She also received the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Lambda Sigma 2020 Unsung Heroine Award.


Dr. Juan Guardia had two book chapters published:

  • La perspectiva de un practicante (A practitioner’s perspective): Latinx/a/o based sororities and fraternities. In C. E. Garcia & A. Duran (Eds.) Moving culturally-based sororities and fraternities forward.
  • Miranda, M. L., Garcia, K. D., & Guardia, J. R. (2020). NALFO: A retrospective y hacia adelante. In P. A. Sasso, J. P. Biddix, & M. L. Miranda (Eds.), Foundations, research, and assessment of fraternities and sororities: Retrospective and future considerations (pp. 39-46).

Lauren White, Program Coordinator in the Center for Community Engagement, self-published a book of poetry titled Cries from the Dark Side of the Moon.

Staff Senate

The Division of Student Affairs is well-represented in the University of Cincinnati Staff Senate. Renee Hargrove currently serves as Treasurer and Heidi Pettyjohn serves as Chair-Elect. Staff Senators from Student Affairs include:

  • Brittany Bibb
  • Daniel Cummins
  • Stephanie Davis
  • Dr. Brandi Elliott
  • Terence Harrison
  • Aniesha Mitchell
  • Michael Southern

Departmental Updates

Accessibility Resources serves students with disabilities by fostering an environment that places independence, inclusion, and success at its core.

Accessibility Resources had a large pivot once the institution moved to remote and virtual learning. A previous transition to an online intake form helped bolster the ability to manage operations remotely. The Communication Access Team (CAT) quickly became experts on the accessibility features of various enterprise video conferencing platforms in order to provide detailed instructions to end users about specific features. The team quickly helped lead the institutional transition towards the inclusion of accessible practices in virtual interactions.

The African American Cultural & Resource Center's signature programs and services create well-rounded individuals who are culturally aware and ready to become leaders in the community and beyond.

The highlight of my day so far has been entering the AACRC after what feels like an eon. Ever since the first time I stepped into the AACRC for a Graduate Student Governance Meeting, I've always felt welcome here. It is hands-down my favorite spot on campus.

Graduate Student

In Fall 2019, the AACRC, in collaboration with Ethnic Programs & Services, launched the Dr. P. Eric Abercrumbie Living Learning Community (ALLC) in Siddall Hall. As a result of participating in the ALLC, students reported an increase in knowledge related to culture and developed a stronger sense of community at the institution. In addition, 100% of ALLC students reported that participation in the learning community had a positive impact on their transition to college.

So grateful! The Sankofa Leadership Institute was by far one of the most meaningful experiences for me during college. It helped me shape my activism and think strategically. It helped me feel the euphoria of understanding liberation and seeking it for myself and others. Thank you for the framework, tools, wisdom, and encouragement I needed to be unapologetically Black and proud!

Leadership Institute Graduate

The Bearcat Bands provide educational opportunities, artistic expression, and leadership development programs to students through music.

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The Bearcat Bands had another strong year of performances highlighted by the Marching Band's appearance at the AAC Championship football championship game in Memphis and the Birmingham Bowl in Alabama. In addition, the Advanced Concert Band created a new performance of music by African American composers in collaboration with the African American Cultural and Resource Center Choir.  

Bearcat Bands is 332 members strong.

The Center for Community Engagement inspires students to make a positive impact on their communities through voluntary service based on mutually-beneficial and reciprocal partnerships.

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The Center for Community Engagement has strong collaborations with academic colleges across the institution. This year, CCE placed over 200 College of Allied Health students and 40 College of Medicine students in meaningful service learning experiences for capstone requirements.

Students contributed 79,923 hours of service to our local community.

Over 350 tutors in Bearcat Buddies worked with local schools, non-profit partners, and their peers to provide 7,596 hours of tutoring to children in Title 1 schools.

The Cincinnati Pride Grant team supports students from Cincinnati Public Schools through academic advising and holistic student development.

The CPG team created a resume critique session in partnership with global employers Procter & Gamble, Morgan Stanley, and Eli Lilly & Company. This helped students who were preparing for the Fall Career Fair.

85% of CPG recipients maintained academic eligibility requirements for the program during the 2019–2020 academic year

To be a part of the Cincinnati Pride Grant is such an honor. I have a support system, which is so important, considering that I am the first person in my family to go to college. It means the world to me to know that I can reach out to my advisors and get honest feedback and advice.


The Commencement Office recognizes graduating students’ achievements by celebrating those successes at the University of Cincinnati Commencement ceremony.

During the annual New Student Convocation ceremony, three student speakers were selected to talk about their Bearcat experience to over 7,000 first-year students. The students were Kayla French, Gerald Crosby, and Destiny Bomar, who talked about topics from building community, getting involved, and living your destiny.

A student and faculty member embrace

As a result of Covid-19, Spring 2020 commencement was held virtually. Thousands of students and families from all over the world joined to celebrate over 6,000 graduatesYou can still view the ceremonies on the Commencement website.

The Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremonies highlighted a wide range of students:

  • 15% first-generation college students
  • 3% veteran status
  • 47 states and 63 countries represented
  • 47% of degrees were awarded in STEM fields
  • The youngest graduate was 18 years old and the oldest graduate was 68 years old
  • 12% of graduates were distance learning students

Counseling & Psychological Services promotes students’ growth psychologically, relationally, and intellectually, as well as supports their wellness and academic success within an inclusive environment.

CAPS focused on increased access in the 2019-2020 academic year. The department shifted to a Single Session Access Model that resulted in reduced wait times for new student appointments and expanded same day support for non-crisis, time-sensitive student concerns.

As of March16, 2020, CAPS shifted all clinical services to a virtual format. This ensured that 407 unique students, as well as any future students, could continue to receive services despite interruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

44% increase in utilization of "Let's Talk", as the program expanded to new locations including the AACRC, DAAP, and International Student Services.

The Dean of Students Office serves students and their families as they navigate the collegiate experience through support services and resources committed to student advocacy, safety, and well-being.

I lost my job because of COVID-19 and the Bearcats Pantry has kept food on the table.


The Dean of Students Office became an even more critical student support as a result of the pandemic.

  • Over 1,200 students accessed the Bearcats Pantry, a 55% increase from the prior academic year.
  • The University of Cincinnati established additional opportunities for emergency funds, thanks to the generosity of donors. As a result, the Bearcat Emergency Fund disbursed $30,000 and the Student Emergency Fund distributed $163,000 to students in need. Another $30,000 in Kroger gift cards were given to students facing food insecurity.
The funds I've received from the Student Emergency Fund come as a great relief to my household. Thank you.

Student Emergency Fund Recipient

Ethnic Programs & Services provides a culturally-inclusive environment by enhancing the growth and development of underrepresented students through intentional programming, academic and community engagement, and access to resources.

EPS wanted to get students more involved in the program planning this academic year, and as a result, created two new Cultural Councils, comprised of Asian and Latinx students. Selected through an application process, these students enhanced cultural offerings and provided a student voice in educational and programmatic outcomes.

A new partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and EPS allowed for the transition of the PR1ZE mentorship program. 55 students and 44 faculty/staff mentors participated in this year's cohort.

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life engages students and chapters through intellectual development, philanthropy and service, social responsibility and citizenship, leadership development, and values integration and personal growth.

Fraternity & Sorority Life established the Greek Engagement Board, a student-led programming board for the community. The board oversees a variety of important community programs including Greek Weekend, Greek Serve, and Future Greek Leaders.

Access to the administration, including the FSL office, creates a stronger sense of accountability and community, and it allows us the opportunity to experience--in an educational setting--cultures different than our own. This is a result of all four councils working collaboratively through retreats, trainings, workshops, and conferences.

Fraternity Member

The Gen-1 Living-Learning Community supports Pell-eligible, first-generation college students through high-intensity advising, academic courses, and co-curricular experiences to ensure their academic success.

The 1MPACT House provides a variety of different workshops and educational experiences for first generation college students to help them achieve academic and personal success. This year, 1MPACT House students participated in a series of study abroad workshops, financial literacy sessions, and cooking experiences.

The LGBTQ Center enhances the campus community for LGBTQ students and their allies through intentional advocacy, providing a safe space, intersectional programming, and access to culturally-relevant resources.

Students pose in rainbow stoles at Lavender Graduation

The LGBTQ Center facilitated 41 educational workshops and trainings, resulting in 850 participants trained in inclusive practices to better support LGBTQ+ students. In comparison to the previous academic year, there was an 84% increase in educational workshops and trainings offered, and a 35% increase in the number of participants trained.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program prepares global scholars for graduate education.

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The McNair Scholars Program boasts strong partnerships with the academic community, including Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the College of Education, Criminal Justice, Human Services, and Information Technology, and the College of Medicine. The partnerships create research opportunities for McNair scholars.

9 students traveled to Miami, Florida to present their research at the Florida International McNair Research Conference.

100% of McNair students conducted research or scholarly activities during the year, with 8 scholars continuing research during the 8-week summer internship.

The Office of the University Ombuds provides neutral, informal, and confidential (except in cases of Title IX) conflict resolution for the UC community, and a space to talk about campus concerns, disputes, or problems to generate realistic options.

This year, the Ombuds had the opportunity to have an external review completed by a master's student and law student at the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinic. The outcome of the report provided results of a survey, focus groups, and interviews conducted about the effectiveness, perceptions, and future recommendations for the office.  The recommendations will begin to be implemented during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Parent and Family Programs provides families with information about student services and resources, campus engagement opportunities, and a dedicated place to receive support in helping their students successfully navigate the UC experience.

There was a 35% increase in Family Weekend 2019 attendance, with over 1,600 participants.

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This year, Parent & Family Programs launched the UC Family Portal. The portal launched with 14,606 members, and by the end of the 2020 academic year, the platform grew to over 24,000 users.

The UC Family Portal allows for focused efforts within particular communities of individuals. The team has worked hard to engage families and has seen a large response from international families, first-gen families, Spanish-speaking families, families of LGBTQ identified students, and Black/African American identified families.

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Parent and Family Programs played a large role in the initial Coronavirus pandemic response. From mid-March to the end of the academic year, PFP saw a 1,348% increase in call and email volume from the same time during the prior year.

The team served on the Public Health Response Team, called families to help support the rapid move-out of students, worked with the Student Wellness Center to develop a webinar for families, and sent a variety of different messages to help families support their students during this challenging time.

Resident Education & Development creates a residential program for our students that is focused on learning, leadership, inclusion, and community.

March 2020 proved to be a challenging time for Resident Education & Development (RED), as the department was on the front lines of responding to the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the highly-trained team of professionals, RED quickly developed closing procedures to send students home in the middle of the semester. Staff from across the institution made over 5,000 phone calls in an effort to help students and families understand how to safely return home.

Additionally, RED developed a waiver process for students who were unable to return home and needed to stay on-campus. Over 300 students qualified for the waiver.

I would have to say that being a part of the Engineering Living Learning Community (ELLC) not only helped me find a majority of my friends, but it allowed me to become a better student. Living with your classmates and having an RA that has been in your shoes was very reassuring to me as a nervous freshman.

ELLC Resident

Student Activities & Leadership Development supports a vibrant Bearcat community through advocacy, engagement, education, and inclusion.

Student Activities & Leadership Development (SALD) built an inclusive community through six new programs and experiences, including the  Changing Times newsletter, the Racial Awareness Program (RAPP) initiative for community engagement, a relaunch of RAPPORT, the Asian Leadership Conference, Social Justice Fair, and the recently-opened Social Justice Lounge for students.

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89% of Leadership Week participants said they better understand how their leadership identity shapes their ability to lead after attending programming.

$3,020 was awarded to 10 student organizations for equity, inclusion, and social justice programming.

2,922 students completed the LEAD modules.

I loved that RAPP (the Racial Awareness Program) created such a strong community. I felt like it was a safe and supportive environment to learn and grow through having some difficult conversations.

RAPP Participant

Student Conduct & Community Standards promotes a safe and scholarly community by protecting student rights, providing students and organizations opportunities for growth and reflection when they act in a manner inconsistent with community standards, and fostering a happy and healthy community through education on the Student Code of Conduct and the Bearcat Bond.

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Given the racial climate across the country, Student Conduct and Community Standards received reports concerning students and their online behavior. SCCS developed an educational response process that includes notifying a student of their online behavior and sharing the Bearcat Bond with them, reflecting our values as a community. This approach allows us to honor the first amendment rights of students while also discussing the impact of their behavior.

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During this academic year, SCCS challenged staff and members of the Administrative Review Committee to identify creative sanctions to consider in lieu of separations from the institution,   when possible. As a result, there was a 50% reduction in the number of students who were suspended for 2019-2020 compared to the prior year. The reduction occurred even with an increase in overall conduct reports.

140+ students trained on how to make decisions that align with their values.

350+ students wrote essays to reflect on and identify ways to improve their behavior.

350+ students educated on substance use and abuse.

The Student Wellness Center empowers students to make informed decisions regarding their health and wellness by providing evidence-based education, inclusive resources, and non-judgmental support.

For a normal week working as a peer educator, I can easily educate, help, and mentor 50 students. Although my college experience has been impactful, I would not have made as much of a difference on campus without the Student Wellness Center.

Peer Educator

The Student Wellness Center (SWC) received 4 grants this year:

  • $10,000 from MillerCoors to provide late night programming.
  • $7,500 from the Ohio Transportation Safety Office to provide impaired driving education.
  • $2,000 from Hamilton County and PreventionFIRST! to provide high-risk alcohol use prevention to underage students.
  • Approximately $2,500 from PreventionFIRST! for prescription drug abuse education.
Being a peer educator has allowed me to grow in ways I could have never imagined. It gave me the tools to communicate my ideas effectively, the skills I needed to have difficult conversations, and the outlet to reach thousands of students.

Peer Educator

Testing Services provides the UC and greater Cincinnati community access to convenient, secure, and professional testing services, contributing to the pursuit of educational and professional goals.

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Testing Services created a variety of new partnerships this year, particularly with Princeton Review and Kaplan to offer low cost test preparation courses for the MCAT, LSAT, and GRE.

In partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, Testing Services created an ACT Prep Course for high school students. While the course was canceled due to the Coronavirus, there are plans to host the program in the future.

Veterans Programs & Services provides educational benefit certifications and outreach programs designed to provide student support services for military veterans, service members, dependents, and survivors.

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The average GPA for a graduating student veteran was 3.24 and the retention rate for first time, first year veterans was 84%.

Veterans Programs & Services (VPS) collaborated  with the Office of the President, the Registrar, and UC Blue Ash to assist 94-year old Paul Blom in receiving his associate's degree. After attending classes some 60 years prior, Mr. Blom was unable to finish his bachelor's degree, but after some digging, it was determined he received enough credits to earn his associate's degree.

The Women’s Center is committed to the personal, political, professional, and intellectual growth of women-identified and gender-minority students by facilitating action, promoting intersectional justice, and fostering connections for all.

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A student caregivers group was formed through a collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Affairs at UC Blue Ash.

The Women's Center hosted the 3rd Annual Black Feminist Symposium, an educational and developmental conference dedicated to guiding personal value recognition and goal-setting while discussing social, health, and economic issues related to intersectional feminist ideals.

Hannah Markel was the 2020 C-Ring Women's Leadership Award recipient. A cross country and track & field captain, Hannah founded Inspire, Equip, Connect to empower women to use their voice.

The Assessment Council meets bi-weekly and provides a forum for council members and divisional staff to discuss assessment projects, assessment needs, capacity-building, and data-driven decision-making. The council identifies common needs in the division and offers professional development for staff; serves as an advisory board for offices around specific assessment projects; and serves as an advisory board to divisional leadership around issues of assessment and program evaluation.

2019-2020 Highlights

  • Created a Baseline Assessment Tools training series, including Introduction to Baseline and Analyzing & Reporting Data workshops
  • Hosted a variety of student focus groups in response to the Coronavirus pandemic in an effort to determine ways to enhance the student experience during remote and virtual learning
  • Partnered with Cincinnati Online to develop and conduct a survey of Cincinnati Online students in an effort to learn how the Division of Student Affairs can support students who earn their degree 100% online

The Communications Council meets monthly to ensure regular and timely communication within the Division of Student Affairs and with external stakeholders through relevant channels, including print, web, social media, and emerging platforms aligned with division priorities. The council acts as an advisory board to SA offices and divisional leadership around communication needs.

2019-2020 Highlights

  • Reviewed the Marketing & Communication Plan, and developed the next iteration, which will launch in 2021
  • Developed a communications award to recognize staff who go above and beyond in their efforts to reach students and/or grow their communications skills
  • Worked with units to provide accessible directions to their offices on their websites

The Equity and Inclusion Council works to create a thriving community where all students and staff are provided with programs and services that reflect and encourage the greatest degree of learning opportunities and life-enriching experiences free of any limitations based on difference.

2019-2020 Highlights

  • Developed the Changing Times newsletter, which highlights programs, services, and best practices related to equity and inclusion
  • Conducted a climate survey for divisional staff around equity and inclusion; results will be used to create goals for the council moving forward

The Professional Development Council meets monthly to enhance divisional relationships, promote intellectual dialogue, stimulate professional growth, and create cross-departmental and institutional collaboration.

2019-2020 Highlights

  • Hosted a two-day Conflict Management Institute facilitated by two divisional staff members, which helped participants understand their personal conflict management style and provided tools for continued learning
  • Hosted 'Say What? Inclusive, Effective, and Intentional Communication', which focused on communication from a disability-inclusive lens
  • Collaborated with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Emerging Leaders in Student Affairs, the Student Wellness Center, the Office of the University Ombuds and others to host 22 programs and webinars throughout the year