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The University of Cincinnati celebrated another successful and memorable year in 2018, so we’ve gathered a small sample of some of the biggest stories we shared over the last 12 months.
Below are 10 stories from 2018 we won’t soon forget — in no particular order …
A game-changer. A difference-maker. A statement to the world.
Those are just a few of the ways leaders from the Cincinnati region described the impact they expect from the University of Cincinnati’s new 1819 Innovation Hub in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Avondale. UC and Greater Cincinnati leaders and stakeholders gathered at 1819 in October — along with more than 1,000 guests — to celebrate the building’s grand opening.
UC leaders have long envisioned 1819 becoming UC’s front door to the broader community, where industry and community can connect directly with UC faculty and students. With its portfolio of partner organizations that already includes Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Cincinnati Bell, CincyTech, the Live Well Collaborative and Village Life Outreach, that vision has become a reality. The 1819 building is a key example of Next Lives Here, UC's strategic direction, which aims to lead urban, public universities into a new era of innovation and impact.
Born on the west side of Dayton to a mentally ill mother and a mostly absent father, Alberto Jones entered the foster system at age 1. He and his younger brothers bounced between the system and their biological mother until he was in kindergarten.
“She would abuse me,” the UC journalism student says of his birth mom. “Once, she hit me in the head with an iron skillet, and because I passed out, she thought I was intentionally not getting up, so she started hitting me with the buckle part of a belt.”
When his teacher saw the bruises, the school contacted the police, and the boys were placed with their father, but things only got worse for them.
Ella Morton was born without bones in one of her hands. A traditional prosthetic hand would have cost up to $10,000. But thanks to EnableUC, a student organization at the University of Cincinnati, Ella can play just like her sisters, at no cost to her family.
Founded in 2015 by Jacob Knorr, CEAS, '17, EnableUC promotes 3-D printing technology as a way to bridge the gap between engineering and medicine.
PBS NewsHour aired a segment on Sept. 3 about Ella, her family and the effect EnableUC has had on their lives.
"I don’t think they totally get how much of an impact it made on our family and Ella," Ella's mother Heather Morton told PBS. "The first thing that she’s always said when she puts it on, she’s like, 'Look, I have two hands now, mommy, just like my sisters. And I can hold both Barbies. And I can play. And I can do all the same things as my sisters do.' I like to think that we have never made her feel different, but this just makes it feel more normal."
The story was produced by Mary Williams, a Gwen Ifill Legacy fellow from Cincinnati's Hughes STEM High School and now a freshman at UC.
An Ohio man who served 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit was exonerated and released June 21 with help from University of Cincinnati law students and their professors.
The Ohio Innocence Project, part of the UC College of Law's Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice, took up the case of Christopher Miller, 41, who was convicted of the kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and robbery of a woman in Cleveland Heights in 2001.
Students and faculty at UC’s College of Law took up the case in 2015. It marks the 27th defendant freed with help from the UC College of Law’s Ohio Innocence Project.
After languishing 27 years in prison for a murder and attempted murder he didn’t commit, Charles Jackson walked free on November 27, thanks to the help of University of Cincinnati law students, professors and attorneys.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert C. McClelland ordered the 54-year-old Cleveland man’s release following a hearing in which his attorneys argued —and prosecutors agreed — he deserves a new trial.
An Ohio man who served 15 years in prison for a murder committed by his best friend walked free March 28 with help from University of Cincinnati law professors.
The Ohio Innocence Project investigated the 2002 murder that landed Ru-El Sailor in state prison for a term of 25 years to life.
Sailor, 38, was convicted of aggravated murder in the Nov. 17, 2002, shooting death of Cleveland resident Omar Clark. At his 2003 trial, Sailor testified that he spent the entire night of the shooting with his best friend, Cordell Hubbard, who also was convicted of murdering Clark.
Research in recent years suggests that certain foods can give our brain a boost—dark berries, like grapes and blueberries, and cold water fish like salmon, just to name a few. With studies showing cognitive benefit from a diet rich in these foods, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) set out to investigate whether steady long-term supplementation of blueberries and fish oil, either alone or combined, would show improvements in older adults with complaints of mild neurological deficits, like forgetfulness.
The answer they got, surprisingly, was yes and no. Separately, participants in the fish oil study group and in the blueberry consumption group both showed fewer cognitive symptoms with objective memory improvement for those in the blueberry group; however, those in the group taking both blueberry and fish oil supplements showed no objective or subjective cognitive enhancement.
Reuters now counts the University of Cincinnati among the 100 most innovative institutions of higher learning in the world.
UC entered Reuters’ 2018 rankings at No. 80, its first appearance since the news organization began the list in 2015. According to Reuters, "the list identifies and ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries.”
UC is one of 46 American institutions named on the list, and is ranked ahead of the State University of New York System, the University of Virginia, the University of Iowa, the University of Miami and Arizona State University.
A pilot study led by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine suggests Jewish men who practice wearing tefillin, which involves the tight wrapping of an arm with leather banding as part of daily prayer, may receive cardiovascular health benefits.
The researchers propose that benefits may occur though remote ischemic preconditioning that results in protection during heart attacks. The results are available online in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.
Jack Rubinstein, MD, associate professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease, and a UC Health cardiologist, says he enrolled 20 Jewish men living in Greater Cincinnati—nine who wear tefillin daily and 11 non-users of tefillin—in the study. His team of researchers recorded baseline information on all participants during the early morning and then additional data after wearing tefillin for 30 minutes.
The University of Cincinnati reopened Fifth Third Arena in November, following an $87 million renovation. The new season at the re-imagined arena featured a ribbon-cutting, the men's basketball opener against Ohio State University, the first regular season game between the two in 99 years, and a victory at the annual Skyline Chili Crosstown shootout.
When Sinna Habteselassie was elected undergraduate student body president of the University of Cincinnati, she realized she would be expected to speak in public — a lot.
Public speaking was not her strongest asset. For some people, speaking in public is a primal fear. But most people get a little anxious before giving a presentation.
“Anyone who knows me knows I’m terrified of public speaking,” she said. “I’m still working on it. I had to do a five-minute sales pitch last year when I ran for student senate. That was intimidating. But the more you do it, the better you get.”
Habteselassie, a double major in neuroscience and organizational leadership in UC's College of Arts and Sciences, is the first African-American woman to serve as undergraduate student body president in UC’s 199-year history. Habteselassie said it took some convincing from friends and mentors before she decided to run.
At this point, it’s starting to sound like a broken record. Scratch that — a lot of records.
For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Cincinnati welcomed a record number of students back to class.
But this year’s class — nearly 46,000 — won’t just be the university’s biggest. It’s also the brightest. This year’s class of first-years boasts the highest academic profile of any in the university’s 199-year history, with significant increases in average ACT score (26.3), SAT score (1257) and GPA (3.61).
“We’re proud to welcome the newest members of the Bearcat family,” says UC President Neville Pinto. “These students are coming to us better prepared for success, and their decision to join the UC community is a credit to our institution’s focus on Academic Excellence.”
Stories above were written by content creators in UC's Marketing + Communications, including John Bach, Jac Kern, Matt Koesters, Michael Miller, Rachel Richardson, Cedric Ricks and Alison Sampson.