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'The road to becoming the person I am today'
Xiyanna Kellogg, CCM, A&S ’22, was nervous when she arrived at UC as a first-year student — and no wonder. For 17 years she had lived as an only child with a loving grandmother who cooked for her, protected her and chauffeured her around. She had never traveled beyond Cincinnati, her hometown.
But what Xiyanna (pronounced Zee-AH-nah) lacked in independence she more than made up for in motivation, and like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, she took flight. With the support of multiple scholarships and awards, and with the guidance of faculty and support services staff, Xiyanna laid the foundation for a career in media and film while exploring new parts of the world.
"I’ve done so much," Xiyanna says. "I’ve really been self-motivated and taken advantage of all the opportunities that UC has to offer. I don’t know where I’d be without UC — especially the people. The faculty really drives me and supports me and helps me do anything and everything. They have pushed me to be the person I am today.
I don’t know where I’d be without UC — especially the people...They have pushed me to be the person I am today.
Our scholarships change lives
Xiyanna took part in UC’s Transitions Program within the African American Cultural and Resource Center, which provides mentoring and other services for incoming Black students. She also has been heavily involved with Gen-1, a learning community and scholarship program for students who are the first in their family to attend college. As a first-year student she parlayed her Gen-1 involvement into a study-abroad scholarship that enabled her to experience life in Germany. Another study-abroad opportunity was nixed by COVID-19, but this coming year she will travel to Tanzania as a follow-up to her research and video project on Tanzanian students who are now enrolled at UC.
“I wish to thank UC not just for the support, but for the love and beyond that has been given to me,” says Xiyanna, who will graduate with a double major in Media Production (CCM) and Film and Media Studies (Arts and Sciences) and a minor in Communication.
Her advisors and professors, she says, helped her in ways that weren’t required. “You can do the minimum in life,” she says. “You don’t have to take an hour out of your day to support a student like me. I don’t know who that girl was when I came to college, because I’m not that girl now. But people saw that I was self-motivated, and they reached out to me. That above and beyond is amazing, and that’s what I am thankful for.”
Outside of the academic arena, Xiyanna has served as a production assistant intern at CET, Cincinnati’s PBS station, and she is currently a junior account coordinator intern at a local marketing firm. Those experiences have helped groom her for a career as a television producer. Following graduation, she plans on seeking a master’s degree in Film & Television.
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