Campus Recreation staff and UC Police officer recognized for saving instructor’s life

stands behind a podium and speaks at a recent recognition event.

Joseph Harrell, associate vice president of Campus Services, speaks at a recent recognition event for Campus Recreation staff and a UC Police officer who saved the life of an instructor in November.

What’s it like to meet people you can’t remember who saved your life?

“I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what it was going to be like,” said Mike Murphy. “What do you say to people that saved your life? Thanks? That’s all I can say and that doesn’t cover it.”

Murphy was teaching kendo on Nov. 28, 2022, at the University of Cincinnati Campus Recreation Center (CRC) when he collapsed. The student staff at the CRC sprung into action. Grant Daniels, a UC student and building supervisor at the CRC, began compressions.

“I had this moment of fear but then realized that for the time being, I was all this member had, and that is when all of my medical emergency training from Campus Recreation came pouring in,” Daniels said. “I am thankful they keep us as prepared as we are…I am also thankful to all of my coworkers who, just like me, were prepared and I didn’t have to worry about directing people. Everyone just simply knew what to do and how serious the situation was and I think that is what helped us all act so quickly and save Mr. Murphy’s life.”

A former UC student and current contractor, senior Intramural Sports Supervisor Blair Jupin and Intramural Supervisor and UC student Braeden Shelek also provided Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and set up the automated external defibrillator (AED) to provide shocks when needed. Jupin described those moments as scary, but added that knowing the training that the Campus Recreation staff receive gave him reassurance as they worked on Murphy.

Eliot Isaac stands behind a podium and speaks at a recent recognition event.

Eliot Isaac, director of Public Safety and chief of police, speaks at a recent recognition event for Campus Recreation staff and a UC Police officer who saved the life of an instructor in November.

“Knowing that he left and was alert when he left I think was probably the biggest relief,” Jupin said. He added, “That night we saved a life.”

When UC Police Officer George Anokye arrived at the CRC, he found the staff doing compressions on Murphy. After coordinating emergency medical response, Anoyke took over compressions and soon after, Murphy became conscious.

Anokye has nothing but praise for the way the Campus Recreation staff responded to the emergency, and gratitude for the training that UC Police officers receive so that when he arrived at the CRC he was able to act quickly and work seamlessly with the Campus Recreation staff. “It was teamwork,” Anokye said.

He added, “I wanted to be a police officer because I wanted to help. This is the highlight of my career to save someone’s life…it made me feel like I’m doing something good, like I chose the right path.”

Campus Recreation and UC Public Safety met to recognize all the staff involved in this response recently, and Murphy was in attendance.

“Mike Murphy is sitting right here. If it weren’t for the efforts of the students, the EMTs, he wouldn’t be. We have three people in two years this team has saved. Everyone’s familiar with Damar Hamlin…to me this is even more amazing. We are taking student workers that are primarily rec center workers working on the fitness floor and other areas training them in CPR, first aid and how to use an AED,” said Joseph Harrell, associate vice president of Campus Services.

Harrell went on to praise Kim Schmidt, the Director of Campus Recreation, and her leadership. Harrell credits her for ensuring that the Campus Recreation staff are well trained in CPR, despite frequent turnover as a result of having so many student workers.

Eliot Isaac, director of Public Safety and chief of police, described the experience of watching the footage of the emergency from Anokye’s body worn camera afterward. He highlighted the expertise and professionalism of the Campus Recreation staff, Officer Anoyke and the Cincinnati Fire Department.

“It’s something to be proud of and it’s something that we should all celebrate and recognize together. The fact that we have Mr. Murphy here with us. I mean, that is something to celebrate. On behalf of Public Safety, I just wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude and how proud I am of each and every one of you,” Isaac said.

In addition to Jupin, Shelek and Daniels, the Campus Recreation staff who assisted in saving Murphy’s life are Intramural Supervisor Isabelle Wong, Fitness Supervisor Cami Lenhart, Fitness Floor Coordinators Joey Moorehead and Rafe Bourbeau Member Services Lead Ryan Voet, Member Services Staff Emily Schulz and Will Bieber, Aquatics Staff SJ Jacobs and Dermot Fox and Climbing Lead Deyer Graffice.

Featured image at top: From left, UCPD Officer George Anokye, Mike Murphy, and Campus Recreation staff Blair Jupin, Cami Lenhart, Joey Moorehead, Emily Schulz, Braeden Shelek, Grant Daniels pose at a recognition event that Campus Recreation held recently.

Related Stories


Over 100 Mental Health Champions graduated this spring

April 28, 2021

On April 15, 2021, over 100 faculty and staff across the University of Cincinnati graduated to become official Mental Health Champions, a now Healthy UC initiative. These dedicated colleagues successfully completed three trainings focused on creating connections and community, supporting students and co-workers with resources, and investing in their own personal wellness. Trainings were hosted by fellow colleagues who became facilitators in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and the Be Well UC employee wellness program. All Mental Health Champions actively demonstrate their commitment to building the culture of positive well-being at the University.