UC will gather to honor alumni at 'Night with A&S'

College alumni are invited to join the celebration to honor philanthropists and accomplished grads

Four outstanding alumni and donors to the University of Cincinnati will be celebrated on in March during UC’s annual Night with A&S event.

The ceremony on March 6 also recognizes all the donors who have contributed to the forward momentum and impact of UC’s College of Arts and Sciences and will be hosted by Dean James Mack.

From scholars to entrepreneurs, this year’s award winners include A&S grads who have taken advantage of the educational foundation they earned, the professional paths they have carved and the gifts they have returned to A&S.

All A&S alumni are invited to join the celebration, and can register here for the evening’s events.

Patrick S. Portway, Political Science, ‘63

Distinguished Alumni Award

Headshot of Patrick Portway

Patrick Portway. Photo/Provided

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an established alumnus who is outstanding in their chosen field and whose significant contributions have benefited the community, state, nation, college or university. 

The 2024 UC College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award goes to Patrick S. Portway, a 1963 graduate of the Political Science program. 

As the son of a widowed mother, Portway assumed the financial burden of his UC education, working as a dry cleaner delivery driver and earning money to cover the cost of school, which he initially attended in the evenings. He switched to full-time student status after his first year, recognizing it would cost more but ultimately allowing him to earn his degree much sooner.

Starting as a physics major, Portway took rigorous classes in math, science and technology while balancing a part-time job and his duties as a member of the UC Army Reserve Officer Training Corps. Midway through his college career, he changed majors to political science with a concentration in Russian studies, taking classes in Russian language, government and history.

Upon graduation, Portway landed a job with the General Services Administration in Washington, D.C. After basic officer infantry training, he worked in Army Intelligence and served in the 116th Counterintelligence Corps Group as a management intern specializing in automated data and telecommunications administration. He was a member of the security detail for President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration. 

Leaving his work in government to join the private sector, Portway worked for many leading companies, including Xerox as manager of strategic marketing; Boeing as a a congressional liaison; and Satellite Business Systems, a company founded in partnership by IBM, Aetna, and COMSAT. Working for American Satellite, he sold and oversaw the implementation of satellite networks to such companies as Crocker National Bank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

An innovator who realized the potential for videoconferencing well before Zoom, Portway published the book “Teleconferencing & Distance Learning” in 1992. In 1980, he had formed his own company, Applied Business TeleCommunications, and also ran TeleCon, the largest conference on teleconferencing and distance learning, until 1998, when he sold his company.

Portway holds a master’s of arts from the University of Maryland in Public Administration. He has been honored by many civic and industry organizations, including: the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award; Inductee, Worldwide Lifetime Achievement; Who's Who in America; Award for Higher Education, Rotary Intl.; Distinguished Service Award, JCI, Inc.; Who's Who in Finance & Business; Who's Who in America; the Rotary International Award for Higher Education; U.S. Jaycees Foundation, Outstanding Young Man of America; and the Global Distance Learning Assoc. He has served as an advisory board member for the National University Technology Network and founded the U.S. Distance Learning Association.

Portway’s philanthropy to UC and the College of Arts and Sciences supports the School of Public and International Affairs in establishing the Center for Cyberstrategy and Policy. Students who participate in the center’s work will be able to travel to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Estonia, a country with ties to the Portway family as Malle Portway's family fled Estonia during World War II.

Joan S. Reisch, Chemistry, ‘60

Philanthropist of the Year

Headshot of Joan Reisch

Joan Reisch. Photo/Provided

The Philanthropist of the Year Award is given to an alumnus who has been highly engaged in philanthropic activities at the College of Arts and Sciences or has made a significant impact in the college.

The 2024 Philanthropist of the Year Award goes to Joan Reisch, a 1960 graduate of the chemistry program. 

As a young and eager statistician, Reisch joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where she has served numerous roles as both faculty and staff over a 58-year career. She began as a research technician in internal medicine, which positioned her to earn her master’s in mathematical and experimental statistics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She joined the Southwestern Medical Center faculty to teach statistics and computer science, eventually gaining tenure. 

Reisch has participated in grants that have awarded the university more than $5 million in research funding; peer reviewed and contributed to more than 180 articles, chapters and editorials; served on dissertation committees for 38 years; served on the external advisory committee for the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University; and has been involved with the American Statistical Association, including as president of the North Texas Chapter and a Representative to the American Statistical Association Council. 

Reisch has also been active in the Biometric Society, Sigma Xi, Society of Clinical Trials, and the Texas Academy of Science where she has been an elected fellow. Among a long list of awards and accolades are an honorarium for the Personalities of the South, and an award as Outstanding Young Woman of America for her distinguished service and dedication to the community and state. 

Philanthropy runs deep with Reisch. She was a representative for UT Southwestern in the State Employees Charitable Campaign in the Dallas chapter from 1996 to 2013, raising money to support health and human service nonprofits in Texas. 

Reisch has supported UC and the College of Arts and Sciences for more than four decades, including establishing a scholarship for STEM students. She was recently inducted into the Herman Schneider Legacy Society through the inclusion of UC in her estate plans. 

Sujata Malhotra, Biochemistry, ‘98

Special Achievement Award

Headshot of Sujata Malhotra

Sujata Malhotra. Photo/Provided

The Special Achievement Award is given to an alumnus for notable achievement in their field, continued service, and involvement with the university and community.

The 2024 Special Achievement Award goes to Sujata Malhotra, a Darwin Turner Scholar and STEM program graduate who earned a bachelor’s in biochemistry in 1998. 

As an undergraduate, Malhotra had dreamed of attending medical school, but upon graduation she decided to go into the food and beverage industry, beginning her career at Cargill, Inc. She held various positions — quality assurance chemist, technical services manager, sales manager — while earning a master’s in Business Administration from Capital University, focusing on international marketing. 

After gaining experience in commodities and ingredient procurement at Treehouse Food Inc. in Chicago, she propelled herself into a lucrative sales career at Ingredion, Inc., then to Sethness Roquette where she moved up the ranks to eventually become President of the Americas for the global market leader in caramel color. Malhotra implements the company strategy to drive optimum profitability, product mix and customer satisfaction; leads negotiations and collaborations to secure major contracts and partnerships to drive revenue growth and market penetration; cultivates a high-performance culture by inspiring and leading cross-functional teams toward shared business objectives while prioritizing employee safety; and acts as a visionary leader to modernize processes to increase efficiency. 

During this time, Malhotra became the secretary on the board of directors with Candy Production Club of Chicago, a professional organization of candy makers; most recently she was the organization’s president. In addition, she is a Dean’s Advisory Board member for the UC College of Arts and Sciences. As a strong believer in higher education, she started the Sujata Malhotra Scholarship Fund for students majoring in chemistry or biochemistry. 

Nick Reasoner, Communication and Public Relations, ‘11

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Headshot of Nick Reasoner

Nick Reasoner. Photo/Provided

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is given to an alumnus under the age of 40 for significant achievements within their chosen field of endeavor, and who is actively involved with UC.

The 2024 Outstanding Young Alumni Award goes to Nick Reasoner. Nick majored in communications and public relations, graduating from UC’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2011. 

During Reasoner’s time at UC, he was involved with the community and several student organizations, including Adopt-A-Class, the Boys and Girls Club of Cincinnati, and Fairview Middle School where he was a tutor. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the Phi Rho Chi Honorary Fraternity.

One of his most impactful student experiences was his internship at TQL, which led to a full-time position upon graduation. 

After a seven-year career with TQL, Reasoner joined FourKites to learn about Enterprise Transportation Software within the logistics space. That opened his eyes to the lack of visibility within the transportation sector and the overall access to transparent yet ethical freight brokers.  

Reasoner has since become founder and CEO of TransLoop, a third-party logistics company headquartered in Chicago. TransLoop connects shippers to qualified carriers, combining cutting-edge technology and proprietary carrier solutions with white-glove service to move business freight from point A to point B.

Over the last four years, TransLoop has received more than 20 awards as a logistics industry leader, including taking the No. 12 spot on Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America; Reasoner was named to Business Elite’s 40 Under 40. The company now exceeds yearly sales of $100 million and has taken on zero outside capital with no outside investors. 

Featured image at top: An A&S Gala experience. Photo/Provided

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