Scholarship success: Two UC grads shine at spring commencement

CECH grads earn degrees and praise for their journeys supported by scholarships

In a testament to the transformative power of education and financial support, Precious Randall and Corin Manning, recent graduates of the University of Cincinnati, have emerged as shining examples of success.

Armed with scholarships that paved their paths through college, they received bachelor’s degrees from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services during the spring commencement ceremonies, marking the culmination of years of dedication and hard work.

But what sets Randall and Manning apart is not just their academic prowess; it's the remarkable journey they undertook to reach this milestone, a journey made possible by scholarships that paved their paths to success.

Teaching trajectory

Spring Commencement, April 26, 2024.
Fifth Third Arena

Precious Randall proudly displays her customized mortar board at her UC commencement ceremony. Photo Chris Radcliffe for UC Foundation

Before earning her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, graduating summa cum laude, Randall received the Charles A. Sallie and Charlene A. Tucker Scholarship, helping to hone her skills toward a career as a PreK-5th grade elementary school teacher. “UC’s investment in my education through the scholarship helped me achieve my dream of becoming a teacher,” says Randall.

As a student of UC’s Elementary Education program, Randall successfully achieved  leadership roles in a variety of organizations on and off campus, such as serving as president of the Omicron chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Randall’s leadership skills began as a bioscience student in Columbus before transferring to UC, eventually guiding her toward a future as an elementary school educator. "UC's investment in my education helped me gain the confidence to switch majors and pursue studies in teaching young students," Randall remarked.

Because her teaching classes were small, intimate and cohort based, as opposed to 500 students in her bioscience classes, Randall collaborated much more easily with her student cohorts, eventually calling themselves “teacher besties.”

UC grad Precious Randall stands in front of a wall portraying the Greek crest of the Omicron chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Precious Randall while president of the Omicron chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. photo/provided

As part of her student-teaching practicums, Randall worked in UC’s Arlitt Child Development Center, Princeton City Schools and Fairfield South Elementary. “Because I enjoyed my practicum and internships while attending UC, it has inspired me to come back and teach in one of the districts where I had my teaching experience,” she adds.

Already confident in her leadership roles, Randall affirms that the Charles A. Sallie and Charlene A. Tucker Scholarship helped inspire her to, “Always give back." 

Through UC’s Lead Beyond Incorporated and the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute, Randall was accepted into the Women in Leadership Development Program. This semester-long engagement led to spearheading her capstone initiative — an innovative, user-friendly app designed to streamline UC’s complex CampusLINK navigation process.

Beyond the classroom, Randall seized other opportunities to lead and inspire. From serving as an undergraduate admissions student ambassador to mentoring first-year students through the Brothers and Sisters Excelling (B.A.S.E.) program, her impact extended far beyond campus boundaries.

“Throughout my lifetime, my family has supported me in every decision I’ve made. Because of my family, teachers and the valuable help from my scholarships, I have achieved so much more,” Randall beams with pride.

Double diplomas

Spring Commencement, April 26, 2024.
Fifth Third Arena

Corin Manning's customized mortar board let's the world know she is 'two degrees hotter.' Photo/Chris Radcliffe for UC Foundation

Meanwhile, Manning's journey was propelled by the prestigious Darwin T. Turner Scholarship.

As an IT student, Manning also applied for the IT Accelerated Program, receiving acceptance into the MBA track in her first year. “But I started the evening classes toward an MBA in my third year, finishing both degrees in five years,” states Manning.

“And because I was already offered the Darwin T. Turner Scholarship, that sealed the deal to attend UC,” affirms Manning. “The scholarship went toward both my undergraduate and master’s tuition, which I couldn’t have achieved without that critical funding.”

Among several campus leadership positions, Manning served as co-president of Women in Technology, president of IT Proud and officer for CECH Student Ambassadors. In addition, Manning was a student success coach for the School of IT and held memberships in the National Society of Leadership and Success and the National Alpha Lambda Delta honor society. 

Manning’s path toward IT started as a high school student. “I got involved in a coding camp in Cleveland for young Black girls called IndeedWeCode. This eventually led to an internship at Rockwell Automation in their Engineering Pathways Program, which seeks out high schoolers and college students heading toward a STEM path,” says Manning. “Being self-motivated as an only child, I was determined to get involved in STEM activities, and owe much of my educational success to my mom who was always supportive through the whole process.”

Manning remained at Rockwell, a global leader in industrial automation, throughout her college co-ops. There, she worked on various software products.

After accepting a full-time position at Rockwell starting in May, Manning had a job in hand even before she graduated. “In my new career with Rockwell, I’ll continue working on industry-leading commercial software.”

UC student Corin Manning dressed in a black dress stands on a stairway holding her plexiglass Student Trailblazer Award.

Corin Manning was honored with the 2024 Student Trailblazer Award at the Onyx & Ruby Gala. Photo/Corin Manning

From her early immersion in high school coding camps to her leadership roles in UC campus organizations, Manning's path was guided by a passion for technology and a drive for success. Her accolades, including the 2024 Student Trailblazer award at the 10th Annual Onyx & Ruby Gala and the Outstanding BS-IT Student Award, underscore her dedication to academic excellence and community engagement.

For Randall, the Charles A. Sallie and Charlene A. Tucker scholarship helped propel and insire her to pursue her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. Manning, fueled by her Darwin T. Turner Scholarship, embarked on a journey that led her to excel in both IT and business realms, culminating in a remarkable achievement of two degrees in five years.

As they begin the next chapter of their lives — armed with degrees in one hand and careers in the other — their success serves as a testament to the enduring impact of education and scholarship opportunities that have helped them realize their dreams.

Featured image at top: New UC grads from left, Precious Randall and Corin Manning stand outside UC's Fifth Third Arena. Photo/ Chris Radcliffe for UC Foundation

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