LeAnne Carter A Leader in the Band

“LeAnne Carter is an outstanding representative of the College of Business,” says Associate Dean Marianne Lewis. No, change that — LeAnne is an outstanding representative of the University of Cincinnati. And she will be marching in UC's first Autumn All-University Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Marketing major LeAnne is outstanding in many ways — academics, leadership and musical ability. In fact, many Saturdays over the past several years would find LeAnne out standing in her field: Nippert Stadium.

LeAnne plays flute for the UC band, and many of its incarnations: the Pep Band, the Marching Band, the Jazz Band, the Concert Band, as well as many ensembles for various gigs about community and campus. She played at Athletic Director Bob Goin’s surprise retirement party, for example.

 

LeAnne’s name was the first name called when the seniors were honored at the UC-West Virginia game.

“I have been so lucky to be part of the band,” says LeAnne. “Through the band, I have participated in student activities, been given many leadership opportunities and experienced a lot of free travel!” LeAnne cites trips to Memphis, Indiana, the New Orleans bowl, Penn State, the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and — oh yeah — another Ohio institution of higher education, THE Ohio State University.

“Playing at OSU was the highlight of my career,” says the West Chester native. “I have always wanted to perform at ‘the other Shoe’ since I was a little kid.” OK, so why isn’t she about to become a proud Buckeye alumna?

Freshman Convocation 2004.

Freshman Convocation 2004.

“OSU’s band is brass only,” she admits.

 

So did LeAnne come to UC for its wind instruments? Not quite.

 

She immediately makes three points in UC’s favor: scholarships, co-op and academics. “Co-op was a great opportunity. I knew it would help me find a good job,” she says. “I feel sorry for my friends who haven’t co-oped. You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. This way when I graduate, I will have had a couple of years of relevant experience already.”

LeAnne worked at two co-op jobs, in Cincinnati, although both were global firms. For FRCH Design Worldwide, she found her job in the small marketing department entailed mostly administrative duties. Her second co-op was for Kao Brands, one unit of a century-old Japanese personal-care consumer products firm that bought Jergens in 1988. For Kao (pronounced “cow”), LeAnne worked under the Bioré brand manager. She found it fun to work on a team that was mostly composed of women, providing her with some good role models.

“I had totally opposite co-ops,” explains LeAnne. “For FRCH, I was marketing a service — something that is not tangible. For Kao, I was working on a tangible product and all the considerations that go into it: packaging, regulations, design and shelf space, for example.” Right now Bioré is working on 2008–09 platforms and press releases.

“It was exciting,” LeAnne says. “I got to sit in on the brand meetings. For example, for the Bioré ‘Shine Control’ commercials, I was in on it from the storyboard concepts right through to the commercials, including music and editing decisions.”

LeAnne was interested in business, but felt comfortable that UC had a lot of other programs to offer. “If business didn’t work out, I knew that UC had a lot of other great colleges.” UC also presented LeAnne with many opportunities to get involved in the life of the university.

She is active in UC’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, the country’s oldest business fraternity and is involved in student government. Besides activities on campus, LeAnne also took advantage of UC activities off campus — way off, like out of the country. Like her classmate John Liersemann, she participated in the international business capstone in Montreal. Half of the students in the course were from the United States; half were from Canada. At some point, each cohort of students travelled to the other country to work with their counterparts. “It was absolutely the best class I took at UC,” says LeAnne.

LeAnne also studied in Nantes, France. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have any French co-op opportunities,” she says. However, to exercise her six-year-old French skills, LeAnne made sure that she obtained a French student buddy. “But we talk mostly in English!” she says, laughing.

LeAnne advises UC students to get involved with other students. She especially cautions future students to live on campus. “Don’t commute — it is too much fun to live on campus. It’s a great way to learn about yourself and how to take care of yourself while in a safe environment.”

She lived in Daniels Hall her freshman year and still counts her first-year roommates as her best friends now. “I can’t imagine not knowing them.” She says that living in a residence hall “throws you into campus life.” That’s not the only thing that propelled her.

“I loved joining the band,” LeAnne says. “It rocketed me into participating. It also provided a comfort zone — I instantly knew 200 people my first day of school.”

LeAnne also teaches flute lessons part time.

LeAnne also teaches flute lessons part time.

LeAnne’s commitment to the band is evident with a glance at her resume. Playing in the band can mean practicing and playing 18 to 20 hours every week (not counting any other ensemble gigs). It doesn’t leave a lot of time available for other activities, but LeAnne managed to squeeze some in. She is the historian for the band council and a squad leader. She has also been a section leader for two years. She is currently working on creating a band council position for campus involvement to bring representatives of other UC activities to the band members to show what other opportunities exist on campus.

Besides bringing opportunities to the band members, the band takes opportunities elsewhere. For example, when they get new uniforms or equipment, they often donate the old ones to local high schools. Some old uniforms were made into pillows and sold as a fund-raiser.

High-school students are often invited onto campus for band clinics. And usually two away games a year are turned into recruiting opportunities. For example, the band visited two high schools for the Penn State game: one in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania.

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“We’re like student ambassadors. We go to all the rallies. Sometimes the UC crowd for away games is about 30 people. And the band. We meet all the other band directors and the athletic directors,” she says proudly. “We’re the face of the university.”

With LeAnne Carter, UC is definitely putting its best face, foot and flute forward!

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