I too want to welcome our distinguished and dedicated alumnus, Otto Budig, to the table. We are fortunate to benefit from his time and talent.
And also want to acknowledge the passing of a long-time assistant in the President’s Office and one of our most loyal and upbeat Bearcats, Marti Neiheisel. Marti, who had retired last October, died in the hospital on Saturday and our UC family is deeply saddened by her loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
I thought I would start off this morning by sharing a short video that our UC Foundation has written and produced. This video will be put to multiple purposes and is already being requested from all corners of the campus from donor events to new employee orientation.
I want to thank the Foundation, especially Mark Jorgensen, for putting this video together. We used the video already on our loop through Southern Florida and it has been well received.
In the state’s new multi-million Choose Ohio First program, only seven out of 28 submitted proposals have been selected to receive funding. And UC was chosen to receive full funding for one of those and is a partner with Ohio University and Central State on two others. Our $3 million fully funded program will team with more than 500 Ohio businesses to attract and graduate 215 new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine) students over a 4-year period. This program “Coming out of the Pipeline: The UC Interdisciplinary Pathway to STEM Professionals,” builds on the state’s strongest cooperative education program by providing a true interdisciplinary course of study and coupling it with simulations of professional experience in locally-based high tech industry. Professor Chip Montrose in molecular and cellular physiology headed the effort to put this concept together.
The UC community had the opportunity to participate directly in democracy when the campaign of Senator Barack Obama visited campus on Feb. 25. (Hillary Clinton appeared at Cincinnati State and John McCain brought his campaign to downtown Cincinnati). Nearly 12,000 people attended the Obama event at Fifth Third arena. Congratulations and thanks to many UC employees who rose to the occasion and made all of this happen on very short notice.
A snow-shortened Showcase 2008 took place on March 6 and 7 and provided a wonderful opportunity for UC to highlight the tremendous research and innovation work that is being conducted at our top public research institution. I want to recognize Sandra Degen, Dorothy Air and the many other staff and volunteers for their efforts in supporting the event and thank the
On the Athletics front, since March 2006, our UCATS membership levels have grown by 32%. That puts it at an all-time high number of members, totaling 2,629 as of February 5.
UC researchers are partnering with Cincinnati-based Ethicon Endo-Surgery to gain a better understanding of the basic biology behind obesity. A three-year, multi-million dollar commitment from the medical device company will support UC researchers and Ethicon Endo-Surgery engineers as they work to find new solutions for treating obesity and related conditions, including diabetes.
And quickly, I want to mention three national awards won by UC teams: our College of Applied Science culinology students won the silver medal at the Research Chefs Association annual competition in Seattle. The team was coached by Chef Grace Yek. Our College of Business MBA team took first place in the Case of the Year Competitions sponsored by the Small Business Institute. Their case focused on a project for public broadcasting station WCET and its CET Connect Web portal. And by the way, the team’s coach, Chuck Matthews, executive director of the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Research, has just won a national teaching award from the Acton Foundation. The award was presented in February.