Two sets of identical twins from the same family take UC's campus by storm. In front, fourth-year Bearcats Alfred and Godfred Mantey. In back, first-year Bearcats Kelvin and Alvin Mantey. photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services



A year of firsts


A Ghanaian family's UC story begins a new chapter; UC-China partnership produces 56 grads; College of Medicine awards bachelor's degrees for first time in decades




By Matt Koesters, Michael Miller, and Cedric Ricks

Photos provided and by UC Creative Services

April 25, 2018


Dorothy Mantey has a long day ahead of her Saturday, but she’s accustomed to long days. The matriarch of the Mantey family is mother to two sets of identical twin boys, after all. She’s also been training to become a nurse at the University of Cincinnati, and 12-hour days are the norm in the nursing profession.

On Saturday morning, Dorothy will walk with her graduating class from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing to receive her bachelor’s degree, and then she and her family will stay for the afternoon commencement exercises to witness her son Alfred receive his degree in pre-medicine. “I’m so excited,” she says. “I should be excited. I’m graduating with my son, with a degree at UC. One of the best schools!”

Even though Dorothy and Alfred are finishing up their bachelor’s degrees, neither of them have any intention of leaving the UC community. Dorothy is in the accelerated nursing program, and in a year’s time she’ll return to the classroom to pursue her master’s degree in nursing. Alfred plans to take a year off to study and prepare for the MCAT in hopes of becoming a student in the UC College of Medicine.


UC students and brothers Godfred, Alfred, Alvin and Kelvin Mantey stand with their arms in the infamous UC pose. photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC creative Services

Stephen, Dorothy, Alfred, Godfred, Kelvin and Alvin Mantey share their story in their Hamilton home. photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services


For the Manteys, UC is a family affair. Alfred’s twin brother, Godfred, is wrapping up his first year in the College of Pharmacy. The younger set of twins, Alvin and Kelvin, are still working on their undergraduate degrees.

There was a time when Dorothy wasn’t sure if she had what it takes to finish her degree and become a nurse. But her sons and husband, Stephen, wouldn’t let her quit. Their message to her: We’re in this together, and we’ll support each other. “Now we’re a UC family,” Dorothy says. “Nobody’s going anywhere.”


One Milestone: Two Nations, Two Universities, Dual Degrees

UC's Joint Engineering Co-op Institute will graduate its first class of engineering students from China since a partnership agreement between the universities was signed in 2013. The first fifth-year class of Chinese students arrived on UC's campus in August last year and worked and studied alongside other fifth-year engineering students at UC. This year, 56 students from Chongqing University (or CQU) will graduate with engineering degrees from both universities.



Chongqing University students cheer on the home team at a UC football game


“It’s a huge milestone. These first students are the real pioneers. They’re the ones who prove it can be done,” said Paul Orkwis, interim dean of UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

He supervised the program for UC for four years as its American director. The advantage for Chongqing students is participating in UC’s top-rated co-op program, Orkwis said. UC invented co-op in 1906 and introduced the experience-based learning program to China.

“They tell us that it’s their leading international program and it is for us as well,” Orkwis said.


Chongqing University students pose in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Chongqing University students pose next to a sign marked Springfield.


The Fabulous Five

Five students who will graduate during the university’s commencement Saturday, April 28, with undergraduate degrees represent the College of Medicine’s medical sciences program.

Justin Smith, Austin Songer, Anna Hopkins, John Bonamer and Bhargav Vemuri are a bit of a novelty — the first group of students in recent years to earn bachelor’s degrees from the College of Medicine, a traditional granter of advanced degrees. The medical sciences undergraduate program began accepting majors in the fall of 2015, with an aim to train students for medical school or to obtain advanced degrees in the sciences. Students are also ready for possible careers in allied health sciences, dentistry or in medical laboratories. The average incoming ACT for this group of graduating seniors was 33.75 while the average high school grade point average was 3.91.

"Medical Sciences is a great program,” says Hopkins, a 22-year-old Cincinnati resident. "You are really right up in the action and can see what medical school is like. You have access to all the hospitals nearby, and that’s been a big factor for me.”



Shown in front of CARE/Crawley Building are Bhargav Vemuri, Justin Smith, Austin Songer, John Bonamer and Anna Hopkins.

Shown in front of CARE/Crawley Building are Bhargav Vemuri, Justin Smith, Austin Songer, John Bonamer and Anna Hopkins. photo/Colleen Kelley/University of Cincinnati


Medical sciences majors take the same foundational courses as many students preparing for medical school with a heavy dose of organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, statistics and calculus. Anil Menon,  director of the medical sciences program and professor of molecular genetics in the College of Medicine, says the program is very much based on "hands-on” experiences in clinical research and service learning and in developing long-term mentoring relationships.

"What we do is provide them a chance to experience a mini-career in medicine and related healthcare disciplines within the medical school,” says Anil Menon, PhD, director of the medical sciences program and professor of molecular genetics in the College of Medicine. "This is an aspect of curriculum design called ‘rapid prototyping’ of careers. For example, a student interested in a career in medicine works closely with a medical student mentor, a resident mentor and a faculty mentor. They shadow physicians, work in research laboratories and develop humanitarian service learning projects.

"Based on these experiences, students are empowered to make evidence-based choices,”



For more information about 2018 commencement:

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