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Grand prize for UC dining

Last summer in Toronto, UC's CenterCourt dining facility received the grand prize from the National Association of College and University Food Services in the category "single, stand-alone concept." Judges considered menu variety, nutrition, presentation and student feedback in making their decision.

CenterCourt opened in the new Campus Recreation Center in January '06 with seven taste stations, featuring a Mongolian grill, vegetarian offerings and brick-oven pizzas and breads, all for a single price.

UC soccer

Photo/Andrew Higley

First Big East title

Capturing the university's first Big East championship this fall, the men's soccer team did its part in reaching athletics director Mike Thomas' goal of each Bearcat team winning a conference title within five years. Coach Hylton Dayes guided his players in claiming the league's Red Division with an 11-4-2 overall record and a 7-3-1 conference mark. The team also made its third NCAA appearance, but lost its first game to Northwestern, 3-0. Freshman Chris Thompson (at right) helps the team beat Notre Dame, 2-1, in mid-season.

Extreme Bearcat makeover

Cincinnati fans will find a feistier-looking Bearcat trolling the sidelines at UC games from now on. The Bearcat mascot underwent a few cosmetic alterations last summer and emerged less of a teddy bear and more of a beast. The change to UC's furry figure was in response to feedback from open forums led by the athletics branding task force and the design firm LPK. One of the key charges of the task force was to settle on a caricature that will match the figure on licensed merchandise.

UC Bearcat mascot

Photo/Andrew Higley

"College fans want to buy merchandise that accurately resembles on-field icons and trademarks," says John Christie, vice president of university services for the Collegiate Licensing Co., the university's licensing agent. "We look forward to participating in Cincinnati's efforts to reinforce its Bearcat brand."

Other changes at UC have included a "bolder and stronger" C-paw, introduced in 2005, and a change in apparel/shoe providers for athletes from Nike to Adidas. Fans got their first look at the new basketball uniforms at the start of the 2006-07 season.

On the UC campus

Photo/Dottie Stover

Outstanding freshman class

UC celebrated the start of classes this fall with its most academically qualified Freshman class ever. Not only has the number of National Merit Finalists at UC more than doubled, but also the incoming freshmen can claim higher test scores, class rankings and levels of achievement than ever before. Some of the advancement can be attributed to more than $11 million in scholarships awarded through the Cincinnatus Scholarship program, which attracted more than 2,000 students from 40 states last winter. The top 10 competitors received full tuition, fees, room, board and a book allowance for the entirety of their undergraduate careers

UC rankings jump

U.S. News & World Report -- The University of Cincinnati's annual ranking in U.S. News jumped this year from 145 to 139 in the "Best National Universities" category, moving UC up 33 places in six years. Furthermore, the score for UC's reputation among peer institutions had significantly improved, and numbers in almost every other category were better than last year.

Washington Monthly -- UC is 118th on a list of 245 U.S. universities that are "heroes of higher education." Schools are selected according to performance as an engine of social mobility, fostering of scientific and humanistic research, and promotion of an ethic of service to the country.

Journal of Real Estate Economics -- UC is the fifth most influential real estate research institution in the U.S., based on the quality of faculty research and literary citations in journals. UC's Real Estate Center placed ahead of schools such as Cornell, Harvard, Wisconsin and Yale.

Princeton Review -- The College of Business is named in the "Best 282 Business Schools: 2007 Edition" and described as one of the best institutions students could attend to earn an MBA. Academic programs, institutional data and candid student opinions were examined to support the selection.

BusinessWeek -- DAAP is one of the world's top innovation and design schools, as listed in a special report in BusinessWeek. The magazine asked major employers who hire innovation talent to participate in the selection. Graduate student Dan Li, who has worked with P&G's vice president of innovation, appears in the report.

Planetizen Guide -- UC's graduate urban planning program ranks fourth in the Midwest and 18th in the nation in the new Planetizen 2007 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs. In the top 25, UC stands ahead of planning programs at Columbia University and Ohio State. In the Midwest, UC stands with programs at the University of Michigan and Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


See a rundown of all of UC's rankings

Elli Bennett and her mom, Joy

Photo/Lisa Ventre


Special-needs deserve chic outfits

Fun-to-wear, comfortable outfits created by UC fashion design students are a big hit with Elli Bennett of Mason and her mom, Joy (at right). It's no surprise since the 6-year-old was both inspiration and model for three clothing lines that Phyllis Borcherding's students made for young girls with special needs. Adaptations include apron-style decorative skirts, dresses with high waistlines, button-on sleeves and fabric boots that cover leg braces.

Strive: Improving region's urban centers

Recognizing that a stronger, smarter city starts with education, UC joined an effort known as "Strive," an impressive coalition of local educators, executives and city leaders who intend to transform the face of education in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Strive's aim is to focus the city's resources and reengineer a world-class education system that takes Greater Cincinnati's urban core from birth to career. But the goal getting the most attention is the effort to guarantee scholarships for every schoolchild in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport.

The unprecedented collaboration -- UC, Northern Kentucky University, Xavier University, area school districts, the United Way and other foundations, as well as mayors from all three cities and business partners -- announced last summer that it intends to model and exceed the Kalamazoo Promise, a scholarship guarantee for kids in Kalamazoo, Mich. Many believe that effort is breathing new life into Kalamazoo, boosting not only the number of college-educated citizens but also the local housing market and economy.

UC Center for Academic Research Excellence

Photo/Dan Davenport

Topping off on research center

The university topped off the Center for Academic Research Excellence (CARE) with the last major piece of structural steel in August. When complete this fall, the new Crawley Building will add another 240,000 square feet of laboratory and educational space to UC's Academic Health Center.

The building, in conjunction with the renovation of the Medical Sciences Building (MSB), is part of the university's Campus Master Plan. The project, which includes the CARE/Crawley Building, Phase 1 of the MSB renovation and the Eden Quad landscaping, will cost $185 million. Edith Crawley, a major benefactor of the three-year project, bequeathed $12 million to the UC Academic Health Center to bolster research into eye disease in the elderly and to support medical students and professionals dedicated to eye research.

Medical breakthroughs

Lead dangers -- Most write it off as the clumsy teenage years, but a group of scientists at UC have linked injury-prone post-pubescents to their exposure to lead as children. In a study of more than 200 Cincinnati teens, health experts found that those who experienced high blood-lead levels in their early years appear to suffer more accidental injuries, especially falls from a loss of balance.

"We know that lead exposure can affect motor coordination," says Amit Bhattacharya, a professor of environmental health and study collaborator. "But our research shows that this early-life exposure can cause lasting health effects."

'Beading' cancer -- University doctors are using a new technique that involves injecting patients with millions of tiny radioactive glass beads to fight liver cancer. Smaller than a strand of hair, the beads are injected into the artery feeding the liver tumor. Once inside, the radioactive bits kill the tumor.

"By delivering highly targeted radiation from inside the body, we can help minimize damage to surrounding tissue and slow the progression of the liver cancer for patients awaiting liver transplant," says Darryl Zuckerman, an associate professor and interventional radiologist. "For other patients, this procedure can reduce the size of the tumor to a point where it can be removed surgically, giving patients new hope for survival."

4-D camera -- UC physiologist Jay Hove is using a $1.53 million National Institutes of Health grant to create a laser-illuminated 4-D camera expected to help scientists better study the movement of fluids and cells inside the body in three dimensions, plus the fourth D, real time. Hove, an assistant professor in UC's Genome Research Institute, is working to adapt Caltech's prototype 4-D camera technology (now used to study ocean flow around fish and airflow around airplane wings) to fit on the end of a microscope.

World first -- A UC surgeon performed what is believed to be the world's first laparoscopic liver surgery on a child last year. Transplant doctor Mark Thomas performed the minimally invasive surgery on a 2-year-old boy with liver cancer in Mexico City, where Thomas was invited to teach. Operating through tube-like ports in the boy's abdomen, Thomas used a fiber-optic light, camera and specialized instruments to remove a cancerous tumor. Thomas and his team perform about 250 laparoscopic liver cases a year, a method that causes only 2-inch incisions and leads to a fast recovery as opposed to traditional open surgery which requires up to a 30-inch incision.

Cincinnati firefighters

Photo/courtesy of Cincinnati Fire Department

Cancer hot zone -- As if fighting fires wasn't already dangerous enough, firefighters also appear to be at serious risk for certain types of cancer, according to a UC study. Environmental health researchers Grace LeMasters and James Lockey looked at studies covering 110,000 firefighters and found rates of testicular cancer were 100 percent higher than the general population. Their work also reveals that firefighters -- in a profession prone to exposure to cancer-causing agents such as benzene, chloroform, soot, styrene and formaldehyde -- are 50 percent more likely to fall ill with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. The risk for prostate cancer for those in uniform increased by 28 percent.

UC Board allows domestic-partner benefits

For the first time, the University of Cincinnati is recognizing domestic partners, regardless of sex, in some of its benefits policies. The change took effect Jan. 1. University employees may now buy life, personal accident and/or long-term care insurance for a domestic partner, and may use sick leave because of the illness, injury or death of a domestic partner or the partner's children.

Personal leave may be requested because of a domestic partner's needs, and employees may take child-rearing leave related to needs of a partner's children.

The faculty union has been seeking recognition of domestic partners in the university's benefits policies for at least 15 years. Health insurance and tuition remission are among future goals.

New Schneider Quad celebrates co-op's 100th anniversary

Inscribed granite Baldwin Quad

Pieces from the 1956 installation will be included.

UC broke ground last fall on a quadrangle to honor Herman Schneider, the founder of cooperative education at the university in 1906. The open space formerly known as Baldwin Quad will be renamed Herman Schneider Quad and will feature two plaza areas, new trees and decorative lighting.

When complete this spring, the east-end plaza (directly in front of Baldwin Hall) will feature a bust of Schneider as well as granite slabs inscribed with the names of individuals who have furthered co-op's global spread.

Herman Schneider Quad

A photoillustration of the Herman Schneider Quad.

The west-end plaza (illustrated below) will include a sundial, inscribed granite from the 50th anniversary of co-op and a large concrete bench, also left behind after the 1956 celebration. These decades-old pieces were moved from Baldwin Quad into storage in 2001 because of ongoing construction.

UC was the first school to require its students to alternate time spent in the classroom with paid, professional work so they could gain valuable real-world experience. So began what is now known worldwide (in 43 countries) as cooperative education.