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background photo courtesy of Stephen Rosfeld family

Background photo courtesy of Stephen Rosfeld family

Hollywood ending for D.C. internship

As college internships go, landing one at the White House during wartime was a bonus of which few would dream. 

Consequently, communications major Stephen Rosfeld was pretty darned happy, even before he realized the story was going to generate its very own Hollywood ending.

Although Rosfeld’s family knew that he had seen the president “up close” a few times during his January-through-May assignment, they had no expectations of getting to do the same when they visited from Cincinnati. Nevertheless, they grew quite excited when they saw a presidential motorcade approaching.

Then they found themselves holding their breath when the limousine stopped near them. The door opened and out stepped ... Martin Sheen, President Bartlett in the TV show “West Wing.”

Because Sheen is from Dayton, Ohio, their common heritage provided a great conversation starter. “He’s a very nice man,” Rosfeld says. “I told him I worked for the real president, and he got a kick out of it.”

On his internship, Rosfeld worked as a research assistant, reporting to University of Cincinnati alumnus Andrew Ciafardini, deputy director in the White House office of scheduling. He researched events the president would attend, the venues he would visit, sponsoring organizations and people he would meet.

“ I felt very fortunate to have done that,” he says. “It was kind of like a fantasy camp. On a daily basis, you never knew who you would see.”


Former FDA commissioner new Med Center VP, provost

Dr. Jane Henney, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is the University of Cincinnati’s new senior vice president and provost for Health Affairs.

In her 20 years of senior-level health-policy leadership, Henney has been deputy director of the National Cancer Institute, vice chancellor of health programs and interim dean of the school of medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center and first vice president for health sciences at the University of New Mexico. FDA commissioner during the Clinton administration, she was senior scholar at the Association of Academic Health Centers when she accepted the position at UC.

President Joseph Steger says Henney brings “the administrative skills, scholarly outlook and research background necessary to direct our worldclass medical center. Her multifaceted career indicates an excellent fit for our dynamic health-science programs.”

Henney’s predecessor at UC, Dr. Donald Harrison, retired in December 2002, after directing the colleges, programs and activities of the UC Medical Center for 16 years.

Read Dr. Henney’s biography

A better model

A better model: Top-ranked DAAP still improving

Though employers are knocking down doors to woo UC’s architecture and interior design graduates, the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning intends to increase academic requirements.

The UC program is already unique nationwide for its cooperative education component, and officials hope a more intense curriculum will also boost its reputation for academic theory. The end result will be graduates poised with top-notch critical thinking skills and outstanding practical experience. Plus, they can get a more valuable degree in the same time frame.

DAAP, ranked No. 1 in the country in interior design and No. 3 in architecture in the 2003 Almanac of Architecture and Design, intends to phase out the six-year bachelor of architecture degree to be replaced by a four-year pre-professional degree and a two-year master’s program.

photo courtesy of Shafiqul Islam

Workers in Bangladesh drill a well in their continued research to determine how arsenic is seeping into the water table. Photo courtesy of Shafiqul Islam

Engineering prof thirsts for water solutions

A University of Cincinnati engineering professor has returned to Bangladesh to help his compatriots track down a silent killer — arsenic in the drinking water. Officials in Bangladesh, a South Asian country about the size of Iowa and home to 133 million people, have known for years that much of the drinking water is contaminated. Though tens of millions are at risk of increased cancer rates, understanding how the arsenic is seeping into the drinking supply has largely remained a mystery.

But research by UC’s Shafiqul Islam suggests that pumping groundwater to irrigate the rice crops seems to be drawing naturally occurring arsenic into the wells as deep groundwater is replaced by surface water rich in organic material. Islam’s work was highlighted in March in the journal Nature. One remedy, Islam and his colleagues say, may be to drill wells four times their current depth to more than 400 feet below the surface.

Bangladesh and international aid agencies sank as many as 10 million ground-water wells throughout the country in recent decades to combat all the water-borne diseases associated with drinking surface water. The discovery of arsenic in the wells is a rather cruel twist for a poor country already plagued by overpopulation, unsanitary conditions and massive floods during monsoons.

Cincinnati engineering study finds clue to Bangladesh's poisoned water

Philip Glass here for premiere

Renowned American composer Philip Glass was in the audience in April to mark the regional premiere of his Symphony No. 5 by the College-Conservatory of Music concert orchestra, chamber choir, chorale and Cincinnati Children’s Choir. He participated in a discussion of his work with audience members before the concert, which was the first U.S. presentation of the Symphony No. 5 by a music school.

Originally written to celebrate the millennium, the themes of the difficult Symphony No. 5 are peace, tolerance and religious commonalities -- “a broad spectrum of many of the world’s great wisdom traditions,” Glass explained. In addition to symphonies and chamber music, his haunting, mystical-sounding music graces operas, dance performances and film scores, including “Kundun,” “Candyman,” “The Hours” and “The Truman Show.”


Composer Philip Glass [center] meets with the UC student orchestra. Photo/Dottie Stover

Champs in class: Athletes recognized off the court

Though it doesn’t get the same notice as a touchdown, a home run or a buzzer-beating basket, UC athletes are also gaining recognition for their accomplishments off the field.


For the fifth straight year, the National Consortium for Academics and Sports recognized UC’s efforts with a Degree Completion Honor Roll Award. The award is a credit to the athletics department’s commitment to provide programs and assist student-athletes to attain their degrees once they have completed their eligibility. The department also received its fourth straight NCAS Community Service and Outreach award for its youth-centered work in Greater Cincinnati.

UC’s 61-percent graduation rate exceeds both the national average for Division I programs, as well as the university’s graduation rate for all students.

The athletics department also recognized their scholarly athletes with their own awards. At the end of winter quarter, a total of 181 athletes from 18 different sports were named to either the Bearcat Honor Roll (GPA between 3.0 and 3.49) or the Topcat Honor Roll (GPA between 3.5 and 4.0). Particularly proud should be the women’s rowing team which pulled down 19 Topcats and 10 Bearcat honors.

Lobbying for justice: Law school helps heal state wound

Long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall (center) successfully argued in 1956 that the 14th Amendment allowed Autherine Lucy (left) admittance to the Unviersity of Alabama.

Long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall (center) successfully argued in 1956 that the 14th Amendment allowed Autherine Lucy (left) admittance to the University of Alabama.

A legislative wound, opened 135 years ago by Ohio lawmakers, can now finally heal thanks to the diligence of a group of University of Cincinnati law students and their professor.

Professor Jack Chin and seven future attorneys worked for months to reveal the Buckeye State’s black eye: Ohio has had the dubious distinction as the only state on record opposing the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. This year, both the Ohio House and Senate finally passed the amendment, which has been the backbone for most civil rights legislation.

Though state lawmakers initially voted to ratify the equal protection amendment in 1867, a newly elected General Assembly rescinded the vote the following year after they declared it “contrary to the best interest of the white race.”

“With the possible exception of the Declaration of Independence, the 14th Amendment is quite simply the most important law in U.S. history,” said Chin, who has also been a crusader to repeal anti-Asian Alien Land Laws that remain on the books in several states.

UC research spurs lawmakers to propose 14th amendment vote

prayer book

Prayer book on duty again

Close to his heart, a UC alumnus stationed far from home carried words that once comforted a World War II soldier. They rested inside a small, iron-backed prayer book that fit in the left breast pocket of his uniform.

Army Captain Scott Kravetz, A&S '88, received the historic book earlier this year from Rabbi Abie Ingber of the UC Hillel Jewish Student Center. Ingber knows Kravetz as a Hillel board member who, as a student, often came to the center dressed in his ROTC fatigues.

Hearing that Kravetz was called to duty with his National Guard battalion, the rabbi offered to lend him the 1943 prayer book, so long as the officer promised to return it -- and himself -- safely. Inside the protective metal cover, engraved “May the Lord be with you,” the Hebrew and English text includes a special prayer for soldiers and sailors.

Master Plan

Latest update
Keeping up with the changes occurring on the UC campus is often difficult. Here are some of the lastest developments:

  • University Bookstore -- The new bookstore opened in the Tangeman University Center’s south wing, the first portion of TUC’s extensive renovation to be completed. The bookstore is accessible via a CCM bridge, and the old bookstore has been razed.
  • Student Recreation Center -- Demolition of Laurence Hall and the utility plant made room for construction of the new center, which will contain classrooms, housing, a lap pool, racquetball courts, a suspended running track, basketball courts and a climbing wall.
  • Calhoun Project -- Construction has begun at the site of the former outdoor running track. Plans call for a parking garage, apartment-style student housing, ROTC offices, UC marching band facilitites and retail space being developed in partnership with Clifton Heights.
  • Medical Sciences Building -- MSB garage is being demolished and the building is being expanded.
  • Student Life Center -- Located between Swift and Rhodes halls, the building currently under construction will contain offices related to student activities, a computer lab and food service.

In international headlines

  • U.S. News & World Report -- in its 2004 rankings, rated the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine 48th in the nation, the College of Nursing 50th, the pediatric program fourth among specialty programs, the nursing college’s anesthesia program 16th and the speech language pathology program 36th.
  • Wall Street Journal -- quoted psychiatry professor Paul Keck on the FDA’s approach to using antipsychotic drugs.
  • National Public Radio -- aired comments from family medicine professor Susan Montauk on successful therapies for age-related conditions.
  • USA Today -- cited UC for the comprehensive pre-trip planning given to faculty members who lead study abroad trips.
  • New York Times -- wrote about engineering professor William Krantz’s research regarding indicators of climate change. It also referred to a conference that classics professor Kathryn Gutzwiller organized to study an ancient papyrus. (Story in April 2003 issue of “Cincinnati Horizons.”)
  • CBS Evening News and Agence France Presse -- quoted William Barrett, director of radiation oncology at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, about a new study to reduce the above-average mortality rate seen in black men with prostate cancer. NPR also featured him with a panel of experts on prostate cancer.
  • BBC, the Associated Press, USA Today, Boston Globe and others -- interviewed Linda Ginter Brown, College of Applied Science department head, about her course “Global Civility.” (Story in April 2003 issue of “Cincinnati Horizons.”)
  • Los Angeles Times -- interviewed neurology chairman Joseph Broderick and assistant neurology professor Alex Schneider about lessening stroke brain damage when victims receive immediate treatments. It also reported on a study led by University of Cincinnati family medicine professor Gregg Warshaw about the growing shortage of geriatric physicians.
  • Chicago Tribune -- talked to assistant professor of planning Kiril Stanilov about 20th century suburban development.
  • Glasgow (Scotland) Herald, Chicago Tribune and newspapers from Boston to Alaska -- quoted James Kellaris, marketing department chair, regarding his study of songs that get stuck in your head. (Story featured in November 2002 “Cincinnati Horizons.”)
  • New Zealand Press Association -- originated a story about a UC-led study of brain blood vessels that can lead to hemorrhages.
  • Canberra (Australia) Times -- featured assistant geography professor Tony Grubesic about his research exploring the effects of potential Internet breakdowns at major network hubs.
academic feat

Academic feat

Four full-year fellowships are an admirable achievement during the course of any professor’s long career, but landing that many in one year is phenomenal. So classics assistant professor William Johnson of the University of Cincinnati was quite surprised when he won every fellowship for which he applied last year, all four of them.

A literary scholar and papyrologist, Johnson is eager to continue his research of ancient peoples’ reading habits. The fellowship he chose to get the job done is a 12-month, $40,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Other fellowships offered were $60,000 from the American Council for Learned Societies, $24,000 plus living expenses from the Center for Hellenic Studies and $28,000 from the National Center for the Humanities.

Heimann new trustee on board

Sandra Heimann, vice president of American Financial Corp. and Great American Insurance, is the UC Board of Trustees’ newest member. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft made the appointment early this year, replacing retiring board member Benjamin Gettler.

A strong supporter of the University of Cincinnati, Heimann is a director of the Carl Lindner Jr. Honors-PLUS Business Task Force, UC Medical Center Fund Advisory Board and UCATS (UC Athletic Teams Scholarships). Other education-related board posts include the Cincinnati Zoo, Drake Planetarium and the Tri-State Education and Technology Foundation.