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DAAP's tireless student

Students frequently surprise faculty, but when planning professor Jay Chatterjee yelled at a student to climb down from the Aronoff Center's ledge in the main entryway, the young man's total disregard was less shocking than the realization that the student was only a work of art.

Urban planning senior Alan Marrero created a life-sized replica of himself for an "Installation Art" course and placed it in the busy hallway, where many staff and students embarrassingly tried to strike up conversations with the mannequin. Dean Judith Koroscik was so impressed with the work, named Ethan, that she obtained the piece for permanent display and added it to the University of Cincinnati Fine Arts Collection.

"His assignment was to create a site-specific installation that reflects the site's culture," the dean says. "He was incredibly successful in representing the way our students make their home in our building. Students are very creative in finding little niches to curl up in and use their laptops, which are always with them. The execution was done so well that Ethan has surprised many people."


Marrero has enjoyed the fame, "especially since I'm not an art student," he chuckles. "But my urban planning thesis deals with art and the city, how art can be used in public spaces." He got an A.

Read more about it

DAAP Galleries

Prisoner free at last thanks to UC law students

After 25 years behind bars and five failed parole requests, an Amelia, Ohio, man received parole in February thanks in part to UC law students who intervened through the Ohio Innocence Project. Gary Reece had 50 years remaining on his sentence for rape and attempted murder, a conviction based almost entirely upon the testimony of a woman who claimed he attacked her.

One and a half year's worth of student research introduced significant new evidence to a parole hearing, including the facts that no forensic evidence linked Reece to the crime, Reece had passed lie-detector tests that the woman repeatedly failed, the woman had a history of self-mutilation practices consistent with the injuries she reported following the alleged attack and her former boyfriend filed an affidavit casting doubt on her truthfulness. Several of the students gathered to greet Reece at his release.

UC College of Law and the Ohio Innocence Project

Admission standards rise

High school grads applying to UC baccalaureate programs for the 2006-07 school year will face tougher admission standards. The change is part of a success-driven evaluation process endorsed by the university's UC|21 strategic plan.

New criteria for first-year students entering in fall ’06 require:

  • Top 10 percent class rank, or
  • ACT of 22 or higher (1010 SAT critical reading and math), or
  • Top 75 percent class rank and high school GPA 2.5 or higher, and ACT 20 or higher (930 SAT, critical reading and math).

Applicants who need further preparation may be directed to the university's Center for Access and Transition or one of UC's regional campuses. In addition, a new admissions review committee will assess a student's leadership, motivational skills and extracurricular activities as predictors of college success.

UC programs that already have competitive admissions standards, such as DAAP, CCM and engineering, will not be affected by the revised admission process.

UC's tougher standards

UC computer match speeds kidney transplants

Jonathan Kopke is no doctor, but the computer program he created is saving patients' lives.

Kopke, a research associate at the University of Cincinnati, designed a program that is shortening the wait for kidney transplants throughout the state of Ohio and soon could become the national model for pairing living donors with a match.

The basic premise is this: When someone willing to donate a kidney to a loved one is non-compatible, that donor agrees to donate to someone else on the list who has an appropriate person willing to reciprocate. Kopke's program crunches data from transplant centers statewide -- soon to include Michigan and Indiana -- and searches for matching pairs.

"Trying to find two pairs who can donate to one another is like trying to find a kidney in a haystack," Kopke says. "The number of factors that have to match make it very unlikely."

Still, the program has resulted in several successful transplants in its first months of operation. And, as more donors join, matches will increase exponentially.

The system worked for Paul and Rose Meyer of Taylor Mill, Ky. The paired donation program matched the Meyers with a mother and son from Toledo. Doctors performed all four surgeries in April.

The Ohio Solid Organ Transplantation Consortium launched the program in November of last year, but to get it off the ground technologically, the consortium turned to UC.

Kopke, a computer programmer at UC's Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research for 27 years, spent five months developing Web-based technology that would allow transplant centers to locate matches based upon blood type, age and immune system proteins among many other factors.

Kopke attended a conference where doctors from around the country agreed the system should go nationwide. But the real highlight was getting to meet two transplant recipients and their donors.

"One lady told the crowd, 'I did this for my husband. But the amazing thing is I got to bless two people. I've come to the conclusion this is the reason God gave us two kidneys.'"

Donor exchange story, Tony Cook, Cincinnati Post

Story by Tim Bonfield, Enquirer

Dig yields Greek temple

Archeologists from the University of Cincinnati have unearthed a large monumental temple in Albania -- one of only five discovered in the entire country.

Early in the dig, the team led by UC's Jack Davis discovered ancient figurines, a statue and even a stone altar, which indicated the presence of a sanctuary. Their break came when an Apollonian family pointed out a foundation of large blocks they stumbled upon while building their home several years ago. After negotiating with the family to dig on their land, Davis and his crew determined a large Greek temple, not just a sanctuary, was hidden beneath the ground.

The site has "extraordinary and singular importance to Albanian archaeology and the history of Greek colonization in the Adriatic Sea," Davis explains. "The temple may be one of the earliest monumental Greek temples on the shores of the eastern Adriatic."

More about the find

Aisha Berry at the 2005 Miss USA Pageant photo/courtesy of Miss Universe L.P., LLLP

Aisha Berry at the 2005 Miss USA Pageant. Photo/courtesy of Miss Universe

Another bright and beautiful Bearcat

Millions of viewers worldwide watched as College of Business senior Aisha Berry represented the state of Ohio in the 2005 Miss USA pageant.

When she isn't on campus working toward her degree in business management, the 25-year-old Cincinnati native is a runway, print, in-store and cover model. Her goal is to do high fashion work. Berry says her proudest accomplishment, outside of her Miss Ohio title, was being named to the national dean's list.

Aisha joins six previous UC students who have reigned as Miss Ohio and two former Bearcats who have won national pageant titles: Sarah Jane Everman, America's Junior Miss 1999, and Heather Renee French Henry, Miss America 2000.

See all of UC's beauty queens


You'll be seeing CCM alumni

  • Jason Patrick Sands, CCM '02, appears as an interviewee in the film "Kinsey" with Liam Neeson. The University of Cincinnati grad is currently performing in the Broadway production of Mel Brooks' "The Producers."
  • Eydie Faye (Cohen)), CCM '99, is developing a new sitcom with David Schwimmer about a cynical Jewish girl who accidentally falls in love with an optimistic practicing Catholic.
  • Tory Ross, CCM '02, is slated to appear in the upcoming film of Mel Brooks' "The Producers."
  • Diana Uhlenbrock, CCM '95, has had a recurring role on ABC's "Less Than Perfect" and also filmed a recent episode of the CBS series "Yes, Dear."
  • Cooper Thornton, M (CCM) '92, who appeared in the Academy Award-nominated "House of Sand and Fog," had guest starring roles on "American Dreams" and NBC's "Hawaii" last fall, and could be seen in a national Taco Bell commercial. He previously appeared in "Judging Amy," "The Drew Carey Show," "Scrubs," CBS's "CSI," "Family Law," "The District" and "The Guardian."
  • Jennifer Peterson-Hind, CCM '02, has been appearing on the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel in the children's television series "Hi-5," which was nominated for an Emmy this year.
  • Torie Wiggins, CCM '02, appeared on an episode of "All My Children."
  • Mueen Ahmad, CCM '95, had a guest-starring role on NBC's "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" last year.
  • Daniel Wisler, CCM '04, appeared on an episode of "CSI" in January.

Lighting Up Broadway

In a starring role in the musical comedy "Altar Boyz," recently named the Best Off-Broadway Musical by the Outer Critics Circle Award, Tyler Maynard, CCM '00, is getting rave reviews, including this from the New York Times:

"Maynard steals every scene with his way-too-enthusiastic choreography, his sassy showgirl moves and his coy swooning. The actor's mock-innocent facial expressions and sly comic timing are a constant delight. ... It's Mr. Maynard who stops the show. He's the most fully shaped character, and (his) daffy performance is the sharpest of the night."

And Shoshana Bean, CCM '99, who originated the role of Shelley in the Broadway production of "Hairspray," has been playing the green witch in "Wicked." She first nabbed the role in mid-show as an understudy who quickly threw on makeup and a costume to take over for an actress injured in a fall through a trapdoor.

Bean also sang backup for Michael Jackson and friends at his 30th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden.

Also on Broadway are the following:

  • Sara Gettelfinger, CCM ’99, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” playing opposite John Lithgow
  • Angela Gaylor, CCM ’02, “La Cage aux Folles,” with Robert Goulet
  • Matt Risch, CCM ’04, “Chicago”

Read about alumni in CCM's PANtheon newsletter

Demonstrating the ancient art of calligraphy Photo/Andrew Higley

Demonstrating the ancient art of calligraphy. Photo/Andrew Higley

Visitors greeted to UC's Worldfest 2005

Simply elegant calligraphy, richly embroidered traditional costumes and ethnic dishes sparked with exotic spices greeted visitors to UC's Worldfest 2005. The 10-day celebration included films, exhibits, dances and musical performances, as well as a fundraiser for tsunami relief, a "tunnel of oppression" experience and a Holocaust memorial ceremony and art exhibit.

More than 2,500 people come to the University of Cincinnati each year from 100 countries as students, teachers, researchers, lecturers and performers.

Scenes from Worldfest 2005

New medicine and law deans take helm

Dr. Jane Henney, UC's senior vice president and provost of health affairs, calls the ability to attract someone of David Stern's caliber to the University of Cincinnati's College of Medicine a testament to the excellent work going on at the UC Medical Center.

Stern, the new dean beginning in August, brings with him an Ivy League resume. A graduate of both Yale and Harvard, he spent most of his career at Columbia University of New York before leaving in 2002 to serve as dean of medicine at the Medical College of Georgia.

Stern's research, in particular a molecular science discovery he made in 1990, has provided evidence of a possible new treatment pathway for Alzheimer's.

The UC College of Law also received a new leader this summer when the university hired Louis Bilionis to serve as dean of the fourth-oldest continually operating law school in the nation. Bilionis, formerly a Samuel Ash Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, earned renown for his scholarship in constitutional law, criminal law and evidence.

UC College of Law

Story: Stern appointed Dean

Mary Wolf displays her winning design. photo/Dottie Stover

Mary Wolf displays her winning handbag design. Photo/Dottie Stover

DAAP designer bags Paris prize

A polished walnut handbag by Mary Wolf, DAAP '05, carried away the top prize among fashion accessories by U.S. undergraduate designers in a prestigious international competition in Paris in 2005. Wolf, an experienced woodworker, created her winning design from a single fallen tree branch that she hollowed out, sanded and finished with leather trim.

Student designers win prestigious honors

UC movin’ up

Two UC graduate programs are in the top five in their fields, according to this year's U.S. News and World Report.

Criminology, a program in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, is ranked No. 3 in the nation. This was the first year the magazine evaluated the program.

Pediatric medicine at Children's Hospital, which is part of the UC Medical Center, was upgraded from No. 12 to No. 4. Only Harvard, Penn and Johns Hopkins are ranked higher.

Not every program or college at UC is reviewed in the same year. Other 2005 results include environmental engineering, No. 20; aerospace engineering, No. 31; College of Pharmacy, No. 32; industrial/manufacturing engineering, No. 37; College of Medicine, No. 41; civil engineering, No. 48 and materials engineering, No. 50.

The Association of Research Libraries named UC Libraries No. 47 in the nation this year. Key factors considered are the total number of volumes held, volumes added, current serials, expenditures and number of professional and support staff.

Overall, "Barron's Profiles of American Colleges 2005" recently upgraded the University of Cincinnati to "competitive," from "less competitive," in U.S. higher education.

Current U.S. News and World Report grad school rankings

Architecture student Evan Pheobus at work. photo/Lisa Ventre

Architecture student Evan Pheobus at work. Photo/Lisa Ventre

Junkyard gentleman

Some went dumpster diving, others rooted through recycling bins and many gathered from the garage. All were harvesting "body" parts for their robot self-portraits.

About 120 first-year students from UC's top-ranked interior design and architecture programs learned a great deal about ingenuity, design and proportions of the body as they completed their assignment to transform junk, garbage, appliances, tools and other everyday items into droid-like replicas of themselves.

Architecture freshman Evan Pheobus headed for the salvage yard to bring his autobot to life. The trip yielded an alternator head, a motor-block torso, headlight arms and shock-coil legs.

"If a car manifested itself as a person, it would be this robot," Pheobus says. "Having to build this has taught me so much about human proportionality, how the body is put together, how a person works. For instance, I never realized before that the lower leg and the upper leg are the same length. If I'm going to make buildings work for people, I have to know how people are constituted. I'll be a better designer for it."

More about building a robot "self-portrait"

Medical breakthroughs

Prostate cancer -- A University of Cincinnati doctor may have unlocked the secret to why black men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as white men. Dr. Alex Lentsch of UC's Department of Surgery says the disparity can be explained by a common genetic mutation that developed generations ago to protect West African people against malaria.

The mutation is found in about 70 percent of blacks, Lentsch says. His research team bred mice with the mutation and discovered that tumors grew to four times the size of the tumors in those mice without it.

"We think this is an important first step to understanding why African-American men have a 60 percent higher prevalence of prostate cancer and double the mortality compared with white men," Lentsch says.

Next, the doctor will need to validate his findings in patients, but says one day a simple blood test could identify patients with a higher risk for tumor growth.

Gene mutation may explain cancer rates

Toxins research -- UC researchers have discovered that eating Olestra, the key ingredient in Procter & Gamble's fat-free chips, works to reduce cancer-causing toxins in the body. Dr. Ronald Jandacek found that a man suffering from PCB toxicity after a career of working on electric transformers had a "remarkable recovery" after eating two servings of Olestra product a day for two years. A single can of Pringles contains six servings.

Radiation exposure -- By studying thyroid tumors from victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, university researchers, led by Yuri Nikiforov, hope to develop a treatment that protects against radiation exposure.

Chernobyl tissue yields clue to preventing damage

Cadmium discovery -- Daniel Nebert and a team of UC scientists have identified the gene responsible for spreading the poisonous effects of cadmium, a heavy metal suspected of causing birth defects, lung cancer and testicular cancer.

More about Nebert's discovery

Cancer treatment -- Dr. George Thomas at UC's Genome Research Institute is leading a study of a drug that sensitizes cancer cells to make them more susceptible to treatments such as chemotherapy without the toxic side effects.

New tool for tumor treatment

Heart study -- UC received a $19.9 million federal grant in February to study heart failure. The study will focus on understanding why heart-failure rates differ among whites, blacks and Latinos and will attempt to determine the best treatment types for different populations.

NIH awards grant for heart failure study

PBS in action at CCM, interviewing the legendary blues musician Taj Mahal. photo/Lisa Ventre

PBS in action at CCM, interviewing the legendary blues musician Taj Mahal. photo/Lisa Ventre

Taj Mahal, PBS visit University of Cincinnati

PBS was on campus in April filming an interview with blues icon Taj Mahal at the College-Conservatory of Music's Corbett Auditorium for an episode of "History Detectives." Producers flew the well-known American music historian to Cincinnati so he could inspect a banjo thought to have once belonged to a former slave in Bethel, Ohio.

Mahal's PBS visit

In the news

ABC News, Reuters, Los Angeles Times -- quoted Dr. David Arterburn, assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, about the rate of morbid obesity in the U.S. population. Arterburn's research indicates the prevalence of morbid obesity is increasing twice as fast as obesity.

Abstract of his obesity research

Newsday -- cited Lawrence Travis, professor and director of UC's Center for Criminal Justice Research, about the art of deploying police patrols and how many police are enough to keep the peace. Travis is coauthor of "Policing in America."

"Policing in America" on Amazon.com

USA Today -- pointed to Nelson Watts, director of the UC Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center, as an expert when it comes to whether consumers are getting enough calcium in their diet. Watts cautions soy milk consumers to be sure their drink is fortified with calcium.

USA Today article

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- spoke with Barbara Ramusack, professor of modern Indian history at UC, about arranged marriages in the United States. "Indians would say marriage is too important to be based on love, which is frequently based on sexual attraction," Ramusack stated.

Los Angeles Times -- quoted Daniel Nelson, professor of psychiatry, about why soldiers in Iraq would edit battle footage into music videos filled with death and destruction. Nelson reasons that the videos were a way for GIs to "distance themselves from the trauma."

Reprinted LA Times article at CommonDreams.org

Parenting magazine -- turned to Dr. Brett Coldiron, clinical professor of dermatology, for advice about Caesarean section scars that itch months after surgery. Coldiron suggests new moms avoid scrubbing the area and use a mild soap, moisturizers and hydrocortisone cream.

Louisville Courier-Journal -- reviewed a concert performance by CCM faculty member and pianist Elizabeth Pridonoff, calling her "an expressive colorist in the grand manner, not reluctant to treat the piano as a fundamentally percussive instrument when appropriate."

Denver Post -- quoted Dr. Nancy Elder, associate professor of family medicine, about the frequency with which medical files go missing. Elder assigns part of the blame to "the disjointed nature of health care in the United States."

Dr. Elder writes about missing records in JAMA

New York Times -- quoted Jay Chatterjee, professor of architecture and planning at the University of Cincinnati, about Thom Mayne, architect of UC's new Campus Recreation Center. "Of all of (his firm's) current projects, Mayne seems to be most enthralled by this one," Chatterjee stated.

Essence -- quoted Laura Wexler, professor of medicine, about how to distinguish between the classic signs of the flu and the signs of heart disease. Wexler cautions that increased chest pains, shortness of breath and excessive perspiration during physical activity are telltale signs of ticker trouble.

USA Today -- featured Ashley Brown, CCM '04, for her major role in Disney's musical production, "On the Record," a celebration of the past 75 years of classic Disney tunes.

USA Today article