UC MagazineUniversity of CincinnatiUC Magazine

UC Magazine

Campus News

Werner and puppet

Photo/Lisa Ventre

Double your fun

A giant puppet in the likeness of former College-Conservatory of Music Dean Robert Werner seems to double the administrator's enjoyment of his May retirement celebration. The jovial figure was constructed for the college's amended production of "Il Viaggio a Reims," in which Werner's likeness replaced one of King Charles X of France.

Werner served 15 years as CCM dean; among his outstanding achievements is the construction of the $93.2 million CCM Village.

UC president says thanks

The University of Cincinnati surged past a five-year fund-raising goal this summer with a final tally of $328.9 million. The goal for the campaign, the first of this magnitude, was $300 million.

The campaign proved that UC's alumni and friends, as well as major corporations, are willing to invest in the university's future. That investment will see many happy returns

"Thanks to our donors, the University of Cincinnati enters the 21st century with hundreds of new scholarships for our students, top-notch facilities for our best academic programs and endowments to support our outstanding faculty," says UC President Joseph Steger. "Thank you. On behalf of the UC community, thank you."


UC Foundation

Office of the current UC president


Illustration by Angela Klocke


When it comes to student-designed robots, one of the best in the world was built at the University of Cincinnati. "Bearcat II" took third place in the International Ground Robotics competition last summer at Disney World.

Engineering students from UC's robot team had to successfully maneuver the automated "Bearcat II" through obstacle, road-hazard and follow-the-leader courses, as well as pass a stringent vehicle inspection. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems also rated students on their written and oral presentation.

Ernie Hall, director of the Center for Robotics Research at UC, says the team approach is not only an excellent way to teach students about feedback control, kinematics and artificial intelligence, it also boosts their leadership skills.


UC Center for Robotics Research

Elie Wiesel

George Newson, a WWII veteran, meets with human rights advocate Elie Wiesel during his visit to UC

Fight indifference

Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel didn't speak of the pain he has felt. He didn't tell the audience of 5,000 in Shoemaker Center how his family was destroyed by the Holocaust.

Instead, he focused on the pain of others in a speech titled "Against Indifference." A Just Community event, Wiesel's appearance was part of UC's week-long Worldfest celebration in May.

"What is it about a society that makes it unjust?" he asked. "Our society is indifferent. We remain eating and drinking and playing basketball while a continent away, people die."

He gave examples of indifference today toward the human slaughter in Kosovo, Rwanda and Sudan. "If you don't feel others' pain, you won't feel your own either," Wiesel cautioned. "And the moment you stop feeling pain, humanity is gone. The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference."

Wiesel is perhaps best known for the book "Night," an autobiographical account of his family's experience during the Holocaust. It is one of more than 40 books he has written during his years defending human rights and peace throughout the world.


The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity

$3 billion impact

The University of Cincinnati Medical Center is worth more than $3 billion to the Greater Cincinnati economy. More than the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals in their new stadiums. In second place only to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Ranking of the medical center as the area's second most important engine of growth comes from an economic impact study by Tripp Umbach and Associates, a national firm that has done similar research for the Association of American Medical Colleges. Its findings were announced in August.

UC's colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and allied health were combined with University Hospital, Children's Hospital, Shriners Burns Institute, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Hoxworth Blood Center and the UC Physicians group for the study.

Together the organizations spend hundreds of millions each year for operational needs, draw $123 million into the community from outside sources and provide full-time equivalent jobs for 14,746, who respend an estimated $1.7 billion in the local economy.

Forget the glue

car illustration

Illustration by Angela Klocke

Forget the model glue and grab the five-axis milling machine. Putting together a car model just reached a new height of sophistication at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Last academic year, the college became the nation's only school with a five-axis milling machine, which can turn a computer-generated automotive design into a three-dimensional scale model within a few hours, rather than a few days. Industrial design students are using a $500,000 milling machine with a cutter head that moves along five axes -- X, Y, Z, A and B. It was jointly donated by General Motors Design Center, the General Motors Corp. and Tarus Products.

Making the green grassier

Nippert Stadium turf

Photo/Dottie Stover

Old artificial turf was scraped away at Nippert Stadium this past summer, making the Bearcats' home field resemble an alien planet. But fans need not worry. A brand new playing surface was in place by August.

"FieldTurf" is more like natural grass, with longer blades and a tufting pattern that mimics growth, while retaining the durability of artificial turf. Below the grass rug, instead of blacktop or concrete, is an improved shock absorbing layer of sand and ground rubber from recycled athletic shoes.

The new surface material, in use by 150 collegiate and professional teams, has also been installed at Meyers Field, home of the Bearcat soccer teams. The renovations were part of a $2.3 million upgrade to the university's athletic facilities last summer.



UC still on top in rankings

Several UC programs maintained top national rankings this year when U.S. News and World Report released its annual list of America's best graduate schools in the spring. The College of Law came in at No. 49, placing it in the top tier of law schools.

Environmental engineering ranked 20th in its field. And three Medical Center programs placed in the top tier: The Medical Center tied with Ohio State for 40th place among medical schools, primary care was ranked 42nd, and pediatrics received a No. 5 ranking.

In addition, the UC College of Nursing ranked 52nd in the country, the UC speech and language pathology program tied for 30th place, and College-Conservatory of Music graduate programs earned high marks -- opera/voice at third place, while music ranked sixth.


Current UC rankings

Stop the shivers  -- science can intrigue

Students who would normally shiver at the thought of signing up for an anatomy or physiology class are finding UC's "Mr. Wizard" approach to science intriguing.

Developed for nonscience majors by a team of UC biology and education faculty from five colleges, the year-long course is part of a National Science Foundation initiative. Only 28 universities and colleges in the country were selected to participate in this first national NSF symposium of its kind.

UC's course, which is attracting national attention, nurtures scientific literacy by relating course work to everyday life. Last spring, for example, students took a tour of the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Research of Endangered Wildlife, visited Spring Grove Cemetery and did a three-day analysis of everything they ate, then calculated the dietary requirements contained in or absent from their regular diets.

At UC, the course is called "Biology in a Human Context." The national initiative's name, however, might cause a shiver relapse -- "Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities."


UC's Department of Biological Sciences

Learning in Retirement celebrates 10 years

Square dancing

Students Ann Startz (left) and Gertrude Furer. Photo/Lisa Ventre

Learning isn't supposed to be this much fun. Or maybe it is. The folks at UC's Institute for Learning in Retirement have spent the last decade thinking the latter. ILR celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

Typical of the lively spirit of the educational outreach to the 50-and-over crowd, students Ann Startz (left) and Gertrude Furer whirl as Faith Zavron teaches them a Jewish dance known as "Patch Tanz."

Launched in 1990 with 131 students and 14 seminars, the institute has grown exponentially and now boasts an annual enrollment of 2,400 members who attend 364 seminars.

(The program is now known as Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Contact them by calling 513-556-9174 or 513-556-9186.) [Added 2011]

Less fidgets

Commencement speakers are often nothing more than obstacles that fidgety graduates must endure before they can move their tassels to the opposite side of their caps. But when Governor Robert Taft's commencement address in June focused on famous UC alumni, no one could overlook the one name he omitted -- himself, a law graduate from 1976.

While his comments drew laughter and instilled pride, his simple presence also served as a role model for the possibilities that lie ahead for the Class of 2000, all 5,081 of them (2,881 bachelor's degrees, 740 associate degrees, 985 master's degrees, 222 doctoral degrees, 108 law degrees and 145 medical degrees).

Gov. Taft also received an honorary degree, as did Cincinnati Pops conductor Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Herald publisher and retired UC trustee Marjorie Parham, DLZ Corp. CEO and retired UC trustee Vikram Rajadhyaksha and Wedbush Morgan Securities president Edward Wedbush.

Synthesize this

Conductor art

Illustration by Angela Klocke

The New York audience was puzzled. As the curtain rose on "Evita" last spring and familiar Andrew Lloyd Weber melodies swept through the hall, it appeared the orchestra was missing. The pit held only the conductor, 33 high tech speaker panels and one musician, David Smith, MM '81, DMA '95.

For Smith, who controlled the virtual orchestra from a single keyboard, the novelty was in superior sound quality from new state-of-the-art speakers. The concept itself was born a dozen years ago when Smith, then associate director of CCM's Electronic Music Studio, and Frederick Bianchi, studio director, first experimented with synthetic instrumental sound.

The alumnus, who teaches sound technology at New York City Technical College where "Evita" was performed, and Bianchi, director of computer music at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, initially used virtual orchestra for a UC opera production of "Iphegenie auf Tauris." "It was a crude system, but it did work," Smith says, and it led the pair to believe their idea had commercial potential.

Now partners in two companies, Realtime Music Solutions and Bianchi & Smith Virtual Orchestras for the Performing Arts, the duo doesn't want to replace musicians. Service is marketed as supplemental to small ensembles and touring companies.

"Live musicians still get the melody and all the fun stuff," Smith maintains.


Realtime Music Solutions

Frederick Bianchi's Wikipedia listing

Virtual orchestra on Wikipedia

Hip to InSync

At first glance, William Abraham, associate professor of cardiology at UC, might appear hip enough to relate to today's teens. He is, after all, an InSync expert. His research, however, does not measure the flutter-effect that the dancing boy band has on young hearts. That's N Sync.

As director of UC's heart failure and transplantation program, Abraham is leading the investigation of the InSync pacemaker, a device designed to help patients avoid a transplant. Traditional pacemakers are implanted for slow heart rhythms and stimulate only one or two heart chambers.

The InSync model will be used for patients whose hearts are too weak to adequately circulate blood through the body. It stimulates and synchronizes three chambers.

Related article:

"Cardiac resynchronization device tested" (2000)

UC students in Price Hill

From left, Mike Maney, Jeanette McClellan, Brad Gibson, Sandy Kahn and James Johnson. Photo/Lisa Ventre

Beauty spot

A fanciful gazebo is the perfect place to enjoy summer breezes, now that UC's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) have completed their work at Whittier Victorian Gardens in Price Hill. Sandy Kahn (second from right), professor of accounting and business ethics at University College and adviser to the service club, estimates that 10,000 student hours have been spent since 1997 transforming a former community eyesore into a place of beauty -- everything from digging chunks of concrete out of the soil and rebuilding a high stone wall to finding grant money and obtaining a historic district designation.

Students who began the project have gone on to careers around the country and the globe, but several of this year's SIFE crew met at the site last spring. They are (from left) Mike Maney, Univ '00, Jeanette McClellan and Brad Gibson, DAAP '00, Univ '00. The fourth member of the SIFE team, Emily Phinney, Univ '00, was unable to attend.

James Johnson (right), owner of a local lawn service company, helped students restore the gazebo before it was placed in service and will take over yard maintenance responsibilities. "It's peaceful here," he says of the park.

Related article:

"College of Business MBA team wins third place in national field case competition" (2007)

Arrow going up

Illustration by Angela Klocke

Class dividends

Computer simulations and textbook games aren't good enough for students in Steve Wyatt's "Special Topics in Finance" class. During the spring academic quarter, they went beyond theory to the anxiety and exhilaration of managing a viable stock market portfolio worth $350,000.

The Student-Run Johnson Investment Counsel Fund is a gift from University of Cincinnati finance professor Timothy Johnson, founder and president of a successful Greater Cincinnati investment firm. His goal is not only to give students real-life experience in managing portfolios and analyzing stocks, but to impress on them their responsibility to future students: Profits are earmarked for scholarships in finance.

Happily, in spite of market fluctuations, the fund gained about $10,000 and its cash holdings increased by 6 percent.


UC's Lindner College of Business finance major

New deans

Two of UC's proudest colleges, the College-Conservatory of Music and the College of Education, are entering the fall quarter with new deans at the helm.

Douglas Lowry, the previous associate dean of the Flora Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, succeeds Robert Werner, who retired after a 15-year tenure and completion of the $93.2 million renovated CCM Village.

Lawrence Johnson, an internationally recognized education researcher, took on the permanent leadership role in the College of Education in May. He had served as interim dean since the previous fall. Johnson's decade with UC has included stints as associate dean of research and development, as well as executive director of the university's Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center.

Dr. Arlitt's kids

Seventy-five years ago, when little children were "seen and not heard," Dr. Ada Hart Arlitt began a nursery school at the University of Cincinnati specifically to observe, listen and better understand child development. Since then, hundreds of little children have learned important life skills at the UC Nursery School, also known as the Arlitt Child Development Center.

A parent brochure from the 1940s described the work of the program as guiding children to "get along pleasantly" with others, become self-reliant, work in a group without losing their individuality and put away one toy before getting out another. Good standards for any age.

The renowned preschool, now the UC Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center, will host a 75th anniversary celebration on campus in early December. All former pupils, their parents, teachers and staff are invited.


Arlitt Child & Family Research and Education Center website