University of Cincinnati
How wonderful it is when you have a career that gives you passion and purpose, that allows you to impact yourself and others in positive ways. I asked Dr. Jeffrey Blevins to share what gives him reason to look forward to his days. This is what he shared…a teacher’s inspiration.
In his own words
“One of the best things about working in higher education is helping people achieve their goals, and more importantly, help them see their own potential. Certainly, it’s a privilege to work with self-directed and industrious students. However, the real reward is working with students who are struggling, or haven’t realized what they are capable of because they have already limited themselves. Too often it seems, people are captured by some kind of fear – whether its fear of failure, fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, or fear of something else. Helping students work past those fears and self-limitations is what I find most fulfilling as an educator. Life is too short not to put yourself out there and take your best shot.”
JEFFREY LAYNE BLEVINS, Ph.D.
associate professor & head, Department of Journalism
University of Cincinnati
It’s great to see people in our community, leaders and innovators in their fields, to step up and pave the way for future generations to carry on that legacy.
Lori and Bill Beer are doing just that with the establishment of a $500,000 Beer Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to benefit University of Cincinnati students, with a preference toward females, enrolled in the STEM programs of information systems and analytics at UC’s Lindner College of Business.
Chief Information Officer of the Corporate & Investment Bank at JPMorgan Chase & Co, Lori is known for navigating rapid change, particularly in the area of technology. David Szymanski, dean of UC’s Lindner, calls her a “remarkable role model for students.”
The Beers’ daughter, Christina Beer, BBA ’15, previously served as UC’s Student Body President and is now employed at GE Aviation. The Beers’ other children, Morgan and Patrick, are active students on campus and enrolled in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. In addition to being proud Bearcat parents, Lori and Bill have supported UC through the Bowties for Scholarships Fund, the Honors-PLUS Parents Fund and UCATS General Fund. Lori is a member of the UC Business Advisory Council.
“I advise young women to be continuous learners by being courageous and taking risks. By using their education and expanding their knowledge, they will leave a unique mark on the world. Our scholarship will help Lindner students do just this,” Lori said.
CINspirational People is a feature of Good Things Going Around profiling diverse people of Greater Cincinnati, what inspires them, and what is inspiring about them. You can read more profiles by clicking on the link at the top of the blog. Do you know someone to suggest? Please reach out. Thanks!
GTGA Intern Liza Hartke, a student at our city’s great University of Cincinnati, was so excited when she reached out to President Santa Ono for a CINspirational People interview – and he wrote back with such thoughtful answers…one more reason to have huge respect for him. He always makes time for U.C. students. His answers as to why he came to U.C. and what he values about it are truly heartfelt. Cincinnati is lucky to have him here!
GTGA Intern Liza Hartke: What was your biggest motivator for wanting to be president of the University of Cincinnati?
Santa: My selection as president of University of Cincinnati was unexpected. I had served as provost of the University for a little over two years when my predecessor Gregory Williams resigned suddenly. The Board of Trustees asked me to serve as interim president, and I of course accepted due to my love of the institution and especially for the faculty, staff and students of the University.
The search committee for the permanent president of UC asked me why I would want to serve as the 28th president. The answer was simple: that I love the ethos of the institution, it’s connectivity with the city of Cincinnati, and its mission of transforming the lives of the next generation.
I don’t think many people fully appreciate how remarkable UC is on the landscape of higher education. It is considered one of a handful of institutions that have truly innovated how college students are educated. That innovative spirit pervades the institution.
I think a good case could be made that no other institution integrates better classroom teaching with the real world experience.
The biggest motivator for me is to build upon that tradition and to ensure that we continue to create new knowledge and transform the lives of students that matriculate at the University.
GTGA Intern Liza: What is your favorite thing about being the president?
Santa: My favorite aspect of being UC’s president is interacting with faculty, students and staff. The work that occurs on our campus on a daily basis is simply stunning. Through this work, people are living their dreams. I view my primary mission as facilitating that work and helping our faculty, staff and students realize their dreams.
GTGA Intern Liza:What makes the Cincinnati students unique?
Santa: I have had the honor and privilege of working at several fine institutions including: Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of London, and Emory University. There are outstanding students at each of these institutions as well as at hundreds of other colleges and universities around the world.
University of Cincinnati students are amazing in that they approach their studies and work with diligence and enthusiasm but with humility and no sense of entitlement. The quality of their work is second to none. Everywhere I go, CEOs and industry leaders sing the praises of our graduates. Indeed, a just proportionate number of industry leaders are alumni of our great university.
I honestly believe that part of the “secret sauce” of a University of Cincinnati education stems from the diversity of individuals within the institution. That prepares our students to work with very different kinds of individuals to move forward with a complicated project. That ability to communicate across disciplines and between theory and practice prepares our students well to innovate and to lead.
GTGA Intern Liza: What has been the most challenging struggle and how have you overcome it?
Santa: As is probably the response of most university presidents, the biggest challenge involves balancing a large and complex annual budget. Significant portions of that budget are not guaranteed on an annual basis. For example state and federal subsidies and enrollment can change abruptly from year-to-year.
Dealing with this challenge involves careful strategic planning and strong peripheral vision. The CEO of such an institution needs to have multiple plans to deal with various scenarios and needs to think quickly on his or her feet. You also need to surround yourself with a talented team that can help you navigate through unchartered waters.
GTGA Intern Liza: What is a motto you live by and how has it impacted you?
Santa: To whom much is given, much is expected. Luke 12:48
Universities are privileged institutions that exist for the betterment of society. University presidents must set the tone where there is an automatic expectation throughout the institution that we mobilize our resources for the betterment of the community in which we live.
For those who know me and/or have followed Good Things Going Around, you probably know this is a project that truly comes from my heart. I want it to be a place where others can visit – either on my site or through one of my social media networks – and leave inspired, or at least to have their day brightened as a result. My problem has always been finding the time to keep up with it while also maintaining my paid work.
Interns have been invaluable to me. A few months ago I spent a day on the campus of the University of Cincinnati interviewing students to work with me. I was looking for someone who also is a positive thinker and who shares my belief that everyone has the potential for making important contributions.
I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I found not just one but two incredible students with different gifts and interests who want to make a positive difference in this world – and I am truly honored that they want to do that with Good Things Going Around as a vehicle.
Through the end of the summer you will be reading and seeing their work. Please support their energy by resharing posts when they impact you. You will find links to posts on my social media networks too so please follow Good Things Going Around on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Liza came up with the idea and name for a new Good Things project, CINspirational People!, which will spotlight a broad range of people in our community and some of what inspires them. She was so excited about it that she called me days after her interview to tell me she couldn’t stop thinking about it. It is such a wonderful idea and Liza will do a great job heading this up. Katie and I will also be contributing CINspirational People! Posts.
Why I am a Good Things Intern: Liza’s words
Words cannot describe how excited I am to be a part of the Good Things Going Around blog project. CINspirational People! is a new project that we have created to share inspirational stories and spread the positivity throughout the world! I could not be more humbled to have the chance to work with Lisa on this amazing project and hope that you will find a little bit of happiness through each one of my posts.
Katie is a very talented writer and has a passion for sharing the stories of diverse people. Through her writing she will explore many subjects, highlight human strengths and maybe even vulnerability, and inspire you to see the world from different perspectives. You will no doubt be impacted by her contributions.
Why I am a Good Things Intern: Katie’s words
When I was first searching for an internship for the summer, I was immediately drawn to Lisa’s project and its primary purpose of spreading positivity and light into the world via the written word. Too often, we focus heavily on the negative in favor of ignoring the positive. In searching for an internship, I wanted to find a position that would allow me the capacity and ability to use my writing and editing skills to implement positive change in my community, however that might be. Lisa’s blog project is just that. I have high hopes that this will be a space where I will grow both professionally in my writing, editing, and interpersonal communication skills, and personally, in my growth as an individual.
Lizzi Egbers is in her final year at the University of Cincinnati DAAP for Interior Design; and later this summer she is heading to Casablanca, Chile with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program. She is looking forward to helping build homes for families of children with disabilities so that they can return from the hospital to fully accessible homes.
“I love going to design school and I think it’s an amazing profession to bring beauty to the world, but to me that’s two-fold between design and service. I chose to partake in a Habitat for Humanity Global trip because as an interior designer you learn how important the space you live is and how much it affects you. Being able to create a place that can be called home for a family that has already been through so many hardships is really uplifting to me,” she wrote me.
Here is how you can help. To raise money for her trip, Lizzi has asked 29 talented people to create a piece of art based on a word she gave them. All of the words collectively create a poem that has inspired Lizzi’s thoughts about service. The art is being sold in a silent auction at a show June 18 from 6 to 9 pm at Rhinegeist Brewery (1910 Elm St) in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine.