UC4A News - Summer 2016
The quarterly update from UC's African American Alumni Affiliate
In this issue:
Update from the Chair
Hello Fellow Bearcats!
It’s been some time since our last official newsletter, but we’re excited to share some recent success stories as well as some key dates so that you can plan for the upcoming year.
On behalf of the UC4A executive committee, thanks to each and every one of you who participated with the Onyx & Ruby Gala in some way. We honored some highly deserving alumni for their contributions and raised money to support current students through scholarships for study abroad programs. I can’t thank our entire Gala Committee enough, especially our chair, Dr. Nicole Ausmer. We expect the 2017 Onyx & Ruby Gala to be even bigger, so please make plans now to join us next Feb. 28 for #ORGala17.
In addition to reviving the Gala, the executive committee has been staying connected with the university in a number of other ways. We have remained involved with UC’s increased efforts to provide a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community. We were able to welcome new Bearcats into the alumni ranks at this year’s Tyehimba celebration. And we’ve worked with the UC Alumni Association leadership to continue to define the best ways to effectively engage our different alumni groups.
While we are extremely proud of all we have accomplished, there is always more to do, and we are eager to keep UC4A moving forward. For that, we need your help. We’re looking for committee members and leaders to step up for roles that you’re passionate about. With so much momentum in our favor, it’s a great time to get involved.
Marcus Bethay II, Bus. ’06
UC4A Board of Volunteers
Onyx and Ruby 2016: A Look Back
As part of its celebration of 20 years serving UC’s African American alumni community, UC4A reintroduced the Onyx & Ruby Gala as the organization’s showcase event. The last gala was held in 2007, so it was a joy to bring it back to our annual schedule.
The Onyx & Ruby Gala provides an opportunity to gather as a happy and proud family, to rekindle and discover relationships with fellow alumni, and honor some of our most outstanding examples of excellence within UC’s African American family. Nearly 200 alumni and guests came to the Sharonville Convention Center on Feb. 20. (See event photos here and here.)
The eight honorees represent a cross-section of alumni, students, faculty and staff who, individually and collectively, have made an impact on their university and community.
The “Give 4A Change” Fund benefited from the fundraising aspect of the gala, receiving funds that will help fund study abroad scholarships for deserving students. The entire event benefited from the generous investment of our presenting sponsor, UC Health.
UC Community Advisory Council Update
The University of Cincinnati has released a comprehensive report of the UC Police Department (UCPD), which includes 14 fundamental findings with 25 corresponding recommendations needed to establish a foundation necessary for reform to develop UCPD into a national model for urban campus policing. Aside from the fundamental findings, the report includes 115 additional findings with 251 recommendations. UC proactively hired Exiger, a nationally renowned police-monitoring firm, to conduct an extensive audit of UCPD following the July 19 shooting death of Samuel DuBose. Exiger’s audit included an in-depth assessment of all UCPD policies, procedures and practices, a review of data and data collection methods and interviews with members of the UC and Cincinnati communities. Reform efforts, outlined by Exiger, will focus on and around training, policies and procedures, monitoring and diversity.
Additionally, the university has hired Anthony Carter to serve as Chief of Police and Maris Herold as Assistant Chief of Police. An 11-member search committee, led by Director of Police Community Relations S. Gregory Baker, conducted a national search and reviewed nearly 70 applications, conducted 10 video conference interviews and held a series of on-campus open forums to find qualified candidates committed to evidence-based, community policing who understand the needs of a complex, diverse urban campus. According to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, over 50 percent of the applicants for the position of chief of police were under represented persons.
Anthony Carter, who has 34 years of policing experience, served with the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) from 1989-2012. He left to join the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland as Chief where he managed the day-to-day operations of a 34 person department. Maris Herold spent nearly 25 years with CPD in a variety of leadership roles, most recently as Patrol Special Project Captain and District Four Commander.
Alumni Spotlight: Sean Walton, A&S ’07
Sean Walton’s leadership abilities were evident as he was earning a political science degree with an African American Studies focus in 2007. After receiving his law degree from Capital University in Columbus, he has become an accomplished attorney in serious personal injury litigation with experience ranging from criminal defense to employment law, plus time spent working The Cochran Firm, founded by legendary attorney Johnnie Cochran.
In 2014, Sean launched Walton+Brown, LLP, with law partner Chanda Brown. The duo has won more than $13 million in settlements or verdicts for clients who have been victims of serious personal injury, including automotive accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product and premises liability.
Named to Top 40 Under 40 lists for National Trial Lawyers and National Black Lawyers, Sean is the lead attorney on an initiative to draft new laws in Ohio pertaining to police use of force, and is a member of the National Police Accountability Project.