Chicagoans for Cincy! logo

Chicagoans for Cincy! Celebration  
Thursday, May 9, 2024  
6 – 9 p.m.

Loft Lucia 
7 N. Carpenter St. 
Chicago, IL 60607  

Join us as we recognize and celebrate the many contributions and overall excellence of UC alumni in the Chicagoland area. The Chicagoans for Cincy! Celebration honors three outstanding Bearcats and raises funds to support the Chicagoans for Cincy! Alumni Scholarship. This annual event has raised over $180,000 to benefit incredible students from the region.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Leveraging one of the premier UC alumni events held outside of Cincinnati each year, the Chicagoans for Cincy! Celebration, our sponsors help to elevate this important event and receive special recognition throughout the Celebration and in promotional materials. 

Sponsorship information for the 2024 Chicagoans for Cincy! Celebration will be available soon. Check back for more information.

Alumni Awards

Recipients of Chicagoans for Cincy! Celebration awards will be announced spring of 2024. The three awards are:

Outstanding Achievement
This award is given to a Chicagoland alumnus of UC on the basis of notable achievement in the individual’s professional field. This award differs from the Distinguished Service Award in that it is not restricted to service to the university.

Distinguished Service 
This award is given to a Chicagoland alumnus of UC who has faithfully rendered exceptional service to the university. This award is meant to recognize volunteer contributions by an alumnus and demonstrate appreciation to those who are usually over-modest, unpaid and unthinking of personal reward.

Rising Star 
This award is given to an up and coming or newly-involved Chicagoland alumnus of UC on the basis of professional achievement in the individual’s field, and continued service and engagement with the university and community.

Nominations for the 2024 Chicagoans for Cincy! Celebration have closed.

Support the Scholarship

Through the generous support of donors, the Chicagoans for Cincy! Alumni Scholarship has helped 5 students receive a world-class education at one of the nation’s top urban research universities. Awarded annually to an incoming, first-year student from the Chicagoland area, the scholarship may be renewed up to eight semesters pending fund availability and student eligibility.  

Show your support by donating directly to the Chicagoans for Cincy! Alumni Scholarship Fund. 

2023 Award Recipients

Dr. Steven Edelstein headshot

Steven Edelstein, MD, is an anesthesiologist, award-winning educator, chair of the Loyola University Chicago Department of Anesthesia, and the author of numerous abstracts, textbook chapters and peer-reviewed research articles. He has been with the Loyola University Chicago Department of Anesthesia since 1997.

At UC, he established the Dr. Steven Edelstein Medical Student Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports MD degree-seeking students with a preference given to underrepresented students in their third or fourth year. Dr. Edelstein has also included UC in his estate plans. In addition to his own scholarship, he has been a consistent donor to the IvaDean Scholarship Fund. He served as a visiting professor to UC’s Department of Anesthesiology in 2008.

Shannon Finn Connell headshot

Shannon Finn Connell is the Chief Executive Officer of the David R. Metcalf Invisible Wounds Foundation, established to advance brain health care for military and veterans by addressing traumatic brain injury and suicide prevention. She is an executive coach, author, organizational change leader and member of Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only organization for leading business and career coaches. A former executive with SYSCO, Shell Oil and Procter & Gamble, Shannon worked internationally in China and Latin America before combining her corporate experiences and academic pursuits. She earned her Ph.D. in organizational development, researching design thinking as a problem-solving methodology in global organizational change initiatives.

While maintaining leadership positions in business, Shannon was appointed adjunct professor of management in the MBA program at Rice University. She is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of UC’s College of Arts and Sciences. She is also an advisor to the Navy SEAL Foundation where she supports special operations warriors transitioning from active military service to civilian life.

Bhavik Modi headshot

Bhavik Modi is a Senior Director of Innovation & Digital Transformation at BTS, a global consultancy firm that works with leaders to help turn strategy into action with a focus on the people side of strategy execution. Bhavik is also the CEO and co-founder of Chicago’s Azadi Brewing Company which pairs Indian culinary inspiration with American craft beer. A rapidly growing brand, Azadi was named one of three new local breweries to know by Chicago Magazine, and Bhavik was named one of 23 people to watch in 2023 by Hop Culture Magazine. Azadi was also featured in Fortune, Forbes, The Guardian and several international publications.

A staunch supporter of UC, Bhavik brought BTS to the Cincinnati Innovation District as a corporate partner, leading their new office in the 1819 Innovation Hub. He frequently attends UC Alumni Association events including the Chicagoans for Cincy! Game Watch hosted by Azadi Brewing, the Chicagoans for Cincy! Celebration and other activities with the Chicago network. He also supports UC Athletics (proudly traveling from Chicago to use his season tickets for football and basketball), hosting student visits to BTS global offices, and sponsoring student organization projects for both BTS and Azadi Brewing.

Outstanding Achievement Award

  • Shannon Finn Connell, PhD
  • Eva Maddox
  • Alan Channing
  • Denny Reigle
  • Wally Becky
  • Brent Freese
  • Susan King
  • Tom Behringer
  • Michael Schroeck
  • Donald Nally
  • Lawrence Damron

Distinguished Service Award

  • Dr. Steven Edelstein
  • Denny DeMoss
  • David Watkins
  • Chris and Spes Mekus
  • Yetta Starr
  • Matt Wagner
  • Patty Klingbiel
  • Sean Connell
  • Paul Kingsley
  • Neal Novak

Rising Star Award

  •  Bhavik Modi
  • Paul Green
  • Cindy Chiang
  • Andrew Eloff
  • John Lutz
  • Ann Taylor
  • Adjoa Anyane-Yeboa
  • Kathleen Hurley

Get Involved

Interested in getting involved with the Chicagoans for Cincy! Committee? Contact Chicago Alumni Network Leader Jacki Adkins.

Headshot of McKenzie McKinney

McKenzie McKinney

Senior Director, Alumni Engagement