A&S Alumni Awards

College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Awards

Each year the college honors exceptional alumni who have made a significant mark on their professions, communities and UC. Honorees are nominated by their fellow alumni or faculty and chosen by the college. Four awards are formally celebrated each spring as part of our newly redesigned – A Night with A&S

We have a rolling nomination process, and you are able to nominate an A&S alumnus year-round. All nominations received by August 1 will be considered for the upcoming year's award cycle and any nominations received afterward will be held over until the following year. We also retain all previous nominations on file for three years.

We encourage you to review the award descriptions and use the form below to make a nomination.

Distinguished Alumni Award: An established alumnus who is outstanding in their chosen field of endeavor and has made significant contributions that benefit the community, state, nation, college or university. Ideally, this person has been actively involved in the betterment of the UC community. 

Philanthropist of the Year: An alumnus who has been highly engaged in philanthropic activities at the College of Arts and Sciences or made a significant impact in the college.

Special Achievement: This award is given to an alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences on the basis of notable achievement in their field, continued service, and involvement with the university and community. 

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: An alumnus who graduated within the last decade with significant achievements within their chosen field of endeavor, and who is also actively involved with UC in some capacity.

Nominate a UC A&S Alumnus

Please complete the form below to nominate a deserving candidate for a College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Award.

All nominations are kept on file and will be automatically reconsidered each year for up to three years.

2024 Honorees

Distinguished Alumni Award 

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an established alumnus who is outstanding in their chosen field and whose significant contributions have benefited the community, state, nation, college or university.

Patrick Portway Headshot

The 2024 UC College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award goes to Patrick S. Portway, a 1963 graduate of the Political Science program.

As the son of a widowed mother, Portway assumed the financial burden of his UC education, working as a dry cleaner delivery driver and earning just enough money to cover the cost of school, which he initially attended in the evenings. He switched to full-time student status after his first year, recognizing it would cost more but ultimately allowing him to earn his degree much sooner.

Starting as a physics major, Portway took rigorous classes in math, science, and technology while balancing a part-time job and his duties as a member of the UC Army Reserve Officer Training Corps. Midway through his college career, he changed majors to Political Science with a concentration in Russian studies, taking classes in Russian language, government and history.

By graduation, Portway landed a job with the General Services Administration in Washington, D.C. After basic infantry training, he worked in Army Intelligence and served in the 116th Counterintelligence Corps Group as a management intern specializing in automated data and telecommunications administration. He was a member of the security detail for President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration during this time.

Leaving his work in government to join the private sector, Portway worked for many leading companies, including Xerox as manager of strategic marketing; Boeing as a a congressional liaison; and Satellite Business Systems, a company founded in partnership by IBM, Aetna, and COMSAT. Working for American Satellite, he sold and oversaw the implementation of satellite networks to such companies as Crocker National Bank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

An innovator who realized the potential for videoconferencing well before Zoom, Portway published the book “Teleconferencing & Distance Learning” in 1992. In 1980, he had formed his own company, Applied Business TeleCommunications, and also ran TeleCon, the largest conference on teleconferencing and distance learning, until 1998, when he sold his company.

Portway holds a master’s of arts from the University of Maryland in Public Administration. He has been honored by many civic and industry organizations, including: the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award; Inductee, Worldwide Lifetime Achievement; Who's Who in America; Award for Higher Education, Rotary Intl.; Distinguished Service Award, JCI, Inc.; Who's Who in Finance & Business; Who's Who in America; the Rotary International Award for Higher Education; U.S. Jaycees Foundation, Outstanding Young Man of America; and the Global Distance Learning Assoc. He has served as an advisory board member for the National University Technology Network, he founded the U.S. Distance Learning Association, and was chapter president for the International Higher Education Academy of Science.

Portway’s philanthropy to UC and the College of Arts and Sciences supports the School of Public and International Affairs in establishing the Center for Cyberstrategy and Policy. Students who participate in the center’s work will be able to travel to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Estonia, a country with great ties to the Portway family as Malle Portway's family fled Estonia during World War II.

Philanthropist of the Year

The Philanthropist of the Year Award is given to an alumnus who has been highly engaged in philanthropic activities at the College of Arts and Sciences or has made a significant impact in the college.


The 2024 Philanthropist of the Year Award goes to Dr. Joan Reisch, a 1960 graduate of the Chemistry program.

As a young and eager statistician, Dr. Reisch left the University of Cincinnati for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where she’s held numerous roles as both faculty and staff over a 58-year career. She began as a research technician in internal medicine, which positioned her to earn her master’s in Mathematical and Experimental Statistics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She joined the Southwestern Medical Center faculty to teach statistics and computer science, eventually gaining tenure.

Dr. Reisch has participated in grants that have awarded the university more than $5 million in research funding; peer reviewed and contributed to more than 180 articles, chapters and editorials; served on dissertation committees for 38 years; served on the external advisory committee for the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University; and has been involved with the American Statistical Association, including as president of the North Texas Chapter and a Representative to the American Statistical Association Council. She’s also been active in the Biometric Society, Sigma Xi, Society of Clinical Trials, and the Texas Academy of Science where she has been an elected fellow. Among a long list of awards and accolades are an honorarium for the Personalities of the South, and an award as Outstanding Young Woman of America for her distinguished service and dedication to the community and state.

Philanthropy runs deep with Dr. Reisch. She was a representative for UT Southwestern in the State Employees Charitable Campaign in the Dallas chapter from 1996 to 2013, raising money to support health and human service nonprofits in Texas.

Dr. Reisch has supported the University of Cincinnati and the College of Arts and Sciences for more than four decades, including establishing a scholarship for STEM students. She was recently inducted into the Herman Schneider Legacy Society through the inclusion of the University of Cincinnati in her estate plans.

Special Achievement

The Special Achievement Award is given to an alumnus for notable achievement in their field, continued service, and involvement with the university and community.

Sujata Malhotra Headshot

The 2024 Special Achievement Award goes to Sujata Malhotra, a Darwin Turner Scholar and STEM program graduate who earned a bachelor’s in biochemistry in 1998.

As an undergraduate, Malhotra had dreamed of attending medical school, but upon graduation she decided to go into the food and beverage industry, beginning her career at Cargill Inc. She held various positions — quality assurance chemist, technical services manager, sales manager — while earning a master’s in Business Administration from Capital University, focusing on international marketing. After gaining experience in commodities and ingredient procurement at Treehouse Food Inc. in Chicago, she propelled herself into a lucrative sales career at Ingredion Incorporated, then to Sethness Roquette where she moved up the ranks to eventually become President of the Americas for the global market leader in caramel color. Malhotra implements the company strategy to drive optimum profitability, product mix and customer satisfaction; leads negotiations and collaborations to secure major contracts and partnerships to drive revenue growth and market penetration; cultivates a high-performance culture by inspiring and leading cross-functional teams toward shared business objectives while prioritizing employee safety; and acts as a visionary leader to modernize processes to increase efficiency.

During this time, Malhotra became the secretary on the Board of Directors with Candy Production Club of Chicago, a professional organization of candy makers; most recently she was the organization’s president. In addition, she is a Dean’s Advisory Board member for the UC College of Arts and Sciences. As a strong believer in higher education, she started the Sujata Malhotra Scholarship Fund for students majoring in chemistry or biochemistry.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is given to an alumnus under the age of 40 for significant achievements within their chosen field of endeavor, and who is actively involved with UC.

Nick Reasoner Headshot

The 2024 Outstanding Young Alumni Award goes to Nick Reasoner. Nick majored in communications and public relations, graduating from UC’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2011.

During Reasoner’s time at UC, he was involved with the community and several student organizations, including Adopt-A-Class, the Boys and Girls Club of Cincinnati, and Fairview Middle School where he was a tutor. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the Phi Rho Chi Honorary Fraternity.

One of his most impactful student experiences was his internship at TQL, which led to a full-time position upon graduation.

After a seven-year career with TQL, Reasoner joined FourKites to learn about Enterprise Transportation Software within the logistics space. That opened his eyes to the lack of visibility within the transportation sector and the overall access to transparent yet ethical freight brokers. 

Reasoner has since become founder and CEO of TransLoop, a third-party logistics company headquartered in Chicago. TransLoop connects shippers to qualified carriers, combining cutting-edge technology and proprietary carrier solutions with white-glove service to move business freight from point A to point B.

Over the last four years, TransLoop has received more than 20 awards as a logistics industry leader, including taking the No. 12 spot on Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America; Reasoner was named to Business Elite’s 40 Under 40. The company now exceeds yearly sales of $100 million and has taken on zero outside capital with no outside investors.

Past Honorees

Patrick S. Portway '63, Political Science, Distinguished Alumni Award
Joan Reisch, PhD, '60, Philanthropist of the Year Award
Sujata Malhotra '98, Chemistry, Special Achievement Award
Nick Reasoner '11, Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Shakila Ahmad '84, Mathematics, Distinguished Alumni Award
Burton (A&S '59) and Richard (Bus '59) Roehr, Philanthropist of the Year Award
William Van Wie, PhD '71, '76, Geology, Special Achievement Award
Ashley Nkadi '16, Neuroscience, Outstanding Young Alumni Award

2021 - 2022
Darlene R. Walley, PhD ’84, Distinguished Alumni Award
Shannon E. Finn Connell ’92, Philanthropist of the Year Award
Charles J. Barnett ’71, Special Achievement Award
Brande Victorian ’07, Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Event was not held due to pandemic.

William C. Judd, Biology and Biochemistry '14
Maurice B. Stewart, Organizational Leadership ’16
John S. Michelman, PhD, Chemistry ’60

Doug van der Zee '84, Political Science
Sarah Curry Rathel '05, Communication
Janet Gilligan Abaray '79, English

Paul Kruchoski '10, Interdisciplinary Studies
Glen Weissenberger '69, Philosophy

Ciera A. Graham, PhD ’15, Social Sciences
Norikazu “Tom” Tsuchiya ’95, Classics
Elizabeth A. Murray, PhD ’88, ’93, Anthropology
Col. Timothy A. Adam ’86, Mathematics

Gisela “Gigi” Escoe, PhD ’83, Physics
Richard “Dick” Friedman ’68, Philosophy
Frederick K. Merkel, MD ’57, Zoology
Urban F. Meyer ’86, Psychology
Mary K. Sargent ’45, Chemistry

Mila Baker, PhD '75, '78, '82, Psychology
Diane Grob Schmidt, PhD ’81, Chemistry

John Thaeler ’79, Geology
Valerie Hotchkiss, PhD ’82, Classics

Joseph E. DiGenova '67, Political Science
William Harrison, PhD '74, Geology
Linda Harrison '70, '72, Geology
David P. Witte, MD '74, Biology

D. David Altman '68, Political Science
Matthew J. Doyle, PhD '81, '83, Chemistry
Steven Tracy, PhD '77, '80, '85, English

Linda Bennett, PhD ’74, ’78, '81, English
Aureal T. Cross, PhD ’41, '43 Geology
Jack Laub '50, Psychology

Rabbi Sally J. Priesand '68, English
Hon. John A. West '66, History

Merrill Goozner '75, History
Walt Handelsman '79, General Studies
Thomas Heckler, PhD '81, Chemistry

C. David Allis, PhD '73, Biology
Benjamin Gettler '45, HON ’03, Economics
Hon. Mark Painter '70, Political Science
Barbara Shailor, PhD '71, '75, Classics
Stephen G. Wells, PhD '73, '76, Geology

Michele Paludi, PhD '78, '80, Psychology
John Schneider '70, '73, Economics, Political Science
Patricia Glass Schuman '63, English
Phillip Yeager '51, Economics

Dennis D. Berkey, PhD '74, Mathematics
Daniel F. Danzl, MD '72, Biology
Fred L. Fricke, Jr. '62, '69, Chemistry
Margaret J. "Peg" Valentine '71, Romance Languages and Literatures
Margaret M. Zeigler, PhD '92, '92, '95, Geology, Geography

NeeOo W. Chin, MD '77, Psychology
Michael B. Coleman '77, Political Science
Stuart G. Hoffman, PhD '73, '75, Economics
Donna C. Kurtz, PhD ’64, Classics
William T. Weaver '76, Political Science

Diane F. Halpern, PhD '77, '79, Psychology
Sidney Peerless, MD '44, ‘45
Hon. Stephen M. McNamee '64, History
Laurence H. Lattman, PhD '51, '53, Geology
Marian A. Spencer '42, HON ’06, English

Sam Harrell, PhD '64, Chemistry
Thomas E. Murphy '64, '67, Economics

Headshot of Mark Osborne

Mark Osborne

Program Director, Alumni Engagement, College of Arts and Sciences, UC Blue Ash & UC Clermont