Women's History Month


Ever since Winona Lee Hawthorne became the first female to earn a degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1878, women have built an impressive legacy as Bearcat students and alumnae. Today, women constitute the majority of each graduating class, and their achievements continue to elevate the institution, their communities and their chosen fields.

For these reasons, the UC Alumni Association proudly marks Women’s History Month — celebrating the excellence of the past and present while eagerly anticipating the greatness that lies ahead.

Women of UC

2 Women posing with a bearcat

Women of UC is a network of Bearcats united to advance the power of our female graduates. Together, we inspire each other to advance our personal and professional lives.

We plan experiences ranging from cocktails and conversation to taking deep dives on professional issues - A mix of work and play - All with the aim of bringing women together. We hope to see you very soon! Learn more about Women of UC.

Women's History Month Spotlights

Trinity Shaya Headshot

Trinity Shaya, A&S ’21, has been selected for the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program, which supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State.

Camryn Ellis Headshot

Camryn Ellis, who graduated in August 2023 with a bachelor's degree in international business and entrepreneurship from UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, created an app called RYN that provides custom outfit recommendations and the ability to try on clothes virtually.

Pamela Newport Headshot

A three-time UC alumna, Pamela Newport, A&S ’01, ’04, Law ’05, watched her father form a union as a steel mill worker, then crafted her own career journey to union-side law to help fight human rights.

Erin Roddy Headshot

A 2013 DAAP grad and owner of MEAS Active, Erin Roddy is on a mission to encourage, empower, and celebrate women through all avenues of their health and wellness journey.

Chelsea Elliott Headshot

Chelsea Elliott, a 2012 Arts and Sciences graduate and founder of Somocom Lab, is on a mission to help communicate and connect more effectively by enhancing emotional intelligence and emotional wellness.

Dasha Gilliss Headshot

Dasha Gilliss, a 2005 DAAP graduate, successfully translated an arts education into a meaningful tattooing career — one of the bravest forms of art practice.

Litsa Spanos headshot

The “Women of UC Inspire” series showcases personal stories of our incredible alumnae and will leave you feeling empowered and inspired. Litsa Spanos, CECH ’85, shares her remarkable story — from childhood in remote northern Greece to becoming an accomplished American entrepreneur and Cincinnati “Woman of the Year” honoree.

Janice Hutchinson headshot

For half a century, Dr. Janice Hutchinson, Med '73, has been a champion for children’s health and well-being, especially those challenged with HIV and AIDS, mental illness, teen pregnancy, violence or abuse. She was inspired from a young age to pursue a career in medicine – to help and heal those who are historically underserved. And she has delivered that compassionate care to patients around the world. She receives mercy and grace, humility and strength from those she encounters, and hopes their gifts to her become, in turn, her gifts to others.

Christie Bryant Kuhns headshot

Working tirelessly to increase opportunities for African Americans and historically underserved communities, Christie Bryant Kuhns, A&S '01, Law '06, helped launch an initiative to double the number of small, minority-owned businesses in Cincinnati over the next several years. She’s particularly proud of her role in redeveloping the Avondale Town Center, enhancing the treasured community’s opportunity to thrive. Leveraging a unique combination of experience in local government, corporate and non-profit sectors, she’s a respected leader in driving equity and financial empowerment through advocacy, education and development.

Veronica Stern, CCM '21

Named “one to watch in 2022” by Broadway World, Veronica Stern, CCM ’21, treasures the opportunity to play the storied role of Anya in the revival of Broadway musical Anastasia.

Amy Lukas, DAAP '95

Ever marvel at the look and feel of big-time events like the Olympic Games or the Super Bowl? Brilliant designers such as Amy Lukas, DAAP ’95, are behind the curtain creating those brand experiences.

Brande Victorian, A&S '07

As senior editor of entertainment for Essence, a leading magazine for Black women, Brande Victorian, A&S ’07, sees her journalism career providing opportunities to make an impact in ways she considers personally and culturally meaningful.

Ruthie Keefe, CECH '81

Ruthie Keefe, CECH ’81, says she owes her business success to UC. She credits her education, her ongoing experiences as a deeply engaged alumni volunteer leader, and opportunities found through her vast Bearcat network.

Christin Godale, PhD, Med '22

CincyTech makes the smartest possible investments in next-gen digital and healthcare businesses. That work was supercharged when UC Neuroscience Graduate program alumna Christin Godale, Med ’22, became the organization’s director of life sciences.

Frinwi Achu, Law '16

One of Africa’s top young attorneys, Frinwi Achu, Law ’16, considers her UC experience the ideal launchpad for her career advising companies, startups and foreign investors about doing business on the continent.

Patty Kautz, Bus '88

Patty Kautz, Bus ’88, recently became executive vice president for Washington, D.C.-based GRF CPAs & Advisors, a leading national accounting firm. Patty is the first volunteer leader of the Women of UC network of alumnae.

Alice McCollum headshot

Alice McCollum, Law ’72, became the first woman and first Black woman elected to the Municipal Court in Dayton, Ohio, at just 31 years old. Her 42-year career was dedicated to fair and compassionate service to her community.

Alicia Heelan Headshot

As a UC Health breast cancer surgeon, Alicia Heelan, MD, draws upon some of the same traits — precision, attention to detail, the ability to perform under pressure — that she first developed as a young figure skater for Team USA.

Sydney O'Connor Headshot

Sydney O’Connor, CEAS ’21, is a tremendous case study in the value of cooperation education, leveraging opportunities to grow her computer engineering skills at employers like Apple and Tesla prior to graduation.

Hailey Bell Headshot

As she nears completion of her degree in marketing, Hailey Bell, Bus ’23, is proud that she’ll become the first college graduate in her family — and she’s dedicated to ensuring she won’t be the last.

Lisa Mahle-Grisez

The University of Cincinnati Clermont College recently welcomed Lisa Mahle-Grisez as associate dean of academic affairs.

UC Alumna and Olympic athlete Mary Wineburg smiles for the camera

Mary Wineberg, BSED ’02, claimed the gold in the 4 x 400 meters race in 2008 Beijing Olympics.

DAAP graduate and Project Runway contestant, Tessa Clark

Tessa Clark, BSDES ’16, does Bravo’s Project Runway.

Woman looking and smiling directly at the camera while wearing a pink hat

Kristen Tomlan, BSID ’11, turns favorite childhood treat into a dream business.

Headshot of alumna Karen Olivo

Tony-winning UC alumna, Karen Olivo, CCM' 97, recognized during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Alumna Rashida Mauel looks onward while deep in discussion

Rashida Manuel A&S '12, '16 is on a mission to build a more equitable, sustainable Cincinnati.

Headshot of alumna Karen Olivo

Career is a testament to volunteerism’s mutual benefits for Mary Kay Brown, MEd, CAHS ’71, ’02.

Cynthia Johnson

Cynthia Johnson, Pharm ’18, owns Cindy J Cosmetic Labs, LLC, an innovation company that offers research and development services for cosmetic business owners.

Nominate a Bearcat

Nominate a Bearcat alumnus for a future heritage or awareness month alumni spotlight.

UC Women's Center

The UC Women's Center is committed to the personal and professional growth of women and gender non-conforming students by facilitating action toward intersectional gender equity, promoting social justice, and fostering connections for all students. Learn more about the UC Women's Center.

Ways to Be Involved and Make a Difference