2016 Outstanding Graduates
Hannah Westendorf is an exceptional student in many ways...she leads by example, always displaying a high level of rigor and dedication in all her work. Her attitude is amazing, serious yet cheerful, able to lead a team and still contribute as a complete team player. She recently returned from a service trip to Cape Town, South Africa where she spent her spring break working with local township residents to build community vertical gardens. Hannah also has a part-time job to support her education and she still manages to exceed expectations. Hannah is truly an outstanding student and has clearly earned this honor.
Melissa Jessup graduated in December, 2015 with a B.A. in Art History, and certificates in Italian Language and Culture and Museum Studies. At UC, she served as an officer in the Italian and French Club and as a teaching assistant, and she delivered a lecture in the Riess Colloquium. At the Cincinnati Art Museum, Jessup was a registration intern , worked as a Visitor Services Assistant and a Security Guard, and gave a Muse Gallery Talk.
Mary Clare Meyer
Mary Clare Meyer is quiet, cerebral and mystically attuned to those around her. She is an authentic student who favors the natural world and her passion for promoting sustainability has led her to explore environmental causes. Currently, she is managing a fabric-recycling project within DAAP. She is also found assisting her classmates. The evidence of her concern for the planet is everywhere, enhanced by her gentle helpful spirit and leadership.
Ryan Strochinsky has been one of most inspired and inspiring students since he started on our Foundation program four years ago. He has maintained the drive, adventurousness, and fearlessness that he showed at the start to excel in studio classes in all kinds of different media including sculpture, painting, and installation. His work in Advanced Painting this semester has been astonishingly unusual and complex with references that include Russian science fiction cinema, as well as American and European literature and philosophy. He is very perceptive in responding to other students’ work in critiques where he brings the most unusual perspectives to the discussion.
Graphic Communication Design
Morgan Prenger exemplifies all of the qualities we expect out of our graduates. Her intellectual curiosity and drive towards, personal, professional, and social betterment serves as a beacon of excellence to all students in our program. Her unwavering positive outlook on life is infectious and uplifting to all those who know her. Her ability to bring people together and synthesize diverse viewpoints and agendas while maintaining absolute support from all contributing parties is a special quality bestowed upon only those who are natural born leaders. Morgan is a self-motivated problem solver, a strong visual and verbal communicator, thoughtful and probing student of her discipline, and a caring and principled steward for its future. The GRCD faculty confidently conclude that Morgan is the perfect recipient of this award as she personifies the very values for which it symbolizes.
Mary Uetrecht, a self-proclaimed “Plant Geek," chose to make a career change to pursue her love of plants and science. She has a strong interest in propagating, growing, and culturing plants. She has been committed to excellence in all of her courses, going beyond expectations with consistent high quality. Mary has the ability to balance education and personal responsibilities and she takes pride in her work. She has been a great asset to the students and faculty of the Horticulture Program.
Kristin McGinnis exemplifies the focus, determination, work ethic, and commitment to excellence in both critical thinking and creativity that DAAP ID demands. Her talent has developed impressively throughout her academic career due to a relentless self-motivation and willingness to continually improve. Her dedication is equally matched to her generosity and concern for her classmates. Such qualities, along with her strong co-op performances at Boston Whaler and Sea Ray Boats, set Kristin sailing for a successful career and leadership in both life and design.
Cassandra Radke is a highly talented, conscientious, and committed student who exemplifies the ideals of the school. She has consistently shown all throughout the program excellent work, effective leadership, positive disposition, and personal initiative. Outside UC, Cassie is also active in important social issues; the most recent was on a trip to the Philippines where she volunteered in rebuilding efforts of typhoon Haiyan disaster-stricken areas of the island of Leyte. She is truly an all-around outstanding student.
Janett Said is a participant of the joint BUP/MCP program and the graduate Urban Design certificate. She has collaborated in publications about planning in Bermuda and Metro Manila. In 2014, Janett spent time studying at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and collaborating with self-help settlements researchers under a UNESCO-funded UvA program. In 2012, she participated in a travel-study seminar of Brazilian cities. She is interested in sustainable international development and her master thesis will focus in understanding tacit sustainability in the lives of traditional Andean communities.
Master of Architecture
Andrew Vichosky combines skill, intellect and sheer persistence like no other student when it comes to his thesis project. While we have been treated to numerous pieces, we can't wait till he releases his creative storm to the entirety of New Orleans for the thesis defense.
Master of Arts, Art Education
Fatimah Alyami traveled many miles from Saudi Arabia to pursue her Masters in Art Education degree at DAAP. While Fatimah’s artistic accomplishments are indeed noteworthy, her passion for arts education and advocacy distinguish her as a trulyoutstanding student and leader. A volunteer with Against the Grain Scholars, a community program for young people, Fatimah also initiated a partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Fall 2015, welcoming international patients and their siblings to Saturday Art classes at UC. Currently the president of the Saudi Arabian Students Association at UC, Fatimah created the project “A Moment of Love,” drawing over 300 people together in a celebration of community and diversity. As Fatimah says, “We can do wonders if we put our hands together.”
Master of Arts, Art History
Saeedeh Asadipour performed at the highest levels in coursework in the MA Program in Art History, earned the award "The Finest Critical Feminist Scholar” from the Hammed Shahidian Legacy Initiative (2015), and delivered scholarly papers at The 26th Annual Conference of Iranian Women's Studies Foundation, The SOAS University of London, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and UC San Diego. Her research interests include global performance Art, Post-Colonialism, Psychoanalysis and Politics. Next year, she will begin doctoral studies in Art History at The University of Madison, Wisconsin, where she will pursue advanced research into Middle-Eastern Refugee Art of Palestine, Syria, and Iran.
Master of Community Planning
Kirstie Laatsch has displayed excellent academic performance. While earning her MCP degree, she spent a year working at the Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati, where several responsibilities included oversight of Federal block grants and managing the intern program. She also serves as a graduate research assistant to a project in partnership with the Cincinnati Health Department which investigates the existing and future opportunities for creating a connected active transportation network in Cincinnati.
Master of Design
Megan Sullivan is one of only four students selected to participate in the 5+1 Master of Design (MDes) program to graduate early with her Bachelor’s Degree and move directly into the MDes program. She has excelled in her studies and has always maintained a positive attitude throughout her MDes career. Her compassion for others is reflected in her thesis work creating a fashion forward design solution for breast cancer patients. Megan has dedicated her thesis to her mother and Hanna Hall who both have been influential in helping her on this journey.
Mary Clare Rietz
Master of Fine Arts
Mary Clare’s work in Cincinnati encompasses social sculpture, community bridge-building, effective communication and research-based projects that visually stimulate the environment. Her most recent project, “Mapping OTR (Over the Rhine),” has been reviewed regionally and nationally and will be presented for her Thesis Exhibition at the CAC. Mary Clare’s engagement with the public and honest collaboration with the community has furthered the conversation of dynamic change and progress in an area she has deeply invested her time and consideration.
Doctor of Philosophy, Regional Development Planning
Meghan Grabill is a PhD Candidate in the School of Planning. During her time at UC she was the PhD fellow at the Cincinnati Area Geographic Information System where she had the opportunity to collaborate on projects like the new Cincinnati Streetcar and work with organizations like the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation. In general, her research focuses on using spatial analysis to aid in planning outcomes and specifically her dissertation is on the creation of a spatial model to help develop targeted interventions for property abandonment and its related problems.