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Record Breaking Incoming Class Joins UC’s Finest Programs

By: Liz Daubenmire

The incoming class of engineers gives promise to a bright future before stepping on campus with higher test scores and GPAs than ever.

Average GPA, ACT, and SAT scores have all increased from last year’s impressive group of new students, with this year’s average 3.59 GPA, 27.7 ACT score, and 1237 SAT score, including two highly achieving students who received perfect scores.  In addition to outstanding test results, the incoming class contains 26 National Merit Scholars and two recipients of the Cincinnatus Presidential Scholarship.  The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) welcomes the 2014 freshmen class with enthusiasm as the department’s excellence continues to grow.


Chemical Engineering

The world we live in would look very different if it were not for the many problems solved by chemical engineers.  Without regulations on food, products, and drugs, our safety would be in jeopardy.  The advancements and contributions of chemical engineers are crucial to everyday life- making chemical engineering a great field of work. 

The CEAS chemical engineering program fuels this progress in the city of Cincinnati.  UC’s chemical engineering program, within a nationally ranked college, contributes daily to the public.  Each year students graduate and enter the workforce with sound knowledge, years of experience in co-op assignments, and confidence in their abilities.  This year, UC welcomes the incoming class of engineers who can’t wait to get started.

Seven of the 26 National Merit Scholars are entering the chemical engineering program bringing energy, talent, and great potential. 

Karen Hildebrant

Karen Hildebrant

These students are hardworking, passionate about engineering, and excited to start their journey at the University of Cincinnati.  Karen Hildebrant, an incoming freshmen, explains her feelings after her acceptance into the program, "I am very excited to become a Bearcat and can't wait to spend the next five years of my life here. UC has so many incredible experiences to offer, especially undergraduate research and the co-op program. WE ENGINEER BETTER!TM"

As an involved high school student, Karen took a place on the Carroll High School Technology Student Association (TSA) Team both junior and senior year.  Her junior year the team came in 8th place in Ohio and 11th in the nation.  Her dad’s influence as an engineer himself stimulated Karen’s interest in math and science from a young age.  After her time at UC, Karen hopes to continue her education in graduate school and eventually work in the clean energy industry.

Students are enthusiastic to not only learn more about engineering, but about themselves. “I am really excited about coming to UC this fall. For me, UC gives me the opportunity to explore the world on my own and become my own person. I can't wait to see what co-op education has in store and am most looking forward to seeing exactly what my future job will be,” says Jacob Fields from Mason, Ohio.

Heidi Van Valkenburgh

Heidi Van Valkenburgh

Jacob’s attraction to UC started early after his father attended CEAS. As Jacob began to pursue engineering he grew sure of his choice to study at UC because of the program’s great co-op placements. His interest in engineering began after taking an assessment test his freshmen year at William Mason High School.  Jacob says his work in AP chemistry and physics classes continued his excitement and ultimately led him to purse engineering after high school.  Jacob has been a part of his school’s Science Olympiad team for four years, taking 4th place in the state competition two years in a row.

Heidi Van Valkenburgh, another incoming freshmen says she knew she was going to end up at UC the moment she stepped on campus.  “The built-in co-op program is an excellent chance to gain valuable work experience before actually getting a job. I can't wait to get back on campus and start classes this fall!” Heidi was first drawn to UC after hearing classmates talk about the great chemical engineering program.  After checking it out for herself, she fell in love with Cincinnati and its university.

The once elected Secretary of her school's chapter of National Honor Society says it was both her honors and AP chemistry teachers who “fostered her love of chemistry.”  After earning her degree, Heidi hopes to work in the consumer product industry where she says, “I want to be able to see something I helped create on the shelves of stores. My dream job would be to work for P&G.”

Rickey Terrell

Rickey Terrell

The University of Cincinnati takes pride in accepting some of the country’s top students and works hard to ensure they are prepared to start their journey as a Bearcat.  Rickey Terrell explains his first experiences as a member of the UC community, "I chose UC because of the different communities and resources the university has to offer. I am also honored to receive the Darwin T. Turner Plus and Cincinnatus Excellence Scholarships to attend UC. The faculty and staff have been willing to call and meet with my family to answer our questions. I can tell they are extremely passionate about their individual disciplines and areas of responsibility. I am eager to pursue my academic goals in chemical engineering while also gaining professional experience through the co-op program. I am also excited to meet new people and join the different social groups that UC has to offer."

CEAS welcomes these seven chemical engineering students with great hope for their future and the impact they will make on those around them.  Wishing them the best of luck in their studies, UC also encourages these young scholars to embrace the community, explore the city of Cincinnati, and enjoy these next years as Christian Meyer, of Lebanon, Ohio, plans to do.  Like many, Christian was first attracted to UC because of the co-op program.  His interest in science began as a child and became even clearer after acing his intro level chemistry class at St. Xavier High School.  As Christian continued studying chemistry and math, he realized engineering was the “perfect fusion” of the two. 

Christian Meyer

Christian Meyer

“I'm unbelievably excited to join the University of Cincinnati. I'm entirely sure that I'll learn more than I've ever imagined, and I'll make plenty of friends as well. UC is a wonderful community, and I'm positive that I'll fit right in--the next few years of my life will certainly be some that I won't forget!” -Christian Meyer

For these seven new students, August cannot come soon enough.  While they will have to wait five years before they can call themselves graduates, the College of Engineering and Applied Science will ensure they arrive on that day with sound knowledge and invaluable industry experience.