The 2014 campaign, "UC the Impact,” started in early 2014 and continues through June. This year’s campaign, and upcoming stories in "Featured,” will focus on the significant impact that faculty and staff gifts have on Academic Health Center colleges and the university:
For Tom Herrmann, EdD, his support of the University of Cincinnati faculty/staff campaign arises from a long relationship to UC: his history as an athletic training student, his current role at the College of Allied Health Sciences and the future of his students’—and children’s—careers after their UC education.
Herrmann came to UC in 1973 as a health and physical education major and a student athletic trainer. After graduating in 1977, he returned to UC in 1980 as a staff athletic trainer. He went on to earn three more degrees from UC, a doctorate of education (EdD) in 1986, an AS in 1994 and a BS in physical therapy in 1997.
Currently, he serves as interim department head of the CAHS Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. The department houses a nationally recognized doctor of physical therapy program and the college’s largest undergraduate program, the Bachelor of Sciences in Health Sciences.
It also boasts three years of 100 percent participation in the UC Faculty/Staff giving campaign.
For Herrmann, it’s not the magnitude of the gifts that matters—it’s the willingness of faculty and staff to support the university where they work.
"The notion that everyone’s willing to support the campaign is probably the most reassuring,” he says. "It means everybody sees the value in what we do. Everyone here devotes tremendous personal resources to our mission, whether time, talent or treasure. We already know that everyone in our department dedicates tremendous time and talent—the fact that they are willing to dip into their treasure is really special.”
That campaign has been led each year by department program manager Beth Bextermueller, who serves as volunteer captain and finds particular meaning in giving to scholarship funds.
"Each year at the Faculty Staff Campaign kickoff, I listen to the story behind the student,” she says. "I see the faces of deserving students who are awarded scholarships and I find myself smiling. Paying it forward actually works! As a donor, I get to be a small part of the students’ success while they are here on campus.”
Herrmann himself has regularly given to the Rehabilitation Sciences scholarship fund, the volleyball program and the Dr. W. Kenneth Stephens fund, and this year, the Amanda Blackmon Heitkamp fund
The Stephens fund supports student athletic trainers in honor of Stephens, a longtime team physician for UC, graduate of the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and current assistant medical director and coordinator of athletic medicine for University Health Services. Herrmann calls Stephens one of the most influential people in his life, with a tremendous impact on his education and career.
Though he’s now on the teaching side of the classroom, he says he feels a strong connection to UC students that motivates his giving: "I’m an athletic trainer and a physical therapist—I started working on being that person when I was 19 and I’m still working on it. These kids study what I study and want to do what I do. My goal is to help create an environment where they can learn to do it better than I can.”
Additionally, he keeps up with teams’ schedules and attends volleyball matches with his wife Anne, a former UC volleyball player. They also have three children who have chosen UC for their own higher education, in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, and the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
Overall, Herrmann says giving back to UC is both a matter of pride and a commitment to promoting its work to others: "If I’m not willing to support my university, how am I supposed to ask that of others? You have to lead by example.”
Faculty and staff can designate their tax-deductible gifts to specific college or university priorities, academic scholarships or departments. Click here
to see a list of all available funds. Everyone who makes a gift from now through June 30 will be eligible for special promotions and drawings.