Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ph.D. Alumna Named 2011 Whiting Writers' Award Recipient

Don Mee Choi, Ph.D.
CINCINNATI, OH – The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation has named Union Institute & University Ph.D. alumna Don Mee Choi as one of ten recipients of the 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award. The awards, now $50,000 each totaling $500,000, have been given annually since 1985 to writers of "exceptional talent and promise in early career."

Since 1985, the program has awarded more than $6 million to 270 poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, and playwrights. Among the past recipients who have gone on to achieve acclaim and prominence in their field are Jeffrey Eugenides, Yiyun Li, Tony Kushner, Jonathan Franzen, Lisa Shea, Michael Cunningham, Mary Karr, Allegra Goodman, Wayne Koestenbaum, Rajiv Joseph and Terrance Hayes.

“The selection committee has given us a marvelously eclectic group of writers,” said Barbara Bristol, director of the Writers’ Program. “It is wonderful to see from the books these writers have published that the small, independent presses and university presses continue to be a strong, vital presence in the literary world, and it is also heartening that the larger presses are still investing in emerging literary talent.”

The 2011 recipients were announced at a ceremony at the Times Center in New York City on Tuesday, October 25. Poet Mark Doty, author of eight books of poems, including Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008, gave the keynote address. Whiting Foundation President Robert Belknap presented the awards to the recipients.

Choi was awarded for her first book of poetry, The Morning News is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), which the selectors found “a wildly surprising work describing the collapse of empire—bracing and invigorating. Its anger glows.” She also translates contemporary Korean women poets; her most recent is All the Garbage of the World, Unite! by Kim Hyesoon (Action Books, 2011). She is a recipient of a Daesan Translation Grant, Korea Literature Translation Institute Translation Grant, an American Literary Translators Association Travel Fellowship, and has served as poet-in-residence at the Henry Art Gallery. In addition to her Ph.D. from Union, which she earned in 2003, she holds a BFA and an MFA from the California Institute for the Arts. An instructor in adult basic education at Renton Technical College, she lives in Seattle.

Whiting Writers’ Awards candidates are proposed by about a hundred anonymous nominators from across the country whose experience and vocations give them knowledge about writers in early career. Winners are chosen by a small anonymous selection committee of recognized writers and editors, appointed annually by the Foundation. At four meetings over the course of the year, the selectors discuss the candidates’ work and recommend up to ten writers for awards to the Foundation’s Trustees. The Foundation accepts nominations only from the designated nominators.

About the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation

The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation was established in 1963 by Flora E. Whiting. In 1972, her unrestricted bequest of over $10 million enabled the Foundation to establish the Whiting Fellowships in the Humanities for doctoral candidates in their dissertation year. In the years since, the Foundation has annually awarded grants to Bryn Mawr, University of Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale to fund these Fellowships, the recipients of which are selected by each institution. The Foundation created the Whiting Writers’ Awards in 1985 under the direction of Gerald Freund, who organized and led the program until his death in 1997.

For more information about the Whiting Writers’ Award contact Liza Lucas,
(212) 705-4226 or For information about Union’s Ph.D. program and Don Mee Choi, Ph.D., contact Nicole Hamilton, (513) 487-1194 or


NYU Professor Named Scholar-in-Residence for Upcoming Ph.D. Residency

George Shulman, Ph.D.
CINCINNATI, OH – Union Institute & University (UI&U), a private, non-profit university headquartered in Cincinnati today announced that George Shulman, Ph.D., professor at The Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University, will serve as the scholar-in-residence for the upcoming Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies residency held in Cincinnati January 2-10, 2012.

Shulman teaches and writes on political thought in Europe and the United States, as well as on Greek and Hebrew - tragic and biblical - traditions. His teaching and writing emphasize the role of narrative in culture and politics. He is the author of Radicalism and Reverence: Gerrard Winstanley and the English Revolution and American Prophecy: Race and Redemption in American Political Culture (2008). His most recent book, American Prophecy, was awarded the David Easton Prize in political theory. Focusing on the language that great American critics have used to engage the racial domination at the center of American history, American Prophecy explores the relationship of prophecy and race to American nationalism and democratic politics. Shulman is a recipient of the 2003 NYU Distinguished Teaching Award.

Shulman’s keynote, “Vernacular Theology: Race, Prophecy and Ideas of Redemption in American Politics" analyzes the underlying grammar and vernacular idioms of political speech in the United States, by focusing especially on the ways that critics have formulated their opposition to white supremacy and racial inequality. The central claim is that "prophetic" language is a vernacular theology in the wider culture and the crucial language of opposition to racial domination.

For more information about the upcoming Ph.D. residency please contact Nicole Hamilton, UI&U public relations manager, at or at 513-487-1194.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cincinnati Academic Center Hires Admissions Director

Ken Fritz
CINCINNATI, OH – Union Institute & University (UI&U), a private, non-profit university that since 1964 has provided higher education opportunities for adults, today announced that Ken Fritz has been hired as admissions director for the Cincinnati Academic Center.

Fritz brings a wealth of successful enrollment management experience to UI&U. Most recently, he worked for the Apollo Group’s Institute for Professional Development (IDP), which contracts with colleges and universities to provide enrollment management and educational consulting services.

Fritz also served in various admissions, recruiting, and enrollment management capacities with Thomas More College’s TAP program and Ohio Dominican University’s business programs. He is also a past president of the Regional Association for Adult Higher Education (RAAHE), a consortium of regionally accredited local colleges and universities, of which UI&U is a member.

Fritz has a master of business administration and a master of management with a concentration in human resources management, both from the University of Phoenix, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Union College in Kentucky.

Monday, October 10, 2011

National Commencement Weekend Begins October 14

Dr. Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission, to deliver commencement address; Union will confer degrees to the first graduates of the university’s Doctor of Education program

WALNUT HILLS – Students from Cincinnati and across the country will converge at Union Institute & University (UI&U) in Walnut Hills October 14 and 15 to take part in the university’s National Commencement Weekend. The university’s newest graduates have earned doctoral, masters, and bachelor’s degrees from the private, non-profit university that, since 1964, has provided higher education opportunities for adults. This year, Union will also confer degrees to the first graduates of the university’s new Doctorate of Education program.

“The National Commencement weekend is a momentous occasion for Union Institute & University,” said UI&U President Dr. Roger H. Sublett. “It is time when the entire Union community gathers to celebrate our students’ accomplishments and the culmination of our collective efforts as a national university working to make positive change in our communities, through progressive higher education.” Also as part of the commencement weekend, the university’s international alumni board will host the second Union ReUnion, welcoming some of the university’s first graduates back to their alma mater.

The events begin Friday, October 14, with the President’s Reception, held at the UI&U Cincinnati Academic Center in Walnut Hills. The reception is an opportunity for new graduates and their families to celebrate their accomplishment with President Sublett, trustees, faculty, alumni and fellow graduates. The UI&U National Commencement takes place at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 15, in the Hall of Mirrors at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati.

National commencement speaker Dr. Sylvia Manning is president of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, one of six regional institutional accreditors and the oldest accrediting organization in the United States. Her vision for the HLC has been to strengthen participation of the Commission's institutional leaders in helping to create the voice of the Commission on issues of state, regional, and national importance. She is committed to keeping accreditation timely, relevant, and accountable for members of the public and, most importantly, for the students served by HLC accredited institutions.

UI&U National Commencement Details: UI&U’s President’s Reception, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Friday, October 14, at the Cincinnati Academic Center, 440 East McMillan Street, Walnut Hills. UI&U National Commencement, 11 a.m. Saturday, October 15, Hall of Mirrors, at the Hilton Netherland Plaza, 35 West Fifth Street, downtown.

For more information on the national commencement events, please contact Nicole Hamilton, public relations manager, at 513-487-1194 or at

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Montpelier Center Hosts Dialogue on Social and Ethical Responsibility

Mark Snelling

MONTPELIER, VT – As part of its ongoing mission to provide socially relevant education opportunities for its students, Union Institute & University’s (UI&U) Montpelier Academic Center will host a dialogue on social and ethical responsibility Saturday, October 8, with Mark Snelling, volunteer president of the Snelling Center for Government. The discussion is part of a series of talks as part of Union’s Bachelor of Arts residency program.

Snelling currently also serves as the president of The Shelburne Corporation, a manufacturer of brass wire products. He has owned and operated a number of businesses in the ski, bike, and hardware industries. In addition, Snelling serves on the board of The Snelling Center for Government and is chair of the Vermont Governor’s Council of Environmental Advisors. He also recently chaired the Governor’s Commission on Downtowns and GrowthCenters. Snelling previously served on the Boards of Key Bank Vermont, the Vermont Land Trust, Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, and as Chair of Housing Vermont and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.

The Montpelier community is invited to take part in the discussion held Saturday, October 8, from 1:15-2:30 p.m., in room 202 in Stone Science Hall at UI&U’s Montpelier Center located at 62 Ridge Street. For more information about the discussion please contact Melissa Neilson, program advisor, at 802-828-8570 or