Mary Kay Meier, CECH Marketing and Communications Intern
From an early age, Cincinnati native, Darius Howard, was determined to attend the University of Cincinnati. His interest in graphic design attracted him to the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). He didn’t let the disappointment of not being accepted into DAAP’s competitive design program diminish his resolve to attend UC. Instead, he turned the minor setback it into an opportunity to explore programs in other colleges and found a perfect fit in the Information Technology (IT) program in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.
“When I joined the IT program, the faculty and administration were so passionate and approachable – I really liked the family atmosphere. I was also impressed with the number of labs and co-op opportunities, as well as the IT Expo and Senior Design Project Showcase.” he said.
Now in his fifth year, Howard melds his passion for graphic design with computer programming and appreciates the many hands-on experiences, collaboration, and networking partnerships that the IT program offers. “I couldn’t ask for a better learning environment,” he said. He has participated in two separate co-ops with MedPlus and the Bengals organization, which have helped develop his IT support analyst and customer service skills.
Howard’s drive and determination go beyond academics. He also runs track and is active in campus student organizations. “Initially I wanted to try out for the UC soccer team, but a good friend convinced me to try out for the track team. I’ve been competing in the Big East Conference in the 100m, 200m, and relay events for the last four years,” he said.
In collaboration with fellow IT student, Paul Meyer, Howard helped to re-establish the Information Technology Student Organization (ITSA) on campus, a group open to any University of Cincinnati student who wants to learn more about technology. Howard helps plan and coordinate ITSA “lunch and learn” discussions, study sessions, and open forum community discussions on Facebook.
Howard works hard to balance his academics and co-op responsibilities with his extracurricular activities. He’s found a good pace and will soon cross the finish line of his UC academic undergraduate career.