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Ryan Rogers: Undergraduate shares his passion for mathematics

A&S grad and aspiring professor receives the McKibbin Medal

Photo of Ryan Rogers smiling

Date: May 29, 2018

By: Anne Bowling

Phone: (513) 556-4350

For someone who once “hated and feared math,” College of Arts and Sciences graduating senior Ryan Rogers made a decidedly complete turnaround. The math major graduates summa cum laude with a 4.0 Cumulative GPA, was inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and plans to make mathematics his life’s work.

It was for Rogers’ dedication to academic excellence and his extensive community service as an undergraduate that he was awarded the Robert Patterson McKibbin Prize from the College of Arts and Sciences. The award was created in 1911 in memory of Reverend Robert William McKibbin’s son, who died in 1910. The medal is conferred on graduating seniors in recognition of scholarly achievement, strength of character and contribution to community.

“When I found out I would be recognized with the McKibbin Medal, I was honored because I knew there were so many talented students worthy of consideration,” Rogers says. “When I arrived at UC, I knew I would have to work hard to stand out among a large and diverse student body, and the McKibbin Medal is testament to my achievements.”

Says Dr. Mihaela Poplicher, associate professor and Undergraduate Program Director of the Department of Mathematics: "I have worked with many students, and Ryan has been among the most conscientious, thoughtful, intelligent, helpful and determined. He knew very early on that he wanted to do graduate work in Mathematics, he worked hard for his goal and he has achieved it."

Inside and outside of the classroom, Rogers did work hard. As the recipient of a Darwin T. Turner Scholarship, he completed a diversity project on campus each year, and logged nearly 200 community service hours during his undergraduate studies. The Darwin T. Turner Scholarship “provided me with a family of driven students, opportunities to grow, and countless memories to be made,” Rogers says.

In addition to his scholarship commitments, Rogers has volunteered for the EPIC House, a shared living facility for elderly, income-eligible adults in greater Cincinnati. He also worked as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (participating in their Light the Night Walk for cancer patients each October), St. Vincent de Paul, and Keep Cincinnati Beautiful.

Rogers currently volunteers with Love Peace and Charity, an area non-profit that works to emotionally and financially support struggling neighborhoods, serving as chief financial officer.

Closer to the classroom, the Cincinnati native served as a College Mentor for Kids, as a role model for underprivileged youth, exposing them to campus and higher education. Rogers also worked as a supplemental Review Session Leader in the Math and Support (MASS) Center, leading weekly review sessions for students taking Calculus I and II.

In August, Rogers begins work on his PhD in mathematics, with the goal of becoming a professor. “As someone who once hated and feared math but is now passionate about the subject, I feel that I belong in a position where I can share its beauty with people who also want to learn it at a higher level.”

Of his experiences at UC, he says his undergraduate career was “challenging, fun, trying, exciting, rewarding and unforgettable. I cannot believe how much I have grown in so many ways thanks to UC, and I owe an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Ryan Rogers is one of five 2018 graduates from the University of Cincinnati College of Arts & Sciences recognized for their outstanding contributions and achievements.