Jeff Edmondson, executive director of Strive, says the regional education initiative is identifying effective resources and strategies, as well as front-and-center priorities to meet the five goals for Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky youth. These range from early childhood preparation for school, to graduation from a two- or four-year college and entering a career.
"We want to be a clearinghouse for best practices that meet those needs," Edmondson explains. "We are sorting out the best resources so we can build from what exists, making it more accessible and identifying the gaps."

Strive has held eight well-attended community forums where parents and others shared their perspectives. More recently, Strive has been working on systems engineering concepts with people from Toyota, the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, Turner Construction, General Electric Co. and Procter & Gamble. The program also is looking at what kind of data can be coordinated from existing entities. Edmondson notes that Cincinnati Public Schools has one of the most innovative data management systems in the country.

By March or April next year, Strive expects to announce initial endorsements: areas of need and best practices for addressing them. Another set will be announced before the beginning of the 2007 school year. In March, the Tristate community will be invited to attend a Student Success Summit. The Martin Luther King Commission has asked Strive to be a part of the January activities this year.

The Planetizen 2007 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs has rated the University of Cincinnati's program fourth in the Midwest and 18th in the U.S. Meanwhile, UC planning students Derek Berardi and Ryan Schmitt put their training to work in a co-op effort, living in a FEMA trailer and helping homeless victims of Katrina rebuild their lives by untangling the masses of red tape, forms and zoning restrictions.

The West Chester Chamber Alliance's Women of Excellence Program awarded the first of its $1,000 post-secondary education scholarships for deserving women to Jeri Eastwood of West Chester, who will be graduating from Miami University's nursing program. Ms. Eastwood lost her son in 2000 to cystic fibrosis. Caring for him motivated her to volunteer at the Hospice of Cincinnati and to then enroll in nursing school.

Dr. Robert Palmatier, UC professor and marketing researcher, has been researching how and when relationship marketing strategies actually pay off. He discovered enough to score an academic publishing trifecta. His findings appear in both the Journal of Marketing and Marketing Science, and soon will be published in the Journal of Marketing Research. Using analysis of more than 100 research studies that represent more than 20,000 connections, he identified what he believes to be the most effective strategies for building relationships.

Xavier University's Williams College of Business is opening a branch campus in Deerfield Township as part of its effort to connect education to demand. MBA classes start Jan. 30 for up to 35 students who will be able to earn their MBA in two years while attending evening classes. Xavier has similar programs for 60 students in Fairfield and for 70 General Electric employees or contractors in Evendale.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College student Brandon Bogle of Milford received a "Tools for Tomorrow" scholarship from Grainger, a distributor of facilities maintenance supplies. The 25-year-old electrical engineering technology student will receive a $2,000 scholarship for the school year and a tool kit from Grainger on successful completion of his degree.

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