Updated: Jan 25, 2019
Written by Suzanne Boys, Educator Associate Professor, Department of Communication
Lisa Connelly (9.30.78-11.29.15) received her BA from UC’s Department of Communicationi n 2000, and went on to earn her MA from the department in 2002. As a student, she was gregarious, playful, and engaged. Her energy and positivity endeared her to her classmates. Those traits also paved the way for her career. After graduate school, Lisa worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center from 2001-2012. She then became an Associate Director Academic at the University of Cincinnati, supporting the first and second year medical student curriculum.
Lisa’s impact on the community went well beyond her work at CCHMC and UC, however. She was known throughout the community for her ready smile, her positive outlook, and her willingness to lend a helping hand. Lisa frequently participated in good causes, serving as a founding board member for the Katie Haumesser Foundation , participating in countless runs and walks for charity, and organizing community goodwill events. In 2013, Lisa and a friend organized a Facebook page, flash mob and scholarship fund to celebrate a local teen (aka, The Beechmont Dancing Man) working his way through college. Following the 2015 attacks in Paris, Lisa and some friends gave away free hugs at a local mall to share light in a dark moment.
As news spread of Lisa’s sudden passing Thanksgiving weekend, a large community of people began paying tribute to her on Facebook. The theme #LisaSmiles cropped up quickly, paying homage to Lisa’s trademark radiant smile. Friends from her running group began posting pictures of themselves on walks or runs in her honor, and local media outlets spotlighted Lisa’s life and philanthropy. Lisa leaves behind a partner and young son. She also leaves behind a large network of friends, family, and colleagues. Whether family, friend, colleague, or classmate, everyone who met Lisa was touched by her kindness and positivity. It is clear that countless people were inspired by Lisa to share small acts of kindness in their daily lives. Although Lisa will be dearly missed, her powerful legacy of kindness shines on.