Katone Roberts, a third-year philosophy student and face of the Bearcat Card, hopes that the next student to be featured on the ID promotes involvement.

Katone Roberts is a familiar face to many University of Cincinnati students, and for good reason — Roberts was the first official face of the Bearcat Card, appearing on all promotional materials for the ID.

In addition to being used as a student ID, the Bearcat Card can be linked to a student’s PNC bank account. It can also be used to receive Bearcat Bargains, weekly discounts around campus.

But Roberts is much more than a smiling face. The third-year philosophy student is heavily involved on campus, and as the university undergoes its search for the next face of the Bearcat Card, Roberts only wants to do more.

“I hope the next face of the Bearcat Card is someone who still promotes student involvement as a whole and doesn’t focus on just one organization,” Roberts said. “I also hope that it is someone who continues to be involved after being the face of the Bearcat Card.”

According to Lincoln Thompson, a fourth-year anthropology student and a student worker in the Tangeman University Center Connection Center, the Bearcat Card was introduced in the early 2000s.

The first individual featured on the card was Jennifer Tanaka, who was not actually a UC student — her photo was simply used to show the format of the ID, Thompson said. The name on the card changed many times, but the picture remained the same.

This will be only the second year the university has selected a student to be featured on the ID.

“Its nice that they switch it out each year because now you have a relatable face on there and someone that goes to UC, and that it is someone you can see around campus and someone you may know,” Thompson said.

Sidney Baker, a first-year advanced medical imaging technology student, likes the fact the university extends the opportunity to new students each year because “it shows the diversity of UC’s student body.”

Roberts won the honor by tweeting an inspiring message to UC MainStreet’s account.      

“@UCMainStreet my involvement in SAB, Greek Life, & 2013 SOL strengthens me to follow the Just Community Principles day by day #BEARCATCARD,” Roberts tweeted.

Roberts serves as a Student Orientation coordinator, Student Activities Board senator and president of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He is also a member of the Cincinnatus Honorary Society and a member of the Student Rights and Interest Committee.

“I’ve been super involved at UC over the past two years, so involvement has become kind of like a job, so I just really thought it would be cool to be the face of the Bearcat Card and use my involvement as a way to improve it as the first one,” Roberts said.

Roberts said being involved is a rewarding experience for students and that it gives them experience for the real world.

“In high school I was extremely involved, and I believe that involvement is what retains, and having things available outside the class is something that keeps the structure and gets us ready for a real working environment,” Roberts said.

The winning participant will receive a $100 prize on his or her Bearcat card, get featured on UC’s website, be named grand marshal of MainStreet Stride and be seen on all promotional materials for the Bearcat Card.

Submissions for the new Face of the Bearcat Card were accepted from March 23 through April 1. Participants used the hashtag #BearcatCard and had to describe in 140 characters how they exemplified the spirit of the UC community and how they uphold the principles of UC.

Voting for the finalist will take place April 2 through April 8 at 5:00pm. The new face of the Bearcat Card will be announced immediately after the voting session.