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CWRU Pride LGBT Alumni Network

CWRU Pride LGBT Alumni Network

Who we are

The CWRU Pride Alumni Network fosters connections with the LGBT alumni community through events, networking opportunities and other special activities while supporting university initiatives for current LGBT students at CWRU. CWRU Pride welcomes all CWRU alumni and friends interested in supporting excellence in education, and building pride and community.

If you are interested in joining this network, please email

The CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award

This award fund has been developed for the improvement, growth and support of an LGBT inclusive environment by the LGBT Alumni and supporters of Case Western Reserve University.

The purpose of the CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award is to provide recognition or enable financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate or graduate students who are working to make impactful actions and advance the mission of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community at Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland community, or nationally through scholarship, research or leadership activities. Learn more.


Alumni and Friends enjoyed "Cosmos for Case" at the Alumni House this year to raise funds for the Ohio Leadership Award.

2017 Award Winner

Eric Chen & Uriel Kim


Eric Chen (MED '17) (left) and Uriel Kim (MED '17) (right) recently won Case Western Reserve University Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award, sponsored by The Alumni Association of CWRU.

The award is based on Kim and Chen's work in developing the LGBTQ+ Patient Advocacy Training Program. The purpose of this program is to reduce LGBTQ+ health disparities through a rigorous nine-hour curriculum led by faculty and clinicians. After participating in this series of interactive workshops, online modules and clinical exercises, students are better able to advocate for marginalized patient populations and create a welcoming clinical environment. To date, nearly 30 students have completed the training program, with another cohort of students starting soon. The LGBTQ+ Patient Advocacy Training Program addresses a clear need to ensure that medical students are prepared to deliver the best care to even the most vulnerable patients. The award will defray program costs and support summer research.
Chen and Kim are second-year medical students whose efforts will lead to better health outcomes for LGBTQ+ patients and more culturally informed care providers - not only on the CWRU campus, but in Greater Cleveland and beyond, as their fellow students pursue residencies and careers.


Jonathon Wanta

Jonathon Wanta

Jonathon Wanta (CWR'14), a first year medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, was awarded $1,200 by the CWRU Pride Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Ohio Leadership Scholarship Selection Committee to facilitate his summer study of post-surgical outcomes in female to male transition for double mastectomy.

The award was based off of Wanta's advocation for the LGBT community in health care, specifically in a surgical subspecialty, and his involvement with the MetroHealth PRIDE Clinic. 

In collaboration with doctors at the PRIDE Clinic, Wanta will evaluate long-term psychological effects and patient satisfaction in transgender patients who undergo chest reconstruction. Wanta's goal is that the results of his study will affect change in health care and insurance for transgender individuals.


Paul Cheng

Paul Cheng

Paul Cheng, a second year medical student at CWRU School of Medicine and PhD candidate, is one of two winners of the CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award, sponsored by The Alumni Association. Cheng is also president and founder of QGrad, the LGBT student group for graduate and professional students on campus.


Cheng's award was granted based on his role as a campus leader on LGBT initiatives, as well as his promotion of diversity and visibility for LGBT students. He plans to use the funds of the award to evaluate how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender-nonconforming medical students perceive the inclusiveness of their medical school environments.


Cheng intends to present the findings of this study at the 2015 Gay and Lesbian Medical Association National Conference. The award will go toward covering the cost of participation, data collection tools and other conference costs.


The goal of Cheng's research is to yield findings that can be presented to admissions and student affairs committees to help meet the needs of LGBT students. 



Carolyn Oatis 

Carolyn Oatis, a first-year student, and Spectrum treasurer, is one of two inaugural winners of the Case Western Reserve University Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Scholarship, sponsored by The Alumni Association.


Oatis’ award was granted after her essay was reviewed by a CWRU panel which deemed the piece compelling, inspiring and most worthy of the award. Her attendance and participation at The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC) in Kansas City is part of the award.  Full financial coverage of all of her travel expenses is also included. Oatis is expected to return from her three-day conference stent with ideas to improve the campus climate for LGBT students as well as report on conference sessions.


Additionally, she’s invited to attend the Lavender Graduation in April, during which President Snyder will personally recognize her achievement.


Cheri Smalley

Cheri Smalley, a graduate student at MSASS, was awarded $1200 by the CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Scholarship Selection Committee to assist with attendance and participation in the 2014 CWRU Amsterdam Study Abroad program. At the conclusion of the program, Smalley will report back lessons and ideas gleaned from her experience. The goal of the trip is to use this knowledge to influence public policy or suggest adoptive practices to further improve the LGBT climate within the greater Cleveland area.


The award was based off of Smalley’s involvement and support of the transgender community from undergraduate studies and her participation in dare2careusa in Cleveland.


Smalley is invited to attend the Lavender Graduation in April, during which President Snyder will personally recognize her achievement.


LGBT Life on Campus

CWRU LGBT PrideCase Western Reserve University consistently ranks as one of the most gay-friendly campuses in the country, regularly scoring high marks on the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index and in The Advocate's College Guide.  In 2013, CWRU was ranked by the Huffington Post as one of the top 25 LGBT friendly colleges in the country.
In honor of Dan Savage—journalist and creator of the "It Gets Better" project—visiting campus in November, CWRU students created their own "It Gets Better" video.
To learn more about the LGBT Center on campus, please visit the website.

University Lavender League: Washington DC

University Lavender League: Washington DC

University Lavender LeagueCWRU is proud to be a founding member of the University Lavender League in Washington DC. Formed in early 2014, the Lavender League is comprised of LGBT alumni networks from the following universities: Carnegie Mellon, Chicago, Duke, NYU, Stanford, UCLA and UC-Berkley.



Next event:
Spring Happy Hour
Thursday, March 23rd
6-8 p.m. 
Location: Trade (1410 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005)

Come celebrate the first new days of Spring with the University Lavender League at Trade on 14th Street. Just look for the signs to find where the group is located. Be sure to invite fellow LGBT alumni, friends, and others! More information & registration >

The University Lavender League hosts regular events in the D.C. area.

Want to be added to the list? Contact Chris Hook at

Upcoming Events

We look forward to seeing you at the next CWRU Pride event!


Cosmos for Case 
Friday, November 3, 2017 at 6pm 

Meet old friends and make new ones while raising funds to support LGBT students at CWRU. This event is not limited to CWRU alumni, invite friends to join the fun. Learn more and register for this festive event

Connect with CWRU Pride

Join the network to get invitations to LGBT alumni events throughout the year and learn about network initiatives. Contact us at or connect with us on Facebook.

Check out event photos here.


LGBT Newsletter Archives