Social Service

A wide range of social service programs allow the brightest minds at Case Western Reserve to share their time and talents with the people in the community who need them.

The following social service programs are listed by name. Use these links for more information.

Field Education Program

The Field Education program at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS) provides a forum for students to integrate the knowledge, skills and values that comprise the core of the professional social work practice with a self identity as competent beginning professionals. The practice setting affords students opportunities to apply instructive theory to practice, give and receive feedback regarding skill development, and experience the realities of the social work profession. A requirement for all MSASS students, field education has been in place since 1917, which makes it unique among schools of social work. Approximately 350 MSASS students are placed in more than 250 agencies and organizations in Ohio and other states. For the city of Cleveland alone, in FY09-10, this represents 177,440 hours of service to 97 social service agencies, equaling 99 fulltime employees at no cost to the organization. In addition, field supervisors receive free periodic training in social work and supervisory methods.

Field education is conducted at a variety of community sites such as government agencies, private human service agencies, community development organizations, legislative or advocacy offices. Students spend 16 hours per week during the first semester in their placement and 24 hours a week thereafter over their two years at MSASS. Every student receives a field placement stipend provided through federal funding and matched by MSASS. Field education benefits the student as well as the community by providing a applied social work environment for students to learn and by establishing a relationship between community-based practitioner and the university as a resource for best practices.

Contact Zoe Breen Wood, The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, 216.368.2689

Return to top of list




NEO CANDO

NEO CANDO (North East Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data) is an interactive web-based system created by the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS) that contains a variety of data on social, economic and housing conditions including geographically detailed data sets. Free and accessible to the public, the program is managed at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at MSASS. NEO CANDO is the only comprehensive data warehouse for social and economic data in Ohio and only one of seven in the country. The data empowers a wide range of individuals and organizations by giving them direct access to data related to their areas of concern and the tools with which to improve their communities. As Case Western Reserve University reaches out to its neighboring communities, it uses NEO CANDO to identify opportunities to broaden the scope and diversity of its campus. Although registration is required, users of NEO CANDO have 24-hour free access to data.

Contact Claudia Coulton, the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, 216.368.2304

Return to top of list




East Cleveland Community and Social Development Outreach

East Cleveland Community and Social Development Outreach is a partnership between MSASS faculty and students with the city of East Cleveland. The program serves all 25,000 residents through a variety of activities, including a door-to-door citizens/property survey and community meetings with public officials, community organizations, neighborhood leaders and residents. Students in the community and social development concentration gain the skills to empower neighborhood residents to bring about the kinds of change the residents want. Positive changes in East Cleveland will benefit its neighbor, Case Western Reserve University, in a number of ways (potential students, safety, cultural opportunities, etc.).

Contact Mark Chupp, the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, 216.368.5157

Return to top of list




Replay for Kids

Replay for Kids is designed to increase the availability of toys and assistive devices by teaching Replay volunteers how to repair devices and adapt battery-operated toys to benefit children with disabilities. The program provides services free of charge to 20 agencies in eight counties throughout Northeast Ohio, which use the toys and devices with thousands of disabled youth. Repair workshops and toy adapting workshops are held on campus and in the Greater Cleveland area each month. Children with disabilities in the community get access to a much wider variety of toys and devices to play with and to learn with.

Contact Bill Memberg, School of Engineering and Orthopedics Department at MetroHealth Medical Center, 330.721.8281

Return to top of list




Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic

The Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic is an in-house, real-client legal clinic operated year-round by the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, which provides pro bono legal services to members of the community unable to afford legal counsel. At the same time, third year law students enrolled in the Law Clinic get the opportunity to put their legal skills to work representing clients (under the supervision of faculty members who are also practicing attorneys) in civil, criminal, administrative and transactional matters. Each year, the Law Clinic represents approximately 25 low-income individuals on various civil litigation matters; 25 disabled individuals on social security and health/disability matters; 50 indigent defendants facing felony and/or misdemeanor charges and 25 nonprofit organizations and sustainable business enterprises on transactional law matters. Additionally, the Law Clinic handles approximately 20 complaints per year raised by residents in inner city nursing homes pursuant to clinic students' role as certified State of Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsmen, a small number of domestic violence, stalking and menacing prosecutions on behalf of the city of North Olmsted. The Law Clinic provides high quality legal services at no cost to a segment of the Cleveland area's population that is unable to afford them. It also gives our law students hands on legal experience under the supervision of accomplished faculty attorneys, while heightening their sensitivity to community needs.

Contact Ken Margolis and Judy Lipton, Law Clinic Co-Directors at the Law School, 216.368.2766 or 216.368.5137

Return to top of list




The Canada-United States Law Institute

The Canada-United States Law Institute (CUSLI) is a bi-national, not-for-profit, multi-disciplinary entity created jointly in 1976 by Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario located in London, Ontario, Canada. CUSLI serves as a forum where the respective governments, business communities, legal professionals, academics, non-governmental organizations and the media explore and address the issues confronting the relationship between Canada and the United States. CUSLI specifically aims: 1) to establish institutional and professional linkages between Canada and the United States; 2) to provide its members with current resources and continuing education regarding the bilateral relationship; and 3) to afford comparative law and research opportunities to the students and faculties at member institutions, as well as the private and public bars in each country.

Contact Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 216.368.3600

Return to top of list




Frederick K. Cox International Law Center

Frederick K. Cox International Law Center has developed one of the most ambitious and comprehensive international law programs in the nation. Through its rich and innovative curriculum, experiential labs and clinics, and summer internship and study abroad programs, the center prepares students for global opportunities in law practice, business and public service. The center's lecture series, research and publication projects explore critical issues in international justice and global legal reform, ranging from war crimes to intellectual property, and from judicial reform to peace in the Middle East.

Contact Michael Scharf, Professor and Director, Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law 216.368.3299

Return to top of list




National Youth Sports Program (NYSP)

The National Youth Sports Program offers academic enrichment and organized sports activities to economically disadvantaged youth in the Greater Cleveland area. The program provides free health assessments and free daily meals to program participants. The five-week program attracts more than 500 young people aged 10-16 every year.

Contact Dennis Harris, The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, 216.368.4843

Return to top of list




Treu-Mart Youth Development Fellowship Program

The Treu-Mart Youth Development Fellowship Program was created in 2004 to provide professional development and support for adults who work with adolescents during non-school hours. Based on the concepts of resiliency and youth development, the program is designed to meet the needs of professionals who work to support middle school and high school youth grow into healthy, responsible young adults. The goal for participants is that they become more effective practitioners and advocates for youth. The program began in the fall of 2004, with the first cohort of fellows beginning their work in the spring of 2005. To date, 150 youth linked professionals have become Treu-Mart Fellows. Each of these individuals works in some capacity to support the youth of Cuyahoga County. Professional development sessions are held at the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations. In addition, coaching and small group support sessions are held at various agencies and places throughout Cuyahoga County. The Treu-Mart Fellows are leaders and emerging leaders in the youth development field in the greater Cleveland community. They support youth and families through their work at community and governmental agencies. They are advocates for those without voice and support youth to find their own voice. Through the Fellowship Program, Fellows increase their own capacity and skill level professionally and become more aware of resources and opportunities that exist for collaboration, including with members of the University community.

Contact Patricia Heilbron, the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, 216.368.1916

Return to top of list




Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at Case Western Reserve is a chapter of EWB-International, a worldwide movement that is committed to the pursuit of community-based development through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects. Founded in 2003, the dream is to help create a world where every human being is able to meet his or her basic needs. Volunteers work toward this goal by partnering with communities around the world and pursuing projects desired and needed by partner communities. In general, EWB groups work on water treatment and distribution, sanitation, cookstoves and irrigation. EWB also helps partnering communities pursue goals geared toward specific economic and social development. Our current projects focus on providing accessible, clean, and safe drinking water in our partner communities, as well as providing for basic sanitation needs.

This year, 10 students will visit Cameroon to implement a water system to serve a school of about 1,000 students and start a water system that will eventually serve a community of approximately 10,000. In addition, 10 students will go to the Dominican Republic to finish a water supply for a village of 600 and to start on a cooking stove project and another 10 students to Thailand to implement a water supply for a school of 1,200. In addition to these projects, a water treatment research group has been created to develop the treatment systems installed in each country. Such efforts are also utilized locally. This year, Case Western Reserve's EWB is improving water and energy conservation by repurposing waste water on campus and by finishing a rainwater catchment and drip irrigation system at the university farm. The local group also partners with fellow nonprofit organizations to fill other unmet needs in the community. For example, this year, the group will join with MIND, another engineering student service group, and Medwish International to repair medical equipment for donation abroad; Habitat for Humanity to construct homes; and Replay for Kids to adapt children's toys for disabled children.

Contact Andrew M. Rollins, Biomedical Engineering, 216.368.1917

Return to top of list




Graduate Programs Service Learning

The Graduate Programs Service Learning curriculum offered at the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations provides students with the opportunity to develop applied knowledge and practical experience through direct interaction with nonprofit organizations. Since 1989, strategic planning is a two-course, integrated, seminar series designed to provide "hands-on" experiences in planning for, designing and conducting strategic planning in nonprofit organizations. During the first workshop, student work together in teams with a nonprofit organization to assess organizational readiness, facilitate the design of strategic planning processes, create a variety of approaches involving key stakeholders, and finalize a planning design suited to organizational culture.

The second workshop enables students to provide continued consultation with the nonprofit organization to implement recommendations suggested during the initial planning process. The final product is a strategic plan for the participating nonprofit organization. Other courses include trusteeship, ethics, marketing, quantitative analysis and financial management. The projects completed through the Mandel Center's graduate programs enrich the student experience through hands-on application of course material. The products of these activities provide important services to Greater Cleveland nonprofit organizations under the guidance of our quality faculty. The work performed by Mandel Center students often equates to thousands of dollars of in staff and/or consultant expenses.

Contact Michele Murphy, the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, 216.368.5214

Return to top of list




John A. Yankey Student Community Service Award

The John A. Yankey Student Community Service Award is presented annually to a Mandel Center student who has been actively engaged as a volunteer in one or more successful community services activities or projects while a student at the center. The spirit of the award is to recognize a student who exemplifies Emeritus Professor John A. Yankey's dedication to community service and his desire to strengthen the nonprofit sector. The award also includes a prize in the amount of $1,000.The award is based on the community service activities or projects that are determined to have had a significant impact on the organization and community in which they occurred, as well as how such activities advanced the mission of the organization. The activities or projects reflect consistent, continued engagement by the student over a defined period of time. The community services activities or projects must not be those for which class credit was received and must not be activities for which the student was paid any form of compensation while enrolled in the Mandel Center program. There are no geographical limitations regarding where the activities or projects took place. The award brings public attention to the extensive commitment of Mandel Center students to the nonprofit sector. It provides the opportunity to highlight both the student's involvement and the organization. It emphasizes the university's and the Mandel Center's value of community service.

Contact Arlene Sheeran, the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, 216.368.4211

Return to top of list




Civic Engagement Fellows Program

The Civic Engagement Fellows Program provides meaningful service learning opportunities for Case Western Reserve University undergraduate students to work with Cleveland area nonprofit organizations to address community needs. While serving the community and gaining experience in nonprofit work, the fellows also participate in regular seminars to increase their understanding of community issues and effective civic engagement. The program activities are designed to foster a sense of place about Cleveland and a life-long commitment to service. Held at a variety of community organizations throughout the city, the program takes place during the spring and summer semesters. The program provides students with an invaluable opportunity to learn about the work of nonprofit organizations while also learning about Cleveland, leadership and community issues. At the same time, the program is able to build the capacity of the partner organizations by providing Case Western Reserve student interns at no expense to the organization. The experience fosters not only understanding and commitment to Cleveland, but also promotes life-long civic engagement.

Contact Betsy Banks, the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning, 216.368.5231

Return to top of list




Alternative Spring Break

An Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program places teams of college students in community service and experiential learning opportunities during their school break. Rather than a "typical" spring break spent going home or vacationing at a resort, Case Western Reserve students join other college students across the nation on an alternative spring break to perform service projects for community organizations and learn about issues such as literacy, poverty, hunger, homelessness or the environment. The number of participants on the spring break program varies from year to year. In 2010, there were 13 undergraduate students from Case Western Reserve that went to Nicaragua and 45 participants from Case Western Reserve and Fisk University that went to New Orleans. They served a variety of constituents while in their service locations. In Nicaragua, students constructed a kitchen for a local elementary school that will guarantee the children of the school at least one meal during their school day.

The students also worked on English classes with young adults and children. In New Orleans, the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning has developed strong community partnerships with local schools and community organizations, which has lead to continuity of service projects year after year. Alternative spring breaks allow students to develop a consciousness about national and global social issues, which in turn help awaken their awareness to address similar issues in their own local community. The campus benefits from having more thoughtful, globally aware students and the community benefits from having more engaged participants.

Contact Janice Eatman Williams (New Orleans) and Angela Lowery (Nicaragua), The Center for Civic Engagement & Learning 216.368.6960

Return to top of list




Community Service Fairs

Community Service Fairs allow local nonprofit and community organizations to visit Case Western Reserve University to promote their activities and solicit volunteer opportunities to Case Western Reserve students twice a year. Coordinated by the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning, approximately 65 organizations engage with 300-400 students. The Service Fairs allow the community organizations to come to Case Western Reserve and create awareness about their organization's primary goals and activities. The Service Fair also provides organizations with a chance to recruit students to serve as volunteers at their agency. Service Fairs allow students the opportunity to be exposed to many diverse organizations in the Cleveland area and become engaged with one or more of these organizations.

Contact Angela Lowery, the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning, 216.368.6960

Return to top of list




Case for Community Day

Case for Community Day is an annual day of volunteer service for Case Western Reserve faculty, staff and students. Created in 2002 by the university's Staff Advisory Council, Case for Community Day fosters a sense of campus collaboration, strengthens morale and symbolizes the university's commitment to serving the needs of the local community and multitude of partnerships. Coordinated and sponsored by the Center for Community Partnerships, nearly 3,000 university volunteers have invested 8,000 of service with more than 300 local organizations since the program began eight years ago. The event offers participants a variety of service activities with many local nonprofit organizations throughout the Greater University Circle community. Activities have included landscaping, painting, administrative tasks, special event preparation, youth and senior activities, public art murals and much more. As part of Case for Community Day, hundreds of youth from local public schools visit the campus to enjoy the Youth Sports Clinic hosted by the university's Athletic Department and Men's and Women's Varsity teams, coaches and staff. Youth spend the afternoon participating in soccer, track and field, flag football and other fun sports.

Contact Latisha James, the Center for Community Partnerships, 216.368.3909

Return to top of list




Case Community Card

The Case Community Card is a program that invites the Greater Cleveland community to become an official member of the university. As a cardholder, members have access to the university's facilities and receive special discounts and rewarding benefits as a cardholder. A one-time application fee of $25 enables members to utilize the university's track and field at the Village at 115, tennis courts, Kelvin Smith Library, attend Spartan sporting events for free, receive discounts at the university's campus bookstore, Veale Recreation Center and Gymnasium and other retail establishments surrounding the campus.

Contact Latisha James, the Center for Community Partnerships 216.368.3909

Return to top of list




Campus Furniture and Equipment Donations

Campus Furniture and Equipment Donations are provided to local community organizations several times a year. Coordinated by the Division of Facilities Services and the Center for Community Partnerships, nonprofit agencies are able to choose from and receive a variety of furniture no longer being used by the university. Items include desks, chairs, tables, shelves, filing cabinets, computers and accessories—for free. Organizations are responsible for loading and transporting the furniture from the university.

Contact Thomas Bondra, Division of Facilities Services 216.368.2583

Return to top of list




Meals that Heal

Meals That Heal provides an evening meal to the residents of the Cleveland Domestic Violence Center. Sponsored by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, students and Center for Women staff cook the meals and serve them to approximately 50 residents. The program educates Case Western Reserve University students about domestic violence and lets the women residents and their children know that others care about them and support their brave efforts to avoid danger to themselves and their children.

Contact Katie Hanna, the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, 216.368.0985

Return to top of list




Tax Assistance Program

Weatherhead Tax Assistance Program helps members of the community, including Case Western Reserve University students and staff in preparing their tax returns. In addition to compliance with tax law, our volunteers ensure that clients receive any tax credits that they are entitled to, which can result in a sizable amount of money for low-income individuals. Coordinated by the Weatherhead School of Management for the past eight years, more than 150 tax returns are completed each year. The program offers free tax preparation for low- to middle-income individuals who might not file on their own, or who would end up paying someone to do their taxes, many individuals also fall into the trap of taking out Refund Anticipation Loans when they pay to have their taxes done. The Weatherhead Tax Assistance Program is able to e-file the returns so that individuals may receive their refund in seven-10 days. Since 75 percent of the clients seen are non-resident students who need help in complying with U.S. tax law, all tax assistance volunteers have experience in preparing non-resident returns.

Contact Deborah Bibb, Weatherhead School of Management, 216.368.1234

Return to top of list




365 Days of Service

365 Days of Service is coordinated by the university's Office of Greek Life. For the past 16 years, the program is a challenge to the fraternity and sorority community to complete 8,760 hours of community service in a year. This past year chapters reported 10,788 hours, which is 449 days of service at 78 local agencies. In addition, they also raised over $24,000 and collected 17,300 cans of food for the Cleveland Foodbank.

Contact Wes Schuab, Office of Greek Life, 216.368.1363

Return to top of list




Halloween at Thwing

Halloween at Thwing is a celebration for 60 local elementary school children to visit the Case Western Reserve University campus and enjoy a variety of activities such as storytelling, arts and crafts, trick or treating and face painting. Coordinated by various student organizations, the event creates a safe and fun environment to celebrate Halloween each year.

Contact Christina Mastrangelo, The Office of Student Activities and Leadership, 216.368.3434

Return to top of list




Poetry in the Garden

Managed by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Poetry in the Garden is a poetry contest designed to allow local and national poets to share their work in the idyllic setting of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. There are four levels: high school, collegiate, post-graduate and a grand prize winner selected from the pool of all three categories. The event concludes with a reception and book signing of a national poet and author. The winning poems and a resource guide are posted on the Baker-Nord website, (link to case.edu/humanities.) Poetry in the Garden encourages the participation of students from Cleveland area high schools and other institutions of higher learning and members of the community in our poetry competition. Free and open to the community, guests enjoyed live readings and the opportunity to interact with the poets as well as learn more about poetry as an art form and see it practiced at the highest level. Participants in the poetry contest had the opportunity to hone their craft, and the winning poets had the additional benefit of the validation of their craft by recognized experts.

Contact Maggie Kaminski, the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, 216.368.2422

Return to top

Helping Others Live Sober

The "Helping Others Live Sober" Project - located at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry - aims to improve the quality of life for youths, families, and communities by providing a continuum of scientific information, education, and personal experiences on the role of service in addiction recovery. We use advanced methodologies to explore the many ways individuals help others as a part of their program of recovery, providing the results of our research available to clinical scientists and the general public. Alongside the largest digital collection of young people sharing their experience, strength, and hope while sober, we also feature interactive social media for individuals looking for resources during recovery.

Contact Maria Pagano, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine 216.844.2767

Return to top