AAAA Fall 2017

President's Message


What a year so far! Questions of foreign meddling in our presidential elections, challenges to whom we memorialize with public statues and to date, four devastating hurricanes. 

What we face together on the national scene is in addition to the daily challenges of directing careers, managing households, rearing children and neighborhood protests. My community made national news in the protest of another police shooting in St. Louis. Locally, there is tension and fear in the air. And, while I support the protesters, I hate that one of my favorite stores was vandalized. They didn't check with me to make sure the store in University City Loop, with the best jewelry, paintings, artwork and blown glass by local artists, was spared.

I think we all need a break. A fun weekend full of learning, connecting with friends from the past and rejuvenation with music. Let's take a break from the seriousness of pressing issues and reminisce about past escapades at CWRU. Perfect timing for Homecoming. Join us October 5-8, 2017. See you there!

—Linda Sharpe-Taylor, PhD (WRC '78)

Alumni Spotlight: Elaine Nichols (SAS '80)


Photo credit: Michael R. Barnes for the NMAAHC

‌‌‌A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Elaine Nichols is the supervisory curator of culture at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), which opened in 2016. In addition to her administrative duties, she was responsible for helping develop the inaugural collections of the museum.

Nichols is the curator of the Black Fashion Museum collection, founded by Lois Alexander Lane, and the Ebony Fashion Fair collection, created by Eunice Johnson. Also, she was the project curator for the Civil Rights History Project (CRHP), a public mandate of the U.S. Congress. The CHRP, a collaboration between the museum and the Library of Congress, collected oral histories of more than 130 grassroots activists, supporters and national leaders who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s. 

Prior to joining the NMAAHC, Elaine worked at the South Carolina State Museum from 1989 until 2009. She has a Masters of Art in Public Service Archaeology from the University of South Carolina and Masters of Art in Social Administration and Planning from Case Western Reserve University.

Ten Things She Can't Do Without
1. Relationships with God, family, and friends
2. Laughter so deep it makes her cry tears of joy
3. Loving kindness
4. The joyfulness of children
5. Great storytelling, in all forms
6. Exploration of interesting food, places, and creative endeavors. 
7. Opportunity to research topics of interest
8. An occasional game of Bridge, Bid Whist, Spades, or Chess
9. Positive interaction with warm and fuzzy creatures: cats, dogs, rabbits, etc...
10. Introspection- How Can I Be Better?

excerpted from South Writ Large

School to School-Hurricane Relief Service Project
Janice Eatman-Williams, (MGT '01, SAS '01)‌ ‌


People in Greater Houston are among residents of communities worldwide who have recently endured the wrath of natural disasters. Many have lost everything, including their lives. Our prayers are with these communities as they recover and rebuild. We also have the opportunity to provide tangible support, from one great institution of learning to another. 

C.E. King Middle School in northeast Houston was underwater for several days after Hurricane Harvey. When administration and staff re-entered the school on September 13, 2017, they learned that all supplies had been lost, and they would be unable to return to the building this semester. Instead, they will share space in another school. The more than 1,000 affected youth, their families and employees are grateful for our help, as the school starts over from scratch. According to our teacher contact, the staff has requested the following items:

Pens (black, blue, red) 
Pencils (No. 2 and colored) 
Binders (2 -3 inch) Dividers for binders 
Colored markers 
Dry erase markers 
Composition notebooks 
Subject notebooks (single to five) 
Pocket calculators (inexpensive ones) 
Pocket folders (two-pocket and prong) 
Book bags 
Copy paper 
Poster board 
Construction paper 
Art supplies 
Clorox wipes 
Rulers, protractors, graph paper 
Books for middle schoolers 
General classroom and office supplies (staplers/staples/tape, adult scissors, paper clips, push pins, etc...

For more than a decade, Case Western Reserve University students and alumni have supported areas that have experienced devastation. Let's rally together once again. Supplies will be collected until November 22, 2017, and should be dropped off during campus business hours at 23 Yost Hall.  Montary donations can be made through the AB Disaster Relief account. Please click on the "Make a Gift" box, and under "special instructions" type "donation to be credited to CASE20053 -Staff Outreach - Relief Assistance." Please refer questions to

Faculty Spotlight: A. Bolu Ajiboye, PhD 


A. Bolu Ajiboye, PhD

lead study author

Man with quadriplegia moves again- just by thinking 
Bill Kochevar grabbed a mug of water, drew it to his lips and drank through the straw. His motions were slow and deliberate, but then Kochevar hadn't moved his right arm or hand for eight years. It took some practice to reach and grasp just by thinking about it. 

Kochevar, who was paralyzed below his shoulders in a bicycling accident, is believed to be the first person in the world with quadriplegia to have arm and hand movements restored with the help of two temporarily implanted technologies. A brain-computer interface with recording electrodes under his skull, and a functional electrical stimulation system activating his arm and hand, reconnect his brain to paralyzed muscles. 

Kochevar is the focal point of research led by Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. "He's really breaking ground for the spinal cord injury community," said Bob Kirsch, chair of Case Western Reserve's Department of Biomedical Engineering, executive director of the FES Center, and principal investigator and senior author of the research. "This is a major step toward restoring some independence."

"Using the brain signals generated when Bill attempts to move his arm and hand, he is able to perform functions that are important to him, " said Bolu Ajiboye, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and lead study author. Advances needed to make technology usable outside of a lab are not far from reality, the researchers say. 

Excerpted from The Daily, CWRU

Homecoming 2017 - Get your game on!

‌‌The AAAA game night and welcome reception will return to the beautiful Linsalata Alumni Center on Friday, October 6, 2017 from 6-10 p.m. Lively music and a delicious buffet will set the stage for meeting friends, connecting with students and honoring the dearly departed. 
Register now for this signature event.  


Trailblazer Project Unveiling Ceremony
Saturday, October 7, 2017, 3:30 p.m. 
Kelvin Smith Library 

This inaugural event will honor six distinguished alumni:
Attorney Fred Gray, JD (LAW '54), Hon. Sara Harper (CLC '48, LAW '52), Architect Robert Madison, FAIA (ARC '48, HON '04), David Satcher, MD, PhD (GRS '70, anatomy; MED '70; HON '90), the late Congressman Hon. Louis Stokes (HDL '91) and the late Congresswoman Hon. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (FSM '71, LAW '74).

To RSVP, contact Regina Gonzalez at or 216.368.5646. Learn more about The Trailblazer Project at

Underground Railroad Historic Marker Dedication
Sunday, October 8, 2017, 3 p.m.
Amasa Stone Chapel

This fall the university installed a Historic Underground Railroad Site marker just outside the Allen Memorial Medical Library on the corner of Adelbert Road and Euclid Avenue.

One side of the plaque recognizes the role Western Reserve College, then located in Hudson, Ohio, played in the anti-slavery movement.

The other side of the plaque honors Horatio Cyrus and Martha Cozad Ford, whose home served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The land the home stood on later became part of the university’s campus when it relocated to Cleveland.

Join us in celebrating freedom and history at Case Western Reserve University through spoken word and song as we dedicate the newest historic marker on our campus. Register today for this historic event. 

Save the Dates ‌


The Mayor of the People: A Celebration of Carl B. Stokes
Sunday, October 22, 7-8:30 p.m.

Maltz Performing Arts Center

This concert will bring together generations of jazz, funk, and gospel musicians to tell the challenges faced by Carl Stokes during the turbulent 1960s. Please reserve tickets here.

Dinner with 12 Alumni 

The African American Alumni Association will host Dinner with 12 Alumni on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at the Linsalata Alumni Center. This signature event allows for students to practice their networking and business etiquette skills with alumni To learn more about this program and to participate email

What would you like to see the AAAA do in the future?

The  African American Alumni Association Board members will meet on Saturday, October 7, 2017 to update the organization's strategic plan. The board believes that sound strategic planning is essential to its mission, " to serve CWRU African American alumni and students in a way that enriches and supports their academic, work, and professional experiences by conducting affairs and engagements that foster lasting relationships." Your input is important.  Send ideas and feedback to

In Memoriam- Love leaves a memory no one can steal


Jasmine Jordan (CWR '11)

Notices may be sent to


Learn more about pledging‌‌

Want to see who else is involved with the AAAA? AAAA Members September 2017

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