Alumni News - August 2019

The 2019 Alumni Award Recipients

The Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University is proud to recognize outstanding, notable and accomplished alumni and friends of Case Western Reserve University. All awards will be presented during Homecoming at the Homecoming Luncheon on Friday, October 11 at CWRU's Tinkham Veale University Center. 

Newton D. Baker Distinguished Service Award 

Sara Fields

The award honors the legacy of Cleveland's Newton D. Baker, who urged everyone to volunteer their time, talent and service to those in need. Baker was the 37th mayor of Cleveland, served as Secretary of War under President Woodrow Wilson and was a major supporter of Cleveland College. In 1916, he and two partners founded BakerHostetler, one of the nation's top 100 law firms with more than 700 attorneys serving clients around the world.

This award recognizes significant service to the university by any alumnus or alumna, staff member, faculty or friend of the university who has given their time, expertise or leadership generously, thereby ensuring the prolonged welfare of the institution for generations to come.

2019 Recipient: Sara Fields, Director of Alumni Relations, 
Office of Development and Alumni Relations, School of Dental Medicine
Nominated by Mario Pavicic (DEN ‘92)

Daniel T. Clancy Alumni Service Award 

Nikki DiFillipo

The Daniel T. Clancy Alumni Service Award is named in honor of the contributions of Dan Clancy (LAW ‘62) to the alumni of Case Western Reserve University. This award recognizes an outstanding alumnus or alumna who has been active in alumni relations for at least 10 years and has made significant contributions to the alumni association(s) of Case Western Reserve University and their programs.

2019 Recipient: Nikki DiFilippo (MGT '94)
Nominated by Susan Raia (WRC ‘83, MGT ‘85) and Senior Director of Alumni Relations of Weatherhead School of Management Shirley Reynolds 

Young Alumni Award

JP Graulty

The Young Alumni Award recognizes an outstanding alumnus or alumna of Case Western Reserve University who is 35 years old or younger. The award is given to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated excellence in his or her professional field and/or has demonstrated service to his or her community, the public or humanity, embodying the values and spirit of Case Western Reserve.

2019 Recipient: James Paul (JP) Graulty (CWR '10), Assistant Director, Community Partnerships, John Carroll University
Nominated by Samantha Cocco


Professional Achievement Award 

Moses Joloba

The Professional Achievement Award recognizes an outstanding alumnus or alumna of Case Western Reserve University who has achieved exceptional accomplishment in his or her career and has brought distinction to himself or herself and Case Western Reserve through the benefits of vocation and leadership in his or her professional community.

2019 Recipient: Moses Joloba (GRS '96, GRS '03, pathology), Professor and Dean, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences (Uganda)
Nominated by CWRU Professor Janet McGrath (Anthropology)

Distinguished Alumni Award 

Robert Madison

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has made distinguished and outstanding contributions to his or her profession or field of interest and, over the course of a lifetime, brought benefit to his or her community, humanity and honor to the university by embodying the values and spirit of Case Western Reserve University. This award is the highest honor bestowed by The Alumni Association.

2019 Recipient: Robert Madison (ARC '48, HON '04)
Nominated by Kate McCreary (MGT ‘19)

These deserving recipients will receive their honors during the Homecoming Luncheon at the Tinkham Veale University Center, Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Ballroom (Room 234) on Friday, October 11. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., remarks begin at noon. Complimentary valet parking provided.

Register for the luncheon and all 2019 Homecoming Weekend events > 

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

A collage of photos from Graduation Day at CWRU

As we prepare to welcome a new group of students to campus, we wanted to take a moment to brag about our newest alumni! During May’s commencement ceremony, Case Western Reserve University granted degrees to 1,151 undergraduates and 2,292 graduate and professional students and granted 30 certificates. This class confirmed that CWRU attracts talented minds from across the country and around the world, as it represented 49 U.S. States, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and 48 countries. Our graduates received degrees in 115 areas of study —  and nearly 500 graduated with honors. We are excited to have them join the more than 110,000 CWRU alumni around the world who make significant impacts every day. 

Help CWRU's international students feel welcome in Cleveland! 

Case Western Reserve University's International Friendship Program helps students transition to life in the U.S., offers hosts the unique opportunity to learn about diverse nationalities and cultures, and serves as a springboard for friendships that last beyond a student's time at CWRU. Previous hosts and students share their experiences ...

International Friendship participants Host Annabel a CWRU Staff Member and Divyesha, Weatherhead 2019 Graduate

Host Experience
"It has been a joy to connect with students from other countries and share some of my favorite parts of Cleveland. My current mentee, Divyesha, is from India. We have met on campus, gone for a few local outings and spent time together. I appreciate her for participating in the program and being interested in learning more about Cleveland, while also sharing aspects of her background with me. I highly recommend participating in this program."
- Annabel (CWRU Staff Member)

Student Experience
"When I arrived at CWRU, I was curious about American culture. Then, I came across this program. It helped me understand more about American culture, by offering opportunities to explore Cleveland, job search tips and personal guidance. After Annabel and I connected, she invited me to her house for brunch, and kept on checking on me and caring for me. We went on hikes, to CWRU basketball games, cooked food together, celebrated Christmas and she helped me go through the hard patch of job searching.  She has supported me and guided me, as well as helped me with the resume review, job search and internship guidance. I like being in her company." - Divyesha (WSOM, Master of Science in Management, 2019)


International Friendship Program participants bond over dinner at a restaurant

Host Experience
"...[Miao and I] had many memorable times together throughout the school year. She shares her dreams and aspirations and I enjoy helping her in any way I can. I am looking forward to our continued friendship and to helping other international students during their stays." - Ritu (CWRU SAGES Fellow)

Student Experience
"Ritu gave me a lot of help and support during the year. When I first came to the United States, even though my English was limited, the love and warmth was felt immediately. I am very glad to have participated in this program. Thank you all." - Miao (LAW '18, Doctor of Juridical Science Candidate, 2021)


International Friendship Program participants spend time together

Host Experience:
We cannot begin to explain how much our family has enjoyed and benefited from having Siqi Han in our lives. We have had great fun spending Thanksgiving with him, going out to dinner, shopping at Whole Foods and seeing him in costume at Parade the Circle. We have introduced him to many of our friends who all feel the same way about him. He has enlightened us about Chinese culture and enriched our lives. In short, the International Friendship program has been a great experience!
- Subba (GRS’ 92, biomedical engineering, GRS ‘96, neurosciences) & Rita (LAW’ 90, SAS ‘15)

Student Experience:
The International Friendship Program is fantastic! I didn’t think making friends with local residents would be easy before I met Subba and Rita. Honestly, I was a little bit worried about making friends in Cleveland because of the cultural differences. The only impression I had was that people in the U.S. make friends at bars and parties — and I had no idea how to talk with people at those places. However, Rita and Subba were very nice to me at the IFP orientation and they continue to be kind, thoughtful and nice. At the orientation, they encouraged me to speak English by focusing on familiar topics. When they realized that I am interested in different foods here, they invited me to a lot of restaurants — we have enjoyed Chinese, North Indian and South Indian cuisine and an American brunch. I learned a lot about the culture here, as I was able to experience how the family members make the effort to talk with each other, solve conflicts and deal with differences. Rita, Subba and their daughter are a very warm, respectful and caring family, just like the families featured on U.S. television series. Everything I have learned from them is priceless. I strongly encourage international students to take part in this program. Also, I want to thank the organizers of this program for their efforts and their help. - Siqi (LLM student, Class of 2020)


Apply to be a host >

Celebrate the Asian Mid-Autumn Festival with CWRU!

Celebrants fill Thwing Atrium for the Mid Autumn Festival

Join CWRU as it celebrates Asian Mid-Autumn Festival with authentic food from various Asian countries as well as activities and traditions associated with the holiday! This free event takes place Friday, September 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Thwing Center. Student and community booths will offer games and activities to keep everyone entertained! 

The event is sponsored by CWRU’s Center for International Affairs, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, First-Year Experience and Family Programs, Spoken English Language Programs (SELP) and the Office of the Provost. 

Join us for the festival > 

Successful Aging in Place

Four smiling, older adults gather around the camera for an outdoor picture

On August 15, join CWRU and Judson, an independent living and assisted living provider, for an informal discussion of what "Aging in Place" means, what resources are available in Northeast Ohio and how to embrace the next chapters of your life story. Judson experts will discuss: transportation; physical and mental flexibility; a manageable home environment; staying connected to communities; using technology effectively; and responding to healthcare changes. The event at the Linsalata Alumni Center includes lunch. 

RSVP to Sheri Pundole - - 216.791.2187

General Information on Judson >

CWRU/Cleveland Play House Master of Fine Arts ranked 12th in The Hollywood Reporter

For the second straight year, the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House Master of Fine Arts program made The Hollywood Reporter's list of top 25 graduate acting programs in the world, ranking 12th—up six slots from the previous year. The Hollywood Reporter bases its rankings on insight from academics, influencers and alumni. 

Find out which successful alumnus returned to campus to teach a master class >

Four actors on stage during a performance at the Cleveland Play House

See the World with Siegal Lifelong Learning

Chichen Itza

Explore exciting and diverse destinations with CWRU Educational Travel and create memories that will last a lifetime with fellow alumni, family and friends on one of the many travel programs led by faculty members with expertise that will enhance your experience. Here are just a few of our upcoming trips...

Journey to Antarctica Aboard L’Austral
Trip Leader: David Fleshler, Vice Provost of International Affairs, CWRU
January 28–February 10, 2020

The Ancient and Living Maya Yucatan, Mexico
Trip Leader: Damaris Punales-Alpizar, Associate Professor of Spanish, CWRU
February 13–18, 2020

Morocco: Land of Enchantment
Trip Leader: Arnold Hirshon, Vice Provost and University Librarian, CWRU
March 6–15, 2020

Ireland: Countryside of the Emerald Isle
Trip Leader: Kurt Koenigsberger, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences; Associate Professor, English
July 12-21, 2020

Register for the Countryside of the Emerald Isle webinar on September 25 at 7 p.m.


To see all 2020 trips, visit the Siegal Lifelong Learning website.

For more information about or to register for a specific trip, please contact Sarah Doody at 904.432.3141 or

Student Group Spotlight - CWRU EMS

The back of a CWRU EMS ambulance that has CWRU EMS written on the doors

CWRU EMS, a volunteer organization open to all students, faculty and university staff interested in serving the community, currently provides services to Case Western Reserve University every day, operating nine shifts during the fall and spring semesters. 

Learn more >