Spartans Step Up

In May 2020, The Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University launched Spartans Step Up, a webcast series focusing on CWRU’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. For updates on the dates and times of future episodes, please follow The Alumni Association on Facebook.


Spartans Step Up: Understanding COVID-19

The first-ever Spartans Step Up installment, "Understanding COVID-19," looked at the spread, diagnosis, treatment, healing and prevention of COVID-19. CWRU School of Medicine Incoming Interim Dean and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Stan Gerson, MD moderated an expert panel featuring Peter Tippett, MD, PhD (GRS ’81, biochemistry; MED ’83), founder of careMESH, Inc. and author of the LinkedIn post Saving Your Health, One Mask at a Time, and Heidi Gullett, an associate professor in the School of Medicine, associate director of the Center for Community Health Integration, and medical director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.


Spartans Step Up: Economic Recovery Outlook

In May, "Economic Recovery Outlook," focused on the current state of the economy, the trends for the coming months and the immediate and lasting effects of COVID-19. CWRU Weatherhead School of Management Professor of Banking and Finance Scott Fine, MBA, moderated an expert panel featuring Weatherhead School of Management Associate Professor of Economics David Clingingsmith, PhD, and Andrew Medvedev (MGT ’97, economics), managing director, Morgan Stanley.


Spartans Step Up: Teaching and Learning in a Remote World

"Teaching and Learning in a Remote World" looked at how the transition from an in-person experience to a virtual classroom has changed the student and faculty experience at CWRU. CWRU Provost and Executive Vice President Ben Vinson III moderated an expert panel featuring Karen W. Braun, CPA, PhD, professor of accountancy and director of the Undergraduate Accounting Program at the Weatherhead School of Management, and Susan Burden-Gulley, PhD, senior instructor, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences.


Spartans Step Up: Career Navigation

"Career Navigation" looked at the current and future state of the workforce, offered advice on conducting a new employment search, and shared the tools CWRU provides its alumni. Drew Poppleton, director, CWRU’s Office of Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education, moderated an expert panel featuring Carmen Fontana (CWR ’00; GRS ’05, engineering), practice lead, cloud and emerging tech for Centric Consulting, and Nancy Fink (WRC ‘73), director, The Professional Outplacement Assistance Center, State of Maryland Department of Labor.


Spartans Step Up: Entrepreneurship

The fifth installment of Spartans Step Up, focused on entrepreneurship - current trends in business, how COVID-19 has affected investors and advice for today’s entrepreneurs. Michael Goldberg, executive director of CWRU’s Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of design and innovation for the Weatherhead School of Management, moderated an expert panel featuring CWRU alumni Eric Hanson (CWR ‘01), partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale); Alex Derbes (CWR ‘00), portfolio manager for Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co.; and Ram Fish (CWR ‘95; GRS ‘95, computer engineering), founder & CEO of 19Labs. 


Spartans Step Up: At-Risk Populations – Recognizing and Supporting the Most Vulnerable

The sixth installment of Spartans Step Up focused on how the pandemic has affected the needs and security of low-income families and those struggling with domestic violence, as well as what the university can do to assist them. Grover C. Gilmore, PhD, dean of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve, moderated an expert panel featuring: Darcy Freedman, PhD, MPH, director of the Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Rachel Lovell, PhD, research assistant professor for the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.


Spartans Step Up: Protecting Older Adults Through the Pandemic and Beyond

The seventh installment of Spartans Step Up focused on how COVID-19 has affected the country's senior population, the protocols that have been put in place to assist with combating the virus, and the impact COVID-19 will have on the care of aging populations in the future. Carol M. Musil, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA (NUR '79; GRS '91, psychiatric mental health nursing), dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve, moderated an expert panel featuring Cheryl Bass, RN (NUR '92), owner, manager of Older Wiser Life Services, LLC, and Anne M. Pohnert, MSN, FNP-BC (NUR '22), director of clinical quality for CVS MinuteClinic.


Spartans Step Up: Recruiting and Admitting Students During a Pandemic

The eighth installment of Spartans Step Up focused how COVID-19 has affected the higher education admission process and what lessons have been learned from these extraordinary circumstances. Rick Bischoff, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Case Western Reserve University, moderated an expert panel featuring Case Western Reserve's Dean of Undergraduate Admission Bob McCullough (CWR '96, MGT '03) and Director of Undergraduate Admission Chrystal Russell.


Spartans Step Up: COVID's Impact on the Judiciary

On October 29, 2020, Spartans Step Up: COVID's Impact on the Judiciary looked at how COVID-19 has affected the practice of law, especially the daily functions of the U.S. court system. Jessica Berg, JD, MPH, Dean of the School of Law at Case Western Reserve University, moderated an expert panel of Case Western Reserve alumni who now serve as judges in local, state and federal courts, including Justice Rebecca Dallet (LAW '94) of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Presiding Judge Michelle Earley (LAW '99) of the Cleveland Municipal Court, and Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. (LAW '78) of the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio.