Spartans Step Up

The Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University's Spartans Step Up is a webcast series focusing on topical issues. For updates on the dates and times of future episodes, please follow The Alumni Association on Facebook.

A blue, grey and white logo reading Spartans Step Up

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.


Spartans Step Up: Stress and the Holidays During COVID

On December 14, 2020, Spartans Step Up: Stress and the Holidays During COVID focused on the importance of self-care and ensuring the wellness of others, including children, in these trying times. Joy K. Ward, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, will moderate an expert panel featuring: Amy Przeworski, PhD, associate professor, anxiety disorders, Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University; Linda Sharpe-Taylor, PhD (WRC '78), staff psychologist, Sisters of Saint Mary Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, and adjunct faculty, Saint Louis University School of Medicine; and Elizabeth J. Short, PhD, professor of psychology, director of Developmental Master's Program and co-director of childhood studies, Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University.


Spartans Step Up: Review and Analysis of the Current National Political Landscape

On February 15, 2021, Spartans Step Up: Review and Analysis of the Current National Political Landscape looked at the presidential election, the voter fraud lawsuits, the insurrection and the inauguration of President Joseph Biden.

Joy Ward, PhD, dean and professor of biology of the College of Arts & Sciences, moderated an expert panel of nationally renowned CWRU faculty: Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director, Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; and Karen Beckwith, PhD, Flora Stone Mather Professor, Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University College of Arts & Sciences. Professor Adler was cited in the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment of former President Donald Trump. A key area of research for Professor Beckwith is how social movements respond to loss.


Spartans Step Up: How Technology Is Impacting Access to the Stock Market and Leveling the Playing Field

On April 14, 2021, Spartans Step Up: How Technology Is Impacting Access to the Stock Market and Leveling the Playing Field offered insight and analysis on the current state of the stock market and the disruptions caused by technology applications, such as Robinhood, that allow the general public to access the markets and share information.

Scott Fine, professor of banking and finance at Weatherhead School of Management, moderated a panel including: Greg Harmon, assistant professor of banking and finance at Weatherhead School of Management, author of the bookTrading Options: Using Technical Analysis to Design Winning Trades, and an experienced investor, trader and former banking executive with more than 25 years of trading experience at BNP Paribas, State Street and JPMorgan; and Darius Inzar (CWR '20), Class of 2020 BS in Civil Engineering and current MSM - Finance graduate student at Weatherhead School of Management.