Alumni News: April 2016

Alumni Volunteer Spotlight: Eric Brandt (CWR '10) and current student Zijie "Tom" Fu

image of Eric Brandt

During spring break last month (March 7 - 11), nearly 50 first and second year students took the opportunity to explore career interests and shadow alumni in their hometowns. 

Career Connections, a program sponsored by the Career Center, is an opportunity for freshman and sophomore students to shadow an alumnus in the students' academic/career and geographical location of interest. This popular program typically has over 100 students express interest for the 50 available spots and has been recognized by Student Affairs with the Positive Impact Award for academic year 14-15. With support from The Alumni Association, the last 6 years has seen over 300 students shadow Zoologists, Attorneys, Judges, Physicians, Researchers, Genetic Counselors, Consultants, Investment Bankers, Accountants, Entrepreneurs and Nurses. From Florida to California to New York City,  this opportunity serves to promote retention here at CWRU and help students to see their future and commit to academic success  to achieve their goals.

We asked Eric Brandt (CWR '10), market intelligence research specialist at Parker Hannifin, and his student shadow Tom Fu majoring in economics and psychology, to tell us about their Career Connections Experience:

How did you get involved with Career Connections?
Eric: I was approached with information on a current student (Tom) who had interest in a specific subject matter and how it could be used in a business career. Since I had a similar background and currently work in that field, my name was put forth for a possible shadowing experience over Tom's spring break. I was able to host Tom for a day at Parker Hannifin's headquarters in Mayfield Heights, where Tom was able to meet with me and other coworkers to discuss our jobs and backgrounds, sit in on a couple of meetings, and get exposed to the day-to-day work and skills required in the field.

image of Zijie Fu

What was the best part of this career connection?
Eric: My favorite moments from this experience were just being able to have Tom meet with others in the company and see some specific examples of the type of work that can be done by those with a background in his intended area of study. In fact, Tom was even able to assist with a certain section of a project and bring some of his own insight to it, which hopefully gave him a taste of how he can apply what he has learned to a business situation.

Tom: My favorite part of my shadowing was at the end of the day Eric's boss gave me a sample of their customer survey and asked me to give some feedback. I used the methods I learned in my psychology class to rearrange the order, rephrase some questions and simplify the process. Eric's boss was very impressed by my work, and she praised my storage of knowledge and accuracy of working instincts. After the shadowing, I am determined to declare my majors. I also found out that quantitative analysis skills are very useful and I am suggested to take some core statistics classes.

What would you say to others who are interested in Career Connections?
Tom: The career connection program was very helpful for me to experience the real workplace. I indeed had a great experience in the shadowing with Eric at Parker Hannifin.

Eric: [I]t was a very gratifying experience for me to host Tom. It was especially meaningful to me in that it was sometimes a struggle for me as an undergrad at CWRU to really understand the type of careers that are out there and know how I could apply the things I was learning to day-to-day work in the business world; even more so with having a background in Cognitive Science and Psychology that is somewhat atypical in the business world. I feel that even something as simple as letting a student shadow on-the-job or hosting an informational interview can help a student begin to focus his or her academic goals and give him or her some ideas about possible career options. 

Learn how to get involved with Career Connections; contact Laura Papcum in the Career Center.

Visit Cuba, Iceland, the Pyrenees and more! 

image of building

Travel the world with CWRU faculty! Join expert professors on adventures all over the globe…learn first-hand about different cultures, histories, arts, economics, political science, the list goes on and on! With our faculty, you will gain access to behind the scenes sites, cultural treasures, and other intimate educational activities. Don’t miss out, join fellow alumni and friends of CWRU and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Cuba with Damaris Punales-Alpizar 

Iceland and the Northern Lights with Glenn Starkman

The Pyrenees with Patricia Princehouse 

Origins Unlimited:  British Isles, Norway & Iceland with Glenn Starkman and Patricia Princehouse

Berlin with Catherine Scallen and Kenneth Ledford 

image of Pyrenees

CWRU Holi Festival

Holi Festival Poster

CWRU Holi is just around the corner. Join the Center for International Affairs on Freiberger Field Sunday, April 17th from 1 - 4 p.m. for our first campus-wide Holi event. All student, staff, faculty and community members are invited to join this COLORFUL, fun and educational dance party featuring authentic Indian street food, LOTS of colored powder, water guns, cricket and traditions associated with Holi and Basant.

Student and community booths will offer games and activities to keep everyone entertained. The first 100 CWRU guests (with CWRU ID) will receive a free kite. The first 400 CWRU guests (with CWRU ID) will receive a free T-shirt.

For more information about the event and to learn about Holi and Basant, check out our Facebook event page.

USG Alumni Scholarship

This newly founded USG Alumni Scholarship Fund will support at least one undergraduate student, who shows leadership promise, for their four years. The goal of the fund is to raise $25,000 by spring 2016.

For more information on giving options, contact Vanessa Mavec at or (216) 701-5320. Use this link to give; put your designated amount in the "Term Scholarship" field, and then write "USG Alumni Scholarship Fund" in the Special Instructions box at the bottom.

2016 Unity Banquet

Unity Banquet Poster

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) at Case Western Reserve University invites you to the 26th Annual Unity Banquet and Scholarship Benefit on Friday, April 15, with special keynote speaker, Alicia Garza. The Unity Banquet and Scholarship Benefit recognizes the academic achievements of underrepresented students and graduating seniors and serves as a venue to award over $10,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students each spring.

The banquet will be held at the Tinkham Veale University Center. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

More information and register

Weatherhead Executive Education

Develop your emotional intelligence with those who know how to develop it best - the Weatherhead School of Management!

Register for two days of Emotional Intelligence programs with Dr. Melvin Smith, PhD on June 2nd and 3rd at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus in Oakbrook, Ill. Case Western Reserve University Alumni receive 35% off registrations. Space is very limited! Spread the word. 

‌Nominate: The Alumni Association's Awards‌

image of Alumni Awards 2015 Recipients

If you know someone who has made an exceptional contribution to CWRU community or has been an outstanding member of their field or profession, consider nominating them for The Alumni Association's 2016 awards. Categories include: Distinguished Alumni Award, Professional Achievement, Young Alumni Award, Daniel T. Clancy Alumni Service Award and Newton D. Baker Distinguished Service Award.

Nominations submitted before May 30 will be included in consideration for 2016 awards. Recipients will be honored and receive their award on campus at the alumni awards luncheon hosted during homecoming/reunion weekend October 13-16.

Visit: Alumni Awards

Upcoming Events

April 16
11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m.
April 18
6 p.m.
April 20
6 - 8 p.m.
June 18
5 - 11 p.m.
Sept. 2 - 22
Wine & Wildflowers ThinkForum:
Abraham Verghese
Welcome 2016 Graduates Hollywood Bowl Pyrenean Origins
The Oasis Lake Travis
Austin, Texas
Maltz Performing Arts Center
Cleveland, Ohio
ABC Tavern - Uptown
Cleveland, Ohio
Highland Camrose Picnic Area
Hollywood, Calif.
Siegal Lifelong
Learning - Travel