Alumni News – August 2020

Interior of the Cosgrove Courtyard at Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic's Health Education Campus
Annie O'Neill

Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic to host first presidential debate at Health Education Campus

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced today that the Health Education Campus (HEC) of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic will host the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, in its Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion.

“We are honored to host this presidential debate at our shared Health Education Campus,” Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., and Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder said in a joint statement. “This pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of health care and scientific discovery in unprecedented ways. To have the presidential candidates discuss these issues in our innovative learning space represents a tremendous opportunity for both institutions – and our entire region.”

Read the full announcement on The Daily’s website.

Spartans Step Up Continues at CWRU 

Microscopic view of the COVID-19 virus, light blue with black background

The Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University continues Spartans Step Up, a series of webcasts focusing on CWRU’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sixth installment debuts at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT, on Thursday, Aug. 13. "At-Risk Populations – Recognizing and Supporting the Most Vulnerable" focuses 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, will moderate 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.
Viewers are invited to submit questions for the panel by registering for the livestream or submitting them during the webcast. Join the CWRU livestream or watch on The Alumni Association's Facebook page

Register Today!
For updates on the dates and times of future episodes, please follow The Alumni Association on Facebook.

Previous episodes are available at The Alumni Association's Virtual Events page.

Joining Together, Staying Apart

Case Western Reserve magazine cover that says "Together" with a subhead of "While the pandemic forced physical distance, it also catalyzed collective efforts to find answers—and prepare for a new future."

In a time of remote learning, teaching and socializing, uniting for major impact may seem improbable. 

Not at Case Western Reserve. 

Our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends are turning the challenge of distance into a call to action. They’re transforming courses.

Volunteering to help our community. Pivoting research and resources to find better solutions. 

Quite simply, they’re thinking beyond the possible. In our summer publication—which you can download or view many of the articles online—you can see how.

CWRU Pride Alumni Network names Pride Ohio Leadership Award recipient 

Headshot of H. Michael Schwartz, MA, CDP

The CWRU Pride Alumni Network awarded H. Michael Schwartz, an organizational behavior PhD student in Weatherhead School of Management, the 2020 CWRU Pride Ohio Leadership Award for their work in the development of the LGBTQ+ community. Schwartz serves as a facilitator for the Polyam Fam series through the university’s LGBTQ+ Center, focused on building support for polyamorous students, staff, faculty and community members. Additionally, they offer one-on-one coaching for students who may face challenges as they realize or have a change in self-concept, such as discovering they are queer or transgender or becoming more open about a queer or transgender identity. Through Schwartz’s coaching, students build their concept of self from the ground up, examining the experiences, values and possibilities that enable flourishing and building a plan to enact their ideal self.

As an openly transgender TA and instructor, Schwartz mentors students and has published articles working to improve the pedagogy of organizational behavior and management. Schwartz’s academic work is primarily centered on how to improve the state of transgender research and education in management as a discipline. Schwartz approaches this work with two motivations:

  • to increase the knowledge and acknowledgment of transgender experiences in organizations, and;
  • to publish and create at such high quality that this knowledge becomes widely applicable and sought out. 

The committee has awarded $2,000 toward Schwartz’s qualifying project to generate more knowledge about what causes transgender hiring bias and reconceptualize how to measure bias within psychology and management. The study aims to measure the impact of “name incongruence”—when a transgender person’s previous (or “dead”) name is included on a resume. The CWRU Pride Alumni Network hopes this project will impact not only the CWRU campus but also greater Cleveland and beyond.

Class of 2020 will leave a permanent mark on campus

A paver brick that reads "Class of 2020: Strength, resilience and tenacity. Shine on forever!"

The Case Western Reserve University community will recognize the Class of 2020 for its nontraditional graduation—taking part in a virtual commencement ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During June's Day of Giving, alumni honored the class by donating to the Class of 2020 Pave It Forward Fund—purchasing a specially inscribed brick paver that will serve as a permanent tribute. 

After voting on the inscription via Facebook, alumni selected the following message: “Class of 2020. Strength, resilience and tenacity. Shine on Forever!”

The paver will be installed in the courtyard of the Frank N. and Jocelyne K. Linsalata Alumni Center this fall.

Alumni participate in Remote Entrepreneurship Program

The Office of Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education and the CWRU Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship collaborated on the Remote Entrepreneurship Program this summer. Many alumni graciously answered the call, offering remote projects for current students. A few of the Remote Entrepreneurship Program connections are highlighted below, including links to the students’ stories of their experiences.

Thank you to all who participated.

Share your messages for the Class of 2024

Looking for a way to reach out to CWRU students during these unprecedented times? The Alumni Association is inviting CWRU alumni and staff to submit messages of encouragement and support for the incoming Class of 2024.

Messages will be delivered to first-year students during the first week of classes.

Share your message by Tuesday, Aug. 11

Undergraduate Research Society seeking alumni connections 

The Case Western Reserve University Undergraduate Research Society (URS) wants to connect aspiring undergraduate researchers with alumni who can share experiences and offer advice. The URS, a community of undergraduates engaging in all academic disciplines, strives to use experiential knowledge to assist students with entering into and practicing research, applying for postgraduate positions and more.  

Planned URS events include:

  • Researchthon: URS’s flagship fundraising and research event aims to promote creativity and collaboration in a research setting by hosting an interdisciplinary research competition. 
  • Networking: URS will host virtual and in-person (following safety protocols) networking events for undergraduates in conjunction with alumni, principal investigators from various labs, on-campus student organizations and community sponsors. 
  • Cleveland Community: URS engages with the broader Cleveland community through sponsorships with local researchers and research-based organizations. URS plans to provide opportunities for community members to engage with undergraduates. 

If you are interested in mentoring and/or giving advice to current undergraduates or being involved with any URS events, please fill out the form below.

Get involved with the Undergraduate Research Society

Learn more about CWRU’s Undergraduate Research Society

For additional questions, contact Cindy Wang at

Enjoy a concert from your couch: The Atlanta Alumni Chapter hosts a virtual event

The Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve invites you to enjoy an exclusive, live concert featuring singer/songwriter Joe Pug on Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. EDT.

Pug’s long-standing passion for music comes through on his newest record, The Flood In Color, as his narrative songwriting evokes the style and work of artists like John Prine and Bob Dylan. During his popular podcast, The Working Songwriter, Pug interviews a variety of successful songwriters spanning all genres of music. 

Before the performance begins, DJ Jim “Jimmie Wilson” Gilliland of Case Western Reserve’s WRUW-FM 91.1 will provide an update on student engagement. 

This virtual concert is presented by the CWRU Atlanta Alumni Chapter and hosted by The Alumni Association Board President Arnold Huffman (CWR ’93).

Virtual Concert Schedule of Events:

7:30 p.m. EDT: Welcome from Arnold Huffman (CWR '93) 
7:40 p.m. EDT: WRUW update from "Jimmie Wilson" 
8 p.m. EDT: Performance begins

Register for the virtual concert

Siegal Lifelong Learning kicks off fall schedule

Siegal Lifelong Learning will kick off its fall programming on Sept. 2 with a virtual lecture, “Isaac, Ishmael, and Jesus: Jews, Christians, and Muslims on the Binding of Isaac."
Register for the lecture: Wednesday, Sept. 2 | 7 p.m. EDT

The virtual lecture will be led by Aaron Koller, professor of near eastern studies; chair, Robert M. Beren Department of Jewish Studies, Yeshiva University.

The lecture will be preceded by a sneak preview of remote courses and lectures coming this fall, including: 

Full-Stack Coding Boot Camp

Begins Aug. 10
This 24-week, part-time program teaches the skills needed to become proficient in front-end and back-end coding technologies. Web development continues to be a fast-growing field and a great way to launch or enhance your career. 

Data Analytics Boot Camp

Begins Oct. 26
This 24-week, part-time program will help you gain the specialized skills needed to analyze big data and turn it into clear insights. From marketing to management consulting, manufacturing to food production, and transportation, businesses need help managing their data. 

Cybersecurity Boot Camp

Begins Oct. 27
This 24-week, part-time program takes a multidisciplinary approach to develop proficiency in IT, networking, and modern information security. Companies within the healthcare, law, and financial services sectors are only three of the many industries with significant cybersecurity needs. With extensive student support and a wide array of resources, enroll today in a program that helps you find a path to success.