Alumni Give Back to CWRU, One Experience at a Time
SUMMER ON THE CUYAHOGA: MIKE DePAULO (MGT ‘04)
CWRU Major: Business Management with a Finance Concentration
Current hometown: Mayfield Heights, Ohio
Employer: Corporate Search Consultants
What you do for fun/recreation: I stay active with my four and two-year-old children, and by exercising, following Cleveland sports and staying in touch with friends.
CWRU volunteer initiatives: Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) volunteer, Weatherhead guest lecturer, and developed new programs that engage CWRU football alumni for the benefit of current players.
Your favorite experience as a volunteer? Every experience is different, but all interactions are rewarding. I hope that my actions encourage others to volunteer for a cause they are passionate about.
How did you first get involved with volunteering? I reached out to many within the CWRU community until I found those who were receptive to my willingness to volunteer. Weatherhead’s Coffee with an Alumni and CWRU’s SOTC were recommended to me to as places to start.
Why do you volunteer? I am proud that I had the privilege to attend CWRU and I cherish the relationships that I have gained through the university. This is my way of giving back.
What would you say to others who are interested in getting involved? It is never too late to start.
More information about how you can provide experiences for students who have chosen to spend their Summer on the Cuyahoga...
CAREER CONNECTIONS: LINDA ZHANG, PhD (GRS ‘09)
CWRU Major: Master’s in Biomedical Engineering
Current hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Employer: Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University
What you do for fun: Distance running, art, traveling, cooking, beer-tasting
Current volunteer initiatives: Career Connections was my first experience connecting back to the university, but I am always seeking ways to educate younger generations and the general public in the biomedical sciences.
Your favorite experience as a volunteer? I loved meeting the wonderful young women I was matched with through the Career Connections program, and learning about their interests and career aspirations. I think it is hard for young people (or anyone) to really know what a career is about. My advice to students is to not think too much about a specific field or job description, but rather to focus on the overall mission one wants to achieve in life or pursue personal interests or natural inclinations. By figuring out one’s mission and knowing one’s strengths, one can overcome challenges, especially when it is easy to feel discouraged and quit. Through my volunteer experience, I realized that I also needed occasional reminders to remain confident in my mission and believe in my natural strengths while facing challenges and fears in the workplace.
How many hours did this volunteer activity take up? I had a conference to attend during the volunteer week so was unable to provide job shadowing. Instead, I met with the students for two hours to provide advice, talk about career options and what I currently do, and give presentations of my previous research projects.
Would you consider volunteering with Career Connections again? Definitely. I wish I was exposed to these type of activities when I was younger. This is a great program to expose young people to future possibilities, as well as establish connections for mentorships early on. The setting can be casual, so students are less intimidated than if they were to learn through formal meetings, conferences or job interviews.
What would you say to others who are interested in getting involved? All alumni should get involved, even if they have strayed away from their career path or college major. I think young people should see all sorts of paths being pursued, which would open their minds to a variety of possibilities and help them decide if the current major of study is a good fit. Not all students have a network of supporters who offer valuable career advice or academic guidance – so volunteers can really impact a student’s life – and it doesn’t take much time!
ALUMNI ADMISSION AMBASSADOR: AADITYA VISHWANATH (CWR ‘13)
CWRU Major: Economics and International Studies
Current hometown: Cambridge, Mass.
Employer: HighPoint Solutions
What you do for fun: Experimenting with new recipes, exploring, reading, playing video games
Current volunteer initiatives: Alumni Ambassador and The Alumni Association Recognition Committee
Your favorite experience as a volunteer? I enjoy talking to kids about my alma mater. I am always amazed with how much these high school kids have accomplished. I interviewed a student who was writing an algorithm to create country music. Because the lyrics and chords were "so generic" he and his group believed they could get a computer to write it.
How many hours do your volunteer activities take up per week? About 1-2 hours per week.
How did you first get involved with volunteering? My first experience with alumni volunteers was when I interviewed with a graduate of CWRU. I was amazed that even after having graduated from CWRU decades ago, he was still giving back to the university. His passion and dedication really cemented my love for CWRU and I told myself that after I graduated I would do the same thing!
Why do you volunteer? I really enjoy giving back to the school that gave me so much. I was very involved on campus and giving back to the university a few hours a month ensures that Case will be a welcoming and respected institution for years to come.
What would you say to others who are interested in getting involved? Give it a chance! Every little bit helps. CWRU has had a massive increase in the number of students applying so helping the admissions office interview applicants ensures that the university gets the best students! I'm sure there are some folks who are apprehensive about volunteering, but it is easy, thanks to the responsiveness of The Alumni Association and the admissions office.
Help recruit the next class of CWRU students as an Alumni Admission Ambassador...
INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP PROGRAM:
BOB JEFFERIS, HOST (LAW ‘10)
CWRU Major: Law
Hometown: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Your favorite experience in the International Friendship Program? Shivank and I have developed a good friendship, he is a very bright young man. Shivank is a vegetarian and I am a carnivore, yet some of my favorite shared experiences revolved around food - he cooked dinner at our house and we had him over for Easter dinner.
What would you say to others who are interested in getting involved? There is always room for one more at the table...
SHIVANK DOKANIA, CURRENT STUDENT
CWRU Major: Master of Engineering and Management
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Your favorite experience in the International Friendship Program? To be honest, all the experiences have been phenomenal. One that sticks out is the Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the family. Bob and his wife Diane went out of their way to make me feel at home, just as they would invite any family member. This really made me feel like I have a home away from home. They modified the menu to fit my vegetarian diet, carefully planning and executing a creative meal and I spent quality time with all the members of the family. It was a great day!
How have you adjusted to Cleveland and CWRU? The International Friendship Program is critical because it allows a foreign student to extensively learn about the language and culture. This really helps the person grow on a personal level, build lifelong relationships and become a competent individual in a foreign land. Difficult to achieve by yourself, these things are critical for success. The International Friendship Program facilitates this process. The maturity and the experience hosts bring truly supports a student. I never felt homesick in my time here, and the credit for that goes to Bob, Diane and the International Friendship Program. Whenever I had setbacks in my personal life, Bob and Diane were always there for me, always saying the right things and making me feel better. I knew they always had my back.
Help us welcome the world, one student at a time, through the International Friendship Program...
Saturday of Service at CWRU
On April 1, the Cleveland chapter of the The Alumni Association of CWRU celebrated 2017’s Spring Saturday of Service by supporting CWRU's Center for Civic Engagement & Learning in its partnership with Kids Against Hunger. Coordinating an on-campus food-packing project, Kids Against Hunger is a student organization at CWRU whose mission is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and throughout the world.
After a light breakfast in the newly expanded Frank N. and Jocelyne K. Linsalata Alumni Center, 16 alumni volunteers and their family members walked to Wade Commons for an hour-long shift, helping package meals, mix ingredients and weigh and seal packages. The completed meals were donated to the Cleveland Food Bank for distribution to soup kitchens, shelters and other charitable organizations in the Greater Cleveland area.
To honor members of the Case Western Reserve University community who have made exceptional contributions to their profession or the community, consider nominating them for our annual awards, to be presented during homecoming weekend.
It’s here! CWRU’s Annual Fund has launched a new blog where recent graduates can read relevant posts about life after graduation, witness the impact of alumni philanthropy and relive their glory days with CWRU updates. We hope to create a useful resource for you - send us a comment/post recommendation, start a discussion or ask a question on a topic that you think others might find interesting and relatable. You and your idea could be the next feature on The In Crowd!
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View the University and Alumni Relations Events Calendar for more upcoming events on campus and around the country.