Who we are
The CWRU Pride LGBT Alumni Network fosters connections with the LGBT alumni community through events, networking opportunities and other special activities while supporting university initiatives for current LGBT students at CWRU. CWRU Pride welcomes all CWRU alumni and friends interested in supporting excellence in education, and building pride and community.
If you are interested in joining this network, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award
This award fund has been developed for the improvement, growth and support of an LGBT inclusive environment by the LGBT Alumni and supporters of Case Western Reserve University.
The purpose of the CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award is to provide recognition or enable financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate or graduate students who are working to make impactful actions and advance the mission of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community at Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland community, or nationally through scholarship, research or leadership activities.
2020 Award Winner
The CWRU Pride Alumni Network awarded H. Michael Schwartz, MA, CDP, an Organizational Behavior Ph.D. 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, as the challenges of attending a university often compound and expand when they include a rapid realization and change in self-concept, like discovering you are queer or transgender or being more open about a queer or transgender identity. Through 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: 1) to increase the knowledge and acknowledgment of transgender experiences in organizations and 2) to publish and create at such high-quality that this knowledge becomes widely applicable and sought out.
The committee has awarded $2,000 towards H. Micheal 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 is previous (or “dead”) name is included on a resume. The CWRU Pride Alumni Network hopes that this project will impact not only the CWRU campus but also greater Cleveland and beyond.
Eric Chen & Uriel Kim
Eric Chen (MED '17) (left) and Uriel Kim (MED '17) (right) recently won Case Western Reserve University Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award, sponsored by The Alumni Association of CWRU.
The award is based on Kim and Chen's work in developing the LGBTQ+ Patient Advocacy Training Program. The purpose of this program is to reduce LGBTQ+ health disparities through a rigorous nine-hour curriculum led by faculty and clinicians. After participating in this series of interactive workshops, online modules and clinical exercises, students are better able to advocate for marginalized patient populations and create a welcoming clinical environment. To date, nearly 30 students have completed the training program, with another cohort of students starting soon. The LGBTQ+ Patient Advocacy Training Program addresses a clear need to ensure that medical students are prepared to deliver the best care to even the most vulnerable patients. The award will defray program costs and support summer research.
Chen and Kim are second-year medical students whose efforts will lead to better health outcomes for LGBTQ+ patients and more culturally informed care providers - not only on the CWRU campus, but in Greater Cleveland and beyond, as their fellow students pursue residencies and careers.
Jonathon Wanta (CWR'14), a first year medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, was awarded $1,200 by the CWRU Pride Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Ohio Leadership Scholarship Selection Committee to facilitate his summer study of post-surgical outcomes in female to male transition for double mastectomy.
The award was based off of Wanta's advocation for the LGBT community in health care, specifically in a surgical subspecialty, and his involvement with the MetroHealth PRIDE Clinic.
In collaboration with doctors at the PRIDE Clinic, Wanta will evaluate long-term psychological effects and patient satisfaction in transgender patients who undergo chest reconstruction. Wanta's goal is that the results of his study will affect change in health care and insurance for transgender individuals.
Paul Cheng, a second year medical student at CWRU School of Medicine and PhD candidate, is one of two winners of the CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award, sponsored by The Alumni Association. Cheng is also president and founder of QGrad, the LGBT student group for graduate and professional students on campus.
Cheng's award was granted based on his role as a campus leader on LGBT initiatives, as well as his promotion of diversity and visibility for LGBT students. He plans to use the funds of the award to evaluate how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender-nonconforming medical students perceive the inclusiveness of their medical school environments.
Cheng intends to present the findings of this study at the 2015 Gay and Lesbian Medical Association National Conference. The award will go toward covering the cost of participation, data collection tools and other conference costs.
The goal of Cheng's research is to yield findings that can be presented to admissions and student affairs committees to help meet the needs of LGBT students.
Carolyn Oatis, a first-year student, and Spectrum treasurer, is one of two inaugural winners of the Case Western Reserve University Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Scholarship, sponsored by The Alumni Association.
Oatis’ award was granted after her essay was reviewed by a CWRU panel which deemed the piece compelling, inspiring and most worthy of the award. Her attendance and participation at The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC) in Kansas City is part of the award. Full financial coverage of all of her travel expenses is also included. Oatis is expected to return from her three-day conference stent with ideas to improve the campus climate for LGBT students as well as report on conference sessions.
Additionally, she’s invited to attend the Lavender Graduation in April, during which President Snyder will personally recognize her achievement.
Cheri Smalley, a graduate student at MSASS, was awarded $1200 by the CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Scholarship Selection Committee to assist with attendance and participation in the 2014 CWRU Amsterdam Study Abroad program. At the conclusion of the program, Smalley will report back lessons and ideas gleaned from her experience. The goal of the trip is to use this knowledge to influence public policy or suggest adoptive practices to further improve the LGBT climate within the greater Cleveland area.
The award was based off of Smalley’s involvement and support of the transgender community from undergraduate studies and her participation in dare2careusa in Cleveland.
Smalley is invited to attend the Lavender Graduation in April, during which President Snyder will personally recognize her achievement.
LGBT Life on Campus
Case Western Reserve University consistently ranks as one of the most gay-friendly campuses in the country, regularly scoring high marks on the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index and in The Advocate's College Guide. In 2013, CWRU was ranked by the Huffington Post as one of the top 25 LGBT friendly colleges in the country.
In honor of Dan Savage—journalist and creator of the "It Gets Better" project—visiting campus in November, CWRU students created their own "It Gets Better" video.
To learn more about the LGBT Center on campus, please visit the website.
Connect with CWRU Pride
Join the network to get invitations to LGBT alumni events throughout the year and learn about network initiatives.
If you'd like to join the CWRU Pride LGBT Alumni Network, please fill out this short form