Who We Are

The Department of Planning, Design and Construction serves as the steward to plan and develop high quality, cost effective, long term and sustainable facilities and landscapes that embrace the vision and core values of the University. 


Implementation of the Case Western Reserve University Master Plan continues to enhance our academic mission as well as our partnerships with neighboring institutions and the surrounding community. 


The Planning, Design and Construction staff works with architects, engineers, contractors, University departments, and individual faculty and staff while managing the development and execution of new construction projects and renovations of existing space on campus. 
Joanne Brown
Joanne Brown, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID
Assistant Director

Joanne is a licensed architect and certified interior designer with over 30 years of experience in project leadership with a strong background in architecture, interior design, space programming, and construction management. Previous experience includes having been a partner within a mid-size architectural firm, vice president of a construction company, and a facility planning director. Having worked in a variety of fields, with various degrees of resources and capital allocation, Joanne offers diverse knowledge and expertise in successfully managing areas of design, planning, and project oversight. She is a member of the City of Cleveland, the Euclid Corridor Buckeye Design Review Board, and the Liverpool Township Zoning Commission. Joanne has an MS in Positive Organization Development & Change (MPOD) from Case Western Reserve University, and a BS in Architectural & Environmental Design Technology from Bowling Green State University. Joanne loves to travel and experience new places and can often be found boating the Great Lakes with family and friends. Contact Joanne.

Rick Pruden


Rick Pruden
Construction Manager

Rick Pruden has been serving Case Western Reserve University as a Project Manager since 2002. In all his years with CWRU he has worked on many sizeable projects, with the Fribley Commons Renovation being one of the most recent. Prior to joining the Planning, Design, and Construction team at CWRU, Rick received his Bachelor's Degree in Electronics Engineering. He then ventured into the automotive and lithium battery industries, using his talents as an Electrical Engineer and Plant Engineer. Rick's work here at Case, however, always keeps him engaged and interested. The diversity of projects is the most exciting part of his project management position including the Nord Family Greenway, new buildings like the Wyant Athletic and Wellness Center, and even elevator modernizations. In his personal life, Rick has been married to his wife for over 30 years and they have two children together. He is also a Poultry Advisor for his local 4-H club and he enjoys making homemade pizzas as a hobby. Contact Rick.


Nick Christie
Nicholas Christie
Assistant Vice President, Construction

Nicholas (Nick) Christie joined the Case Western Reserve University team in 2009. He has over two decades of professional experience in the commercial construction industry, a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Bowling Green State University, and is currently an MBA candidate here at CWRU. He has managed many major capital projects on our campus, including several LEED Gold certified projects. He currently oversees the Construction Department and enjoys collaborating with the various colleges, schools and departments across campus. He is a firm believer in continuous improvement and appreciates a challenge. Contact Nick.

Jim Schmidt
James Schmidt
University Space Management Coordinator

Jim was recruited to join Case Western Reserve University in 2018 as a Space Management Coordinator. In this position, Jim is involved with the development and implementation of CAD Standards and the documentation of all campus buildings. He also manages the maintenance of the Planning, Design, and Construction Database, as well as the distribution of drawings to internal and external clients. Prior to joining the PDC team at CWRU, Jim received an Associates degree in CAD/Design as well as obtaining 36 years of experience in Residential Design and Construction. His experience also includes Facilities Space Planning and Design, in addition to Project Design and Management. In his spare time, Jim enjoys woodworking projects, home renovation and remodeling, gardening, and cooking. Contact Jim.


Jenny Hofelich
Jenny Hofelich, LEED, AP, BD & C
Construction Manager

Jenny Hofelich has over 18 years of experience in construction management, new construction, building renovations and related construction services. She joined Case Western University as a Project Manager the fall of 2023 and is excited to be a part of the planning and construction team.