2020 - 2021 Provost Scholars Mentors

Amy Zhang

Amy Zhang, PhD 

Associate Professor of Nursing 

Dr. Zhang teaches a SAGES course on complementary and alternative therapies to undergraduate students. She has been a member of the National Institutes of Health grant review panels and a member of the university's faculty senate and its executive committee. Her research focuses on improving the quality of life of cancer survivors and their families. She has conducted NIH-funded studies to reduce urinary incontinence of African American men with prostate cancer and depression. She is a recipient of a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar Research Grant where she will continue her research in China.  

Robert Ward Mentor

Robert Ward

Associate Professor, Biology

Regulation of tissue growth and morphogenesis.

Animal development is critically dependent upon precisely timed and orchestrated morphogenetic processes including cell shape changes and rearrangements. These morphogenetic events are triggered and controlled by developmentally regulated signaling pathways that lead to cytoskeletal dynamics in individual cells. These forces must then be propagated through the epithelium and maintained in order to elicit appropriate tissue-level morphological changes. These latter steps are dependent on emergent properties of the tissue including the viscosity and elasticity of the epithelium, the stiffness of the membranes and the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix. An effective way to define novel mechanisms that contribute to these emergent properties is through the characterization of mutations recovered in genetic screens of morphogenesis. Through a series of genetic screens in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we have identified a complex of interacting proteins that localize to the lateral membrane as playing critical roles in morphogenetic processes throughout fly development. These proteins ultimately form the septate junction, the primary occluding junction in invertebrate epithelia, however, their role in morphogenesis appears to be independent of this occluding function. Our current projects aim to gain a mechanistic understanding of how these proteins affect adhesion, cytoskeletal dynamics and tissue polarity during morphogenesis at various stages of development including oogenesis, embryogenesis, and metamorphosis.

Provost Scholars Mentor Bud Baeslack

William (Bud) Baeslack, III, PhD

Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

Provost and Executive Vice President, CWRU 

Baeslack is internationally recognized for his research on the materials science and engineering aspects of joining advanced aerospace materials, including titanium, aluminum and nickel-base alloys, intermetallics and metal-matrix composites.  He has received research funding from the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, the Ohio Edison Program, national laboratories and industry. 

Provost Scholars Mentor Lisa Kollins

Lisa Kollins, MA

Institute Administrator, Social Justice Institute

Lisa joined the team as Institute Administrator in October 2015.  She received a Master's in Judaic Studies from Siegal College, served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Comparative Religion department at Miami University of Ohio, and graduated with a dual degree in Theatre and Religious Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis.  

Most recently, she was a Consultant and Employment Associate at Youth Opportunities Unlimited, a non-profit that supports pathways from poverty for Cleveland teens through employment and educational programs.  Lisa is a Program Specialist at Camp Sunrise, the only camp in Ohio serving youth touched by HIV/AIDS, and has also volunteered with Refugee Response, Rainey Institute, Eye Care International, IPM, the Homeless Standdown and Limmud UK. She directs The Superhero Project, an initiative that uses creative thinking and the arts to bring joy to children who are facing serious illnesses. 

Mary Kim

Augustine Ekpo Mentor

Augustine E. Ekpo

Graduate Teaching Assistant, CWRU Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Provost Scholars Mentor Adrianne Fletcher

Adrianne M. Fletcher, PhD

Assistant Professor, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Dr. Fletcher holds a PhD, from Loyola University Chicago, and a Master’s degree in Social Sciences Administration from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Her research focus has been on the influence of implicit attitude on decision-making within the child welfare system and the phenomena of disproportionality.

She has been a practicing social work professional for the past two decades with work experience in child welfare, foster care, psychotherapy, Indian Child Welfare, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and Veterans. Previously, an appointment as an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, and her current appointment as an assistant professor at The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, have allowed Adrianne to utilize her teaching and advising skills, and also provide consultation/service to agencies regarding issues of cultural humility.

Further, she enjoys making herself available to facilitate discussions regarding the intractable thicket of race and culture for agencies and organizations who are aware that they are unaware. It is Adrianne’s desire to continue her research, which seeks remedies for the malady of negative implicit attitude among service professionals who work with individuals who are often marginalized, poor, physically exhausted and emotionally challenged.

Robin Snyder Mentor

Robin Snyder

Professor of Biology

Dr. Snyder is a Professor of Theoretical Ecology at Case Western Reserve University, where she is the Dept. Representative for CWRU's B.S. in Systems Biology. She is a birthright geek and has been working on promoting Olympic-style scoring for mathematical biology and play-by-play accounts of theorem-proving for ESPN, but these have been slow to take off. She also sings medieval music. You can find her recordings, a calendar of Cleveland-area early music performances, and general early music geekery on her music homepage.

Provost Scholars Mentor Livia Timpanaro-Perrotta

Livia Timpanaro-Perrotta 

Ms. Timpanaro-Perrotta is a recent graduate of CWRU with a Masters in Medical Physiology with honors in Clinical Neuroscience. As a component of her studies, she worked at University Hospitals of Cleveland in the General Neurology, Neuromuscular, and Stroke departments. She conducted research to determine patient outcomes after health-related interventions, and is currently co-instructing a Clinical Reasoning course series at CWRU School of Medicine. 

Ms. Timpanaro-Perrotta grew up in California, but her family is originally from Rome, Italy. She enjoys working with and empowering youth to pursue excellence in their academics, which led to her mentoring and working with the Provost Scholars Program. 

Kyle Fogarty  

Portrait of Jonathan Gordon

Jonathan Gordon, JD, BA 

Mr. Gordon teaches legal writing and professional responsibility to international law students in the school’s LLM program. Gordon has taught various other JD courses over the years, including conflicts resolution, the lawyering process, pretrial practice and professional responsibility. Gordon was one of the founding members of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Summer Legal Academy for local high school students. Gordon has also served as the faculty liaison for various externships with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and several state Attorney General offices in Ohio and elsewhere. A graduate of Columbia University School of Law, Gordon began his legal career in private practice, focusing on civil rights and employment issues. Prior to joining the law school, he spent several years as a trial attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where he was involved in cases involving race, gender, religion, national origin, age discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and various class action matters. 

Portrait of Lee Thompson

Lee Thompson, PhD

Dr. Thompson is the Chair of the Psychological Sciences department and a Professor at Case Western Reserve University. Her research has explored the development of cognitive skills, temperament, and language from infancy through childhood using siblings, twins, and genetic techniques. She is particularly interested in how the genetic code is translated into complex behavior at the level of brain function. Dr. Thompson has also been the recipient of the McGraw-Hill Excellence in Teaching First-Year Seminars Award and a co-creator of the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship (SAGES) program at Case. Dr. Thompson received her bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University and her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

Marguerite Peg DiMarco

Marguerite (Peg) DiMarco, PhD, RN, CPNP

Dr. DiMarco is an Associate Professor in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, where she received her PhD. She has been a pediatric nurse for 40 years, taught nursing for 35 years and practices as a pediatric nurse practitioner for the last 19 years. Her research interests involve health/dental care for poor children. She has international and national presentations, publications, and funded research projects in this area. She had NIH funding for her dissertation "Access/Utilization of Dental Care for Homeless Children." Her latest interdisciplinary project received a $1+ million grant from Kellogg to provide oral healthcare and education to WIC mothers and children. Further, DiMarco became interested in the health of homeless children since she started her faculty practice at ACCESS in 1997. Lastly, she is an active member of the National Association for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, where she also served on the board and as its oral health expert. 

Provost Scholars Mentor Jim Van Orman

James A. Van Orman, PhD

Professor, Geochemistry & Mineral Physics

Dr. Van Orman's group studies planetary interiors (including our own) using a combination of experiments and modeling, constrained by observations. Recent and current research topics include the role of volatiles in the formation and evolution of the Moon; the chemical evolution of planetary cores; isotope fractionation in magmatic processes; diffusion in mantle, core and crustal minerals; chemical processes in Earth’s core-mantle boundary region; and the sequence and timing of events leading up to the planet-building stage in the early solar system.

Portrait of Patricia McDonald

Patricia McDonald, PhD, RN

Dr. McDonald is an associate professor in the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Her primary research interests include the prevention and treatment of diabetes, particularly for African-Americans, chronic illness and health promotion for caregivers. She was also the principal investigator for the “Teaching Acceptance to Chronically Ill Older Adults,” “The Beauty for Ashes” projects, and co-investigator for the Parent Grant program with Dr. Jaclene Zauzniewski. Dr. McDonald earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nursing and Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, respectively, from The Ohio State University, and her doctorate in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University. While studying nursing, Dr. McDonald's educational interests were advanced practical nursing and mental health nursing. She has also been a visiting professor at the Department of Nursing, University of Zimbabwe. Finally, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Henry Ford Health Systems in Detroit, Michigan. 

Provost Scholars Mentor Tatum

Mary Louise Tatum, RN-BC, MSN, MPH

Teaching Assistant, Nursing

Mary Louise received her BSN from Cleveland State University and her Masters in Public Health from Kent State University. She is expected to receive her Masters of Science in Nursing: Family Systems Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from Case Western Reserve December 2019.  Mary Louise is a teacher assistant for CWRU and works for the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration Center. She has taught nursing at the University of Unza in Lusaka, Zambia and was also a part of several research projects and volunteering, involving Type 2 Diabetes, sexual practices among college graduates, teaching safe practice to children who were homeless. She has a passion for working in the community and is a part of several organizations providing service at the local level. 

Provost Scholars Mentor Blake

George Blake, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar in the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at CWRU

Dr. Blake holds a PhD and a Master's Degree from the Department of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses on the hidden musical histories of Black Cleveland, while examining how performers throughout the region negotiate the racialized borders of urban space. 

His teaching in urban ethnomusicology challenges students to use digital humanities tools (such as ArcGIS) to engage alternative musical archives and imagine place in new ways. An award-winning teacher, Dr. Blake has taught university courses on improvisation, Black film, jazz, music of the African diaspora, gender and sexuality, hip hop, world music, and popular music. His work includes research on blackface minstrelsy and his ongoing research on Robert Lockwood Jr. is supported by a grant from the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research.

Provost Scholars Mentor Norah Feeny

Norah Feeny, PhD

Professor, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Our laboratory focuses on the development and evaluation of cognitive behavioral treatments for anxiety and mood disorders. Much of our work is focused in the area of PTSD specifically. We have ongoing research evaluating treatments for PTSD, understanding what predicts who will benefits from such treatments, which treatments people prefer, and finding ways to recognize pediatric posttraumatic stress disorder. We also have conducted treatment trials in the area of depression and bipolar disorder in youth. Our research has involved us in varied clinical settings: sexual assault programs, substance abuse programs, and outpatient treatment programs for anxiety and depression.

Please visit us at our lab webpage to learn more about our current team and projects: PTSD Research and Treatment Program

Susan McClary

Susan McClary, PhD, is a MacArthur Fellow and a Professor of Music at CWRU, where she teaches courses in music history, music theory, and historical performance practices. Her research focuses on the cultural criticism of music, both the European canon and contemporary popular genres. She is best known for her book Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality, which examines cultural constructions of gender, sexuality, and the body in various musical repertoires, ranging from early seventeenth-century opera to the songs of Madonna. She won university-wide teaching awards at the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Los Angeles. She has delivered keynote addresses on six continents. 

Provost Scholars Mentor Joe Custer

Joseph Custer, JD, MLIS

Director, School of Law

Associate Professor of Law, School of Law

Joe Custer is Director of the law school's Judge Ben C. Green Law Library, and he teaches Advanced Legal Research and Electronic Discovery. His scholarship has primarily been in the areas of legal research, administration and issues pertaining to historical social justice.

Custer joined Case Western Reserve in 2015 after serving five years as Director of the Vince C. Immel Law Library and as a faculty member at the University of Saint Louis School of Law. He began his career in higher education as a tenured member of the faculty at the University of Kansas School of Law, where he worked for 15 years.

Before academia, Custer was The Director of Information Services/Attorney at Gage & Tucker in Kansas City, Missouri. He is a member of the Supreme Court of the United States and state of Missouri bars. In addition to his JD, Custer holds a Master’s in Library and Informational Science and a Master’s in Business Administration.

James Sheeler

Jim SheelerBA, MA

is the Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper feature on the war in Iraq that led to a book, Final Salute, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award in nonfiction. As a young newspaper reporter, he specialized in narrative obituaries of people whose names had never before appeared in the newspaper, but whose stories were often more fascinating than any celebrity or politician. Those lives and the lessons they taught (which were also collected in his first book Obit), largely guided his coverage of the war in Iraq that began in 2003. He followed the first casualty from Colorado and continued by recording the story of a U.S. Marine Casualty Assistance Calls Officer and the families he touched while saddled with one of the most difficult duties in the military. 

Portrait of Dr. Faye Gary

Faye Gary, EdD, RN, FAAN, is the Medical Mutual of Ohio Kent W. Clapp Chair and Professor of Nursing at the Bolton School of Nursing at CWRU. She holds a secondary appointment with the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, is an Emerita Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and she consults with local and global community leaders across six continents. Her relentless pursuit for helping to create the next generation of diverse scholars, researchers, and leaders inspired her to build and expand the Provost Scholars Program. The work with Provost Baeslack and Dr. Myrna Corley has resulted in a novel program designed to provide phenomenal opportunities for youth. 

Provost Scholars Mentor Rogers

Julian Rogers

Executive Director, Local Government and Community Relations

Julian Rogers serves as the Executive Director of Local and Government and Community Relations for Case Western Reserve University where he is responsible for leading and implementing the university's priorities with a special focus on local government officials and community leader and stakeholders. Before joining CWRU, he was the director of Community Partnerships with Cleveland State University where he managed the Office of Civic Engagement. There he provided support to faculty and students that allowed them to develop mutually beneficial relationships with the community. These relationships contributed to student learning and academic scholarship while adding to the social and economic well-being of Cleveland, its neighborhoods and the Northeast Ohio region.

Prior to joining Cleveland State, Rogers was a member of the inaugural Cuyahoga County Council representing a diverse district of about 120,000 constituents on the east side of Cuyahoga County. Before being elected to County Council, Julian served as the Executive Director of Education Voters of Ohio, an advocacy organization dedicated to improving public education in Ohio. He also served for seven years as Senior Assistant to the CEO and Liaison to the Office of the Mayor for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Rogers is a resident of Cleveland Heights and is active in the community. He has a degree in Political Science from Ohio University and a Master's in Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve University.