CWRU Campus Heroes

During the 2020 Student Leadership Awards Ceremony, we wanted to recognize those students who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to support and assist the CWRU community during the COVID-19 crisis. We asked for nominations of deserving graduate and undergraduate students of which we received 76 NOMINATIONS. This is truly a testament to the selfless student leaders we have on this campus! Keep reading to learn more about the contributions our students made:

This student is one of the co-leaders of the CWRU MedSupply drive, an organization that sprang up to help collect and coordinate PPE donations to the frontline workers who need it most. She works tirelessly making cloth masks for healthcare workers and for local homeless shelters. She has also organized a small army of medical students and others to assemble and sew masks made with surgical drape fabric that can pass a respirator fit test. She also contributes to the community in countless other ways, including fostering puppies from the animal shelter and helping find them homes during the crisis and helping collect food for those who need it most.
This student bought necessary equipment out of his own money to make face shields for health care workers from his own apartment. Within a day of posting that he was making these for those who were interested, he had over 60 requests to make one. I am not sure of the total to date he has made, but I know he had to purchase more supplies to keep up with the orders.
During this pandemic, this student has gone above and beyond in her dedication to support people in her community. Her ideas for volunteering to support healthcare workers (which started the day we were pulled off rotations) have been the driving force for the childcare, pet care, coffee runs and numerous other opportunities for medical students to get involved. She's co-ordinated childcare for UH providers as far out as Akron.
This student has gone above and beyond helping set up the UH COVID-19 hotline for university program students. This has been crucial not only in meeting the staffing needs of the hotline, but also the graduation and 3rd year requirements of students. She has been incredibly responsive and helpful to us students and has poured hours and hours into the coordination of students and interfacing with hotline leadership and university administration. She has helped set up teaching sessions for M3s and has demonstrated fantastic interprofessional skills by working side-by-side with our PA student counterparts. She has been patient with all parties involved and worked diligently to ensure a fair and beneficial experience for everyone.
After reading about other medical schools coordinating volunteer opportunities for students to help front-line COVID fighters, this student reached out to physicians and the medical school administration to help establish similar opportunities at Case Med so that students could help Cleveland physicians during this pandemic. She single-handedly coordinated a program across Cleveland’s 4 hospitals systems gauging interest among physicians for services such as child-care, pet care, food/grocery acquisition, etc. After she recruited liaisons for each hospital, she continued to communicate updates with the school administration and volunteers. Through this program, several physicians have received assistance in child care, pet care, and food deliveries not only to their families but to community members.
This student has taken on numerous volunteer responsibilities since the start of quarantine and shown commitment to members of the community most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. He helped arrange the pairing of students with physicians in need of a helping hand at home as they work longer hours. He has taken part in a PPE drive, helping make homemade masks and other equipment to combat the shortage. Currently, he is hoping to raise funds to help deliver supplies to families struggling during this time of job shortages. 
These students assisting in piloting a virtual patient encounter and writeup for the core Internal Medicine clerkship. During their week of spring break, these students participated in a virtual patient encounter where they contacted a hospitalized patient by telephone, interviewed the patient, collected data from the electronic medical record and did a formal "patient write up." Not only did the students collect data but they also helped to communicate with patients and defray some of the hospitalization anxiety and isolation as there are currently no visitors. Their input was critical in the course design and implementation and was invaluable to the education of their peers who were trying to continue their education without being able to be in physical contact with patients.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this student has been working at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, devoting >10 hours a day, 6-7 days a week to leading students in contacting people infected with COVID-19, tracing contacts, providing guidance, and issuing isolation and quarantine orders. She has organized processes and trained an army of her fellow medical students to conduct this work. She works tirelessly and with tremendous compassion, talking daily with people who's lives have been affected by this infection. I have witnessed her compassion with victims and family members, and her enthusiasm and skill with public health workers and fellow students, and am in awe.
This student is one of the University Hospitals' COVID-19 volunteer liaisons who has worked so hard to set up matches between essential providers and medical students. She has worked especially hard in managing a high volume of requests.
This student has been continuously involved with Case and Cleveland EMS during before and after the subsequent events of the pandemic. Once he returned back home to Texas, he continued helping in Houston's EMS, treating several patients with COVID-19. Additionally, as a fraternity brother, he has continuously made himself available as a mental health resource and advocate for everyone, helping people find the most convenient help available right now. I truly believe that it is times like this that show a person's true colors, and he has shown just how genuine and caring a person he is.
This student spearheaded the development of a COVID telemedicine elective for clinical year medical students at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Students are calling all patients who have been tested for COVID-19 at the Cleveland Clinic to inform them of their result status and offer instructions and guidance on what to do next. The telemedicine elective has reduced the burden on Cleveland Clinic caregivers and allowed patients to receive results very soon after testing. It has also given students the chance to connect with potential COVID-19 patients, learn about and address their concerns, and gain experience using telemedicine. She is also leading a separate team, under the guidance of Cleveland Clinic Medical Operations, to run a transfer hotline. As part of a city-wide effort between healthcare institutions, the team will field calls from rural hospitals seeking to transfer their patients to either University Hospitals or Cleveland Clinic to receive a higher level of care in the event of a surge. She also lead the development of a COVID-19 ethics curriculum to train providers who could be assigned to frontline COVID care. Finally, she organized a virtual group photo of medical students sharing our gratitude for frontline caregivers to post on the Cleveland Clinic "Kudos Board."
These 7 students created a wrote a daily COVID update newsletter. It is very informative and sifts through the large volume of data that is received daily to highlight some important research, updates, articles and newsworthy items.
This student reached out to me soon after COVID-19 sent students away from campus. As an LGBTQ leader in the school of medicine, he took it upon himself to create a way for students to maintain a sense of community while wrestling with CWRU's challenging curriculums. He hosts a two hour Zoom study session on Thursdays for any LGBTQ student to drop-in and work alongside their peers. The sessions give students designated periods to be productive when they may have lost steam working on their own. The study sessions reinstate the sense of peer support needed to succeed in academic life. He deserves to be recognized for his initiative, determined leadership, and compassion towards his peers.
This student has been working at the food bank bagging groceries for families in need during this time of uncertainty. She has been donating her time for those less fortunate, while we are in the midst of a rigorous curriculum in PA school. She has a huge heart and definitely deserves recognition for all of the things she does above and beyond to make our community a better place.
This graduating medical student has done an excellent job of creating electives for the fourth year medical students that provided opportunities to perform research on the current events and volunteer to help while simultaneously ensuring that they get credits in a time where most of the clinical credit opportunities were cancelled. She also has been making masks for others in her spare time, has been reminding others to stay strong in the social distancing, and she has volunteered herself. If this isn't enough, she also has written an article regarding the use of masks for everyday tasks like grocery shopping, etc.
This student is a 3rd year medical student. When she was pulled from clinical responsibilities she helped to set up the UHCMC COVID hotline elective and to recruit other 3rd year medical students to help with the hotline. Her assistance and the role of the 3rd year medical students helping to allocate COVID testing and advising patients and healthcare workers was invaluable to our community.
This student has worked tirelessly to coordinate the medical student research effort. He has coordinated the recruitment of student volunteers for research and advocated for student involvement in COVID research projects.
I'd like to recognize these students for their hard work with Community Meal CLE and the Deep Roots Giving Garden. While our team is made up of other students and Alumni, they have gone above and beyond. Community Meal CLE was started as a meal delivery program for residents on the east side of Cleveland. They have graciously volunteered their time and their kitchen in order to get this program off the ground. They started the Deep Roots Giving Garden as a way to provide fresh produce to Community Meal CLE for our weekly meals, in addition to donating produce to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. The amount of work that goes into the garden is no joke - I helped out on Saturday and I'm still sore. Community a Meal CLE has grown from being a handful of students to a sizeable program. Over the last few days, I've onboarded over 30 graduate students and alumni who want to serve our community during this uncertain time. Despite the difficulty in moving to online classes, these students have found the time to continue to serve our community, and for that, I believe they deserve our thanks and our appreciation
This student has been working on the initiative supporting healthcare workers by matching CWRU students with local healthcare providers. Additionally she's gone out of her way to help the homeless community of Cleveland by working with homeless shelters to provide resources for the pandemic and organizing students to donate food and other supplies. She's personally called and invested so much time with various community organizers in an effort to get this initiative launched.
With the decision to transition to remote operations, this student was instrumental in helping pivot the front desk operations for Student Advancement and Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education to remote. This included writing up a manual for remote operations, developing a training video, reaching out to other student workers, and providing on-call support as they work their shifts remotely for the first time. She also collaborated with the Career Peer program to devise the best way to get students to a Career Peer when the Career Lab was holding remote hours.
This student is one of my close friends and I am always inspired by her passion for nursing. She really loves what she studies and shares cool/funny/gross but cool nursing facts that she learns throughout the semester. During this time, she applied to jobs at hospitals in her hometown so she could help those in need. She took on this added risk because she cares so deeply for others and about nursing in general. I am so proud of her dedication to her field and desire to help others.
This student mobilized a group of students and alumni to create Community Meal CLE, a program that is now providing 100 hot meals a week to community members who are in need.
This student is the VP of Student Activities for USG. Ever since our students were asked to move out of campus housing, she has truly acted as the voice of the CWRU student body and has advocated tirelessly for them. She has utilized multiple platforms to gather feedback from her peers about what their greatest concerns and questions have been with the rapidly changing circumstances, from group chats/team meetings with her fellow Resident Assistants (she is also an RA), to frequently posing questions on her Instagram story feed. She has emailed with and made countless calls to upper administration at CWRU and been willing to push the envelope when it comes to advocating for her peers, regardless of discomfort she has felt at different times for concern of "being too pushy." She has gone way out of her comfort zone and been a big part of the decision to re-open item retrieval forms for students who couldn't come back to move things out of campus housing. She is only a second year student, which to me makes all of this even more impressive. She has shown excellent leadership to her peers through uncharted waters and has demonstrated excellent critical thinking skills.
As USG President, this student has worked so hard to make sure that all students are being advocated for during this time.
Our FSM Center for Women student staff have knocked it out of the park with adjusting to new projects and working from home. In particular, they helped to move Sexual Assault Awareness Month completely virtual by creating amazing Social Media posts, fun Instagram Contests, & National Hashtag trends to follow!  The LGBT Student Staff have been amazing in supporting their fellow classmates by offering virtual social hangouts every single day via zoom. Students play games, offer supportive conversations, and allow students from across the country to feel not so isolated for two hours each day.
These students charted new territory for Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education by volunteering to actuate a remote Career Lab for students. Through collaboration with partners within Student Success, they spent time learning new technology in order to deliver remote career services via Zoom. Their efforts afforded students the opportunity to receive resume reviews, internship search guidance, and online resource reviews.
In response to the COVID19 pandemic, this first-year MSA Program student partnered with the Cleveland Foundation to help raise money for the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund by designing a t-shirt to sell. The foundation funds are designed to expand local capacity as efficiently as possible to nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties.
The BGSO exec board set up peer-led support/accountability groups to help their science, sense of community, and productivity during this time. The groups are for students by students. They suggested weekly meetings over a video platform, such as Zoom or Google Hangouts, but the specifics for each group was up to that group. They created a form for students to fill out then organized small groups in response to the need.
This student encouraged fellow medical students to donate blood, worked at multiple telemedicine sites for triaging patients and contact tracing including the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
As the Undergraduate Social Media Intern in the Office of Student Activities and Leadership, this student has been an incredible resource during this pandemic. He has continued to post daily on behalf of the office and responds to any and all requests with enthusiasm. He has a keen eye for our marketing needs and puts his skills to good use. We are grateful to have him helping us create a virtual environment full of connection for our students during this time.
These students have continued to maintain their duties as the Thwing Study Over Committee chairs even though there will be no TSO this semester. They have come up with creative ideas to engage the student population during reading days and finals and have offered to donate half of their budget to the COVID-19 student emergency fund.
This student has worked tirelessly as one of the class presidents for COC and as representative on the Hudson Relays planning team. During this crisis he has still continued to show excellent leadership and collaboration with all those around him.
This student has spearheaded a project making face shields. He has been very active on Instagram, posting his plan, raising money, and offering to drop supplies off for people to make the shields and then he offered to pick them up and deliver them to the hospitals after they were done.
During this time of social distancing, working from home, and separating from others, we have seen some amazing acts of kindness and support for colleagues and peers. These are continuing examples that CWRU is a community which comes together, even when apart. One particular example comes in a group of CWRU students who have joined forces to repurpose the student activity fee funding. These resources are typically used to provide programs and events for the entire undergraduate student population. However two students came forward independently seeking to convert programming money into a student emergency fund to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in a time of need. During the first few days of spring break, two separate students approached Student Affairs about the idea of creating a student emergency fund using student activity fees. Those two students were the Chair of the Student Executive Council Allocations Committee and the Vice President for Finance for Undergraduate Student Government. These two students worked together with other student organization leaders to assemble a pool of resources to benefit students in need at a time of crisis. They didn’t do this alone, and wouldn’t want any praise for their efforts, however they do deserve to be recognized as leaders in a time of crisis. Along with them, the members of the SEC Allocations Committee, and USG Treasurer’s, worked side-by-side with administrators to create a process where students could apply for and receive financial assistance for all types of needs. These range from rent assistance, groceries, sundry items, travel reimbursements, purchases of technological equipment to study remotely, and storage / shipping of belongings. They also worked with multiple student organizations to continue to expand the resources of this fund over a two month period. They have helped hundreds of students through their efforts. Their commitment to other students, spending late nights working on funding requests, and countless hours working with administrators to assure that students got the kind of financial support they needed during this time is something unprecedented that I believe is very worthy of recognition.

Student Honorees:  Elias Abboud, Scott Anjewierden, Shreyas Banerjee, Bishwadeep Bhattacharyya, Biomedical Graduate Student Organization, Nicolas Bouey, Bethany Bruno, Center for Women Student Staff, Peter Chmiel, Jason Collins, Anh Dang, Sydney Davis, Ethan Deemer, Gouri Dharmavaram, David Dolansky, Alexander Dornback, Marin Exler, Parker Griffin, Abby Gross, Tiger Fan, Chloe Francis, Joel Fuentes, Rachel Hamilton, Liz Hanna, Aleah Hixenbaugh, Taylor Holewinski, Isabel Janmey, Jianing Jin, Karthik Kannappan, Joseph Kass, Marisa Katz, Emma Kundracik, Daniel Lee, Isaac Levine, Kelly Lew, LGBT Student Staff, Daniel Li, Lucy Li, Lutetia Li, Samantha Lin, Rachel Loewy, Adam Maraschky, Liam Matthews, Manav Midha, Riki Motoyama, Nathan Nadler, Preeti Naik, Melanie Parikh, Hinali Patel, Cooper Reif, Emma Risely, Jacob Roth, Andrea Schlosser, Riley Simko, Justin Snider, Hunter Stecko, Shree Sundaresh, Andrea Szabo, Cathy Tao, Mitchell Thom, Sonia Velu, Sophie Vilamara, Jacqueline Wang, Garrett Weskamp, Elisabeth Wynia, Lyba Zia, Austin Zhang, and Michael Zhou.