Honoring Five for Their Achievements

The Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University is recognizing recipients of its 2019 Alumni Awards during Homecoming.

Stories by Annie Zaleski
Illustrations by Joe McKendry

Illustration of alumni award winner Robert P. Madison Robert P. Madison
Distinguished Alumni Award

Robert P. Madison (ARC '48, HON '04)

Robert P. Madison made a significant mark on the Cleveland skyline, serving as associate architect on major projects including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and what's now FirstEnergy Stadium.

But the 96-year-old said he's proudest of the opportunities he provided to African American men and women.

Madison founded Robert P. Madison Architect, the first African American-owned architecture firm in Ohio in 1954, teaching high school students to become draftsmen and hiring African Americans when, Madison said, other firms wouldn't.

"Most African American architects in the city of Cleveland worked for me at one time or another," said Madison, the first African American registered architect in Ohio. "We also hired persons regardless of their color."

His impact stretches well beyond Ohio. In 1977, his firm created the architectural design for the first U.S. Embassy building in Dakar, Senegal.

Madison retired in 2016 from the firm now called Robert P. Madison International Inc. He has a master's degree in architecture from Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Paris. He recently authored the memoir Designing Victory (Act 3 Publishing) with Cleveland writer Carlo Wolff.

Illustration of alumni award winner Moses Joloba Moses Joloba
Professional Achievement Award

Moses Joloba (GRS '96, '03, pathology)

When Moses Joloba returned to his native Uganda in 2003 after earning his PhD at Case Western Reserve, he was determined to take what he had learned and make a differenceeven though facilities and funding were scarce at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, where he was a lecturer.

Joloba's solution: collaborate with CWRU, which already was involved in initiatives at Makerere through the Uganda-CWRU Research Collaboration, to start a tuberculosis (TB) research lab.

He said he's since secured more than $273 million in grants from funders including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and World Bank to establish seven laboratories at Makerere, including ones focused on TB and molecular biology.

Now dean of the School of Biomedical Sciences and a professor of molecular biology, immunology and microbiology at Makerere, Joloba has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, and mentored 20 PhD students and more than 60 master's degree students, mostly at Makerere.

"The capacity building I've done is something you can't remove, and I'm very happy with that," said Joloba, whose daughter, Anna, is now a first-year student at Case Western Reserve.

Illustration of alumni award winner Sara Y. Fields Sara Y. Fields
Newton D. Baker Distinguished Service Award

Sara Y. Fields

When the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017, Sara Fields crisscrossed the United States to attend 20 alumni events outside Ohio commemorating the milestone.

Fields, director of alumni relations at the dental school since 2001, made presentations about the school and was excited to have face-to-face time with countless people she previously had communicated with only by phone or email.

Helping alumni stay connected to each other and the dental school is Fields' top priority.

She organizes programs and activities including continuing education courses and regional receptions as well as homecoming and reunion events, and gathers alumni stories and class notes for publication.

She also provides networking opportunities for future dentistsfor example, by asking alumni to share their experiences at new student receptions or to serve as greeters at graduation.

Having worked so closely with alumni for nearly two decades, Fields has forged close relationships with many of them. "When things happen in their lives that are good, I cheer for them," she said. "When there's sadness, I cry with them. It's like we're family."

Illustration of alumni award winner Nikki DiFilippo Nikki DiFilippo
Daniel T. Clancy Alumni Service Award

Nikki DiFilippo (MGT '94)

When Nikki DiFilippo was president of the Case Western Reserve University Alumni Association between 2013 and 2015, she was a constant and visible presence.

DiFilippo, for example, met with the university's deans to find out how The Alumni Association could best support their individual schools, particularly in coordinating communications. She also was on the steering committee to help choose a new senior executive director of alumni affairs in 2015.

"I'm all about making connections, and face time is important," said DiFilippo, president and chief marketing officer of Cleveland-based Via Vera Group, which provides marketing, strategy and public relations for tech companies.

She also served as board president from 2007 to 2008 of what was then the Weatherhead School of Management Alumni Association and she remains involved at the school, providing career advice to students.

DiFilippo, who was recently named an emerita board member of the university's Alumni Association, developed a passion for giving back after attending local alumni events.

"As I was able to reconnect with some of [my] fellow classmates and meet new ones," she said, "I recognized that this was a great group of people."

Illustration of alumni award winner J.P. Graulty J.P. Graulty
Young Alumni Award

J.P. Graulty (CWR '10)

J.P. Graulty spent a year working as a health care navigator at Cleveland Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services and that's when he developed a passion for public service.

Starting in August 2011, he helped 300 resettled refugees access and navigate services at several Cleveland hospitals and partnered with the tuberculosis clinic at MetroHealth System to help parents receive their children's tuberculosis test results quicker so they could enroll them in school. Since 2015, Graultywho also earned a master's degree in pastoral ministry from the University of Daytonhas been assistant director for community partnerships at John Carroll University's Center for Service and Social Action.

He works with 75 nonprofits to connect students and faculty to learning and service opportunities in Northeast Ohio. In one program, for example, accounting students provide free income tax assistance to residents in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood. He's also board treasurer of the local InterReligious Task Force on Central America.

The question he always asks is, "How do we form relationships to work together to build a more just world around us?" Graulty said. "I love building bridges between people and organizations."