Announcing Our Thinkers Group

To Our Faculty, Staff and Students:

The 150 individuals who applied to our Thinkers group truly challenged the President’s Council members evaluating submissions based your written responses—and not only because of the large numbers. In addition to providing numerical ratings, the reviewers’ comments included:

  • “specific, creative vision for the future”
  • “constructive, solution-oriented”
  • “YES. Clear, comprehensive, straightforward”
  • “bold ideas, willing to think differently’”
  • “clever, creative, bold, and demonstrates the kind of optimism we want”

After reviewing all of the submissions, ratings and comments, and then focusing particular attention on the most highly rated candidates, I am honored to announce the members of our Thinkers group:


  • Eileen Anderson-Fye
  • Diana Bilimoria
  • John Flores
  • Umut Gurkan
  • Ronald Hickman
  • Kathryn Lavelle
  • Kurt Stange
  • Paul Tesar
  • Dustin Tyler


  • Dawn Ellis
  • Michael Householder
  • Joan Schenkel
  • Naomi Sigg
  • Molly Watkins

You will note that this list excludes mention of position or unit affiliation (e.g. school, center, division, etc). This omission is intentional, because for the purpose of these conversations, each Thinker is representing and considering the best interests and opportunities of Case Western Reserve as a whole.

We will introduce the Thinkers in person at a community meeting next week. Please watch your emails for information about when and where. There, you will be able to hear from the Thinkers, and also pose questions.

Finally, I want to thank every single one of you who submitted and application, and encourage you to take an active role in Think Big discussions and events throughout this semester.

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President