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Solidarity with Ukraine

Soon after Russian forces invaded Ukraine Feb. 24, CWRU President Eric Kaler and Provost Ben Vinson III emailed a message to the campus community expressing sadness and solidarity. “Tragically, after decades of hard-won peace, war has returned to the European continent,” the top administrators wrote.

They alerted international students and faculty — and anyone else who needs it — to the university’s counseling services. And they closed with this: “For now, we hope for continued triumph of democracy and peace over authoritarianism and aggression.”

A white house summons 

Biomedical Engineering Professor Dustin Tyler, PhD ’99, has achieved success developing prosthetics with a sense of touch, a story we told in the Fall ‘21 Case Alumnus. Federal funders see money well spent. On March 18, Tyler was invited to Washington, D.C., to discuss his DARPAsponsored research with President Joe Biden.

The White House is shaping a new funding agency to support medical innovation, and Tyler’s approach is seen as a winning model.

Girl Talkin’ still

While earning a biomedical engineering degree at Case, Gregg Gillis ’04 managed to become a musical sensation known as Girl Talk. His electronic mashup project rolls on.

On March 31, Gillis kicked off a new Girl Talk tour with a sold-out concert at Cleveland’s House of Blues and talked with The Plain Dealer about how it all began. He shared fond memories of CWRU dorm life, Coventry music clubs and Hessler Street house parties.

“It was a huge thing – it was a really fun community there, just being able to play shows at Case,” he said. And he did bring home that engineering degree.

Research worth accelerating 

Two Case researchers recently received CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program. These are grants designed to accelerate the research of the nation’s top junior faculty.

Svetlana Morozova, an assistant professor in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, was awarded a five-year, $610,00 grant to expand her work exploring the unique properties and possibilities of polymer gels.

Lydia Kisley, an assistant professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a five-year, $625,000 grant for her work examining metal corrosion at the molecular level.

Two commencements, one busy mayor 

Justin Bibb, who won a landslide victory last fall to become Cleveland’s 58th mayor, will deliver the university’s commencement address Sunday, May 15, as well as the law school address the day before. The 34-year-old mayor earned dual degrees at CWRU, in business and law. 

“The JD/MBA degrees I received from CWRU helped strengthen my belief that I could one day lead our city,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to returning to campus and sharing words of wisdom to inspire the next generation of leaders.” 

When Rough Riders Ruled

The success of the 2021-22 Spartan basketball team has some alumni recalling the great Case Institute of Technology teams of the 1960s. Co-champions of the Presidents Athletic Conference in the 1969-1970 season, the Rough Riders won the conference outright in 1960-61, and Don Zito ’62 will never forget it. He was part of that championship team.

“We did carry Coach Heim to the pool and dump him in,” he writes. “His only request was to let him take off his glasses and his wallet.”

Case’s Cupids in demand 

The Case Men’s Glee Club uses singing Valentines to sharpen its skills and raise money for the club’s coffers. Fortunately for the university’s oldest student group, love is in the air at CWRU. 

On Feb. 14, glee club members delivered 169 serenades — at $5 to $10 apiece — to blushing sweethearts in classrooms, offices and dining halls, continuing an upward trend in Valentine’s Day demand. 

The most requested song? Sh Boom Sh Boom, followed by Can You Feel the Love Tonight and, of course, My Girl.

Rising in the rankings

The annual graduate school rankings of U.S. News and World Report had good news for the Case School of Engineering. The school climbed seven notches to rank 45th nationally — its first time back in the 40s since 2016. The chemical engineering program leapt from 41st to 34th, and materials science from 40th to 35th while civil engineering improved from 57th to 47th. Computer engineering improved six slots, to rank 50th in the nation.

Svetlana Morozova 

Lydia Kisley

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@2020 Case Alumnus Magazine
Case Alumni Association, Inc.
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