Meet Associate Dean Carlos E. Crespo-Hernández

In 2007, Carlos E. Crespo-Hernández, associate dean for research and professor in the Department of Chemistry, moved from Puerto Rico to Cleveland to pursue the role of assistant professor of chemistry at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). By his side was his wife, Maricruz, who also joined the university community and enrolled in the medical school where she completed the MD program, and their first child, Ariana Isabel, who was 6 months old at the time. He recalled that one of the first things he brought to his office was a baby crib.

“Among other traditional responsibilities of a new assistant professor at CWRU, I had to set up my research lab and assemble a research team while simultaneously taking care of my beautiful daughter because her mom was really busy in medical school,” he said. 

Now, 15 years later, Crespo’s family has grown, and he and his wife have welcomed their son, Julián Enrique, and dog, Coco. Simultaneously, his professional career at CWRU has also continued to expand. 

Outside of the classroom, Crespo has his own research group—The Crespo Group—that focuses on reaction processes of relevance to biology, renewal energy and to the environment, with the chief aim of understanding their mechanistic aspects at the molecular level. These research endeavors are cross-disciplinary and cover diverse areas of chemistry, exposing undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral associates to cutting edge research and state-of-the-art technologies.

Now, as professor, researcher and associate dean, Crespo is committed to serving the faculty of the College by facilitating the advancement of research, scholarly works and creative endeavors. He said he takes note from the book The Real Work of Department Chair by Richard Bowman of an administrator’s critical role to act as “boundary spanners”.

“In my dual role as a faculty member and administrator, I feel uniquely positioned to serve because I am obligated to both direct and deliver on the central mission of the university to educate and to create new knowledge,” he said.

Learn more about Carlos Crespo through his responses to the following questions.

What’s your favorite thing about CWRU / Cleveland?
First and foremost, my favorite thing about CWRU / Cleveland is the diverse and stimulating community of people I get to live and work with every day. I also love the many sports and cultural and social amenities Cleveland has to offer, including Cleveland Metroparks. 

What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies? 
Attending and supporting my kids in the many sports and extracurricular activities they are involved in! I enjoy many outdoors activities, including hiking, scuba diving, skydiving and playing sports with my kids. I also enjoy traveling, eating, and spending time on Puerto Rico beaches and its many outdoors activities.  

What’s the last book you read?
On Being a Mentor, A guide for Higher Education Faculty, by W. Brad Johnson. I am currently reading Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico by Ed Morales; Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson; How the Laser Happened by Charles H. Townes; and Crucial Conversations, Tools for Talking when Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. I currently do not have a timeline for finishing these books! 🙂

Are you a morning person or night person?
Definitively a night person!