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Mellon Foundation to Support New Doctoral Program in Art History

Published in fall 2012

Department Chair Catherine Scallen (center) worked with two colleagues from the Cleveland Museum of Art, Chief Curator C. Griffith Mann and Director of Education and Interpretation Caroline Goeser, to redesign the joint doctoral program in art history.

Department Chair Catherine Scallen (center) worked with two colleagues from the Cleveland Museum of Art, Chief Curator C. Griffith Mann and Director of Education and Interpretation Caroline Goeser, to redesign the joint doctoral program in art history. Photo by Russell Lee.

Two grants totaling $500,000 will support a redesigned doctoral program in art history, conducted jointly by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The awards, from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will enable the two institutions to launch a highly selective program that features the firsthand study of works in the museum’s distinguished collections. Case Western Reserve faculty members and museum staff will provide instruction in areas such as exhibition, interpretation and acquisition-related research.

The new program will combine two years of course work with a one-year internship at the museum, providing students with professional training in many aspects of curatorial practice. Seminars exploring the museum’s collections will allow classes to plan and research exhibitions under a faculty member’s guidance.

Three students will receive stipends during the five-year grant period. Two of the stipends will be funded by the Mellon Foundation, while the college will fund the third.

“When the Case Western Reserve University doctoral program in art history was founded 45 years ago, it was a leader in promoting a working relationship between a major metropolitan art museum and a university art history department,” says Catherine Scallen, chair of the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve. “Our collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art will become even stronger and more distinctive through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.”

Research Finds That Empathy and Analysis Do Not Go Together

A study led by Anthony Jack, assistant professor of cognitive science, reveals why even intelligent people can be swindled by a con artist with a sob story. The research shows that when the brain activates the network of neurons associated with empathy, it simultaneously suppresses the network associated with analysis—and vice versa. That may explain why a CEO can make a highly analytical business decision without anticipating the emotional reactions of employees or the public.

Published in the online issue of NeuroImage, the study used magnetic resonance imaging to determine which areas of the brain were activated or deactivated as subjects answered questions requiring analysis or empathy. The findings also have a bearing on developmental disabilities and a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Co-authors of the study are former research assistant Regina L. Leckie; Angela H. Ciccia, assistant professor of psychological sciences; Abraham Z. Snyder, professor of radiology at Washington University in St. Louis; and three students who worked with Jack while completing their bachelor’s degrees in cognitive science: Kevin P. Barry (CWR ‘11), Katelyn Begany (CWR ‘10) and Abigail Dawson (CWR ‘11).

Alumnae Celebrate Research Fund Success

From left: Harriet Gould (FSM ’59), Nancy Kay (FSM ’59, GRS ’62) and Sandra Vodanoff (FSM ’59) reunited at an event on Nov. 13, 2012, to celebrate scholarly work supported by the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association, which endowed a research fund for female faculty members in the Department of History in 2007. Organized by Professor Miriam Levin, the tea at Judson Park featured presentations by Associate Professors Marixa Lasso, Renee Sentilles and Gillian Weiss, whose research projects have been made possible by the Mather women’s gift.

In Memoriam

Richard Wolcott

Richard Wolcott

Longtime benefactor Richard H. Wolcott (CLC ’50) died in November 2012.  A donor to the college for more than two decades, Wolcott was particularly devoted to the Department of Theater, making significant gifts to both the Friends of Eldred Theater and the Case Western Reserve/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program.

Wolcott attended Cleveland College on the G.I. Bill following U.S. Navy Air Corps service in World War II, and worked for the Kellogg Co. for 40 years. His passion for theater began when he saw his first Broadway show, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in 1950. In the spring 2009 issue of art/sci, he explained why he wanted to contribute to the success of Case Western Reserve’s theater program. Maybe, he said, “I can help in the development of the next Ethel Merman.”

Peter Kotelenez

The college has lost two longtime members of the mathematics faculty. Professor Peter Kotelenez, whose career at Case Western Reserve began in 1990, died on Jan. 2. An expert in stochastic differential equations, Kotelenez published a book on the topic in 2007.

“I always enjoyed my discussions with Peter, whether we were talking about his work on stochastic differential equations or about his students,” Dean Cyrus C. Taylor told The Daily, the university’s online newsletter. “He really cared about his students and was eager to have them all really understand what he was teaching. I think he will be missed very much. I know I will miss him.”

Robert A. Clark, professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics, died on Dec. 19.  Clark taught at Case Institute of Technology and then Case Western Reserve for 35 years, retiring from the university in 1985. From that time until his death, he and his wife, Jane (WRC ‘76), were supporters of the college at the Dean’s Society level every year.

The College Boasts Two New Distinguished University Professors

Alan Rocke and Eva Kahana are among five faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences who have been named Distinguished University Professors. Photo by Daniel Milner.

Alan Rocke and Eva Kahana are among five faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences who have been named Distinguished University Professors. Photo by Daniel Milner.

Two senior professors in the College of Arts and Sciences received the university’s highest faculty honor during Fall Convocation on Aug. 29.

President Barbara R. Snyder welcomed Eva Kahana (sociology) and Alan J. Rocke (history) into the ranks of Distinguished University Professors at Case Western Reserve. This title, created in 2010, celebrates exceptional achievements in research and scholarship, teaching, and service. It honors faculty members who have brought international recognition to the university and who continue to make significant contributions to their disciplines.

Kahana, the Pierce T. and Elizabeth D. Robson Professor of Humanities and Sociology, has devoted her career to exploring the life experiences of older adults. Her large and influential body of work identifies an array of social and environmental factors that affect the well-being of the elderly—everything from their relationships with caregivers to the availability of public transportation in their communities. Through her research, Kahana has gained important insights into how people cope with the stresses associated with trauma, illness and aging.

A recipient of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1969, Kahana has served as principal investigator on more than two dozen research grants, with budgets totaling more than $16 million. Her projects have included a 20-year longitudinal study of initially healthy elders as they adapted to increasing frailty, and cross-national studies of the long-term adaptations of older Holocaust survivors.

Kahana is founding director of the Elderly Care Research Center, which trains graduate and postdoctoral students in theories and methods of social gerontological research. During 20 years as chair of the sociology department, she established enduring collaborations with colleagues and programs across the university.

In 2004, Kahana won the university’s John S. Diekhoff Distinguished Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award. Other honors include the Dr. Max Prochovnick Prize from the Israel Gerontological Society, the MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging, the Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Fellowship from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation, and the Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association. Kahana has also received a series of prizes from the Gerontological Society of America, culminating with the Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award in 2011.

Rocke, the Henry Eldridge Bourne Professor of History, has traced, through decades of archival research, the development of the physical sciences in 19th-century Germany and France. Much of his work focuses on the establishment of the theoretical foundations of organic chemistry during the 1850s. This was a time, he writes, when scientists began to visualize a “microworld of atoms and molecules beyond the reach of our bodily senses,” and to formulate “detailed and empirically based pictures of how all of the atoms in complicated molecules are interconnected.” The theory of chemical structure has fascinated Rocke since his undergraduate days as a chemistry major at Beloit College, and his accounts of its emergence have made him a preeminent historian of modern science.

In four books, two edited volumes and countless journal articles, Rocke has deepened historians’ understanding of what he calls “the complex contexts of scientific change.” His work is a fusion of biography, social and cultural history, and analysis of the political, economic and institutional conditions in which scientists pursue their investigations.

A faculty member since 1978, Rocke has spent his entire professorial career at Case Western Reserve. He served three times as chair of the history department, where he founded the undergraduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science. A leader in creating SAGES, the university’s seminar-based general education program, Rocke received the Carl F. Wittke Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching in 1998.

Rocke is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, which in 2000 honored him for lifetime achievement with the Dexter Award for Outstanding Contributions to the History of Chemistry. He has published two acclaimed books since then, including, most recently, Image and Reality: Kekulé, Kopp, and the Scientific Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

art/sci, etc.

Molly Berger, associate dean in the college and instructor in history, received the Sally Hacker Prize from the Society of History of Technology for her book Hotel Dreams: Luxury, Technology and Urban Ambition in America, 1829-1929. The award, which recognizes historical writing that is “clear, accessible, and useful to a broad public audience,” was presented during the organization’s international conference in October.

Papers by two Department of Music scholars earned prestigious honors from the American Musicological Society. Francesca Brittan, assistant professor of musicology, received the Alfred Einstein Award for the best article by a scholar in his or her early career. Doctoral student Barbara Swanson received the Paul A. Pisk Prize, which is awarded to a graduate student for a scholarly paper presented at the society’s annual meeting.

In November, David C. Hammack, the Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History, received the Distinguished Achievement and Leadership in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research Award from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.

Two faculty members have been named to the inaugural class of American Mathematical Society Fellows in recognition of excellence in research and education. Stanislaw Szarek, the Levi Kerr Professor of Mathematics, and Professor Elisabeth Werner are experts in convex geometry.

Bruce Egre, instructor in the Department of Music, has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Classical, for Beethoven: The Late String Quartets, Op. 127 & 131, performed by the Brentano String Quartet.

Jim Sheeler, the Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing, wrote the cover story for the Nov. 11 Washington Post Magazine. The piece captures the grief of loved ones and co-workers following the death of Lt. Col. David Cabrera, believed to be the first military social work officer killed in action by enemy fire.

Steve Rodney (CWR ’03) was selected from 278 applicants as one of 17 Hubble Fellows for 2012. The NASA program provides three years of postdoctoral funding for astronomy research.


Page last modified: February 9, 2017