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Ross W. Duffin receives highest faculty honor

Fall | Winter 2017

Ross W. Duffin was honored along with three other CWRU faculty members during Fall Convocation in Severance Hall. Photo by Daniel Milner.

Ross W. Duffin, the Fynette H. Kulas Professor of Music, received Case Western Reserve’s highest faculty honor during this year’s Fall Convocation. An internationally celebrated scholar, educator and practitioner in the field of early music, Duffin was named a Distinguished University Professor.

A faculty member since 1978, Duffin has made the university a preeminent venue for early music studies and performance. He has nurtured the Historical Performance Practice Program, which trains scholar-musicians to play medieval, Renaissance, baroque and classical music in historically informed styles. He was the longtime artistic director of Chapel, Court and Countryside, an annual series of concerts that brought renowned early music soloists and ensembles to the stage of Harkness Chapel. And for 18 years, he was the host and producer of Micrologus: Exploring the World of Early Music, a syndicated program for National Public Radio that may soon begin a second life as a podcast.

Duffin’s publications include four books, five musical editions and dozens of articles and invited lectures. In Shakespeare’s Songbook (2004), he recovered the music and lyrics of 155 songs that Shakespeare includes, quotes or alludes to in his plays. A companion volume, Some Other Note: The Lost Songs of English Renaissance Comedy, will appear in 2018. This compilation, Duffin says, “will do for Shakespeare’s contemporaries what my earlier book did for him. Over 100 plays are covered, and nearly 600 songs.”

Duffin reached his largest reading audience to date with his 2006 book How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care), an argument for adopting historical tuning systems for keyboards and fretted instruments when performing the works of composers from Bach to Beethoven. The book was reviewed not only in musicology journals, but also in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal (“a delightfully informative and provocative argument that we should rethink our common musical habits at the most basic level”) and The Guardian (“it should make any contemporary musician think differently about tuning”).

In the realm of performance, Duffin enjoys an international reputation as a choirmaster. In 2014, as a visiting fellow at Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, he was invited to coach the choral scholars at King’s and St. John’s Colleges, and then offered the rare privilege of conducting evensong at St. John’s. Since 2008, Duffin has been the artistic director of Quire Cleveland, which presents several concerts each year and has issued recordings of holiday carols from the Old and New Worlds, American choral pieces and sacred works by the English composer William Byrd. The ensemble’s latest CD features Richard Davy’s St. Matthew Passion, which Duffin reconstructed from an incomplete version preserved in an English Renaissance choirbook.

In addition to directing the undergraduate and graduate programs in early music, Duffin has served two terms as chair of the music department and another two as interim chair. In this capacity, he helped strengthen CWRU’s Joint Music Program with the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Duffin’s previous honors include the Thomas Binkley Award from Early Music America as well as the Claude V. Palisca and Noah Greenberg Awards from the American Musicological Society.

2017 Alumni Award Winners Honored

The recipients of this year’s Alumni Awards from the College of Arts and Sciences were recognized by Dean Cyrus C. Taylor during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend this fall. The awards presentation took place at the Frank N. and Jocelyne K. Linsalata Alumni Center.

From left: Dean Taylor; Distinguished Alumnus William H. Powell (ADL ’67, GRS ’70); Distinguished Young Alumna Jacqueline Greene (CWR ’07, LAW ’11); Distinguished Alumna Naomi Stanhaus (FSM ’67); Distinguished Graduate Alumna Jane W. Kessler (GRS ’51); Distinguished Alumnus Dennis R. Santoli (ADL ’67); and Distinguished Service Alumnus Chris Hook (CWR ’03, GRS ’04). Photo by Mike Sands.

To submit nominations for the 2018 Alumni Awards, please visit Next year’s awards will be presented during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, Oct. 11–14, 2018.

Women of Achievement Recognized

From left: Mather Center honorees Sue Friedman Klarreich and Lee Thompson. Photo by Daniel Milner.

Sue Friedman Klarreich (GRS ’64, ’73, education) and Professor Lee Thompson (CWR ’82) were among the honorees at this fall’s Women of Achievement luncheon, hosted by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women.

Klarreich, the Notable Woman of the Year, has devoted much of her professional life to achieving educational and economic equity for girls and women. An educational administrator and consultant, she has been especially committed to promoting the advancement of women in the sciences. For example, under the auspices of the American Association of University Women, she developed science clubs for middle school girls and a summer tech-industry internship program for high school girls. Klarreich is a longtime supporter of WISER (Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable), a Flora Stone Mather Center initiative.

Thompson, a recipient of a Mather Prize for Professional and Academic Achievement, has been a member of the psychology faculty since 1987 and served as chair of her department from 2011 to 2017. A prolific researcher, she has published 100 articles and book chapters about the development of cognitive skills, temperament and language from infancy through childhood. Known for her dedication to her students, Thompson received the national McGraw-Hill Excellence in Teaching First-Year Seminars Award in 2013.

Ted Steinberg Wins Faculty Research Award

Ted Steinberg, the Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History, writes about the American past from a vantage point far removed from the traditional concerns of his discipline. In most textbooks, he notes, the natural world is a mere backdrop to the major events in U.S. history, a sidebar to political narratives and the lives of great Americans. But Steinberg contends that nature in all its aspects—“plants and animals, climate and weather, and soil and water”—is of prime importance, shaping and constraining the course that history takes.

Historian Ted Steinberg has argued for the central role of nature, especially rivers and seas, in American history. Photo by Michael Thomas Clark / Renaissance Tech & Media.

Last April, in recognition of his influential scholarship, Steinberg received Case Western Reserve’s Faculty Distinguished Research Award. Established in 2013, the award was presented this year to five faculty members across the university who have enhanced CWRU’s reputation by making lasting contributions to their disciplines.

Steinberg is the author of six books and 30-some articles that have “reshaped how scholars and the public think about phenomena as mundane as cultivated suburban lawns and as monumental as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy,” wrote Dean Cyrus C. Taylor in nominating him for the award. Two of Steinberg’s books were Pulitzer Prize nominees: Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America (2000) and Down to Earth: Nature’s Role in American History (first edition, 2002).

A CWRU faculty member since 1996, Steinberg has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. His other awards include the Willard Hurst Prize in American Legal History, the Ohio Academy of History’s Outstanding Publication Award and the National Outdoor Book Award. Most recently, Steinberg won two prizes—a New York City Book Award from the New York Society Library and a PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers—for Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York (2014).

Throughout his body of work, Steinberg chronicles efforts to exploit and dominate nature, assessing their impact both on the environment and on different communities and social classes. Gotham Unbound, for instance, describes New York City’s geographic expansion as it built out onto thousands of acres of reclaimed wetlands and tracts of the sea floor. This untrammeled growth destroyed habitats and wildlife that a more ecologically-minded society would have deemed worthy of preservation. But it also endangered New Yorkers themselves, who today live in one of the most vulnerable cities on the planet, threatened by storm surges and by rising seas taking back their own.

Steinberg does not speak abstractly about the impact of “human action” on the Earth, but specifically about how American—and, increasingly, global—capitalism has altered nature and reshaped society. He began his career by writing about the damming of New England rivers to generate power for factories, and the resulting loss of meadowlands and fisheries on which generations of the region’s inhabitants had depended. In American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn (2006), he traced the emergence of a multibillion-dollar lawn care industry that persuaded homeowners to spread huge quantities of herbicides and fertilizer without regard to the consequences for the environment and human health.

The chairs of nine departments in the College of Arts and Sciences joined in recommending Steinberg for the research award. “His national and international reputation,” they wrote, “equal that of the most distinguished faculty members in any unit of Case Western Reserve University.”

Henry Adams to Receive Baker-Nord Humanities Faculty Award

Henry Adams, a specialist in American and contemporary art, has contributed to his discipline both as a scholar and as a curator. Photo by Mike Sands.

Henry Adams, the Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History, will receive the Baker-Nord Center Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the Humanities at a public ceremony next February. The award honors members of Case Western Reserve’s humanities faculty whose achievements have gained national and international recognition.

Adams’ scholarly contributions are the subject of this tribute by Peter Knox, the Eric and Jane Nord Family Professor and director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

Henry Adams is one of the most distinguished art historians at work today, and is recognized as such not only by specialists in his own fields of American and contemporary art, but by scholars across the entire discipline. He has published several dozen books and exhibition catalogues and over 300 articles.

Henry has written widely about American artists, including Winslow Homer, George Caleb Bingham, Jackson Pollock and Andrew Wyeth, but he is perhaps best known for his work on Thomas Eakins and Thomas Hart Benton. His early exhibition catalogue Thomas Hart Benton: An Intimate View (1985) was followed in 1989 by a PBS documentary he created with Ken Burns, and by such books as Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock (2009) and Thomas Hart Benton: Discoveries and Interpretations (2015). Henry is recognized as the leading expert on this artist in academic circles, and he is consulted by collectors interested in acquiring a Benton.

Henry’s recent book Chihuly on Fire (2015), a study of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures, further illustrates the dazzling range of his scholarship. Chihuly, he notes, “is generally considered the world’s greatest living artist in glass,” and Henry is now at work on his biography.

Henry’s impact on his field has been deepened by his engagement with museums and galleries. When he joined the Case Western Reserve faculty in 1997, he was also appointed curator of American art at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), a position he held until 2002. Formerly, he had served as curator of fine arts at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and as the Samuel Sosland Curator of American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo.

Henry’s previous awards include the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize of the College Art Association; the William F. Yates Distinguished Service Medallion from William Jewell College in Missouri; and the Northern Ohio Live Visual Arts Award, in recognition of his CMA exhibition on the artist and industrial designer Viktor Schreckengost. In 2010, he received the Cleveland Arts Prize’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Henry is generous in sharing his expertise with the public, writing for popular venues such as Smithsonian Magazine and The Conversation. His enthusiasm and eloquence also make him an extremely effective teacher. Indeed, he is one of the principal reasons that CWRU is evolving into a mecca for students at every level who have an interest in art history.

Adams will accept his award and deliver a public lecture, “Thomas Hart Benton, Jackson Pollock and the Secrets of El Greco,” on February 7, 2018, at the Tinkham Veale University Center.

Clockwise from left: President Barbara R. Snyder joined Dean Cyrus C. Taylor and Distinguished University Professor Mary Barkley, the M. Roger Clapp University Professor of Arts and Sciences in the Department of Chemistry, at the ceremony where Senior Instructor Rekha Srinivasan was named the inaugural Swinehart Fellow. Photo by Daniel Milner.

An Educational Legacy

A fellowship honoring alumnus James S. Swinehart will
support the teaching of organic chemistry

The late James Stephen Swinehart (ADL ’50) had many reasons to look back fondly on his college experience. He was president of Sigma Chi and a member of the track and wrestling teams. He valued the broad liberal arts education he received as an undergraduate. Above all, he gratefully remembered taking an introductory course in organic chemistry and realizing he had found his vocation. The subject so intrigued him that he devoted his subsequent career to sharing his enthusiasm with new generations of students.

Professor James S. Swinehart enjoyed a long career teaching organic chemistry, a subject he developed a passion for as an undergraduate at Adelbert College. Photo courtesy of Ann Swinehart.

After Swinehart obtained his bachelor’s degree from Adelbert College and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, he went on to earn a doctorate at New York University, writing a dissertation on carcinogens in tobacco smoke. He acquired his first faculty position at American University and later became a professor and department chair at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he offered lecture and laboratory courses in organic chemistry for 27 years.

A beloved teacher and mentor, Swinehart received testimonials in the “My Favorite Professor” column of the campus newspaper. He was an early advocate for integrating computers into lab instruction and published what became a widely adopted textbook, Organic Chemistry: An Experimental Approach, in 1969. He was on the verge of completing a second book—on spectroscopy, a special interest and love of his—when he died in 2004, at age 74.

Now, Swinehart’s wife, Ann, and their daughter, Susan Cholette, have honored his memory by endowing a professorial teaching fellowship in chemistry at Case Western Reserve. The purpose of their gift, Ann Swinehart says, is “to add value to the teaching of organic chemistry” and, in a sense, to allow her husband “to return to and live on at the university that he so loved and that provided him that special time and nurturing space to flourish and to find his life’s passion.”

Rekha Srinivasan (GRS ’03), the first recipient of the fellowship, is someone Swinehart would have recognized as a kindred spirit. A senior instructor in the Department of Chemistry, she began teaching organic chemistry in 2005, and her deep engagement with her subject and her students has brought her a series of university honors, including the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the J. Bruce Jackson, MD, Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring, and the John C. Hood Outstanding Faculty Award. She has also has won Faculty Advisor of the Year Awards from the Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable (WISER) and the Office of Greek Life.

Several of Srinivasan’s students were on hand when President Barbara R. Snyder formally presented her with the fellowship in May. The event took place during the Department of Chemistry’s annual undergraduate academic achievement awards ceremony.

“It is an incredible honor to be the inaugural James Stephen Swinehart, PhD, Professorial Teaching Fellow in Chemistry,” Srinivasan said. “Dr. Swinehart was known for his love of chemistry and his exceptional teaching and mentoring, and to be associated with this fellowship in his name is a source of joy and inspiration for me.”

College Faculty Members Win Teaching, Mentoring Awards

Each year, Case Western Reserve University, its SAGES program (the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) and the Department of English present awards for outstanding teaching and mentoring. Five members of the college faculty were honored last spring:

Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Richard Drushel
, senior instructor, Department of Biology

John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching
Erin Benay
, the Climo Junior Professor and assistant professor, Department of Art History and Art

John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring
Catherine Scallen
, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and associate professor, Department of Art History and Art

Richard A. Bloom, MD, Award for Teaching Excellence in the SAGES Program\
Michael Householder
, associate director of SAGES, adjunct faculty member in the Departments of Cognitive Science and English

Jessica Melton Perry Award for Distinguished Teaching in Disciplinary and Professional Writing
Vanessa Hildebrand
, assistant professor, Department of Anthropology

art|sci, etc.

Brian Gran, professor in the Department of Sociology, is chair-elect of the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Human Rights.

Distinguished University Professor Eva Kahana, the Pierce T. and Elizabeth D. Robson Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Sociology, is the author, with Jeffrey S. Kahana, of Disability and Aging: Learning from Both to Empower the Lives of Older Adults. She is also co-author of an article in The Gerontologist titled “Beyond Ageist Attitudes: Researchers Call for NIH Action to Limit Funding for Older Academics,” for which her collaborators included sociology graduate students Michael Slone and Kaitlyn Barnes Langendoerfer.

Edward J. Olszewski, professor emeritus in the Department of Art History and Art, is the author of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen: Cleveland’s Free Stamp.

Charles Rosenblatt, professor and Ohio Eminent Scholar in Condensed Matter Physics in the Department of Physics, has received a Lady Davis Trust Fellowship for 2018-19, when he will spend a sabbatical year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Thrity Umrigar, professor in the Department of English, has published her seventh novel, Everybody’s Son, and her first children’s book, When I Carried You in My Belly, illustrated by Ziyue Chen.

Francesca Brittan, associate professor in the Department of Music, is the author of Music and Fantasy in the Age of Berlioz.

Laura Hengehold, associate professor and chair in the Department of Philosophy, is the author of Simone de Beauvoir’s Philosophy of Individuation and co-editor of A Companion to Simone de Beauvoir.

Robert Spadoni, associate professor in the Department of English, has been named the Armington Professor for 2017-19.

Vanessa Hildebrand, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, has been elected chair of the Council on Anthropology and Reproduction.

Cassi Pittman, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, was awarded the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellowship at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University for the Spring 2018 semester.

Maggie Popkin, assistant professor in the Department of Art History and Art, has been named the Robson Junior Professor.

Lihong Shi, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, is the author of Choosing Daughters: Family Change in Rural China.

Christopher Bohan, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Theater, performed a new one-man play by Greg Vovos, How to be a Respectable Junkie, at Dobama Theatre.

Lucy Biederman, a lecturer in the Department of English, is the author of The Walmart Book of the Dead.

Gabriella Celeste, child policy director at the Schubert Center for Child Studies, received a Community Partner Collaboration Award from the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County for her work developing crisis intervention policies for the Cleveland Division of Police.

Brandy Schillace (GRS ’10, English), senior research associate and public engagement fellow for the Dittrick Museum of Medical History, is the author of Clockwork Futures: The Science of Steampunk and the Reinvention of the Modern World. In addition, Schillace has been named editor of the journal Medical Humanities.

Mariah Burks, now a third-year student in the Case Western Reserve/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program, performed in Caroline, or Change, a Tony Award-nominated musical by playwright Tony Kushner and composer Jeanine Tesori, at Tantrum Theater in Dublin, Ohio, in July.

Allison Monroe, a doctoral candidate in the Historical Performance Practice Program in the Department of Music, was awarded the 2017 Barbara Thornton Memorial Scholarship from Early Music America.

Reunion Giving Challenge 2017

During Homecoming each fall, the College of Arts and Sciences honors winners of the Reunion Giving Challenge. This friendly competition encourages alumni classes to support the college as they celebrate milestone reunion years.

For 2017, the Class of 1967 raised the largest amount of any reunion class, with gifts totaling $1.1 million. The Class of 1957 achieved the highest participation rate, with 13.6% of its members making donations to the college. Both classes were recognized during the Reunion and Awards Celebration, held at the Frank N. and Jocelyne K. Linsalata Alumni Center.

Members of the Class of 1967 celebrated their 50th reunion, and their success in the Reunion Giving Challenge, during Homecoming in October. From left: George Smirnoff (posing with his wife, Mary Girouard), Susan Frelick Goekler, William H. Powell, Ingo May, Sara Battison, Victor Onufrieff, Dennis R. Santoli, John Gerstenmaier, Janice Justice and Naomi Stanhaus. Photo by Mike Sands.

To learn more about the challenge, visit

Remembering a Man of the Theater

Colleagues and students pay tribute to Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson drew this self-portrait in graphite on paper in 2007 and titled it “Is That All…?” His love for the visual arts predated his love of theater. Courtesy of Tracey Dwyer.

In the spring of 2000, Jerrold Scott was a visiting faculty member with a short-term appointment in Case Western Reserve’s Department of Theater. Soon after his arrival, another relative newcomer, “a sprightly man named Ron,” invited him to dinner. By his own account, saying yes turned out to be one of the best decisions he ever made.

For the next 17 years, Scott and theater professor Ron Wilson were colleagues, allies and friends. Scott credits Wilson with guiding his university career, including his passage through the tenure and promotion process. “He took it upon himself,” Scott says, “to take a 30-something theater artist and academic and show me a path that I could not have seen for myself.”

Since April of this year, when Ron Wilson died at age 70, tributes like Scott’s have filled emails, Facebook pages and conversations among Wilson’s former associates and students. Earlier this fall, his life and work were celebrated in Eldred Theater in a ceremony organized by Scott and Adjunct Associate Professor Donald Carrier. They are both Wilson’s successors—Scott as the Katharine Bakeless Nason Professor and chair of the theater department, and Carrier as interim director of the Case Western Reserve/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program. “As you can see,” Scott told the audience, “it takes two people to do the job Ron did, alone, so well, for so long.”

Wilson was a lifelong visual artist, but as an undergraduate at Wichita State University, he switched his major from art to theater after performing in an undergraduate production of Archibald MacLeish’s play JB. Although he was devoted to every aspect of the dramatic arts, he specialized in movement, beginning his career as a professional mime and going on to work as a fight choreographer and movement teacher.

Carrier placed these interests in a biographical context. Wilson contracted polio at age 4, and for a time was paralyzed except for the ability to move his big toe. During a long year of recovery, he learned to walk again, but later he developed scoliosis and underwent four spinal surgeries. “Obviously, this illness informed Ron’s life in many ways,” Carrier said. “To have his own body so severely compromised logically led him to the celebration of the human form in his movement work and his drawings.”

Wilson came to Case Western Reserve in 1999 after teaching at Ohio University and Cornell University. By coincidence, Jerold Smith, who managed Cornell’s Hangar Theater, moved to Cleveland around the same time, and the two reconnected when they each signed up for a life drawing class at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

“Ron loved being in the studio with other artists working from a live model,” said Smith, who is now director of national development for the College of Arts and Sciences. “Ever the teacher, he could often be found during the breaks talking about his work and sharing techniques with younger artists.”

Wilson also spent countless hours in the galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art, where he would scrupulously translate a monumental painting or sculpture into an intimate black-and-white drawing. “He once mused,” Smith said, “that he served as an amateur therapist to strangers who would take a seat on the bench next to him and pour out their hearts about how they, too, once enjoyed drawing until life’s circumstances got in their way.”

One of Wilson’s missions when he joined the university was to revamp the MFA Acting Program, which had been conducted jointly with Cleveland Play House (CPH) since 1996. Laura Kepley, CPH’s artistic director, hailed his success in fashioning a “leading conservatory” for aspiring actors. Under Wilson’s leadership, the program took up residence at CPH, immersing students in the environment of a regional theater. Through the classes he taught and the MFA productions he directed, Wilson made physical training one of the program’s hallmarks. “His work,” Kepley said, “empowered students to produce characters and actions of theatrical size and magnitude, while always remaining grounded in the truth.”

In his remarks at the memorial ceremony, Dean Cyrus C. Taylor noted that he, as well as the students, had benefited from Wilson’s direction. “I still recall Ron’s gentle coaching the first time I had to make remarks as dean at an MFA performance,” he said. During their years of collaboration and friendship, Taylor also came to appreciate what he called “Ron’s deeply grounded, humane realism.” When he added that Wilson’s attitude to life sometimes struck him as “cheerful pessimism,” much of the audience laughed in recognition.

Rich Sommer (GRS ‘04), who entered the MFA program in 2001, confessed that he had not been the most promising applicant that year, or the student most receptive to instruction once he got in. But Wilson was his advocate from the start, and lived to see him enjoy a flourishing career in television, theater and film, including eight seasons as Harry Crane in the AMC series Mad Men and a leading role in the 2012 Broadway revival of Harvey. 

Sommer still remembers times when Wilson would step to the front of a class to demonstrate some slight gesture. “It would be so beautiful that it would make your breath catch,” he said. One night, Sommer appeared onstage with Wilson in a production at Cleveland Play House, lost his way in the middle of a monologue and had to start over. “Ron gave me a solid, in-character harrumph, and I knew he had my back.”

Even after he completed his degree, Sommer continued to count on Wilson’s support. “He was one of the first people I would call when I got a job, because I knew he would be as relieved as I was,” Sommer said. “And while we butted heads plenty while I was a student, the only thing we would bicker about after school was whether or not I owed him for anything.” Whenever he mentioned his debt to Wilson, Sommer recalled, “Ron would just bat it out of the air. But I would tell him then, and I can tell you now, that I do, in fact, owe him everything.”

Alumni notes

Richard Mahrer (ADL ’46, MED ’50) has retired from his medical practice in San Jose, Calif., after more than 60 years as an internist.

Richard H. Thaler (ADL ’67, HON ’03) received the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize
in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work in behavioral economics.

Kathleen McKinley Harris (GRS ’64, English) has published Earth Striders, a poetry chapbook, with Finishing Line Press.

Peter Phipps (WRC ’72) has retired from The Providence Journal, where he held a variety of editorial positions since 1985. Phipps launched his newspaper career at The Cleveland Press in 1972, taking a day off to attend his college graduation.

Steven Altschuler (WRC ‘75, MED ‘79), a university trustee, has joined the executive search firm Diversified Search as a senior advisor to its Healthcare Services Practice, which identifies and places candidates for leadership roles at leading medical institutions.

Walter Copan (WRC ’75, GRS ’82, chemistry) has become director of the U.S. National Institute of Standards.

William “Bill” Gropp (CIT ’77) was named director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign this summer. He had served as the center’s interim director since 2016.

Evalyn Gates (CSE ’81, GRS ’90, physics) executive director and CEO of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, received a 2017 Women of Achievement Award from YWCA Greater Cleveland.

Rollo Dilworth (CWR ’91) received the Faculty Award for Creative Achievement from Temple University, where he is a professor of choral music education and chair of the departments of music education and music therapy. Dilworth has published more than 150 choral compositions.

Sanku Mallik (GRS ’92, chemistry), professor of pharmaceutical sciences at North Dakota State University, received that institution’s Waldron Award for Excellence in Research.

Kenyon Meadows (CWR ’97, MED ’01) is the author of Alternative Financial Medicine: High Yield Investing in a Low Yield World.

Elizabeth Sullivan (CWR ’05, GRS ‘05, bioethics) has become co-chair of the Healthcare Practice Group at McDonald Hopkins, a business advisory and advocacy law firm.

Amy Gilman (GRS ’06, art history) has been named director of the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Ellen Rudolph (GRS ’07, art history) has been named chief curator of the Akron Art Museum.

Demetrius Colvin (CWR ’09) has been named director of the Equity and Inclusion Resource Center at Wesleyan University.

Amelia Landenberger (CWR ‘10) has been named outreach librarian at the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Andrew Lund (CWR ’11) created and performed The Outpost, a 15-minute theatrical experience involving one actor and one audience member, this past summer. The play was the premiere production of One on One Chicago, for which Lund serves as curator. He is also an ensemble member of Chicago’s (re)discover theatre.

Sarah Sadid (CWR ’11) has joined Seattle Children’s Foundation as donor relations program manager.

Margaret D. Callahan (GRS ’16, applied mathematics) has been named the 2017-18 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow by the American Mathematical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is spending the year in the office of Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, focusing on STEM education and workforce development issues.

School and Degree Abbreviations

ADL                Adelbert College
CIT                  Case Institute of Technology
CWR               Undergraduates, 1989 and after
GRS                 School of Graduate Studies
WRC               Western Reserve College\
MED                School of Medicine


The notes in this section are compiled from news releases, other publications and messages from alumni like you. We want to hear about milestones in your life. Please send your updates, with your graduation year, to

Page last modified: January 23, 2018