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Three figures dancing on a stage

From left: Victoria Alev Duffy, Madeline Calais and Shunté Lofton—all students in the CWRU/ Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program—performing in Everybody at the Play House in October. Photo by Mike Crupi


The Hollywood Reporter last summer ranked Case Western Reserve’s drama program 15th in the world—up three slots from 2021—and 11th among U.S. programs.

The publication noted the opening of the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center’s theater wing in 2021 and the expanded course offerings within the Master of Fine Arts Acting Program (a collaboration between CWRU and the Cleveland Play House, the nation’s oldest regional theater).

This was the fifth consecutive year the program made the top-25 list. 


The Department of Theater is strengthening its bonds with Cleveland’s Karamu House, the oldest active African American theater in the country. Following the creation of a collaboration agreement between the university and Karamu in 2021, the department invited Karamu’s President and CEO Tony F. Sias to direct the CWRU/Cleveland Play House Master of Fine Arts Acting program’s 2022 fall production: Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

Karamu had previously donated its archives to the university. 

“The Department of Theater is thrilled to have this relationship with Karamu House,” said Jerrold Scott, MFA, the Katharine Bakeless Nason Professor in Theater and Drama. “We anticipate terrific opportunities for our students to learn and create with the Karamu collaboration.”


The technique known as CRISPR accelerated biological and medical research in the last 10 years by allowing scientists to repair or edit genes in human cells.

Now, chemistry researchers at the College of Arts and Sciences have developed a method using a chemical compound and UV lighting to control the CRISPR gene-editing process, potentially making it more precise.

Their technique is detailed in a study published last year in the journal Nature Communications.

While many versions of CRISPR target, cut and repair broken or damaged DNA, the researchers targeted RNA, or ribonucleic acid, which plays a key role in translating genetic information and regulating gene activity.

“This new technology gives us the ability to target not only the place, but the time of the alteration on RNA—and the ability to reverse the changes,” said Fu-Sen Liang, PhD, an associate professor of chemistry who led the research team. “That’s been difficult to achieve before, and we believe it could be very important.”

The findings are preliminary, but the scientists believe the work could lead to more effective treatments for some diseases, including cancer.

tweezers remove a piece of dna

Getty Images

Building with banner on it of Frederic Douglas

Photo by Robert Muller


On July 12, 1854, famed abolitionist, author and orator Frederick Douglass gave a speech at Western Reserve College that’s now celebrated with a 66-foot-tall banner on campus.

Douglass, who escaped slavery, was invited by students to speak during commencement week at the college, then in Hudson, Ohio. Case Western Reserve’s Putnam Collection commissioned Cleveland-based graphic artist and activist John Brown VI to design the banner installed on the Triangle Towers near the corner of Mayfield Road and Euclid Avenue.

“Douglass’ words remain relevant,” said Brown, with the nation still facing the integral issues of “inequity, equality and empathy.”


The Case Western Reserve chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) received the 2022 Chapter of the Year award from the AmericaN  Speech-Language-Hearing Association and national NSSLHA organization.

The CWRU chapter—one of more than 340 across the United States—was recognized for helping to increase awareness of communication sciences and disorders on local college campuses and communities, as well as virtually.


College of Arts and Sciences faculty members and colleagues across campus were honored for their research and entrepreneurship in September during the university’s inaugural Innovation Week. “It’s important to come together and celebrate as we elevate and grow our problem-solving research enterprise,” said Michael Oakes, PhD, senior vice president for research and technology management. College faculty innovator awardees were Yolanda Fortenberry, PhD, and Robert Ward, PhD, in biology; Lydia Kisley, PhD, in physics; and Cassi Pittman Claytor, PhD, in sociology. Joy Bostic, PhD, in religious studies, and Stephen Haynesworth, PhD, in biology, received Impact Through Innovation Awards, while Arnold Caplan, PhD, in biology, received the Pioneer in Cell and Regenerative Medicine Award.


a handshake

Dean Joy K. Ward meeting new students at a welcome event in August that the College of Arts and Sciences hosted. Photo by Angelo Merendino


In August, Case Western Reserve welcomed 1,553 first-year undergraduates, brimming with promise and selected from a record 38,648 applicants. They constitute one of the largest entering classes in university history.

“…I ask that you make your mark,” said Dean Joy K. Ward, PhD, at a welcome event hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences. “I already see you as the leaders, scholars and scientists who will make life-changing discoveries in the social and natural sciences. I see you as the performers, writers and cultural difference-makers who will lead us to great advances in the arts and humanities … and in the breaking down of the walls that divide many today.”



26% underrepresented minorities*

13% first-generation college students


15% from Ohio

71% the rest of the U.S.


14% from outside the U.S.

68 countries represented by student citizenship

57 native languages

Page last modified: March 17, 2023