January 22, 2014


New Year's Newsletter

As we welcomed 2014 with loved ones and friends, many of us took time to reflect on the past year. In that same spirit, before we become fully immersed in Spring Semester, I want to take a moment to celebrate the last year in the life of Cleveland State University. Everything we do is guided by our central promise to students: We will help them to succeed at Cleveland State and beyond. Simply put, this means seeing students through to graduation and a successful career, providing essential engaged learning opportunities along the way.

I am proud to say this promise was at the heart of the University's most defining moments in 2013.

While it would be impossible to capture every single moment–not to mention all of the remarkable achievements of our talented faculty, staff, and students– I will share just a few highlights.

  • The University's third-annual Radiance–CSU Realizing the Promise event raised $764,000 in full support of student scholarships. A total of 546 Cleveland State students have received Radiance scholarships since the event began in 2011.
  • Our faculty and staff have made significant strides in converting from a 4- to 3-credit hour curriculum and implementing a 120-credit hour cap, both of which we aim to have fully in place for Fall Semester 2014. These changes are of tremendous value to our students, providing flexibility in their scheduling and ultimately accelerating their path to graduation.
  • Alumnus Don Washkewicz and his wife, Pam, along with the Parker Hannifin Foundation, gave a transformative $10 million gift to the University in support of engineering, inspiring our Board of Trustees to vote unanimously to rename the College as the Washkewicz College of Engineering. This singular investment in our students, faculty, and programs will ensure that the College remains at the forefront of engineering innovation for generations to come.
  • Faculty members at the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities celebrated 250,000 unique visitors and 15,000 downloads of the Cleveland Historical app, created in 2011 with the cloud-based, open-source platform Curatescape. Developed by Cleveland State professor Dr. Mark Souther with partners Dr. Mark Tebeau and Erin Bell, Curatescape has been used to create dozens of similar apps across the United States and beyond and will soon be adapted for use by museums.
  • Rhodes Tower West became the new home of the MC2STEM High School at Cleveland State, a partnership effort between the University, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and KeyBank Foundation. The Foundation donated $1.25 million to build The KeyBank Classrooms for STEM Education, which include critical renovations and feature state-of-the-art technology. At the school, 140 juniors and seniors are experiencing life on a college campus and many of the students are earning college course credits.
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a team of Cleveland State professors–led by Dr. Nigamanth Sridhar–a $1 million grant supporting the Computing in Secondary Schools program, part of a national initiative by the NSF and the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the program is to train high school teachers to teach a new standardized AP computer science course, which will better educate students on the fundamentals of computer science and the core concepts of technology.
  • The Parker Hannifin Laboratory for Human Motion and Control in the Department of Mechanical Engineering opened in July. The lab was made possible through a $1.5 million pledge by Parker Hannifin to create an endowed professorship in human motion and control, now held by Dr. Antonie van den Bogert.
  • Honors student Marie Blatnik, a physics and electrical engineering major, won the National Student Exchange's prestigious Bette Worley Student Achievement Award for her outstanding participation in the program. Marie spent part of the 2012-2013 academic year at Stony Brook University in New York, where she also performed cutting-edge research at Brookhaven National Laboratory. After graduation in 2015, Marie intends to pursue a career in nuclear physics.
  • Cleveland State's Department of Athletics won the 2012-2013 McCafferty Trophy, which is awarded to the top overall sports program in the Horizon League based on a performance points system. This recognition followed a stellar season for our men's and women's sports teams, which included Horizon League Championships for men's soccer, men's swimming and diving, men's tennis, and women's volleyball. Go Vikes!
  • A trio of professors from the Washkewicz College of Engineering–Dr. Dan Simon, Dr. Hanz Richter, and Dr. Antonie van den Bogert–received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a revolutionary prosthetic leg that will closely emulate a human leg's natural gait. They will continue their research over the next four years in the Parker Hannifin Laboratory for Human Motion and Control.
  • In December, we broke ground on a new health sciences building set to open in 2015. The building will be home to our Partnership for Urban Health collaboration with Northeast Ohio Medical University, as well as to faculty, staff, and students from Nursing and other health professions currently housed in various locations across campus. The learning opportunities for our students within this new collaborative environment will be abounding.

Thank you for your support for Cleveland State in 2013. We are fortunate to carry extraordinary momentum and energy into the New Year. Cheers to 2014!

Ronald M. Berkman

Cleveland State University

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