Remarks by President Ronald M. Berkman at Cleveland Internship Summit



Let me also welcome all of you to our second annual Cleveland Internship Summit.

I’m especially pleased to see so many employers and students in the audience.

We’re so happy you could join us.

In an op-ed published a few months ago in The New York Times, Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, wrote:

“The right internship can put a young person onto a trajectory for success. This is precisely why those of us who oversee internship programs ought to make sure they provide a hand up to ALL people of promise, not merely a handout that, best intentions aside, accelerates a cycle of privilege and reward.”

Economist Ronald Ferguson of Harvard University delivered a similar message when he spoke last year at our first Cleveland Internship Summit.

Dr. Ferguson noted that the majority of children born in the United States are children of color, and that people of color soon will constitute the majority of the American workforce.

In light of these demographic considerations, as well as advances in technology and changes in the international economy, Dr. Ferguson said:

“We need to go out of our way to make sure we’re preparing students from ALL backgrounds to enter the workforce, because we’re going to need people from all backgrounds to do well as we go forward.”

At Cleveland State University, we’re committed to creating a trajectory of success for each and every student and ensuring all of them enter the workforce fully prepared, from day one, with the skills they need to be successful.

We do this by embracing a concept we call Engaged Learning.

At CSU, Engaged Learning combines higher education and real-world experience, creating one-of-a-kind opportunities in the process.

All told, we offer more than 3,000 co-op and internship opportunities – more than any other public university in Ohio.

Engaged Learning delivers internships at virtually every major corporation and organization in Cleveland and beyond, connecting students with opportunities in technology, manufacturing, health care, finance, education, the arts and other industries.

This interconnectivity with the city around us is bringing a level of engagement to higher education that is shaping CSU into one of the best urban universities in the nation.

Engaged Learning is the differentiator – and internships are critical to the engagement that gives students a competitive edge.

Needless to say, none of this would be possible without partners across Northeast Ohio who are equally invested in our region’s talent pipeline – including those of you here today.

Thank you.

I’d also like to thank Joe Roman and his entire staff at the Greater Cleveland Partnership for working with CSU to develop this event.

I now have the privilege of introducing our keynote speaker: my good friend, Dr. Julian Earls.

Dr. Earls is an executive-in-residence at CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business.

He also serves as interim vice president of civic engagement at CSU.

A native of Portsmouth, Virginia, Dr. Earls came to Cleveland in 1965 and launched a 40-year career with NASA.

As director of the Glenn Research Center, he managed a budget in excess of $700 million and a workforce of more than 3,000 employees.

He credits his success to his mentors, and Dr. Earls has mentored hundreds of students himself.

He was instrumental in launching a successful partnership between CSU and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District -- including Campus International School and MC2STEM High School -- which is preparing the children of our community for success in post-secondary education.

Dr. Earls earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Norfolk State University, his master’s degree in radiation biology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and his doctorate in radiation physics from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Earls received an honorary doctorate of science from CSU in 2014.

He was inducted into the Glenn Research Center Hall of Fame in 2016, a decade after he retired from NASA.

As The Call & Post once put it a front-page story about Dr. Earls:

“This true believer in the transformative power of education is still reaching for the stars – and helping others do the same.”

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our keynote speaker: Dr. Julian Earls.