Case Western Reserve Psychology Professor, Students Collaborate with the Children's Museum of Cleveland for Play Study


Preschool visitors between the ages of 4 and 6 to the Children's Museum of Cleveland (CMC) will be invited to participate in a new study from the Department of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University to boost creativity and imagination in free play.

Nearby moms and caretakers will also engage in the study by watching how the children play and learn how to develop those play skills at home during several planned play sessions a week with mom, dad or the caretaker, according to Sandra Russ, professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University and the study's principal investigator.

The researchers have partnered with their campus neighbor at the museum for the study "Effects of Play Intervention on Play Skills in Preschool Children."

Russ, along with graduate students Kelly Christian and Karla Fehr and undergraduate Kathryn Clusman, will study approximately 40 children to see if a play intervention, first piloted at the CMC last year, continues to support the hypothesis that play interventions helps children learn how to be better players and use more creativity and imagination in their daily lives. Read more.

Campus News

The Office of Undergraduate Admission (UGA) has moved from Tomlinson Hall to Wolstein Hall, located at 11318 Bellflower Road. Campus tours now begin at Wolstein Hall, and admission information sessions, interviews and other activities are held in the new space. Offices for both the UGA staff and the vice president of enrollment are located there as well. Visitor parking for daily admissions-related activities is located on the first level of Lot 46 at The Village at 115. UGA will host an open house for members of the university community to see the renovated building next semester. Questions about the move can be sent to Ryan Keytack.

The Student Information System (SIS) training team is holding a series of walk-up information station events so that faculty, staff and students may approach the training team one-on-one with questions about the SIS. The information stations will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates: Thursday, December 4, in the Thwing Center atrium, and Tuesday, December 9, at the SAGES Cafe, Crawford Hall.

The university's sustainability office is offering several environmental ideas for the holiday season. Today's tip: About 744 million cards are sent each holiday season. Buy holiday cards made from paper (not plastic) and without lots of added decorations, as these cards cannot be recycled. Holiday cards made from recycled paper could save up to 248,000 trees. Another option: Send holiday wishes via e-cards.

For Faculty and Staff

Several forums will be held this month regarding the proposed Conflict of Interest Policy. Representatives of the drafting committee will be available to offer clarifications and hear feedback. The forums will all be held in the Toepfer Room on the second floor of Adelbert Hall during the following times and dates: 4:30-5:30 p.m., today; 3–4 p.m., Friday, December 5; and 4:30–5:30 p.m., Tuesday, December 9. For more information or a copy of the policy, contact Chris Sheridan.

For Students

The online course evaluation system is open for student input between now and Monday, December 8. Students are encouraged to complete their evaluations, as feedback on courses is used to improve teaching and also factors into the evaluation of faculty. Undergraduate and graduate students can easily access the course-evaluation system through the MySchedule portlet in the MyCase portal or by using to enter the course-evaluation system. Questions should be directed via e-mail to

The International Women's Group (IWG) will host its holiday party for international students from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, December 10, in the Sears Building, Room 214. Come and celebrate the end of the semester with fellow students by socializing and sharing experiences before the start of the holiday break. International students are invited to bring their spouses and/or partners and children. During the party, learn about different holiday customs and traditions and try different cultural foods. Sponsored by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women in collaboration with International Student Services and Student Counseling Services, the IWG is a resource for international students and their families. The group aims to increase support, foster friendships and link international students and spouses to campus and community resources. Contact Samiya Ilmudeen or Katie Hanna for more information.


The Office of Housing, Residence Life & Greek Life is accepting applications for 2009-2010 graduate staff positions. Go online for more information on position requirements, descriptions and compensation information. Questions should be directed to Jamie Elwell. Graduate staff applications are due February 13, 2009. In addition, the office also is still accepting applications for Resident Assistant positions for 2009-2010; applications are due January 14, 2009.



The university's fourth annual Fall A Cappella Concert will take place during the Community Hour, 12:30-2 p.m., Friday, December 5, at Amasa Stone Chapel. The campus community is invited to come and enjoy music ranging from pop and rock to old school and classical. Featured groups include the Case Concert Choir, Speakeasy, Case In Point, Solstice, Bigger than a Bread Box, the Case Men's Glee Club, Dhamakappella and the Case Women's Glee Club. The program will include free hot cocoa and cookies.

The Case Western Reserve community is invited to attend the 15th annual Holiday CircleFest from 1-7 p.m., Sunday, December 7, in University Circle. More than 20 museums, churches, schools and galleries will be open free of charge for one day of music, shopping and family-friendly activities. The Case Western Reserve University Alumni House will be open for fun food activities, cookie decorating, ornament making and holiday music and movies from 1-5:30 p.m. The Alumni House is collecting non-perishable canned or dry food items for the Cleveland Food Bank from December 7-19. Needed items include peanut butter, tuna fish, canned soup, canned vegetables, canned beef stew, and cereal The campus community is invited to drop off food items at the Alumni House during CircleFest or during regular business hours through December 19.

Rosemary Nyirumbe, project coordinator for the St. Monica's Girls Tailoring Center in Gulu, Uganda, will speak on the topic of "Mending Broken Lives: Child Soldiers and the St. Monica's Girls Tailoring Center" from 2:45-3:30 p.m., today, in Clark Hall, Room 206. Nyirumbe has received international recognition for her extensive work with young girls victimized by violence and civil war in Uganda, including the December 2007 CNN Heroes Award. Her appearance on campus is in conjunction with the research series being conducted by Gilbert Doho, associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

December 4, 2008

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Charity Choice 2008


Members of the university community can contribute to the Charity Choice Campaign online or print out a pledge form and return it by mail. The active campaign continues through December 31, 2008. Additional information about the organizations and the program is available on the Charity Choice Campaign 2008 Web site.

Case in the News

Bogus stem cell therapies sold on Internet

Washington Post, December 3, 2008
Expensive, sham stem cell therapies are being hawked directly to desperate patients over the Internet, experts say. In response, the leading organization of stem cell scientists on Wednesday issued guidelines to steer research in the field toward responsible, practical uses. Insoo Hyun, lead author of the paper outlining the guidelines and associate professor of bioethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, comments. Related article.

Case Western Reserve University begins study on how kids play, December 4, 2008
Case Western Reserve University is teaming up with the Cleveland Children's Museum to study how kids play. The goal is to increase creativity and imagination in free play. The study is called "Effects of Play Intervention on Play Skills in Preschool Children." Sandra Russ, a Case Western Reserve University psychologist, is the study's principal investigator.

Should docs disclose drug company ties?

ABC, December 4, 2008
Hospitals around the country are pushing for full disclosure of their doctors' financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry to help patients determine whether their doctors are making money from drug and device companies. The Cleveland Clinic will announce this week its decision to fully disclose all of its doctors' and scientists' financial ties with pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers on its Web site. Peter Whitehouse, professor of neurology at Case Western Reserve University, comments. In a related article, Stuart Youngner, chair of the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, offers insight.

Making the bland

The Cleveland Free Times, December 13, 2008
The power surge that blew meters and started a fire at Lake Park Towers apartments in East Cleveland not only forced the evacuation of 500 people, it took out Case Western Reserve University's radio station, WRUW. The station's transmitter sits atop Lake Park Towers. According to technical director David Caban, the station has to broadcast by Internet only during the emergency.

Higher Ed News

The tightening humanities job market

Inside Higher Ed, December 4, 2008
In the humanities, data are starting to come in that suggest that there will be significantly fewer job searches this year. The largest disciplinary meetings in the humanities will be taking place at the end of this month and the beginning of January–and these are meetings that will feature recruiting sessions, interviews and the release of data about job markets. The news is going to worry new Ph.D.'s and others on the job market.