Inamori Ethics Prize Recipient Discussed Future Challenges of Poverty, Climate Change


The Honorable Mary Robinson, the former first woman president of Ireland and U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights, humbly accepted the 2009 Inamori Ethics Prize from Case Western Reserve University for her leadership and advocacy for human rights worldwide.

An audience of 1,200 faculty, staff, students and community members listened in Severance Hall to Robinson reflect on her years of public service and discuss the future challenges of poverty and climate change that will impact human rights in the 21st Century.

To be effective in the role as a public official does not mean a person is always popular, she said. Robinson has fought to legalize birth control and gay rights in Ireland.

Robinson also addressed the allegations of racism during the controversial Durban Conference in South Africa that she was part of. She clarified her efforts to ensure that any racist statements were removed from the final human rights document.

"I'm sure there are things that could have been done differently that might have contributed to a better result," said Robinson. "But what is crucial to understand is that despite the efforts of those who brought a message of hate to Durban, in the end they were defeated."

Climate changes and global warming raise new human rights concerns for the grandmother of four under the age of 5. Robinson said, "I'm worried it will be an unstable world in 2050."

Watch a video of Robinson on the university's YouTube Channel.

Campus News

Case Western Reserve University invites nominations for honorary degrees, which recognize persons who exemplify in their work the highest ideals and standards of "excellence in any valued aspect of human endeavor, including the realm of scholarship, public service, and the performing arts." (Faculty Handbook, 3, III.X). Nominations are due by September 15. Read more.


Women in Leadership Week takes place September 13-17. Activities include a kickoff event celebration, workshops, panel discussions and networking events. Go online for a complete list of activities for students, faculty, staff and alumni. The week begins with cookout from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, September 14, on the Quad. Free food, games and giveaways.

Beginning at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, September 19, CaseEMS, Case Police and Security Services and members of the Cleveland Heights Fire Department will hold a Mass Casualty Incident Drill in front of Carlton Commons. During this procedure, CaseEMS will simulate a mass casualty incident. Volunteers are needed to act as victims and bystanders. Lunch will be provided for volunteers after the drill. Campus members will be able to ask CaseEMS members questions.

The September 11 University Community Hour will celebrate Annual Commuter Appreciation Day.

Auditions for "The Rocky Horror Commedia Show" will be held at 7 p.m. tonight in Nord 410. The production is a parody of the cult movie classic by the Confused Greenies.

For Faculty and Staff

The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) announces the October 1, 2009 quarterly competition for pilot funding of up to $10,000 to support activities provided by any of the CTSC Core facilities. This program is being supported by Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland and MetroHealth Medical Center, and investigators whose primary appointments are based at these sites are eligible for this competition. Learn more.

For Students

The Graduate Student Senate (GSS) recently announced important health care information and updates to dental coverage, an E-Z Pay monthly service for health fees and well child visits on the dependent plan. Learn more by going to the new health care committee Web site created by the GSS.

The Office of Undergraduate Admission is seeking enthusiastic undergraduate students for the Student Ambassador Team. The Spartan Ambassadors serve as overnight hosts to prospective students and participate in other undergraduate recruitment events. Ambassadors must live in a residence hall or in Greek housing. Information/training sessions continue from 7-8 p.m. tonight in Fribley Fireside Lounge, and from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Friday, September 11, in the Thwing Spartan Room. Contact Karla Crucke with questions.

The Muslim Student Association invites students to fast with the organization on Friday, September 11. Local businesses will donate $1 to the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland for each non-Muslim student who pledges to go hungry for a day. The fast involves abstaining from all food and liquid during daylight hours (5:31 a.m. to 7:43 p.m.) on Friday. At the end of the day, participants are invited to Thwing ballroom as the fast is broken with Arabic and Indian food. Tickets and pledge forms are on sale in Nord Hall through 4 p.m. today. Stop by the table for tickets prices and more details.


On Friday, September 11, two dozen leading experts will debate the most important and timely issues now facing the United States in its war against terrorism. The day-long conference, "After Guantanamo: The Way Forward," will be presented in a unique cross-fire format at the School of Law. The discussions will occur from 8:30 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. in the Moot Courtroom (A59). The conference is free and open to the public. A live webcast will be available. Read more.

The third-year graduate ensemble from the Case Western Reserve University Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) Acting Program will be on stage through September 19 for William Shakespeare's rarely seen play All’s Well That Ends Well in the Brooks Theatre. The production is directed by Visiting Professor Geoff Bullen from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for students with a valid ID. Learn more.

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.

September 10, 2009

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Case in the News

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, receives ethics prize from Case Western Reserve University

The Plain Dealer, September 9, 2009
Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and now an international champion of human rights, told a crowd at Severance Hall yesterday that threats to human rights take many forms. Environmental issues, she said, threaten human rights as much as poverty and war. Robinson delivered her remarks after receiving the Inamori Ethics Prize, awarded annually by Case Western Reserve University's Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence. Related article.

Congress weighs in on forensics study

89.3 KPCC, September 9, 2009
A new study concluded that many forensic techniques have never been scientifically evaluated. Lawmakers at a Senate hearing on Wednesday asked whether innocent people have been put to death for crimes they didn't commit based on these techniques. Paul Giannelli, professor of law at Case Western Reserve University, was part of the discussion.

Empathy essential in dealing with palliative patients, families

Oncology Nursing News, September 7, 2009
At a meeting based on the premise that empathy is a vital companion to medical technique when caring for the dying, hospice and palliative medical practitioners gathered at the Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine to discuss new ideas and research. Maryjo Prince-Paul , assistant professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University, discussed similarities and differences of verbal and nonverbal messages between seriously ill patients and bereaved loved ones.

Higher Ed News

New player in course management software

Inside Higher Ed, September 9, 2009
The learning management software industry has a new competitor, Learning, Inc., a Norwegian company looking to take a share of the U.S. market from Blackboard and other top learning-management software providers.