Modeling Drug Use in a Virtual City
Has Potential to Shape Policies


Anthropologist Lee Hoffer watches drug deals in a virtual city neighborhood on his computer at Case Western Reserve University.

But, what looks like a computer game are real drug activities constructed from research data Hoffer has collected from fieldwork with heroin dealers.

Hoffer's model has brought about innovative ways of thinking about heroin use and the illegal market distributing the drug.

He now turns to building computer models based on methamphetamine users and dealers from Cuyahoga and Summit Counties in Ohio. A recent award of a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) will expand his work. Read more.

Campus News

The Case Women's Glee Club (CWGC) is searching for a new director. CWGC is the university's only non-auditioned all-female a cappella group. The director's is unpaid position, and can begin spring or fall 2010. If interested, contact current director Sarah Bixler. CWGC is also always accepting new members.  Contact the group via e-mail for more information.

The Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity announces that the "Inclusion and Diversity" campus calendar is now available on on the department's Web site. This calendar seeks to be a central space for all diversity and inclusion programs and events at the university. To include related events or programs for staff, students, faculty or alumni, contact Liz Roccoforte.


Mark Fogle, foreground, and Lou Tubbs, of Expert Crane, test the overhead crane in the civil engineering department's new Vanderhoof Infrastructure and Research Facility, in Bingham Building, last week. The crane lifted and carried an 18.5-ton counterweight around the room; the field service technicians measured how much the main beam of the crane flexed. The crane passed; the new facility will be dedicated in March.

The campus community is invited to watch the music video that was created by Case Western Reserve, Cleveland Institute of Art and Cleveland Institute of Music students as part of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus stop.

For Faculty and Staff

The Office of the Provost and the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women invite women faculty and staff to apply for an opportunity to attend the 2010 HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute. The institute is a prestigious professional development opportunity that prepares and advances women for leadership in higher education. The university will sponsor a participant to the institute, which is a 12-day intensive residency program on the Bryn Mawr campus from June 18-July 2, 2010. Go online for a copy of the Case Western Reserve application. Applications should be submitted bye-mail to Dorothy Miller by Jan. 15, 2010. Applicants will be notified of the selection committee's decision in February 2010. Go online for more information about the institute. In addition, Case Western Reserve graduates of the HERS Institute are available to discuss the benefits of the institute and answer questions. They include Deborah Bibb, Denise Douglas, Adrienne Dziak, Joan McFaul, Diana Morris, Colleen Nagy and Wendy Shapiro.

For Students

Students can now add or change their meal plan selection online on the CaseOneCard site. Log in to "My Account" and select the meal plan change tab. The online option for the spring semester will remain active until Jan. 22, 2010. Please note that not all meal plan selections are available to all students. Meal plan change requests must be received by close of business on the last day of the second week of classes to be considered. Students who change their meal plan more than twice within the first two weeks of classes will incur a $25 charge for each additional change.

The university requires that all registered students maintain sufficient health insurance coverage. This policy was implemented to protect students from the financial burdens associated with unforeseen accidents and ailments. In an effort to ensure that all students possess adequate coverage, the university will begin a waiver audit program. Beginning spring semester 2010, students will be required to submit detailed information to waive the Case Student Medical Plan. The following information pertaining to current health insurance plan must be reported: Name of health insurance company; name of the primary subscriber; policy/medical ID number; and telephone number to your insurance company's customer service line. This information can be obtained from your health insurance card. Your eligibility to waive the Case Student Medical Plan is based on comparability of coverage. By waiving the Case plan, you are asserting that your health insurance plan (at minimum) provides the same levels of coverage. If you are unsure, you may visit the Student Medical Plan Web site for a detailed definition of comparable coverage. The Case Student Medical Plan fee is assessed in the fall and spring semesters. Completed waivers are irrevocable and are subject to audit.


The Case Art Studio "Fall Semester in Review" student art exhibition continues through Friday, Dec. 11, at the gallery, 2215 Adelbert Road. The exhibition features art works in ceramics, textiles, painting, drawing, enamel, jewelry, photography and architectural plans made by students enrolled in the fall semester art studio classes. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m.

In cooperation with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Astronomical Society, the Department of Astronomy continues the 2009-10 Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series. Renowned astronomers from across the country give free lectures at the Natural History Museum. The third speaker in the series, Julio Navarro, University of Victoria, British Columbia-Canada, will discuss "A Cosmological Revolution-Notes from the Field," beginning at 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10. Light refreshments will be served. More information is available online.

"You Had Me at Hello: How to Connect with Anyone in Three Seconds," sponsored by the American Marketing Association, will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Cleveland. Participants will learn the secrets to turning every business networking event into an opportunity. Cost and additional details available online.

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.

Et al.


Charles D. "Chuck" Fowler, a Case Western Reserve University trustee and alumnus (MGT '90), received the E.J. Walsh Award from the Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF). The award was presented to him at the 62nd annual FEF College Industry Conference.

Fowler, president and CEO of Fairmount Minerals, is a former FEF student. According to the organization's Web site, "the E.J. Walsh Award is the highest honor FEF currently bestows on the person who has given outstanding service over the years to the goals and ideals of FEF."

More than 225 industry executives, student delegates, professors and university administrators attended the conference, held last month in Chicago.

FEF was established in 1947 by the leaders of the metal casting industry, with the support of affiliated organizations and societies as an independent extension of metal casting educational programs at colleges and universities across the country. The goal of FEF is to bring students closer to the foundry industry.

December 9, 2009

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Case in the News

Case Western Reserve receives $19.7M federal contract

Crain's Cleveland Business, Dec. 8, 2009
Case Western Reserve University has received a $19.7 million federal contract to become an international clinical trials site for the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium. Under the 10-year contract with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the university will oversee clinical trial sites in Uganda and the Philippines. John Johnson, professor of international health, will head up two research teams who will test new drugs and simpler regimens to treat tuberculosis patients.

Secret to 100 years? Read, exercise, Dec. 9, 2009
Mary Lee Fawcett of Dunedin celebrated her 100th birthday at a party in her honor at Mease Continuing Care in Dunedin, attended by family and friends. An avid reader, Fawcett likes to stay up to date on current medical treatments and procedures. She is also part of a study on aging at Case Western Reserve University and is one of 60 participants remaining out of the original 800.

Cleveland Clinic receives $2.75M grant to study stem cell use in treating MS

Crain's Cleveland Business, Dec. 8, 2009
The Cleveland Clinic has received a $2.75 million federal grant to study the use of stem cells in treating multiple sclerosis. The four-year grant from the Department of Defense will fund a 24-patient study to be done by the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, which is made up of investigators from biotech company Athersys Inc., Case Western Reserve University, the Clinic, Ohio State University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Review: Music for Insomnia, Dec. 9, 2009
If you plug "music and insomnia" into PubMed–the online library of scientific journal articles–you get 24 results. Scientists have tested the ability of music to induce sleep in a wide variety of populations. And perhaps not surprisingly, it usually seems to work, improving parameters like time to sleep onset, nighttime awakenings, and longer sleep duration. A lot of these studies are opaque about the specific music actually used to induce sleep, but in one—a 2005 paper from Case Western Reserve University—there's a genre rundown.

Higher Ed News

The book mechanic

Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 6, 2009
Some years ago, Terry Belanger found a striking way to reveal the reverence that many citizens of the digital age continue to feel for old books. It is a sentiment he finds fascinating but only rarely appropriate or useful. Belanger, who retired in September as director of an educational institute called Rare Book School but who continues to teach there, brings an old volume to class, speaks about its binding and typography, and then, still discussing the book, rips it in half and tears it into pieces.