Staff Members Dig into Gardening Project, Helping Residents Pick Healthy Food Options

Vel's Purple Oasis Garden yields more than crops.

Staff members in the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods program do more than just work together. They take turns tending to a community garden and get together regularly over lunch to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The result is a close-knit bond and an ongoing commitment to helping neighborhood residents learn more about healthy food options.

The staff members grow squash, cantaloupe, zucchini, tomatoes, sweet corn and other fruits and veggies on a plot at Vel’s Purple Oasis Garden. Located in University Circle near Case Western Reserve’s BioEnterprise Building, the garden is the realization of a dream held by Vel Scott and her late husband, Don. Owners of the legendary party center Vel’s, they were longtime residents of the community. They broke ground at the Oasis in early 2008 as a way to get neighborhood residents to spend time together and to promote a healthy lifestyle.

“I lived in the community for many years,” said Scott, whose family has owned the land where the garden is located for more than 20 years. “I enjoy putting something into the ground and watching it grow. When I’m not here planting something I’m soaking up the good energy.”

The crop at Vel's garden starts to come up.

David Pearl, co-convener of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition and a PRC staff member, said the garden fits in with the center’s mission. “The core project for the research center relates to healthier food options,” said Pearl. The PRC program is part of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

The group hopes to plant more crops next season. In addition, staff members will begin bringing food waste to the garden for composting. The materials will come from the BioEdibles Cafe run by Kim's Catering Service in the BioEnterprise Building. Read more.

Campus News

With the Labor Day holiday over, Kelvin Smith Library 24/7 service is now in effect for faculty, staff, and students with current CWRU ID cards. Operating seven days a week during fall and spring semesters, KSL offers nearly 100 hours a week of staffed library services, supplemented by additional online reference services each day. Its 24/7 services also supplement valuable study time and space, and afford a safe, secure environment for those who are in KSL. Official institutional IDs are required to remain in the building during 24/7 (Visitors are asked to return during the regular business hours).  When classes are not in session, 24/7 takes a break, too: fall break in October and for Thanksgiving in November. Get more information or to check “Today’s Desk Hours," go online.


A scholarship conference is being held Sept. 18 at Nord Hall on the Case Western Reserve University campus for high school and college students and parents. Sponsored by Case Western Reserve University, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the United Negro College Fund, the conference will feature a parent workshop from 10 to 11:30 a.m.; student workshops from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and a scholarship vendor's fair from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The event is free and lunch will be provided. Registration is required. Register online by Sept. 13.  Call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 216.368.2904.

For Faculty and Staff

Case Western Reserve University Employee wellness is offering a free stretching class for CWRU employees at noon on Wednesday (Sept. 8 )  in 121 Fitness Center (or outside, weather permitting), 2130 Adelbert Road. Lockers will be available. Go online for more information.

For Students

Do you want to make a difference in the Cleveland community? Attend the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning Community Service Fair 12:30-2 p.m. Friday and meet he volunteer coordinators of more than 50 organizations including local nonprofits, area hospitals and student service groups. From the Cleveland Clinic to Habitat for Humanity, there are many ways to get connected to the Cleveland community. Come to the Thwing Ballroom for free pizza and “break out of the bubble” this fall. For information, go online.

Students, especially those in engineering, physics, chemistry or the Weatherhead School of Management, are invited to compete for a $9,000 prize. Saint-Gobain, the oldest and one of France’s leading corporations with activities in more than 57 countries, has sponsored a Student Design Competition on campus.  Come to an informal information session at 6 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 13) in The Spot. Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome.  Food will be provided. Contact Maria Marzano.


Emma Sepulveda, PhD, will speak 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Clark 309 on A National Museum of American Latinos: A Project Long Overdue. A native of Argentina, Sepulva spent most of her life in Chile before Augusto Pinochet seized power in Chile in 1973 and she emigrated to the United States to complete her education. She is a foundation professor and director of the Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, and was recently appointed by the Obama administration to the National Commission for the Creation of the National Museum of The American Latino in Washington, D.C.

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.

Sally Levine.

Sally Levine, lecturer of art studio and art education of art education, served as a panelist for All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Architectural Ideas for Cleveland, at the Sculpture Center, and exhibited work in Opportunity for Whom? Ingenuity Fest at the Cleveland Festival of Art & Technology.  

Sept. 7 , 2010

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In the News

Slipping number of self-employed workers bad news for economy, Sept. 7, 2010 
In a story that quotes Scott Shane, a professor of economics at Case Western Reserve University, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that the number of Americans who were self-employed dropped in August to the lowest level in eight years. “The failure rate of self-employment picked up a lot during the recession,” Shane said. “I think the indications are not good at all.”

‘Marrano Justice’ Premieres at Canyon Moon, Sept. 6, 2010
The world premier of Marrano Justice, written by Case Western Reserve adjunct associate professor Joel Levin, runs at Canyon Moon Theatre in Sedona, Ariz., Thursday to Sept.12 and Sept.  23-26. Levin has taught at CWRU since 1982.

New app for a good cause, Sept. 7, 2010 ChromaWaves, the application developed by six students each from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art, is gaining more attention. The students spent last year developing the program, art, music and storyline as part of a joint class. Marc Buchner, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at CWRU, and Knut Hybinette, a professor of T.I.M.E. (Technology Integrated Media Environment) Digital Arts at CIA, have taught the class since 2005. It is the first class to publish a mobile application, they said. All proceeds, about 70 cents from each 99 cent download, will go to Child's Play, a charitable organization.

Implantable Artificial Kidney Research Aims to Replace Dialysis, Sept. 7, 2010
A University of California, San Francisco, research team working with 10 other teams including a team from Case Western Reserve University is making more headlines with an artificial kidney project.

Higher Ed News

Wikipedia for Credit, Sept. 7, 2010
Wikipedia often suffers the disdain of professors, but the Wikimedia Foundation is seeking new alliances, recruiting public policy professors who are willing to have their students create content for Wikipedia. This fall, the foundation will help nine instructors — four at George Washington University, two at Georgetown University, and one each at Indiana University at Bloomington, Syracuse University, and Harvard University — integrate Wikipedia-related assignments into their syllabuses.