UMC Web Designer Takes Nearly 1 Million Steps to Win Wellness Challenge

Gina Prodan and UMC wellness team
UMC team members (from left) Amy Raufman, Melissa Evans,
Jacqueline Fitch and Gina Prodan won the 10,000 Step
Challenge. Photograph by Susan Griffith.

What is it like to walk almost a million steps in a month?

Just ask Gina Prodan from University Marketing and Communications. She was the top stepper in November with 979,603 steps in the pilot run of the 10,000 Step Challenge, sponsored by the Office of Human Resources as part of the Case Employee Wellness program.

“If I had known that I was just 21,000 steps away from a million, I would have walked them,” said Prodan, the senior web designer/developer whose goal was to reach that milestone.

Prodan walked and ran her way to first place in this competition of 300 individuals from the Departments of Finance (38) and Administration (240) and UMC (22).

Not far behind were Katie O’Keefe (UMC), 808,955; Nick DeGeorge (Finance), 684,107; Joe Nikstenas (Administration), 630,348; and Glenn Bieler (UMC), 622,874.

Prodan’s team, composed of members Paula Baughn, Melissa Evans, Jacqueline Fitch and Amy Raufman, took first place in the team competition by logging 2,606,152 steps in November. Read more.

Campus News

Access Services will have special holiday hours on Wednesday, Dec. 15 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Thursday, Dec. 16 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

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The university’s Climate Action Plan has a new home on the web. Connected to the Sustainability website, the CAP’s online presence offers updates on the planning process, links to sustainability resources, event details and information on who’s leading the effort. Perhaps most important, it allows community members to join the discussion about sustainability and the university’s efforts to become a carbon-neutral campus. Ask questions, share opinions and get involved online.

For Faculty and Staff

Emergency preparedness is something most people don't think about until they have to. Case Western Reserve University's Office of Emergency Management wants faculty and staff to keep safety awareness at the forefront. To aid in those efforts, the office offers the Emergency Planning and Procedures Handbook for Employees. The handbook, available online, provides faculty and staff with information on how to prepare for and respond to various emergencies.

For Students

University Counseling Services announces its first graduate student support group, to be offered the second Tuesday of every month, beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 14 from 12:00 to 1:15 p.m. in the Spartan Room. Staff psychologist Dr. Pamela Nilsson of University Counseling Services will facilitate the group. All graduate and professional school students are welcome. Pizza and soft drinks will be served.

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The preliminary summer 2011 roster is now online. As you plan your academic schedules for spring and fall 2011, remember that summer courses can help you catch up, get ahead or stay on track. The summer roster includes University Seminars, courses that fulfill pre-med requirements, introductory Chinese and Italian language classes and 15 courses in the May term (May 9-27). Summer tuition for all courses numbered 1-399 is discounted 50 percent. Complete information can be found on the summer website. Questions? Contact your adviser or email


The Town Hall of Cleveland Speaker Series event for tonight, featuring internationally acclaimed singer Ronan Tynan, has been rescheduled to April 4, 2011, due to inclement weather. Find more information online.

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President Barbara R. Snyder and Provost Bud Baeslack invite all faculty and staff to attend the annual Adelbert Hall Holiday Party, which will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 17. All university employees are welcome to stop by to partake in beverages, heavy hors d'oeuvres and desserts. If attending, please make reservations by Dec. 16 to Open House 2010.

Dec. 13, 2010

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In the News

Colleges Urged to Market Research

Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 12, 2010
Gov.-elect John Kasich is urging Ohio universities to turn research into commercial products. Case Western Reserve University leads the state in licensing revenue, with $16.2 million in 2009, said Joseph Jankowski, associate vice president for technology.

Large Health Insurers Banding Together to Gain Influence

American Public Media Marketplace, Dec. 9, 2010
Large insurance companies are looking to set the rules for where the uninsured will buy from in 2014 when the health care act kicks in. But their interests diverge from small health insurers, says J.B. Silvers, professor of health care finance in the Weatherhead School of Management. "They're going to get 26 million more enrollees and they want to bargain now for better rules."

Case Western Reserve University Licenses Cell Technology

Crain's Cleveland Business, Dec. 10, 2010
Horizon Discovery Ltd. of Cambridge licensed the right to use genetically altered cells that could help researchers study cancer and develop cancer-fighting drugs. The cells, developed in the laboratory of Zhenghe John Wang, assistant professor of genetics at the School of Medicine, mimic the mutations that cause cancer.

Higher Ed News

Higher-education Groups Lay Out Strategies to Reach Obama's College-completion Goal

The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 13, 2010
President Obama's goal for the U.S. to have the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020 can be met, a new study says, but it requires a strong commitment to action.