How Big is Your Footprint?

Earth in lightbulb

Whenever climate change is discussed, “carbon footprint” is nearly always mentioned in the same breath. But how many people actually know what their carbon footprints are? As part of its sustainability efforts, Case Western Reserve University presents the Accenture Eco Challenge, a five-minute survey open to all faculty, staff and students.

After taking the brief survey, respondents find out their carbon footprint as well as how their carbon output compares to others at Case Western Reserve and in the city, state and country. Additionally, they can make pledges to improve other habits—from easier tasks like recycling to more intensive goals, such as installing low-flow toilets.

The more people who take the Eco Challenge, the better idea the university has of campus energy usage and the more thorough it can be in developing its Climate Action Plan, a detailed plan developed in the fall by resident experts across campus that outlines ways the university will work toward carbon neutrality. The Eco Challenge allows even more people to share their input and help Case Western Reserve reach the goal of carbon neutrality, said Linda Robson, sustainability coordinator. “The Eco Challenge and the President's Campus Climate Action Plan go hand in hand because, while there are a lot of things we can look at as ‘institutional’ impacts, they are often simply the result of our collective daily habits, like leaving lights on or fume hoods open. Our hope is that as members of the campus become more familiar with the easy behaviors that will create a healthier, more sustainable campus, we will all move Case Western Reserve toward climate neutrality." Read more.

Campus News

Flu shots will be offered at 121 Fitness Center, courtesy of Health Services, on Jan. 13 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. All are invited to participate. The cost is $10. Register here.

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Case Western Reserve University recently expanded opportunities across campus for adults 65 and older to take courses at a reduced tuition rate ($40/credit hour) as part of the Course Audit Program for Senior Citizens (CAPSC). CAPSC is the successor to the Senior Audit program within the College of Arts and Sciences and helps further the university’s mission to increase involvement in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. For more information, email the CAPSC Coordinator or learn more online.

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There will be a planned interruption of service for QuickPay, the online tuition bill payment system, on Jan. 17 from 2 to 4 a.m. for scheduled maintenance. Users attempting to reach QuickPay while it is down will see a maintenance announcement asking to try again later. If you have additional questions about this outage, contact the ITS Help Desk 216.368.HELP (4357) or go to

For Faculty and Staff

Faculty are invited to join the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education for Getting Students to Read More Effectively, a discussion on helping students become better readers of scholarly literature. The session will take place Jan. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Herrick Room on the ground floor of the Allen Building. Pizza and beverages will be provided. Please RSVP to

For Students

The Observer is seeking a new undergraduate student for newspaper distribution. Students must have their own vehicle and be available Friday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Work study is not necessary. Students interested in the position can contact for more information.

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The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences will host an information session Jan. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. to learn about the social work master’s program, field education and financial aid. The event, which is open to the public, will take place at the Mandel School. To register, contact the Admissions Office at 216.368.2280. For more information, visit the school’s website.

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Community Service Fair

Students attend last year's Community
Service Fair.

Get involved this year—attend the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning’s Community Service Fair in Thwing Ballroom Friday, Jan. 14 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Learn about the many ways to get involved in the Cleveland community and network with volunteer coordinators from more than 40 organizations, including local nonprofits, area hospitals and student service groups. Free pizza will be provided.


All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend Lepow Medical Student Research Day Jan. 13. The event showcases posters and oral presentations of research done by medical students at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. There will be more than 100 posters on display at the poster session from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Excelsior Ballroom at Thwing Student Center, and 12 abstracts presented in oral presentations from 2:45 to 5 p.m. in E401 of the School of Medicine building. Special guest speaker Jean-Laurent Casanova, MD, PhD, will present “Infectious Deaths: Inborn Errors of Immunity?” from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the School of Medicine, Room E401.

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The Dittrick Medical History Center’s Handerson Medical History Lecture will be held Thursday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. in Allen Memorial Medical Library. Alexandra Lord from National Park Service will present Sleeping With Uncle Sam: Federally Funded Sex Education and the American Public, a discussion of how public officials have struggled to create balanced sex education programs. For more information, click here. Additionally, the special exhibition The Art of Prevention: Venereal Disease Posters 1935-1950 will open in conjunction with the lecture and will be on display until April 1.

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Visit the LGBT Center for a Welcome Back Open House Friday, Jan. 14 from noon to 2:30 p.m. All are welcome to stop in to enjoy cookies and beverages, meet the LGBT Center staff and learn about upcoming programs planned for spring.

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.

Jim Sheeler
Jim Sheeler

Brigham City (Utah) Library selected Professor Jim Sheeler’s book Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives as the first book in its 2011 reading discussion series, "Final Salute: America in a Time of War." Sheeler, the Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing, wrote the book about the soldiers who don’t survive war, their families and the military members assigned to casualty notification duty.

Jan. 12, 2011

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In the News

4 Electives We Love

Metro, Jan. 11, 2011
SAGES Fellow Bernard Jim's class, Jigsaw Puzzles 101, was highlighted as one of the most unique college courses in the country. The class examines the art and science of puzzles from cultural, mathematical and military perspectives.

Researchers Recruit Area Women to Participate in the Largest U.S. Study on Children's Health

The Plain Dealer, Jan. 12, 2011
Dorr Dearborn, Mary Ann Swetland Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and director of the center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and about 50 staff members based at the university will oversee the Ohio portion of the National Children's Study, the longest and largest study ever done on American children's health.

'Big Picture' Provides a Close-up of the Universe

Columbus Dispatch, Jan. 12, 2011
Astronomers from Case Western Reserve University were part of a collaboration of astronomers who photographed more than 340 million stars, galaxies, comets and asteroids to create the largest image of the universe ever taken.

Higher Ed News

How Graduation Rates Shape College Choice

The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 12, 2011
Recently, researchers at the Institute for Public Policy Research designed a survey to better understand how graduation rates shape consumers’ perceptions of colleges. Not surprisingly, knowing the graduation rate of the university influenced parents' choices of where they would like their children to attend.