Scott Cowen Shares Lessons for Success with 2011 Graduates

Scott Cowen
Scott Cowen

A commitment to Case Western Reserve University, love for the city of Cleveland and preparation in the face of adversity were among the topics discussed as Scott Cowen delivered the commencement address to approximately 2,000 Case Western Reserve graduates, plus faculty and staff members, friends and family. Cowen, the president of Tulane University, spent 23 years at Case Western Reserve University, as a professor and then dean of Weatherhead School of Management. On Sunday, he became a graduate as well, when President Barbara R. Snyder conferred an honorary degree upon him.

He used this new degree as a starting point to connect with the students: “For most of you it probably took four to eight years to earn your degree. In contrast, it actually took me 36 years. Obviously, you were much faster in meeting the academic standards of this university than I was,” he joked. “Then again, there may be one or two of you who were also on the 36-year plan. Or maybe it just seemed like that to your parents.”

Additionally, President Snyder presented honorary degrees to former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel, MIT professor Iqbal Z. Quadir and geologist and mountaineer John W. Schutt.

Cowen’s speech (watch the video here) was a mix of light-hearted jokes and thoughtful life lessons based on his experience as a Clevelander and, now, a New Orleanian. Read more.

• • •

CWRU and China’s National Offshore Oil Corp. Sign Agreement at U.S. State Department

With U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton present, Case Western Reserve University and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. – New Energy Investment Co., Ltd. (CNOOC-NEI) have formally signed an EcoPartnership agreement to develop technically feasible and economically viable solutions to energy and environmental issues.

The signing ceremony took place in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 10, at the U.S. Department of State. William A. “Bud” Baeslack III signed for the university.

The CWRU – CNOOC-NEI collaboration has been named an EcoPartnership in a process overseen by the State Department and the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). By signing, CWRU and CNOOC-NEI accept their EcoPartnership status and agree to abide by the rules of the program. Read more about the partnership.

Campus News

For the most up-to-date University Registrar and Student Information System (SIS) news, such as upcoming deadlines, new SIS features and instructions, subscribe to the SIS and Services News RSS feed. Don't regularly read blogs? No problem! SIS and Services News will email you with new announcements as they become available. Just scroll to the bottom of the SIS and Services News blog and enter your email address to receive updates.

For Faculty and Staff

There will be an interest meeting for women staff members to learn more about applying for the yearlong Women Staff Leadership Development Initiative (WSLDI). The meeting will be held May 19, noon-1 p.m., in Nord 310B; lunch will be provided. Offered to full-time women staff at Case Western Reserve University, the program aims to nurture and develop talent while helping women staff cultivate their leadership skills. All who would like to know more about the program are encouraged to attend. Several current and former participants will be there. Find general information about the program here; information for this year’s program will be available online after the meeting.

• • •

Women staff members are invited to attend the Women Inspiring Lunchtime Discussions (WILD) Wednesday meeting to discuss “Mothers and Daughters: Fire Meets Fire.” The brown bag lunchtime discussion, led by Lisa Dunnigan of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Venus Puliafico from Financial Aid and Student Employment, is sponsored by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women. Dunnigan and Puliafico will discuss how to stay connected to daughters while encouraging their independence and self-confidence. The discussion will be held May 18 from noon to 1 p.m. in Thwing Center 2nd Floor (meeting room B).

For Students

Summer RTA passes are available for purchase ($75) at Access Services starting today. Passes are available to students taking summer classes or students working on campus during the summer. If you are registered for a class, Access Services will verify before selling you a pass. If you are working on campus, your supervisor needs to email to verify you are working on campus on a full-time basis during the summer. The Summer RTA passes are good from May 20 until Aug. 13. Access Services is located in the basement of Crawford Hall. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) invites the campus community to experience “Diversity Beyond the Classroom.” During the month of May, June, July and August, the OMA will showcase cultural diversity in various venues. Visit the OMA website to check out the calendar of events, starting with the Cleveland Asian Festival May 21.

Et al.

Leutner CommonsLeutner Commons was awarded the National Association of College and University Food Services Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Gold Medal in the medium school category of residential dining concepts. Leutner Commons, the newly renovated dining facility from Bon Appétit Management Co., has earned critical acclaim locally and nationally since its grand reopening last fall, said Jim O'Brien, Bon Appétit's resident district manager. The criteria for category consideration included menu concepts, merchandising and presentation, marketing, nutrition and wellness programs and other considerations, including sustainability goals and an overall "wow" factor. Grand prize winners in each category will be announced at the NACUFS national conference in Dallas on July 16.

May 16, 2011

A daily newsletter published by the Office of Marketing & Communications, Case Western Reserve University. Submit items for inclusion to:

In the News

Jail Time Uncertain in Nazi Death Camp Conviction

Associated Press, May 13, 2011
John Demjanjuk was convicted in Germany on thousands of counts of being an accessory to murder, but he’ll be free pending an appeal and his health may keep him from serving any time. One way to appeal might be a recently uncovered FBI report that challenged the authenticity of a Nazi ID card used as evidence, which could reopen his citizenship case. David Leopold, adjunct professor in the School of Law, said he doesn’t believe the FBI report would help because there is other evidence against him. Allowing him to remain free might help the Germans avoid having him die in prison, said School of Law professor Michael Scharf.

Including Disabled Critical to Health Studies, Researchers Say

Medill Reports: Chicago, May 11, 2011
Researchers at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing suggested the first formal guidelines for “universal design of research,” to better represent people with disabilities in mainstream health research. “We want to change the way health-care research is done so that people with disabilities are routinely included in studies,” said postdoctoral fellow and researcher Ann Williams.

Selling 'The X Factor'

Ad Age, May 16, 2011
When Simon Cowell's "The X Factor" premieres this fall, it will try to distance itself from similar shows like "American Idol" and "The Voice." "I think they are trying to guarantee themselves strong early ratings based on curiosity alone," said SAGES lecturer Brad Ricca. "Since it's a contest show, many viewers will then feel obligated to see it through."

Higher Ed News

No Cellphone? No Internet? So Much Less Stress

The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 8, 2011
Though college-aged students grew up with technology and constantly use it, many have major concerns about the significant role of technology in their lives.