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May 16, 2005

Share Thoughts on Memorializing Dr. Oc at Case

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Ideas for Remembering Doc Oc at Case

I know that Doc was a big fan and supporter of Case athletics. Does anyone know if the new football field being constructed in the NRV has a name yet? How about Ocasio Stadium?

Posted by: Alex A. Hutnik at May 16, 2005 02:18 PM

i have a feeling that while naming an entire building or stadium after doc oc would be awesome, the cost would be phenomenal. buildings are named after people who give the school money, not people who dedicate their lives to their students' education. if we could raise enough money, though, getting something like a bench or a seat in the stadium (or even the whole stadium, if someone feels particularly charitable financially) would be nifty. or maybe a scholarship in his name.

Posted by: gina hoang at May 16, 2005 02:25 PM

Doc Oc was like a permanent fixture at our school, especially in Schmidt hall. Perhaps a portrait of him in or outside of his "stomping ground" would be appropriate. Schmidt hall has always been like a reservoir of memories for me from my freshman year and seeing his smiling face by it would definately make me recriprocate.

Posted by: Herman Bagga at May 16, 2005 06:39 PM

I think a fund should be created to support an instructor (not research professor) position for chem 105/106/113 and I think we should fill it with someone who is known for being an incredible instructor.

I also think a teaching award should be named after doc.

Posted by: Cindy Harley at May 16, 2005 07:25 PM

I know the new pathway over baker has already been named - binary way? - but I think that would be a great way to remember him by naming that after him, especially since the original name for the pathway stirred up a lot of controversy.

Posted by: Afif Ghannoum at May 16, 2005 09:20 PM

Doc Oc always supported the charity events on campus. When he participated in Ugly Prof with APO, I think he always asked his money to be donated to the food bank. Maybe we could hold an annual charity event in his name and donate the money from it to the food bank.

Posted by: Maya at May 16, 2005 09:40 PM

I like the idea of Ocasio Stadium. If the administrators at this school refuse to name it after Doc because of money, then they do not realize the impact that Doc had on this school. However, if this does fall through, I believe a moment of silence the first day of class would be a short, simple yet effective way of remembering Doc.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 16, 2005 10:28 PM

changing the name of pathway over baker Ocasio Way would be a great thing to do

Posted by: Anonymous at May 16, 2005 10:58 PM

I agree with the idea of a teaching award - I know the Wittke Award and the like are very prestigious awards every year. Doc's 'legacy' award could come from a fund in his name and could honor a (student-nominated) professor whose purpose involved the students' actual learning rather than research-publishing-etc.

I agree that naming a campus monument after him is a great honour, and I am not saying anything against that. I just also think that establishing a yearly reminder of Doc's classroom mission would be a nice touch. As an alumni, I'd be happy to send a donation to the "Doc Oc Award" fund.

Posted by: Jessica at May 16, 2005 11:25 PM

I like the stadium idea. When people ask about the name, we can tell them Doc's story, so he really will live forever.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 16, 2005 11:26 PM

I'm going to agree with Maya on the annual charity event. I think he'd rather have his name attached to something that does some good to the community rather than have his name stuck on a building.

Posted by: Sarah at May 16, 2005 11:32 PM

I didn't know Doc Oc, but I am moved by the the love his students had for him. If he loved Chemistry and instilled that love in his students then he should be remembered through grants in his name that will allow students to study Chemistry. By providing students who might not otherwise have the opportunity with funding to study Chemistry at a great school like Case, it would ensure that financial means, or lack thereof, are not a barrier to the education that can produce wonderful teachers like Doc Oc. The students who would receive those grants would always know his story and they would be able to draw on his inspiration.

Posted by: Sarah at May 16, 2005 11:58 PM

Doc always worried about leaving a legacy behind. He would often talk about Schmidt jokingly, how nobody has any idea of what that name entails. Yet, Schmidt, years after his death, is alive with students, and their echoes and laughter. The stadium idea is a wonderful idea. I also think that doing something at baker is great too. He taped his tv shows, what could be more fitting? I know he would love anything if it were just alive with students passing by day in and day out. He loved to be surrounded by them throughout his life, why not make it so even in death he is as well?

Posted by: Teja at May 17, 2005 12:33 AM

if it can be done, naming the "fraternity row" to "Doc Oc Block" would be rockin... the stadium naming is cool and i think it's bs about only large-donating alumni being able to be named after... he was awesome, he deserves a good legacy

Posted by: mr-aa at May 17, 2005 12:34 AM

Buildings can be torn down, walkways destroyed. I think Doc would appreciate having a food drive every year in his name. The idea of a Doc Oc fund is also good - as an alum, I would most certainly donate what I could to it. Perhaps the money could go to a local charity, or even some sort of chemistry-related grant?

And tho I like the idea of a Doc Oc award for teaching, I think we all know that no one will be up to the standards that Doc set.

Posted by: Danielle at May 17, 2005 12:52 AM

I vote for the 'Doc Oc Award' for teaching

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2005 01:35 AM

I agree that a teaching award in Oc's name would be a great way of memorializing him. Maybe even a student chemistry/research award as well? I like the idea of a charity event also.

Posted by: Jared at May 17, 2005 01:59 AM

The teaching award, while it is a great idea, I don't think fits in this case. It has to be something involving the students on a more deeper level because that's who Doc was. Shouldn't the Doc Oc award be something unique, something that lacks competition with the Wittke? The Wittke award is great but it's made even more prestigious when there is only one. I vote for the stadium because Doc would come out to our dorms on the first day. It is more intimate that way, and it would hopefully get a little school spirit going, drawing out people. Or maybe start an annual tradition at Case like the Hudson Relay?

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2005 03:16 AM

I like the stadium idea. As for it only being named after people who contribute a lot - it doesn't matter. We can call the buildings what we want and it will stick. Does anyone even remember the real name of the "Ugly Statue" infront of Raymond? Just start calling it Doc's Stadium (or your version of that).

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2005 08:30 AM

Blue Against Blue by Marjolein Bastin.....

This heavenly blue butterfly
will fly high in the sky,
higher and higher.
The sunlight will touch
the blue on its wings
until it seems to disappear.

We think it is gone,
because the blue of the butterfly
is the exact same blue of the sky.

We think it is gone,
because our eyes are too weak to see --
and it's difficult to believe
what we cannot see.

But the blue butterfly is not gone
It is still flying,
higher and higher,
nearer the sun.

Blue against blue.
For now and forever.

Posted by: Claudia Anderson at May 17, 2005 09:58 AM

Considering the tenure fight over Doc Oc many years ago because of a lack of research publications, I agree very strongly with creating one or more instructorships and/or professorships, available not only to Chemistry, but to any interested Department, in which the criteria for keeping the position would be dependent more on teaching and service to the campus than published research. How does this sound: the Ignacio J. Ocasio Professor of (Department). This should be available to professors of all ranks.

Of course, endowing a professorship costs approximately $2 million, but that might just be possible...

Posted by: William Sherwin at May 17, 2005 10:14 AM

i think that the idea of creating a professorship in Doc Oc's name to encourage professors who have a passion for teaching and not just research would be a really wonderful thing. Doc Oc loved to teach, and i think that's why he was such a wonderful instructor and why he touched so many lives.

Posted by: gina hoang at May 17, 2005 10:29 AM

While I didn't know Doc Oc very well, I do know the effect his life had on every student here at Case. Everyone here knows someone who was in a class with Doc Oc. As such any memorial to such a respected and influential man should reflect this. Therefore I propose that one of the new residence halls that are part of the North Side Residential Village be named after our dear departed professor. It would serve as a daily reminder of the man who was a daily influence on our lives.

Posted by: Richard Stroffolino at May 17, 2005 10:30 AM

If I had my way, I would rename the Wittke Award the Ignacio Ocasio Award for Excellence in Teaching. I'm sure that isn't possible becuase of the award's endowment, but why not create an award that is given out regardless of rank, tenure, or permanent position at CWRU? THAT would be something I would be fully supportive of, especially if it was named after Doc.

Posted by: Bobby Detwiler at May 17, 2005 11:49 AM

These are all great ideas - someone else mentioned it too, but a few years ago Doc and I were jokingly talking about naming a building after him. In fact I think this (or something equivalent of - eg a field) is the least we can do as his students, for whom he cared so much.

I firmly believe that money will not be an issue once we collectively decide on what should be done. Perhaps a few people could get together to take care of this (I am currently overseas so it would be quite hard). But for any of you guys still at Case I would suggest 1. making a small committee 2. taking all these ideas 3. gauging them with other students/alumni and 4. carrying out the decision. This way we will not just be talking about it, but ensuring that something will definately be done.

Posted by: Nima Malakooti at May 17, 2005 12:24 PM

These are all great ideas, and in addition to any of them I think we should have Doc Oc's office named in honor of him. It would be an easy task and I'm sure the chem department would be happy to do so. As for the naming of a building, I would be careful... Remember Baker was just torn down and it was far from the oldest building on campus. So whatever the decision it needs to be something that will REALLY last.

Posted by: Mike Helle at May 17, 2005 12:55 PM

I think a teaching award named after Doc would be the best way to go: that was what he was best at and would help later classes grasp just what a great teacher he was (a building is nice but no one remembers who the person is they are named after). I believe this award would be ideal if it was for pure teaching and the entire student body would be allowed to vote for the winning candidate so any potential politics could be bypassed. Twenty years from now a student does not remember how much grant money a professor brought to the school but we remember who impacted us, and I believe an award in Doc's name would show who he was for years to come.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2005 01:18 PM

I think the idea of naming one of the new residence halls for Doc is one of the best ideas so far. Doc Oc was always involved with the students, so what better way of continuing that connection. I am a commuter so wouldn't really benefit from this, but I know any resident would be proud to live in Ocasio Hall.

Posted by: Miriam Tabak at May 17, 2005 02:20 PM

I believe the best way to continue Doc's legacy is to ensure there will always be teachers willing to teach students, not just do research. I strongly believe that endowing a chair in the chemistry department that would seek to bring in an amazing teacher/mentor would go much further to making sure Doc touches future generations, because bulidings are torn down, awards are fleeting, but finding another person to pick up the torch and continue to impact undergrads would be a lasting tribute.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2005 02:29 PM

Doc was hilarious. I remember we had some review for a test where doc would put a question up on the overhead, everybody would have time to answer, and then he'd discuss the answer. Since it was football season, and doc was a big sports fan, apparantly he had gotten the background music that they play while they are showing the weekends games highlights on "sunday night countdown" stuck in his head. During the time that we had to answer the question, he would sing the tune to the song just as loud and agressivelly as it was played during the tv show. Hilarious. He would do some little thing like that would just crack me up at least once a week. What a great, funny guy. Not a bad teacher either. I'm sure the university will miss him.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2005 03:55 PM

Personally, I think it'd be great to remember him in a way that encourages what he was so loved for: his focus on the students. I know that's a politically unpopular thing to say at this research institution, but they made his life difficult for 25 years for his lack of research and publications, now more than ever we need to discourage that bias as it's possible we may never have anyone quite like him again. But if we can start to change the culture of this university at least a little, to not look down on the actual teaching so much, we might encourage more professors to take an active interest like he and a select few others here have. (Research will of course always be a key part of this university, but I think we've gone too far when someone like Doc Oc faces such regular hardship for caring too much about his students.)

How best to encourage that, though, I'm not sure. I like the idea of a professorship position named after him, but to have it focussed solely on teaching would seem to *discourage* research from the holder of that title, and I'm not sure this university could quite stomach anything like that. I also like the teaching excellence award ideas, though I agree it'd mean less when having to compete with the Witke Award. But it does seem a better way to encourage a focus on the students without detracting from research, I'm just not sure it does enough.

What other ways can we think of to get Case to encourage teaching even if at the cost of research? Doc Oc and his reputation pulled more than his weight around here, but because it wasn't measurable in grant money and publications, it went unrecognized in all but the recruiting material. *That* I think is what we should really be trying to achieve, here.

And in response to Mike Helle ...

Naming his office after him is a good idea (assuming that's just a small thing in addition to a bigger way to memorialize him), but your point about Baker applies to your office idea as well. Baker was intended to be a "temporary" building, slated for demolition before it was even finished being built. But what not as many people realize is that the same is true of Millis, though the demolition plans got scrapped. Considering the recent renovations and connection via Havorka to DeGrace & Clapp, they're obviously not considering getting rid of Millis anytime soon, but it's still entirely possible. It's not exactly the most aesthetic building on campus (especially considering it sits right next to Adelbert, though they put up that wall to not have to look at it as much), it could still come down in the forseeable future.

Posted by: Tom Trelvik at May 17, 2005 04:08 PM

Doc did so many things for Case and really idealized what a good teacher and a good community member is. An award in his honor which would encourage good teaching and service is a great idea. Maybe even creating an award for a student who exemplifies great service to Case as well as excellence in academics since that was what he hoped to instill in students.

Posted by: Melissa at May 17, 2005 04:52 PM

Many great ideas, I just wanted to mention another one briefly. The freshman general chemistry lab is currently being entirely torn down and redone from the ground up. I think we should consider naming the new lab when it opens, "Ocasio Lab", with a plaque by the entrance to commemorate the dedication.

Posted by: Ed at May 17, 2005 06:03 PM

While the idea of the teaching award is good, the problem is that the Wittke Award already exists. So, we would need to make the two awards different enough to warrant having a second award. This difference would be possible if the "Doc Oc Award" is an entirely student organized award. Students nominate the professors and then a student committee votes for the winner based on certain criteria that Doc Oc would have held in high esteem (for instance, showing an unusually great devotion for students and teaching).

This way, the students immortalize Doc Oc, while at the same time not taking anything away from the Wittke.

Posted by: Michael Bode at May 17, 2005 06:17 PM

Why limit his name to 1 athletic field, 1 building, or 1 fraternity block when we all know that his contributions affected the campus as a whole. The fact that buildings can be torn down is a good point. Another point is the fact that Doc Oc affected the lives of countless students that passed through Case. In addition, we currently have a large section of campus used for dormitories that we have a clunky, soulless name we use for it. Therefore, with regards to Mr. AA for the name creation, I propose the following: rename the North Residential Village to "Doc Oc Block." What better way for Doc's legacy to live on then to have all incoming freshmen move into a section of campus bearing his name no matter what building they live in or happen to go to class. I believe that is the best way to honor his legacy.

Posted by: Michael Bode at May 17, 2005 06:25 PM

Doc Oc was an amazing person, and truly cannot be replaced.

Posted by: Jameel Chohan at May 17, 2005 10:10 PM

His passion for music and his ingenious way of connecting with chemistry students show what a renaissance man he was. There should be a scholarship for students who have genuine talents and interests in music but are not music majors to underwrite continuing lessons.

Posted by: BarbaraG at May 17, 2005 11:16 PM

Doc Oc was probably one of the most involved professors at the University and spent hours upon hours helping students out from things like chemistry all the way to the hudson relay's. He really will be missed and something on campus: building, or monument, should be named after him in memory of his involvement with the student body and exceptional teaching.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 18, 2005 01:46 AM

When people talk about respect, exceptional teaching, enthusiasm, and school spirit, Doc Oc always come to mind. He was the professor that everyone looked forward to seeing in Chemistry. His office was always open to all students, even those who have moved on to other academic fields. People knew him as the freshmen coach for Hudson Relays, the judge at Mr. CWRU, or the prof locked up in the APO cage. Everyone else knew him as the prof who remembered every incoming freshmen class.

He was truly an inspiration to everyone. I believe his dedication and the many years of contribution to this great University ought to be recognized. One example I can remember was naming the Student Leadership Awards after Dr. Dorothy Pijan who passed away in 2003. (Of course she created these awards back in 1982.) For Doc Oc, a scholarship should be created in his name to recognize his contributions to chemistry and supporting the students. Naming him after a University residence hall or academic building are excellent suggestions but clearly there would be much need to ensure there is enough pressure by current students and alumni to do so. The USG Teaching Awards could be renamed under his name. Another similar award like the Carl Wittke is another good idea.

I hope that some sort of organization or petition is being put together to do this. Anyways, I will always remember his smile and his courageous efforts to improve everyone's lives at this University.


James Chang, Class of 2000

Posted by: James C at May 18, 2005 10:31 AM

Doc Oc was known for his energetic and passionate teaching style. I think it's only appropriate to memorialize him for his dedication through a Teaching Award and/or a Learning Center named for him. He is one of my fondest memories at Case, and by far, one of the best professors I'd ever had.

Elizabeth Shen
CWRU '97

Posted by: Elizabeth Shen at May 18, 2005 01:01 PM

I think the best way to recognize Doc Oc would be with the creation of a TENURE-TRACK, endowed position for a chemistry professor/educator. Doc Oc's legacy is in how he touched the lives of so many with his teaching. It's time to recognize the importance of high quality teaching, not just with kind words but with respect and money.

Posted by: Anon at May 18, 2005 02:08 PM

I know this idea isn't really something the students could do much about, but is more in the hands of the university. One of my family's greatest memories of Doc is how my brother was having serious chemistry troubles at another university and Doc was nice enough to give my brother access to the Mediavision website. My brother did amazingly well in his class after watching Doc's lectures, saying he was the best chemistry professor he'd ever had despite never meeting him.

I was thinking about this because I think Doc's teachings could definetely help out a lot of students at other universities where kids aren't as lucky as we are to have great professors. I don't know what copyright laws and such are on Doc's videos, but if the university really wanted to share his legacy I believe they should make those videos available to the general public (sort of similar to what MIT has done with regards to their courses). What better way to have his legacy not only last at Case but in countless students around the world? Again I don't know the viablility of this but seeing as the videos already exist I don't see why this couldn't be done.

Posted by: Yvette at May 18, 2005 02:12 PM

I like the idea of a building being named after him AND a teaching award. The stadium is not a bad idea either. I guess I just hope the university will remember him for years in the future. I also hope that the university will take seriously the position that he had when considering who to fill it.

Someone who is dedicated solely to research will not be a good professor for that course. With the large amount of students in the fall semester that professor needs to have time to meet with students. Making a tenure track position within that department for a professor for that will definitely be neccassary.

I mainly hope that the university doesn't forget Doc, and everything he did for the campus. He was truly one of the best professors I had in my 5 years on campus.

Posted by: Steven Rash at May 18, 2005 07:59 PM

Doc Oc Block has a nice ring to it, is more permanant than any one building, and probably doesn't cost anything in terms of endowment money, so whatever else is chosen, throwing this in should be a given.

The endowment for a tenure track position for an EDUCATOR is hands-down my favorite idea. If the resources are there, I'd like to see more than one of these created, since the idea is not that we're trying to get another Doc... there'll never be one, but rather that in our loss, we learn what is truly valuable.

Posted by: Ben Yogman at May 19, 2005 03:16 PM

I support the idea of an endowed chair in Doc's name to support a teaching, not researching, professor for first-year chemistry courses. Even at hard-core research universities, there are funded adjunct professors that focus mainly on teaching and not research. I would certainly give money for this purpose.

Frankly, I'm quite surprised the school hasn't set up a memorial fund already with the ultimate aim to be decided in future.

Posted by: Doug Rathburn at May 19, 2005 03:50 PM

there is a memorial fund:

"Lastly, many of you have asked about financial contributions in memory of Doc Oc. We have established a fund, called the "Doc Oc Fund," to honor Prof. Ocasio. We will consult with Doc Oc's family on how best to use your generous contributions. For those of you wishing to participate, make your checks payable to Case Western Reserve University "Doc Oc Fund," and mail to Case's Office of Gifts Administration, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7035." - exerpt from the Doc Oc follow-up email from Dr. Hundert.

Posted by: gina hoang at May 20, 2005 09:25 AM

Would someone please post the follow-up e-mail? We alumni have been kept completely out of the loop...

Posted by: William Sherwin at May 20, 2005 12:10 PM

Dear Case Community,

Saturday's terrible news of the passing of Ignacio Ocasio, "Doc Oc," has brought forth an outpouring of responses from you. In addition to your being in touch with each other, my office has received messages expressing grief for the loss of a teacher and friend who was so close to our hearts. Please know how much I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts in this difficult time.

We've received a number of inquiries about funeral services. Doc Oc will return to his beloved Puerto Rico this evening. The funeral will be held on Wednesday in Puerto Rico, with the wake taking place tomorrow. Arrangements are being made by the funeral home Puerto Rico Memorial, Avenue Ponce de Leon, #1712, Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00910.

The university has created a blog dedicated to the remembrance of Doc Oc. It's available at http://blog.case.edu/dococ/. I encourage you to visit the site to express your feelings, share your memories of Doc Oc, and suggest ways for Case to celebrate and memorialize his legacy.

While we will plan for a memorial service in the fall, as my earlier e-mail indicated, we also have scheduled a time next week for everyone who wants to come out for an informal celebration of Doc Oc's life. Please come to the Hovorka Atrium in the Pytte Science Center at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24.

Lastly, many of you have asked about financial contributions in memory of Doc Oc. We have established a fund, called the "Doc Oc Fund," to honor Prof. Ocasio. We will consult with Doc Oc's family on how best to use your generous contributions. For those of you wishing to participate, make your checks payable to Case Western Reserve University "Doc Oc Fund," and mail to Case's Office of Gifts Administration, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7035.

Very truly,

Edward M. Hundert, M.D.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 20, 2005 12:12 PM

I think an endowed chair in Doc's name would be fitting. Generally, these chairs go to someone who had similar ideals as the person after whom it is named. This would ensure a professor of chemistry who could carry on the tradition of superior teaching and connection with the students in Doc's name. There are plenty of people out there who could easily raise the money for an endowed chair.

Additionally, how about Ocasio Lecture Hall?

Posted by: Anonymous at May 20, 2005 12:48 PM

I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to Jerid Kurtz's tribute to Doc Oc at the graduation ceremony. Suffice to say that was one outstanding tribute for the Doc. May God bless the good Doc and hats off to Kurtz for rousing the grads, alumni and parents into a beautiful send off.

Posted by: Jan Grissom at May 20, 2005 07:19 PM

I was a grad student at Case and had the good fortune to bump-into Doc Oc one day when strolling about campus. I knew he was something special the moment I met him...he seemed to really care about people, even me a complete stranger. Not knowing who he was, I asked him what his name was. I don't always pronounce things well and his name was really tough for me to say...he really had a way when he smiled and put me at ease and said, most people just call me "Doc Oc". I was so struck by him and his pleasant demeanor that I later asked someone about this guy named, "Doc Oc"...the response was immediate...they said he was really something special alright, a gifted teacher and someone who did really care...they told me how he knew the names of all the incoming class and how much he cared. After reading this blog, I can only hope to be as good and dedicated a teacher as Doc Oc was for his students. Thanks for the inspiration Doc! I really hope Case does honor Doc Oc's legacy with a fund of some sort...

Posted by: Andrew Tryba at May 23, 2005 10:20 PM

I like the thought of erecting a bronze statue of my mentor in the middle of the Quad with a plaque summarizing his life. Why enclose his impact and ideals within a building? His legacy should be seen by all: students, professors, and guests of the university.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 24, 2005 02:54 PM

In Doc's home, on his fridge, are tons and tons of magnets from all the places Doc's friends have visited and have been nice enough to bring a token from.

I put forth a magnet wall for Doc, here at Case, a shadow box of all of Doc's magnets...from all of his friends.

Posted by: Joshua "Zee" Zarowitz at May 24, 2005 04:48 PM

Doc.Oc was more than a teacher to us. He was our great instructor but also a friend.. I have no doubt that he was my favorite professor in CWRU and still is.. Thank Doc.Oc for everything he has done for our Chemistry classes..farewell Doc.. Thank you..

Posted by: JinYoung at May 26, 2005 12:18 PM

I still cannot believe Doc is gone. :( I will always remember him - my 'dad' away from home. I will visit him the next time I fly out to Puerto Rico.

Te quiero mucho, Doc. Mis ojos lloran por ti. Descansa en paz.

~Mari (Class of 2001)

Posted by: Viamaris Morales at May 26, 2005 06:52 PM

What do folks think of naming the new Emerging Leaders Program (offered through the office of Student Activities & Leadership)the "Ocasio Emerging Leaders Program"? I know it seems so insignificant, but who better to name a program designed to enhance the first year student experience? Doc was always first in line to support leaders at Case. I know we will miss him terribly in my department.

Posted by: Colleen B-W at May 27, 2005 02:23 PM

I agree you really can't do Doc justice unless you do the life-sized bronze statue, perhaps on the former Baker site to greet incoming students.
He was big on the freshman introduction.
Short of that, the stadium makes more sense than the pathway. It "holds" the students the way Doc did, if you want to be all poetic about it. He loved sporting and spirit events.


Posted by: Jimm at May 27, 2005 02:35 PM

I knew your beloved "Doc Oc" when we were teenagers in Puerto Rico. He was the director of our church choir. Though he was only two years older than most of us, he was great! He respected us and we definitely respected and loved him. He made us sound like "angels". I will always remember "Nachito" on the piano directing us during the Christmas 5:00 AM mass or "Misa de Aguinaldo" (these are masses in honor of the birth of the baby Jesus and are full of typical Puertorrican songs). These masses lasted for a whole week and none of us would dare be absent because we were tired. He never tired either. I know he is in heaven now, because God had sent us an angel and we were very blessed to have known and shared time with him.

Posted by: Haydee M. Rivera at May 29, 2005 07:58 PM

The most vivid memory of Doc Oc that I will always remember is his ability to pick a student out by name from a freshmen class well over 500 students.
I experienced this first hand in Chem 106 my freshmen year, when after dozing off in class, I heard my name "Omer answer the question, please" come booming across the lecture hall in Schmitt Auditorium. I woke up startled. Yet the great man did not embarass me in front of the class.

He was a tremendous asset to CWRU and will be sorely missed.

I would have never been able to pass Dr. Swift's summer Organic Chemistry class without Doc Oc's lectures.
Wherever you are Doc, I wish you the best.

Posted by: Omer S Khan at June 16, 2005 03:31 AM

I first met Doc Oc 12 years ago when I was a freshman at Case. To say I am stunned to hear of his passing is an understatement. I spent a great deal of time with Doc Oc because I had him for freshman chemistry, spent my summer with him taking OChem and eventually became a chemistry major. I realized how he impacted my life like so many others at that time, but in retrospect, many years later I see how he really shaped my entire future and who I have become. As many students have alluded to, even 12 years ago, he had to continually justify his worth to the university even after tenure. As I have moved on in my life and became a surgeon, I have continued to draw on his struggle and have tried to place much emphasis in my own career on encouraging the academic folks around to VALUE teaching in the same way that research is. In many places, it isn't.

Even though buildings, charities, awards in his honor, and statues are all very nice ways to memoralize someone, in a few short years when the last students who had him have left Case, these symbols would become just names on a building, another service day, a statue that people don't pay attention too or some award named after this guy "who was a good teacher." Because I have been around enough academic places, I know that is the reality. Memories fade, interest wears off after the shock is gone.

The challenge for the University is to find the most VALUABLE way to honor perhaps one of the most, if not the most, honorable person to ever be affiliated with CASE. His legacy should be more than some building, award, etc...

I propose as others have that AT MINIMUM an endowment be established using ALUMNI donations to support PURELY TEACHING ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS for full-time Instructors who have a proven commitment to teaching. Perhaps even more important, maybe CASE should take the ultimate lead in honoring teaching an establish criteria for the Ocasio Teaching Tenure Track in any academic department for those who which to dedicate their careers to their students. This is a true lasting legacy even greater than an endowed position. Maybe students of future generations won't know who Doc Oc is, but they will all benefit from him by having a number of professors solely dedicated to teaching who can concentrate on their teaching without fear of not knowing if they will have a job the following academic year or if they will have to have the tenure fight he did. I can think of no greater legacy for such an amazing angel of a man than to make it better for everyone who comes after him, both teacher and student.

Posted by: Rachael Callcut at June 29, 2005 06:14 PM

Doc was an inspiration to all and was one of the finest if not the finest educator at CWRU. For that he should have a statue of his likeness erected near Millis, or on the quad. There should also be a faculty award for excellence in teaching given in his name. Any educator who is considered for this award would need to be an educator first, and a researcher second. They would also need to be of impeccable character, and a terrific human being.

Posted by: Wayne R. Likavec, Ph. D. at June 30, 2005 08:50 PM

How about turning doc's office into an undergrad chem lounge? i mean, everyone was always in his office when he was there, wouldn't it be right for them to stay there even after he is gone?

Posted by: Janice at July 20, 2005 08:02 PM

CWRU will really need to search hard to find someone of his calibre!

As CWRU's entering freshman (Aug '97), Doc Oc was the faculty to meet! As a matter of fact, he would meet you even before you met him. He used to go around dorm rooms introducing himself and trying to remember the many names he had committed to memory before the start of class!

It was pure joy to sit in his class and learn chemistry. He made learning a joy! Future students of CWRU will really miss out on his knowledge, passion for learning and his ability to energize an entire classroom filled with freshman students!!!

May God rest his soul in peace!

Posted by: Mo Aidrus at August 1, 2005 12:53 PM

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