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Graduate Education Office (GEO) Newsletter

November 25, 2020
in this issue: 

1. GEO Leadership Corner
2. BGSO Announcements
3. BIEC co-hosting with Veale: Financial Forecasting
4. HCG- Information Session Agenda: Enhancing Research and Industry Career Horizons
5. View "Seeds of Discovery" PhD White Lab Coat Ceremony on Youtube
6. Church of the Covenant Thanksgiving Meals with Falafel Cafe
7. Upcoming Seminars


GEO Leadership Corner

We would like to bring your attention to communication from the Interim President and Provost copied below. 

As we have been doing at the SOM throughout the pandemic, we can continue to do our research, but need to do so in the safest manner possible. This means social distancing and doing as much work from home as possible. You should work with your mentors and follow the recommendations provided by the School of Medicine. 

First year students who are doing rotations should follow similar guidelines. That is, work remotely whenever possible. The typical deadline for choosing a thesis mentor is the end of Fall semester. If you have enough information to choose a mentor, you can start the process at any time. However, given the complexities of this year the deadline has been extended to January. Dr. Dubyak will send additional details in the coming days.

Everyone is encouraged to limit travel and gatherings for the Thanksgiving holiday. If you must travel, the guidelines provided by the Provost will need to be followed upon return.

Marvin and Cheryl

Marvin Nieman, PhD, FAHA                                   Cheryl L. Thompson, Ph.D.

Interim Assoc. Dean of Graduate Education          Asst. Dean of Educational Initiatives

Email:                                       Email:


With COVID-19 case counts breaking records in our region, yesterday’s stay-at-home advisory from the city and county provides a real opportunity to slow this devastating surge.

Effective Monday, Nov. 30, we ask that everyone who can work from home effectively stay off campus through Thursday, Dec. 17 (the advisory’s end date).

Of course, some faculty and staff must be present to perform their duties. Aspects of research require in-person handling of equipment, samples and other items. While most classes are remote the week of Nov. 30, some faculty favor teaching from technology-enhanced classrooms. And our health, facilities, security and other staff need to be present to provide a broad range of university services. 

Employees unsure about whether they are expected to report to campus starting Monday, Nov. 30, should confer with their supervisors, chairs or program directors no later than Tuesday, Nov. 24.

For individuals who will continue to work on campus, we will require weekly COVID-19 testing starting Monday, Nov. 30, through Thursday, Dec. 17. We will provide additional details about this process early next week, but provide preliminary information now in our FAQs.

As with masks, physical distancing and other prevention measures, we take these steps to help protect the health of the campus community. For some, contracting COVID-19 can be life-threatening or even fatal. For others, its consequences may not be fully known for years. We must do what we can to stop the pandemic’s spread.

Our Community Commitment emphasizes that we have a collective responsibility to one another. Throughout this semester, you have demonstrated remarkable dedication to its tenets. Thank you for all you have done to keep the campus safe as Case Western Reserve fulfills its mission of education and research. 

We wish you all a wonderful holiday.

Scott Cowen

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President

For COVID-19 updates, please visit our Engagement Hub.

BGSO Announcements


Students of the Semester

Hello fellow students. We are looking for students who have particularly excelled this semester! These accomplishments can be in the classroom, in the lab, in the university broadly, or in the community. You may nominate yourself or a fellow student. Please submit nominations here by November 25th. 

BGSO First-Year Coordinator

The BGSO is looking for a new first year coordinator for the incoming class of BSTP students (starting in February). The role of the first year coordinator is to welcome the incoming BSTP first years to Case Western and to help them have a smooth transition into grad school. This includes providing resources such as housing information, coordinating events (hopefully in person next year), and organizing student panels to inform students about rotations and how to choose a mentor. You also attend BGSO exec board meetings, gaining experience in leadership and student advocacy. Reach out to the BGSO ( if you’re interested!  

General Assembly Meeting

Hello all! BGSO will be hosting its December General Assembly meeting December 3rd at 7PM. Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 944 6356 9069
Passcode: 166541

BSTP Recruitment Volunteer Opportunities

Calling all current PhD students!

BSTP recruitment is quickly approaching--the first virtual interview day is earlier than usual, December 18--and we rely on current students to be the warm and welcoming faces of the School of Medicine. 

Since interviews are entirely virtual this year, the opportunities to be involved in recruitment are slightly different. Here is the link to a sign-up sheet for the various volunteer positions, and here is the link to each job description. There will be four interview “weekends,” one in December, January, February, and March. Jobs include:

- Zoom happy hour/social hour with candidates

- Q&A session about the program, Case, and Cleveland

- recording a “tour” of your apartment

- point of contact for candidates pre- and post-interviews

- on call with Debbie Noureddine to host candidates whose interviewers didn’t show 

Please sign up for as many as you are interested in and could possibly volunteer for. We will not schedule you for all of the slots you sign up for, but it helps us to have multiple options.

 As we iron out the schedule for each activity, we will update the Google spreadsheet and email those who have signed up for the particular duties.

Thank you in advance for your participation! We are grateful for your availability and willingness to give back to the incoming class during what is a tumultuous, uncertain time.


We so appreciate your help!



Brianna Busscher & Rachael Gowen

BGSO Recruitment Chairs

Upcoming Events & Announcements

BIEC co-hosting with Veale: Financial Forecasting

The topic for this session is Financial Forecasting. Please join us December 1st 1pm for this event: 
Financial forecasting is a process used by businesses to estimate or predict their future financial performance. It is a helpful tool to determine the financial position of a company and what actions it needs to take to better meet its goals and targets. By the end of this workshop, you will understand what financial forecasting is, how to create financial forecasts, and how to best utilize them for your business or startup.
This workshop will be taught by Phelan Spence, Deal Flow & Senior Accounting Associate, JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart’s mission is to unlock the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. JumpStart provides support (such as mentoring, investing, and talent attraction) and investment capital directly to diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs in order accelerate their growth as well as advisory services to leaders desiring greater outcomes related to economic development.
To join the Zoom Webinar follow this link:
We will also be broadcasting this workshop and future workshops to LinkedIn Live on CWRU Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship's LinkedIn page on December 1  
Please RSVP to this event on Veales Campus Group page at: If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tessianna Misko.

Click here to download flyer.


Click here to view Youtube video.

Church of the Covenant Thanksgiving Meals with Falafel Cafe

In celebration of Thanksgiving, Church of the Covenant invites you to dine at a distance!  Even though the church is temporarily closed due to Covid-19, Covenant is pleased to partner with Falafel Café to share this meal with you on Wednesday. November 25.  

Please register here to select one entrée - either meat or vegetarian.  LIMITED Meals are available. Once all requests are processed; an email confirmations will be sent to you by Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. with final pick-up instructions.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, pre-registration is required.  If you have any questions, please email Shelley Nelson-Bridger at    

Rev. Shelley Nelson-Bridger

Executive Director/Campus Minister

UPCaM - United Protestant Campus Ministries in Cleveland | @upcamcase

11205 Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH 44106
Located in the Interfaith Center... 
just a short walk from Starbucks on Euclid, inside Church of the Covenant

call/text 513.635.7594
office:216.421.9614 ext. 301

Biotech Entrepreneurship: from Postdoc to Founder

In this webinar, we will share how doctoral recipients and postdocs have built their own companies and how you can start your entrepreneurship journey too!

 Date: 12/2/2020
When: 1:00 p.m. E.T.
Where: Webinar

Click here for more details.

Open EnRICH Internships
Computational Biology Internship (25% office, 75% remote), Trailhead Biosystems, open to all.

Proof reader (remote position), CWRU Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics, open to all.

Part time Research Contractor (remote position), Newry, open to all.

Contact for further details and more opportunities.

Pre-Professional Health Program Seminar

Click here to view the Pre-Professional Health Program Seminar "Career Paths as a Physician Assistant or Certified Anesthesiology Assistant". Please note that you need to sign into your Case zoom account to access video.

New student-run Physical Resource Center


Click here for more details.

FREE NSF Virtual Conferences

Save the Date! Join the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the very first NSF Virtual Grants Conference, to be held during the weeks of November 16 and November 30, 2020.

This event is designed to give new faculty, researchers and administrators key insights into a wide range of current issues at NSF. NSF staff will be providing up-to-date information about the proposal and award process, specific funding opportunities and answering attendee questions.

Registration will be free of charge and opens on Thursday, October 29 at 12 p.m. EST. Each conference session will have its own Zoom registration page. Please sign up only for sessions that you are able to attend. For those who cannot attend the live conference, all recorded conference sessions will be available on-demand shortly after the event. We anticipate the sessions will reach capacity very quickly, so we encourage you to register as soon as possible. We will send an email reminder to our listserv on Wednesday, October 28.

In the meantime, please feel free to check for the most up-to-date information, and view recordings of sessions from last year’s event. You may also contact us via email at


The Huddle provides news and information about our interprofessional education and collaborative practice efforts within and beyond Samson Pavilion and the dental clinic.  Click here to read the latest issue.

Upcoming Seminars

Thursday, December 3rd

Dermatology and Skin Cancer Research Institute Seminar
Akihiro Yoshida, PhD
Instructor, Department of Biochemistry
Case Western Reserve University 
"The efficacy and resistance mechanisms of CDK4/6 inhibitors in melanoma"

8a Zoom

Biochemistry Seminar
Rong Xu, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Founding Director, Center for AI in Drug Discovery
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

"Develop data-driven AI technologies to enable translational biomedical research"
12p Zoom

Neurosciences Seminar 
Gabriella Wolff, PhD
Research Scientist, University of Washington
Assistant Professor, Biology, CWRU (starting January 2021)
"Dopamine Neuromodulation and Differential Learning Across Mosquito Species"

12p Zoom

Upcoming Dissertation Defenses

Angelica Cruz-Lebron,
Molecular Biology and Microbiology Dissertation Defense
Thursday, December 3rd
1:00pm – 3:00pm

"Study of the gut microbiome in human gastrointestinal diseases: Chronic opioid use and inflammatory bowel disease"
Kristin Allan,
Molecular Medicine Dissertation Defense
Thursday, December 10th
10:00am – 12:00pm

"Exploring the Roles of Muller Glia and Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule A in Zebrafish Retinal Regeneration"
Greg Learn
Biomedical Engineering Dissertation Defense
Monday, December 14
1:00 – 3:00pm

"Towards Development of Affinity Polymer-Based Adhesion Barriers for Surgical Mesh Devices"

GEO Wants to Hear From You

Have you published a paper, received a fellowship, or have other exciting news you want to share?  Well, the Graduate Education Office would like to hear you. To submit information to be included in the GEO newsletter, please complete the GEO announcement submission form.
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