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Graduate Education Office (GEO) Newsletter

January 6, 2021
in this issue: 

1. GEO Leadership Corner
2.  BGSO Announcements
3. COVID Town Hall for School of Medicine
4. SEVP Guidance for Spring 2021
5. Jan 21 Global Career Chat: Dr. Block, Notch Therapeutics
6. Congratulations to Xu Han for her illustrated review
7. Applied Anatomy Q&A Session
8. Upcoming Seminars


GEO Leadership Corner

Happy 2021!

New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday.  I love how it affords us the chance to stop, reflect, plan and re-engage.  I love the idea of a fresh start.  After a, let’s just say, non-traditional year, many of us need a chance to start over.  Many of us had good things happen in 2020 and now have the opportunity to build on that.  Wherever you are in your career path, I encourage you to make some professional resolutions.  Let’s put 2020 behind us and take the time to think about what you hope to change, continue to do well or do even better in the upcoming year and make 2021 amazing.  And let us know how we can help you!


Cheryl L. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Educational Initiatives, School of Medicine
Associate Professor
Department of Nutrition

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center


BGSO Announcements


Student of the Semester

Congratulations to Victoria Laney! She is the winner of the Student of the Semester! She has been heavily involved within the Biomedical Engineering Program this year. She has participated and co-organized recruitment efforts. Further, she has spearheaded the formation and is current President of the Underrepresented Minorities in BME. As President, she has pushed for change within her program as well as providing a valuable resource for students within the BME program. We would like to thank Victoria for all of her incredible contributions!

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!  


BSTP Recruitment Volunteer Opportunities

Calling all current PhD students!
BSTP recruitment is quickly approaching, and we rely on current students to be the warm and welcoming faces of the School of Medicine. (Please note new date changes: the Jan. 8 recruitment day has been postponed to JAN. 15, and the second recruitment date has been moved to JAN. 29. Thanks for your flexibility in this matter.)
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,” two in January (15th and 29nd) and one in February (12th) and March (19th). 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. If you have questions, please email or
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 Co-Chairs


2021 Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (BGSS)

After a successful 2020 Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (BGSS), we're ready to plan next year's event! If you are interested in being a member of the organizing committee, please fill out the attached google form. Those interested will meet early 2021 to transition in the new subcommittees.


Upcoming Events & Announcements

COVID Town Hall for School of Medicine
As we begin 2021, please mark your calendar and join us for a virtual Town Hall. A panel of experts will review recent COVID news, operations and logistics for School of Medicine faculty and staff on Thursday, January 7 at 9 a.m.

Join the Town Hall
ID: 99681619053
Passcode: 876837

The live Zoom meeting is limited to 500 attendees, first-come, first-served. The meeting will be recorded and we will send a link to the recording to all School of Medicine faculty and staff.

We have allowed for an expanded Q&A session and welcome your questions via the Zoom chatbox.

For anyone unable to attend, please pre-submit your questions to Susan Reichert here

SEVP Guidance for Spring 2021

I wrote in December about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announcement that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s (SEVP) would continue to apply its fall 2020 federal guidance through spring 2021. As a result, international students will be able to engage in distance learning that exceeds existing regulatory limits in light of the pandemic’s ongoing public health risks and safety concerns. 

ISS’ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates website now includes information about Spring 2021 SEVP Guidance.  Please take your time when reading this information and pay particular attention to how the status of your SEVIS record in Spring 2020, when the COVID-10 guidance was released, determines your options for maintaining status in Spring 2021.

We understand that this information is complicated and can affect students’ academic plans.  We also acknowledge that students may need assistance in evaluating their individual circumstances for maintaining status.  ISS is here to help.  Email your questions to and we will do our best to support you.

We hope you are enjoying a restful winter break and look forward to supporting you in 2021!

Best Regards,

Marielena Maggio, M.A.
Director, International Student Services, PDSO & ARO


Xu Han from Marvin Nieman's lab in Pharmacology has published an illustrated review. An excellent example of how to combine science and art.

Jan 21 Global Career Chat: Dr. Block, Notch Therapeutics

The University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, invite you (for free!) to monthly Global Third Thursdays Career Chats hosted by Dr. Nana Lee.
Please look out for future monthly invites from Dr. Nana Lee's LinkedIn and Twitter (@NanaLee03).

The guest for this month on Jan 21 at 7-8 pm EST is Dr. Gregory Block, Senior VP of Corporate Development, Notch Therapeutics.

To register, follow the link on this page:


Nana Lee on LinkedIn: Evening Career Chat with Host Nana Lee Featured Bioscience career
Open to all global #graduatestudents & #postdocs: Career Chat Third Thursdays with Nana Hosts Dr. Gregory Block on Thursday, Jan 21st at 7-8 pm EST. #professionaldevelopment...

Recordings of previous guests include:
Jethro Prinston, MSc at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals "How I Landed my Biotech Job during Covid"
Peng Leong, PhD, MBA at Bioage, Chief Business Officer 
Julie Shi, PhD at Bristol Myers Squibb - recording coming soon on GLSE youtube channel.

Applied Anatomy Q&A Session

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
2:00 PM until 3:00 PM

Time and time again, our students tell us our Master of Science in Applied Anatomy program prepared them to take the next step in achieving their academic and professional goals in medicine and health care. 

As our March 1 Fall application round nears, we invite you to join our question and answer session to hear directly from current students and Dr. Darin Croft, a professor, and the faculty program director. Learn how a degree in anatomy can propel you in your academic journey, and how to submit your best application.

Click here to register.


19th NPA A
nnual Conference

The virtual event, set for April 15-16, 2021, will be easy to join from across the nation or around the world. Attendees are provided with the opportunity to enhance their professional development and leadership skills. Register now for the largest educational conference and networking event dedicated to the postdoctoral community.

The NPA Annual Conference is the largest national conference and networking event dedicated to the postdoctoral community. Conference attendees - postdoctoral scholars, administrators, faculty, and representatives from disciplinary societies, industry, and corporations - are provided with the opportunity to gather and enhance their professional development and leadership skills.

Click here for more details.

Intersection Science Fellows Symposium

 We are very proud to support the Intersection Science Fellows Symposium together with many other outstanding institutions (follow web-link below).

The Symposium will be held virtually on January 6 – 8. Please save the date.

The main goals of this cross-institutional symposium are to showcase the outstanding research of postdocs in the biological sciences, including those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia, and to support the scientific and professional development of the next generation of academic faculty.  Head to for more details.

For postdocs:
·         Review the eligibility criteria (via the website) and consider applying!
·         Register to attend the Symposium (via the website)
·         Forward to fellow postdocs to help spread the word about this important initiative.
·         Consider volunteering to serve on the selection, programming and advertising committees - please direct inquiries to


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.

The Pulse
The Pulse, the School of Medicine's newsletter, where you can keep current with latest news from the school every month. If you have news to share in future issues, submit your story here.  Watch for The Pulse in your inbox each month, stay informed and enjoy!  Click here to read latest SOM news.

Upcoming Seminars

Thursday, January 7th

Neurosciences Seminar 
Evan Deneris, PhD
Professor and Vice-Chair, Neurosciences

"Building and maintaining an expansive neurotransmitter system one stage at a timey"
12p Zoom
Friday, January 8th

Cancer Center Seminar
Hannelore Heemers, PhD
Associate Staff, Center for GU Malignancies Research
Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine
Member, GU Malignancies Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
"Alternative Treatment Strategies for Prostate Cancer"

12p Zoom

Upcoming Dissertation Defenses

Daniel Leonard,
Pathology Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, March 9th

"B56 Containing PP2A Holoenzymes: From Substrate Specificity and Pathologic Dysregulation to Therapeutic Potential"

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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