Thursday, June 25, 2015

Neuroscience and Biology Major Interns at NASA

Rising senior Christin Godale is spending her summer doing an "out of this world" internship. The neuroscience and biology double major is interning at the NASA Glenn Research Center as a Human Research Project intern doing research on a project called the "Digital Astronaut."

According to Godale, a day in the life of a Human Research Project intern consists mainly of working on visual impairment and intracranial pressure models. These models deal with the effects that long-term exposure to microgravity has on the structure of the eye. The research seeks to explain why many astronauts experience poorer vision after returning from space, as astronaut Mike Kelly discussed with CBS News this week from the International Space Station.

Interning at Glenn has benefited Godale in a variety of ways from developing her critical thinking skills to networking with NASA employees. She also has the unique benefit of using the research that she is doing this summer for her BW neuroscience thesis which she will present in Spring 2016.

Godale hopes to eventually pursue her Ph.D. in neuroscience or cell biology, although her experience at NASA has sparked her interest as a possible career path as well.

BW Alumna Helps Break Barriers; Honored with CWRU Award

A grad who helps break down roadblocks for students with disabilities is shining at Case Western Reserve University. Alumna Grace Clifford has been named CWRU's Division of Student Affairs Outstanding Professional Staff Member of the Year. A two time BW graduate, Clifford earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2009 and is a 2011 graduate of the Leadership in Higher Education master's program.

As the Associate Director of Disability Resources, Clifford is in charge of policy and program development, evaluating student documentation, determining appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities and helping to implement those accommodations. For some students, college is the first time that their disability has been pushed to the point of becoming a barrier.

"I help students understand that having a disability doesn't have to be a burden or a permanent roadblock." Clifford explained, "I am fortunate to work with some hardworking, driven and exceptionally bright individuals." Working with students one-on-one is Clifford's favorite part about her job. She recently became the faculty advisor to a new student group at CWRU that promotes awareness of disability related issues.

Nominated by colleagues, the recipient of the award is someone who exemplifies the Division of Student Affairs values, which include community involvement, diversity, justice and civic engagement.

Alumna Cast on CBS Summer Reality Series, "Big Brother"

It wouldn't be summer without another season of Big Brother on CBS. This season the BW community has a reason to tune in and watch the classic reality show: Meg Maley '12. 

The Music Theatre alumna was cast as one of the 14 houseguests and will spend three months living in the Big Brother house. Maley, a New Jersey native, currently lives and works in the Big Apple. According to her network bio, fellow Big Brother cast members describe her as adorable, sassy, likable and trustworthy. Her biggest fear about being on the show is being bored in the house, since she is so used to her fun and fast paced NYC lifestyle. 

The houseguests remain under constant video surveillance during their time in the house. Every week a houseguest gets evicted and the final houseguest living in the house wins a $500,000 cash prize. Maley is confident that she has what it takes to win, so we will have to watch and see! Season 17 premiered on CBS last night, with the finale anticipated for September 23. Go Meg!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Summer Spent Researching Autism is a Summer Well Spent

Gase is a member of the Baldwin Wallace chapter of the
National Student Speech Language Hearing Association.
Junior Communication Disorders major Jordan Gase is spending her summer working at Akron Children's Hospital as part of the Pediatric Research Scholar's Program through the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute. Gase is one of 12 applicants selected to participate.

The 10-week program is designed to mentor college sophomores and juniors who are considering careers in medical-related fields. While working closely with healthcare practitioners, the students will conduct a variety of research projects that focus on areas throughout the hospital system such as: patient safety, effectiveness of new treatments and technologies, and improving patient's healthcare experience. At the end of the 10 weeks, students will present their research efforts to medical staff members, researchers, invited guests and peers.

Gase's research will focus on "Comparing Hospital-Based vs. Community-Based Pathways to Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder," an topic that aligns with her passions. "I am not only doing research, but I am an advocate for autism," Gase explained, "I'm just really hoping to make an impact, no matter how small, on the field or on someone's life."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Viva Italia! BW Soccer Teams Compete, Bond in Italy

Group photo on the Spanish Steps in Rome
Nine days, five cities and three games. Nothing says "team bonding" quite like traveling to Italy together and the BW Men's and Women's Soccer teams had the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and do just this spring.

After kicking off the trip in Milan, the teams traveled though Italy, stopping in Como, Pisa, Tuscany, Florence and ending in Rome. The players were given time to explore each city and visit famous historical sites such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and The Colosseum in Rome. They also had the once in a lifetime experience to see the Italian soccer teams Juventus and Inter Milan play at the San Siro Stadium in Milan.

Pre-game photo of the Women's team in Sarzana, Italy
Both teams played three challenging games against borderline professional soccer teams along the way. Senior Assistant Coach Louie Rolko explained that "our players were not able to use their athleticism to break these difficult teams down and instead were forced to think through problems." As a result, they developed some great chemistry that will be beneficial during the upcoming season.

Off the field, Rolko noticed social bonding, as well.  Junior Justin Ball summed up his experience in Italy this way: "The trip allowed for all of us to be together for an extended period of time which did a world of good for all of us and I believe that now I am closer to every member of both teams."

Alumnus Brews Up Booming Businesses

Alumnus Paul Benner (Left) and partner Justin Carson. Photo courtesy of Crain's Cleveland.
"Shop local" has become a leading movement in and around the city of Cleveland. Within the last few years local farms, clothing companies, bakeries and breweries have greatly contributed to the development of Cleveland's growing economy. Paul Benner, a BW alumnus with an entrepreneurship degree, has taken advantage of the "shop local" movement and built a successful business model around a passion for craft beer.

Benner and his partner Justin Carson opened Platform Beer Company in July of 2014. Located in Ohio City on Lorain Ave., the brewery celebrates local businesses and home beer brewing. Described by Benner as a "sensory experience," customers can sit at the bar and see, smell and hear the beer being brewed right in front of them. Just shy of it's one year anniversary, Platform Beer Co. has already become a mainstream brand and can be found on the shelves of 80 bars and 50 grocery stores in the area.

The business has also been featured in The Plain Dealer/, Cleveland MagazineCrain Cleveland Business and Cleveland Scene, just to name a few.

Craft-beer drinkers from around Northeast Ohio recently voted on their favorite local breweries at and Platform Beer Co. was ranked fourth, an impressive accomplishment for such a young company. Voting has reopened in order to select the best Northeast Ohio craft brewery out of the list of 10. You can cast your vote for Platform Beer Co. here and/or follow the company on Facebook for updates and news. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Life Changing International Travel Marks May Term

Close to 60 students and five faculty members packed their bags and spent May term abroad on three very exciting and very different international experiences in China, London and Costa Rica.

Twenty-one students and two faculty members, Professor John Fuehrer and Dr. Liya Wang, traveled to China for a three week business and sociology-based exploration for students who took the Modern China course during the Spring 2015 semester.  Students focused on what it's like to do business in China's major cities and how understanding cultures can help when doing business globally. Students also visited cultural sites including the Great Wall, Forbidden City and different temples and monasteries. Other highlights of the trip included experiencing a new culture and trying different kinds of food.

The theatre Seminar in London was a nine day theatre tour that exposed students to a variety of theatrical performances as well as the history of the London theatre and the city in general. Twenty-three students traveled with two faculty members, Professors Jeff Herrman and Bob Taylor. The students attended eight shows in a variety of London locations, including The Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare's plays were performed in the 1600's. They also toured the city and visited different museums.  For many, visiting Stratford, where Shakespeare was born and laid to rest was a unique and favorite part of the trip.

BMC Photography
For 12 days, 14 students and biology professor Dr. Chris Stanton, explored the biology and sustainability of Costa Rica and the country-wide sustainability progress that has been made in 2015. The group traveled the country by bus and did a variety of activities such as hiking, boating and community service projects all while interacting with the locals, learning about the culture and seeing the various habitats and wildlife. One day was spent zip lining through the Tropical Dry Forest.

For more stunning photos from the trip, you can visit this Costa Rica Facebook gallery posted by recent BW studio art grad and owner of BMC Photography, Brittney Callahan '15.

Studying abroad at Baldwin Wallace allows students to enhance their personal growth, educational experience and career development. BW is part of the national "Generation Study Abroad" initiative and working toward doubling the percentage of students who gain this life-changing experience by 2019.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Student Leaders Join White House Climate Change Dialogue

Ashley King (left) and Tammy Blankenship attended The White House Youth Leadership Conference on Climate Change

When The White House convened a summit on climate change for select college student leaders on June 2, Baldwin Wallace student body president, Ashley King '16, and sustainability major, Tammy Blankenship '16, had a seat at the table. The pair plugged into the conversation as representatives to the White House Youth Leadership Conference organized by the National Campus Leadership Council (NCLC).

Student body presidents and sustainability advocates from colleges around the U.S. met to discuss campus sustainability including best practices and challenges ranging from funds, to education, to student behavior. Under the hashtag #ActOnClimate, conferees were invited to meet with an impressive list of key administration officials, including EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, and senior White House advisor Brian Deese.

"The conference was great to learn about White House initiatives on climate change, while also learning about what other colleges are achieving and where BW stands in its accomplishments compared to these other institutions," Blankenship reports.  "Someone did the math and we found out that all of the universities present at this conference represented 1.2 million people in the U.S.--pretty astounding!"

“I enjoyed this experience because it allowed me to take part in a national conversation that impacts BW students and allows me to bring ideas back to our campus to make a difference,” said King, a Ravenna, Ohio native double majoring in health care management and human resource management.

Blankenship, who hails from Rocky River, Ohio, is on track to earn both the human and social science and science of BW's sustainability majors.
White House Senior Advisor Brian Deese (front and center) met student leaders at the White House Climate Youth Summit; look for BW's Ashley King and Tammy Blankenship in the middle of the pack

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Alumnus Breaks Barriers and Makes History

Randell McShepard '86, first black president of Cleveland's Union Club - Courtesy Marvin Fong / The Plain Dealer
BW alumnus and trustee Randy McShepard '86 has broken a longstanding barrier and made history as the first African-American president of Cleveland's exclusive Union Club. McShepard told The Plain Dealer he'll work to recruit more minorities to the club, founded in 1872 by Cleveland's white wealthy elite, and didn't admit women as members until 1983.

"A lot of conversations I've had over the years have been with people surprised to hear that I'm a member of the Union Club either because of personal experiences or stories they've heard over the years," said McShepard, a 50-year-old Beachwood resident. "They're pleasantly surprised to hear that I'm a member of the board, and they're thrilled to hear that I've been selected as president.

"My responsibility is to harness that excitement by recruiting more minorities and making them feel welcome," he told the paper.

As the vice president of Community Affairs for RPM, Inc., a worldwide specialty coatings company, he is primarily responsible for coordinating external and governmental affairs for the company. McShepard holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and communications from BW and a master's degree in urban studies from Cleveland State University.