2020 Recap: Our top stories of the year

2020 Recap: Our top stories of the year

Sure, 2020 is a year we’ll look back on with a shudder. The pandemic tested our sense of community and our resolve. A contentious presidential election didn’t help. But scientific achievements, including promising vaccines, give us hope for the new year. And the coronavirus was not the only news in 2020. Stories of groundbreaking research, fascinating Case history and impactful engineering captured the attention of our alumni and friends. We present our 10 most popular stories and videos from 2020.

1.

Explorer scientist: Harry Fielding Reid and the Case tradition of the intrepid professor

Former Dean Tom Kicher ’59, MS ’62, PhD ’65, took us back to frontier days and a bold expedition that established the Case tradition of the explorer scientist. In the Fall 2020 issue of Case Alumnus, he recounted Professor Harry Fielding Reid’s surveying trek to Glacier Bay, Alaska, with students in 1890.

2.


Back to campus cautiously

Students were welcomed back to a different college experience this year. The Fall issue of Case Alumnus offered a glimpse into the new rules and pandemic protocols that everyone would face—and that proved remarkably effective.

3.

An engineer will lead CWRU

In October, the Board of Trustees chose Eric Kaler, the former president of the University of Minnesota,  to succeed Barbara Snyder as university president. Many are excited about what an accomplished chemical engineer will bring to the helm of CWRU.

4.

Engineering in the Great Outdoors

Alumna Kirsten Bowen ’96, the project manager for the $100 million makeover of Cleveland’s Memorial Shoreway, was Exhibit A in our feature on the rising impact of civil engineers. She’s the cover story in the Spring 2020 Case Alumnus

5.

The Big Game

The pandemic made in-person gatherings impossible for Homecoming 2020 but an online event proved to be a good substitute. Hundreds tuned into our broadcast of the epic 1965 football battle between Case Tech and Western Reserve. The video includes reflections from alumni who were there and a halftime interview with current Spartan Coach Greg Debeljak.

6.

Bold science, new blood

Case prides itself on blending science and engineering to create innovations that benefit humanity. That skill is evident in the lab of Anirban Sen Gupta, PhD. The professor of biomedical engineering is developing artificial blood platelets that could save countless lives. He’s the cover story in the Winter 2020 Case Alumnus.

7.

Punch card blues

In each issue of Case Alumnus, we ask an alumnus to share a memory from their Case days. “Long We’ll Remember” has proven to be a popular feature, especially the essay by Warwick Doll, PhD ’70. In the Winter 2020 issue, he recalls the fateful day he crashed the university’s brand new Univac.

8.

From Case to space

Our podcast, Think[box] Radio, showcases leading innovators connected to the Case School of Engineering. One of our favorite shows this year featured alumnus Don Thomas, PhD, a NASA astronaut who is trying to recruit the “Mars generation” to envision the stars. Let him take you there.

9.

Campus guide—Covid edition

The pandemic made our First Year Adventure Guide more challenging to create this year. But we think we succeeded in alerting freshman to the campus sites and diversions they need to know to enrich their Case experience. See if you agree.

10.

What’s it like to take the Covid vaccine?

Ian Charnas ’05, the program director of Sears think[box], may have been one of the first in the world to receive a vaccine against the coronavirus. That’s because he joined a vaccine trial—then shared the experience in a homemade video. Our story and his broadcast make one of our favorite news packages of the year.