The Best of Case

The Best of Case

Celebrating our 2020-2021 award winners

Our annual awards represent the highest honors bestowed by the Case Alumni Association. Because of that, we like to celebrate our honorees in person, at a live ceremony. The pandemic made that impossible last year and the awards program was postponed—which is why we so looked forward to this fall.


At Homecoming and Reunion Weekend October 21-24, we plan to honor seven distinguished alumni and a champion of the Case School of Engineering. The awards program will take place during the 136th annual All Classes Celebration, scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, at Strosacker Auditorium. It will also be live streamed over the Internet. So you can tune-in whether you can be on campus or not.


Please consult our Homecoming 2021 website for the latest updates and for registration.


Here are our 2020-2021 award winners and a summary of why they are worthy of our thanks and admiration.


Gold Medal
Arun Varshneya, MS ’68, PhD ’70

One of the world’s foremost glass scientists and ceramics experts, Arun is renowned for developing chemically-strengthened glass for smartphones and medical devices. Most famously, he helped develop the glass cartridges essential to the operation of the lifesaving EpiPen.


Arun’s company, Saxon Glass Technologies, is the exclusive provider of glass cartridges for the EpiPen, which delivers an anecdote to people suffering severe allergic reactions. 


The professor emeritus at Alfred University is being honored by the Case Alumni Association for his scientific and professional achievements as well as for his support of today’s students. Arun is to receive the Gold Medal, our highest honor bestowed annually.


Samuel Givelber ’23 Award
Ken Barker ’70

Ken, a retired financial analyst, takes full advantage of his snowy white beard. He spends much of the winter bringing joy to people as Santa Claus, often accompanied by his wife, Jennie, who plays Mrs. Claus. He’s also a steadfast supporter of Case students and of the Case Alumni Association, where he serves on the board of directors. Ken’s first involvement with the CAA was on the Investment Committee, where he shared his insight to help grow the endowment.


We can’t think of a more fitting person for the Givelber award, which honors an alumnus who fosters fellowship and human kindness in the Case tradition.


Young Alumni Leadership Award
Arkady Polinkovsky ’08, MS ’10

Arkady became active in the Case Alumni Association while an engineering student and never quit. Despite a demanding job as the Senior Principal Engineer at Altran, he continues to serve Case and its students as an active volunteer. 


Recently, he assumed the chairmanship of the Scholarship Committee, which awards the annual Junior Senior Scholarships and many other scholarships that help outstanding students attain their Case degrees. He is being honored for giving so much to Case at a young age.


Immediate Past President
Sunniva Collins, MS ’91, PhD ’94

Sunniva completed her term as president in June after leading the Case Alumni Association for two years, through a pandemic and into a new beginning. 


She leaves an organization that has been able to increase its support of the school and its students, thanks to generous donors and engaged alumni. We thank her for her service and look forward to her support and guidance in the future.


“It’s been wonderful to be president of this organization,” she said. “But I have heard that being a past president is even better. So I’ll be around.”


Meritorious Service Awards

This year, five men will be recognized for their outstanding service to the alumni association and to Case with a Meritorious Service Award.


Jim McGuffin-Cawley, PhD ’84

Jim, a professor of materials science and engineering and the Senior Associate Dean of the Case School of Engineering, is the ultimate utility player. He has been a member of the engineering faculty for 30 years and never stops taking on new leadership roles. 


Last year, Jim was named Faculty Director of Sears think[box], the acclaimed innovation center that helps to draw top students to Case. Those students, he says, are the reason he devotes himself to the school so passionately.


“I think one of the things you can do as an administrator is to honor the past, the traditions we come from, to really set us up for the future,” he said. “What we want to do is make sure we’re creating the right environment, leading to the right opportunities, for the students of the 21st century.”


Ed McHenry ’67, MBA ’71

Ed has served the Case Alumni Association in many roles as a 13-year member of the board, including a term as president from 2013-2015. He was instrumental in bringing the CAA back to campus in 2011, working with former CWRU President Barbara Snyder to heal the breach and give Case alumni a new home in Tomlinson Hall. With his grandson pursuing an engineering degree at Case, Ed’s ties are as strong as ever.


Jim Kilmer ’00, MSE ’00

You may see him greeting alumni on Case Row at CES, moderating a game show during Engineers Week, or donning a lion costume to greet students at Freshman Welcome. Jim has long been one of the CAA’s most active and creative volunteers, lending his energy and passion for Case to events large and small. That’s in addition to serving 13 years on the Board of Directors.


Steve Hasbrouck ’62

Steve, an active alumnus for more than 50 years and a member of the investment committee, helped to shape an endowment that will assure the future of the CAA for years to come. That’s important to Steve. After launching and leading a successful investment firm, he counts his engineering degree from Case Institute of Technology as one of his proudest achievements.


Daniel Ducoff

As a development officer, Daniel invites people to join projects that will impact science, the community and humanity. He’s done that for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and, most passionately, for the Case School of Engineering. CWRU calls him its Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Global Principal Gifts. We call him a friend who enriches us all.


Information on Homecoming events, including the 136th All Classes Celebration and Innovation ShowCASE, can be found HERE.




Arun Varshneya

Ken Barker

Arkady Polinkovsky

Sunniva Collins

Jim McGuffin-Cawley

Ed McHenry

Jim Kilmer

Steve Hasbrouck

Daniel Ducoff