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August 31, 2015

Topic of the next “Talking Foreign Policy” program: The Iran nuclear accord




News Release: Monday, August 31, 2015



CLEVELAND—The next one-hour broadcast of Talking Foreign Policy occurs at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4. Case Western Reserve University School of Law Dean Michael Scharf and the program’s panelists consider the Obama Administration’s nuclear accord with Iran. Congress is expected to debate it soon.

Scharf describes the negotiated Iran nuclear accord topic as complex, timely and important. The program considers the accord’s rationale, potential benefits and risks. There has been substantial opposition to this agreement in Congress.

The deal potentially provides Iran with relief from economic sanctions in exchange for 15 years of strict international controls on its nuclear program. In Congress, a vote is expected on a resolution disapproving the deal. It will be an uphill battle for Republicans to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary to override a presidential veto.

Scharf, director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, created and hosts Talking Foreign Policy, a program produced by Case Western Reserve University and Public Broadcasting Service station WCPN ideastream, FM 90.3.

Joining Scharf in the discussion are Professor Milena Sterio, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where she is associate dean; CWRU Law School Associate Professor of Law Avidan Cover, who directs the school's Institute for Global Security Law and Policy; Paul Williams, president of the Public International Law and Policy Group in Washington, D.C., and military issues and international law expert Professor Michael Newton, from Vanderbilt Law School.

The live stream of the broadcast is available at: wcpn.ideastream.org/programs/live-wcpn

A video of the program will be available for subsequent viewing at:
law.case.edu/TalkingForeignPolicy


Posted on Think by Marvin Kropko at 06:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

August 31, 2015

Library Endowment Fund Namesakes - Smith Family Supported Funds

Ruth W. Helmuth was the first University Archivist for Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), serving 1964-1985. In 1980 Lucia Smith Nash, university trustee, established the Archives Endowment Fund to be used at the discretion of the Archivist for the Archival Administration education program or the needs of the Archives. In 1986, with additional funds from Mrs. Nash and Mrs. Helmuth's brothers Paul and Carl Walter, the fund was renamed the Ruth W. Helmuth Archives Endowment Fund to support the University Archives.

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Ruth W. Helmuth

In July 2006 the University Archives became a unit of Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) and in 2011 joined with the Special Collections department and the Preservation department to form Scholarly Resources and Special Collections. Mrs. Nash, her sister Cara Smith Stirn, and her mother, Eleanor Armstrong Smith, had been strong supporters of KSL. In addition to providing earlier funds for the library building, in 1998 the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Charitable Fund made a $1.2 million gift to KSL for endowed fund. In 1999 the Board of Trustees approved the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Collections Endowment Fund and the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Memorial Endowment Fund for Kelvin Smith Library. These funds currently support purchases for Special Collections and the upgrading of Digital Case, the university’s digital repository.

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Eleanor A. Smith and Lucia Smith Nash

Posted on Recollections from the Archives by Helen Conger at 07:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Things

August 31, 2015

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell

Coupling with perovskite solar cell holds potential for cleaner cars and more

News Release: Aug. 31, 2015


Consumers aren’t embracing electric cars and trucks, partly due to the dearth of charging stations required to keep them moving. Even the conservation-minded are hesitant to go electric in some states because, studies show, if fossil fuels generate the electricity, the car is no greener than one powered with an efficient gasoline.

Charging cars by solar cell would appear to be the answer. But most cells fail to meet the power requirements needed to directly charge lithium-ion batteries used in today’s all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University, however, have wired four perovskite solar cells in series to enhance the voltage and directly photo-charged lithium batteries with 7.8 percent efficiency—the most efficient reported to date, the researchers believe.

The research, published in the Aug. 27 issue of Nature Communications, holds promise for cleaner transportation, home power sources and more.

“We found the right match between the solar cell and battery,” said Liming Dai, the Kent Hale Smith Professor of macromolecular science and engineering and leader of the research. “Others have used polymer solar cells to charge lithium batteries, but not with this efficiency.”

In fact, the researchers say their overall photoelectric conversion and storage outperformed all other reported couplings of a photo-charging component with lithium-ion batteries, flow batteries or super-capacitors.

Perovskite solar cells have active materials with a crystalline structure identical to the mineral perovskite and are considered a promising new design for capturing solar energy. Compared to silicon-based cells, they convert a broader spectrum of sunlight into electricity.

In short order, they have matched the energy conversion of silicon cells, and researchers around the world are pursuing further advances.

Dai’s lab made multilayer solar cells, which increases their energy density, performance and stability. Testing showed that, as desired, the three layers convert into a single perovskite film.

By wiring four lab-sized cells, about 0.1 centimeter square each, in series, the researchers further increased the open circuit voltage. The solar-to-electric power conversion efficiency was 12.65 percent.

To charge button-sized lithium-ion batteries, they used a lithium-ion-phosphate cathode and a lithium-titanium-oxide anode. The photoelectric conversion and storage efficiency was 7.8 percent. Through 10 photo-charge/galvanostatic (steady current) discharge cycles lasting nearly 18 hours, the technology maintained almost identical discharge/charge curves over all cycles, showing high cycling stability and compatibility of the components.

“We envision, in the not too distant future, this is a system that you could have at home to refuel your car and, eventually, because perovskite solar cells can be made as a flexible film, they would be on the car itself,” said Jiantie Xu, who, with Yonghua Chen, is an equally contributing first author of the study. Both are macromolecular science and engineering research associates in Case School of Engineering.

The researchers are developing small-scale prototypes and working to further improve the perovskite cell’s stability and optimize the system.


Posted on Think by Kevin Mayhood at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

August 26, 2015

CWRU, NASA and fire departments team to protect firefighters


News Release: Aug. 26, 2015


During the next three years, researchers at Case Western Reserve University will team with NASA Glenn Research Center and firefighters nationally, from Cleveland to Oregon, to design and test sensors aimed at protecting firefighters from respiratory damage and illnesses.

The Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the group a $1.5 million Assistance to Firefighters/Fire Prevention and Safety Grant to make prototypes.

The sensors will alert structural and wildland firefighters of hazards in the air after they’ve entered the phase called “fire overhauling or mop up.” At this stage, the main fire in buildings, forests or open land have been knocked down and their duties include cleaning up, detecting and preventing secondary fires and managing other tasks.

Firefighters often remove their self-contained breathing apparatus during overhaul, based on readings from their carbon monoxide detectors. But recent studies, including one by members of this research group, found the firefighters may be exposing themselves to particulates and toxins that could cause respiratory problems.

The sensors will expand on NASA’s compact particulate and gas sensors used to detect fire in the International Space Station to also recognize and alert users to toxic gases, including formaldehyde and acrolein.

“The sensors used in space detect harmful particulates, but the gases are limited to major species such as oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons,” said Fumiaki Takahashi, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve, and leader of the effort.

Chung-Chiun Liu, the Wallace R. Persons Professor of Sensor Technology and Control in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Case Western Reserve, will develop additional sensors to detect formaldehyde and acrolein gases, Takahashi said.

Formaldehyde is in building materials such as pressed wood, particleboard, plywood and foam insulation. It’s found in fungicides and industrial disinfectants, and is released during forest fires and when lumber, tobacco, gasoline, methane and oil are burned. Exposure causes eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, and long-term exposure to high levels causes cancer.

Acrolein is used in pesticides, herbicides and fungicides and in the process of making acrylic acid. It also forms when tobacco, wood and fuels such as gasoline and oil are burned. The chemical was used as a weapon during World War I, causing lung and skin damage.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation in Quincy, Mass., will help in forming a balanced and diverse technical panel that includes fire service representatives and appropriate subject matter experts, this fall.  The panel will provide external evaluation and guidance on the project.

The researchers, who include Makel Engineering in Chico, Cal., will integrate the toxic gas sensor with NASA’s compact sensors in a small and light unit that can be hand-held or worn outside protective gear.
They’ll test the units in Case Western Reserve and NASA labs.

The Cleveland Division of Fire, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue in Greater Portland, Ore., and U.S. Forest Service will then test them in the field.

The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations. In 2005, Congress reauthorized funding for FP&S and expanded the eligible uses of funds to include Firefighter Safety Research and Development.



Posted on Think by Kevin Mayhood at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

August 22, 2015

Some Quick Tips for the Coming Year + Some ILL Statistics

Just a short list of recommendations on how to make the best of your interlibrary loan services as the academic year commences...

* Always be sure to avoid requesting materials when they are already available in the collections of Kelvin Smith Library, other CWRU campus library systems or OhioLINK member institutions, or in accessible electronic resources to which we subscribe.

* Submit your ILL requests well in advance of the time you need them for your research. We often can provide materials in very short order, but there are always those items that require additional time and effort to obtain.

* Pick up your loaned items as soon as possible from the KSL Service Center, to make the best use of them. ILL returnable materials always have fixed due dates, so the quicker you check them out, the longer you'll have to use them.

* Return your loans as soon as you can once you have finished using them, or submit a request for renewal just before the due date if the items are eligible for an extension.

* Retrieve your electronically delivered articles as soon as possible. You normally have only up to 30 days past the time of delivery to do this, so if you wait too long they may be gone for good.

* Please pay attention to the e-mail notifications we regularly send out to you. Overdue notices and pick-up reminders are routinely dispatched to our users, and ignoring them may result in loss of access to borrowed items, or worse yet, suspension of your ILL privileges.

Thank you all for keeping these in mind as the 2015-2016 school year begins, so we may better serve your research needs.

And now, for your curiosity and personal edification, we present...

Continue reading "Some Quick Tips for the Coming Year + Some ILL Statistics"

Posted on Carl's ILLiad Blog by Carl Mariani at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Policies | Recommendations | Services

August 20, 2015

Engineering Standards Workshop

Technical standards are recognized as essential for industry and have a great impact on the global economy and economic growth. Standards can be found in how material is processed, how it is tested, it governs devices and usage in fields ranging from medical to recreational equipment, electronics to energy. The value to industry makes them an important part in engineering education.

A result of collaboration between Kelvin Smith Library, Graduate Materials Society, Case School of Engineering Division of Engineering Leadership and Professional Practice, Case Alumni Association, and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Engineering Standards Workshop brings together standards developing organizations, Case faculty, and students for discussions on the role of standards to engineering students, faculty, and professional engineers in general.

Join us to learn about standards and for a chance to ask questions and network.

Event Title: Engineering Standards Workshop
Location: Ford Auditorium, Allen Memorial Medical Library
Date: September 2, 2015
Time: 4:00-6:30 pm


For more information, please check researchguides.case.edu/standards/workshop or contact Daniela Solomon at dxs594@case.edu or 216-368-8790.


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Posted on KSL News Blog by Mahmoud Audu at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Events & News @KSL

August 20, 2015

Cramelot Cafe Fall 2015 Semester Hours

Welcome and Welcome Back to KSL! Stop by our Cramelot Cafe for something to eat and drink while you study and research!

Regular Business Hours (beginning Monday, August 24th)

Monday - Thursday: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Friday: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM

For more information, please visit the cafe's website: http://library.case.edu/ksl/aboutus/kslcafe/

Cramelot Cafe blog post Fall 2015 image to use.jpg

Posted on KSL News Blog by Mahmoud Audu at 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Events & News @KSL

August 12, 2015

New contrast agent spotlights tiny tumors and micrometastases

Considered a step toward earlier detection and treatment

News Release: Aug. 12, 2015


Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent that detects much smaller aggressive breast cancer tumors and micrometastases than current agents can identify.

“Currently, there is no imaging technology in clinical use that can detect tumors or metastases smaller than 2 millimeters in diameter,” said Zheng-Rong Lu, professor of biomedical engineering and leader of the research. “This can detect them as small as 300 microns—a few hundred cells.”

Metastasis is the most common cause of breast cancer deaths. Scientists believe early detection and treatment of primary and metastatic tumors increases the chances of survival.

The research is published in today’s Nature Communications. Lu spent a decade developing and testing imaging agents. He worked with Case Western Reserve University research associate Dr. Zhuxian Zhou, PhD students Mohammed Qutaish, Zheng Han, Rebecca Schur and Yiqiao Liu and fellow biomedical engineering professor David Wilson.

The key to earlier detection is a small peptide gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent that binds to molecular markers, called fibrin-fibronectin complexes. The complexes are expressed in high-risk primary tumors and metastases.

The small peptide is a chain of five amino acids. Called CERKA for short, the peptide doesn’t attach to healthy tissues. But in metastatic tumors and aggressive primary tumors—especially those preparing to metastasize—more fibronectin is expressed and more image contrast generated, the researchers found.

“We not only detect the tumor, but detect it’s aggressiveness,” Lu said.

The engineers tested the agent on mice bearing breast cancer metastases. Signals generated during a molecular MRI showed the agent was effective at delineating primary tumors and micrometastases in the lung, liver, lymph node, adrenal gland, bone and brain as small as 300 micrometers. The agent increased the signal output from metastases by 77 percent to 122 percent.

The engineers confirmed the findings using Wilson’s high-resolution fluorescence cryo-imaging system, which is sensitive enough to identify single cancer cells, but unusable on human patients.

Lu and his colleagues plan to pursue tests proving the agent is safe and hope to begin clinical trials within three years. A biodistribution test previously done showed the agent clears the body in eight hours, about the same time as current clinical contrast agents.

The researchers are also working to make the agent more tumor-specific, starting with tweaking the technology to detect prostate cancer.



Posted on Think by Kevin Mayhood at 08:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

August 11, 2015

Legal research paper: United States has a common law trust obligation to African-Americans 150 years after slavery ended

Case Western Reserve University School of Law faculty member Ayesha Bell Hardaway began reparations research as CWRU law student




News Release: Tuesday, August 11, 2015



CLEVELAND—This year marks the 150-year anniversary of the abolition of slavery in America. Over the years, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts to secure reparations for African-American slave descendants.

According to Ayesha Bell Hardaway, visiting assistant professor of law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, establishing a common law trust relationship between the United States and African-Americans can be one legal approach to reparations.

Her Social Science Research Network legal research paper, "The Breach of the Common Law Trust Relationship between the United States and African Americans – A Substantive Right to Reparations," will be published this year in New York University Review of Law & Social Change.

"It’s a controversial topic that presents important legal issues," Hardaway said. "Some of the most brilliant minds have worked diligently to find the best legal approach to establishing the reparations claim. This is not a paper about how to fund and manage the disbursement of reparations, but it is focused on establishing that slave descendants are owed."

Her research makes the argument that a common law trust was created between African-Americans and the United States government at the end of slavery for which compensation is still required.

“The basis for the rule of jurisprudence that comprises American common law is found in customs and court decisions, not statutory law,” Hardaway said. “A trust under the common law requires a trustee, a beneficiary and a trust corpus—the thing of value being held in trust.”

Hardaway began researching the legal aspects of reparation as a law student at Case Western Reserve School of Law about 12 years ago, with guidance from former CWRU Law Professor William M. "Chip" Carter Jr., now dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

In her research, Hardaway compares the experiences of the nation’s Native-American and African-American populations. She finds that a common law trust relationship can and should be a vehicle for establishing an equitable right to African-American post-slavery reparation claims. To secure those damages, a viable waiver of sovereign immunity must be established, she writes.

According to Hardaway, existing Native-American trust case law supports the argument that a common law trust relationship and any subsequent breach of those duties provide plaintiffs a right to an accounting from the government, as well as a substantive right to monetary damages.

A key to her analysis is the role of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, generally referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau. It was established on March 3, 1865, but only existed until 1872. The bureau assumed custody of confiscated lands and property in the former Confederate States for the benefit of the freedmen.

“By establishing the bureau, the government became the trustee" Hardaway said. “When the government allowed the bureau to cease, it then breached its fiduciary duty to African-Americans by sanctioning laws and policies harmful to the former slaves.”

About that breach, she writes: “As a result, racial hierarchy is firmly entrenched in American society. That hierarchy is evident in current American education, justice and economic systems.”

Before joining the law school faculty, Hardaway was an assistant county prosecutor in Ohio and later practiced civil litigation for a national Cleveland-based law firm.


Posted on Think by Marvin Kropko at 05:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

August 07, 2015

One Family’s Century at CWRU

This summer the University Archives received a request from Ellen Wagner, whose son is entering CWRU this fall. Family memory holds that several of our new student’s ancestors had attended Case Western Reserve University and Ms. Wagner wondered if we could provide any information about their student days. This is not an unusual request for the Archives and legacy families are not unusual at CWRU. But the Loeb descendants were the first (to our knowledge) to incorporate student information from the Archives into a presentation at a multi-generation family reunion. Their enthusiasm was infectious and, with the family’s permission, we’re sharing a little of their story.

When Robert Wagner starts classes at CWRU later this month, it will be 100 years after his great-grandfather, Everett E. Loeb, started classes at Adelbert College, the undergraduate men’s college of Western Reserve University. In addition to his B.A. from Adelbert, Mr. Loeb also received the L.L.B. from WRU’s Law School. Everett served as president of the Menorah Society, established by Adelbert students interested in Jewish history, ideals, and problems.

Sylvia Loeb Harris, Robert’s great-great-aunt (Everett’s sister) was a 1918 graduate of WRU’s College for Women (later Flora Stone Mather College).

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Everett E. Loeb (Adelbert 1919, Law 1921) and Sylvia Loeb (College for Women 1918)

The second generation included two of Everett’s daughters, Virginia Loeb Kiine (Mather College 1948) and Nancy Loeb Jacobs (Applied Social Sciences 1953) and Virginia’s husband, Larry H. Kline (Case School of Applied Science 1945). Members of the second generation were active participants in student activities. Virginia was both treasurer and vice president of the El-Ed Club, president of Rho Delta Chi, at that time Mather’s newest sorority, and secretary of the Inter-Sorority Council. Larry was a member of Pi Sigma Delta fraternity, worked on the student yearbook, The Differential, and was a member of Case’s Debate Club.

The third generation expands to Robert’s father’s family via his uncle, Gregory P. Wagner (Weatherhead School of Management 2002).

The fourth generation, Robert Wagner, starts the family’s second hundred years at CWRU.

One hundred years. Four generations. Seven schools.

Posted on Recollections from the Archives by Jill Tatem at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: People

August 04, 2015

Weatherhead School of Management offers new online course about coaching with compassion

“Conversations that Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change”



News Release: Tuesday, August 4, 2015



Behavioral and neuroscience research shows that coaching with compassion helps inspire and motivate people to learn, change and be effective leaders.

Case Western Reserve University faculty members Ellen Van Oosten, Melvin Smith and Richard Boyatzis at the Weatherhead School of Management’s Department of Organizational Behavior will offer a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through Coursera beginning Oct. 5, titled “Conversations that Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change.’’

View this link:
(https://www.coursera.org/course/coaching)

The five-week course builds upon concepts introduced in Boyatzis’ internationally popular MOOC “Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence.” That previous course, while very helpful, is not a prerequisite for the new course.

Van Oosten, an assistant professor in organizational behavior and director of the Coaching Research Lab at Weatherhead, said the course will help students understand coaching with compassion as a way to achieve positive and long-term change.

Smith, professor of organizational behavior and faculty director of executive education at Weatherhead, said the MOOC “is about motivating others to learn and change. You will learn how to truly help others, and the techniques you learn will improve your relationships in all areas of your life.”

Boyatzis, Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor and H.R. Horvitz Professor of Family Business, teaches and researches organizational behavior, psychology and cognitive science. He said the MOOC will review and apply research in management, psychology, education, medicine and neuroscience, including “some of the research being done by faculty and doctoral students here at Case Western Reserve University and in our Coaching Research Lab.”

The course is aimed at advanced students and professionals, including executives. Each weekly module offers a video, some with exercises to be done during the online sessions and others after class. By the end of July, enrollment had already exceeded 11,300 and is expected to grow considerably by its October start.

Students will be encouraged to maintain a personal journal of thoughts, observations and experiences during the course. In the fourth week, students will conduct two coaching sessions and write a brief essay on each to be read and reviewed by a small group of online classmates.

Students are expected to offer opinions, ideas and examples from the videos, readings, personal learning and reflective exercises in online discussions. Each week will conclude with a quiz.

Successful completion of the course will be based on quizzes, completion of “personal learning assignments” and assessment of the coaching essay. Online discussions will be monitored by course staff.

Here are the topics of study each week:

Week 1: Coaching to Inspire and Motivate
Week 2: Physiology and Neuroscience of Coaching
Week 3: Coaching for the Ideal Self and Relationships
Week 4: Coaching for the Real Self, Balance and Learning Agenda
Week 5: Establishing a Culture of Coaching



Posted on Think by Marvin Kropko at 04:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

August 03, 2015

CWRU, Japan’s Tohoku University agree on research collaboration and student exchange program

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News Release Thursday, July 30, 2015



Case Western Reserve University and Japan’s Tohoku University will collaborate on research and student exchanges after the institution’s respective leaders signed formal agreements Wednesday (July 29, 2015).

Tohoku University President Susumu Satomi and Kazuyuki Katayama, Japan’s Detroit-based consul general, attended the signing ceremony with Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder and several other university administrative and research leaders. One of the leading research universities in Japan, Tohoku is part of the country’s Top Global University Project, which aims to improve Japan’s global outreach in education and research.

To help launch the partnership, more than a dozen of its students and faculty came to Case Western Reserve this week for a two-day Data and Life Science Collaboration & Symposium.

“As a university, one of our focuses is internationalization. It means creating deep relationships and partnerships with universities overseas, and Tohoku is one of those relationships,” Associate Provost for International Affairs David Fleshler said. “We are now making the statement that they are going to be a major partner with us, partly because of the kinds of things they do—the medical science, the engineering, the law.”

The research Memorandum of Understanding calls for exchange of faculty, staff and students; joint research projects; joint education and training programs; exchange of academic and research publications and information; collaborative funding and fund development.

“There are a number of areas where we see commonality, and our systems are different enough that we can really benefit from each other, and ultimately benefit the world,” Fleshler said.

Each university expects to choose two undergraduate students each semester to participate in the exchange.

Also attending the signing ceremony were Provost and Executive Vice President William “Bud” Baeslack III, School of Medicine Dean and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs Pamela B.Davis, Deputy Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lynn Singer, School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research Mark Chance, and School of Medicine Associate Dean for Graduate Education Paul MacDonald.



Posted on Think by Marvin Kropko at 07:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

August 03, 2015

ProQuest maintenance

Several ProQuest hosted resources will be offline for maintenance on Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. (EST) for about 8 hours.

Services that will be off may include various research databases and RefWorks.

During this time, please consider using other Research Databases.

Posted on KSL News Blog by Brian Gray at 08:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: KSL Services & Spaces

August 03, 2015

LearningExpress Library

LearningExpress Library will no longer be available after Sunday, August 9, 2015.

Please contact the library for assistance on alternatives.

Posted on KSL News Blog by Brian Gray at 07:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged:

July 30, 2015

Using Appropriate Forms When Submitting Requests in ILLiad

Just a quick overview regarding which forms to fill out for the corresponding material types...

Articles (Non-Returnables)

* Journal Article: Journal and newspaper articles -- one cited article per request form, please.
* Book Chapter: Book chapters -- please provide chapter number if possible.
* Conference Paper: Research papers presented in the published proceedings for a conference, symposium, meeting, etc.
* Patent: Patents or patent applications.
* Standards Document: Technical, industrial, safety standards, etc.

Loans (Returnables)

* Book: Books, monographs, music scores, published proceedings, exhibition catalogues, etc. -- one edition only per request, please.
* Report: Academic department and corporate research reports, etc.
* Thesis: Thesis and dissertations -- please include reference to granting institution.
* Other (Misc. Loan): -- Special type LOANS only, such as audio-visual materials, journal volumes in print or on microfilm, mixed-media collections, etc. -- DO NOT use this form to cite articles, chapters, papers, patents, standards, or any of the loan-type materials for which appropriate forms already exist. (*See also note below.)

When you use the correct form to submit your ILLiad request, you help us deliver your required materials more quickly, by allowing ILL staff to avoid additional editing and transaction conversion. Your cooperation and consideration is greatly appreciated, as it will help to prevent unnecessary processing delays.

Questions or concerns? Please contact ILL staff, by phone at (216) 368-3463 or (216) 368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

* FYI: "Misc." is the conventional abbreviation for "Miscellaneous" (which is rarely fully spelled out), adjective -- definition: "of various types or from different sources".

Continue reading "Using Appropriate Forms When Submitting Requests in ILLiad"

Posted on Carl's ILLiad Blog by Carl Mariani at 03:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Citations | Policies | Recommendations

July 27, 2015

Library Endowment Fund Namesakes - Allen Dudley Severance Fund

Allen Dudley Severance was on the faculty of Western Reserve University 1897-1920, teaching history, church history, bibliography, special bibliography, and historical bibliography for Adelbert College, the College for Women, and the School of Library Science. Severance received the A.B. and A.M. from Amherst College, the B.D. from Hartford Theological Seminary, the B.D. from Oberlin Theological Seminary, and studied at the Universities of Halle, Berlin, and Paris.

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Allen Dudley Severance

He left a library of books on the Middle Ages and the Reformation and an endowment fund to the library of Adelbert College (Hatch Library). The fund was to be used for the purchase of books on medieval history, the Protestant Reformation, and related subjects. In his 1916 memorandum concerning this bequest, Severance stated, "It speaks of my interest in the work of the institution to which I have given almost two decades of my life."

Posted on Recollections from the Archives by Helen Conger at 07:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: People | Things

July 27, 2015

Cramelot Cafe Closed

Cramelot Cafe is taking a break and is now closed from July 27th through August 21st. It will re-open for business when the fall semester begins: Monday, August 24th. We look forward to seeing you then! For more information about the cafe, please visit our website.

Posted on KSL News Blog by Mahmoud Audu at 02:29 PM | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Events & News @KSL

July 23, 2015

Building confidence can help people with MS live fuller, healthier lives, Case Western Reserve University researchers report


News Release: July 23, 2015


The physical symptoms of weakness and fatigue from multiple sclerosis (MS) can rock a person’s confidence and ability to engage in what he or she feels is important, from being a good parent and friend to taking up a hobby, according to Matthew Plow, assistant professor from Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

To help people with MS maintain autonomy and independence, a team of researchers set out to determine what factors prevented individuals from undertaking and enjoying the activities they believe are most important to live fulfilling lives.

The study is among the first to examine what people with MS felt were important activities and what would make them happy.

Researchers asked 335 people with MS rank the importance of 20 activities. On average, the survey respondents were age 53 and lived with MS for about 15 years. Nearly 60 percent used some mobility aid.

Participants ranked the following as most important to them: Getting out and about, spending time with family and friends, managing bills and expenses, and participating in clubs and civic and political events.

The researchers sought possible new approaches to improve the health and quality of life of people with MS.

In particular, Plow said, they wanted to identify factors that rehabilitation professionals might target to increase overall engagement in community activities and promote other healthy behaviors, like exercise and eating right.

They set out to find what prevents people with MS from being engaged in social and community activities. Three barriers surfaced: lack of confidence, physical and mental impairments, and environmental factors.

Plow and his team discovered that struggling with impairments, like MS fatigue and cognitive and walking problems, interact with environmental factors, like inadequate social support and transportation issues, to impede a person’s confidence to manage his or her MS symptoms in order to engage in healthy behaviors and meaningful activities, like spending time with family and friends.

A lack of confidence resulting from impairments interacting with environmental factors may impede people with MS from taking steps to prevent secondary symptoms like depression, deconditioning from lack of exercise, and poor nutrition or eating choices that may result in obesity or diabetes.

Based on the survey, Plow is testing an intervention that builds confidence in people with MS. It gives the individual steps to take to make changes and learn new skills to engage in activities that are meaningful to the participant.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health supported the study.

Marcia Finlayson, PhD, OT reg, OTR, Queen’s University (Ontario, Canada); Douglas Gunzler, PhD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and Allen W. Heinemann, PhD, Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, contributed to the study.

The findings were reported in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine article, “Correlates of Participation in Meaningful Activities Among People with Multiple Sclerosis.”

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July 21, 2015

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing has new American Academy of Nursing Fellow


News Release: July 21, 2015



Ronald Hickman, associate professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a national honor awarded for his contributions to the profession.

No one was as surprised as the young educator and researcher, who completed his postdoctoral work just three years ago.

“Induction to the American Academy of Nursing is one of the most esteemed honors in nursing, and I am truly grateful to be included among the nation’s leading nurses in science, education, practice and policy,” said Hickman, also an acute care nurse practitioner in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Hickman, a triple alumnus of the university, joins 15 faculty members at the nursing school and more than 100 alumni who have gone through the rigorous selection process to receive the distinguished recognition. He will join 162 nurse leaders from around the world for induction into the Academy during its annual policy conference, “Transforming Health, Driving Policy,” on Oct. 17 in Washington, D.C.

“This honor recognizes the potential impact of his work and his emerging role as both a nurse scientist and nurse leader,” said Mary E. Kerr, dean and May L. Wykle Endowed Professor at the School of Nursing. “I am especially proud of Ron. He represents the finest in a Case Western Reserve nursing graduate and faculty member.”
Hickman’s most recent research project, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars award, is investigating the role of emotions on the cognitive function and decision-making of people who must make end-of-life care decisions for family members in an intensive care unit.
He is concurrently conducting a study of an avatar-based decision support technology, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to help family caregivers make decisions that avoid unwanted care for seriously ill loved ones living in a nursing home.
“This technology has the potential to reach millions of family caregivers and provide evidence-based resources when needed most, via smart phones and tablet computers,” Hickman said. “It may also aid health care workers by helping family caregivers communicate their loved one's preferences for life-sustaining care.”

Hickman has consulted with NINR on shaping research focused on technology-based interventions.

“We are pleased to welcome this talented class of clinicians, researchers, policy leaders, educator and executives as they join the nation’s thought leaders in nursing and health,” said Academy President Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN. “We look forward to working with them to continue the Academy’s work in transforming health policy and practice through the use of our collective nursing knowledge.”

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July 17, 2015

European Union changes allow Mandel School faculty to start exchange with Romanian university


News Release: July 17, 2015



Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and its partner university in Romania will benefit from a change in European Union (EU) funding that now allows European universities to create faculty and student exchange programs with universities in the United States.

West University of Timisoara in Romania secured funding from the EU’s Erasmus+ Program that allows the university in Timisoara to send two faculty members a year to Case Western Reserve’s social work school and, in turn, two Case Western Reserve faculty to Romania.

Oana-Roxana Ivan, PhD, from the Department of International Relations at West University of Timisoara, secured the grant this month and shared the news with the Mandel School.

“This exchange will enhance and build on the international social work programs at the Mandel School,” said Victor K. Groza, PhD, the Grace F. Brody Professor of Parent-Child Studies.

Groza has been working closely with West University to help create a doctoral social work program that focuses on child welfare research.

Two Mandel School faculty members will have the opportunities to work with the Timisoara faculty, and two Timisoara faculty members will visit the Mandel School. Exchanges will last from one to six weeks.

Although the two university systems are on different academic schedules, he said the exchange is arranged to benefit both universities. After the Case Western Reserve academic year ends in May, faculty members will be available to complete the six weeks in Romania without interruption to their teaching schedules. Likewise, Timisoara, who’s academic year runs from September to June, will have the opportunity to come to the United States during the Mandel School’s summer session.

Participating CWRU faculty members will receive $893 for travel and $5,330 for living expenses to offset the trip’s costs.

For more information, contact Groza at victor.groza@case.edu.


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July 13, 2015

Newborn’s first stool could alert doctors to long-term cognitive issues, new Case Western Reserve University study finds


News Release: July 13, 2015


A newborn’s first stool can signal the child may struggle with persistent cognitive problems, according to Case Western Reserve University Project Newborn researchers.  

In particular, high levels of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) found in the meconium (a newborn’s first stool) from a mother’s alcohol use during pregnancy can alert doctors that a child is at risk for problems with intelligence and reasoning. 

Left untreated, such problems persist into the teen years, the research team from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences found. 

“We wanted to see if there was a connection between FAEE level and their cognitive development during childhood and adolescence—and there was,” said Meeyoung O. Min, PhD, research assistant professor at the Mandel School and the study’s lead researcher. “FAEE can serve as a marker for fetal alcohol exposure and developmental issues ahead.” 

Detecting prenatal exposure to alcohol at birth could lead to early interventions that help reduce the effects later, Min said. 

The research is part of the ongoing Project Newborn study, a longitudinal research project funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse that has followed the physical, social and cognitive developments of babies born to mothers who used cocaine, alcohol and other drugs during their pregnancies.  

Project Newborn has studied nearly 400 children for 20 years since their births in the mid-1990s. 

For this study, researchers analyzed the meconium of 216 subjects for levels of FAEE. (FAEE are composed of a group of products from metabolizing alcohol; this study examined ethyl myristate, ethyl oleate ethyl linoleate and ethyl linolenate.) They then gave intelligence tests at ages 9, 11 and 15.

The conclusion: There was a link between those with high levels of FAEE at birth and lower IQ scores.  

“Although we already knew a mother’s alcohol use during her pregnancy may cause cognitive deficits, what is significant is that the early marker, not previously available, predicted this, establishing the predictive validity of FAEEs for determining alcohol exposure in utero” Min said. 

Her team’s findings were published in the April 2015 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics (Volume 166, 1042-1047), “Association of Fatty Acid Ethyl Easters in Meconium and Cognitive Development during Childhood and Adolescence.” 

The study was among the first to examine an association between FAEEs in meconium and cognitive development during childhood and adolescence.

Newborns with distinctive fetal alcohol facial characteristics—such as a smaller head and eyes, thin upper lip and a smooth ridge between upper lip and nose—are more easily identifiable. But many babies exposed to alcohol can still appear normal. And many mothers are reluctant to reveal how much they drank while pregnant because of the stigma. So prenatal alcohol exposure is often missed. Thus, clinical biomarkers are instrumental for identifying alcohol-exposed neonates, regardless of mothers’ report of alcohol use or not during pregnancy.

It is estimated that as many as 2 to 5 percent of younger school children in the United States and Western Europe are affected by developmental disabilities resulting from alcohol exposure in utero, with a much higher prevalence (17 percent) reported in the child welfare system.

Previously, Project Newborn researchers found associations between high levels of FAEE and mental and psychomotor development problems during the first two years. The new study is an extension of the previous findings. In the current study researchers reported that:

- 60 percent of the 191 mothers reported drinking while pregnant, with an average of 6.5 standard drinks weekly (one standard drink equals to 0.5 oz. of absolute alcohol).

- Of those women, 63 percent engaged in risk drinking.

- 15 mothers (13 percent) had at least 12 drinks per week.  

Case Western Reserve researchers Lynn T. Singer, PhD, deputy provost and founding director of Project Newborn; Sonia Minnes, PhD, director of Project Newborn and associate professor of social work; Miaoping Wu, MS, data manager; and Cynthia F. Bearer, MD, PhD, from the University of Maryland’s Department of Pediatrics, contributed to the study.


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July 10, 2015

CardioInsight Technologies acquired to further advance heart mapping technology initially developed at Case Western Reserve University




News Release: Friday, July 10, 2015



The recent acquisition of CardioInsight Technologies Inc., a privately-held, Cleveland-based medical device company, will further advance electrocardiographic mapping technology initially researched and developed in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University’s Case School of Engineering and licensed through the university’s technology management office.

CardioInsight further developed a non-invasive advanced cardiac mapping system to map electrical disorders of the heart. The company’s ECVUE system is the first non-invasive mapping system to provide simultaneous, 3-D, multi-chamber mapping and localization of cardiac arrhythmia.

The ECVUE system uses a proprietary, single-use, disposable multi-sensor vest to capture electrical signals from the body surface and sophisticated software to compute and visualize epicardial 3-D electroanatomic maps and virtual electrograms of the heart.

CardioInsight will become part of the major global medical device company.

“This is an exciting time for Case Western Reserve University and CardioInsight for their technologies to become part of a worldwide product line,” said Wayne Hawthorne, senior licensing manager in the university’s Technology Transfer Office. The university originally licensed the technology to CardioInsight in July 2006.

The electrocardiographic technology was developed at the Case Western Reserve laboratory of Professor Yoram Rudy, principal inventor now at Washington University in St. Louis. CardioInsight resulted from collaboration among several Cleveland institutions and company co-founders Charu Ramanathan and Ping Jia, who both earned doctorates in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve.

Michael Haag, executive director of technology management at Case Western Reserve’s Technology Transfer Office, described CardioInsight as “a shining example of how commercialization can and should occur in Cleveland” because the company’s origination and success resulted from multiple Northeast Ohio resources coming together.

“We have a renowned scientist in Dr. Rudy developing the core concept,” Haag said. “TTO partnered with local investment groups JumpStart and Draper Triangle Ventures, along with our own Case Technology Ventures, to launch the initial company. All three of those funds were supported with money from the State of Ohio.”

Local entrepreneur Warren Goldenberg became the company’s first CEO, helping co-founders Ramanathan and Jia get started. Both Ramanathan and Jia have been instrumental in advancing the company through its various stages and will continue to play key roles going forward.

And the company worked with Nottingham Spirk, a Cleveland-based global product design and business innovation firm, developing the cost-effective vest design and supporting hardware. Nottingham Spirk worked closely with cardiac catheter lab technicians to understand their work flow and create a product that was easy to apply, monitor and care for the patient.

“They helped turn an academic prototype into a robust and well-designed commercial product,” Haag said.


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July 09, 2015

Case Western Reserve University signs option agreement with Wholesome Wave to launch FM Tracks app

Technology to help farmers’ market managers better understand and serve customers




News Release: Thursday, July 9, 2015



CLEVELAND—FM Tracks, a new digital app designed to help farmers’ markets and local healthy foods initiatives manage and evaluate federal nutrition incentive programs, launches Monday, July 13.

The new technology, created to simplify the collection and evaluation process for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, also gives users in-depth reporting tools and real-time information on market performance and trends. The (FINI) Grant Program supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase.

“We’re incredibly excited to debut FM Tracks and believe it will change the way nutrition incentive programs are accepted and managed by farmers’ markets nationwide,” said FM Tracks research principal investigator Darcy Freedman, associate director of Case Western Reserve University’s Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN).

The development of the FM Tracks app was supported through funding from the Ohio Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a direct investment by the Case Western Reserve Technology Transfer Office. A Cleveland-based software firm, Prototype1, served as the contract developer, and Blackstone LaunchPad at CWRU arranged for hosting space.

“It’s fantastic to see our translationally-focused campus resources come together to leverage state, federal and corporate funding—all to find a pathway to market using a local software firm co-founded by a CWRU alumnus,” said Daniel Pendergast, director of operations for Case Western Reserve’s Technology Transfer Office. “It’s as close to the ideal commercialization ecosystem as one can get.”

Case Western Reserve’s Technology Transfer Office negotiated an option and evaluation agreement for the FM Tracks app with Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing affordable access of healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables for underserved consumers. The CWRU-Wholesome Wave partnership brings together researchers and healthy food incentive practitioners to increase affordable access to healthy foods.

With funding from a FINI Grant, Wholesome Wave, based in Bridgeport, Conn., will use FM Tracks to provide a common system for data collection and evaluation at more than 500 farmers' markets across the United States. CWRU is an evaluator of this national project using the FM Tracks system, Freedman said. The goal is to have nationwide rollout of the FM Tracks app and website in early 2016.

“Until now, no technology tool existed in our field that allowed the means to develop industry standards for uniform nutrition incentive data collection,” said Michel Nischan, Wholesome Wave CEO and founder. “FM Tracks does just that.”

Nischan said the technology partnership with Case Western Reserve will help Wholesome Wave advance policy change around nutrition incentives.

FM Tracks, an iOS app and web-based portal, will serve as a critical tool as Wholesome Wave launches a randomized control trial study to measure the impact of nutrition incentive programs on consumers’ purchases and consumption of fruits and vegetables. FM Tracks users can gather data from people receiving benefits from SNAP, which provides nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities.

Data collected data from the use of FM Tracks will be critical to inform future policies impacting the affordability and accessibility of healthy foods, consumer health and economic development for local communities and small and midsized farms, Freedman said.

“What spurred me to develop FM Tracks,” Freedman said, “was the potential to have something available to support implementation of healthy food incentive programs in the places where they are most needed.”


About Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is one of the country's leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 4,200 undergraduate and 5,600 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.edu to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.

About Wholesome Wave

Wholesome Wave is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that strives to create a vibrant, just, and sustainable food system for everyone. By increasing affordable access to fresh, local and regional food, Wholesome Wave inspires underserved consumers to make healthier food choices. With programs in 31 states, Washington, D.C., and Navajo Nation, Wholesome Wave’s innovative initiatives are improving health outcomes among low-income populations, generating additional revenue for small and mid-sized farms and bolstering local and regional economies. To learn more about Wholesome Wave visit www.wholesomewave.org or visit its social media channels at http://www.facebook.com/wholesomewave, http://www.twitter.com/wholesomewave, and http://www.instagram.com/wholesomewave.


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July 08, 2015

Student Traditions - Freshman-Sophomore Contests

At Case it was called the Flag Rush, Pushball Contest, and Bag Rush. Adelbert College called it the Flag Rush. At Mather College it was the Flag Hunt. At each of the three schools, during the first half of the twentieth century, early in the academic year class rivalry manifested in a contest that pitted the freshmen against the sophomores for class supremacy and bragging rights.

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Mather Flag Hunt, 1946 (left) and Freshman Initiation, 1946 (right)

At Mather, the Flag Hunt was an all-day event. Early in the morning, in one of the college buildings, the sophomores hid a flag which the freshmen had to find by the end of the day. In the early days, the losing class treated the winning class to dinner. The penalties became more creative over time. If the freshmen failed to find the flag, the next day they were required to wear costumes devised by the sophomores and subject themselves to various demands, all part of their initiation. If the freshmen found the flag, as the student handbooks phrased it, the sophomores “must forego the privilege of initiating their traditional rivals.” The sophomores were ingenious in their hiding places: a basketball, a garden hose, inside the lining of a knitting bag.

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Adelbert Flag Rush, 1910? (left) and 1950s (right)

At Adelbert, the flag was raised on a greased pole. The sophomores guarded the pole against freshmen attempts to retrieve the flag and deliver it to the dorm steps by a stated time. One of the student handbooks described the contest as offering the freshmen “an opportunity to forget their homesickness.” As the freshman class was usually larger than the sophomore, it was not unknown for the sophomores to equalize the contest by “kidnapping” freshmen for the day. It was usually a spirited contest. In 1928 the student newspaper, the Reserve Weekly, lamented that year’s rather tame contest, “Very few trousers were ripped completely off, and men that were denuded were forced to leave the fight immediately.”

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Case Bag Rush, 1924 (left) and Pushball Contest

At Case the details of the freshman-sophomore contest changed over time. The original event, the Flag Rush, similar to Adelbert’s, was replaced by the Pushball Contest in 1911. The ball was wooden, covered with a thin padding under a canvas cover, and stood shoulder-high. The freshmen pushed from one side and the sophomores pushed from the other. Most accounts describe modest yardage gained by either class. In 1922 the Bag Rush replaced the Pushball Contest. The Differential 1929 (the student yearbook), opined that the bag rush was an improvement because, “More individuality was brought into play and fewer men were injured. From the viewpoint of the onlooker, it was far more interesting than push-ball, as the fighting was more scattered.” Several sand-filled bags were place in the center of the field, each with a team of sophomores and freshmen attempting to move the bag across the opponent’s goal line. The winner was the team with the most yardage. As at Adelbert, ripping the clothes off the opponents was integral to the tradition, and endured when other aspects of the contest changed.

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July 09, 2015

New study by Case Western Reserve University social work researchers links prenatal cocaine exposure to adolescents engaging in sex by age 15


News Release: July 9, 2015


Since 1994, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have studied mothers—some who used cocaine while pregnant and others who did not—to understand how the drug affected their children’s cognitive and social development.

Their latest findings suggest a link between prenatal cocaine exposure and an adolescent’s likelihood to have sexual intercourse before age 15.

Teens who were prenatally cocaine exposed (PCE) were 2.2 times more likely to engage in sexual intercourse before age 15 than those who weren’t, yet how PCE affects early sexual behavior may differ by gender, said lead researcher Meeyoung O. Min, PhD, assistant research professor of social work at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

The research team’s findings will be reported in a Drug and Alcohol Dependence article, “Effects of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure on Early Sexual Behavior: Gender Differences in Externalizing Behavior as a Mediator.” The article is now online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.06.009.

The new study focused on sexual activities of 354 adolescents (180 prenatally exposed to cocaine and 174 who weren’t).

Researchers tested the children at 6, 12 and 18 months, and at ages 2, 4, 6, 9 through 12 and 15. (The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded the study, will continue supporting the project as researchers follow the teens into their 20s.)

The researchers found that:

• Compared to 23 percent of non-cocaine exposed (NCE) teenagers, 29 percent of prenatally cocaine exposed (PCE) teenagers living in foster/adoptive care and 42 percent of PCE teenagers living with their birth mothers or blood related relatives reported having sexual intercourse before age 15.

• Cocaine-exposed teenage girls who reported having behavior problems during their preteen years were more likely to have early sexual intercourse.

• 64 youth (or 18 percent; 37 PCE and 27 NCE) reported having sex as young as 13.

• Levels of lead in the blood during preschool years was also related to a greater likelihood of early sexual intercourse.

• Greater parental monitoring decreased the likelihood of early sexual intercourse, while exposure to violence increased the risk.


Why it matters

Data from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth indicated that 14 percent of females and 18 percent of males had sexual intercourse by their 15th birthday. Early sexual engagement has been associated with an increased risk of unintended teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Substantial research has documented that childhood behavior problems (aggression, antisocial behavior, delinquency) may be a precursor of sexual engagement at an early age.

Addressing the problem

Prenatal cocaine exposure is related to early sexual intercourse, and externalizing behavior problems mediated the PCE effects in female adolescents. Interventions targeting externalizing behavior may reduce early sexual initiation and thereby reduce HIV risk behaviors and early, unplanned pregnancy in girls with PCE, the researchers suggest.

In particular, they urge, interventions focusing on strengthening parental monitoring and decreasing violence and lead exposure may help reduce early sexual initiation among high-risk prenatally cocaine exposed adolescents. Interventions targeting externalizing behavior in girls may decrease early sexual behavior and promote sexual health.

Contributors from the social work school at Case Western Reserve were: Sonia Minnes, PhD, associate professor and director of Project Newborn; Adelaide Lang, PhD, research project coordinator; and Susan Yoon, MSW, doctoral student. Also contributing to the article was Lynn Singer, deputy provost, professor of pediatrics and founding director of Project Newborn.

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