@CSUresearch | Fall 2018

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CSUresearch C L E V E L A N D S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y | F A L L 2 0 1 8

Engaging with a One-of-a-Kind Community PG. 6

Innovations for a Healthier Region PG. 18

Unmatched Support for Cleveland Businesses

PG. 32

Collaborations that Enhance Learning PG. 42


CSU President Harlan Sands and Assistant Professor of Criminology Meghan Novisky discuss a student’s summer research project



Introduction from the President Some institutions of higher education are engines of impactful research. Others are engines of social mobility. Very few institutions come through on both counts – and Cleveland State University is a proud member of that elite club, ranked Number 18 in the nation and Number 1 in Ohio among public universities that deliver impactful research and social mobility, according to the Brookings Institution. Through cutting-edge research, we are expanding the boundaries of knowledge across multiple disciplines. At the same time, we are preparing a diverse population of students – many of whom are the first in their families to attend college – to succeed in the 21st century workforce. Others are taking notice, too. In a recent op-ed published in The San Francisco Chronicle, UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox wrote: “The next generation of great engineers, journalists and entrepreneurs is just as likely to come from places like Cleveland State . . . as they are from Harvard and Yale.” Why stop there? I would add: The next generation of great urban planners, lawyers, creatives, health-care professionals, educators and scientists will also come from Cleveland State! In the pages that follow, you will see why CSU is an urban research university on the rise. I hope you enjoy reading about how our researchers are pursuing innovations in business, education, health and other fields – often in collaboration with other Cleveland institutions – for the benefit of all. Sincerely,

Harlan M. Sands, J.D., M.B.A. President Cleveland State University




Introduction from the VP for Research Welcome to the 2018 edition of @CSUresearch, a celebration of the unique combination of human talent, urban environment, and community connections that produces a stunning array of flourishing research and scholarship at Cleveland State University. Across campus, and extending into the communities we touch, our gifted faculty, students and staff each bring their own blend of skills and experiences to seek answers to critical questions and provide fundamental understanding of the issues that affect our daily lives. Their efforts help us to better solve today’s problems and pave the way for a brighter future. Greater Cleveland boasts a unique blend of world-renowned health care, arts and cultural institutions and innoative businesses in multiple industries. CSU strives to provide innovative ways to connect our people to the organizations and communities that drive these rich areas of activity, and to support the research and scholarship that keeps them vital and growing. We are seeing tremendous results. Our Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD) includes 14 members who have received research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Our Music and Theatre programs are



woven into Cleveland’s professional arts organizations. We recently opened the new Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence, and our students work hand-in-hand with local companies on numerous projects and through high value internships and co-ops. Two of our engineering research faculty received National Science Foundation CAREER awards in 2018 in recognition of their potential to serve as role models in research and education, and our College of Education is working with K-12 schools to produce more responsive principals and helping teachers and students act as scientists to improve learning through inclassroom research. I invite you to explore this year’s installment of @CSUresearch, and to learn about just some of the ways that Cleveland State University’s particular blend of people, place, and engagement are driving Greater Cleveland forward. Sincerely,

Jerzy T. Sawicki, Ph.D., P.E. Vice President for Research

Table of Contents


Engaging with a One-of-a-Kind Community AHA! Festival Expands Its Audience and Scope Growing the Internet of Things Collaborative The Legacies of Legacy Cities Telling Immigrants' Stories Through Film Making Beautiful Music at CSU Embedded in Cleveland's Theater Community

Innovations for a Healthier Region

10 Year Anniversary of GRHD Addressing Addiction and Mental Health School of Nursing Connects to Patients and the Community Partnership with Cleveland Clinic Reaches 45 Years Taking on Dementia Finding the Right Balance

p. 6 p. 7 p. 10 p. 11 p. 11 p. 12 p. 14

p. 18 p. 20 p. 25 p. 27 p. 27 p. 29 p. 30

Unmatched Support for Cleveland Businesses

p. 32

Collaborations that Enhance Learning

p. 42

The Healing Economy Developing Ready-to-Go Engineers Business Faculty Help a Community Hospital to Meet Its Mission The Art and Science of Sales Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Making Change Through Student Research Taking Teacher Action Research to the Classroom The Right Climate for Learning Preparing Principals to Work in Urban Schools

Research by the Numbers

p. 49

ON THE COVER The building blocks of Cleveland State University’s research

partnerships. The windows, from left, represent the city, learning, business,

health and engineering. The fluid transitions represent the multidisciplinary nature of CSU’s research efforts. Illustration by Alper Dostal.

p. 33 p. 35 p. 37 p. 38 p. 39

p. 44 p. 46 p. 47 p. 48

Jerzy T. Sawicki EDITORS

Will Dube Ben Ward DESIGNER


Brian Hart


Alper Dostal

CSU is an AA/EO institution. © 2018 University Marketing 180639 / 12.5M

After growing from a quiet port to an industrial center, and now reinventing itself as a “legacy city� with tremendous cultural assets, Cleveland exhibits a distinctive blend of history, population diversity, and resourcefulness. Investing in the creative, economic, and civic vitality of the city is at the core of what Cleveland State University does. We are an anchor institution that takes pride in the diverse ways that we engage with the people and institutions here. From arts festivals to technology innovation to public policy, CSU is at the heart of what keeps Cleveland ticking.




AHA! Festival Expands its Audience and Scope Kareem Abdul-Jabbar headlined Cleveland State University’s second annual Arts and Humanities Alive! (AHA!) Festival, which was held June 7-9, 2018, in downtown Cleveland. The prolific author and NBA Hallof-Famer discussed his latest book, Becoming Kareem, in which he chronicles his journey from young adult to manhood and how reading helped make him the person he wanted to be. Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and 6-time MVP, as well as the author of 14 books and founder of the Skyhook Foundation, which assists youth in reaching their full potential. The festival, which is produced in partnership with Playhouse Square, also included performances and talks by Derek Hough, Hill Harper, Maureen Dowd and Robert Mankoff, a musical presentation by ChamberFest Cleveland and productions of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Love Letters and Fahrenheit 451. Over 4,500 attendees visited the AHA! Festival during the three-day celebration of arts, literature, theater and music. AHA! has been selected by Harvard University to participate in an inaugural study of the economic and cultural impact of arts and humanities festivals. Results from the study, including data and interviews collected at AHA!, will be published next year. ❚

From Top: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

Maureen Dowd, and Robert Mankoff speak at the 2018 AHA! Festival



Award-winning actor,

best-selling author, and

youth advocate Hill Harper addresses the audience


DR. KELLE DEBOTH (School of Health Sciences), is leading a diverse team of faculty, including CIGDEM SLANKARD (Film and Media Arts), DR. ANNE BERRY (Art & Design), DR. MADALYNN WENDLAND (Health Sciences), and DR. JOHN SCHAEFER (Teacher Education), to develop interactive media and an augmented reality app to increase access to community spaces for children with mobility and sensory impairments. PLAAY (Participation in Leisure Allowing Access for everYone) on the Move uses adapted Ride on Cars (ROCs), portable harness systems, and enhanced sensory-rich activities to enable these children to take advantage of numerous interactive opportunities that would otherwise be difficult for them to access. PLAAY on the Move has established partnerships with and held events at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and is working to develop additional opportunities to expand access to play across the region. ❚

DR. LINDA FRANCIS (Department of Criminology, Anthropology, and Sociology) is creating a computer program for residential care settings that will incorporate each resident's unique affective memory profile and simulate supportive interactions based on that profile. Affective memory includes a person's self-esteem and self-efficacy and is crucial to emotional wellbeing, but is not well supported by the structure of residential care. Increasing engagement and well-being through simulation is expected to reduce symptoms of depression and the need for psychotropic medication among elderly residents with dementia. ❚



Internet of Things Collaborative Builds Capacity and Expands Engagement Imagine a city that takes advantage of connected the spring semester of 2018, and inter-institutional devices, sensors, and big data, the Internet of Things teams continue to develop research proposals to (IoT), to continually adapt and improve its citizens’ federal and state agencies and to industry partners. ability to live, work, and interact with their community. That is the vision of the IOT Collaborative (IOTC), a For example, IOTC is investigating how to apply partnership initiated by Cleveland State University and connected devices to infrastructure monitoring and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) with the public policy in the city of Lakewood, a western generous financial support of the Cleveland Foundation. suburb of Cleveland. Researchers are mounting After spending 2017 in a planning phase to develop sensors on select city vehicles to monitor the the ground rules for how a public and private university conditions under the road surface to better predict in the same city can work in partnership to benefit the when road repairs may be needed or whether a water region, and each of their campuses, the line is leaking. The team is also working IOTC received $1.75 million in 2018 with Lakewood policy makers to from the Cleveland Foundation to determine how the information cultivate research, education, collected can be utilized to DR. YE ZHU (Electrical Engineering and and civic engagement in the improve administrative Computer Science) is developing a secure IoT space. decision making and privacy-preserving IoT Internet architecture procedures. that balances security protection and performance. The potential IoT devices have the potential to be “weaponized,” as economic impact of IoT In addition, the demonstrated by the Mirai botnet attack in 2016 that is enormous. Business IOTC is collaborating disabled internet access for much of the U.S. East Coast. The Insider Intelligence with CSU’s Center Mirai malware searched for connected devices like security estimated that some for Cybersecurity and cameras and video recorders, infected them, and enlisted 24 billion IoT devices Privacy Protection to them in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Prof. will be installed ensure the necessary Zhu’s architecture provides device isolation to prevent internationally by 2020, security infrastructure, DDoS attacks, reduce the computing overhead with $6 trillion invested legal frameworks and required for IoT devices to communicate, and in IoT solutions. Those professional development anonymizes device communications for devices have the potential course work are being improved privacy. ❚ to touch nearly everyone’s life, developed in tandem with a and CSU faculty are finding new growing IOT sector. ways to leverage connected devices to improve lives and make those devices more “Cleveland is home to world class secure and private. educational institutions that are leading innovation in IoT technologies, training the next-generation CSU and CWRU each have initiated faculty technology workforce, and better connecting IoT searches to build research expertise that will innovation with specific community needs,” notes DR. complement that of the other institution. A high JERZY SAWICKI , Vice President for Research at CSU priority has also been placed on supporting current and one of the leaders of the IOTC. “This is a once-infaculty as they apply IoT to their research, and a-generation economic and societal revolution that is making sure that new developments directly impact rapidly evolving, and CSU and CWRU are committed people, businesses, and government services. The to leading the way in bringing the IoT to industry, the first of many jointly offered courses was taught in public sector, and the people of Northeast Ohio.” ❚


Telling Immigrants’ Stories Through Film The Legacies of Legacy Cities Legacy cities, also commonly referred to as shrinking, rust-belt, or postindustrial cities, are places that have experienced sustained population loss and economic contraction. Coined by The American Assembly in 2011, the term “legacy” evokes these cities’ positive heritage and assets as well as their continuing challenges. The Legacies of Legacy Cities: Continuity and Change amid Decline and Revival, edited by CSU Urban Affairs Professors DR. ROSIE TIGHE and DR. STEPHANIE RYBERGWEBSTER, explores the multiple, complex, and, at times, competing challenges and strengths of legacy cities and the ways in which their histories shape contemporary urban policy, planning and administration. The book’s focus is primarily on Cleveland, which is in every way a prototypical legacy city, yet has received significantly less scholarly attention compared to more extreme cases such as Detroit and Buffalo. While the specific future of legacy cities is uncertain, their contribution to the development of the nation is unquestionable and their resilience through the sustained and severe distress they have experienced perhaps demonstrates the ability of cities to evolve, adapt, and reinvent themselves over time. ❚



Immigration plays a significant role in U.S. history, providing new intellectual capital and cultural resources to our society, and supporting the ever evolving nature of what it means to be American. The experiences of recent immigrants to the U.S. and Cleveland are being explored through the filmmaking of CIGDEM SLANKARD , a faculty member in CSU’s School of Film and Media Arts. “As an immigrant myself as well as a filmmaker, I focus on stories of marginalized communities,” says Slankard, who came to the U.S. from her native Turkey. “Through my work, I hope to enhance understanding of how conformity, assimilation, and power can impact social, cultural, and political identity and the effect this has on immigrants and society as a whole.” Slankard’s documentary short Fresh Start was released in 2017 and chronicles the experience of a refugee community who came to the U.S. with one marketable skill, farming. It examines their journey as “farmers looking for a farm,” while also touching on the value of land and food in society. The film was an official selection of the 2018 Africa World Documentary Film Festival. Currently, Slankard is working on Dreamhood, a feature documentary which examines life in Cleveland’s International Village. Located within the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Old Brooklyn neighborhoods, the Village seeks to create a thriving community that supports Cleveland’s growing population of new immigrants and refugees. The film is supported by the City of Cleveland's Cable Television Minority Arts and Education Fund and CSU’s Faculty Scholarship Initiative. “Through these projects I hope to tell the story of modern immigration and how we as a society can better help these individuals succeed and thrive in America,” Slankard adds. ❚

Strategically located in the heart of one of America’s most vibrant cultural centers, the Department of Music at Cleveland State University has earned significant notice for the creative output of its awardwinning faculty. It also has developed a unique educational paradigm that utilizes Cleveland’s rich musical resources to provide students with a complete spectrum of educational and engaged learning opportunities. The Department’s faculty includes two Guggenheim Fellows, a Grammy winner, and multiple members of the acclaimed Cleveland Orchestra. These educator/practitioners regularly produce major music pieces and compositions, greatly enhancing quality and innovation in classical music, new music and electronic music. For example, DR. ANDREW RINDFLEISCH , a professor of music composition, is considered one of the leading new music composers of his generation. He has produced dozens of works for the concert hall, including solo, chamber, vocal, choral, wind, and orchestral music, and earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize and the Koussevitzky Foundation Fellowship from the Library of Congress. One of his most recent works, Funhouse, was premiered by the Boston-based ensemble Hub New Music in March, 2018. In addition, DR. GREG D’ALESSIO , coordinator of CSU’s Electronic and Computer Music Studio, has earned an international reputation for his contributions to electronic music. He is also a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and his music has been performed by numerous prestigious ensembles, including Speculum Musicae and the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Ensemble. His piece Late Lunch, a musical collage that pays tribute to jazz saxophonist Eric Dolphy, was premiered by the well-known ensemble No Exit in 2017. csuohio.edu/research

“I am passionate about composing and teaching,” says Rindfleisch, who has been on the faculty at CSU since 1998. “Cleveland State, with its access to worldclass music resources and focus on hands-on learning, has been the perfect place for me to pursue both.” In addition to their own output, CSU music faculty are dedicated to utilizing their professional connections to provide unique educational experiences for their students. As director of the Cleveland Contemporary Players Artist in Residency Series at CSU, Rindfleisch brings in a wide range of classical and new music composers and performers who present master classes, workshop pieces with student ensembles, and perform and record student compositions. Furthermore, CSU’s strong relationships with numerous Cleveland-based musical ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony and Contemporary Youth Orchestra, give students the ability to interact and learn from working musicians and conductors, while getting a true understanding of the music business. “As a department, one of our greatest assets is our diverse and high-caliber faculty,” says DR. JOHN PERRINE , chair of the Department of Music at CSU. “These dedicated educators, composers and musicians provide a tremendous variety of educational opportunities for their students, while producing high-quality music in a wide variety of styles.” This unique combination of creativity and experiential learning is among the main drivers behind the growing national reputation of the CSU music program and its increasingly prominent alumni, including pianist and composer Eric Gould, Robert Cutietta, dean of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and Michael Werner, principal percussionist of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. ❚

Pictured: (from left) Matt O'Shea, Melissa Crum in Tender Napalm (2013) at Cleveland Public Theatre. PHOTO BY STEVE WAGNER




C L E V E L A N D ’ S


Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) is one of the most prominent

theatrical companies in the region

and has earned national notice for its innovative, socially-conscious

productions and its highly impactful educational initiatives. Cleveland State University has long had

one of the state’s best theatre

education programs with a focus on community engagement and experiential learning.


It was only natural that the two institutions would look to each other to enhance their individual missions, promote opportunity for current and future actors, directors and playwrights, and enhance and expand the impact of Cleveland’s high quality regional theatre scene. The collaboration has been driven in large part by HOLLY HOLSINGER , an associate professor in CSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, who has served in various leadership positions at CPT and is a noted actress and director. “I first came to Cleveland Public Theatre to perform in 1992 and immediately fell in love with the theatre and the city. It has been my artistic home ever since,” notes Holsinger. “When I came to Cleveland State in the mid-2000s it made perfect sense to create a stronger relationship that could expand opportunities for our students and provide CPT with access to tremendously talented young theatre professionals.” continued page 15


Today, CPT serves as one of the Department of Theatre and Dance’s main internship providers, offering opportunities for students to gain experience in artistic, behind-the-scenes and business roles with the Theatre. CSU students, as well as many faculty members, also have participated in numerous CPT New Play Development Programs and full productions, allowing individuals to gain professional production credits while still in school. The collaboration is further enhanced by the numerous CSU alumni who now work with the Theatre. MELISSA CRUM actually began interning at CPT the summer before she started at Cleveland State and worked in multiple capacities with the theatre during her college years, both as an artist and in educational programs. She has continued both tracks since graduating and is currently serving as a playwriting fellow at CPT, where she regularly works with and seeks to inspire current CSU theatre interns. Like Crum, ADAM SEEHOLZER started interning at CPT early in his college career and basically never left. He currently serves as the Theatre’s education manager and as part of their performing ensemble. In the former role he manages multiple arts education programs supporting area school children, community members and even former homeless individuals, through a partnership with Y Haven, a transitional housing facility run by the YMCA. In the latter position he acts in multiple plays annually at the Theatre including performances in the local and touring productions of Red Ash Mosaic, which also features Holsinger and fellow CSU alum SARAH MOORE .



Pictured: Adam Seeholzer with participants from Cleveland Public Theatre's Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP 2014). PHOTO BY STEVE WAGNER




“As a teen and young adult I did not have much direction and could have easily headed down the wrong path if it was not for the passion I developed for theatre,” Seeholzer says. “ Through my work with CPT I have been honored to help other kids find their direction and use the skills they learned through our programs to be happier and more productive members of their communities.” Seeholzer is particularly proud of the many students who started as grade schoolers in CPT’s arts education programs and then ended up choosing a career in the arts. This includes KALIM HILL , who graduated from CSU with a degree in film in 2017 and has returned to CPT to serve as a teaching artist, while also acting in numerous productions at theatres across the region.







The relationship with CPT has also informed CSU’s collaborations with numerous other regional theatre companies including Cleveland Play House, Playhouse Square, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, Dobama Theatre, Convergence Continuum and the Beck Center for the Arts. These efforts, as well as the talent produced by CSU, have woven the University into the fabric of the regional theatre community and played a major role in the area’s significant reputation as one of the top theatre scenes in the country. ❚


Cleveland State is a major driver of medical discovery locally, nationally and internationally. Its dedicated researchers are working to cure cancer and heart disease, improve treatment for traumatic brain injury and combat opioid addiction. At the same time, CSU’s innovative education programs are helping to produce our next generation of healthcare professionals.











Celebrating 10 Years 19



A DECADE OF MEDICAL INNOVATION Cleveland State University has had a long history of partnership with Northeast Ohio’s leading research hospitals and has earned national recognition for its combination of experiential education and community collaboration. In 2008, in recognition of these efforts, CSU was selected by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to receive start-up funds to launch the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD). Its mission: develop cures and therapies for some of our deadliest diseases, train America’s next generation of scientists and further establish Northeast Ohio as a center for the burgeoning medical genetics industry. “GRHD was designed to augment the research and educational efforts that were already being undertaken in the region, and serve as a magnet for additional external investment that could advance medical discovery and economic development,” notes DR. ANTON A. KOMAR , director of the Center. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, GRHD has become one of CSU’s most important research resources as well as one of the top genetic science units in the world. The Center has received over $28 million in external funding from leading funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Research conducted at GRHD has been published in more than 230 journal articles, including Science, Nature and Cell. These papers have received numerous citations from other medical researchers around the world. In addition, GRHD faculty have mentored more than 80 undergraduate and more than 150 graduate


students in their laboratories. Many of these individuals have gone on to pursue their careers and education at some of the top universities in the country, including Harvard, Stanford and Columbia, as well as the National Institutes of Health and the Scripps Research Institute. The Center has also been named a state Center of Excellence by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. This designation recognizes public university research centers which serve as a magnet for talent and as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurial activity. And most importantly, the efforts of GRHD scientists have helped improve treatment of a host of diseases, from brain cancer to heart disease to sleeping sickness. GRHD’s ongoing development is also fostered by an external advisory committee consisting of worldrenowned scientists, including four members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences: DRS. GEORGE R. STARK, STEPHEN J. BENKOVIC, CARLOS J. BUSTAMANTE and HARRY F. NOLLER. The committee is chaired by Dr. Stark, a distinguished scientist with the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute. “GRHD is a significant resource to our region’s scientific and health-care communities and a center for truly cutting-edge science that is having a major impact,” Dr. Stark says. Looking forward, Dr. Komar hopes the Center’s advancements and scientific discoveries will serve as a catalyst for the continued evolution of personalized medicine, where a person’s specific genetic makeup is used to create targeted drugs and therapies that can more effectively treat disease. This will greatly improve human health and help keep Cleveland on the cutting edge of medical innovation. ❚



HISTORIC IMPACTS Over its history GRHD has made a number of significant discoveries which have greatly improved our understanding of human biology and could lead to cures to a host of diseases.


For nearly four decades, biomedical science has been driven in part by the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution. It suggests that synonymous codons encoding the same amino acids in proteins will be largely unaffected by selective evolutionary pressure and that mutation of one synonymous codon to another will be inconsequential to protein quality. A team led by GRHD Director DR. ANTON A. KOMAR has specifically disproven this postulation and illuminated the details of how protein quality in cells is guided by synonymous codon usage. Their work has provided strong support for the hypothesis that synonymous codon usage serves as a secondary code for protein folding, one of the most fundamental mechanisms in the cell. It also helps to explain how genetic diseases linked to silent (synonymous) mutations develop. ❚


Sleeping sickness is an insect-borne parasitic disease that threatens millions in Africa annually and has no known cure. A team of scientists led by DR. BIBO LI , a professor of biological sciences, discovered the key genetic trait that makes the disease so deadly. The team found that the telomeric protein RAP1 is utilized to “switch” the parasite’s protein “coat,” fool the host’s immune system and establish a persistent, fatal infection. Dr. Li is now identifying methods to genetically “sabotage” this process, which could be a key to more effective treatment and ultimately a cure. ❚

“ T U R N I N G O F F ” I N F L A M M AT I O N

Inflammation is a cellular defense mechanism that is necessary to protect against infection or tissue injury. The process must be carefully controlled, however, because chronic inflammation due to errors in the mechanism can lead to numerous diseases, including heart disease and stroke. DR. BARSANJIT MAZUMDER , a professor of molecular genetics, discovered that a specific ribosomal protein, called L13a, is responsible for controlling inflammation in cells. This discovery could be the key to developing a new generation of therapies that could limit the progression of fatal cardiovascular disease and other diseases caused by overactive inflammation. ❚


A team led by DR. VALENTIN BÖRNER , a professor of biological sciences, has for the first time determined how proteasome, the machinery in all living cells that destroys proteins after they have completed their function, controls meiotic division, a process that ultimately generates eggs and sperm. Anomalies in this process result in changes to the chromosome number and are detrimental to human conception. These findings shed new light on how cells actually function and could have major implications for our understanding of how errors in cellular development can lead to birth defects and cancer. The findings were published in the prestigious journal Science. ❚





Cancer of the brain is an incredibly deadly disease that effects thousands of children and adults annually. Unfortunately, brain surgery and radiation are very risky and have significant negative side effects. Currently, the only FDA-approved drug designed for brain tumors, temozolomide, has an effective life span of less than a year due to the development of drug resistance in humans. DR. ANTHONY BERDIS , an associate professor of chemistry and biology, has developed a new therapeutic agent that greatly improves the effectiveness of temozolomide. The agent, a DNA polymerase inhibitor, reduces resistance and improves the overall effectiveness of the drug in destroying tumors, leading to significantly higher survival rates. Dr. Berdis’ team is currently working with the Cleveland Clinic to conduct additional toxicity studies on the therapeutic agent, which will be required for future FDA approval. ❚


GRHD scientists are seeking to address some of the world’s most pressing health-care challenges and create new innovations in the burgeoning field of personalized medicine.


The formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, known as thrombosis, is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and death in the U.S. DR. XUE-LONG SUN , a professor of chemistry, is working to develop new antithrombotic agents that will be more effective in reducing clots and cause less bleeding, which is a key side effect of current drugs. Dr. Sun and his team are utilizing site specific genetic modification of the glycoprotein thrombomodulin to create novel variants that have promising applications for reducing clotting in blood vessels. Initial tests show that the process is also more efficient, causes fewer side effects than other antithrombotic drugs and could have applications for numerous other genetic based illnesses. ❚


By utilizing the regenerative potential of adult muscle stem cells, DR. CRYSTAL M. WEYMAN , chair of the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, is helping to develop innovative treatment options for addressing muscle trauma and multiple muscular diseases. Dr. Weyman, who previously served as the founding director of GRHD, has discovered that MyoD, a protein that plays a major role in regulating muscle differentiation, is also responsible for controlling coordinated cell death in muscles. Her lab also found that the deathinducing molecule known as PUMA is actually regulated by MyoD. Based on these findings, her team is now working to understand the molecular distinctions that convert MyoD from directing differentiation to directing cell death through PUMA molecules. Ultimately, the research could lead to the development of targeted gene therapies that could “turn off” cell death and enhance muscle regeneration, a key for treating a host of muscle injuries and illnesses. ❚






As GRHD moves into its second decade, it will seek to continue its groundbreaking efforts in multiple areas of genetic science while expanding opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration, outreach and education. The Center has created the Pilot and Bridge Funding program, which is made possible thanks to an initial gift from DR. JOHN C. VITULLO , CSO of Omega Laboratories. Many anonymous donors further contributed to this fund. The effort provides startup assistance to new GRHD faculty or researchers looking to expand their portfolio, allowing them to generate initial results that will help lead to external funding opportunities. An additional $1 million anonymous gift funds additional pilot research, graduate scholarships, post-doctoral fellowships and equipment purchases that will further develop the overall capabilities of GRHD and enhance the number of student researchers they can support.

The Center has inaugurated the John and Patricia Thompson GRHD Seminar Series, which brings in nationally and internationally recognized scientists in the fields of molecular biology and genetics to present research seminars to GRHD faculty and students. It creates additional opportunities for GRHD researchers at all career stages - from undergraduates to faculty - to network with leading scientists in the field conducting cutting-edge work at the frontiers of biomedical science. The series is made possible thanks to a generous $100,000 gift from John and Patricia Thompson. Finally, Cleveland State has received funding from the State of Ohio to upgrade multiple GRHD research laboratories as well as additional facilities utilized by the Department of Chemistry and


the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences. This is part of a larger plan to develop additional, state-of-the-art laboratory space for the Center through a combination of public and private support. The goal is to create a hub for genetic science on campus that can draw in additional investment and research collaborators, expand opportunities for graduate and postgraduate education and further the Center’s mission to combat and ultimately find cures for numerous diseases. “GRHD’s future is very bright and we are all very excited to be able to be a part of this important effort that will ultimately have great benefit for society,” GRHD Director DR. ANTON KOMAR adds.❚





TEDOR, and WENBING ZHAO have developed a website, called drughelp.care, to assist local

In spring 2017, CSU launched the Center for Behavioral Health Sciences to conduct interdisciplinary research in behavioral health, specifically within the fields of mental health and addiction. The Center has brought together faculty from ten distinct disciplines to create teams who develop and evaluate intervention strategies in partnership with, and supported by, local, state and federal agencies.

agencies and first responders in quickly and

easily finding treatment services for substance

users. Through the site, treatment agencies can promote their services and log the availability

and wait time for each service in real time. Once pilot-tested with select treatment providers, the website will become available to the general public. The research team received a grant from the Woodruff Foundation to support

implementation of the service among providers in Cuyahoga County.

DR. CATHLEEN LEWANDOWSKI is partnering with St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and

the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to evaluate the newly launched Medical Legal Partnership Program (MLP). Based on a national model,

MLP provides those in treatment for substance abuse with access to Legal Aid services, to

assist in addressing the social and legal barriers that may reduce opportunities for recovery.

The Center has established a primary partnership with St. Vincent Charity Medical Center (SVCMC), and is also actively engaging with a host of additional community agencies and organizations, including the Cuyahoga County Opioid Task Force, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County, the United Way, and several local police departments. Researchers at the Center for Behavioral Health Sciences have focused their attention on tackling two major public health problems: rising opioid use and increasing suicide rates that affect the local community and society at large. Opioid use in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions, with an estimated 12.3 million misusing opiate medication. Ohio has been particularly affected by the growing opioid crisis, as evidenced by a rate of deaths attributable to opiod overdose that is two-and-a-half times the national average.


FULLER, and SHEREEN NASER are currently

conducting qualitative interviews with middle school students and their teachers, parents

and care providers to explore factors related

to early drug and alcohol use and abuse. The research will help better identify substance abuse risk factors in pre-teens and teens

and assist in the development of enhanced interventions to reduce addiction and improve public health. ❚





In an effort to improve the effectiveness of opioid treatment, a multidisciplinary team of researchers consisting of DRS. ILYA YAROSLAVSKY (Psychology), WENBING ZHAO (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), SANDRA HURTADO-RUA (Mathematics), CATHLEEN LEWANDOWSKI (Social Work), and CAROL PHILLIPS BEY (Counseling Psychology) is developing a mobile phone application to identify person-specific patterns of risk factors for opioid cravings and use. The team is also testing the utility of providing clinicians with actionable data in near real-time about their clients between treatment sessions. This would allow them to flexibly adjust their treatment approach to meet the emerging needs of their clients.

“Graduate students

specializing in Clinical

Psychology have been

integral to informing our

opioid intervention through the focus groups they

conducted with treatment

providers and their clients,” says Dr. Yaroslavsky.

Suicide accounts for 50%-71% of violent deaths worldwide, and the rate of suicide has increased over the recent years in Ohio. Dr. Yaroslavsky and DR. DONALD ALLENSWORTH-DAVIES (Health Sciences) are working to uncover the behavioral and physiological underpinnings that relate to emotion regulation and suicide risk among those hospitalized for suicide-related behaviors. Their work particularly focuses on those of sexual minority backgrounds who have been shown to attempt suicide at a rate approximately seven times higher than their heterosexual/cisgender peers. Embracing the ideal of Engaged Learning, both research teams have involved students across undergraduate and graduate levels. According to Dr. Yaroslavsky, “Both projects serve as ideal vehicles to train graduate students in clinical research methods and clinical practice, as these students act as primary clinical interviewers and coordinate major portions of both projects. These projects also bring to life classroom material learned by advanced psychology undergraduate students, who gain hands on experience executing multi-method experimental designs with clinical samples.” ❚


Dr. Yaroslavsky and one of his student research assistants participating in a mock interview.

Enhancing Patient Care Faculty researchers in CSU’s School of Nursing are taking an interdisciplinary approach to improving health care quality for patients in hospitals, clinics and home-based care. Through the efforts of nursing faculty DR. JOAN THOMAN and the late DR. PAMELA RUTAR , the School serves as the lead partner for Improved Health Outcomes and Programs through Education (I-HOPE). The initiative seeks to create a sustainable support network of community health workers for the city of Cleveland. These health professionals have been shown to have significant success in empowering low-income residents with a high prevalence of chronic disease, while augmenting traditional medical care provided by hospitals. The team has developed a Community Health Worker Certificate Program targeted at working adults looking to enter the field, as well as a “match-making service” designed to connect trained workers with good employment opportunities, particularly in the growing patient-centered medical home (PCMH) industry. The project is funded by the Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program and the St. Luke’s Foundation, and community partners include the Sisters of Charity Foundation, Friendly Inn Settlement House and Fairhill Partners.

Cleveland State. “It has also provided our faculty with significant opportunities to advance their research activities and promote cutting edge discovery in a host of fields.”

A Half Century of Collaboration For close to a half-century, Cleveland State University and Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute (LRI) have partnered to enhance medical and science education while helping to advance discovery in numerous disciplines. “Cleveland Clinic is universally recognized as one of the best medical centers in the world, and our longstanding relationship has provided our students with one-of-akind engaged learning experiences and the ability to be mentored by some of the top scientists in their fields,” says DR. JERZY SAWICKI, Vice President for Research at



“Our important work with Cleveland State University is a core component of our efforts to train the next generation of scientists and advance medical research,” says Serpil Erzurum, M.D., chair of the Lerner Research Institute. “As one of the largest research institutes in the nation, our trainees have the opportunity to study in our leading-edge facilities and make scientific contributions to improve patient care. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration and working together to innovate and move medicine forward.” CSU and Cleveland Clinic offer joint Ph.D. programs in regulatory biology, established in 1971, and bioanalytical chemistry, created in 1998. They also offer a doctorate in applied biomedical engineering, and a concentration in molecular medicine, which is available through all three doctoral programs. Close to 300 students have graduated from these programs and over 100 Cleveland Clinic scientists currently hold adjunct appointments at CSU.

In addition, CSU offers a laboratory summer research experience for biology and chemistry majors at LRI and numerous CSU faculty conduct research with Cleveland Clinic scientists. This includes a longstanding relationship between CSU’s internationally recognized Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease and LRI. “CSU’s growing reputation as a center for medical and scientific research and education is due in large part to our strong partnership with Cleveland Clinic,” adds Dr. Sawicki. Graduates of CSU/Cleveland Clinic doctoral programs now serve in key scientific and administrative positions at some of the world’s most prestigious health care centers. Prominent alumni include: Andrius Kazlauskas, a former professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School; Joe El-Khoury, co-director of the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory at Yale Medical School and Linnea Baudhuin, an associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the Mayo Clinic. ❚


In addition, DR. JOAN NIEDERRITER has been working with students in inter-professional teams to develop an improved discharge plan for acute care settings using simulated patient and family members. The simulations provide enhanced training for care workers, which will improve patient and family interactions and ensure that health plans are better implemented following discharge. The project also provides hands-on experience for students and allows them to find collective solutions to problems through working in a diverse team. With funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Niederriter is also leading an interdisciplinary initiative through the HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program to teach professionals in a range of health and social service disciplines how to assess an older adult who is at risk for falls and how to educate the individual on strategies they can use to keep themselves safe at home. Ultimately, Dr. Niederriter hopes to prevent falls in the home and decrease injuries that may lead to adverse health outcomes. “ These types of projects highlight the growing importance of community-based research and outreach which improve our communities and better prepare our next generation of nurses and caregivers,” notes DR. TIMOTHY GASPAR , dean of the School of Nursing at CSU. ❚




As America’s population ages, the number of individuals with dementia has increased significantly, creating hardships for afflicted individuals and their caregivers. Cleveland State University faculty are investigating how we can better diagnose, manage, and treat people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury. Individuals suffering from dementia, stroke, or traumatic brain injury (TBI) face a variety of challenges in managing and coping with their illness, including changes in cognitive or thinking abilities, communication difficulties, ability to complete daily activities, and changes in emotions and behaviors. Family members, who provide the bulk of care for many of these individuals, experience shifting roles and responsibilities and are at risk for a wide range of caregiver stress and strains, including symptoms of depression and anxiety. DR. KATHERINE JUDGE , a professor of psychology, has developed a drug-free intervention, Acquiring New Skills While Enhancing Remaining Strengths (ANSWERS), to help address these issues. The ANSWERS protocol uses a strength-based approach that focuses



HEALTH on an individual’s current and remaining cognitive abilities, effective coping skills and family supports, and emphasizes independence, dignity, and quality of life. Dr. Judge has received international recognition for her work, and her studies have been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Veteran’s Administration, and a Faculty Research and Development award from CSU’s Office of Research. Dr. Judge and her collaborators are currently working on a Department of Defense-funded project to test the ANSWERS protocol in partnership with the Aging Brain Care Program, for veterans with traumatic brain injury or dementia and their family caregivers. Judge hopes the ANSWERS protocol will become a standard method of care for ensuring that more individuals with dementia, stroke, or TBI can maintain a higher quality of life. DR. ROBERT HURLEY , an assistant professor of psychology, focuses his research on the study of atypical dementia syndromes. Individuals with neurodegenerative diseases

Finding the Right Balance such as frontotemporal lobar degeneration have problems with cognition that differ from the classic memory symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Many of these individuals instead exhibit progressive aphasia, impairments in language that include difficulties with producing or understanding words or sentences. Others show a phenomenon known as visual agnosia, and are unable to recognize common objects in their environment, including faces. These ‘atypical’ symptoms are actually quite common, but are not as well understood, and are frequently misdiagnosed. Dr. Hurley investigates these syndromes using techniques such as eye tracking (observing where participants look during cognitive experiments), electroencephalography (measuring neural impulses with electrical sensors on the surface of the head), and magnetic resonance imaging (creating images of the brain’s shape). Dr. Hurley maintains an adjunct position at the Cognitive Neurology & Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University, where he and his collaborators regularly assess individuals with progressive aphasia, supported by research grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. This work can be seen in recent publications in journals including Neuropsychologia, Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders, and the Journal of Neurolinguistics. Since arriving at CSU in 2016, Dr. Hurley has also established a collaboration with the Center for Brain Health at the Cleveland Clinic. He and his Cleveland Clinic partners recently received a CSU Faculty Research Development award to study a rare form of agnosia caused by degeneration in the right hemisphere of the brain. Dr. Hurley’s lab actively engages CSU undergraduates with hands-on experience in contemporary neuroscience methods, and is gearing up for a new project that will study how functional networks in the brain reorganize as part of the typical aging process. ❚

Falling among older adults can lead to injuries that range from minor

to debilitating or life-threatening. Falling and a fear of falling also lead many people to significantly limit their activities in their home and

community. This inactivity can lead to a further decline in health and additional reduced balance and mobility capabilities, setting up a

downward spiral of declining function and increasing risk. DRS. ANN

REINTHAL and DEBBIE ESPY , faculty members in CSU’s School

of Health Sciences, are finding innovative ways to improve peoples’ abilities to respond to balance challenges successfully.

Dr. Reinthal is working to translate balance training more directly to

improved function, mobility and participation in the individual’s home or community. Partnering with DR. BETH EKELMAN , a professor

and Program Director of the Master of Occupational Therapy Program, she has installed a multi-directional harness system into an urban farm greenhouse at Community Greenhouse Partners, allowing adults with significant balance and mobility impairments to return to gardening.

Gardening serves as both a meaningful activity for the participants, and as an intense and prolonged balance and mobility training exercise.

Dr. Espy is developing ways to facilitate increased and more intensive

balance training for frailer, less mobile, or more fearful adults. She and

DR. HANZ RICHTER , a faculty member in CSU’s Department of

Mechanical Engineering, are developing a motorized harness that will provide adjustable support to those who are more fearful or less able to maintain their balance on their own.

Together, Reinthal and Espy have also developed video gaming

protocols to investigate differing types of balance exercises and their potential use for patients. Off-the-shelf video games proved to be inexpensive and easy to use clinically, allowing the team to easily modulate a great number of the variables that impact balance.

They also developed and validated a measure for balance training

intensity to better assess how intensity impacted patient development and attitude.

Most recently the pair received a grant from the American Heart Association, in partnership with mechanical engineering faculty

member DR. TON VAN DEN BOGERT , which will utilize their

harness technologies and video game techniques to test improved balance training protocols for stroke victims.

“Our research shows that a high intensity, high engagement and

proactive balance training protocol positively impacts overall health,

mobility and participation,” Reinthal says. “This latest project with the

American Heart Association gives us the opportunity to further test and improve our harness and video game technologies, while making a real difference for stroke victims.”


Cleveland has experienced the highs of becoming a manufacturing center, followed by the challenges of manufacturing job losses. Cleveland State’s faculty, students, and staff help to keep Cleveland’s businesses competitive in a rapidly changing world. CSU fosters the creators and entrepreneurs who are building on Cleveland’s established strengths in manufacturing know-how and world-class healthcare, as well as finding innovative new paths to usher in a thriving future.




Improving Development of the




“The Cleveland metropolitan area has the densest health science labor market in the nation, as well as world leading institutions, such as the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, which are major draws for outside investment,” says RICHEY PIIPARINEN , director of the Center and co-author of The Healing Economy: An Economic Development Framework for Cleveland. “We have a significant opportunity to take advantage of these assets and develop new economic generators for the region.”

The report, which was sponsored by BioEnterprise and the Health Tech Corridor, assesses the current state of health science research, development and innovation in Cleveland, identifies areas for improvement and highlights the steps needed to continue expansion and enhance future growth. Piiparinen and his coauthors, Jim Russell and Valdis Krebs, note that the clustering of health-care services in Cleveland relates to the fact that health-care has become tradable and exportable. Cleveland not only brings patients into the region, but delivers services nationally and internationally. This global market for Cleveland health-care “products” gives the region a significant advantage in developing new innovations and technologies that in turn lead to new businesses, jobs and investment.


However, the region performs less well as a “knowledge hub” that produces life science research. For example, Cleveland ranked 22nd nationally in R&D funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2016. To address this, the report argues that state and local policies should supplement “downstream” innovation funding that facilitates start-up formation and technology transfer with the funding of “upstream” innovation that attracts star scientists, particularly in frontier fields. “There needs to be a balance between investments in tech transfer and healthcare delivery and investments in the basic research that drives future health care innovation,” Piiparinen adds.

To this end, the authors map out a “long game” strategy for Cleveland focused on developing an R&D hub in a leading frontier field, such as healthcare analytics. This would build on regional assets already in place and current initiatives designed to create local innovation centers surrounding the “Internet of Things” and blockchain technology. It would also serve a major social service function by providing the resources necessary to better address local health disparities and improve delivery to underserved populations. “Cleveland can be a global node in population health research, in effect developing a data capital and AI/machine learning ecosystem that creates leading knowledge in the social determinants of health and reduction of health disparities,” Piiparinen says. “It is our hope that this road map can be used to further the success we have already seen in the health-care sector and promote economic and community growth for years to come.” ❚

Preparing Students Through Engineering Research and Engaged Learning

Dean Anette

Karlsson and Mr.

Pete Buca with the

1st place winners of the Senior Design

Since 1923, the Washkewicz College of Engineering, formerly Fenn College, has provided high-quality education in engineering and engineering technology. Today, the College is home to some 2,100 undergraduate and 400 graduate students.

Industry-Sponsored Design Projects Connect Students to Future Careers As part of the Washkewicz College’s mission to graduate “Ready-to-Go Engineers,” DEAN ANETTE M. KARLSSON initiated the Industry-Sponsored Senior Design program in 2014. The effort invites businesses to sponsor specific student projects that can improve a technology, enhance a production method or increase efficiency in manufacturing.



Under the guidance of a faculty advisor and in collaboration with the industrial sponsor, students work in teams to develop solutions to a wide variety of engineering challenges. They develop a comprehensive plan to address the problem, determine design alternatives, formulate a budget, specify equipment requirements, make a time schedule, proceed with a final design and create a prototype. “The benefits are tremendous both for industry and for the students,” Karlsson says. “Businesses can obtain cost-effective solutions to their engineering challenges, while identifying talented engineers for future employment opportunities. Meanwhile, students have the opportunity to connect their curriculum to real-world experiences, become exposed to corporate working environments and develop a wide range of career opportunities.”

poster competition

As part of his senior design project, DANIEL MILLER developed a lower-limb

exoskeleton to assist individuals with disabilities. He furthered the development of the idea by participating in CSU’s Start-up Vikes entrepreneurship lab and competition, earning third place. Along with his senior design teammates he ultimately decided to form a company, PneuKinetics, LLC, to commercialize the technology. “In the Washkewicz College I learned how to learn,” Miller adds. “I learned how to stay constantly motivated, and I learned how to be the best version of myself possible.”

Co-Ops and Internships Fuel Career Readiness Experiential learning is woven into the Washkewicz College’s DNA. It was a main educational component of the institution’s forbearer, Fenn College, which partnered with numerous local companies to provide co-op and internship opportunities for its students. Today, the Fenn Co-Op Program, managed by the Center for Engineering Experiential Learning (CEEL), continues that legacy through a range of experiential learning opportunities in Cleveland, throughout the nation and across the globe. For example, through an internship with NASA Glenn Research Center, mechanical engineering major SANTINO BIANCO had the opportunity to work on the concept design for an improved lander for surface exploration missions to Venus. This included helping to develop design specifications and analysis for the lander and attending an international meeting where data he helped develop was presented. “I never would have guessed that I would have the opportunity to help work on a space mission to Venus,” Bianco says. “It really is mind blowing.”


RAPIDS Funding Provides New Engineering Facilities to the Dan T. Moore MakerSpace The Washkewicz College has received an appropriation from the State of Ohio to purchase 3D printing equipment that will be used in its engineering courses and for workforce training activities with local businesses. The Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) award is one of the State’s strategic investments in cooperative education and internship programs. CSU partnered with several regional institutions on the RAPIDS award, including North Central State College, Lorain County Community College, and Cuyahoga Community College. CSU’s 3D printers will be part of the Dan T. Moore MakerSpace on the ground floor of the new addition to CSU’s Washkewicz College of Engineering. The Dan T. Moore MakerSpace provides 6,400 square feet of open laboratory space, offering CSU students access to the latest prototyping and fabrication technology to assist in transforming ideas into practical applications. “This grant allows us to further expand our engaged learning ecosystem and provides students with the facilities necessary to help them develop their ideas into new technologies, new innovations and new business,” Dean Karlsson adds. “It also furthers the longtime mission of our College to produce graduates who have the skills, desire and knowhow to make a difference for their future employers and for society as a whole.” ❚

The Senior Design poster session in

the Atrium of CSU’s Student Center was attended

by hundreds of

industrial visitors,

students and faculty

m ut

Business Faculty Help a Community Hospital Better Meet Its Mission In 1865, after the conclusion of the Civil

War, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine,

led a number of research projects to

of Cleveland and the Cleveland City

behavioral health services to examining

Hospital. At that time the city had no

occurred, both of which can be costly

growing population or deal with injured

patient satisfaction scores within

Vincent’s was established to provide

of how scores might vary and what

of economic circumstances. Today, the


Charity Medical Center (SVCMC), remains

“Community hospitals rarely have the

on community wellness and high level

consultants to conduct long-term cost

with the support of the Catholic Diocese

date, ranging from an assessment of

Council, opened St. Vincent Charity

how extended length of stay issues

formal hospital to support the needs of its

for the hospital. They also evaluated

veterans returning from the war and St.

departments to gain an understanding

high quality health care to all regardless

might be done to improve overall

hospital, now known as Saint Vincent’s

a leading urban health facility with a focus

ability to bring in expensive outside

care for all.

benefit analyses or reorganizational

Community hospitals like SVCMC play a

partnership we are able to provide

(center-right) and Bernie

and often serve populations without

will improve health-care delivery and

business students

larger hospitals or health-care systems.

health goals.”

Vincent’s does not turn patients away

Both professors hope that the research

to financial challenges, including a

of health care administration and

reimbursement, which can often be time

future curriculum development and

efforts,” Porter says. “Through this

Dean Sanjay Putrevu

critical role in the U.S. health-care system

significant resources and expertise that

Moreno (right) speak with

access to, or those that are neglected by,

assist SVCMC in meeting its community

And given its faith-based mission, St. for needed services. This does lead

will enhance overall understanding

significant reliance on Medicare/Medicaid

organization, while also improving

consuming and bureaucratic.

experiential learning initiatives for

In the spring of 2017, DRS. TRACY


students at CSU.


“Community engagement like this

CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business,

with what is going on outside the

Staff privileges at SVCMC with the goal

up doors for both mutually beneficial

reduce costs while ensuring continued

learning, scholarly insight, and

of the Department of Management in

allows CSU to stay deeply connected

were formally granted Academic Affiliate

classroom,” adds Baran. “That opens

of assisting the hospital leadership to

research and experiences that promote

quality of care. Drs. Porter and Baran have

continuous improvement for SVCMC


and CSU.” ❚

A Hub for Sales Education CSU is working to enhance the career readiness of its students and assist the local economy through its new Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence. The Center seeks to enhance community engagement, workforce development and engaged learning, while producing innovative research, curricula and training in the science of persuasion, consumer behavior and market analysis. It is housed in the Monte Ahuja College of Business and is made possible thanks to a $1 million gift from BERNIE MORENO , president of the Bernie Moreno Companies and former chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “CSU has a long history of providing career-ready graduates who can meet the needs of industry. I am honored to be able to further that tradition through this state-of-the art hub for sales education and training that will serve as a national and international model,” Moreno says. The Center features an undergraduate certificate in professional sales, continuing education courses and a custom training program tailored to individual csuohio.edu/research

industry needs. It is also developing innovative coursework and programs in sales management and market analysis. The Center is actively seeking corporate collaborations to enhance curriculum development and training programs and its growing list of partners already include KeyBank, Oswald Companies, PNC and Swagelok Company. Research conducted through the Center will be led by PAUL MILLS , an expert in sales analysis and consumer behavior, who was named the inaugural director this fall. Mills previously taught at Lehigh University and prior to his academic career served eight years as vice president of sales and marketing for Nutro Corporation. “ There has been a growing recognition in multiple industries regarding the need for more advanced educational programs in professional sales that provide the analytic skills, market knowledge and customer focus that are required for a successful career. The Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence will meet this critical need,” adds DR. SANJAY PUTREVU , dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business. “Our ultimate goal is to produce career ready graduates who can drive future economic growth locally and nationally. We thank Bernie Moreno for this transformative gift and are excited to create this Center in the college.” ❚


TeCK fund and NSF I-Corps In 2017, Cleveland State University and Kent State University, with support from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, created the TeCK Fund, an $800,000 hybrid technology commercialization accelerator program. The Fund provides up to $100,000 to support technology validation activities that move a universityderived technology toward commercial licensing. Since its launch, four CSU faculty members have received TeCK Fund support. DR. WENBING ZHAO, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has used the funding to continue to develop his Privacy Aware Compliance Tracking System, which ensures that best practices are followed by nurses and patient handlers in elder care settings. DR. SIU-TUNG YAU, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, received funding to move his invention, A Culture-Free Platform for Rapid Diagnosis of Infections, toward market readiness. The technology has been patented and will be used to provide hospital labs with a new platform for rapidly diagnosing bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections.



DR. YE ZHU, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, received funding to commercially develop his technology, Graphic GameBased User Authentication Schemes for Mobile Devices. Dr. Zhu’s technology has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and has patents pending. Dr. Zhu also received an NSF I-Corps training grant to explore the commercial potential of his authentication technology by engaging with industry, talking to customers, partners and competitors, and developing entrepreneurial skills to facilitate commercialization. DR. MOO-YEAL LEE, an associate professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, received funding to help commercialize his technology Miniaturized 3D Bioprinting of Human Cells on a Chip for Disease Modeling. The technology, developed with support from a National Institutes of Health grant, is expected to provide more accurate selection of compounds in the drug discovery process prior to human trials. ❚

Moo-Yeal Lee Wins Stage Two Award from EPA Dr. Moo-Yeal Lee received $100,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a winner of Stage Two of the Transform Toxicity Testing Challenge. The EPA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiated the program in 2016 to improve high throughput screening (HTS) chemical testing methods, which currently do not account for how the human body metabolizes chemicals. Metabolic reactions can potentially result in a more toxic form of a chemical. Dr. Lee has developed 3D bioprinting technology that creates cell tissue structures that contain multiple layers of human cells. These miniature tissue blocks can be used to mimic human metabolic reactions, creating conditions in a laboratory that are comparable to what happens in the human body. His high-precision, robotic bioprinting technology uses a 384-pillar plate design, which allows for a large number of tests to be efficiently completed. Dr. Lee’s technology can also be retrofitted to current toxicity test systems, improving their accuracy. ❚

CSU Faculty and Students Creating Startups

Cleveland State’s entrepreneurial faculty and students are actively creating new companies and developing innovative solutions to a wide range of applications. Dr. Siu-Tung Yau created YST Diagnostics, Inc., a startup company that has entered into an option agreement with the CSU Technology Transfer Office (TTO). The option agreement provides YST Diagnostics with an opportunity to exclusively negotiate with the TTO to in-license the intellectual property portfolio for Dr. Yau’s electrochemical biosensor technology. A team of CSU MBA students reached the semifinals of the Akron LaunchTown Entrepreneurship Awards. Their startup, PneuKinetics, LLC, is commercializing exoskeleton technology developed by DR. ANTONIE VAN DEN BOGERT, chair of the CSU Department of Mechanical Engineering. A provisional patent application, was recently filed for the passive exoskeleton which helps patients regain


walking ability and accelerates functional improvements both in daily life and in physical therapy. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students DANA BEVERIDGE, JACKSON BIESECKER and MARA HIRZ competed as part of Team INCO-Herent at the 2018 Global Legal Hackathon, advancing to the worldwide finals of the competition. The team created an interactive website and smart contract application that simplifies INCOterms, which are a series of pre-defined international commercial shipping terms. The team is now developing the idea into a startup business. ❚

CSU is working with a wide variety of partners to transform the American education system. Through unique partnerships with multiple local school districts, national education organizations and government agencies, Cleveland State is seeking to improve student achievement, better train future urban school principals and enhance school climate for all.





How could young people leverage their unique

perspectives to generate

new knowledge to address some of the most pressing

issues in their communities?

What role might

adolescents play in the process of identifying

and understanding the

problems that face their own school and neighborhood communities?

How might an action

research-based approach

overhaul current approaches to the time-honored high

school research paper and deepen young people’s critical consciousness?



Although there is existing research that documents the value of action research programs for fostering youth civic engagement, research skill development, and voice, much of this work is situated in out-of-school, after school, or elective class contexts. Dr. Buckley-Marudas’s work is unique in that her project is embedded in the everyday curriculum for all students enrolled in Campus International High School.

and neighborhoods. A part of the project included taking an action step that could have an impact on the community. For example, a student group who studied the challenges of being homeless in Cleveland learned from women at a local shelter that the surrounding streets were not particularly safe or inviting. They partnered with Campus District Inc. and residents from Norma Herr Women’s Shelter to discuss how to improve street conditions and, with support from Purple Film Studios, created a crowdfunding video to raise money for the project. In addition, a student team examining youth perceptions of individuals who are LGBTQ+ were discouraged to find so many negative attitudes towards individuals who identify at lesbian, gay and transgender. Connecting this to a lack of awareness and support, they created a Queer Straight Alliance at their school.

Building on the existing partnership between Cleveland State University and Campus International, Dr. Buckley-Marudas worked with Principal Ameer Kim El-Mallawany to develop a progressive series of research courses that would be taken as part of a regular four-year academic curriculum. In summer 2017, Dr. BuckleyMarudas developed an initial, year-long pilot that five teachers would facilitate with the inaugural 9th grade class during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Dr. Buckley-Marudas and her Campus International collaborators are currently evaluating the design, implementation, and enactment of the action research initiative and preparing courses for the new freshmen and sophomore cohorts entering the School in fall 2018. Based on preliminary analysis, one area of focus will be understanding what “counts” as an action regarding an identified community challenge. This will assist in better measuring the success of action research projects.

Students, in groups of three to five, were expected to engage all steps of the action research process. A key part of this work was ongoing investigation into issues connected with power, bias, and inequities. Along the way, Dr. Buckley-Marudas worked to connect CSU faculty and students with individual projects. A central goal of action research is for young people to see themselves as part of the research community and to contribute knowledge they generate through their data collection and analysis. In March, 106 9th graders presented a collection of 24 original research projects about issues that they identified as part of the first ever Campus Conference: A Youth Research Symposium at Cleveland State University. Students presented their research to an audience of over 200 people, including CMSD and CSU students, CSU faculty and administrators, community members, CMSD personnel, and parents.

Dr. Buckley-Marudas hopes that this work will offer insight on the potential of action research to expand adolescent literacy, position students as researchers and community leaders, and revitalize current approaches to high school research. In order for more schools to embrace action research, she believes that more evidence is needed for how we define and assess the complex literacies and learning tied to the work.

These are some of the questions that led DR. MOLLY BUCKLEY-MARUDAS , an assistant professor of teacher education, to develop a year-long Youth Participatory Action Research program with Campus International High School, a Cleveland-based, international baccalaureate public school located on the CSU campus.

Topics included human trafficking, the gender pay gap, bullying towards LQBTQ+ individuals, gang violence, teen stress, displaced youth, and suicide in their school


“This effort has implications for educators interested in adopting action research in schools as well as for educational practitioners and researchers who want to design more meaningful opportunities for all students,” Dr. BuckleyMarudas says. “As we confront continued injustices and young people begin to position themselves as change agents, school-based research programs offer youth a meaningful way to leverage their voices for social change and develop their capacities as researchers, writers, and civic leaders.” ❚

Improving Practice &

Classroom Student Achievement

with Teacher Action Research



This April, over 120 people gathered in CSU’s Julka Hall to participate in a research showcase hosted by the CSU Action Research Program. During the event, 34 K-12 teachers, partnered with 17 CSU professors, presented their projects in a science fair format. With support from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation and the CSU Center for Urban Education, the program provides professional development to K-12 teachers to increase student achievement through teacherdriven research. CSU professors from across multiple colleges provide one-on-one mentoring for K-12 teachers, staff, and administrators as they conduct one-year research projects in their individual classrooms, across grade levels or throughout their schools. The Action Research Program launched in 2013 in five Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools: Campus International School K-8, Campus International High School, MC2STEM High School, John Marshall High School, and Lincoln-West High School. Led by DR. GRACE HUANG , associate professor of teacher education, and DIANE CORRIGAN , associate clinical professor of curriculum and foundations, the program is designed to facilitate the Teach-Reflect-Teach (TRT) process among CMSD teachers. Teacher action research provides a practical way for teachers to acquire new understanding and to reflect on some of the complexities of the teaching process to improve the quality of their pupils’ learning. In the TRT process, the individual or a team of teachers, facilitated by CSU faculty, 1) formulates their own action research questions, 2) studies what the literature says about the topic, 3) plans and implements an innovative practice and 4) collects data. Teams observe targeted students, analyze student work, and interview students to understand their views on teaching and learning. Each action researcher then looks for answers to the question, “How can we change our teaching so that we will increase the impact on student learning?” Drawing from the proposed answers, the action researcher teaches a second similar unit, implementing the innovative practice that was developed and collects data to compare outcomes. Eighty-five projects have been conducted since 2013, and the success of the program is shown by the consistently strong evaluations of the projects by participants, and the further dissemination of project outcomes in publications and academic conferences across the country. ❚


Assessing School Climate and Education Outcomes In 2017, the Center for Urban Education at Cleveland State University established a research-practice partnership (RPP) with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and the American Institutes for Research called the Cleveland Alliance for Education Research. RPPs are a new model for conducting education research in which researchers and district practitioners collaborate at each step of the research process to ensure its relevance for local schools, students, and educators. Led by DR. ADAM VOIGHT , director of the Center for Urban Education at CSU,



the Alliance received a research grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support the development of the partnership and its preliminary research agenda. The initiative’s first priority has been to examine the relationship between school climate and education outcomes like student achievement, attendance, and behavior in CMSD schools. A positive school climate is one where members of the school community feel physically and emotionally safe, supported, challenged, and connected. Research and theory

Training the Next Generation of Urban Principals

suggest that by improving a school's climate, positive education and developmental outcomes for students will follow. Initial findings suggest that if a CMSD student's perception of safety, teacher expectations and support, and peer relationships improve from one season to the next (e.g., from fall to winter), his or her math and reading achievement and attendance also improve, and he or she receives fewer discipline referrals. This association is strongest in the lower grades (2-4) but still significant in higher grades. It is almost twice as strong for students with disabilities. The results further suggest that school climate influences student education outcomes, rather than the reverse. Based on input from stakeholder partners, the Alliance has created research briefs organized by school climate dimension (e.g., safety, teacher expectations and support, student relationships) and intended for school principals, teachers, and student support staff. Practitioner members of the Alliance feel that it is important for school building-level staff to have this knowledge about school climate in the district to help them make better decisions about how to allocate resources. The work going forward will explore how the implementation of various programs in CMSD affects school climate. This knowledge will provide contextualized guidance to district staff on how to foster safe and supportive schools for and with their students. ❚

Research by CSU suggests

that improving school climate leads to positive educational

and developmental outcomes


The Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) at CSU is one of eight entities in Ohio to receive funding from the Ohio

Department of Education to develop and implement new

leadership standards in its curriculum and further strengthen

its school district and education service center collaborations. CSU’s partners in this effort include key administrative

staff from three of Ohio’s "Big Urban 8,” the Cleveland

Metropolitan School District, Akron City Schools, and the Canton City Schools, as well as the Educational Service Center (ESC) of Northeast Ohio.

Through this effort, CEL has established an advisory group

featuring administrators from local urban school districts that

will review and implement responsive changes to educational leadership programs. These include an update to CSU's

Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure Program (ILP) and the

creation of an Urban Principal Endorsement (UPE) initiative, which will focus more specifically on cultural competency, community engagement, social/ emotional support and human capital management.

“Urban education is unique and requires unique leadership skills to help students, schools and school districts excel,”

says DR. DEBORAH MORIN , director of the Center for

Educational Leadership at CSU. “This effort seeks to better align leadership training and education with the needs of urban schools.”

The Center is currently piloting this new leadership education model with the Canton City Schools, implementing

curriculum changes to a long-standing professional

development program that assists working teachers with

obtaining additional education and certifications that can

help them ultimately move into principal and superintendent positions. The goal is to ensure that the next generation of teacher-leaders have the empathy, cultural understanding and experience to help urban students thrive.

Based on the experiences in Canton, the Center will next

begin implementing the initiative in Cleveland and Akron,

while also disseminating best practices to other educational reform partners across the state. ❚

Research by the Numbers Research Growth

$84 Million

in total research expenditures for 2017, representing 500% growth since 2009.



undergraduate, graduate, and postbaccalaureate students have worked for labs in the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD) from 20082017, including 21 first-generation college students (the first in their immediate family to attend college).

Faculty Research

3X Disability Friendliness and Research

#1 Cleveland State University has been listed as the most affordable and among the most supportive online schools for students with disabilities by the SR Education Group. CSU has deep expertise in research that addresses disabilities, including RE@ CSU, a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site supported by the National Science Foundation.



Research by CSU faculty members PATRICIA STODDARD DARE , CHRISTOPHER MALLETT , and LINDA QUINN demonstrated that working adults without paid sick leave are three times more likely to have incomes below the poverty line. “This adds to the growing body of evidence that paid sick leave is a key factor in health care affordability and economic security,� notes Dr. Stoddard Dare.

Connect with research at Cleveland State University www.csuohio.edu/research



Peer-Reviewed Publications during FY2018 according to the Web of Science database.







Donate to support research at CSU

www.csuohio.edu/support-research csuohio.edu/research

Cleveland State University Office of Research 2121 Euclid Avenue Parker Hannifin Hall, 2nd Floor Cleveland, OH 44115-2214



Graduate students conduct an

experiment in a chemical engineering

lab on campus. CSU began offering its

first graduate degree programs in 1967 and its first doctoral degrees in 1969. A joint Ph.D. program in regulatory biology was established in 1971 in collaboration with the Cleveland

Clinic, starting a 47-year academic and research partnership with the worldrenowned medical center.

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