case western reserve university



Case to showcase Cleveland as place for 'brain gain'

Alumni of Case Western Reserve University, Yale University, Princeton University and Colgate University are working together this summer to replace Northeast Ohio's "brain drain" with "brain gain" through an innovative internship program that provides 55 undergraduates from around the U.S. with experiential learning opportunities and internships at major Cleveland-area businesses.

In an effort to promote Cleveland as the place to live, work, learn and play, Case is co-hosting the regional Yale, Colgate, Case and Princeton alumni associations' 10-week, "Summer on the Cuyahoga 2004" program. The program is a unique economic development initiative launched to curb Northeast Ohio's much-ballyhooed reputation as an area that is losing young talent, also known as "brain drain."

The objective of the program is to actually create a "brain gain" for the future by attracting students from the four hosts and other universities to settle in Northeast Ohio permanently. The Summer 2004 effort expands on the Yale Club's successful "Bulldogs on the Cuyahoga" program held in Summer 2003.

"We were pleasantly surprised by how quickly other alumni clubs were ready to join our initiative," said Baiju R. Shah, the new president of BioEnterprise and president of the Yale initiative."Fifty-five students are more than we forecast in Year 2 of our effort."

The program brings talented undergraduates to Cleveland for high-quality paid internships, community engagement, alumni mentorship and social events. In turn, the program presents an opportunity for the region to showcase its professional, civic and personal offerings. Students leave the program convinced that Cleveland is a great destination for young leaders to pursue their ambitions, believing that this community presents diverse opportunities for development and impact and that the region is eager to embrace new leadership.

"The program's mission and simplicity is what drew our interest," said Dan Hurwitz, executive vice president of Developers Diversified Realty and president of the Colgate initiative."Talent is critical to this region's vitality and future growth. The program is a way for us to raise this area's profile as a potential destination on top campuses across the country."

The 55 participants come from all across the country; one-quarter of the group hails from Ohio. They will work at a variety of corporations, including National City Corporation, Ohio Savings Bank, Eaton Corporation and American Greetings. They also will work at such nonprofits and public institutions as the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Metroparks, the George Gund Foundation and the City of Cleveland.

"Students are attracted to the program both for the great internships as well as the comprehensive summer experience," said Marianne Crosley, program coordinator. "This year, we had more than 300 students apply to participate, demonstrating the appeal of what Cleveland has to offer."

The students live together at Case for the summer. While other clubs joined to attract students to the region, Case is participating to retain the talent it already has attracted to the region.

"The program provides our students with an immersion in Cleveland that goes well beyond what is typical for our undergraduates, even after four years on campus," said Jennifer Schuller, a leader of the Case initiative. "The students will get to interact with a broad spectrum of civic leaders of all types through the more than 20 planned events."

"The students are able to experience the region as a group," noted George Howard, the leader of the Princeton initiative. "This is important as it defines how they communicate about their summer experience back on campus. When they talk about their time in Cleveland, it will always include conversation about the large number of talented and exciting individuals who were there with them."

"The summer program is a marketing approach to change the image of Cleveland on these campuses. We will have 55 students plus all of the region's natives able to talk about the great opportunities, civic engagement and people here on these campuses. This helps regional employers recruit permanent hires from these campuses," said Shah. "In coming years, we hope to add more alumni clubs and continue to grow the program."

The participants have been in Cleveland since May 24 and the program ends July 30. The summer programs are followed by fall recruiting initiatives to attract candidates for permanent positions with Northeast Ohio employers.

The four programs—Bulldogs on the Cuyahoga, Colgate on the Cuyahoga, Case on the Cuyahoga, and the Princeton Cleveland Alumni Work and Service Program (CLAWS)—are unique economic development initiatives launched by local alumni and staff volunteers. Their collective objective is to help reverse the regional "brain drain" by attracting top students to settle in Northeast Ohio. The efforts are supported by several local foundations and corporations as well as alumni contributions.


About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.