Class Notes


John Davin ‘60
Rocky River, Ohio
John, a start basketball player and golfer for the Case Institute of Technology, was inducted into the Spartan Club Hall of Fame at Homecoming 2018. John was one of the leading scorers on the CIT basketball team, earning three letters, serving as a team captain for two years, and claiming a pair of All-Presidents' Athletic Conference honors. He and six other inductees were first recognized at halftime of the Homecoming football game, a 37-7 win over Saint Vincent College, October 13 at DiSanto Field.

Kanapur “Chandra” Savalappan MS ‘63
Monroe, New Jersey  
Chandra and his wife, Kushala, recently relocated to the U.S. to be closer to their three children. He’s working on his first book, East or West—Life is Bliss, a semi-autobiographical account of his life as an engineer and business executive on two continents. Chandra graduated from Case Institute of Technology in 1963 with a master’s degree in environmental engineering and worked in pollution control and environmental engineering in both India and the United States. After he retired in 2000, he founded a school to help educate children in a remote part of India.


Teresa Head-Gordon ’83, PhD
Berkeley, California
Teresa, the Chancellor’s Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, was elected to the 2018 class of American Chemical Society Fellows. The Akon native earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Case Institute of Technology and her doctorate in theoretical chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.


Laura J. Flanagan ‘90
Wilmette, Illinois
Laura was named to the Board of Directors of Callaway Golf Company in November 2018 as it expanded its board from nine to 10 members. She is currently CEO of Foster Farms, one of the leading poultry producers on the West Coast. Previously, Laura served as President of the Snacks Division of ConAgra Foods in Omaha, Nebraska. She earned her bachelor’s degree in systems and control engineering from Case Institute of Technology in 1990 and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1996. Earlier in her career, she was a manufacturing engineer for Saturn Corp. when it was run by Case alumnus Skip LeFeuvre ‘56. In 2013, Laura was awarded the Meritorious Service Award by the Case Alumni Association. 

Robin Knauerhase '90
Portland, Oregon
Robin has retired from the Intel Corporation after a 26-year career in which she worked mostly on advanced research in the Intel Labs division. In that span, she was awarded 44 U.S. patents and was published in leading computer-science workshops and journals. She earned her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Case Institute of Technology and her master’s at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She plans to take a "gap year" to travel and pursue fun projects while she decides whether more tech, academia, or LGBTQ advocacy will be her next adventure. .

Christian Zorman, MS ’91, PhD ‘94
Euclid, Ohio
Chris was appointed Associate Dean of Research at the Case School of Engineering in October 2018 by Dean Venkataramanan Balakrishnan. He has served in the position on an interim basis for the past year and the dean credited him with “an exceptional job.” Chris earned his master’s and doctorate in physics from Case and joined the faculty in 2002 in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is considered an expert in the field of MEMS.   

Class Notes
Robert Stalder ‘94
Batesville, Mississippi
Rob was named vice chairman of the board of the Phi Kappa Theta Foundation, which supports and guides the national network of Phi Kappa Theta fraternities.He was president of the CWRU chapter of Phi Kappa Theta while an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering. Rob is the Chief Innovation Officer at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Rong Xu, PhD ‘98
Beachwood, Ohio
Rong attracted $5 from the National Institutes of Health for two projects that will try to tackle the biochemistry behind Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Rong, an associate professor at the CWRU School of Medicine's Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, is an internationally recognized expert in biomedical informatics. She will apply artificial intelligence and big data methods to try to fathom the causes of the dreaded disease. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Peking University, her master’s in biology from Case and a master’s in computer science and PhD in biomedical informatics from Stanford.


Class Notes
Yijun Deng PhD ‘00

Dresher, PA
Yijun in May was appointed vice president of drug discovery at Asieris Pharmaceuticals, a China-based biotech company that specializes in cancer drugs.  He earned his doctorate in organic chemistry at Case as an international student and worked as a research and development specialist for several U.S.-based drug companies, including Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute and Tetralogic Pharmaceuticals.

Ashley (Graff) Spears ‘04
Edinboro, PA
Ashley has been appointed director of facilities management and planning at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania after serving in the interim role since April. In her previous position as manager of construction and planning, Ashley oversaw all aspects of major construction projects on Edinboro’s campus. Before joining the university, Ashley was a project manager for Whiting-Turner. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from Case and a bachelor’s in physics from Edinboro.



Class Notes
Denn M. Manglona ‘14

Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Denn is working as a civil engineer in the Mariana Islands, where he recently passed the Civil Engineering PE Examination. After earning his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Case he moved to Saipan to be closer to family. He’s an assistant project manager for Pacific Engineering Group and Services. 

Ujval Reddy Atla MS ‘17
Palo Alto, CA
Ujval is a systems engineer for Tesla, where he interned while earning his master’s in mechanical engineering at Case. As an international student from India, he participated in CWRU Motorsports and Baja SAE competitions. He speaks four languages and is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Class Notes
Emily Graczyk, PhD ’18
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Emily was one of 50 early-career scientists chosen as a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Riser—a potential superstar with expertise important to national security--at DARPA’s 60th anniversary symposium in September.
A research associate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, she was one of only three award winners chosen to address the 1,600 conference attendees. Emily shared her groundbreaking research into restoring natural sensation to amputees with prosthetics.