Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "Cleveland State University"
74 total

Mark Souther interview, 03 June 2024

Mark Souther, a history professor at Cleveland State University and co-founder of the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities, shares insights about his early life in Gainesville, Georgia, his educational journey through Furman University, the University of Richmond, and Tulane University, and his career path leading to CSU. He discusses his passion for history, influenced by his family background, and his involvement in public history and digital humanities projects. Souther also…

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Charles V. Williams interview, 08 February 2020

Charles V. Williams is a longtime advocate for the Black Deaf community at both the local, state, and national levels. In this second of two interviews, he discusses his advocacy in the Black Deaf community from the 1970s to the present, including volunteering at the Cleveland Society for the Blind, his efforts for greater inclusivity in the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, getting closed captioning added for the 1980 Democratic National Convention, creating an interpreter training…

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Richard Baznik interview, 18 June 2008

Richard Baznik, University Historian at Case Western Reserve University, provides a detailed history of the development of the university and describes how the school responded to various national and local events and movements. He notes CWRU's relationship with other cultural and educational institutions in the area.

Geoffrey Mearns interview, 16 June 2008

Geoffrey Mearns, the Dean of Cleveland Marshall College of Law and Louise Mooney, the communications coordinator stitch together the past, present, and future of Cleveland's public school of law. Mearns, explains what is on the horizon for the law school in terms of community engagement. Mooney provides the history of the law school and how that history has affected the schools present. The Marshall College of Law excels in providing a diverse, well-rounded, and accessible law education for…

Allan Peskin interview, 25 October 2016

Allan Peskin describes his early childhood in Cumberland, Maryland, and his family's arrival in Cleveland and eventual settlement in Cleveland Heights. The interview offers a colorful insight into the life of a young Jewish man living in a suburb of Cleveland. Peskin vividly describes growing up in Cleveland Heights. The interview also highlights Peskin's relationship to Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University.

Abdullah Mina interview, 07 June 2016

Abdullah (Abby) Mina, is a radio host for the Arabic program on Cleveland State University's WCSB 89.3. He has served as the past president of C.A.M.E.O. (Cleveland American Middle East Organization) for twelve years. Abby immigrated to America in 1956 to Richmond, VA and later migrated to Cleveland, OH after marriage to his wife, Mona. He proudly devoted his life in America helping to assimilate and assist Arab immigrants into American society.

Maurice Abood interview, 01 April 2016

Maurice Abood, Vice President of Aladdin's Baking Company, explains how the business came into being in Cleveland, OH as well as his immigration to Cleveland from, Aitaneet, a village in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. He details his transfer from working as a bartender at the local Sheraton hotel to establishing one of the most successful businesses in pita bread making and Lebanese cuisine in the heart of Cleveland.

Leonard M. Trawick Interview, 21 March 2014

Leonard M. Trawick, a transplant from Alabama, describes living in Cleveland for over forty years. Trained to be an English professor, Trawick held positions at Columbia University before he came to Cleveland. He describes working at Columbia during the student unrest of the 1960s. In 1969, Trawick took a position at the newly created Cleveland State University. He relates the conditions of the school during those early years. He also has fond memories of the poetry programming that Cleveland…

Jane Gardener interview, 2006

Jane Gardener shares her memories of downtown Cleveland since the 1960s, including stories about shopping at downtown department stores during the holidays, trips to the Agora and sports arenas, and experiences as a student at Cleveland State University.

James Hardiman Interview, 10 July 2014

James Hardiman is a lawyer who assisted in lawsuits regarding discrimination. He graduated from Cleveland State University with his law degree and later became the president of the Cleveland chapter of the NAACP twice.

Donald Ramos Interview, 24 June 2013

Donald Ramos was born in 1942 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to a family of Portuguese descent. He attended the University of Massachusetts, served in the U.S. Army, and enrolled in the doctoral program in Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. He accepted a position in the History Department at Cleveland State University in 1971 but soon moved to First College, a newly created unit in the university, where he stayed until 1997, when he returned to chair the History Department. He…

Jacqueline Gillon Interview, 12 July 2013

Jacqueline Gillon is a native Clevelander from the Glenville area. She was born in 1956 to parents who became actively involved in the community. Her family moved from the Glenville neighborhood to East Cleveland when she was 9. She attended Chambers Elementary, Kirk Junior High, and Shaw High school. She remembers the Kennedy and King assassinations, the death of Bruce Klunder, and the Hough and Glenville riots. From Shaw she went to Hiram College where she got involved in student activism. She…

Thomas Hartshorne interview, 04 May 2005

Thomas Hartshorne, professor emeritus of History at Cleveland State University describes the early years of Cleveland State University's existence and its development over time, as well as reactions to the Kent State shootings on May 4th, 1970.
Very poor sound quality.

William Becker interview, 2006

This interview with William Becker of Cleveland State University archives focuses on the history of CSU, as well as its precursor Fenn College. See also William Becker Interview, 2005 (400006) and William Becker Interview, 15 October 2014 (500047).
Very poor sound quality.

Geoff Mearns Interview, 14 June 2012

In this 2012 interview, Geoff Mearns talks about growing up in Shaker and moving back. He spent his high school years in Shaker Heights in the 1970s, and then moved back to raise his kids there. His mother was on city council and then became the first woman to be mayor in Shaker Heights. He talks a little bit about her, as well as his father's involvement in desegregation in Cleveland Schools. Mearns also discusses changes taking place in Shaker today, especially the widening socioeconomic gap…

Sally D. Florkiewicz Interview, 19 August 2014

Sally Florkiewicz is a native to the Cleveland Area. She grew up at Gracemont and graduated from West Geauga High School. After high school she enrolled at Ohio University where she got a degree in education and first became active in politics. After college she returned to Cleveland and taught school. In 1998 she was appointed by Governor George Voinovich to the Cleveland State Board of Trustees and served for 14 years. While on the board Florkiewicz served on the Honorary Degrees and…

William Shepard interview, 22 August 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Commemoration Effort. William Shepard is a native to the Cleveland area, having been born and raised in the city's eastern suburb of Lorain and is currently the Director of Operations and Technical Support at the university. He initially enrolled as an education and psychology major at CSU back in 1971 but later changed his academic focus to information technology after being exposed to coding by some of his…

William Becker Interview, 15 October 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Commemoration effort. Becker is a native Clevelander and is currently CSU's archivist. Becker enrolled at CSU in the fall of 1969, majoring in history. Following graduation he received a scholarship and received his M.A. in History from CWRU in 1974. He later returned to CSU to become the university's archivist after finishing his degree and has served in that position ever since. Of particular interest is…

William R. Bennett Interview, 16 July 2014

William R. Bennett, previously the Financial Aid Director at Cleveland State University (CSU), discusses his position and how things have changed for African Americans in North East Ohio. He begins by talking about his experiences at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. He recalls that those days, days of segregation, no one confronted the students because they were a major economic driver in the town. After Hampton, Bennett came to Cleveland and pursued a research position at area hospitals…

Tom Hopkins Interview, 12 August 2014

Tom Hopkins, a Senior Vice President at Sherwin Williams, shares his memories of going to Cleveland State (CSU) as a graduate in psychology. He talks about how the professors at CSU gave him direction when he was feeling lost, and ultimately they helped him achieve his job at Sherwin Williams. Hopkins mentions his beginnings and how he got to CSU, and he spends time talking about what his responsibilities are for Sherwin Williams. Finally, he spends a great deal of time talking about personal…

William W. Taft Interview, 11 July 2014

William W. Taft discusses his involvement with the creation of Cleveland State University (CSU). He was one of the Republican sponsors of the bill that established the university. Alongside prominent figures like James Nance, Taft became an original board member. He discusses his recollections of both the bill and the board, but he also mentions his political life. He brings up James Rhodes and discusses various programs and ideas that Rhodes had like CSU. Taft does not stop at describing the…

James Lanese and Delia Lanese Interview, 18 August 2014

James and Delia Lanese, both graduates of Cleveland State University (CSU), talk about their experiences inside and outside of the school. He graduated in 1971 and she got her degree in 1970. Both pursued careers in education, Delia became a teacher and Jim eventually became an administrator and adjunct college professor, stopping to work on desegregation along the way. They explain how Vietnam caused problems and headaches for the couple, including a concern of the draft. Finally, they talk…

John J. Boyle, III Interview, 3 July 2014

John J. Boyle, III, longtime Clevelander, discusses his work at Cleveland State University (CSU). His long career at CSU includes being involved as a student, serving on the board of trustees, and as a vice president under President Michael Schwartz. He talks about parking issues around the campus, and how he has worked at resolving them. He also brings up the antagonism between the city council and CSU, but the university worked hard to correct their image and connect to the community. Boyle…

Geral Fuerst Interview, 11 July 2014

This interview was conducted as part of the CSU 50th Anniversary Commemmoration. Gerald Fuerst is a Cleveland native who attended Cathedral Latin and later CRWU for both his bachelor's and law degrees. He served as a representative in the Ohio legislature from 1962-1966 and was one of the co-sponsors of the CSU Bill. Later he served as the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts, winning 9 elections and holding the position for 38 years before retiring in 2013. In this interview Fuerst discusses his…

Evan Morse Interview, 23 September 2014

Dr. Evan Morse owns and operates the Warrensville Animal Center in Warrensville Hts., Ohio, which he opened in June 1972. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, from a young age Morse had a strong interest in animals of all types. He attended Maggie L. Walker High School in Richmond, the University of Virginia and went on to study veterinary medicine at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. Morse moved to Cleveland after graduation and became an associate of Dr. David Rickards whom he worked…

Marguerite Jost Hrabak Interview, 7 August 2014

Marguerite Jost Hrabak, originally a student at Fenn College, graduated from Cleveland State University (CSU) in 1974. Always good with her hands from a young age, Hrabak began at Fenn in 1947 working towards an engineering degree. She discusses how it was being on of two women in a sea of men. She mentions how she left school to raise a family, build a house, work at her father's shop, and begin a small business in her basement with her husband. After a long hiatus, she returned to CSU and…

Michael Schwartz Interview, 11 July 2014

This interview was conducted as part of the CSU 50th Anniversary Commemmoration Project. Dr. Michael Schwartz served as President of Cleveland State from 2002-2009. Schwartz is originally from Chicago, IL and attended the University of Illinois where he earned his B.A, M.A, and PhD. After the completion of his PhD Schwartz entered academia, working at Wayne State, Indiana University, FAU, and KSU which is touched upon during the interview. The majority of the interview details Schwartz's tenure…

Bill Napier Interview, 10 October 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Commemoration effort. Bill Napier is currently the Secretary to the Board of Trustees at CSU. Napier is a native of Cleveland, Tennessee. Napier came to Ohio initially as a graduate student at Ohio State University and was hired on as President Harold Enarson's Executive Assistant while pursuing his degree. Bill worked for the Board of Regents for a number of years before he was approached by CSU president,…

Maria Agosto Interview, 20 September 2014

In this brief interview, Maria Agosto discusses coming to Cleveland State University (CSU) and pursuing a degree in Urban Affairs. She mentions how happy she is with the transformation of Euclid Avenue, and she is very impressed with the progress that CSU seems to be making. She continues by talking about other renovations within Downtown Cleveland.

Debbie Lowe Interview, 20 September 2014

In this brief interview, Debbie Lowe discusses making friends at Cleveland State University (CSU). She talks about being a part of the biology program and how that allowed her to make lifelong best friends. She also talks about her first class, which was in a quansett hut. She described that classroom as austere and cold during the winter. She concludes by saying that her time at CSU was the best four years of her life, and she hated to leave.

Anthony Szpak Interview, 20 September 2014

This interview was conducted during the Homecoming event at Cleveland State University. Anthony Szpak attended Fenn College from 1959-1964. In the interview he describes Fenn's campus, his experiences during his co-op and some of his accomplishments since his graduation.

Diann G. Scaravilli Interview, 8 August 2014

Diann G. Scaravilli, an actor by training, talks about her background in the performing arts, her roles in fundraising and event planning, and her association with Cleveland State. She gives her educational history, which took her out of the state of Ohio, and her romantic interests that brought her back. She mentions being on the Board of Trustees at CSU during a turbulent moment (the so-called Winbush Affair) that was surrounded by a landmark event (the 25th Anniversary Gala).Through her…

Terry Pluto Interview, 21 August 2014

Terry Pluto is long-time sports writer for both The Akron Beacon Journal and The Plain Dealer. Along with reporting on sports as a columnist Pluto has also authored twenty-three books and is widely considered one of the greatest sports writers of all time. A native Clevelander, Pluto graduated from Benedictine High School before enrolling at Hiram College. After one year at Hiram Pluto transferred to Cleveland State University, graduating in 1979. During this interview Pluto describes his time…

Matt Ghaffari Interview, 28 August 2014

Matt Ghaffari was a Greco-Roman wrestler for the United States national team. He was an alternate on for the Los Angeles and Seoul Games and competed for the US at the Barcelona and Atlanta games, winning the silver medal at the 1996 games in Atlanta. Born in Tehran, Iran, Ghaffari immigrated to the US with his family in 1976. Ghaffari earned an Associates degree from Fairleigh-Dickinson College before transferring to Cleveland State on scholarship to fill the wrestling team's void at the…

Kelly Falcone-Hall Interview, 30 September 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Commemoration effort. A native of Cleveland's west side, Falcone- Hall is currently the director of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Following high school Falcone-Hall initially attended Eastern Michigan University before transferring to CSU in the fall of 1989. After finishing her BA she continued her education at CSU, earning her MA in history. After graduation Falcone-Hall took a position at WRHS…

William E. Wilson Interview, 24 July 2014

William E. Wilson, the current Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Cleveland State University (CSU), discusses the history of technology on the campus over the last thirteen years. He talks about his experiences with technology at his alma mater, Penn State, and compares where technology was on campus in the 1970s to the technology on CSU's campus today. He also contrasts where technology was when he first arrived at CSU and how certain focuses have changed and adapted to the times. He provides a…

Monte Ahuja, Interview, 04 August 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Comemmoration effort. Monte Ahuja, currently the CEO of Mura Holdings and founder of the Transtar automotive distribution company, was born in India and emigrated to the United States in 1968 after recieving a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. He emigrated in order to pursue a masters degree in mechanical engineering at The Ohio State University. After he completed his degree at OSU he entered the PhD…

Patrick Sweeney Interview, 1 July 2014

This interview was conducted as part of the CSU 50th Anniversary Commemoration. Patrick Sweeney is the Chief Senior Advisor in the Office of Government Relations. A member of the state legislature beginning in 1967 representing Cleveland, Sweeney was a staunch supporter of CSU during its early development and continues to contribute to the university in his current role at present. Along with the role that he has played in CSU, Sweeney has been a long time advocate of the arts, supporting both…

Nancy A. Somnitz Interview, 20 September 2014

In this short interview, Nancy Somnitz recalls going to Fenn College (later Cleveland State University). She went in with desires to be a chemistry educator, but ended up teaching a wide array of subjects to elementary schoolchildren through to high school students. She talks about her co-op experiences and concludes by talking about what she did after school.

Peter Bode Interview, 30 July 2014

Peter Bode, a recent graduate of Cleveland State University (CSU), talks about what he did before going to the university, while he was at CSU, and what he has done since. He states that from a young age he was very involved in nature, so much so that as he grew up he became a landscaper. Due to several injuries, he could no longer continue in that line of work so he went to CSU to gain training to become an environmental scientist. While at CSU, Bode was involved with a great many things,…

Frank G. Jackson Interview, 11 August 2014

Frank G. Jackson, mayor of Cleveland, discusses his interactions with Cleveland State University (CSU), his political history, and the projects he has implemented as mayor. He mentions his path to get his various degrees, and how he felt while he was getting these degrees. He also talks about the atmosphere at CSU and how it was different from where he started at Cuyahoga Community College. After his education he talks about his political career, and how he has had a unique experience being on…

Vida B. Lock Interview, 28 July 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Comemmoration effort. Vida Lock has been a member of Cleveland States nursing faculty since 1978 and is the current Dean of The School of Nursing. A native of Cleveland, Lock attended Villa Angela before enrolling at St. John's College of Cleveland where she earned her BSN. She than attended Kent State University and was soon recruited to teach Continuing Education courses at Cleveland State. In this interview…

Marguerite Jost-Hrabak Interview, 07 August 2014

This interview was conducted by Jost-Hrabak's son, Christopher Hrabak, and has been included as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Oral History Project. Jost-Hrabak attended Fenn College for two years following World War II where she was one of two women out of a student body of over 700. She would later return to finish her degree at CSU in the 1970s. In this interview she recounts much of her family's history and relates several stories from her life prior to 1962 when her…

Ed Ferenc Interview, 06 August 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Comemmoration effort. Ed Ferenc is a lifelong Clevelander. Born on the citys east side, Ferenc moved Seven Hills where he attended Shiloh Jr. High and Normandy HS. Ferenc initially enrolled at CSU as an electrical engineering student but soon after switched his major to communications. He was part of the campus radio station WCSU and began working at WMMS while still a student at Cleveland State. At WMMS Ferenc…

Andrew Gross Interview, 24 June 2014

Dr. Andrew Gross, a longtime member of the faculty at Cleveland State University (CSU), describes his various experiences and achievements in his academic career. He touches on growing up in Hungary and surviving World War II along with five years of Soviet occupation. He then describes his education. Gross attended McGill University and Case Institute of Technology as an undergraduate, went on to Western Reserve University to get his MBA, and finally received his PhD from Ohio State University.…

Kathy Lampley Interview, 20 September 2014

In this brief interview, Kathy Lampley discusses her time at Cleveland State University (CSU). She mentions where she had her classes, how the campus has changed, and the difficulties of writing papers. She also talks about parking at the university, and how she never had any trouble finding a place for her Yellow Chevrolet Chevette.

Louis Stokes Interview, 17 December 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Commemoration effort. Born and raised in Cleveland, Louis Stokes is most widely recognized as being the first African-American to be elected to Congress from Ohio. Stokes graduated from Central High School and was drafted into the army during WW2. Following his service in the military he attended Western Reserve University on his GI Bill and continued on to earn his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall Law…

Morton Q. Levin Interview, 31 October 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Commemoration effort. Morton Levin is currently a trustee at CSU. A Cleveland-area native, Levin graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1959 before going on the earn his bachelor's and law degrees at the University of Michigan. After law school Levin returned to Cleveland to practice law with his uncles and soon became involved with CSU through his aunt, Maxine Levin. Levin helped to set up a special…

Robert P. Madison Interview, 21 August 2014

Robert P. Madison started his architectural firm in Cleveland on July 17, 1954. When it opened its doors it was the first African-American architectural firm in Cleveland and one of the first, if not the first, African-American owned and operated firm in Ohio. Madison's offices were located directly across the street from Cleveland State University and he watched as the campus grew and developed over time. Eventually, after years of working to establish the credentials of his firm in a…