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Released on Feb 6, 2023
Monday Morning Message 2.6.23 Lighting a Fire.

 Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” – Robert Frost

To paraphrase Yeats and Frost, law school isn't about filling a pail. It's about lighting a fire and awakening our students to new ways of thinking and new opportunities.

This morning, I’m pleased to share some recent emails I’ve received about the extraordinary teaching of our faculty and extraordinary student support provided by our staff. They light fires and awaken every day.

If you want to highlight the great work of a member of our faculty and/or staff, please send me an email, and your words will likely find their way into a future Monday Morning Message.


Professor Christa Laser

“Dean Fisher, I am so grateful that Professor Laser is at CSU Law and wanted you to know that! Her IP survey course was why I joined the law firm. Thank you for supporting her in getting a solid IP program to the school.” – 3L student

Professor Kevin O’Neill

“My interest in attending CSU Law has significantly increased after attending the open house.  I now can envision myself attending as a full-time student, more so since the simulated class on entering evidence during a trial taught by Professor O’ Neill. Those few minutes in the simulated class gave me a glimpse that CSU Law will give me the full and rounded education to start practicing law.”  – Prospective Student

Associate Dean/Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich

“It was me that you saw the other day with my daughter walking to class.  I've had to bring her twice this semester to Criminal Procedure class with Professor Witmer-Rich.  He was gracious and kind both times in letting her come.  She may be the only second grader to have ever attended a Crim Pro class!  I’m thankful for the law school’s support of parenting students.” - 3L student

Professor Doron Kalir

Dear Professor Kalir,  I am so grateful that I was chosen to be a part of the clinic. This has been my best experience thus far in law school. I truly appreciate the standard that you held us all to. It is professors like you that make such a difference, and your passion for this craft is so motivating. There is no doubt that we all will take what we learned from you this semester and use it for the rest of our careers.” – 2L student

Dear Professor Kalir, you set an incredible standard of work ethic, creativity, and attention to detail. I'm really proud to be able to say that I was able to watch you in action and work so closely with you….You have meant so much to my law school experience. I can only hope to find a way to pay you back for the immeasurable experiences you've provided. I am forever grateful.” – 2L Student

Professor Heidi Robertson

Professor Robertson, thank you for your kindness and passion throughout last semester! Although challenging, I really had a great time in your class. I also can't express how much your words of encouragement meant to me when I was struggling.” - 1L Student

Dear Professor Robertson, thank you so much for your kindness and inspiration - very much appreciated!  I don't know if you saw me fighting back tears at the end of class last night, but just know that your kind words came at a much-needed time! I will try to make you proud!” – 1L student


Assistant Dean Sarah Beznoska 

Dear Dean Beznoska, I wanted to reach out and thank you for sending my resume to the law firm. I am happy to report following my interview, I was offered a position as an Associate and accepted the offer last week.  I am very excited to begin my career in the field of practice I always desired to enter, and it wouldn't have happened without your help.  Your hard work provides a great service to all students, especially us night students, and we are all lucky to have you as a resource.”  - 2022 Graduate

Assistant Dean Barbara Andelman and John Bell, Assistant Director of Admissions

“Lee, we’re fortunate to have Barbara and John in Admissions. All of our staff does important work, but without a steady stream of quality students, our mission would be in serious jeopardy!” – Professor Mark Sundahl

Amy Burchfield, Head of Library Research & Instructional Services and Ed Koltonski, Technology & Research Services Librarian

“Dean Fisher, I just wanted to advise you that two members of your library staff, Amy Burchfield and Ed Koltonski, provided legal research training to my business course in labor law yesterday.  As in the past, it was excellent and gave the students some valuable exposure to the law school's research assets.” – Adjunct Professor Alan Zmija

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.

Have a great day. Have a great week.

My best,


Lee Fisher
Dean, Cleveland State University College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law

For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.

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