Monday Morning Message 2.16.21 Before You Invest....Listen to our Students.

Posted 2021-02-16 9:10am

Thank you so much for the calls and concerns-it is greatly appreciated. I am so lucky to call Cleveland Marshall College of Law my law school." – 2L student recovered from COVID-19

 oday is Giving Day, an annual online fundraising event where the eight colleges across the Cleveland State University campus compete to raise the most dollars from as many donors as possible before midnight. Giving Day is about asking you to invest in our mission.

But before you invest, you have a right to know whether we are fulfilling our mission.

While there are many measures of our success, none is more important than what our students say - in their own words - about our faculty and about what they are learning.

Why? Because by investing in our mission, you are investing in our students. That’s what it means to be a student-centered law school.

Below are some very recent examples of what our students are saying.

Professor April Cherry“Thank you for a wonderful semester…..Taking your class was a great decision.  I wanted to let you know that I appreciated how you taught the course and how you provided context to the topics we covered. I will recommend your class to my other friends at the law school.” – 2L student

 Professor Patti Falk- “….I wanted to express not only how well I thought your course was organized but also how well I thought you did on Zoom. It is a challenging environment for both students and faculty, but for good or bad, we are all getting used to this new normal. That said, your course has been the best delivered course on Zoom I have had so far…I just wanted to let you know that your course format and delivery were awesome.” -2L student

 Professor Christa Laser – Thank you for the help and for a great class today. I truly enjoy your Socratic method of teaching and look forward to a good semester.” – 1L student

 Professor Milena Sterio:  “After taking this course with you I have taken three of your classes, one each year.  Each and every one has been a pleasure and your passion for education does not go unnoticed.  Thank you very much for your contributions, efforts, and support throughout my law school journey.” – 3L student

Professor David Forte: “I just wanted to reach out and thank you for a great year. Your class challenged me to think more like a lawyer, and pick apart issues. I really felt that you transitioned the class to Zoom so well, and I really appreciate how much you care about truly educating us.” – 2L student

Professor Reggie Oh: “I was just listening in to my students bantering on Zoom before I joined my office hours, when I heard one of the students ask "Who do you have for Con Law?" The other student answered "Prof. Oh...He's literally the best!" – Professor Mark Sundahl

 Professor Kevin O’Neill: I would like to give a special shout-out to Professor O'Neill. His First Amendment class has been a tremendous experience and is my most enjoyable course this semester. This is the single class that I have the option to attend in-person, so I do try to attend as much as possible. He has done an amazing job accommodating for the hybrid course, assigning a fair workload, and giving students proper notice of when they will be called on. He has also put together phenomenal resources/guides for the students to reference and use throughout the semester. The last few months have been a challenging experience for me, academically and mentally.” – 2L student

Professor Brandon Stump: “The amount of feedback he provides and attention to detail he has shown to these students has helped them achieve the ability to write phenomenally … He has been beyond understanding to the circumstances and a source for support to many of his students during a very difficult time for all. I think that a lot of people aren’t always given credit for the hard work and the sincerity they show, so I wanted to take a moment to recognize him for this. He, as well as many of my other professors, are the people I look up to in these kind of situations because of their ability to show they are just human, too. This time is not easy no matter what position you are in, but it means the world to students to see that transparent side of their professors and know that they are always available to students in need of support. He not only says, but also shows how he wants nothing but the best for these new law students.” - 2L student

Professor Michael Borden – “I will be graduating this spring, Magna Cum Laude. If it was not for your confidence in me and the conversations we had after the first semester, I would not have found the confidence in myself to achieve this goal. I truly appreciate the time you took to speak with me…I cannot explain in words how your faith in me, and my potential success in this legal field motivated me through this process.” – 3L student

Professor Brian Ray, Adjunct Professor Spence Witten“I am a first-year graduate student mastering legal studies in cybersecurity and data privacy….I wanted to tell you how great the program has been to me. You have put together wonderful and caring people who are passionate and educated on the law and cybersecurity. Professor Ray and Professor Witten treated us as if we were one of their children. Always available for questions, made the material fun, and broke down the harder concepts to easily be understood…I look forward to seeing the program grow and, I hope you understand you have a gem on your hands.” - Cyber MLS Student

“Professor Brian Ray and Professor John Plecnik have been instrumental in my working towards the master's degree.” -MLS Student

Professor Doron Kalir –“ I want to first thank you for a great semester. Your passion for contracts is contagious and the class was something that I always looked forward to each week and thoroughly enjoyed the readings. It will definitely be something I miss.” – 1L student

Professor Doron Kalir – Everything you taught I will, and have already been putting into action in everyday life which is a greater value than simply for an exam.  So I thank you for that and really did learn a lot. I already have a hard time of letting go of things, but I know my contracts notebook is something I’ll hold onto forever.” – 1L student

Professor Peter Garlock: Now that the semester is over, I wanted to take the time to reach out and thank you for your effort and flexibility this semester. I know that making the necessary adjustments for remote learning is by no means easy while attempting to balance other duties and obligations. I believe that my experience in your class is what will most help me to build the discipline and understand the responsibilities necessary to succeed as a lawyer. I appreciate the dedication that you display to both your work and to your students….” - 1L student

 Professor Peter Garlock“As I prepare for next semester's classes, I wanted to reach out to you and say thank you for a great semester of torts. I found the cases and the reasoning behind the opinions very interesting…. I genuinely enjoyed this semester of torts, and I learned studying and organizational skills that can be applied anywhere. I found that I was inspired to push myself throughout the semester to understand the material better. When I needed clarification of a topic, you were always helpful with a prompt email reply or a phone call. I also appreciate the flexibility that was allowed for answering the exam questions and the way in which the content we learned was prioritized over essay formatting.” – 1L Student

Professor Heidi Robertson“…Just wanted to reach out and say thank you for a great semester of legislation and regulation! I learned so much about the way our government works. I appreciate you taking the time to address our questions outside of usual class hours as well.  I see my job from a whole other perspective now.” – 1L student

Professor Heidi Robertson – “….Just wanted to thank you for teaching our Environmental Law course this past semester.  As someone who knew very little about the field, having the overview was very helpful to put environmental issues in context….I appreciated how much you cared about our well-being given everything going on. Even over Zoom, we felt your kindness and compassion and are so grateful to you for it. “ – 3L student

 Professor Heidi Robertson“Thank you for making me feel confident and for helping me think like a lawyer!” -1L student

Associate Deans Carolyn Broering- Jacobs and Jonathan Witmer-Rich: “I just wanted to reach out and say thank you to the Deans and school for all the hard work you have put into this semester for us. I know how much has been thrown at all of you this semester, and I can't imagine it has been easy. Trying to control a pandemic that is out of your hands, while still trying to keep all the students happy (most of whom have quite differing opinions) might as well be an impossible task. With that, I just wanted to let you know that you have been doing an incredible job. If you asked me what more you could do, I couldn't tell you. And while I cannot speak for all, I know from speaking to students that many others agree….I cannot reiterate how much it means to see such a receptive and caring administration for its students. When people ask me about the law school it is the first reason thing I mention, followed by a recommendation to apply. – 1L student

Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct Professors Jeffrey Holland and DanaMarie Pannella –“ we wanted to reach out and thank you for teaching us Animal Law this past semester…This course was FANTASTIC! It was your first time teaching at Cleveland-Marshall and we had to meet via Zoom, but we had wonderfully interactive sessions that we all looked forward to weekly. We so appreciated learning the practical aspects of Animal Law and being given the opportunity to discuss cases in your actual practice. It made us feel like lawyers! Our final projects were also very practical and while we all put in a lot of extra work to learn evidence or procedure we had not yet learned, your confidence in our abilities pushed us to excel.” – 3L student

Adjunct Professor Spence Witten –“ Deciding to go back to school and change paths is not an easy thing to do. Finding a balance between working full time, going to school and making time for your family is a challenge. This was my first semester and I have felt overwhelmed more times than I care to mention.  However, having Julie DiBiasio there to check in and be supportive is a big help. I had the pleasure of having an amazing professor teaching Cybersecurity- Spence Witten… He made himself available to all of us…..I truly believe having him teach the first class is a great thing because he gives that extra boost of confidence we need.” – Cyber MLS Student

Adjunct Professor Bob Triozzi“I've been on campus Mondays and Wednesdays for Criminal Justice Decision Points with Professor Triozzi which is one of the best courses I have taken in law school. I appreciate the administration working with Professor Triozzi to set that class up and I appreciate that we are able to have it in person.” – 3L student

 It would mean a lot to us if you would take a moment before midnight to invest in the success of our students.

 No gift is too small. Every dollar matters.

Invest in our Mission.  Invest in our Students.

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

Have a great day. Have a great week.

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

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My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our law school or our university.

My best,


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

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