Wolves Den

The lion and the tiger may be the most powerful, but the wolf does not perform in the circus

Moot Court Competition

Two Cleveland State University Moot Court teams won national titles in two different competitions in March.  The two teams beat around 15 other teams from schools across the country.

Madelyn Grant, Rachel Byrnes, and Aaren Host won the August A. Rendigs National Product Liability Moot Court Competition hosted by the University of Cincinnati. Alanna Guy, Ben Fuchs, and Melissa Belancini, won at the Gabriele family law competition in Albany, New York.

“Each round you are presenting your argument to the judges while they pepper you with questions as frequently or infrequently as they please. It is essentially a competition in preparation, advocacy skills, and the ability to respond and recover quickly on your feet,” said Grant an in email interview.

Each team has around four weeks to prepare an oral argument that they will present to a panel of either three or six judges depending on the round in the competition. The judges are either current or past Court of Appeals judges or State Supreme Court Justices.

To guide them through the process, the student groups are advised by coaches throughout the process. Michael Pelagalli (Reminger), Ciera Parish (Calfee), and Grayson Seig (Jones Day) were the advisors for Grant’s team.


Teams are divided into groups of three and presented with a case. The teams are expected to prepare a brief for both sides of the argument, as they are not informed which they will argue for until the start.

“We worked together as a team throughout the entire process. We somewhat divided up the work when writing the brief in terms of research however the final brief was the product of a true team effort. For the advocacy portion, each team member is arguing a different aspect of your case whether you are arguing opposite sides or arguing on the same side but just a different part of the issue at hand,” said Grant.

The competition was designed to place current law students in the setting they will soon be in. The realistic environment offers a fundamental perspective on becoming a lawyer and the amount of oral arguing that is done in court.


Funding for Microgrid Study

The Maxine Goodman Levine College of Urban affairs received a grant of $200,000 from the Cleveland Foundation to fund a Microgrid Study of the downtown Cleveland Area that will take place in Spring of 2018.

In partnership with Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University’s Energy Policy Center will look into the way incoming and existing businesses can benefit from energy smart technology.

Andrew Thomas, Executive in Residence of Energy Policy Center, is one of the leaders of the study.

“The main goal is to determine if there might be opportunities for economic development in Cleveland through the attraction of industries that need inexpensive but reliable power,” said Thomas.


The main beneficiaries of this study include current Cleveland residents and business owners, as well as future generations that may benefit from the smart energy solutions. The microgrids have a chance to decrease price of energy while maximizing reliability.


“The goal of the study is to determine if a microgrid located in downtown Cleveland can be a driver for economic development among those industries and businesses that need higher quality and resilient power. Cleveland State has already taken measures to ensure resiliency for its key electrical systems, so it remains to be seen how much value a microgrid might have for the university,” said Thomas.


The study comes from the need to reduce the cost and pollution created by energy systems, while increasing system reliability. The Cleveland Foundation gave these funds because it will serve the community to better understand the costs and benefits associated with microgrids in Cleveland. Cleveland State University received slightly less than half of the grant with some being spread among Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, and several consultants on the project.


A microgrid is a small network of electricity users with a local source of supply that is usually attached to a centralized grid but can function independently according to Dr. Thomas. The primary location of the study is downtown Cleveland and may include some parts of Cleveland State’s campus.


The planning for the project began this month and intends to include faculty and students from both Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University.

Cybersecurity Conference

Cybersecurity conference.


The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection Center hosted its second annual Cybersecurity Conference on April 27-28.  The meeting was constructed to discuss emerging issues with the complexity of cybersecurity and as a potential networking opportunity for students.


The scheduled events included a series of presentations as well as lunches designed to familiarize employers with potential employees.


The conference was hosted by Lee Fisher the Interim Dean of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Brian Ray Professor and Co-director of Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection.


This event targeted new strategies in managing cybersecurity and privacy risks. It focused on the combination of legal, managerial and technical methods to dealing with developing issues.


The ticket costs ranged from $69-$249 depending on the package purchased. While there were equal networking opportunities on both days, there were different speakers and presentations on each day.


Maureen K. Ohlhausen the Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade commission was the keynote speaker on the first day. Travis Leblanc, Former Chief of Bureau of Enforcement Federal Communications Commission was the opening speaker on the second day.



Tom Briggs a second year Law student at Cleveland State attended the conference on the first day. According to Tom, the advantage of the conference came mostly from the veteran status of those presenting and the sponsors that made it possible.



“It was interesting in that very experienced people were all present,” said Briggs. “Some of the best in the industry were there and I got to hear the two keynote speakers present. It helped make sense of a lot of the different factors of cybersecurity.”


Government officials, Cleveland State representatives, business executives, cyber insurance firms, litigators, information security officers and privacy managers from an array of businesses attended.


While many students went for the networking, others went for as chance to hear from experts about a developing, relevant industry.


“A major issue with cybersecurity is that it is complex. It is always changing and it is made up of a lot of moving parts,” said Briggs. “It also involves literally every industry, so narrowing down how to explain it is difficult.”

Dean of Business

The Cleveland State University Monte Ahuja College of Business has selected a new dean. Dr. Sanjay Putrevu, who currently serves as Dean of the University of Wyoming, shall begin as dean on July 1st.


Dr. Putrevu earned his undergrad in Management at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India and his Ph.D. in Marketing at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He has never lived in Cleveland, only as close as Buffalo and Albany, New York.


In a recent interview he stated that he hopes his ability to bring together faculty, staff and students to achieve a common goal for the future of the college. He is working as dean after a period of interim deans held the position.


“It is premature to decide on changes,” said Putrevu. “I first need to come to CSU, meet with all the stakeholders and understand their concerns and aspirations. Once I have a better understanding of the various challenges and opportunities, together we’ll set a course for the future of the college.”


The role is predominantly an administrative one that offers a $280,000 salary. His perspective of his new job is a positive one as is his view of Cleveland.


“It is a very exciting leadership opportunity in a vibrant city,” he said. “Everyone seems ready to embrace the future and willing to work hard to take the college and university to the next level.”


His priorities are aligned with the growing student body and he expressed his openness to hearing the concerns of students.


“My priorities are student success, academic excellence, and community engagement,” he said. “I would love to sit down with students to understand their concerns and seek their input as we chart a course for the future of the college.”

Visionless Nicholas

Nick, a.k.a Visionless Nicholas, may be the only blind person who knows where they are going. Yes, another kid thinks he can rap, fortunately for everyone he is actually good—really good. He is not your typical rapper for more reasons than the obvious one. He has, as the kids call it, “flow”. Pardon the jargon, but that is the only word to accurately describe the strictly pondered poetry that Nick used to write. It’s baffling to witness the ability with which he memorizes entire rap songs with no way of writing his rhymes. Though his talent was realized long before the accident, he believes that this has made him more able to focus on the way things sound together rather than how they group grammatically. “It’s like I can make better sense of the way words sound with music because I don’t have to read or see them. I used to close my eyes while I rapped and wrote…I guess it was kind of ironic,” Nick said. While I have agreed to not try to promote Nick any further than sharing his story, my main goal was to get him to go to an open mic session at virtually any place that has them. I did not succeed and I did not want to lose my story through pushing too much. Following the interview, I was successful in getting him to rap in front of a group of friends and for me to record it.

Despite having been around the kid for 2 years, I have never been allowed to do this—I have, but he has never allowed it. He doesn’t like how people can then see him, but he can’t see them. “I just don’t like the idea that people can have videos of me, I know it weird but some sort of audio is fine,” Nick said. While I usually respected this, I talked him into throwing on some sunglasses and answering a few questions about his motive.


Nick started rapping when he was in middle school at Euclid Public schools on the east side of Cleveland. It wasn’t until he had moved to Westlake and was ready to graduate that he was left disabled. In a traumatic accident he was rendered completely blind in one eye and basically able to see shadows with the other. He always keeps his eyes shut. In order to share what he went through he found it necessary to tell how it happened.

He was skating in a local warehouse when he decided to try to clear a hole in the ground of the third floor. The only issue was  the hole was gap was above a thirty foot drop. Needless to say he did not make it and hit the ground below, landing on metal and cement. After his friends dragged him out and got him to the hospital, he immediately had to undergo emergency surgery. Sadly, due to damage done to his head and his eyes, the doctors were unable to save his vision. “At least I am alive,” Nick constantly reminds everyone.  He is currently in the state of overcoming his physical disability and is hesitant to broadcast or promote himself. Though he is constantly pleaded with to promote himself to the world he says he is just not ready. “I am still not really used to this. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining but I spent a lot more of my life being able to see,” Nick said. The interview went smoothly and I helped in picking out his favorite outfit. “I know I can’t see how I look, but these people will.”

Considering his situation, he maintains a predominantly positive demeanor regarding life. He is still grateful for his health considering the tragedy that befell him. Also, it is important to note how Nick wanted this story to be a triumph story rather than a depressing one. After spending one day with the kid, one struggles to find a depressing thing to write about. He likes to listen to music too loud and to talk to anyone that wants to have a conversation. Nick prides himself on his listening skills, sarcastically I hope. “I can hear better than pretty much everyone,” He was joking.

Yet, you would have to see the slightly too big sunglasses to become aware of his blindness. For a person with no sense of vision, he sees the world in a pretty positive light.

I proceeded to ask Nick things regarding his future. Without missing a beat he replied, “I can’t see my hands and you’re asking me to look into the future? No, right now I just want to become okay with myself and then see what I can about the rest of my life. I know I’ll be alright but lI don’t know what is next.” His words hinted at the reasons he was hesitant to perform in front of a crowd of strangers. Though learning to deal with his blindness is his current focus, he knows he can use his talents in the near future in some way or another. Nick recognizes the small victories that each day brings along with its challenges. The overall triumph in his story is spread through each day of his life.

Following the closure of this story, I will obviously continue to pester Nick into showing his talents to the rest of the world. The following link is one of Nicks earliest recorded songs. He is somewhat embarrassed by it now, but he likes to listen to it to see how far he has come. 


(In all recorded music on this page please pardon the language. It is part of the story as it plays a large role in the music industry.)


Brian Patrick Maloney

In order to fully appreciate and understand this blog, anyone reading must blindly accept that I have an unexplainable obsession with wolves. There is no background to it, nor is there an inspirational story, wolves are just the coolest.

wolfimage1I come from a large family of 27 cousins on one side (Maloney side pictured above). This was at our annual over-crowded Christmas party. Photo cred by Elizabeth Maloney, my lovely mother.

image 2.pngThe majority of my free time is spent with my 5 year old nephew, Gabo (left). This picture is from the Cleveland Aquarium. Photo cred by Molly Maloney.










I was originally from Westpark, in Cleveland Ohio, but I moved to and I now reign from Westlake Ohio on the near West Side of Cleveland.  I attended Saint Mark’s followed by Saint Bernadette’s and finally, the dreaded Saint Ignatius High School. I also attended Marietta College, the oldest school in Ohio, for a single semester.


Marietta College (above). Photo cred Neal Livingston

untitledSaint Ignatius High School (right). Photo Cred Saint Ignatius Photography Club.


This is a map of Westlake and my backyard is technically in another city. Map cred google images.



In addition to spending time with my family, I am also passionate about animals. This is why I volunteer at animal shelters and it is also why I care more about dogs than humans. I have done work and fund raising for the Cleveland APL and have provided a link below if you share an interest in the wellbeing of defenseless animals.

Finally, my favorite pass time and what I enjoy most is playing basketball both competitively and recreationally. I play mostly at the Westlake Recreation Center but I am also in a few leagues at some YMCA’s throughout the Greater Cleveland Area. I spend a lot of time working on my abilities on the court and have found myself studying great players through youtube videos and highlights. The player I study most is Allen Iverson and the following video will show you why.

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