5 questions with…student leader, Louis Stokes Scholarship recipient Anton Spencer

Anton Spencer and his parents
Anton Spencer with his parents Paul and Edel Spencer in Washington, D.C.

Junior music and biomedical engineering major Anton Spencer is known around campus as a proven leader. He is president of the Music Undergraduate Student Involvement Committee, principal flute for the Case Western/University Circle Symphonic Orchestra, a new student orientation leader, an Eagle Scout and more.

And at the end of last month, Spencer took his leadership to the Capitol and spoke to some of the country’s top decision-makers. As a recipient of the Louis Stokes Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship, Spencer addressed members of the Congressional Black Caucus at a reception honoring the university’s connection with the caucus and the opportunities the scholarship has presented him at Case Western Reserve.

“I was really excited to showcase CWRU and tell people how I plan on making a difference and improving the campus even more,” Spencer said.

The scholarship provides funding to students nominated by members of the Congressional Black Caucus who are economically and/or educationally disadvantaged and are likely to succeed in a competitive academic environment. In 2007, the university and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation established the scholarship, which awards two full-tuition scholarships to students nominated by Congressional Black Caucus members. Scholarships, renewable for up to five years, have been awarded to 15 recipients across the country.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Case Western Reserve both have had a major impact on Spencer’s on-going education, but Spencer has taken advantage of these opportunities to make an even bigger impact on the university community.

“I have difficulty determining where Case Western Reserve University ends and where this scholarship’s impact on my life begins,” Spencer said during his address at the reception. “I believe that they are intertwined to give me a college experience beyond my dreams.”

Spencer enrolled at Case Western Reserve University, partly because of the scholarship, but mostly because the university offered an environment other universities couldn’t match.

“Case Western Reserve allowed me to pursue both of my passions: music and engineering,” Spencer said. “I have access to a world-renowned conservatory and the engineering program is excellent.”

After graduation in 2015, Spencer would like to pursue a Master of Engineering and Management degree, and hopes to combine his knowledge of biomedical engineering and the healing properties of music to help underserved populations in health care.

But before then, Spencer hopes to continue making a difference in the campus community, as he has a hand in a multitude of projects, organizations and groups. In addition to his aforementioned activities, Spencer also is the recruitment chair for Sigma Nu Fraternity, a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, a member of the Cleveland Institute of Music University Circle Wind Ensemble and a recent participant in the biomedical engineering department’s inaugural Clinical Immersion Program.

When Spencer gets time away from the classroom or the many groups and organizations he’s involved in, he can be found working in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, restaurant-hopping around Cleveland (his favorite spots to dine are Parallax and Ohio City Burrito) or attending performances at Severance Hall.

Read more about Spencer in this week’s five questions.

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I want to live in Scandinavia, preferably Norway. I have visited Norway and I appreciate how the people lead healthy lifestyles. As an Eagle Scout, I love nature and they have great snowmobiling and awesome summers. I’m also a fan of their dessert called cloudberries and cream. It consists of these berries that look like orange raspberries, mixed with whipped cream.

2. What was your first concert?
The first concert I went to was James Galway, one of most renowned flutists in the world. I went in middle school at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. I got an autographed picture and CD.

3. Where is your favorite spot on campus and why?
My favorite spot on campus is the grassy patch at the Top of the Hill. It’s nice to go there with friends during summer to grill and play field games (volleyball is my favorite).

4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I definitely want to be traveling and using my engineering degree for the benefit of others in underserved culture. I want to experience different cultures and give back as well.

5. What is your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?
The friendships I’ve made here. A lot of my friends have gone through my engineering and music curriculum and we’ve really drawn close. The school has a magic spell that fosters relationships I know will last a lifetime.