At Case Western Reserve, the power of young minds is demonstrated every day.
Now, two women who exemplify this power are being honored for their early career and civic contributions.
Lyvian Loh, a first-year part-time MBA student, and Jennifer Sweet, assistant professor of neurological surgery, were named to Crain’s Cleveland Business’ 2016 “Forty Under 40” cohort, alongside five Case Western Reserve alumni.
They join a group of more than 900 to be honored over the past 25 years with the designation, which celebrates young individuals committed to the success of Northeast Ohio.
Though Lyvian Loh never envisioned she’d work for a manufacturing company, ever since starting as a marketing analyst at Spang and Co., a company that designs, produces and supplies AC and DC power control and conversion products and systems, she has been fascinated by the industry.
In her 10 years at Spang and Co., Loh has developed an even more in-depth understanding of marketing than she expects she would have if she followed her presumed career path of working at a traditional ad agency.
“I’m lucky enough to work across departments, so I am able to see my job in a bigger picture,” Loh said.
Her position allows her to watch a product move from start to finish, collaborating with such departments as development, accounting and production.
After she leaves her day job, Loh lends her expertise to MotivAsians for Cleveland, an organization for Asian-American young professionals, where she serves on the Board of Directors and as director of social media and digital content. She first got involved with the organization in 2012 to give back to the community.
But even with her full-time job and other commitments, Loh wanted to do even more. So she decided to pursue her MBA at the Weatherhead School of Management.
“I always want to learn something. I like being on the move. I need to do something or I will feel bored,” she said.
Now, since starting the program over the summer, she has begun to recognize how much more she can do in her career.
Jennifer Sweet hopes to someday find the “button” to help cure diseases of the brain.
To improve function in the brain, Sweet uses neuromodulation, which involves putting electrodes on the brain, spine or nerves, and then using electrical stimulation to change how the circuitry works.
Because the brain is so interconnected with other areas of the body, Sweet knows her work could have lasting impacts on various diseases.
That’s what initially intrigued Sweet about the brain, which she calls the “final frontier of medicine.”
“It’s extraordinarily exciting and rewarding,” she said. “It’s amazing that we have the ability to really affect so much in these areas. I’m excited every day at what we study and what we learn. It’s just a never-ending learning and growth process.”
Beyond her work in the operating room, Sweet also helps the next generation of doctors and surgeons by giving lectures within the IQ+ program for third-year medical students at Case Western Reserve University.
“They teach me as much as I teach them—it goes both ways,” she said of the students. “That’s what makes it exciting.”
Sweet originally started at University Hospitals Case Medical Center as a stereotactic and functional neurosurgery fellow in 2012. She joined the Case Western Reserve faculty in 2013.
During her residency at George Washington University, she not only began homing in on a career in the neurosciences, but she also discovered her interest in teaching.
As she progressed through the ranks of the program, she found herself helping those less experienced, as those above her had done when she first started.
“When you go into practice in academia, you have that opportunity to really go and take it one step further and reach out to the medical students and residents on a higher level,” Sweet said.
Five alumni also represented Case Western Reserve University in the cohort of individuals honored by Crain’s Cleveland Business this year.
Joseph Connolly (GRS ’09, systems control & engineering), an aerospace engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center
David Ebersole (LAW ’08), assistant director of the Department of Economic Development for the City of Cleveland