Aerial view of campus

A year in review: The Daily’s most interesting stories of 2016

While the start of a new year is often about moving forward, it also offers a chance to reflect. Here at Case Western Reserve University, that means looking back to our successes, breakthroughs and high points.

Last year saw the university recognized for its efforts in internationalization, in the national rankings for academics and as a top biomedical research center.

Our students demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit with startups that create a teddy bear that hugs you back, a more efficient device to screen for concussions, a magnetic bottle opener that catches the caps as they fall and much more.

As we head into 2017, we at The Daily wanted to pause for a moment to take a look back at some of the most read—and some of our favorite—stories of 2016 (presented here in chronological order).

CWRU student, postdoc make Forbes “30 Under 30” list

Two of Case Western Reserve University’s own were named to Forbes’ annual “30 Under 30” special, which honors the brightest young minds in the country.

Robert J. Gilliard Jr., a postdoctoral scholar in chemistry, and Felipe Gomez del Campo, then a senior aerospace and mechanical engineering major (now a graduate student), were named to the science and energy categories, respectively.

Forbes ranks CWRU among the nation’s best employers

In its 2016 rankings of the country’s best employers, Forbes named Case Western Reserve University No. 11 among midsize employers across all industries. The university came in second in the education category, behind Boston College.

The rankings were determined by a random 30,000-person survey, which looked closely at respondent’s answers to “willingness to recommend one’s own employer.”

Case Western Reserve’s overall score was 8.66 on a scale from 0 to 10.

Millennials admit to being narcissists—but don’t you dare call them that

A series of studies out of Case Western Reserve University found that millennials consider their generation the most narcissistic ever, but they don’t agree with older generations as to the extent of that trait.

Joshua Grubbs, a recent PhD graduate in psychology (now a clinical assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University), conducted the research.

Emmy Award-winning directors Joe and Anthony Russo to host local screening of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War May 2

Russo brother working on the set of Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil WarBrothers Joe and Anthony Russo, award-winning film and television directors, paid a special visit to campus in May for a special advance screening of Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War.

They were graduate students at Case Western Reserve when they produced their first feature film.

Their visit was part of a fundraiser for Phase Two of the Maltz Performing Arts Center renovation and to raise awareness of the facility.

MythBusters’ Adam Savage comes to Cleveland to inspire innovation, invention and creativity

Ian Charnas shows Adam Savage around think[box]In April, Adam Savage, host of the Emmy-nominated show MythBusters, spent an entire day in Cleveland advocating for the maker movement. His first stop on a tour around the city was at the Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box].

Savage’s visit built upon President Barack Obama’s call for companies, colleges, communities and citizens to support makers and builders.

See the Class of 2016—then and now

In August 2012, we met some of the first-years arriving with their boxes of belongings and dreams of what the next four years at Case Western Reserve would hold.

On commencement day in May, we caught up with some of those same students to see what their time at the university held.

Sports practice accounts for just 1 percent of the performance differences among elite athletes

A Case Western Reserve University study debunked the traditionally held belief that anyone can become an expert or elite athlete with 10,000 hours of practice.

Instead, researchers, led by Brooke Macnamara, assistant professor of psychological sciences, found that among elite athletes, practice only accounts for 1 percent of the difference in their performances. And, overall, practice makes about an 18 percent difference in why some athletes perform better than others.

Past meets present: Spartans who became Olympians

When the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro kicked off August, we took a look back at Case Western Reserve University’s former Olympians.

The university’s former representatives on the international stage were faculty members and alumni who competed in such sports as tumbling, wrestling, rowing, luge and more.

In addition, Alicia Kendig, who received her master’s degree in 2005, was on the sidelines this year as a dietician for Team USA.

HoloAnatomy app tops Google, Sir David Attenborough to win international science media award

Hololens-3-featCase Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic paired up in 2016 to create the first third-party app for Microsoft HoloLens. The result? The team created HoloAnatomy, an app that allows users to study a detailed three-dimensional hologram of the human body.

The app won the immersive virtual reality and augmented reality category at the 2016 Jackson Hole Science Media Award, beating out entries by Google and Sir David Attenborough.

Computer program beats physicians at brain cancer diagnoses

Case Western Reserve University researchers developed a computer program that was nearly twice as accurate as two neuroradiologists in determining whether patients have recurrent tumors.

The program better identified whether abnormal tissue seen on magnetic resonance images were dead brain cells caused by radiation or if brain cancer had returned, which could eliminate the need for costly brain biopsies.

These are just a few of some of our favorite stories from 2016. What were your top picks of the past year? Tell us in the comments below!