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CDCLP Faculty Team

Faculty Team


Scott Allen  

Scott Allen is an award-winning professor with a passion for working with people of all ages. He teaches courses in leadership, future of work and executive communication. Scott served as a Mulwick Scholar in the Boler College of Business and his primary stream of research focuses on leadership development. Scott has published more than 50 chapter books and peer reviewed journals, including the co-author of The Little Book of Leadership Development: 50 Ways to Bring Out the Leader in Every Employee, Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: A Guide for College Students, Captovation: Online Presentations by Design and the textbook Discovering Leadership: Designing Your Success (2019). He is also the host of two podcasts: The Captovation Podcast and Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders. Scott is the co-founder of Captovation, a services firm dedicated to “Presentation Coaching for the Digital Age.” He is also the co-founder and Board Chair of the Collegiate Leadership Competition. Allen was named an ILA Fellow by the International Leadership Association in 2021.


Ellen Burts-Cooper

Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper is the senior managing partner of Improve Consulting and Training Group, a firm that provides personal and professional development training, coaching and consultation. Improve has been featured in Time Magazine, Black Voices, Smart Business Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Dr. Burts-Cooper is an instructor at Case Western Reserve University in the Weatherhead Executive Education Program and The Institute for Management Studies (IMS). She is also the author of the book Canine Instinct: A Guide to Survival and Advancement in Corporate America.

She earned a BS in chemistry from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, AL, her PhD in organic/polymer chemistry from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, her MBA from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business and her Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification from 3M Company.


David Fitz  

David brings 20 years of experience working in strategy and communications with expertise in organizational development, executive positioning, crisis communications, marketing and communications planning and execution, and brand development. Before founding SDP, David served as Press Secretary for a former Cleveland Mayor, in media relations for the Cleveland Clinic, and as the Vice President of Public Affairs for University Circle Inc. David is a graduate of John Carroll University and earned his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.


John Grabowski  

John J. Grabowski received his BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University. His academic interests are in the fields of immigration and migration, public history, public memory, and museum studies. He holds a joint position as the Krieger-Mueller Associate Professor of Applied History at Case Western Reserve and Senior Historian and Vice President for Research and Publications at the Western Reserve Historical Society. He is the editor of the on-line edition of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History and the Dictionary of Cleveland Biography. His publications include The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, The Dictionary of Cleveland Biography, and Cleveland: A Tradition of Reform, which he co-edited with the late Dr. David D. Van Tassel. He is also the author of Sports in Cleveland: An Illustrated History and Cleveland A to Z: Historical Essentials for Newcomers and Residents in Northeastern Ohio, and has written numerous articles relating to immigration history and to archival issues.


Bruce Hennes  

Bruce Hennes is CEO of Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in North America focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications. With over 40 years’ experience in communications, Bruce’s past and present clients include NASA-Glenn, Avery Dennison, Lubrizol, Ohio and Kent State Universities, Destination Cleveland, Westfield Insurance, Riverside Companies, Goodyear and scores of government agencies, law firms, nursing homes, nonprofits and other large corporations across the continent. Bruce’s firm is also the exclusive provider of crisis communications services for the Ohio School Boards Association and the 600 school districts they serve as well as the Arizona School Boards Association and their more than 200 school districts. Bruce is on the board of the Ohio Public-Private Partnership, a program of the Ohio Department of Homeland Security and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  Previously, Bruce served as a neighborhood organizer, as executive director of a large nonprofit and he created the Coventry Village Special Improvement District, the second SID in the State of Ohio.  He is also a longtime member of the board of directors of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and he’s an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University’s College of Urban Affairs. For the last two years, he’s been named by Cleveland Magazine as one of Cleveland’s 500 Most Powerful People.


Sarah Kellerman

Sarah is an urban planner, designer, and proven project manager with experience working across many scales and disciplines. She is passionate about urban design that supports public life and place-making. Sarah is an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, and a Program Associate for the College’s Master of City Design Program. She holds a Masters of Urban Planning and Policy from University of Illinois in Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a minor in urban design from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She is AICP and LEED GA Certified.


Scott Page

Scott Page founded Interface Studio to test and develop a unique and innovative set of urban design ideas. Scott is an urban designer and planner with degrees from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and the Georgia Institute of Technology Architecture Department including a year of study at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris. Scott has more than twenty years of diverse experience ranging from city-wide master planning to site specific design and redevelopment strategies. He has been a leader in developing innovative neighborhood plans targeted toward enhancing communication, awareness and empowerment at the community level. Scott is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and his research on urban design, emerging technologies and sustainability has been presented and published both in the United States and Europe.


Melvin Smith  

Melvin L. Smith, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior and Faculty Director of Executive Education at the Case Weatherhead School of Management. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Graduate School Alliance for Education in Coaching (GSAEC). Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business. He also holds a B.S. degree in General Management and Accounting from Purdue University and an MBA in Marketing from Clark-Atlanta University. Dr. Smith’s research and teaching focus on leadership and emotional intelligence in the workplace, as well as the development and use of human and social capital in organizations through executive coaching. He is co-author (with Richard Boyatzis and Ellen Van Oosten) of the book, Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth (Harvard Business Review Press). He has also served as a visiting professor at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain where he co-taught a senior executive education course on emotionally intelligent leadership.