A commitment to CWRU: Deborah Hamzah shares her story after 45 years

Director of research administration
Case School of Engineering

When Deborah Hamzah first began working at Case School of Engineering in July 1978, typewriters and adding machines were among her office essentials. To communicate, her colleagues relied on phones or typed and mailed memos. Research proposals were completed by hand and financial reports were delivered once a month.

In the 45 years to follow, technological advances rapidly changed the landscape of the engineering school’s offices, and Hamzah is proud to have kept up with them over her career. Over that time, she filled roles as a technical secretary, department assistant for various units and an administrative assistant, all at Case School of Engineering. She will retire in August as the director of research administration.

In her latest role, she reviews proposal submissions from principal investigators in engineering, and works on post-award and budgetary issues. But most important to Hamzah has been the impact she makes on a daily basis in her interactions with those at the engineering school.

And their appreciation for her is evident, too. Hamzah’s first and only birthday party came at the age of 65, thrown by her colleagues at Case School of Engineering. 

“That really touched my heart,” she said.