Gonick helped found the nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding Northeast Ohio’s digital access and capabilities a decade ago. During that time, OneCommunity has drawn national acclaim for its outreach efforts in health care, education and technological literacy.
Gonick said the opportunity to lead OneCommunity’s efforts to help the region seize the opportunities represented by 21st-century technology proved irresistible—particularly after hearing the urgings of several civic and community leaders.
“We have made tremendous progress in realizing technology’s potential to advance learning and research at Case Western Reserve,” Gonick said. “I hope OneCommunity can contribute to even greater gains across a broad range of areas that benefit everyone in Greater Cleveland and beyond.”
OneCommunity is in the final stages of a three-year, $100 million project to deploy and deepen the region’s high-speed broadband network. It also is launching a program to assist 30,000 low-income residents to learn technological skills necessary to improve their economic circumstances. Looking ahead, Gonick said OneCommunity can play a pivotal role in helping institutions and individuals identify and capitalize on ways technology catapults innovation in government, schools, research and more.
“The future of Northeast Ohio is intimately and inextricably linked to the build-out and use of 21st century digital infrastructure,” he said. “I look forward to the CEO role as our community’s chief engagement officer. We have an opportunity to invent the future by leveraging next-generation network technology.”
Gonick has written and spoken widely about technology’s impact in higher education and society at large. At Case Western Reserve he has spearheaded initiatives such as Courseware, where classroom lectures are captured on video and available for students’ general review or keyword searches. More recently he spearheaded the installation of Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing suites in Tomlinson Hall and the Kelvin Smith Library. That technology has enabled Case Western Reserve students to discuss social work practices with peers in China and faculty physicians to consult with colleagues abroad on particularly challenging patient cases. He also championed online learning programs, including a degree program with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and two open online courses through Coursera.
“Lev’s passion and creativity made him a leader and innovator on our campus and in the higher education community more broadly,” said Provost and Executive Vice President W.A. “Bud” Baeslack III. “We are grateful for his contributions to our university and congratulate him on this new opportunity.”