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image: Renee Axiotis

Renee Axiotis

Assistant Professor 118 Nixson Hall

Area: HS - HEDP


vita [pdf]

Following graduation with a B.A. in psychology from Kent State University, I began an assistantship in health education at Kent State. Two years later, I graduated with a master's degree in community health education and, in 1996, earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction (health education emphasis) from Kent State as well. From 1988 until 1997, I was the director of the Office of Student Health Promotion for KSU Health Services. In 1997, I joined the faculty at Ashland University, where I stayed for five years. In order to better accommodate other life responsibilities, relocation closer to the north coast of Ohio was necessary and I resigned from Ashland in 2002. I spent one year as a visiting professor at the University of Akron and have been on a non-tenure track line in health education at KSU since 2004. I am a licensed teacher in Ohio in K-12 health and was a substitute teacher at all grade levels in the Nordonia Hills school district. In addition, I served on Nordonia's district-wide wellness committee and was co-chair of the committee for one year. Recently, I completed a 16 month project directorship on a $370,000 state-wide, college-based tobacco prevention and cessation grant, in which KSU participated as a pilot site. I have published articles in journals ranging from Developmental Psychobiology to the Journal of American College Health.

image: Angela Backus

Dr. Angela Backus

Assistant Professor 116 Nixson Hall

Area: HS - HEDP


vita [pdf]

Currently, I am a Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Health Education and Promotion at Kent State University. In 2003 I graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Athletic Coaching. To continue this focus on school-age youth, I earned a Master's Degree in School Health Education from Kent State University in 2005. From there, I pursued a Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion, and graduated from Kent State University in 2010. I am licensed to teach  Elementary Education in New York State and K-12 Health Education in Ohio. I have presented at numerous local, national, and international conferences about various health issues, including bullying risk-reduction, coordinated school health programming, and brain-based teaching and learning strategies. In addition, I have taught a number of health education courses, including Health Education for Early Childhood Educators, Administration of School Health Programs, Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention, and Human Sexuality.

image: Donna Bernert

Dr. Donna Bernert

Assistant Professor 145 Nixson Hall

Area: HS - HEDP


vita [pdf]

Dr. Bernert received her PhD from Southern Illinois University. Prior to joining the HEDP faculty at Kent State University, she held various teaching and administrative positions for 10 years in the public schools. She is licensed in Ohio to teach special education, early childhood education, elementary education, and health education. As a former special education teacher, she has a passion for health education and promotion for youth and adults with disabilities. She also has a particular interest in sexuality education and has both taught sexuality education and worked as a sexuality educator. Dr. Bernert has conducted research, published, and presented her work involving sexual health and disability. She also has a passion for Kent State University, receiving her BS (1986) and MA (1997) degrees from here. To return to the university once again as faculty has been a wonderful professional opportunity and privilege, and she looks forward to giving back quality educational experiences as a faculty member she received here as a student.

image: Kele Ding

Dr. Kele Ding

Associate Professor 142 Nixson Hall

Area: HS - HEDP


vita [pdf]

Dr. Kele Ding has a doctorate in Health Behavior (Specialization in adolescent's and college students' drug use, and Measurement and Evaluation) from Indianan University Bloomington, a master's in Community Health Education from Western Illinois University, and a bachelor's in Western Medicine from Wenzhou Medical University, China. Prior to his study in Western Illinois University, Dr. Ding was a surgeon in China, practicing abdominal surgery between 1983 and 1992. After his doctoral study at Indiana University, Dr. Ding went to Idaho State University as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Nutrition in 2000 where he was tenured. He came to Kent State University in 2005, serving as an assistant professor in Health Education and Promotion. He was promoted to be tenured associate professor in 2011.Dr. Ding’s applied experiences in Health Education and Public Health field include large survey data analysis and technical report in adolescent’s drug use and other risk factors, graduate assistant support of survey data analysis in HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitude among rural population, and program evaluation of After School Programs of drug prevention and education.  His primary research focus is on behavior intention and peer influence in drug initiation among school aged children, trend, prevalence, and gateway theory of drug use among adolescence and college students, and measurement and evaluation in health education and promotion. Dr. Ding has served in the Research Board of American Association for Health Education, and chaired Multicultural Diversity Committee of the association. Currently he is a member of American Public Health Association. Dr. Ding is the section editor of Asian Journal of Exercise and Sports Sciences, and founding member of the Review’s Board of Associate Editors of the Health Behavior and Policy Review.

image: Dianne Kerr

Dr. Dianne Kerr

Associate Professor 134 Nixson Hall

Area: HS - HEDP


vita [pdf]

I graduated from Slippery Rock State University in 1976, taught in private schools for 3 years, and went to Bowling Green State University for a Master's Degree which was awarded in 1981. I taught in Colleges and Universities for a number of years and received my PhD in Health Education from The Ohio State University in 1992. I have been at Kent State University for 20 years. During my career, I spent 25 years working on the HIV/AIDS epidemic conducting AIDS Education teacher training in National and State venues. Some of that time was spent as the AIDS Education Project Director for the American School Health Association. My research encompasses HIV education, sexual minority health, and women's health issues. To "give back" to the community, I co-facilitate a breast cancer support group on campus, serve on the Portage County Reentry Coalition, and support two AIDS orphans in Africa. I  am a strong believer in the statement "Give to the world the best that you have, and the best will come back to you." I am fortunate to love my career and be able to transfer my passion to others. 

image: Cynthia Symons

Cynthia Symons

Professor 140 Nixson Hall

Area: HS - HEDP


vita [pdf]

image: Laurie Wagner

Dr. Laurie Wagner

Assistant Professor 120 Nixson Hall

Area: HS - HEDP


vita [pdf]

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