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Kent State’s TRIO Student Support Services Receives $2.2 Million in Federal Funding

IMAGE: enter photo description
Participants in Kent State's Student Support Services
program take a selfie atop Mount Washington after riding
the Duquesne Incline to a city skyline overlook during an
overnight graduate school and cultural immersion trip to
Pittsburgh.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Kent State University a $2.2 million five-year TRIO Student Support Services program grant. TRIO programs provide opportunities for personal and academic development to students with low incomes or disabilities or who are the first in their family to attend college.

“We are extremely grateful to have received this level of federal funding,” says Brent Robinson, director of Student Support Services. “Student Support Services at Kent State is proud to continue empowering underrepresented students to excel in college and beyond.”

Kent State will use the grant to implement a TRIO Student Support Services project from 2015 through 2020 that will serve 300 students annually through peer tutoring and mentorship, academic and professional workshops, academic advising, graduate school preparation, financial literacy instruction and social and cultural immersion experiences. These intensive academic and personal interventions will help to increase persistence and the graduation rate among participants.

In a statement, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says he sees great value in programs like TRIO Student Support Services because they present students with the tools they need to pursue a degree in higher education.

“Education is the key to providing all Ohioans the opportunity for success,” Brown says. “But there are many students who could benefit from additional academic tutoring and help navigating financial aid and scholarships. This funding will help ensure that all students have access to the supportive services they need to succeed in college.”

Along with Kent State, Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville, Ohio, and Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio, were also awarded grants for their Student Support Service programs.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, also in a statement, says he understands the importance of programs, such as the TRIO Student Support Services, and believes the grants will create equal educational opportunities for all students and prepare them for future professional employment.

IMAGE: enter photo description
Participants in Kent State's Student Support Services
program pose in front of the Cathedral of Learning at the
University of Pittsburgh where they were able to explore
Nationality Rooms representing various cultures from all
over the world.

“I applaud Kent State, Eastern Gateway and Stark State for securing this important funding, and I am happy that this investment will go to such a good cause,” Ryan says. “Through this grant, low-income, underserved students participating in these programs will receive the hand-up they need to be successful at their college or university and in their careers after graduation. Everyone deserves the opportunity to a higher education, no matter their gender, race, income or background.”

The Student Support Services program is one of several federal TRIO programs that began as part of the Educational Opportunity Act of 1964. These programs were established as part of former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Kent State’s TRIO Student Support Services’ program has been providing students with opportunities for academic success for nearly 40 years, after first receiving funding in 1978. 

The program fosters academic and personal growth through tutoring sessions, academic and professional workshops, graduate school preparation and visits, as well as social and cultural immersion experiences. Using a holistic approach, TRIO Student Support Services creates a safe and reliable space for students to embrace their unique stories, overcome academic challenges and succeed in college and beyond. 

For more information about Kent State’s TRIO Student Support Services program, including eligibility requirements, visit www.kent.edu/asc/trio-sss.

Posted July 27, 2015 | Haley Keding

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Science Image Submitted by Kent State Stark Professor and Student Takes Top Honors

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Assistant Professor of Biology Matthew Lehnert and
his student, junior biology major Ashley Lash, earned
top honors in the Olympus BioScapes Competition for this
image of the proboscis (mouthparts) of a vampire moth at
10x magnification on a confocal microscope. 

Of the nearly 2,500 images submitted to the Olympus BioScapes Competition from researchers and microscope enthusiasts from 68 countries, one that was taken in a Kent State University at Stark laboratory won eighth place.

Assistant Professor of Biology Matthew Lehnert and his student, junior biology major Ashley Lash, photographed the proboscis (mouthparts) of a vampire moth at 10x magnification on a confocal microscope. They produced an image that illustrates the beauty that can be produced when art and science unite.

For more than a decade, the annual Olympus BioScapes Competition has been widely recognized as the world’s foremost showcase for outstanding images and movies of life science subjects captured through light microscopes.

Visit www.olympusbioscapes.com/gallery/year/2014 to view the top 10 winners and dozens of honorable mentions.

Posted July 27, 2015

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Kent State Fulbright Student Advances Services Combatting Childhood Obesity

Nhlalala Mavundza participates in the 2015 Millennial Trains Project Journey

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Nhlalala Mavundza, a Fulbright Student from South
Africa pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience in Kent State
University’s College of Arts and Sciences, participated in
the third annual Millennial Trains Project voyage, which
aims to develop international entrepreneurial leaders, draw
attention to opportunities for growth and advancements in
American communities, and inspire the millennial generation
to pursue a new American dream.

Nhlalala Mavundza, a Fulbright Student from South Africa pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience in Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, traveled from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., this past May as part of the third annual Millennial Trains Project (MTP) voyage. The aim of the cross-country journey was to develop international entrepreneurial leaders, draw attention to opportunities for growth and advancements in American communities, and inspire the millennial generation to pursue a new American dream. On board the train, six participants of the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program joined 19 young American entrepreneurs to conduct their own projects, engaging with community-based programs and social entrepreneurs in American cities along the way.

Mavundza’s project examined the measures southern U.S. cities have taken to combat rising obesity rates. Mavundza also holds a B.S. in physiological sciences from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and her current research is in the neuroscience of obesity and NEAT lab, which focuses on the environmental modulation of skeletal muscle thermogenesis and energy expenditure.

More than half of the states with a high obesity rate in the United States are located in the south, a fact that inspired Mavundza’s Millennial Trains Project research to explore obesity prevention and the correlation between poverty and obesity in many southern U.S. cities. Her research focuses on the availability of obesity prevention and treatment resources, such as school cafeteria lunch plans, exercise programs and affordable bike rentals in each city to low-income families.

The Millennial Trains Project was founded by Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumnus, Patrick Dowd, based on his Fulbright experience in India. The six Fulbrighters, from Afghanistan, Cambodia, El Salvador, Iraq, Poland and South Africa, were selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to gain an in-depth understanding of life in the United States and to strengthen their skills in leadership, social entrepreneurship and communication.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences, visit www.kent.edu/cas.

Posted July 27, 2015

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Important Information About Final Grading of Summer 2015 Summer 2 (S2) Classes

Online final grading for Summer 2015 Summer 2 (S2) courses meeting from June 8, 2015, through Aug. 1, 2015, begins Thursday, July 30, via FlashFAST. Grading is also now available for any Summer 2015 course section that was flexibly scheduled and has an end date no later than Aug. 1, 2015. The deadline for grading submission is midnight on Tuesday, Aug.  4. Any final grades for Summer 2015 Summer 2 (S2) courses not reported in FlashFAST by the grades processing deadline will have to be submitted using the Grade Change Workflow.  These Summer 2015 Summer 2 (S2) courses will be available in the Workflow on Thursday, Aug. 6.

Incomplete Mark and NF/SF Grades

The administrative mark of IN (Incomplete) may be given to students who are unable to complete the work due to extenuating circumstances. To be eligible, undergraduate students must be currently passing and have completed at least 12 weeks of the semester. The timeline shall be adjusted appropriately for flexibly scheduled courses. Graduate students must be currently earning a C or better grade and are unable to complete the required work between the course withdrawal deadline and the end of classes. Instructors are required to complete and submit an Incomplete Mark Form to the department chair when an incomplete mark is assigned. Access the form from your Faculty Toolbox in FlashLine.

The grade SF (Stopped Attending-Fail) denotes that the student stopped attending the course and did not formally withdraw and must be accompanied by a date of last attendance in the course.

The grade NF (Never Attended-Fail) denotes that the student neither attended one class session nor formally withdrew from the course.

For complete information on university grading policies including Incomplete Mark and NF/SF grading policies, procedures and timelines, please visit the Grading Policies and Procedures section in the university catalog at www.kent.edu/catalog.

Grades Processing Tips and FAQs may be found on the Office of the University Registrar's website at www.kent.edu/registrar/faculty-grades-processing. Any faculty member needing personalized instruction on submitting their grades via FlashFAST should contact their campus Registrar's Office during normal business hours for assistance.

To access FlashFAST to post your final grades, login to FlashLine from www.kent.edu (click FlashLine Login from top right menu bar) then click the Faculty & Advisor Tools tab. Locate the Faculty Toolbox, and select Final under the Submit Grades heading.

Troubleshooting TIP: FlashFAST is accessible from any Internet-capable computer that has the cookies function enabled. We recommend that you clean out your cookie and cache files regularly to help your computer run faster, and to potentially restore and/or improve your access to FlashFAST and/or FlashLine by improving your connection to the server. Our Helpdesk is prepared to offer assistance with these issues. Please contact them at 330-672-HELP (4357) for one-on-one assistance and technical issues.

Posted July 27, 2015

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