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News Briefs

Provost Announces Interim Leadership Appointments


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Wanda E. Thomas, Ph.D., will retire as
associate provost, dean of the Regional
College, and interim dean and chief
administrative officer of Kent State
University at Trumbull, effective June 30,

Following 10 years of distinguished service at Kent State University, Dr. Wanda E. Thomas has announced her retirement as associate provost, dean of the Regional College, and interim dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State University at Trumbull, effective June 30, 2015. Please join me in thanking Wanda for her contributions to Kent State University and wishing her well in her upcoming retirement. 

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Stephen Nameth, dean and chief administrative officer of the university's Columbiana County campuses, has been appointed interim associate provost for Kent State system integration, effective July 1. Dr. Nameth was named dean of the Salem and East Liverpool campuses in 2012, and he will continue in this capacity while serving as interim associate provost.

I am also pleased to announce that Dr. Susan J. Stocker, dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State University at Ashtabula, has been appointed interim dean of the Regional College, effective July 1. Dr. Stocker has led the Ashtabula Campus as dean since 2001, and also served as interim dean of the College of Nursing during the 2013 academic year. She will continue in her current assignment as dean and chief administrative officer at Ashtabula.

As announced in January, following a national search, Dr. Lance Grahn was appointed dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State University at Trumbull, effective July 1.

I look forward to working with Drs. Nameth and Stocker in their new roles and thank them for their service to Kent State. An announcement regarding upcoming searches is forthcoming.


Todd A. Diacon, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Posted May 4, 2015

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Kent State’s Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies Receives $225,000 in Grants From Federal Government

Kent State University professors Brian James Baer, Ph.D., and Theresa Minick of the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies, have been awarded two federal government STARTALK grants, totaling $225,000, to support the Regents Foreign Language Academy, a summer language immersion program for Ohio high school students and K-12 teachers.

The four-week student program, housed in Kent State’s Honors College, targets new learners of Chinese and Russian from high schools across the state of Ohio. For 10 days, the academy hosts a professional development program for K-12 teachers of these languages who have the opportunity to observe and teach in the student program.

The summer session of the student academy is followed by an academic-year component consisting of monthly on-site sessions supported by online instruction. Students receive five college credits upon successful completion of the program.

The student academy was founded in 2007 with a generous grant from the Ohio Board of Regents. Since 2008, the academy has been funded by the federal government’s STARTALK program. STARTALK is a presidential initiative that seeks to expand and improve the teaching of strategically important world languages that are not now widely taught in the United States. The Teacher Leadership Academy was founded in 2010.

Many alumni of the Foreign Language Academy have continued to study these languages in colleges and universities across the United States and to pursue a variety of careers requiring proficiency in a foreign language.

For more information about the Foreign Language Academy at Kent State, visit

For more information about Kent State’s Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, visit

Posted May 4, 2015

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Kent State to Help Akron Students Earn College Credit Without Leaving High School

Reading, writing and arithmetic are getting a college-styled makeover in two Akron, Ohio, high schools.

Through a $480,000 grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, the partnership called College Today will send Kent State University instructors into Ellet High School and Firestone High School to teach college-level English and math.

The initiative is collaboration between Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, College of Arts and Sciences and Akron Public Schools.

The partnership targets at-risk students who might not otherwise meet the academic requirements to enroll in first-year basic college English and math classes. These students can include traditionally underrepresented populations, such as low-income students, students of color and first-generation students. Typically, the students either do not get accepted into college or are required in their first year to take remedial classes for which they do not receive college credit.

“The exciting feature of this project is that we’ll be delivering college-level instruction to high school juniors on a daily basis,” says William Kist, Ph.D., Kent State’s principal investigator of the grant who serves as an associate professor in Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services. “But this instruction will be designed and delivered in ways that meet their individual needs.”

The program also will provide a year-round support system to guide the students including tutoring, mentoring, shadowing, review and practice sessions, summer camps, and one-on-one and small group interventions.

“At the end of the junior year, all students will have the chance to take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP),” Kist says. “If successful, they will receive college credit for the first English and math course upon entry into college.”

This will be repeated at the end of the senior year and, depending on the student’s CLEP scores, might enter college having completed all first-year English and math requirements. Students who have not successfully passed the CLEP test will repeat the coursework and receive additional tutoring to prepare them for the next round of CLEP testing.

College Today will recruit students starting this month based on EXPLORE test results in reading, English and math, GPA, recommendations and coursework.

Great Lakes has been making education a reality since 1967. Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in post-secondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to nearly 9 million borrowers – as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. Its earnings support one of the largest and most respected educational philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed nearly $130 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit

For more information about Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, visit

For more information about Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences, visit

Posted May 4, 2015 | Kristin Anderson

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Early Childhood Special Education Offers Scholarship Opportunity

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Pictured from left to right is the 2014-15 Early Intervention
Certificate cohort: Shannon Lesnak, Ching-I Chen,
Ph.D., Kaitlyn Warren, Jenna Dodson, Ryan Buck,
Bridget Tompkins, Elizabeth Lattime, Phyllis Jadosh,
Yolanda Mahoney
and Sanna Harjusola-Webb, Ph.D.

The Early Childhood Special Education program at Kent State University has received federal funds to prepare individuals at the master's degree level to work with families of infants and toddlers with disabilities in early intervention settings (home and community contexts). The program is designed for individuals with existing bachelor's degrees in special education and related fields (e.g., teacher licensure or certification), but all interested individuals are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be considered for the program.

Students in the program will receive:

  • Full tuition support for one calendar year (fall, spring and summer semesters)
  • Stipend, including the summer months
  • iPad

The training opportunity is a one-year program designed to prepare future early intervention practitioners to:

  • Provide developmentally appropriate, research-based strategies for infants and toddlers with delays or disabilities
  • Provide empowering and capacity-building supports to their families
  • Consult with a team of other professionals from related disciplines
  • Apply evidence-based practices to promote positive outcomes for young children and families

A two-year service obligation is required for funded students after completion of the program. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and meet Kent State graduate school admission requirements.

Interested individuals can learn more about the program and complete the pre-application survey at by Friday, May 15, 2015.

For more information, please contact Sanna Harjusola-Webb, Ph.D., associate professor in Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, at, or Michelle Gatmaitan, project coordinator, at

Posted May 4, 2015

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Turbine Testing Scheduled During Annual Steam Shutdown

The annual Steam Shutdown will take place May 10-15 on the Kent Campus. In addition to the usual maintenance work conducted during this time, Facilities Planning and Operations is planning to perform a brief test of the turbines in the Power Plant on Summit Street. The turbine test is scheduled for Thursday, May 14, at approximately 5:30 p.m.

The purpose of the exercise is to test the turbines’ ability to power the Kent Campus without being connected to the Ohio Edison grid. The testing is in preparation for maintenance that the utility company will be doing on the main Ohio Edison power switches. If the test is successful, the university would be able to operate the campus without a loss of power when the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) required maintenance is conducted.

If all goes as planned, the test will be completed without any interruption in power. If the test is not successful, the Kent Campus would experience a short power outage while the university switches back to district power. If this happens, the power is expected to be off for a minute or two but no more than 10 minutes.

Kent Campus employees are asked to take appropriate precautions by shutting off all computers and any unnecessary equipment before leaving for the day on May 14.

Questions should be directed to Frank Renovich, associate director, Energy Operations, at 330-672-0775 or

Posted May 4, 2015 | Carla Wyckoff

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Kent State Plants Trees for Arbor Day

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Members of the Kent State University community plant a
tree to commemorate Arbor Day and to celebrate the
winners of this year’s RecycleMania competition. 

Kent State University faculty, staff and students came together between residence halls Stopher and Johnson on April 21 for the annual Tree Planting Ceremony to commemorate Arbor Day and to celebrate the winners of this year’s RecycleMania competition.

In the residence hall challenge, Engleman Hall received the first place plaque, $200 and a hall council party for the fifth consecutive year. Stopher and Johnson Halls earned second place in the hall versus hall competition.

Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager for Kent State, says that everyone on the Kent Campus participates in RecycleMania, even if they are not making a conscious decision to increase their recycling or reduce their waste.

“Each one of us is a part of a team and our performance matters,” says Knowles. “We all have opportunities daily to reduce, reuse and recycle, and it always matters, even if it’s not during RecycleMania.”

Twenty-six students participated in this year’s Tree Planting Ceremony, which marks the conclusion of RecycleMania. At the ceremony, Kent State also was recognized for earning the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation for the seventh year in a row. Tree Campus USA and the Arbor Day Foundation honors colleges and universities that show their commitment to environmentalism and sustainability.

The ceremony was part of Kent State’s celebration of Earth Month. Earth Month is celebrated nationally to bring awareness to the care of Earth and includes activities that benefit Earth.

“The Earth Month celebration gives us the opportunity to understand our important relationship with the environment,” says Knowles.

For more information about RecycleMania, visit

For more information about sustainability at Kent State, visit

Posted May 4, 2015 | Rachel Gill

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Student Recreation and Wellness Center to Shutdown for Weeklong Annual Facility Maintenance

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The Kent State University Student Recreation and Wellness
Center will conduct its annual facility shutdown from
May 9-17.The center will reopen to patrons on May 18.

The Kent State University Student Recreation and Wellness Center will conduct its annual facility shutdown beginning Saturday, May 9, through Sunday, May 17. During this time, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center will be closed to all patrons.

The shutdown is the Department of Recreational Services' opportunity to deep clean the facility and all the equipment, while also completing large-scale projects. This year’s projects include resurfacing the basketball courts, racquetball courts and group fitness studios; draining and scrubbing the leisure pool and spa; power-washing the climbing wall; and repainting almost every surface in the facility. In addition to these projects, the weight room also will receive a complete overhaul.

When the Student Recreation and Wellness Center reopens on Monday, May 18, it will debut a number of new weight room upgrades. More than 50 pieces of Life Fitness and Hammer Strength weight equipment will replace the current weight room equipment. Additionally, the weight room floor will be expanded.

“The new equipment and expanded layout will increase our weight room capacity,” says Ben Cope, fitness coordinator for the Department of Recreational Services. “The expansion meets the evolving needs of our patrons, while supporting the department’s mission to provide exceptional facilities.”

The selectorized equipment on the lower fitness floor will be relocated to the upper fitness floor to make room for the expansion. The cardio equipment currently on the upper fitness floor will be relocated throughout the facility.

User orientations are available for all members interested in learning about the new equipment after the shutdown. Students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to stop in the Fitness Suite to learn about the new equipment or to sign up for a free user orientation.

Questions regarding the shutdown or Student Recreation and Wellness Center membership can be directed to Kim Rufra, associate director for the Department of Recreational Services, at

Posted May 4, 2015

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Summer Shut Down: Energy Conservation Procedures

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Kent State University employees are reminded to help
conserve energy during the summer months by turning
off and unplugging all appliances when not in use.

Kent State University’s Office of Sustainability reminds university employees to turn off and unplug all appliances to conserve energy and save money during the summer months.

Electronics like computers, copiers and other office appliances have “vampire” load and continue to draw electricity from an outlet if they remain plugged in even though the device itself is off, says Melanie Knowles, Kent State’s sustainability manager.

“People leave their computers on all the time and let them go to sleep, which is okay during the day,” Knowles says. “But when you leave for the night or for the week, that’s 12 or more hours that the computer is drawing electricity.”

During the summer, many employees take time off for vacation or other reasons. If you plan to be away, please follow the shutdown protocol for your office space.

  • Unplug chargers that are not in use
  • Turn off power strips and unplug appliances like computers and other office equipment
  • Close and lock all windows 
  • Draw the shades and curtains to keep the room cool
  • Turn off lights
  • If possible, adjust thermostat to 72 degrees during warm months
  • Report any maintenance items that come to your attention 

Employees also can conserve energy during the school year by keeping the thermostat at moderate temperatures. Knowles suggests employees wear lighter clothes when it’s warm and heavier clothes when it’s cold to reduce cooling and heating costs. Employees also can save energy by making sure all windows are closed when the air conditioning or heat is on.

Summer energy conservation also extends beyond the university. Knowles says you can save energy at home by making small changes like replacing weather stripping around doors and windows, installing insulation around your outlets and pulling the shades on the sides of your home that get the most sun.

Knowles says you should be conscious of what’s outside your home as well.

“Trees provide shade and reduce heat in the summer with their leaves. In the winter, they lose their leaves and allow the sun to warm the house,” Knowles says.

Whether you are at home or at work, knowing your energy expenditure will reduce your effect on the environment and cut energy costs.

“We should be conscious of it because energy costs money,” Knowles says. “If we reduce our energy usage, the university can direct that money toward something else – just like you can at home.”

For more information about Kent State’s sustainability efforts, visit

Posted May 4, 2015 | Haley Keding

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Kent State’s Center for Applied Conflict Management Hosts Director of Oldest Peace Studies Program in the U.S.

Kent State University’s Center for Applied Conflict Management was pleased to host Katy Gray Brown, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and peace studies at Manchester College, during a visit to Kent State on April 13-14. Manchester College is home to the oldest peace studies major in the U.S. The program was founded on the heels of World War II in 1948.

For her sabbatical project, Brown is analyzing the evolution of the peace studies curriculum at Manchester over the decades and doing research on other curriculum at other leading programs. She visited Kent State because its Center for Applied Conflict Management’s degree program in applied conflict management is widely known and respected as a premier program in the field of peace and conflict studies. The Center for Applied Conflict Management was established in 1971 as the university’s original “living memorial” to the Kent State students who were killed by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, while protesting the U.S. war in Vietnam and Cambodia. 

Brown was at Kent State for two days, observed several Kent State professors teaching applied conflict management classes, held discussions with students and interviewed faculty in the program. One outcome of her sabbatical project is to recommend revisions to their curriculum at Manchester by understanding its evolution and by comparing it to other programs.

“We were honored by Dr. Brown’s visit and enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the state of the field of peace and conflict studies with the director of Manchester’s storied program,” says Patrick Coy, Ph.D., Kent State professor and director of the university’s Center for Applied Conflict Management. “We look forward to an ongoing collegial relationship with the peace studies program at Manchester College.”

For more information about Kent State’s Center for Applied Conflict Management, visit

Posted May 4, 2015

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Greek Life Changes Name to Fraternity and Sorority Life

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Delta Zeta, Kappa Sigma and Phi Kappa Tau perform their
skit "Candyland" at the annual Greek Songfest event,
which brings together the entire Greek community together
for a good cause through singing, dancing and acting.

The area of Greek Life, which is part of Kent State University’s Center for Student Involvement family, will officially change its name to Fraternity and Sorority Life, effective May 1. The change reflects current national trends in fraternity and sorority advising and better represents whom the area serves.

Please take note of the following points about the name change:

  • The community’s social media accounts and website will not change.
  • Traditional activities, such as Greek Week, will maintain their current names. 
  • Referring to our fraternity and sorority members as “Greeks” is still a proper reference because their history and names are based on the Greek alphabet and Greek mythology. 

For more information about Kent State's Fraternity and Sorority Life, visit

Posted May 4, 2015

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Win Free Coffee and Muffins from the Alumni Association

If you work in an office with Kent State University graduates, you could win free coffee and muffins from the Kent State Alumni Association! The alumni association wants to recognize our faculty and staff who are also proud Kent State graduates.

Tell us how many Kent State alumni work in your office by completing a form at A select number of offices will be drawn at random to receive coffee and muffins for their proud Kent State graduates; additionally, the alumni association will bring along some blue and gold giveaways!

To learn more about the alumni association and its programs, visit

Posted May 4, 2015

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Important Information about Final Grading of Spring 2015 Classes

Online final grading for spring 2015 full term (1: Jan. 12 –May 3, 2015), third five weeks (F3: March 30 –May 3, 2015), second half semester (H2: March 5 – May 3, 2015) or second seven weeks (W2: March 9 – May 3, 2015) parts of terms began Friday, May 1, via FlashFAST. Grading also is now available for any spring 2015 course section that was flexibly scheduled. The deadline for grading submission is midnight on Tuesday, May 12. Any final grades not reported in FlashFAST by the grades processing deadline will have to be submitted using the Grade Change Workflow. These spring 2015 courses will be available in the workflow on Thursday, May 14.

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 currently be 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

Grades Processing Tips and FAQ may be found on the Office of the University Registrar's website at 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 (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 May 4, 2015

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Faces, Places and Spaces of Research

Many faculty members at Kent State University are involved in various types of research both on and off campus. We would like to feature photos in e-Inside of the diverse locations where you conduct research – it could be in a clean room or in a dirty lake.

Share photos and brief descriptions of all the various places where you and your students conduct research by sending an email to by May 12. Please use the subject line: Faces of Research. Submissions will be considered for publication in the summer issues of e-Inside.

Posted May 4, 2015

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e-Inside Takes a Break

The e-Inside newsletter will take a break between semesters. The May 4 issue is the last for the Spring 2015 Semester. e-Inside will resume June 8. Copy submissions for that issue should be emailed to by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2.

Thank you for reading and contributing to e-Inside.

Posted May 4, 2015

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