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Kent State Geauga Dean to Receive University’s 2012 Diversity Trailblazer AwardPosted Jan. 23, 2012
Dean and CEO of Kent State University at Geauga David Mohan, Ph.D., has been awarded the university’s 2012 Diversity Trailblazer Award. Kent State’s Diversity Trailblazer Award is a universitywide award that recognizes faculty, staff or departmental group for their significant contributions to enhance diversity and inclusive excellence at Kent State. Mohan oversees the university’s Regional Campus in Burton and the Kent State University Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg. The two locations serve more than 2,500 students.
“This award is important because it is designed to recognize a person who internalizes one of the core values of the university, which is excellence in diversity and inclusion,” says Rev. Ronald Fowler, a member of the selection committee and recipient of last year’s Diversity Trailblazer Award. “The award is an affirmation of what kind of community we want to be, and Dean Mohan really cares about creating a diverse community for students to learn in and learn from. The committee made a very wise choice, and we’re very fortunate here in our Kent State family to have a person of this stature working at the university.”
Upon notification that he was going to receive the 2012 Diversity Trailblazer Award, Mohan said his reaction was one of “extreme appreciation and thankfulness” on behalf of the faculty, staff and students at Kent State Geauga and the Kent State University Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg.
“Diversity provides a greater synergy across all segments of both our campuses to ultimately benefit our students and enrich their university experience,” Mohan says regarding the importance of diversity. “It is an additive dynamic, which increases the level of ‘community well-being’ in both curricular and extracurricular experiences for all concerned. It also broadens a variety of perspectives within the organization at a time when tolerance for others’ contributions must be respected for the special attributes all people bring to the university.”
Mohan’s achievements in diversity include the decision to engage as many faculty, staff and students to embrace a campus culture that values the uniqueness and affirms the right for all opinions to be heard and respected. He also was instrumental in creating a program titled “A College Degree is in Your Future.” This program was presented during several visits to support middle and high school student in and around the cities of Twinsburg and Cleveland.
“Our program, by design, is meant to reach students where they are in thought and behavior, so they will make positive choices about their future,” Mohan says. “We also encourage the importance of education at the post-secondary level. Our efforts focused primarily on the diverse and disenfranchised communities. We have connected with various groups, such as Mocha Moms, Salvation Army, pastors and leaders in churches in Cuyahoga, Summit and Portage counties, Head Start, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Twinsburg Heights Neighborhood Group and many more.”
Mohan began his career at Kent State as an assistant professor in industrial teacher education. After earning a promotion to associate professor, Mohan was named director of Kent State’s School of Technology, where he administered both undergraduate and graduate programs, assisted in the development of technical associate degrees on seven Regional Campuses and supervised the university’s flight training program.
Following his academic career, Mohan accepted the position of vice president of operations at a printing corporation in Akron, where he was eventually promoted to chief operating officer. In addition to his credentials in education and industry, he also has a background in community affairs, serving as president of the Board for Portage Area Senior Services and chairman of the Board for United Christian Ministries. Mohan also has volunteered his time and support to Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Mohan holds a doctoral degree in industrial technology from The Ohio State University, a Master of Arts in gerontology from Kent State, a Master of Science in industrial education from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts education from California University of Pennsylvania.
Mohan is the third recipient of the Diversity Trailblazer Award. The first award was given in 2010 to Dr. Delores L. Noll, professor emeritus of English and the first professor to teach a gay and lesbian issues course at Kent State in 1972. She also was the founding adviser to the Kent Gay Liberation Front, now called PRIDE! Kent, one of the oldest gay rights student organizations in the country. In 2011, the recipient of the Diversity Trailblazer Award was Fowler, a longtime area religious, civic and educational leader who chaired the university’s influential Commission on Inclusion, a broad-based panel whose 15 recommendations laid the groundwork for Kent State’s push for “Inclusive Excellence,” and serves as special assistant to the president for community engagement.
Mohan will receive the 2012 Diversity Trailblazer Award and be recognized during Kent State’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, which occurs on Jan. 26 at 2:10 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information about Kent State’s Diversity Trailblazer Award, visit www.kent.edu/diversity/trailblazers.cfm.