Together, Excellence in Action Rolls on With Your Chance to Recognize Excellence
Do you know a colleague who has done an excellent job recently? Maybe a co-worker, a project group or an entire department? Here's your chance to give a shout-out of thanks or congratulations to that person or group and share with everyone another example of excellence in action. There's plenty to celebrate. Let's share the great things that happen here every day. We'll even post some of the shout-outs on the QR codes found on some of the posters around campus. QR is short for quick response (they can be read quickly by a cell phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone.
To give a shout-out, look for the QR codes on materials distributed recently as part of the Together, Excellence in Action campaign. Or, you can scan the code reproduced here:
The code will lead you to a link to the e-Inside Message Boards where, through a special category, you can nominate someone you think demonstrates the excellence the campaign seeks to promote.
QR codes can be scanned by your smart phone and deliver messages on the spot, right to your phone. You may need to download a free QR code reader application, such as Red Laser, to enable your phone to read the codes.
If you don't have a smart phone or the appropriate app, access the Message Boards through the usual link.For additional information, go to www.kent.edu/about/together . Posted March 21, 2011
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Kent State Participating in Great Colleges Survey
Kent State University is once again participating in the Chronicle's Great Colleges to Work For Program, a study designed to recognize institutions that have built great workplaces. Part of the program involves an employee survey distributed to a sample of each institution's full-time faculty, administrators, professional staff and classified staff. This survey was designed specifically for higher education.
This week, the survey will be distributed randomly to university employees. If you receive an e-mail invitation to take the survey, please take a few moments to complete it and provide your feedback. The results of the survey will be factored into the overall scoring process that will ultimately determine the institutions recognized.
After The Chronicle publishes the findings this summer, Kent State will receive a report that summarizes responses to the survey questions. This is an anonymous survey that assesses the employee's perceptions of certain organizational competencies and relationships that most directly impact and influence an institution's culture. Your participation and honest feedback is critical to the assessment process.
To ensure the confidentiality of your responses, the survey will be processed by ModernThink LLC, a research and consulting firm focusing on workplace excellence. Kent State will not be given any information that would enable us to trace survey data back to any one individual.
For questions, contact Stephane Booth, associate provost, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted March 21, 2011
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Access to Free Textbooks Expanded
A joint pilot program between the University System of Ohio and Flat World Knowledge, the largest publisher worldwide of free and open college textbooks, will allow 1,000 Ohio students to receive digital textbooks for free. The University System is the umbrella term for Ohio's public system of higher education and includes 14 universities, 23 university regional campuses, 23 community colleges, and more than 140 adult education programs
Faculty in the pilot who select Flat World textbooks for their courses, and agree to participate in a research project focused on student learning, can offer their students free access to the Flat World Knowledge suite of digital learning materials and low-cost access to print textbooks.
Under the program, students will be able to choose from a variety of textbook formats, including an online version, e-books for the iPad, Kindle and other e-readers, audiobooks, PDF downloads, and interactive study aids. The digital files are non-expiring and are not digital rights management (DRM) copy-protected, allowing students to transfer the content from device to device. Students who prefer a printed book will have the option to purchase a low-cost softcover copy.
Faculty and students can also participate in best practices workshops focused on getting the most value from the emerging digital learning environment.
"Skyrocketing textbook prices are a major contributor to the cost of higher education," says Eric Frank, president and co-founder of Flat World Knowledge. "This new partnership creates a framework for reducing college costs and improving learning outcomes. Everybody benefits from equal access and choice of educational materials."
The 1,000 licenses for digital texts and study aids from Flat World Knowledge were purchased in bulk by the Ohio Board of Regents to encourage faculty to use innovative digital learning materials in their courses and drive down out-of-pocket textbook costs for students, helping make college more affordable – a key strategy in Ohio's 10-year Strategic Plan for Higher Education.
Faculty interested in participating in the pilot should email Associate Vice Chancellor Darlene McCoy, email@example.com. For more information on Ohio's effort to help make textbooks more affordable for college students, please visit: http://ohiotextbookhq.ning.com/.
Flat World Knowledge content is published under a Creative Commons open license that grants substantial flexibility to faculty to customize the peer-reviewed materials for their specific classes. Coupled with the ability of students to read the textbooks on-line at no cost, this business model supports Ohio's teaching and learning model- faculty retain their autonomy in selecting the textbook of their choice and students have a variety of low and no-cost formats to serve their learning preferences.
Faculty at Miami University of Ohio, Columbus State Community College, Wright State University, Kent State University, Ohio University, the University of Dayton and the University of Toledo are among 1,600 professors at more than 900 colleges worldwide who have used Flat World open textbooks. For more information on Flat World Knowledge, visit their website at http://www.flatworldknowledge.com.Posted March 21, 2011
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Faculty Wives Stay Keyed Into Community Both Musically and Socially
The fact that their husbands are Kent State University professors is not the only thing Carol Gould and Frances Acar have in common. Gould and Acar became friends seven years ago through their interest in music when Gould moved to Kent. Both have benefitted from the rich array of musical offerings available to anyone who considers Kent home.
Gould never thought about moving to Ohio, as she had been living in New York City for 42 years. She had a grown daughter and a job writing software for Ivy League alumni clubs. However, all of that changed when she received a phone call seven years ago.
"My phone rang and the person on the other line said 'don't hang up, this isn't a crank call,'" says Carol Gould, wife of Kent State professor Edwin Gould.
The caller identified herself as a representative from a spousal finding service and asked Carol Gould if she was a smoker or a member of the National Rifle Association. She responded 'no' to both questions. The representative then informed her that a chemistry professor in Kent, Ohio was looking for a viola player and asked her if she was interested in talking to him.
"I responded, sure, I'll talk to him," Gould says. "We then talked every night for more than a month. I had never even seen a picture of him, so when he came to visit me, he told me to look for a tall man in red shoes."
A few months later, in July of 2004, Gould moved to Ohio. She married Edwin Gould, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at Kent State, in September 2005.
"It was very scary to pick up everything and move to a different place where I only knew one person," Carol Gould says.
After moving to Kent, Carol Gould met Frances Acar, wife of Kent State professor William Acar, who teaches management and information systems. Carol Gould's friends in New York had suggested she look up Frances Acar, who is active in choirs and singing competitions, because they might become friends.
Together they have stayed both musically and socially keyed in to the Kent community through volunteering, such as knitting prayer shawls and helmet liners for Marines. Other ladies in their Women of the River lunch club, a weekly social gathering of like-minded women, play in the Stow Symphony, are involved in the Kent Environmental Council and donate to various charities.
Carol Gould has also taken 22 courses as a senior guest, through a program which allows Ohio residents age 60 years and older to attend regular university classes on a tuition-free basis. The guests do not take any exams, nor do they receive college credit. Carol Gould has taken courses in art, music, Shakespeare, genetics and anthropology.
In addition to taking classes at Kent State, Carol Gould maintains her love of music by participating as a violinist in the Kent State Orchestra and Acar stays musically connected as a 16-year member of the Kent Chorus.
Frances Acar, who is originally from Scotland, came to Kent State with her husband. She competes and teaches Scottish country dancing and Gaelic singing, musical specialties that initially attracted her to the Kent Chorus.
She discovered the Kent Chorus when she attended a choral spring concert 16 years ago and happened to sit next to the Kent Chorus director of the time.
"I just thought that the concert was wonderful," Acar says. "The director then told me that the Kent Chorus is open to the community. So I joined and I'm still doing it."
By Sara Petersen
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