Kent State University Board of Trustees Meeting
The Kent State University Board of Trustees will hold its next regular business meeting Wednesday, March 13. The Board will convene at 1:45 p.m. in the George Urban Board of Trustees Conference Room, which is located on the second floor of the Kent Campus Library.
Trustees will retire into executive session at 8:30 a.m. in the Urban Conference Room to consider specific topics as provided for under Ohio’s “Sunshine Law.”
Board committees will meet as follows:
- Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee – 10-11 a.m. in the Urban Conference Room.
- Audit and Compliance Committee – 10-11 a.m. in Room 222.
- Finance and Administration Committee — 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Urban Conference Room.
- External Relations and Development Committee – 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in Room 222.
The Board meeting agenda will be made available at www.kent.edu/bot/meetings/index.cfm.
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U.S. Transportation Secretary Returns to Celebrate a New Downtown Kent
Nearly two years after his previous visit, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood returned to Kent on Friday, March 8, to tour the construction site of the new Kent Central Gateway multimodal transit center and celebrate the redevelopment of downtown Kent. Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton, Kent State Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Gregg Floyd, and Kent State Vice President for General Counsel and Governmental Affairs Willis Walker joined Congressman Tim Ryan, officials from PARTA (Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority) and the city of Kent in welcoming LaHood back to Kent. The group gave the transportation secretary a tour of the new Kent Central Gateway that is under construction. A brief press conference followed the tour.
LaHood says he celebrates the vision of the Kent community and how “if you build it, they will come.”
“Congratulations, Kent,” LaHood says. “You have a lot to be proud of.”
LaHood’s prior visit to Kent was in July 2010 when he toured downtown Kent’s Acorn Alley and the future site of the Kent Central Gateway project. Afterward, a press conference was held outside the PARTA offices where Ryan and LaHood talked about the significance of the project that will help create a vibrant downtown and unite the city and Kent State. Ryan and LaHood acknowledged the three local project partners: Kent State, PARTA and the city of Kent.
In February 2010, Ryan announced that the Kent Central Gateway project had received a $20 million grant from LaHood’s agency through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project serves as a catalyst for the revitalization and redevelopment of downtown Kent and reconnects the central business district with the Kent State campus.
Expected to be completed this summer, the multimodal transportation facility will combine elements of buses, pedestrians, bicycles and cars. It will serve as a transfer point that allows bus transport to Akron, Cleveland and all points in Portage County. Situated at Erie and Depeyster streets with a curb cut into Haymaker Parkway, the Kent Central Gateway project is estimated to stimulate $60 million worth of new investment, both public and private, in Kent and create more than 250 construction jobs during construction of the project. It is located next to the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, which is also under construction.
Back in February 2010 when the $20 million TIGER grant for the Kent Central Gateway was announced, Lefton said that this sets into motion all of the other development projects planned for downtown Kent, including the hotel and conference center. He also commented that the Kent Central Gateway project is “a huge, transformative event in the life of Kent, the university and Portage County.”
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Kent State Honors Cleveland’s WKYC Anchor With 2013 McGruder Award for Media Diversity at 10th Anniversary Event
Akron Beacon Journal reporter earns Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award, honored as first Asian-American recipient
Russ Mitchell, managing editor of evening news and lead anchor of the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on WKYC Channel 3 News in Cleveland, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. The award recognizes the accomplishments of media professionals who encourage diversity in the field of journalism.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication will honor Mitchell at an awards luncheon and lecture on Tuesday, April 2, at noon, on the Kent Campus. The luncheon is by invitation only. The annual McGruder Lecture will take place at 2:15 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Kiva. The lecture is free and open to the public. Mitchell will be the keynote speaker at the lecture.
Betty Lin-Fisher, an 18-year veteran of The Akron Beacon Journal, will be recognized at the annual McGruder luncheon as the 2013 Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award winner. She is the first Asian-American to be acknowledged with this award.
The luncheon and lecture are co-sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
This year marks 10 years of honoring diversity excellence with the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity, and it has become one of Kent State’s most successful diversity events.
The luncheon will include comments by Lin-Fisher, and special awards will be given to student media representatives who have reported on diversity issues in the past year. Special guest Annette McGruder will be honored for her ongoing support of this program over the past 10 years.
Todd Diacon, Kent State’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost; Alfreda Brown, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion; and Stan Wearden, dean of the College of Communication and Information, will speak at the luncheon.
The late Robert G. McGruder was a 1963 graduate of Kent State and a foundational local figure for diversity in journalism. He went on from Kent State to become the first black editor of The Daily Kent Stater and first black reporter at The Plain Dealer. McGruder marked several other firsts in his career, becoming the first black president of the Associated Press Managing Editors group and the first black editor of the Detroit Free Press, in 1995 and 1996.
McGruder was a strong proponent for diversity in and out of the newsroom: “Please know that I stand for diversity,” he said once. “I represent the African-Americans, Latinos, Arab-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, gays and lesbians, women and all others we must see represented in our business offices, newsrooms and newspapers.”
For more information about the Robert G. McGruder Award or event, contact Eugene Shelton, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at email@example.com. To RSVP for the event, contact Darlene Contrucci at 330-672-2623.
For more information about Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, visit http://jmc.kent.edu.
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Town Hall Meetings Continue Discussion About Tobacco-free University
A series of town hall meetings are scheduled this spring at the Kent and Regional campuses, to gather additional input from the university community on becoming a tobacco-free institution.
Last fall, a universitywide committee was convened at the request of President Lester A. Lefton to study a proposal that would make all Kent State University campuses tobacco-free. That was in response to the recommendation from the Ohio Board of Regents that all public college and university campuses in Ohio become tobacco-free. The committee conducted a survey last semester.
This week, town hall sessions will be conducted March 11, 12, 13 and 14, at Kent State University at Ashtabula, Kent State University at Salem, Kent State University at Stark and Kent State University at Tuscarawas respectively. Each session will last one hour, and faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.
You can view the schedule to find the meeting time and location at your campus. Questions should be directed to Rachael Decker, wellness coordinator, at 330-672-8368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Kent State’s Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies Awarded $400,000 in Grants
Kent State University professors Brian Baer, Ph.D., and Theresa Minick, from the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies, have been awarded nearly $400,000 in grants to fund the 2013 Foreign Language Student Academy and the Teacher Leadership Academy at the university. The federal government STARTALK program, a presidential initiative to fund summer programs in critical languages, provided the grants to Baer and Minick. The Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies received three $100,000 grants for each student program, and a $100,000 grant for the Teacher Leadership Academy.
“The Foreign Language Student Academy offers languages that the federal government considers to be critical,” says Baer. “It’s young people living at home, turning into global citizens.”
The 2013 Foreign Language Student Academy and the Teacher Leadership Academy focus on the critical-need languages of Arabic, Chinese and Russian. The theme for this year’s Foreign Leadership Teacher Academy is “My Space – Our World.” “For the theme, we wanted to do something that would speak to our focus on the Web 2.0 technology in our program,” says Baer. “’My Space’ keys in to the fact that our students are very tech savvy.”
The Foreign Leadership Teacher Academy is a four-week summer immersion program housed in Kent State University’s Honors College. During the following academic year, the students will have monthly, on-site, face-to-face sessions supported by online communication.
The program is offered to high school juniors and seniors in Ohio, and is free for Ohio applicants. Students will receive high school and college credit for their participation.
The program targets students who are new learners of the language but have displayed success and persistence in another foreign language.
“The program is very rigorous, so we look for students with motivation,” Baer says.
In the summer students in the program cover the equivalent of one semester of a college-level language course. In the follow-up program they cover the equivalent of another semester so that when they complete the program, they will be able to study at the intermediate level in college.
Since its founding, the Foreign Language Student Academy has served more than 300 Ohio high school students, and it alumni have continued to study these languages at some of the most demanding language programs in the country. Last year, three FLA students were awarded prestigious NSLI-Y scholarships from the federal government to study in Russia. The scholarship is only offered to high school students.
This year, the program is expecting 12 students in each of its language cohorts.
The Teacher Leadership Academy is in its fourth year, and this year it will host Ohio high school teachers of Arabic, Chinese and Russian. The focus will be the implementation of the latest Web 2.0 technologies in a problem-solving curriculum.
Baer became involved with this program because he wanted to give Ohio high school students more opportunities to study foreign languages. Due to budget cuts, many foreign language programs have been cut from high school curriculums.
“Chinese, Arabic and Russian are the most widely spoken languages in the world, but they are still among the least commonly taught in the United States,” Baer says.
For more information about the Foreign Language Academy at Kent State University, visit http://fla.mcls.kent.edu.
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Kent State College of Public Health Awarded $50,000 Grant for Biofilm Research
Kent State University’s College of Public Health recently received the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Grant while partnering with Sterionics Inc. for work on advancing and commercializing a wound therapy biotechnology product.
The grant totaled $150,000; $50,000 of which went to Kent State, the remainder to Sterionics.
Principal investigator Christopher Woolverton, Ph.D., professor of environmental health science, and James Ferrell, biological sciences graduate student, have been collaborating with Sterionics since 2008. The subcontract to Kent State will extend bench research on the Sterionics device, which uses proprietary technology to kill bacteria.
“Our partnership has not only supported the research and development of Sterionics, but also permitted a Kent State graduate student access to technology and business workings, allowing him to see the inner workings of a small company,” says Woolverton.
Sterionics, a science technology and innovation company, and Kent State have collaborated for several years on developing a product that is aimed at killing bacteria and biofilms, a thin film of bacteria that sticks to a surface. The device has also demonstrated the ability to stimulate skin cell growth. It kills bacteria that cause skin infections while stimulating cells that make up the skin to reproduce rapidly and migrate, which is determined by laboratory testing.
“It’s like a one-two punch,” says Ferrell.
Kent State and Sterionics are currently working on phase one of the project. The goal is to put prototype one to use, further modifying it to make it smaller and to optimize it by “tuning” it for specific applications.
Ferrell says he is optimistic that the results generated from this grant will result in positive data for the phase one proposal and ultimately lead to phase two funding from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research program.
Phase two could eventually lead to controlled animal trials with this technology. The overarching goal of all of this work is to lead to commercialization and advancement of wound care.
“The partnership between Kent State University and small businesses like Sterionics could lead to positive and mutual benefits for both entities moving into the future,” says Ferrell.
For more information, contact Woolverton at email@example.com.
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Planting Partnership Offers Opportunity to Plant Memorial Trees at Kent State
Kent State University faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents can leave their mark at the university by planting a memorial tree on campus through the Planting Partnership. The program offers a wide variety of trees and ornamentals from which to choose.
These living memorials are available for all to see and enjoy around the university – and even online, especially appealing to remote visitors.
Heather White, grounds manager at University Facilities Management, moved the program to an online format to meet high demands of those who do not live near campus.
“We get a number of requests from graduates and parents associated with Kent State who don’t live locally, and through the electronic version they can see the sponsored tree,” says White.
The Planting Partnership’s website contains links to a sponsorship form and campus map displaying tree locations complete with photographs and sponsorship details.
“I have heard from donors, and they all seem to really like the idea of living memorials,” White says. “I try to make it very easy to navigate and I’m here as a resource for finding the best location and tree species.”
Purchasing a memorial not only pays for the cost of the tree, but provides regular maintenance, such as fertilizing, watering and pruning. In the event that the tree dies prematurely, a replacement will be planted.
Additionally, a commemorative certificate recognizes the gift.
For more information or to fill out a sponsorship form, visit the Planting Partnership’s website at www.kent.edu/ufm/grounds/plantingpartnership/index.cfm.
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