Eleven employees were honored recently at the 20-Year Club annual service awards dinner. The service awards program honors classified and unclassified employees who have 20 years of continuous service at any Kent State campus. Inductees receive their choice of a commemorative Kent State chair, a tree planted on campus in their honor or a bench to be placed in a campus building of the honoree's choice.
The May 24 event was held in the Student Center Dining Room and included welcome remarks from Kent State President Lester A. Lefton, a look back at trivia from 1991 and 1992 and individual recognition of each new inductee.
Prior to the program, this yearâ€™s inductees were asked to reflect back on the past 20 years. Here are their responses, along with their photos.
Pamela R. Anderson
Director of Advancement, WKSU
Start Date: Jan. 27, 1992
Changes observed on campus over the past 20 years: I notice few changes, save the physical. The campus is still just as beautiful; the students are as vibrant, curious and motivated as when I first arrived; and my friends from Kent State are just as loyal and dedicated.
Likes best about working at Kent State: I appreciate the many opportunities I have to meet and spend time with Kent State students, people who financially support the station, and my colleagues who have become my friends. I especially am grateful to work at a place that changes lives through education.
Best Kent State memory: I have many wonderful memories, including 13 years as the advisor to the Iota chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. My most formative experience came when I was invited to join the first annual May 4 Academic Symposium Planning Committee. The committee members, many of who were faculty, taught me a great deal in a relatively brief amount of time. Our very successful, two-day academic symposium featured such speakers as Charlayne Hunter-Gault, George McGovern and Eugene McCarthy. It was a privilege to work on this committee.
Kristal D. Cordi
Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Start Date: Nov. 17, 1991
Likes best about working at Kent State: I have met many different people. The building I work in is Kent Hall and we have some nice professors and students. I have very nice coworkers.
Best Kent State memory: My memories are all about my coworkers, we all have a lot of fun and I love the day shift because of them. In 2001, when the menâ€™s basketball team played in the NCAA Elite 8, we decorated the custodianâ€™s closet in the Schwartz Center and won the contest!
Hobbies: Reading, movies, collecting things and traveling. For many years, I participated in the Race for the Cure breast cancer walk, as a member of the Kent State team.
Scott L. Dotterer
Coordinator, Student Health Promotion, University Health Services
Start Date: Jan. 13, 1992
Changes observed on campus over the past 20 years: The most interesting changes that Iâ€™ve observed reflect the increased levels of technology and how it positively impacts learning opportunities and offers a broader level of communication for students, faculty and staff.
Likes best about working at Kent State: Iâ€™ve enjoyed working with highly committed staff on campus and knowing that we all share a common goal of providing the best possible service to the students. Working with student employees and interns in the Office of Health Promotion and interacting with student organizations has been rewarding and educational.
Professional accomplishments: I participated on multiple grant-funded projects (e.g. Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services) with several Kent State faculty and had the opportunity to serve in the position of Health Education Section Chair for several years as a board member of the Ohio College Health Association. Iâ€™m currently the advisor to two student organizations and have been involved in two campus coalitions that address health issues.
Valerie A. Henry
Accountant II, Controller's Office
Start Date: March 9, 1992
Changes observed on campus over the past 20 years: Everyone used to have a typewriter â€“ now they are rare. Smoking was permitted in buildings and private offices. I've seen desktop computers go from being a shared resource (one per office) to being an individual necessity. I remember when most office workers didn't even know there was an Internet. I used to go to Schwartz Center several times a month to pick up payroll checks, now it's unusual to get a physical check issued.
Likes best about working at Kent State: Working in a place where learning and education have value for everyone - students, faculty, and staff. There are abundant opportunities, classes, guest speakers, activities and events. I have worked with people from all over the world, â€œrock starsâ€ in their field. I also had the privilege to represent Kent State abroad at conferences in France and Scotland.
Professional accomplishments: I have held seven different positions of progressive responsibility at Kent State. I earned my bachelor's degree and am about to finish my master's degree through the School of Library and Information Science. I was also a member of the 16th International Liquid Crystal Conference organizing committee, when Kent State hosted over 700 international scientists for a week.
Norman O. Kinney
Custodial Worker, Kent State University at Stark
Start Date: Jan. 12, 1992
Changes observed on campus over the past 20 years: I spent 15 years on the Kent Campus and have been at the Stark Campus for the last five years. I have seen enrollment double and the campus turn into more of a green-cleaning environment. Itâ€™s definitely more eco-friendly.
Likes best about working at Kent State: Interacting with students in the art and physics departments and with my coworkers.
Hobbies: Computers, traveling and fishing.
Debbie J. McFrederick
Housekeeping Supervisor, Residence Services
Start Date: Oct. 13, 1991
Likes best about working at Kent State: I like working with the students and keeping a healthy and clean living environment for them in our residence halls.
Best Kent State memory: I met my husband, Zane, while working here. Iâ€™ve also gained many friendships throughout the years.
Hobbies: Gardening, traveling, visiting casinos and playing the slot machines, and spending time with my family and grandchildren.
Paul A. Merlo
Financial Aid Coordinator, Student Financial Aid
Start Date: Sept 23, 1991
Changes observed on campus over the past 20 years: The campus is much more modernized; the buildings have been updated and the landscape looks much friendlier.
Likes best about working at Kent State: It always felt like a family working here. There are good people to work for and itâ€™s a good place to work.
Professional accomplishments: I was able to earn an education specialist degree in higher education in 1997; received the Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (EMSA) Distinguished Service Award For Excellence for Team Player for 2008-09; and was EMSA Employee of the Month in August 2001. I also served one year as a Peace Corps volunteer.
Nancy S. Miller
Academic Program Coordinator, College of Education, Health and Human Services
Start Date: Aug. 19, 1991
Likes best about working at Kent State: I like the campus environment and being around the young students. I remember when I first got hired, my desk was right by a window and I was shocked to see a young man walking down the sidewalk with a six inch blue Mohawk. Now, 20 years later, nothing shocks me.
Professional accomplishments: Ever since I was hired at Kent State, I have always strived to learn as much as I can. Over the years I continued to move from one position to another, with each one requiring more responsibility. I received two degrees from the university while working full time and represented the Collegeâ€™s graduate admissions area during the Banner implementation.
Hobbies: I enjoy doing things with my husband and family. My husband and I have a motorcycle and we usually plan a weeklong trip every year, as well as several shorter trips. We also go on an annual camping trip with our family, which usually ends up being about 20 people.
Robin L. Ruth
Theatre Specialist, School of Theatre and Dance
Start Date: Aug. 26, 1991
Changes observed on campus over the past 20 years: As the costume shop manager, I have noticed that the students are more diverse. We see more non-traditional students, as well as students balancing both school and work. Our department has more than doubled in the number of majors.
Likes best about working at Kent State: Mentoring my students! Watching them grow as artists and technicians, but also into great adults. I love my colleagues at the University.
Professional accomplishments: Being a part of the beginning of our Schoolâ€™s masterâ€™s of fine arts program, the growth of Porthouse Theatre and the planning and construction of the new Roe Green Center.
Karen B. Thomas*
Program Coordinator, Political Science
Start Date: Sept. 4, 1991
Work history: I worked in the political science department during my entire Kent State career, as part of the staff of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (then known as the Northeast Ohio Employee Ownership Center).
Liked best about working at Kent State: For the past 25 years, I have believed that employee stock ownership is the best solution to many of Ohioâ€™s systematic economic challenges. I appreciated the opportunity to come to Kent State and work with the late Dr. John Logue, who was a pioneer in employee ownership.
Professional accomplishments: Employee ownership is a new model for running a business and involves culture change, new attitudes and growth. I enjoyed bringing employee-owners together to share their stories and challenges, and sharing the success of their companies with the public.
*Thomasâ€™ term assignment has since ended.
Other 2012 Inductees:
Jeffrey R. Bailey
Research Engineer III, Computer Science