On May 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., former students and colleagues gathered at a reception at the 11th Frame at Kent Lanes, located at 1524 S. Water Street in Kent.
The scientific program on May 20 and 21 consisted entirely of presentations by Riccioâ€™s former Ph.D. students, including keynote speeches by three of his most distinguished former students.
â€œDavid Riccio is quite remarkable, both as a faculty member and as a person,â€ said Maria Zaragoza, professor and chair of Kent Stateâ€™s Department of Psychology. â€œRiccio is an eminent scholar, an outstanding teacher and mentor, and an exceptionally generous colleague. His influence and example have helped to shape a departmental culture of community and collegiality that is rather unique.â€
At least 30 of Riccioâ€™s former Ph.D. students attended the events, including folks from 15 states and one who came in from Australia. Both the reception and the programs were free and open to the public.
Steven Harrod, assistant professor at the University of South Carolina and former Ph.D. student of Riccioâ€™s, was one of the speakers. He says that Riccio was the main influence in his decision to become a research scientist.
â€œProfessor Riccio positively influenced my life as my mentor,â€ Harrod said. â€œOne unique attribute of his is that he spends a lot of time with students who need it. He has accomplished just about everything that you can as a scientist, but I donâ€™t think that what drives him. I think he is driven by being able to work with students and teach people.â€
Riccio has had a long and distinguished research career at Kent State. He has published more than 170 journal articles, had 40 years of uninterrupted research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and received Kent Stateâ€™s Distinguished Scholar Award. In addition, he is the recipient of the universityâ€™s Distinguished Teaching Award and has mentored 42 Ph.D. graduates.
â€œProfessor Riccio has provided extensive service to the psychology department, the university community and his profession,â€ said Zaragoza.