The Carnegie Foundation ranks Kent State among the nation's top 76 colleges and universities in the area of community engagement. President Lester A. Lefton's commitment to making Kent State a world-class university - and his belief that a global perspective is essential for success in all fields - has led to a greatly broadened definition of community - one that starts in the university's backyard and extends to every corner of the globe.
Acting on the president's charge to build new global bridges, the university established a center in Beijing; opened an office in India; signed academic agreements with Saudi Arabia's largest university and with seven leading Chinese universities; and began positive relationships with universities in Japan, Russia and Turkey. Those actions led to a record number of international students, who now enrich Kent State's campuses as they represent nearly 100 nations. International students also seek a Kent State education through the Fashion School's New York Studio, which opened in 2006.
Kent State students have a growing number of opportunities to study abroad through new international partnerships in India and China, as well as with established, well-respected programs in Florence, at the renovated Palazzo dei Cerchi, and in a modern new home in Geneva.
As students gain invaluable experience by studying abroad, Kent State faculty are making an academic mark around the world as Fulbright Scholars, research partners and leaders of outreach initiatives. Recently Dr. Patrick Coy of the Center for Applied Conflict Management spent the 2010-11 academic year at the University of Botswana in Africa, studying the nation's conservation policies and helping the university develop a peace studies curriculum. In turn, the university hosts scholars from around the world. Sharing U.S. academic practices is a specialty of the Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education, which last year hosted teachers from 11 countries.