Frequently Asked Questions - Kent State Alumni Oral History Project

FlashTales: calling all alumni, share your stories!

1.  I received an email, postcard or phone call from a company asking for my personal information and a story about Kent State University. Is this a legitimate project or is it a scam? It’s legit! We have partnered with PCI (also known as Publishing Concepts) to produce an oral history publication for Kent State University. PCI is a family-owned business based in Dallas, TX, that has published directories for educational institutions, fraternities, sororities and military organizations across the nation for nearly 100 years. This project allows Kent State to hear about your personal experiences and explain how the university has helped shape your lives.

2.  How will PCI contact me? Via postcard, email and phone. Starting mid-April, PCI will stop postcard communications. If you have not yet participated in the project, you will continue to receive email communications. You may also receive phone calls from PCI; they will only call alumni who have not responded to any outreach, and they will not call anyone more than five times. If you would like to opt out of communications from PCI, you can contact dataentry@kent.edu to be removed from the project.

3.  Does Kent State University benefit from this at all? Yes, in a few different ways:

  • Updated Information – allows us to effectively communicate with and engage alumni
  • Legacy – preserves the history of Kent State
  • Pride – shows support and affinity for our school
  • Philanthropy - participants will have the opportunity to make a gift

4.  How do I know my information will only be used for Oral History Project purposes? Kent State and PCI are committed to protecting your information. The names, addresses and information provided to PCI for the publication of the Oral History Project will be held confidentially by PCI, except to the extent that they are utilized in or in preparation for the Oral History Project, and as is required by court order or law. Upon completion of the project, PCI will redact PII (personal identifiable information) from any and all electronic files that were supplied or produced by PCI in connection to the Oral History Project.

5.  I would like to verify or update my information and share a story. How may I do this?

  • If you have received a postcard or an email with a telephone number, you may call the number to speak with a dedicated representative for the Oral History Project. The representative will verify all the information we have on file for you, make updates where needed, then ask you to share your story about your time at Kent State. Your story will be recorded, and the sound clip and transcript will be provided to Kent State at the conclusion of the project. 
  • If you have received an email with an embedded link, you may go to the online site to review your information and submit a story. 
  • If you did not receive a postcard or email, you may call the dedicated Kent State University update line at 855-369-6973 beginning on Jan. 7, 2022. 

6.  Will my entire story be included in the publication? PCI will do their best to include as much of your story as possible. All stories in the printed publication must be 2,000 characters or less, including spaces. There is no character limit for stories included in the digital publication. For those who choose to write their own story or edit their story after their call, please note that all stories must be one single paragraph of text, and the tool does not accept special characters or accent marks. Refraining from double quotation marks and double spaces will also help maximize space for your story.

7.  Can I choose what information is printed in the publication? When you call to share your story, you can tell the representative what personal details, if any, you would like to be excluded. You can also communicate your preferences to PCI’s customer service helpdesk at 1-800-982-1590 or customerservice@publishingconcepts.com

8.  I updated my information but need some more time to think about what experience to share. You can call back at any time before July 8, 2022, to share your story.

9.  I shared a story, and the representative said I could send some photos. How do I do this? You will receive an email with a link to upload up to two photos (black and white or color) plus captions. If you have also purchased a book but do not have an email address on file, you will be sent a photo mailer to send in physical photos to be printed. (Note: If you would like your photos returned to you, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope when sending those to PCI).

10.  Can anyone purchase a book? The Kent State University Oral History Publication is only available for Kent State alumni to purchase.

11.  When will I receive my book? The total duration of the Oral History Project is 12-14 months. The books will be distributed during the Spring 2023 semester. 

12.  I ordered a book package over the phone and would like to cancel my order. How do I do this? Contact PCI’s customer service helpdesk at 1-800-982-1590, and they will take care of this for you.