Campus Mourns Passing of Award-Winner and Benefactor Dr. John Cogan

Cogan was the first recipient of the campus's Roger T. Beitler Distinguished Former Student Award

The Kent State University at Ashtabula community mourns the loss of former student and long-time benefactor John J. Cogan, Ph.D., who passed away August 15, 2021 at the age of 79 at his home in Bloomington, Minn.

Dr. Cogan, who attended what was then called the Kent State Academic Center in Ashtabula from 1960-1962, was the first recipient of the Roger T. Beitler Distinguished Former Student Award in 1980.  He and his wife, Grace, established the Dr. John and Grace Cogan Endowed Scholarship in 2014 to provide educational opportunities to students in need.

“We mourn the loss of our friend, Dr. John Cogan,” said Susan J. Stocker, Ph.D., Dean and Chief Administrative Officer. “Although Dr. Cogan went on the obtain his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, he always credited Kent State Ashtabula for his success.  He loved Ashtabula and would return here each spring to visit. I enjoyed dining with Dr. Cogan and his beloved wife Grace at Hil-Mak on Bridge Street where they always enjoyed a meal of Lake Erie perch. Many students on this campus are receiving scholarships due to the generous support of John and Grace Cogan. All of us on the Ashtabula campus extend our deepest sympathies to Grace, their children Ben and Susan and their families.”

Cogan spent 38 years at the University of Minnesota in the Social Studies and Comparative and International Development Education (CIDE) areas, most recently as the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative and International Development Education and Social Studies Education at the University. The CIDE, which Cogan and two other professors began over three decades ago, is recognized as one of the top programs of its kind in the United States.  

His research specializations were educating for citizenship and educational reform and has included lectures, workshops and invited presentations in Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Thailand, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, South Korea and Canada. 

He was an internationally recognized authority on educating for citizenship and the author and editor of five, 23 book chapters, and more than 100 published journal articles. He received an honorary Doctorate in Education from Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University in Thailand, was named a Distinguished Scholar by the International Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies (USA), as well as the recipient of the Global Engagement Award of the University of Minnesota for his contributions to the internationalization of the university throughout his career.

Cogan, a native Ashtabulan, began his academic path at the Kent State Academic Center, as the Ashtabula campus was then known, from 1960 to 1962 before earning his bachelor's degree (cum laude) from Kent State in 1963. He then went on to earn a master’s degree (1965) and doctorate (1969) in Social Studies Education from The Ohio State University.   His additional teaching posts included serving on the faculty at Wittenberg University, as a teaching associate at Ohio State and an elementary school teacher in Columbus. He was also employed in various capacities by the U.S. Office of Education.

Dr. John Cogan Online Obituary

POSTED: Monday, August 23, 2021 - 9:56am
UPDATED: Monday, August 23, 2021 - 9:56am
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Kent State Ashtabula Communications & Marketing