A Message from the Dean: Leadership with Lasso

Dean Bloebaum photo
"Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn't it? If you're comfortable while you're doing it, you're probably doing it wrong." – Ted Lasso

When 2022 began, we embraced a new and fresh start, but like any other year, challenges were waiting just on the other side of midnight. I have never been much of a “resolutioner”, but I like having goals so I decided to watch all the shows that had been recommended to me by family, friends, and my team. One title ranked well above the rest so I decided to start with that one first – and now I do not think I will watch any of the other recommendations because I will be watching this on repeat: "Ted Lasso".  

I found so much value in the lessons of leadership that this show provides that I have invited my team to watch it with me on Mondays for a “lunch and learn.” If you have not already seen "Ted Lasso", starring Jason Sudeikis, now streaming on Apple TV+, I highly suggest you stop reading this message right now and watch AT LEAST the first episode of season 1. 

Coach Lasso’s perspective is inspiring and admirable. He is able to find (and I mean genuinely, actually find) opportunity in some of the most unfortunate, uncomfortable, and challenging situations – and this, I also believe. 

The stories in this edition of our Alumni News have one thing in common: they all include a challenge where someone – in one way or another – had to get uncomfortable to find success. 

Our Alumni Spotlight features Major Benjamin “FLASH” Wiford, ’08, who learned to perfect the art of time management, and our Student Spotlight features Sydney Maller, sophomore Aerospace Engineering major, who, 12 years later, continues to echo the words of FLASH and perfect her time management abilities.

We're also thrilled to share updates about our M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechatronics Engineering that will begin enrolling students this fall, as well as updates about our CAE faculty research achievements, awards, and highlights. In addition to our internal research celebrations, we're also celebrating the recent award of the prestigious R1 Carnegie Classification designation, making Kent State University 1 out of 146 universities in the nation with the R1 status!  

Our students are continuing to soar. The Precision Flight Team took third place at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's (NIFA) Regional Safety Conference (SAFECON) and will be competing at the national competition hosted at The Ohio State University in May 2022. If you are wondering how you can get the kids in your life interested in STEM, I encourage you to check out our summer STEM opportunities and I hope to see your loved ones participating on our campus this summer!

While you're checking the dates for summer STEM opportunities, don't forget to take a look and see if the NEO Manufacturing For Electric Vehicles Conference In Partnership With The Smart Manufacturing Cluster Of Northeast Ohio is right for you! And, while youre at it - mark your calendar now for the A&E Expo - it is back!! We're excited to continue our traditions – and possibly add in something new! Connect with us on social media to stay up to date in real-time. 

We're looking forward to seeing you around at the many fun, unique, and exciting events we have planned this year! You can stay up to date by subscribing to the CAE Calendar of Events! Add our public calendar to yours – and never miss a thing! 

As we're scheduled to break ground on our building expansion the week of March 28th, please take a look at the ways you can leave your life-long legacy with the College of Aeronautics and Engineering!   

Go Flashes and Dare Mighty Things, 

Signature of Dean Christina Bloebaum



Christina L. Bloebaum, Ph.D. 

Dean and Professor 

College of Aeronautics and Engineering

Kent State University  

POSTED: Monday, March 7, 2022 - 5:55pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 21, 2022 - 3:41pm