Debbie Riggs Receives Kent State’s Presidential Award


Kent State University's outgoing President Beverly J. Warren recently presented the 2019 President’s Award of Distinction to Debbie Riggs of the East Liverpool Campus.

The award recognizes a staff member who demonstrates outstanding achievements, service, leadership and dedication to Kent State in advancing the university’s strategic priorities and core values.

Riggs began her career at Kent State in 1996 as the administrative assistant with the Physical Therapist Assistant program and, in 2007, she moved into the assistant dean’s office as an administrative assistant there, as well. She holds a degree in information technology from the university.

When presenting the award, Dr. Warren noted Riggs’ extensive community outreach work on behalf of the university, as well as her work with Kent State students. Warren also pointed out that she received hundreds of nominations for these awards, but only seven such awards were presented across the Kent State system this year.

Congratulating Debbie Riggs (center) on receiving the President’s Award of Distinction

Nominations for the award may come from peers, supervisors or other divisional leaders, faculty of students. The final decision resides with the president and each recipient receives a $1,500 award.

Riggs was nominated by staff members from the Kent State East Liverpool PTA program. She was surprised by the presentation, given at a joint meeting with members of the Kent Ashtabula PTA program on the East Liverpool Campus. Joining them was Dr. David Dees, dean and chief administrative officer of the Columbiana County campuses, and Dr. Susan Rossi, assistant dean for the East Liverpool Campus. Dr. Warren announced the award via a computer link up.

Debbie Riggs and Dr. Bev Warren connecting through technology.

“This is quite an honor and a recognition that is well-deserved,” Dees, said. “Congrats to Debbie!”

Debbie and her husband, Terry, live in East Liverpool and have two grown sons. 

“I very much enjoy my job, because I love helping students succeed with their educational goals,” Riggs said. “I have met a lot of students over the years, and still keep in touch with many of them. I enjoy working with a wonderful team of individuals that make my job easier.”


Cutline A: Debbie Riggs

Cutline B: There to congratulate Debbie Riggs (center) on receiving the President’s Award of Distinction were (from left) Darryl Hancock and Lynn Leija, of the East Liverpool PTA program; Nick Blake of the Ashtabula PTA program; Dean David Dees; Tiffany Kiphart, academic program director of the Ashtabula and East Liverpool PTA program; Becky Rempe, Ashtabula PTA program; Assistant Dean Susan Rossi; Betsy Scholosser, Ashtabula PTA program; and Katie Sutton, East Liverpool PTA program.

Cutline C: Debbie Riggs and Dr. Bev Warren connecting through technology.

POSTED: Thursday, June 06, 2019 10:37 AM
UPDATED: Saturday, December 10, 2022 05:19 AM

More than 60%  of rural Americans live in areas the National Institute of Health deems to be underserved by mental health professionals and only about 20% of social workers nationwide are employed in rural areas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These stats, coupled with the high demand for licensed social workers — especially in areas like those surrounding Kent State University’s Regional Campuses — produce significant disparities and gaps in care for people needing social services.

Filling in those gaps is the primary aim of program director Matt Butler and the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program through Kent State’s College of Applied and Technical Studies (CATS), which will have an emphasis on rural social work.

At the end of the 2022 fall semester, the Columbiana County campuses literary journal, Black Squirrel Scholars, held a short fiction writing contest and the winners were announced at the beginning of the new semester.

Kent State Columbiana County Campuses will be a host for this multi-campus open house event.

Kent State University is inviting prospective students and families throughout Northeast Ohio to explore its Regional Campus System at a unique, simultaneous open house event.  

The inaugural Blue & Gold Night begins at 5:30 p.m. March 21.