Kent State Salem Students Honored at Annual Awards Ceremony; Lou and Kerry Ramunno Receive Friends of the Campus Award

Salem – Kent State University at Salem recently held its annual awards ceremony, during which students were recognized for their academic excellence, scholastic achievements and service to the campus. Also during the event, Lou and Kerry Ramunno of Salem were presented the Friends of the Campus award. 

Top students in business, computer technology, communication studies, early childhood education, human services, psychology, nursing, radiology and undergraduate research received awards. 

Student worker Sandi Anderson, of Beloit, received the Campus Service Award. She is a senior psychology major. 

Dr. Steve Nameth, dean of the Kent State Salem campus, called the event a celebration for students and their families, noting that many in the room were, or are, first-generation college students.

“I’m a first-generation college graduate,” he said. “I understand why it is important to have the support of your family and friends to succeed in college. I also understand why we, as educators, must be there to help you succeed. Kent State Salem students possess an incredible work ethic and knowledge that will allow them to apply their classroom experiences in day-to-day work situations. It is important that we celebrate the accomplishments of our students.” 

Nameth also acknowledged several individuals and organizations that partner with the college to help area residents achieve degrees. These relationships provide scholarships, capital support and service through advisory boards, as well as learning experiences through internships and clinical instruction opportunities. 

“I truly feel our region highlights what can be achieved when the private sector and higher education join forces. Great things happen,” he said. 

The highest honor presented annually to non-students is the Friends of the Campus Award, which was presented to Lou and Kerry Ramunno. The award recognizes community members who work to better the campus through their time and talents over the years, and who embody the quote by Helen Keller: “The welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all.” 

Lou Ramunno was a science teacher, coach and advisor at Salem City Schools before becoming the superintendent of both Leetonia and West Branch schools. After retirement, he also served as an administrator at several other area schools, including Alliance, East Liverpool and Southern Local. 

Kerry Ramunno was an elementary teacher in Salem City Schools until her retirement. She earned her masters of education degree from Kent State in 1988 and serves as a cooperating and supervising teacher for Kent State.  

At Kent State Salem, the Ramunnos serve as members of the advisory board, the Rural Scholars Committee and the Nursing and Cultural Humility Committee. They were part of the community committee that helped raise more than $1.3 million in private support to create the Health & Sciences Wing, including a significant personal donation that created the Ramunno Family Student Study Lounge in the new wing. 

The Ramunnos also help advocate and engage school districts with the development of the Seniors to Sophomores program in Columbiana County, allowing high school juniors and seniors to take college classes at Kent while still in high school. 

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Lou or Kerry say to me: ‘Tell me what the students need.’ They are committed to giving back,” Nameth noted. “Few people know of the many, many things they do to help people in need. It might be driving an expectant mother to her doctor’s appointment or making sure children have food and shelter. They never quit giving.” 

The Ramunnos are members of St. Paul’s Catholic Church and have been active with Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, the Diocese of Youngstown and the Salvation Army. Lou also is the past president of the Salem Kiwanis Club. They are the parents of Mark (Kelly) and Ross (Wendy) and have five grandchildren.

Several scholarships were awarded during the ceremony. These include the Kent State Advisory Board Scholarship; the Kent State Salem Alumni Scholarship; the Professional Promise Scholarship; the Joseph P. and Donna Sedzmak Accounting and Business Scholarship; the Donna J. Sedzmak Student Survivor and Caregiver Scholarship; the James Cooney Scholarship; the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio Scholarship; the Alumni Insurance Studies Scholarship; the Westfield Insurance Scholarship; the Davey Tree Expert Scholarship; and the Willoway Nurseries Scholarship.

At the Kent State Columbiana County campuses, students can earn 27 different degrees, including 13 bachelor’s degrees. The Columbiana County campuses include Kent State Salem and Kent State East Liverpool. Information about the degree programs is available at or by calling the Salem campus at 333-332-0361 and the East Liverpool campus at 330-385-3805.


Photo Caption 1: Sandi Anderson (center) received the Campus Service Award during the Kent State University at Salem’s annual awards ceremony. She is shown with (left) Sarah Motts, enrollment management and student services advisor, and Lisa Curran (right), administrative clerk.

Photo Caption 2: Dr. Steve Nameth (right), dean of Kent State University at Salem, presented the Friends of the Campus award to Lou and Kerry Ramunno of Salem.


Media Contact: Tina Smith,, 330-337-4247

POSTED: Monday, May 6, 2013 12:37 PM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 09:14 AM