Past Faculty Cohort

2016–2017 Cohort

  • Faculty Facilitator: Martha Merrill – College of Education, Health and Human Services
  • William Howell – College of Business Administration
  • Mitch McKenney – School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Peggy Nzomo – University Libraries
  • Kristine Pytash – College of Education, Health and Human Services
  • Augustine Samba – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Denice Sheehan – College of Nursing
  • Pamela Stephenson – College of Nursing
    • Dr. Stephenson is an assistant professor within the College of Nursing where she teaches Nursing Theory at the master's level and the History and Philosophy of Nursing Science at the doctoral level. Dr. Stephenson also represents the College of Nursing at the Florence Health Institute (FHI) — a joint partnership with the Office of Global Education and College of Public Health. FHI brings students from multiple healthcare disciplines together in Florence, Italy, to study health-related issues from a global perspective. Her clinical expertise is in oncology where she worked as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and nursing supervisor across medical, radiation and inpatient oncology units. Her research is focusing on the development of spiritual uncertainty as a new construct for palliative and end-of-life care, including its conceptual, theoretical and operational development. She is also interested in expanding the understanding of spiritual uncertainty to include victims of potentially life-threatening situations and marginalized populations. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally. Pam Stephenson can be reached at or 330–672–3704

2014-2015 Cohort

  • Faculty Facilitator:  Ken Cushner – College of Education, Health and Human Services
  • Madhav Bhatta - College of Public Health
  • Maureen Blankemeyer - College of Education, Health and Human Services
    • Maureen Blankemeyer is an associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) in the College of Education, Health and Human Services (EHHS). She received an M.S. in Family Relations and Child Development and a Ph.D. in Human Environmental Sciences from Oklahoma State University. She has been at Kent State University since 1996. Along with two Kent State students, she spent a semester in Northern Ireland conducting research on children’s perceptions of peace and political violence. As part of the EHHS Global Learning Study Group, she internationalized two HDFS courses. She has worked with Kent State International Mentors and the OGE Conversation Partner Program to provide intercultural mutual mentoring opportunities for her students. She teaches an annual short-term study-abroad course in Ireland and is currently heading up efforts to internationalize the HDFS curriculum. 
      Maureen is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®) and is presently collecting baseline data on HDFS students’ intercultural competence. While participating in the Intercultural Faculty Scholars program, she served on the project to support faculty members and her primary interest is curriculum internationalization. Maureen may be reached at or 330-672-9397.
  • Mary Lou Ferranto - College of Nursing, Kent State Salem
    • I have been fortunate to be at Kent State University for over 21 years as faculty in the College of Nursing. While at KSU I have taught in all levels in the BSN program as well as graduate program for our Nurse Practitioner students. I started on my educational journey many years ago by completing my BSN at Kent State. 
      After completing my BSN I moved to Boston and New York and worked in cardiovascular critical care settings. Several more moves brought me to Pittsburgh at Allegheny General Hospital as clinical coordinator of the surgical ICU where I implemented a cardiac transplant program for nursing. While in Pittsburgh, I received my master's in Nursing Administration and Management at LaRoche College. Another move to New Jersey allowed me the opportunity to begin my teaching career in an ADN program. I moved back to Ohio in 1994 when I began teaching at KSU. I received a post-master's certification as a Certified Nurse Practitioner at Kent State in 1997. Finally, I completed my Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies in Education at Kent State.
      I have presented at numerous national, international, and professional and community-based conferences and have multiple publications. I am a member of the Northeast Ohio Organization of Advanced Practice Nurses, National League of Nursing, the American Association of Collegiate Nursing, The American Association of Nephrology Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau. My area of research interest is the development of cultural humility in nursing students. As such, I often travel abroad with Salem nursing students. Thus far, students have accompanied me on cultural international experiences to Africa, Japan, Haiti and Canada. Students are also encouraged to journey with faculty to the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota people in South Dakota.
      Mary Lou Gemma Ferranto may be reached at or 330-337-4373
  • Elda Hegmann - College of Arts and Sciences
  • Yu Jin - College of the Arts
    • Yu Jin won First Prize at the Washington International Music Competition, Chicago Viola Society Solo Competition and Ohio Viola Society Competition. She has performed at many prestigious venues and music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Bravo Vail Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Marlboro Music Festival, Music@Menlo and the 92Y. Jin gave her Washington debut at The Phillips Collection in 2006. She has collaborated with James Conlon, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Donald Weilerstein, Noah Bendix-Balgley, members of The Cleveland Orchestra, and the Guarneri, Juilliard, Orion and Cavani quartet. She also served as violist of the Miami String Quartet, Guest Principal Viola of the Cincinnati Orchestra, and Principal Viola of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. A dedicated teacher, Jin gave master classes at Oberlin Conservatory, Toronto University, Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and at music festivals throughout the United States and Mexico. She has joined the faculty of Kent State University since 2007. Jin studied viola with Wang Shaowu and Wing Ho at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and with Jeffrey Irvine at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
      Yu Jin can be reached at or 216-269-3247
  • Isabel Lacruz - College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dandan Liu - College of Business Administration
    • Dandan Liu is an associate professor of Economics at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D. from Texas A & M University in 2005. Her research focuses on applied macroeconomics, applied econometrics (time series) and economic forecasting. Liu has published in a wide range of journals, such as European Journal of Political Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Economic Inquiry, International Journal of Forecasting, Empirical Economics, etc. She has been a board member of the Ohio Association of Economists and Political Scientists (OAEPS) since 2008, serving as vice president from 2012 to 2013 and president from 2013 to 2014. She currently teaches Principles of Macroeconomics, Time Series Analysis and Quantitative Methods in Business Administration at Kent State.
      Liu has experience both as an international student and faculty member. She can advise from both perspectives. She also can advise on Asian Cultures and the Chinese education system.
      Dandan Liu may be reached at or 330-672-1095

  • Mike Mayo - College of Business Administration
  • Sevim McCutcheon - University Libraries
    • Sevim McCutcheon is a catalog librarian and associate professor in University Libraries. She specializes in providing access to ETDs, e-books, print books and maps. Her recent articles have appeared in Public Library Quarterly, The Reference Librarian, and Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. While her daily work does not bring her into contact with international students on a regular basis, she is committed to easing the transition of international students to the United States and in their quality of life and studies while at Kent State University. She represents University Libraries on the International Students and Scholars Integration Committee (ISSIC) and is a regular volunteer in the Office of Global Education’s Conversation Partners Program and the soon-to-be-launched Friendship Families Program. McCutcheon’s undergraduate degree from Ohio State University was in Middle Eastern Studies, with emphasis on Turkey and Greece. She taught English as a Second Language in Turkey to 3rd through 9th grade prior to getting her M.L.S. from Kent State. Before joining academia, she was head of technical services in an Ohio public library system, the sole original catalog librarian for a consortium of Ohio public libraries, and an original catalog librarian at OCLC, where she cataloged materials in a number of non-English languages. Sevim McCutcheon may be reached at or 330-672-1703.
  • Tracey Motter - College of Nursing
  • Athena Salaba - College of Communication and Information
    • Dr. Athena Salaba joined the faculty of the School of Library and Information Science in January 2004. She teaches in the area of organization of information and her research focuses on metadata, subject access to information, knowledge organization systems and conceptual modeling. She has published and presented a variety of work on how users interact with an information system. She received her Ph.D. in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her Master’s of Library Science from Kent State University, and has undergraduate degrees in cultural anthropology from Kent State and library science from Greece. She was a 2006-2007 Teaching Scholar, where she enjoyed interacting with and learning from faculty from all over campus. She first came to the United States as an international scholar and then as an international student, and as such, she has firsthand experiences of the differences in teaching methods, course requirements and classroom interactions students face when arriving at an American university. She is working with the Intercultural Faculty Scholars group that is focusing on resources for faculty, but her interests are on bringing awareness of international students’ adjustments to Kent State’s educational culture to both domestic students and faculty who interact with international students.
      Athena Salaba may be reached at or 330-672-0023
  • Kim Schimmel - College of Education, Health and Human Services
    • Kimberly S. Schimmel, Ph.D., is a professor of the Sociology of Sport and an affiliate to the Women’s Studies Program. She developed and teaches an undergraduate course that meets the University Domestic Diversity Requirement (Sport in Society) and one that focuses on globalization (Sport in Global Perspective), as well as a graduate-level social theory course (Sociology of Sport). Her research is related to sport and local/global urban development, the political economy of sport, and urban securitization in the post-9/11 era. Kim's research has been published in numerous scholarly journals and anthologies and has been translated into five languages, including a monograph in Brazilian Portuguese (Os Grandes Eventos Esportivos: Desafios E Perspectivas, 2013, University of Campinas). She is a past associate editor of the Sociology of Sport Journal and currently serves as the vice president of the International Sociology of Sport Association. Kim is a recipient of Kent State University’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2008), has given invited scholarly presentations and workshops in 16 countries, and in May 2014 was honored as the university’s Scholar of the Month.
  • Jakyung Seo - College of the Arts
    • Jakyung Seo is an assistant professor of Lighting Design at Kent State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Kent State, she taught at the University of Cincinnati and California State University at Fresno. Jakyung has worked as a professional lighting designer and assistant lighting designer in USA regional theatre including Steppenwolf and Congo Square Theatre (Chicago), Eye to Soul (NYC), CATCO (Columbus), Porthouse and Lodestone Theatre (LA). Her international credits include : Face with Eye to Soul at Edinburgh in the U.K., and What We Want is for Thrust Dance Company in Japan, where she was awarded the best prize at the International Dance Festival in Saitama. Recently, she designed BINARI with MAC theatre company at Avignon Off Theatre festival and Theatre Laboratory Elizabeth Czerczuk, Paris at France, Sibiu International Theatre Festival at Romania, and Busan Performing Arts International Festival at South Korea. She has designed more than 60 shows including South Pacific, Peterman, Man of La Mancha and many dance performances. She is actively presenting at international conferences such as PQ Scenofest 2007 in Prague where she was lead lecturer, USITT, SETC and  KCACTF at USA. Also, she has been teaching lighting design workshops at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts at Singapore and DonSeo University and KyungSung University at South Korea.

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