Meet the Design Innovation Group Listing
Director, Foundation Relations
Benjamin works collaboratively with Kent State faculty and staff to increase private organizational support for the university. Design Innovation’s impact on the mindset of students, faculty, staff and the greater community is what draws him to be involved – that has spanned the last 3 years. Benjamin’s first degree was from Kent State University (2003), followed by education at Sea Education...
William T. Willoughby, AIA, NCARB
Associate Professor and Associate Dean, College of Architecture and Environmental Design
William T Willoughby (Bill Willoughby) is an architect, design educator, and essayist who boomeranged back to Northeast Ohio to serve as Associate Dean for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University where he is a tenured Associate Professor. Previously, he was a tenured Professor in the School of Architecture at Louisiana Tech University, where for 15 years he...
Robert A. Walker
Professor, Department of Computer Science
Robert A. Walker is the former Director and founder of Kent State's interdisciplinary School of Digital Sciences; a former Chair of the Department of Computer Science; and a strong supporter, Lifetime Member, and Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1988. He joined...
Chair, Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Robert Jewell has been involved with the Design Innovation Initiative since the spring of 2017. Jewell’s role is to provide representation and perspective from the college of business because of the potential for design innovation to produce ideas that are salable.
Jewell earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Indiana University, a Master’s degree in Marketing from Northern Illinois...
Christina Bloebaum started as Dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering August 1, 2018. Prior to starting at Kent State, Dr. Bloebaum held the Dennis and Rebecca Muilenburg Professorship of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University. She joined Iowa State University in 2012. While at Iowa State, she served in various administrative positions including Director of the Iowa Space Grant...
Interim Director, Visual Communication Design
College of Communication and Information
David Robins is currently Interim Director of the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. He was most recently Associate Professor and Coordinator of the User Experience Design concentration in the Interdisciplinary Program in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) at Kent State University. He was instrumental in designing and implementing the User...
Edgar is connected with the Design Innovation Initiative through his role in directing the International Mission Life competition in conjunction with faculty members at our strategic partner University in Brazil, PUCPR (Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná), and the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio Texas. Edgar obtained his elementary and secondary school education in his home...
Jackie Ruller, MS
Interim Director, Engineering
Jackie Ruller graduated from Alfred University with a BS in Ceramic Engineering and a MS in Glass Science. Ruller has a diverse, technical career with experience in hands-on research, university interface and marketing, project management and intellectual property. Ruller started her career at the Naval Research lab where she spent four years investigating optical materials. She is a co-author on...
Professor and Interim Director, JMC
Jeff Fruit is Professor and Interim Director in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC). He works with faculty colleagues to help students become agile, adaptable professional communicators with an entrepreneurial mindset. He studies how technology has had impact both historically and today on journalism, journalists and the broader media marketplace.
Previously, he served as...
John L West
Trustee Professor of Chemistry and Interim Director of the Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute
John West has been researching liquid crystal materials since he joined Kent State University in 1984. During this time he has fostered moving technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, helping establish a cluster of liquid crystal companies around the university. Working with faculty from across the Kent Campus he developed a course "Be Smarter Than Your Phone" that teaches the...
John M. Rathje
VP & CIO, Information Services
John Rathje joined Kent State University in March of 2018 and serves as the Vice President for Information Services and the Chief Information Officer. John’s leadership experience spans multiple sectors, including higher education, health care and industry.
In his role at Kent State, John provides strategic direction and innovative, customer focused technology solutions that support and advance...
Executive Director, Design Innovation Initiative
In his new role, J.R. Campbell is helping to cultivate the Design Innovation Initiative at Kent State University to support design thinking, project-based learning, technology-infused maker communities and the curation of cross- disciplinary collaborative teams to tackle 'wicked' problems. Students and faculty from every discipline are encouraged to participate in this intersectional engine for...
Executive Director for Entrepreneurship Initiatives & LaunchNET
Julie led the development of the original Blackstone LaunchPad program at Kent State and continues to lead this university-wide program, as part of the NEO- LaunchNET program that serves students, faculty, staff and alumni from all disciplines. She led the grassroots effort for an initiative to create a connected innovation ecosystem across the university and continues to serve as part of the...
Interim Dean, University Libraries
Ken Burhanna is currently interim dean of Kent State University Libraries. His oversee the University Libraries, LaunchNET, and the Kent State University Press. He has previously served as assistant dean for engagement and outreach; assistant dean for collections, circulation, copyright and digitation; head of instructional services, and first year experience librarian. He has also served as...
Assistant Professor, The Fashion School
Kendra Lapolla has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design (2007) from Columbus College of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Design Development (2010) from The Ohio State University. She has taught color theory and design intro courses at The Ohio State University. As an Assistant Professor at Albright College in Pennsylvania she taught coursework in Fashion Illustration and...
Associate Professor, School of Information
College of Communication and Information
Kiersten F. Latham is an associate professor in the School of Information and director of MuseLab at Kent State University where she developed and teaches in the museum studies specialization from an information perspective. In addition to academic work, she has worked in, on, and about museums in various capacities for over 25 years, serving as a director, educator, researcher, collections...
Director, School of Art
Bukowski began her art studies at Carnegie Mellon University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a double major in Painting and 19th Century German Literature and a double minor in Printmaking and Linguistics & Rhetoric in 1992. She received her Certificate in Art History and Polish language from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland in 1999. Bukowski went on to receive...
Michael Kavulic, Ph.D.
Director, Research Strategic Initiatives
Division of Research & Sponsored Programs
Michael Kavulic, Ph.D. serves as the Director of Research Strategic Initiatives at Kent State University. In this role, Dr. Kavulic facilitates the administrative functions of two research institutes: Brain Health and Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal; and three research initiatives: Environmental Science and Design, Global Understanding, and Healthy Communities. He has served in a variety...
Dr. Robin Vande Zande is professor of art and design education at Kent State University. She researches and writes about design thinking and teaching through the principles and practices of design to PreK-12 grade students. Her work and activism helped to implement the inclusion of design in the national art education standards in 2014. She has worked as a consultant for the Department of...
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation
Shawn Rohlin is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at Kent State University and an Associate Professor of Economics at Kent State University. His fields of research are in Urban Economics, Public Finance, Entrepreneurship and Labor Economics. His research primarily focuses on the determinants of businesses such as agglomeration, displacement and government...
Tatiana R. Stettler
Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship
Tatiana Romanova Stettler is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Kent State University. She completed her doctorate at the University of Bern in Switzerland in 2014 following a Masters in Management (Switzerland) and a Higher Diploma in Marketing (Russia).
Tatiana came to Kent State University to start her tenure-track position in August 2015. Her research focuses on firm’s skills and...