Kent State’s Linda Robertson to Receive Social Responsibility and Diversity Award

Linda Robertson, Ph.D., director of Kent State University’s Gerald Read Center for International and Intercultural Education in the College of Education, Health and Human Services, has been named recipient of the university’s 2016 Dr. Daniel Mahony Award for Social Responsibility and Diversity. The award is given annually by University College and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to an individual or organization that has achieved eminence for distinctive service relating to and/or enhancing diversity in a humanitarian nature, positively impacting the Kent State community.

“Dr. Robertson was selected for her staunch dedication to intercultural and international diversity at Kent State through her work at the College of Education, Health and Human Services,” says N.J. Akbar, co-chair of the Social Responsibility and Diversity Awards committee and assistant dean in Kent State’s University College.She was chosen from a very competitive group of dedicated individuals within our community.”

Robertson, who has a Ph.D. in higher education from Kent State, joined the Read Center in 1999 as a doctoral graduate assistant. In 2003, she was named director of the center, which serves as a catalyst for the advancement of intercultural and international education. Before coming to Kent State, she spent 30 years as a public school teacher and administrator.

“I am humbled by an award of this kind,” Robertson says. “When you do the work you love, you do not expect any recognition for it. I view this as an opportunity to share this recognition with my staff. One of the things that we talk about is importance of teamwork; without their assistance and in many cases inspiration, we would not be able to do the work that we do.”

Mark Kretovics, interim dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services, was delighted to hear that the committee selected Robertson.

“This is a well-deserved honor,” Kretovics says. “Dr. Robertson and the Read Center staff embody the spirit of this award in everything that they do for our students, visiting scholars and for our faculty.”

The award will be given during the annual Social Responsibility and Diversity Awards celebration, which will take place on Friday, Nov. 4, at the NEW Center at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown. The Social Responsibility and Diversity Awards recognizes students, faculty, alumni and community supporters who provide outreach support and programs focused on increasing the success of underrepresented and/or underserved students at Kent State.

“This event is a way to celebrate the broad depth of diversity; recognizing our own who strive to create a climate of change in our community in transforming ways,” says Shana Lee, co-chair of the Social Responsibility and Diversity Awards committee and director of diversity and inclusion in Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The other recipients at the 2016 Social Responsibility and Diversity Awards are:

Outstanding Creative Contribution Award:
The College of the Arts’ Academic Diversity Outreach Team
Kishna Davis Fowler, assistant professor-voice, School of Music
LeAnn Starlin Nilsson, director of academic recruitment and retention, College of the Arts

Advancing Diversity Scholarship Award:
Monica Miller Marsh
, Ph.D.
Associate professor and director, Kent State University Child Development Center

Graduate Student Inclusive Influence Award:
Kristina Inez Metcalf

Master’s student, clinical mental health counseling

Alumni Legacy Award:
Lenard W. Hairston, '69

Founder/CEO, Happy Faces Corporation

Community Impact Award:
Student Association of IT Professionals
Kent State University at Ashtabula

Undergraduate Student Inclusive Influence Award:
Gabrielle Gooch Cooper

Senior, human development and family studies major

The celebration will begin with a VIP reception hosted by Kent State President Beverly Warren at 5:30 p.m. The reception will be followed by the dinner and awards at 6:30 p.m. hosted by Kent State alumna Danielle Wiggins, morning traffic reporter with WKYC Channel 3 - Cleveland.  The evening will feature musical selections performed by Kent State’s Kent Clarks, an a capella student group that performed for President Barack Obama.

For information on how to purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit or contact Akbar at 330-672-0980 by Oct. 26 at 5 p.m.