5 New Members Join Kent State Regional Academic Center Advisory Board
When an institution of higher learning stays in tune with its surrounding community, together they can improve the educational, career, and quality-of-life outlook for everyone involved. Kent State University Geauga Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg remains relevant to the changing needs of the local region because it relies on an advisory board comprised of members who are truly representative of the community they serve.
The Regional Academic CenterAdvisory board consists of 11 members; six of them already in place plus five recently appointed. Existing members include:
- Abby Fechter, Director of Banquet Operations at Gleneagles Golf Club;
- Walt Hoffmann, RAC AB Chairman, Current Councilman for Reminderville, Retired, Assistant Superintendent
- Charles Mbanefo, Owner, C. Mbanefo MD Group
- Val Lumby, homemaker/community member;
- Kathi Procop, retired, former Mayor of Twinsburg; and
- Sheila Williams, retired teacher
Five new members were recently added to the Regional Academic Center Advisory Board to serve three-year terms, representing KSU to the community at local functions, supporting scholarship funding initiatives, and making community connections on behalf of Angela Spalsbury, Ph.D., dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State University at Geauga and the Regional Academic Center.
New members include:
Jamey DeFabio (Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams; Twinsburg Township Trustee; Chief Bailiff of Bedford Municipal Court)
- DeFabio’s main objectives on the advisory board are “to promote Kent State Geauga Regional Academic Center in a positive manner and to get the word out to as many students and parents that the RAC has to offer them.”
- DeFabio is very active in the community, considering that he is a Twinsburg Township Trustee. He has also been a bailiff at the Bedford Municipal Court for 29 years and has been the Chief Bailiff since 2005. DeFabio adds, “My wife and I also have a real estate business so we come in contact with a lot of people, and anytime someone mentions education beyond high school I bring up the Kent State Regional Academic Center.”
Megann Eberhart (Executive Director, Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce; member, President, Barberton Board of Education; member, Summit ArtSpace Board and Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education Internship Task Force)
- Eberhart says, "As executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, I serve as a liaison between the university and the business community as it relates to local workplace development.” She is excited to help generate new programming as a result of a local workplace development needs assessment survey facilitated by Kent State University Geauga.
- “Workforce development has been a longstanding issue here, and lifelong learning is our greatest resource in a changing economy,” Eberhart recognizes. She commends Twinsburg City Schools for starting a two-year career exploration program for students, involving shadowing, mentorships, and internships in three industry clusters (business and advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and human performance).
- Professionally, Eberhart represents the Chamber, with a mission to promote the interests of its 250 business members; strengthen the local economy; and advance educational, tourism and community development programs. Her far-reaching network also includes longstanding partnerships with the local public school district and Kent State University.
- A graduate of the University of Akron, Eberhart studied political science and public policy management as well as applied politics at the Ray C. Bliss Institute.
Lori Posk, M.D., FACP (Medical Director, Cleveland Clinic Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center; Medical Director, Cleveland Clinic-MyChart; Associate Staff Department of Internal Medicine; Assistant Professor of Medicine Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve)
- Dr. Posk says that her top objectives on the Regional Academic Center Advisory Board are to serve as a liaison in the community between RAC and The Cleveland Clinic; to advocate for the Regional Academic Center in the Twinsburg community and school, and to serve as a mentor for health care students when appropriate.
- Pointing to her professional and personal background, she says, “As a physician, I have served as an instructor and mentor for Kent State nursing students in my office. I have encouraged my medical assistants to seek other opportunities for further education in nursing at Kent State.
- “As a member of the community and having children in the Twinsburg Schools, I have seen the benefit of the college courses in high school and want to continue to promote this. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for me to serve and give back.”
Laura Leonard (Director, Twinsburg Public Library)
- As a new advisory board member, Leonard is eager “to make more people in the community of Twinsburg and surrounding community aware that the Kent State Regional Academic Center provides a quality and affordable education including several four-year degrees.” She also looks forward to increasing her role as an advocate for increased resources for regional campuses.
- As part of her goal to make the Twinsburg Public Library a center for continuous learning, Leonard wants to make users of the Regional Academic Center aware of the resources the library can provide to both professors and students within five miles of campus.
- Leonard brings firsthand knowledge and loyalty to both Twinsburg and to Kent State, accompanied by a vested interest in the success of the community's residents. A lifetime Twinsburg resident, she is a graduate of Twinsburg Schools, and she received a master’s graduate degree from Kent State.
Ted Yates (Mayor, City of Twinsburg)
- In his new role as a Regional Academic Center advisory board member, Mayor Yates says, “My focus will be on creating awareness of the Kent State Twinsburg campus in our surrounding areas; looking for ways to partner with KSU for community events and programming.”
- Already, he says that the city has signed an agreement for Kent State to sponsor an area in the community fitness center. This partnership allows regional campus students and staff to exercise for free at the municipally-owned facility.
- Mayor Yates is also a Kent State alum with a BA in Accounting (1993). He went on to earn an MBA and law degree from Cleveland State University. He says this background affects the way he characterizes Twinsburg.
- “Part of my day-to-day job as Twinsburg’s mayor is to promote our community. I want to be known as a ‘college town.’ As I build Twinsburg’s reputation in Northeast Ohio I will also be building the awareness and reputation of Kent State's regional campus.”
Each of these RAC Advisory Board members represent a wealth of professional and personal assets that promise to accelerate the synergy that already exists between the Twinsburg Community and KSU’s Regional Academic Center. Read more about how the Regional Academic Center is shaping up.