Grad Chronicle: April 2021

Featured Graduate Students

Graduate Student Spotlights

Here at Kent State University, we pride ourselves on the exemplary work of our graduate students. Meet Melia Romine, a first-year doctoral student in the Biomedical Sciences Program, specializing in molecular biology and genetics, and recipient of the Graduate Dean's Award for the 2020-2021 academic year. Read more about her Kent State experience.

Graduate Dean Award winner Melia Rominee


Meet Ugochukwu Ugwu, a doctoral candidate in the Applied Mathematics program in the College of Arts and Sciences researching tensor factorization for high-dimensional data. Click here to read more about his Kent State experience.

Graduate Student Spotlight

FlashPitch Award Recipients

FlashPitch Competition

Congratulations to the award winners for the Division of Graduate Studies’ first annual FlashPitch competition! Participants presented their research in 90 seconds or less, were critiqued on their content, professionalism, engagement and time management and competed for cash prizes.
First Place: Fathima Nafrisha Cassim Bawa, Biomedical Sciences
Second Place: Angela Cappuzzello, School Psychology
Third Place: Mohsine Bensaid, Cirriculum and Instruction & Payel Datta, Chemistry and Biochemistry

And congratulations to Stanley Seah (Psychological Science) who received the People’s Choice Award. Thank you to everyone who participated! Check out the award recipients’ elevator pitches.

Congratulations to the Newly Elected Graduate Student Senate Executive Board

Graduate Student Executive Board members for 2021-2022

Results of Graduate Student Senate's Annual Research Symposium

35th Annual Research Symposium

Kent State's 35th annual Graduate Student Research Symposium, hosted by Graduate Student Senate, took place on April 7 and 8. Congratulations to the graduate students who were selected as session winners!

Poster Session Winners:

PS1: Haley Derose
PS2: Katherine Manning
PS3: Marie Stofan, Zia Hassan
PS4: Sarah Sternbach
PS5: Fathima Nafrisha Cassim Bawa
PS6: Amarasooriya M.D.S. Jayawardhana
PS7: Sudeshi Madushani, Thiloka Dassanayake
PS8: Elliott Arroyo
PS9: Pavan Poudel
PS10: Jasmin Beaver
PS11: Kyle DeAnna
PS12: Bailey Zalar

Oral Session Winners:

OS1: Mona Hashemi
OS2: John Miller
OS3: Manasi Agrawal
OS4: Sohini Dutta
OS5: Kumudie Jayalath
OS6: Deepak Karna
OS7: Anna Solberg
OS8: Emily Hoopes-Boyd
OS9: Tam Nguyen
OS10: Emily Erb
OS11: Bethany Caputo
OS12: Nia Allen
OS13: Grace Murray
OS14: Yu Li
OS15: Jeremy Foust
OS16: Muhammad Farooq
OS17:  Muhammad hassan Bin Afzal

Student Events and Programs

Apply to be a Graduate Student Orientation Teaching Fellow

GSO teaching fellows

The Graduate Student Orientation (GSO) program is looking to employ high achieving graduate students with leadership abilities from a wide range of academic disciplines and personal backgrounds to assist with the planning and implementation of GSO. 

GSO teaching fellows – also known as GSO leaders – are expected to serve as positive role models for graduate students. GSO team members will receive a stipend of $1,600 for their work. This position is for Summer III 2020 only. The appointment may be renewable for one more summer the following year pending available funds and if the student is in good standing in their role as a GSO teaching fellow as well as with their department. Responsibilities include facilitating breakout sessions and working on committees to plan specific aspects of the fall GSO program.
For more information and to apply, please click here. The deadline to submit an application is Sunday, May 16 at 11:59 p.m. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted. Fall GSO will be hosted on Thursday, August 19 and Friday, August 20.

May Gradfest

May GradFest


Join Graduate Student Senate for the last Gradfest of the 2021-2022 academic year at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 7. Click here to register for the May Gradfest.

Summer Internship Opportunity for International Admissions

Kent State student

International Admissions in the Office of Global Education is looking for graduate interns for Summer 2021. Duties will include research, credential evaluations, social media creation and posting as well as other tasks as needed. This is a great opportunity to learn about a more global perspective where international students are concerned. If interested in applying for an internship position, please email Elly Styles at

Are You Job Ready? Enhance Your Résumé

Kent State student at a job fair

Here in the Division of Graduate Studies, we are dedicated to preparing you for your career. We are providing all graduate students with the opportunity to earn a certificate in Career Planning Essentials and Research Fundamentals. Watch our research fundamental videos to learn more about grant writing, systematic reviews and software support. Watch our career planning videos covering topics such as interview tips, creating a résumé and optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

After watching a minimum of three videos from either category, you will be prompted to complete an assessment to demonstrate your understanding of the content. Upon answering 80% of the assessment questions correctly, you will be sent a certificate of completion that you may add to your résumé or CV. Access the library of videos as well as the assessment at our website.

Register for Beyond the Professoriate's Eighth Annual Online Career Conference

Flier for the 8th annual Online Career Conference

Beyond the Professoriate is hosting its eighth annual Online Career Conference for graduate students and PhDs on May 1 and May 8 at 11 a.m. Join virtually to learn about proven job search strategies to launch non-faculty careers.

The program features 16 PhDs from all academic disciplines to discuss networking, resume writing, online job search strategies and managing career transitions. This year’s conference will also directly address tips and strategies for navigating the job market during the COVID-19 recession and economic recovery.

Tickets cost $59 and include live attendance to the conference (via Zoom) and a 30-day replay of all conference programming. Click here to learn more and register for the conference.

May 4 Virtual Commemoration

Student gathered on May 4

In keeping with the commitment to honor and remember the events of May 4, 1970, Kent State University will hold a this year's May 4 commemoration virtually. There will also be a virtual candlelight vigil held at 11 p.m. on May 3. Click here to read about the tradition and history of the candlelight walk vigil, which began in 1971.

Local in Kent

Clean up Kent

Students cleaning up the Kent community

With the support of community volunteers and Kent State University students, Main Street Kent will be hosting a Clean up Kent Day beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 1. Grab your gloves, face covering and trash bags and get outside to lend a hand and make the Kent community beautiful.

Interested volunteers can meet in Acorn Alley near Burbick Way. Bring your friends! This a great opportunity for participants of all ages to contribute to our beautiful downtown, and garner a sense of community pride!

Haymaker Farmer's Market

Haymaker Farmers' Market in downtown Kent

The Haymaker Farmers' Market provides a connection between producers of local food and the community by creating a vibrant and sustainable gathering place promoting direct access to fresh and prepared food, agricultural and environmental education and the arts.

The farmers' market, which is held on Franklin Ave. every Saturday through November from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., offers locally grown fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers as well as locally raised beef, chicken, pork, eggs and more. Roasted coffee, tea, baked goods, honey, jams and body care products are also available. Click here to visit the Haymaker Farmers' Market website.

Graduate Student Resources

Pass/Fail Grade Information for Spring 2021

Kent State student studying

Kent State has modified the policy regarding pass/fail grading for undergraduate and graduate courses taken in spring 2021. Speak with your instructor or advisor to see if Pass/Fail is the best action for you. The deadline for students to submit or cancel a Pass/Fail request for spring 2021 course is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19.

Click here for a list of program restrictions. To visit the Pass/Fail Interim Policy website and FAQ, click here. If you have questions about how the Pass/Fail grade may affect your enrollment status, scholarships or financial aid, contact the student services office  or One Stop at 330-672-6000 or via their online Contact Us form.

Career Advising for Graduate Students

Kent State students

Hurry up and schedule a career advising appointment with the Division of Graduate Studies before the end of the semester. We are here to support you with whatever you need – from fine tuning your résumé or CV to practicing your interview skills. The Division of Graduate Studies will continue to offer career advising services through spring semester. Visit our page on Career Advising for Graduate Students to schedule an appointment today!

Mental Health Resources

Student on campus sitting near flowers

As a graduate student, managing stress and juggling all of your responsibilities can feel overwhelming. Click here to view a comprehensive list of Kent State University’s mental health resources.

Peer Support for Graduate Students

flier for a peer-to-peer support group for Kent State students

COVID-19 News and Updates

Stay Up-to-Date on COVID-19 Procedures

COVID-19 banner

In these uncertain times, stay up to date with Kent State University news, procedures, Flashes Safe Seven and updates regarding COVID-19 such as the academic schedule, remote resources, preventative measures, emergency fundingtestingvaccine distribution and more.

Resources to Combat Food Insecurity

Food insecurity has affected many people who are part of the Kent State community and the surrounding area as a result of the pandemic. Please click on the link to view information regarding available food resources in Kent.


Follow the Division of Graduate Studies on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @kentgradstudies.