Grad Chronicle: February 2021


Featured Graduate Students


Graduate Student Spotlights


Here at Kent State University’s Division of Graduate Studies, we pride ourselves on the exemplary work of our graduate students. Read on to learn more about two of Kent State's standout graduate students.

Student Spotlight: Connor Wilcox

Meet Connor Wilcox, a doctoral student in the College of Communication and Information. His research explores the nuanced ways people communicatively construct knowledge and negotiate identities within subcultures. After completing his Ph.D., Connor seeks to pursue a full-time faculty position at a college or university. Read more about Connor’s Kent State experience!

Student Spotlight: Rachel Fleischaker

Meet Rachael Fleischaker, a doctoral candidate in Kent State’s Music Education program. Before pursuing graduate coursework, Rachael had an impressive 26-year teaching career, where she has taught undergraduate courses at institutions including Baldwin Wallace University, the College of Wooster, The Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus and right here at Kent State! Rachael has also received the award for the Kent State University Excellence in Performing Arts Research on two separate occasions. Click here to read her full story!


Awards and Scholarships


Deadline Approaching for Graduate Student Senate Awards

Graduate Student Senate Awards

Don’t forget to apply for Graduate Student Senate’s award opportunities. The deadline to apply for the Research Award is Monday, March 8. Click on the links below for additional information on the awards and application processes.

  • Research Award: This competitive award of up to $2,000 supports research or project-related expenses for Kent State University graduate students.
  • Special Contingency Award: This competitive award offers up to $1,500 of approved student-incurred expenses. The award is offered on a rolling basis, with applications due for review by 11:59 p.m. three weeks prior to any GSS general meeting. The next deadline is Friday, March 12 prior to the April GSS general meeting.


Graduate Student Trustee Search


Board of Trustees

An important search is underway that will result in the appointment of a graduate student trustee to the Kent State University Board of Trustees. Applications from interested students for this two-year term position are now being accepted by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, March 1.

An overview of the position– including expectations, responsibilities and qualifications – and the application can be found here. The necessary documents include an application form, resume and three letters of recommendation – two from individuals affiliated with Kent State University and one from a personal source not affiliated with the university.

Complete applicant files will be accepted through Monday, March 8.

The term for the graduate student trustee will begin on the date of appointment specified by the governor and will end in May 2023. For additional information, please contact Kendra Wilson at


Student Events and Programs


Graduate Student Appreciation Week

Graduate Student Appreciation Week

Save the date for our 2021 Graduate Student Appreciation Week! Join us April 5–9 as we celebrate our appreciation for Kent State's graduate students. Events will include a grab and go lunch and care package pick-up event, virtual trivia, CliftonStrengths Workshop and the annual Graduate Research Symposium.

We are now accepting registrations for the CliftonStrengths assessment and workshop. CliftonStrengths is a paid assessment tool for leadership, but Graduate Studies will be covering the cost of the assessment for graduate students in Spring 2021 on a first-come, first-served basis. Career Exploration and Development (CED) will be hosting a virtual workshop about how you can harness your strengths on Thursday, April 8 at 11 a.m.

Be on the lookout for more event registrations and more information in the March issue of the Grad Chronicle. We hope to see you at one – or all – of our appreciation week events!


Register for FlashPitch

FlashPitch Competition

The Division of Graduate Studies is hosting its first FlashPitch competition – an elevator pitch competition for graduate students! Participants will gain experience presenting their research to an interdisciplinary audience. Develop critical elevator pitch skills so you will be able to clearly communicate your research in networking situations, at conferences and in the job market. Deliver a pitch on your research agenda/research interests. In addition to gaining valuable experience, graduate students will be competing for cash prizes!

First Place: $400
Second Place: $250
Third Place: $150
People’s Choice: $150

You can register for the event on the FlashPitch registration formThe deadline to submit your pitch is by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, March 26. We’re looking forward to seeing your submission!

Finalists will be announced by Monday, April 5. Members of the Kent State community will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite pitch to help determine the People's Choice Award. Award recipients will be announced on Friday, April 9 during Graduate Student Appreciation Week.

To prepare for the competition, you can join LaunchNet and Graduate Studies for a virtual workshop on Tuesday, March 9 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on how to prepare your pitch for the competition. You can register for the workshop on the workshop registration form or email to get the link to attend.


Beyond the Professoriate's Free Webinar Series

Beyond the Professoriate's Free Webinar Series

Beyond the Professoriate is hosting a free series of events to support graduate student and postdoctoral professional and career development. Join L. Maren Wood, PhD, in this webinar series as she covers various topics related to career opportunities outside of academia. 

To register, click on the links below. You can view the recorded sessions for seven days. Events begin at 12 p.m. ET and run for 45 minutes. 
February 26: Things to consider if you want to start a business or be a freelancer
March 12: Non-academic career options for STEM PhDs
March 26: Non-academic career options for humanities and social sciences
April 9: Why leaving academia can be harder than it seems
April 23: How I decided to leave academia


March GradFest

March GradFest


Career Planning Essentials Certificate

Student working at a laptop computer

As part of the Division of Graduate Studies’ dedication to preparing graduate students for their careers, we are offering all graduate students the opportunity to earn a certificate in Career Planning Essentials. Our career planning videos discuss topics including interviews, resumes and LinkedIn, and after watching at least three videos, graduate students will be prompted to complete an assessment to demonstrate their understanding of the content.

Upon answering 80% of the questions correctly, you will be sent a certificate of completion that you may add to your résumé or CV. You can access the library of videos as well as the assessment on our website.


Celebrate Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month

As we near the end of February, join Kent State in continuing to celebrate Black History Month through a variety of campus-sponsored events. Events this week include Black Community Gathering II: Unity and CultureBlack Voices Matter Open Mic  and Real Tea Concerning Black Women’s Health. These events are open to all students, faculty and staff!


Military Monday – Honoring Women Who Have Served

Woman veteran

March begins the celebration of Women's History Month. To kick off the celebration, Kent State's Center for Adult and Veteran Services is hosting a virtual event titled Military Monday. On Monday, March 1, women who have served or are currently serving in the military are invited to attend this virtual gathering to celebrate their achievements. For more information on how to register, click here!


Three Minute Research Safety Poster Competition

Three Minute Research Safety Poster Competition



Career Advising for Graduate Students

Don’t forget to take advantage of the Division of Graduate Studies’ career advising services. We are here to support you with whatever you need – from fine tuning your résumé or CV to polishing your interview skills. The Division of Graduate Studies will continue to provide career advising services throughout spring semester. Visit our page on Career Advising for Graduate Students to schedule your appointment today!


Health and Wellness


National Park Snowshoe Hike

Hiker in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Get outside and explore the beauty of Ohio’s only national park – on snowshoes! Make sure to register in advance for the for the hike, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 27 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Transportation will not be provided, but the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is only a short drive from campus.


SKY Campus Happiness Pilot

Student practicing yoga

SKY Campus Happiness is a comprehensive psychosocial program tailored for university populations –students, faculty and staff – offered by the International Association for Human Values and Art of Living Foundation and designed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 

We are offering an opportunity to participate in the SKY Happiness Program to learn about the technique for yourself on March 5–7. The three-day weekend retreat is an innovative life-skills training and self-development program where participants will gain foundational stress-management and leadership skills, a personal daily breathing and meditation practice, strategies for social connection and community building, and engage in peer-driven service initiatives.

Students will gain skills to:

  • Clear and relax the mind
  • Increase personal resilience by managing negative emotions and stress
  • Increase energy and capacity naturally
  • Gain equanimity and broader perspective on life when facing challenges
  • Build trusting and authentic relationships
  • Handle criticism and mistakes
  • Strengthen and refine communication and listening skills
  • Find strength in vulnerability

 Learn more about the event. Contact Melissa Celko at if you wish to attend.

Mental Health Resources – A Comprehensive List

Fountain at Kent State University

Managing stress and juggling all of your responsibilities as a graduate student can sometimes feel overwhelming. To view an updated and comprehensive list of Kent State University’s mental health resources, please visit our website.

Build Emotional Resilience Virtually

Art of Coping

Counseling and Psychological Services is hosting virtual group meetings, called the Art of Coping: Building Emotional Resilience, every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The sessions focus on learning and incorporating useful skills like mindfulness, stress management and self-compassion into your life. If you're interested in participating, please visit the website to fill out a one-time registration form. 

How to Manage Anxiety and Stress During the Pandemic

Managing Anxiety and Stress in the Midst of a Pandemic

Tune in for Counseling and Psychological Services’ spring 2021 group programming – Anxiety and Stress During COVID-19 –  every Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. via Teams. For more information and to fill out a one-time registration form, please click here.

COVID-19 News and Updates

Stay Informed About COVID-19 Procedures

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

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 fundingtesting and more.

Resources to Combat Food Insecurity

Combatting Food Insecurity

Food insecurity has affected many individuals as a result of COVID-19. Review the following link to access information about available food resources in Kent.

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