Faculty/Staff News Now: Spotlight on CAE, KYP Expands, Children's Asthma Study, Proctorio, WKSU Wins 10 Awards, Sick Leave Conversion, Intern Co-Op Fair, Turbine Test, Group Exercise Classes, Summer Wellness Goals,


Spotlight on the College of Aeronautics and Engineering

This time last year the College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE) welcomed Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., as its new dean. Now, on the eve of her one year anniversary, Bloebaum has effectively reshaped the team that will position the college as a global leader in the aeronautics and engineering industries. Below is a listing of the CAE team.

Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., Dean, College of Aeronautics and Engineering; Research includes challenges in the Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) field – developing new optimization, visualization and tradespace methodologies for inherently complex systems. Bloebaum has most recently been engaged in research on new value-based systems engineering frameworks built upon the rigorous foundations of Decision Analysis, MDO and Value Driven Design.


Xuhui Chen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Research interests include security and privacy in big data analysis, system design with applications in the Internet of Things, smart health, cyber-physical systems and wireless networks.


Joycelyn Harrison, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Research, CAE; A senior scientist with more than 20 years of experience leading, managing and growing research programs. Harrison has committed her career to scientific discovery and holds 23 patents. She is a mentor and STEM champion who has won numerous awards for excellence in science and engineering.


Robert Krauss, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Flight and Operations, CAE; More than 25 years of experience in U.S. and international research conduct and administration, aeronautical and mechanical engineering education, developmental and operational flight testing of mobility and training aircraft, program and risk management, strategic planning, analytics and business development.


Rui Liu, Ph. D., Assistant Professor; Research focuses on cognitive understanding for self-reflective robotic systems in dynamic environments.



Ye Lu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Research focuses on spacecraft and mission design using aero-assist maneuvers to enable next-generation missions to Venus, Mars, Titan and outer planets. Lu’s research interests include designs of small satellites for low-cost planetary missions and technology demonstrations.



Maureen McFarland, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, CAE; Research in assessment of effective teaching practices with instructional technology and engineering education pedagogy. McFarland previously served as the aeronautics director for CAE.


Hossein Mirinejad, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Research focus is on human-robot interactions, UAS, optimal control theory and closed-loop medical devices.



Jackie Ruller, Assistant Dean, External Affairs, CAE; Focuses on external relationship building and networking. Previously Ruller worked as an engineer and worked on patents. She leads the internship, co-op program and career services for CAE students.


Tao Shen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Research is in robotic projects, such as parallel and serial robots, robots on unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic vision, and surgical and walking assistant robots. Now Shen’s primary research interests focus on medical robots.



W. Tom Southards, Director, Finance and Operations and Director, Small Business Development Center; Southards served for many years in the engineering industry and has worked at Kent State for more than 20 years.



Kent Young Professionals Expand University Roots

Kent Young Professionals (KYP) provides university professionals with an opportunity to develop relationships, and serve and connect with the Kent State community. Open to all faculty and staff across the university system, KYP fosters a culture of engagement, empowerment and fulfilment for the young and young at heart. 

“We have a real opportunity to enhance how new voices are added to the spirit of Kent State,” said Nzinga Hart, academic program coordinator at the College of Communication and Information and KYP chair. “By coming together and brainstorming how to serve new and young professionals, we can offer experiences and educational opportunities that speak directly to our needs.”

Formed in 2015, KYP was created in response to the campus climate study, which revealed that some professionals new to higher education were disconnected beyond the scope of their immediate departments and teams.

Soon afterwards, Michael Kavulic, director Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives and Tim Pagliari, project director, Kent State System Integration, formed a leadership team and provided a variety of on and off campus events. The organization focused on providing members with professional development, social events and service committees. Last year Alyssa Mazey, assistant director of International Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences, was named co-chair.

The group expanded its role and position on campus by participating in university-wide initiatives like the Employee Resource Groups and The Great Place Initiative.

Members enjoy a variety of experiences, such as coffee chats and discussion panels with senior leadership, tours of unique campus spaces, and access to service opportunities. To date, the organization has hosted over 20 events, and has grown its mailing list to more than 100 members.  

As an organization, the Kent Young Professionals is exploring ways to grow and expand services to its key members. As such, a meeting is planned in August to offer all members the opportunity to hear, share, and grow the vision for KYP’s future. 

To be added to the KYP mailing list, please visit www.kent.edu/kentyp, or email kentyp@Kent.edu. You can like, follow or share at www.facebook.com/kentyoungpros.

Seeking Participants for Research Study Focused on Children with Asthma

Jo Dowell, Ph.D., APRN, CNP, PNP, FNP-BC, is a researcher at Kent State University College of Nursing, who is studying children’s symptom management, medication usage, and how children communicate with healthcare providers. The goal of this quantitative study is to test a newly developed instrument titled, “Child Illness Representation (CIR).”   
You or your child may be eligible for this research study if you meet the following criteria:

  • If you or your child has asthma
  • If you or your child are between the ages of 12 and 18
  • If you or your child reads and speaks English

 The research study requires the following:

  • Upon receiving your phone call stating your interest, Dr. Dowell will address any further questions about the study and arrange for a home visit.
  • During the home visit, Dr. Dowell will discuss several forms to be completed for the study below:
    • Obtain permission (parental consent and consent or assent by the child)
    • Complete a demographics sheet and the CIR questionnaire

Findings from this study will provide information on children’s asthma symptom management, medication adherence and their communication with the healthcare provider about asthma symptom management. If you or your child is interested in learning more or participating in this study, please call 330-672-8840.

Faculty Reminder to use Proctorio for Online Classes This Fall

Proctorio is a proctoring solution for online exams that monitors test takers for suspicious behaviors. 
Proctorio benefits include:
•    Unlimited proctored testing at a cost savings to the institution 
•    No advance scheduling necessary for students!
•    You'll receive instant feedback from exam sessions. No waiting!
•    Available training (1:1 or online), as well as individual support for converting your existing proctored exams to Proctorio
•    100 percent automated
•    Fair and impartial exam proctoring by using software, not people, to monitor behavior

Need Help Using Proctorio?
The Office of Continuing and Distance Education provides 1:1 training, demos, quick start guides, and support for converting existing proctored exams to Proctorio.
Email proctoredtesting@kent.edu for assistance.

Important Information About Final Grading for Summer 2019 Classes 

Online final grading for summer 2019, summer 2 (POT S2) began Thurs., Aug 1, via FlashFAST. Grading is also now available for any summer 2019 course section that was flexibly scheduled. The deadline for grading submission is midnight on Tues., Aug. 6. Any final grades for summer 2019 courses not reported in FlashFAST by the grades processing deadline will have to be submitted using the Grade Change Workflow available on Thurs., Aug. 8.
To access final grades via FlashFAST, log into FlashLine and click on the Faculty and Advisors, Faculty Dashboard, Grading Resources. 

Blackboard Grading Process Available 
If you use Blackboard there is a new tool to make reporting your final grades easier with a push of the button. Grade Push allows you to “push” the final grades recorded in Blackboard into our KSU Final Grade Roster, thus eliminating the time and effort spent manually entering them.

To access the Grade Push application, log into FlashLine and click on Faculty and Advisors, Faculty Dashboard, Grading Resources.

If you have questions or concerns, please go to support.kent.edu and search “Grade Push.” 
Please note: The Grade Push application has been developed as an option to assist in streamlining the university grading process. The use of this application is not mandatory, although it is encouraged. 

New Incomplete Mark Workflow and NF/SF Administrative Marks:
The instructor must create and submit an Incomplete Mark contract via the new workflow. Instructors are no longer able to select the incomplete mark (IB+, IC+, IC-, etc.) from the final grade roster in FlashFAST (Self-Service Banner). The primary instructor must initiate and submit the contract using this new workflow process, which mimics the old paper process. Once the contract has been accepted by the student and approved by the department chair/campus dean, the student’s grade will be updated automatically. The primary instructor will be able to initiate and submit the contract for a student after the deadline to withdraw (10th week of a regularly scheduled section in fall and spring, or prorated for flexibly scheduled sections) through the end of final grading.

Access the Incomplete Mark workflow in FlashLine from the Faculty Dashboard under Grading Resources or Faculty Workflows. 

The administrative mark SF (Stopped Attending–Fail) denotes that the student stopped attending the course and did not formally withdraw and must be accompanied by a date of last attendance in the course. If a student has stopped attending your course the SF can be entered on the Final Grade Roster along with the student’s last date of attendance. 
The administrative mark NF (Never Attended–Fail) denotes that the student neither attended one class session nor formally withdrew from the course. If a student has never attended your course, mark the student as “Not Started” on the Academic Presence Verification Roster, and the NF will automatically populate to your Final Grades roster. 

For complete information on university grading policies including Incomplete Mark and NF/SF grading policies, procedures and timelines, please visit the Grading Policies and Procedures section in the University Catalog

Grades Processing Tips and FAQs may be found on the Registrar's website. Any faculty member needing personalized instruction or assistance on submitting grades via FlashFAST should contact their campus Registrar's Office during normal business hours.

Troubleshooting TIP: FlashFAST is accessible from any Internet-capable computer with cookies enabled. We recommend that you clean out your cookie and cache files regularly to help your computer run faster, and to potentially restore or improve your access to FlashFAST or FlashLine by improving your connection to the server. The Helpdesk is prepared to offer assistance with these issues. Please call 330-672-HELP (4357) for one-on-one assistance and technical issues.

WKSU Wins 10 Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards

WKSU was honored by the Press Club of Cleveland with 10 Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards at a recent ceremony at the House of Blues in downtown Cleveland. 

The station won six first-place prizes and the best-in-show award for Best Newscast, which WKSU staff has received in five of the past six years. Award entries were judged by a panel of journalism professionals from press clubs and news publications across the country.

WKSU winners of 2019 Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Press Club of Cleveland are:

  • Best in Show – Radio Newscast, Major Market, Host, Producers Jeff St.Clair (All Things Considered) and Amanda Rabinowitz (Morning Edition). Both hosts work on tight deadlines, adding regional breaking and long-form reports to NPR’s national news magazines.
  • First Place – On-going Coverage, Reporter, Producer M.L. Schultze for “Amer Adi Deportation.” A series of reports following the eventually successful attempts to deport Youngstown resident to his native Jordan, despite community intervention.
  • First Place – Public Service, News Staff for “Navigating the Path to Mental Health.” The six-part series took a deep dive into access and availability issues surrounding mental health care in Northeast Ohio.     
  • First Place – Use of Sound, Reporter, Producer Mark Arehart for “A New Kind of Wooden Coaster Twists and Turns at Cedar Point.” This sound-rich report combines technical information about Cedar Point’s latest addition with on-scene sound of Arehart riding Steel Vengeance for the first time.
  • First Place – News Writing, Reporter, Producer Jeff St.Clair for “Blockland Backers Dream of a Cleveland Tech Mecca.” Part of St.Clair’s on-going Exploradio series, the report looked at blockchain, what it can do and the challenges of making Cleveland a tech Mecca. 
  • First Place – Radio News Website, WKSU Staff for “WKSU.org.” Award for work on WKSU’s station website, incorporating local, statewide and national content. 
  • First Place – Use of Social Media, WKSU Staff for “WKSU Social Media.” Coordinated efforts to share WKSU content, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and special projects on YouTube and Facebook Live. 
  • Second Place – Radio News, Schultze for “EBay Finds Akron’s Jugglers, Beekeepers and Artists.”
  • Second Place – Human Interest, Rabinowitz for “Shuffle: Project D.R.E.W. Helps Veterans Heal Through Song.”
  • Third Place – In-depth Coverage, St. Clair for “Exploradio: Industry 4.0 in Cleveland.”

The Ohio Excellence in Journalism contest is a statewide competition for the best in print, broadcast and digital journalism. More than 800 entries were submitted for consideration.

Annual Sick Leave Conversion Period Coming Soon

The annual sick leave conversion for eligible staff employees will take place September 1, 2019 through September 14, 2019. During this period, eligible classified and unclassified employees with a continuing appointment may convert accrued sick leave to vacation per administrative policy 3342-6-11.2.

Eligible full-time employees who have a balance of at least 500 hours of sick leave may convert:

  • A maximum of five days (40 hours) per fiscal year of sick leave to vacation; or
  • A maximum of five days (40 hours) per fiscal year of sick leave to a combination of vacation and personal leave.

Eligible part-time employees who have a balance of at least 250 hours may convert:

  • A maximum of three days (24 hours) per fiscal year of sick leave to vacation; or
  • A maximum of three days (24 hours) per fiscal year of sick leave to a combination of vacation and personal leave.

Eligible classified employees represented by AFSCME who have a balance of at least 500 hours of sick leave may convert a maximum of five days (40 hours) per fiscal year of sick leave to vacation.

The conversion process will be done online through FlashLine. The system will tell you how much sick and vacation leave you currently have and how much you are eligible to convert. With the electronic process, employees will receive a confirmation email and will see the conversion reflected immediately in their FlashLine leave balances.

If you have questions, please contact a member of the Human Resources Records team at 330-672-8316 or hr-records@kent.edu.

Fall Internship, Co-op and Career Fair

In need of a smart and reliable office worker this fall? If so, look no further than Career Exploration and Development’s Fall Internship, Co-op and Career Fair, held Wed., Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on the Kent Campus.

This is a great opportunity for on-campus employers to recruit new student employees and also promote opportunities that will be available throughout the year. Register today to reserve your table.

Promote this event to your student employees and allow them time to attend. Often, employers recruit 6 - 10 months in advance. Thus, many summer 2020 internships and full-time employment opportunities beginning next summer are available at the fall career fair. 

Follow the steps below to register today and reserve your space.

  1. Log in to your Handshake account
  2. Locate the event name under Upcoming Career Fairs
  3. Click Register
  4. Fill out all required fields and click Create Registration

If you have questions or need any assistance, please contact campusworks@kent.edu, or 330-672-2360. 

Career Fair Volunteers Needed
Career Exploration and Development is also in need of volunteers on Wed., Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. to help staff the Fall Internship, Co-op, and Career Fair.

You are encouraged to sign up for as many shifts as you can handle. Feel free to recruit Graduate Assistants or student employees in your areas, as this is an excellent networking opportunity. Volunteers will receive a t-shirt to wear during shifts. You can request your size when completing the google form to register.  

Sign-up in three easy steps:

  1. Complete this form
  2. Review the areas of need and choose your preferred spot(s), or you can select to help out where needed       
  3. Submit form to sign-up

Career Exploration and Development will make every effort to accommodate volunteer preferences based on staffing needs. 

More information will be provided to those who sign up to volunteer closer to the event date – along with updates on roles and job descriptions. Please direct any volunteer-related questions to Jody Patterson at jrpatter@kent.edu.

Black Start Turbine Test - Total Power Interruption to the Entire Kent Campus

A Black Start Test is being performed on Sat., Aug. 10. A complete power interruption will occur on Sat., Aug. 10, at 2:30 p.m. At approximately 3 p.m. Sat., Aug. 10, power will slowly start to be restored to many but possibly not all portions of the campus. This will continue over several hours and should be completed by about 5:30 p.m., Sat., Aug. 10. The current plan is not to cease steam production but hot water and air conditioning will most likely not be available to large sections of the campus.

From about 3 p.m. Sat., Aug. 10, to about 5:30 p.m. Sat., Aug.10, the Kent campus will be with supplied electricity using only the equipment in the Power Plant and with no power being supplied by the electric grid. At about 5:30 p.m., Sat., Aug. 10, the university will switch back to the electric grid. There is a possibility of a short power interruption of about 15 minutes during this switching procedure. This plan may be changed or modified during the testing procedure to expedite the troubleshooting and testing process.

Kent Campus employees are asked to take appropriate precautions by shutting off all computers and any unnecessary equipment before leaving for the day on Fri., Aug. 9. Reducing energy consumption as much as possible during the testing time will be beneficial. Your assistance and understanding during this process is greatly appreciated.

Please address any questions about this project to Frank Renovich at 330-672-0775, or email frenovi2@kent.edu.

Faculty/Staff Group Exercise & Free Fridays Continue - New Fall Schedule

Faculty/Staff Group Exercise Classes are provided at no cost to KSU employees and sponsored by Employee Wellness and the Department of Recreational Services. A membership is not required to attend, but advance registration is required and space is limited for each session.
Below is a brief description of our fall schedule for the faculty/staff weekly group exercise classes at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. This schedule officially kicks off on Monday, August 26. All class will begin at 12:15 p.m.

  • Mondays - Basic Strength (12:15 - 1 p.m.) No matter your fitness level, it is always good to start with (or go back to) the basics. This class will break down a variety of basic resistance exercises to learn proper form and technique to get you ready for the next level of your fitness journey.
  • Tuesdays - Lunchtime Yoga (12:15 - 1 p.m.) All fitness levels are welcome. Please bring your own mat and rejuvenate with us!
  • Wednesdays - Compound Strength (12:15 - 1 p.m.) This class takes Basic Strength to the next level and puts those individual resistance exercises together to form compound movements. Work the entire body at once to increase caloric burn, improve your balance and coordination and of course...increase your strength.
  • Thursdays - Spinning (12:15 - 1 p.m.) Spin is an indoor stationary cycling class that focuses on improving your cardiovascular and muscular fitness with biking on simulated flat roads, hills and jumps. 
  • Free Fridays at the Rec - Employee Wellness and Recreational Services continue to sponsor Free Fridays at the Rec for all Kent State faculty and staff. Employees must provide a valid FLASHcard for entry. Prior registration is not required for Free Fridays, including for Group X classes. For more information, please visit the Free Fridays web page.

How to Register for Faculty/Staff Group Exercise
Advance registration is required for the Mon-Thurs Group X classes via our digital calendar at www.tinyurl.com/WYWCalendar. Click on the designated class(es) you wish to attend to register. Registration will open at the beginning of each month for the following month.

All full- and part-time employees are eligible to attend faculty/staff group exercise classes. For full-time, benefits-eligible employees participating in the Wellness Your Way program, each session attended is worth 10 points toward your Tier Two total up to the maximum for the Group Exercise category or Mindfulness category for yoga.

Summer is a Great Time to Work on Your Wellness Goals

Feeling stuck? Not sure how to get back on track? Personal health coaching may be just what you need. Health coaching is provided by Be Well Solutions as part of Kent State University's employee wellness program for all full-time, benefits-eligible employees on all campuses. You do not have to be covered by the university-sponsored health plan to be eligible for complimentary health coaching through Be Well.

Health coaching appointments are individualized, 25-minute sessions with a certified health coach with expertise in a variety of areas, including exercise, nutrition, stress management, tobacco cessation and general health.

The next onsite health coaching dates are Aug. 6 and 29. All onsite sessions take place in Room 103, Heer Hall in the Employee Wellness Room. Employees are also able to schedule unlimited telephonic coaching.

To schedule your in-person coaching session, simply do the following:

  1. Log in to your personal Health Portal at portal.bewelldata.com. If you have not yet set up a Be Well account, see instructions for first-time login here.
  2. Under My Appointments select Worksite Coaching. Choose the date and time that fits your schedule. 

To schedule a telephonic coaching session with a health coach:
Unlimited, telephonic health coaching is also an option and is available Monday through Friday year-round. To take advantage of this offer to work on your individual health goals, simply login to Be Well at portal.bewelldata.com and select "My Appointments" and "Telephonic Coaching."

Each health coaching session is worth 10 Wellness Your Way incentive points toward your Tier 2 total for individuals participating in the Wellness Your Way incentive program.

Note: For questions or assistance with registration or coaching, you may contact Be Well Solutions directly at 1-888-935-7378. If you find it necessary to cancel after securing an appointment, please notify Be Well immediately.

Lunch and Learn: Navigating News Related Stress

Streaming Available - All Campus Access

News has gone beyond information overload into emotional, political, and social overwhelm. On Tues., Aug. 27, from noon - 1 p.m. learn how to avoid feeling like you're at the mercy of every news cycle without losing hope or compassion.

This timely presentation will be brought to you by one of your favorite IMPACT presenters, Daron Larson. This session is open to all full- and part-time faculty and staff and will be presented live at Heer Hall, space is limited, or via live streaming directly to any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. Please register for the session of your choice by selecting from the links below:

Register to attend the Heer Hall presentation (space is limited). Register to attend via live stream.

Employees participating in the Wellness Your Way wellness program will receive 10 Tier Two points for participating in this lunch and learn session. For questions, please contact Employee Wellness at wellness@kent.edu or  extensions 20392 or 27501.

Date to Remember:

Aug. 17
Summer III classes end
Summer commencement, 1:30 p.m. (doors open at noon)
Memorial Athletic and Convocation (MAC) Center

POSTED: Friday, August 2, 2019 01:06 PM
Updated: Monday, November 25, 2019 08:44 AM