Faculty/Staff News Now: 20-Year Club, Vacation Winner, Taryn McMahon, Green Dot, Peace Basket Project, WKSU Hunger Challenge

20-Year Club Ceremony Celebrates Kent State Faculty and Staff


Congratulations to 59 new members of the Kent State University 20-Year Club. This year, family, friends, co-workers and a variety of university leaders honored 30 of the inductees at the annual awards dinner in the Kent Student Center Ballroom in late October. The event was highlighted by a surprise visit from President Todd Diacon and his wife, Moema.


The 20-Year Club Service Awards Program was established in 1966 for employees who have dedicated 20 years of continuous service to Kent State University.


Upon reaching their 20-year milestone, employees may select a complimentary chair or lamp for their home or office, or a bench or tree to be placed or planted on campus in their honor. View this year’s photo gallery.

Montgomery, Simms Compete for Vacation Getaway, Apple iPad


A quick roll of the big, spongy die is all it took. Tim Montgomery, associate lecturer in the Physics Department, and Connie Simms, administrative secretary in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, competed to see who would walk away with the Human Resources grand prize vacation getaway, courtesy of Klaben Auto.

Both names were drawn near halftime of the KSU vs. Miami of Ohio football game, and each employee took turns rolling an oversized die. The first “roll” ended with Connie and Tim each rolling a three. When Connie rolled another three, Tim bested her with a four. He can use the $1,500 to visit any destination of his choice. Connie took home an Apple iPad as a consolation prize.

Now that college hoops are well underway, be on the lookout for more complimentary tickets from Human Resources. KSU faculty and staff who attend three of four basketball games will be eligible for another chance to win big during Employee Appreciation Family and Friends Days. Go Flashes!

Taryn McMahon Wins Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Support

Taryn McMahon, assistant professor of Print Media and Photography, was recently awarded $30,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Learn more.

Be a Part of Creating a Culture of Care and Shared Responsibility at Kent State

The Green Dot movement is seeking individuals who would like to be a part of creating a safe community, free from harm at Kent State University. This opportunity aligns with Kent State’s Great Place Initiative and overall goals to support a culture of care (Flashes take care of Flashes!)

A four-day training will be held Dec. 16 – 19, 2019 (location to be determined.) You MUST attend all four days to be certified through Green Dot. This is an exceptional local and cost-effective opportunity to be a part of a university-level program, and an excellent professional development opportunity as well.

Cost for the training will be $275 per person (cost is being subsidized by the Center for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and may be covered by your department.

If you are interested in being an educator for the Green Dot movement, please mark your calendar and register now. Space is limited to the first 40 people.

Green Dot reflects what everyone can do to make a difference in the Kent State community. It uses voices and actions to make one small corner of the world safer. Those who are part of the Green Dot team have a shared vision that creates momentum through the power of a common language and purpose.

“We are all leaders at Kent State and have the ability to influence those we interact with – students, colleagues and campus visitors – in taking an active role in creating a welcoming, safe and healthy community,” said Jennifer O’Connell, director of the Center for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services.

Green Dot Educators help promote the message of respect and shared responsibility by providing education to students, colleagues and the university community. They serve as part of a university wide team to facilitate dialogue around behaviors and words that contribute to a culture of violence. Educators motivate others to be active in addressing violent actions, and they teach bystander skills for safely intervening and creating a healthy, safe and welcoming university for all.

We hope you will consider taking advantage of this great opportunity and share with your respective areas. Registration closes Nov. 30, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer O'Connell at 330-672-8016, or email joconne5@kent.edu

The Peace Basket Project Seeks Volunteers


With the holiday season quickly approaching, the Kent State University community is seeking volunteers to help others in need through the King-Kennedy Center in Ravenna. The Peace Basket Project began in 1997 and has continued every year through volunteer efforts.


The King-Kennedy Community Center was built and partially funded by Kent State students to help meet the needs of the underprivileged in Portage County.


Prior to this event, we need volunteers to be:

  • Santa’s Shoppers – Donate items to be used to fill baskets, such as toiletries, personal grooming products, stuffed animals, small toys, books and other children’s items, kitchen items and school supplies. For the men, we are seeking donations of cologne, socks, caps, hats, games for teenagers and other young men’s items. Shoe boxes wrapped with holiday paper and other items can be taken to the drop-off points listed below. 
  • Holiday Knitters – Make and donate hand knitted or crocheted scarves and caps.
  • Absentee Angels – Donate funds to be used for purchases of gift bags, ribbons and bows.

Please drop off items from Nov. 25, through Dec. 6, 2019, at noon at the following locations:

  • Kent Student Center, Room 250, Office of VP-Student Affairs (Elf Coordinator: Barb Boltz, 330-672-1306)
  • Schwartz Center, Room 208 (Shelly Casto 330-672-0733)

On Fri., Dec. 6, help is needed to prepare for the assembly day. For those who can come on and be Prep-Elves, we will be at the King Kennedy Center from approximately 12:30 - 3 p.m.


On Sat., Dec.7, elves are needed at 9 a.m. Can’t make it at 9? Arrive when you can. We expect to be finished by 11:30 a.m. As an elf, join us for a continental breakfast and help assemble baskets, bags and boxes of donated items at the King-Kennedy Community Center. Breakfast and decorating materials will be provided.

If you have any questions, contact Barb Boltz at 330-672-1306, or email bboltz@kent.edu.

WKSU to Host Hunger Challenge, Nov. 20 and 21

WKSU is hosting the 23rd annual Hunger Challenge on Nov. 20 and 21, during Kent State University’s Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. Faculty and staff who donate to WKSU during this time can receive a thank you gift of meals that will be donated to local foodbanks in their honor.

Last year, WKSU provided 20,000 meals on behalf of donors during the Hunger Challenge. This year, the goal is to receive enough donations to provide 25,000 meals.

During the Hunger Challenge, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank employees Shelly Hinton and Dan Flowers, along with Greater Cleveland Foodbank employee Karen Pozna, will join WKSU news staff on-air to talk about hunger in Ohio. Tune in to hear the Hunger Challenge on WKSU 89.7, or visit WKSU.org.

Foodbank partners for the event include Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Greater Cleveland Foodbank and Kent State University’s Campus Kitchen.

The WKSU Hunger Challenge is sponsored by Audio Technica, Broken Rocks Café, Diebold Nixdorf, Direction Home Akron Canton, Dominion Energy, the J.M. Smucker Company, Perantinides & Nolan, and State and Federal Communications.

Donations can be made at WKSU.org, or by calling 330-672-2132.

University Dining Services Launches Turkey Drive

Help those in need this holiday season by donating $3 toward Dining Services’ turkey drive. With your contribution, the department hopes to donate 500 turkeys to The Center of Hope.


Donations can be made at any Kent State University Dining location using declining balance, cash or credit.

Take the Dining Services Survey

University Dining Services continually seeks ways to improve the dining offerings on the Kent Campus. Consequently, Kent State faculty and staff are encouraged to take the Dining Services survey, as obtaining feedback and input from the community is vital in developing a campus-driven dining program.

The survey data collected is confidential and all responses will be compiled and analyzed by Short Web Survey, Inc., an independent market research company.

To show our appreciation for your participation, your name will be entered to win an Apple iPad. Please access the online survey and be sure to submit your completed survey no later than Nov. 22.

2019-2020 Winter Weather Advisory Reminder

The safety of Kent State University faculty, staff and students is a priority. That said, in general the university does not close or cancel classes because of cold weather, winter ice and/or snow. However, on rare occasions, weather conditions may delay or cancel classes or close the Kent Campus. (Note: Kent State’s Regional Campuses will follow the general guidelines below, but each campus makes decisions based on weather conditions near its campus).

 When inclement weather threatens or extreme cold prevails, we expect to announce our actions by 5:30 a.m. for morning and all-day cancellations, 10 a.m. for afternoon classes and 3 p.m. for evening classes. In general, our decision will be guided by the condition of major roadways leading to campus, by the condition of campus roadways and sidewalks, and by our ability to plow our parking lots. For extreme cold, we will delay or cancel when the wind chill reaches (or is predicted to reach) -20 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period. 

There are three ways to learn about delays, class cancellations or campus closings:

  • Flash ALERTS message and FlashLine email. You can subscribe to Flash ALERTS at www.kent.edu/flashalerts.
  • Kent State website. A red bar containing an announcement will appear on the top of the home page if there is a cancellation or closing.
  • Television and radio broadcasts. 

Below are additional points to keep in mind:

  • We understand that on bad weather days some areas on campus may require additional attention. Please help identify those areas on the Kent Campus by calling 330-672-2345.
  • When classes are canceled, university services remain open. This means that staff members are expected to report to work as usual.
  • Employees and commuting students should always use sound personal judgments regarding the safety of their travel when deciding whether to report to work or classes. Students must arrange to make up missed work promptly; university leave policy governs the reporting and recording of work absences.
  • Students in special classes, such as clinical rotations, should consult with their dean on the appropriate procedures for an early morning delay or cancellation.
  • A closing order from the Governor’s Office applies to state office buildings and other state employees in the field. Colleges and universities do not fall into this category.

Please be safe as you travel this winter.

Melody Tankersley
Interim Senior Vice President and Provost

Mark M. Polatajko
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

POSTED: Monday, November 18, 2019 - 2:47pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 8:47am