Faculty/Staff News Now: Kaplan, Dining Gala Fundraiser, Performance Evaluations, Researchers on WKSU, 2018 Total Comp Statement, Black Turbine Test, Smoke/Tobacco Free Policy, Spring Health Fair

Professor Kaplan Elected President of American Association of Geographers

David Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Geography in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University, has been elected president of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), the premier academic and professional geography organization in the United States, for 2019-20.

“It is a huge honor for me to lead the flagship organization for geography,” said Dr. Kaplan, who previously served as vice president of the association. “Not only is the American Association of Geographers the largest geography organization in the United States, it is also the most important geography organization in the world, with many members from other countries.
Dr. Kaplan said his goal as president is to expand the community of geography.

“I want to make the AAG relevant to more people who educate students at smaller colleges, community colleges, historically black colleges and K-12 education,” Dr. Kaplan said. “I also want to make the organization more relevant to people who work outside of academia but who are trained geographers. Most geographers work in the private and public sector, and we have to do more for them as an organization. I will have accomplished my goals as president if, at the end of my term, people consider the AAG to be broader in scope and more inclusive.”

Dr. Kaplan is also an American Geographical Society (AGS) Councilor and editor of the society’s flagship Geographical Review journal.

“My election provides a wonderful opportunity to forge closer relations between the two great American geography associations: the AGS and the AAG,” he said. “I look forward to looking for ways in which we can complement one another.”

The presidents of the national disciplinary associations nearly always come from flagship state universities, like the University of Wisconsin or UCLA, or Ivy League schools, so Dr. Kaplan is one of the few people from a non-R1 university – the first person since 1976 – to become president of the American Association of Geographers and the first individual from Kent State to ever serve in the position. R1 universities are doctoral universities with very high research activity, according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Kent State is classified as an R2 university, a doctoral university with high research activity.

“Geography is fundamental to the way we understand the world because it allows us to see how society, places and the environment affect one another, as well as how spatial distribution and location explain how and why things happen,” Dr. Kaplan said. “The American Association of Geographers represents most U.S. geographers and is the go-to organization for geographers from around the world. As a result, we can emphasize the importance of a geographic perspective – critical in issues such as climate change, racial segregation, international tensions and economic development – and we can work to bring geography to greater numbers of people.”

Since joining Kent State in 1995, Dr. Kaplan has written about 60 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and has published more than 10 books. His research interests include nationalism, borderlands, ethnic and racial segregation, urban and regional development, housing finance and sustainable transportation.

For more information about Kent State’s Department of Geography, visit www.kent.edu/geography.


Dining Services Celebrates Second Consecutive Win at Local Gala Fundraiser 

Kent State’s Dining Services competed in the 11th annual Nutritious and Delicious Gala at The Tangier restaurant in Akron. The annual gala was hosted by the Greater Akron Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (GAAND) and comprised of various vendors, such as Core Life, Farm Fare, Food 4 Thought Café, and many others.

The gala’s mission is “to be the advocate of the dietetic profession serving the public through promotion of optimal nutrition and well-being by advocating for its members.” The event served as a fundraiser for the GAAND Student Scholarship to assist students throughout Northeast Ohio. 

Kent State’s honorable registered dietitians, Madison Jordan and Emily Reynolds, along with Executive Chef Billy Edmondson, represented Dining Services for the second year. Chef Edmondson prepared roasted beet & arugula grilled cauliflower pizza and gluten free chocolate chip cookies stuffed with espresso marsala mascarpone.
 
After competing against numerous participants and previous winners for multiple prestigious awards, Kent State’s Dining Services was recognized for Best Ingredient Showcase and the People’s Choice Award for the second consecutive year. 


Performance Evaluations On the Horizon

Performance evaluations for classified and unclassified employees will take place from April 15 through June 15. The single sign-on in FlashLine is available this year.

Managers and supervisors of classified and unclassified employees will receive an email prior to April 15 with detailed instructions. As a reminder, supervisors and employees have access to the performance log throughout the year to record personal accomplishments, trainings and discussions.

Webinars will be available for supervisors and managers. The first webinar, "Navigating the Online Evaluation Process," will familiarize evaluators with the online assessment tool. The second webinar, "Assessing and Improving the Performance of Others," is a webinar for new managers and supervisors regarding how to evaluate employees. 

Information regarding the performance evaluation process, including dates for the webinars, training aids with instructions, manuals for the classified and the unclassified process, and contact information for questions can be accessed at the performance evaluations website.

If your department is interested in having an Employee Relations representative present an overview of the evaluation process, please contact Karen Watson at 330-672-4636.


Kent State Researchers Recognized on WKSU

Kent State professors Owen Lovejoy and Mary Ann Raghanti with the Neuroscience program were featured recently on WKSU. The two worked together on a recent paper that looks at how a neurochemical change in our brains became the turning point in human evolution.


Show Me the Money! Your Total Compensation Statement for 2018

When it comes to compensation, we often think just of the dollars and cents reflected in our paychecks. While nobody should undervalue the importance of our salaries, this is only part of the commitment the university makes to each of us. That commitment also comes in the form of health and welfare benefits, vacation and other forms of paid time off, tuition opportunities, and retirement benefits.

We are pleased to announce that Total Compensation Statements for calendar year 2018 are available beginning April 16 in FlashLine for all full-time employees hired on or before Jan. 1, 2018. This annual statement provides faculty and staff with a complete picture of Kent State University's investment in you as a valued employee.

The statement includes a summary of your earned salary, vacation and sick leave, as well as university contributions for healthcare benefits, applicable tuition waiver, workers' compensation, Medicare, and employee retirement plans (Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, State Teachers Retirement System or Alternative Retirement Plan).

For your convenience, you can view a summary of your total compensation statement from two access points within FlashLine. The first access point is through the Employee Dashboard where the link will be featured throughout the month of May in the Top Employee Resources section. Click on the link to Total Compensation Statements. When you get to the Total Compensation page, select the appropriate year and click Display. The statement can also be accessed through the Employee/Resources section by selecting Compensation & Labor Relations from the drop down menu and selecting the Your Total Compensation Statement link. From that page, select the appropriate year and click display.

You are encouraged to take some time to review your total compensation statement, which illustrates the full value of your university wages and benefits. If you have questions regarding information contained in your statement, please contact the University Benefits office at 330-672-3107, or benefits@kent.edu.


Black Start Turbine Test – Total Power Interruption to the Entire Kent Campus (During Steam Shutdown Week - May 12 - 19)

Kent State University generates a large portion of the electric power used on the Kent campus. In order to test and verify the operation and integrity of the electric power systems, a complete power interruption will occur beginning on Sunday, May 12, at 8 a.m. On that date at approximately 9 a.m., 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 on Sunday, May 12, around 1 p.m.

From about 1 – 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, the Kent campus will be supplied with electricity using only the equipment in the Power Plant. No power will be supplied by the electric grid. At approximately 3 p.m., we will switch back to the electric grid.
There is a possibility of a short power interruption of about five 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 May 10. Reducing energy consumption as much as possible during the testing time will be beneficial to the testing process. Your assistance and understanding during this period is greatly appreciated.

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


Smoke-Free, Tobacco-Free Policy Reminder

All Kent State University locations are smoke- and tobacco-free in accordance with university policy 3345-5-21. This policy aligns with the university-level initiative to create a healthy campus environment for all employees, students and visitors.

The policy covers all Kent State campuses, locations and properties, both domestic and international, and applies to all members of the university community: students, employees, volunteers, vendors, visitors and customers. In addition, the policy applies to all university-owned, -operated or -leased property, as well as personal vehicles on university property.
  
Under the policy, all smoking is prohibited. This includes electronic smoking devices, mod boxes or electronic nicotine delivery systems that create an aerosol or vapor. The use of nicotine, tobacco-derived or plant-based products, or oral tobacco is also prohibited.

Members of the university community who are thinking about kicking the tobacco habit should visit www.kent.edu/smoke-free. On this page, you can find links to Employee Resources and Student Resources for quitting. Resources include free smoking cessation support, smoking cessation apps, free nicotine replacement therapy information for employees, and internal cessation resources for students and employees.

Please reinforce this policy with employees and students in your area. Questions may be submitted to smokefree@kent.edu.


Check Out the Faculty/Staff Spring Health Fair - April 17 & 18

The Employee Wellness Office along with Recreational Services have joined together to host a spring Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness Resources Fair at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on April 17 and 18, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Get your blood pressure checked. Loosen up in a "warm-up and stretching clinic" or relax with a soothing chair massage. Have your feet screened by staff from our College of Podiatric Medicine or enjoy a recreational center tour or take advantage of a “healthy hearing for everyone” complimentary hearing screen by our Speech and Hearing Clinic staff.

Make yourself and your health a priority! Stop by and see us at the Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness Resources Fair and don't forget to visit our informational tables and complete a fun information scavenger hunt that you can turn in for our random prize drawings!

Registration is not necessary to attend the open fair. However, there will be two lunch and learns offered on "Office Ergonomics" and "Healthy Hearing for Everyone." Registration is required and space is limited for the lunch and learns. See our informational page for details and registration.

For a complete schedule of activities on each day of the fair, visit the Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness Resources page. For questions, you may contact the Employee Wellness Office at 330-672-0392 or wellness@kent.edu. See you at the fair!


Join Us May 1 for Get Fit Don't Sit Day

National Get Fit Don't Sit Day™ is an opportunity for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to increase awareness of the dangers of excessive sitting and the importance of getting up and moving throughout the day, especially at work.

At Kent State University, we value the health of our faculty, staff and students and want to provide opportunities to empower you with the resources needed to get moving today and every day.

Join us at the track behind the DeWeese Health Center as we get up and MOVE on May 1 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. The Employee Wellness Team and Recreational Services will host an Open Walk and Total Body Toning clinics as part of our commitment to Get Fit Don't Sit Day. Details include:

  • Open Walk: Grab your walking shoes, water bottle and a friend, and come join us on the walking track. The open walk hours will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join us when you can for as long as you can during this time.
  • Poker Walks: Starting at 11:40 a.m. and running concurrently through 12:40 p.m. Jump in and see if you have the winning hand.
  • Basic Strength Training: Meet with our favorite trainer, Beth Michel, who will lead you in a basic strength training session "at the track." Sessions will be at 12:10 and 12:40 p.m. All fitness levels welcome. Dress accordingly.
  • Show us your moves! Snap some photos of you and your co-workers and send to wellness@kent.edu. You may also Tweet and use #HealthyKSU #Showusyourmove to show your Flash support for National Get Fit Don't Sit Day!

Registration is preferred so that in the event of adverse weather, we can notify registrants. Register here for Get Fit Don't Sit Day Activities.

All activities will take place at the track and field area behind DeWeese Health Center. In the case of adverse weather, all activities will take place at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on the upper track during the same time.

Whether you are coming to stretch your legs, walk, run or do basic strength training, let's get on the move together for National Get Fit Don't Sit Day on May 1!

All participants will receive a raffle ticket to enter into our prize drawings. For details, please visit our Get Fit Don't Sit website.


Visit One of 100 Gratitude Stops Across Campus

During April, you are encouraged to "see a stop, take a pause, and add your gift of gratitude." 
    
More than 100 Gratitude Graffiti Stops have been set up throughout all Kent State campuses. Have you contributed your gratitude graffiti?     
 
It's easy to get caught up in all the "to do's" of the day. The gratitude stop is intended to encourage you to "stop." Take a moment to appreciate your surroundings, persons or events that may have transpired earlier that day, week or year, or embrace an anticipated blessing in your future. Here are a few things to consider as you consider the gifts in your life: 
    
• Focus on the people you are grateful for, as this tends to have more impact than focusing on "things." 
    
• Note events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to elicit strong levels of gratitude. 
    
• Goodness doesn't have to be grandiose, or expensive, or entertaining. Goodness and “good days" can be right here, right now, all the time. 
    
We look forward to all the gifts an attitude of gratitude brings to bear. To see a full list of where you can find a gratitude stop, visit our directory. And, if you're in New York City in April, stop by our NY Fashion Design Studio and add a splash of gratitude to their stop! 


Kent State Day at Progressive Field

Faculty, staff, students and alumni can purchase discount tickets while supplies last for the Cleveland Indians versus the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, May 5 at 1:10 p.m.

Pre-game warm-up (11 a.m. – noon) and private party (noon – 1 p.m.) at Flannery’s Pub, 323 Prospect Ave., downtown Cleveland. Free co-branded Block  C hat for the first 1,000 attendees.

Family deck ($36), Upper Box ($30), Lower Box ($52), or Club Outfield seats ($85). Visit www.kent.edu/clevelandindians. Use promo code: Kent.


Celebrate the Construction Launch of the Design Innovation Hub

Tuesday, April 23, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. (program begins at 11:30 a.m.) on the Lefton Esplanade under the tent, between the Business Administration Building and Bowman Hall.

•    Enjoy interactive activities
•    Explore Design Innovation (DI)
•    Discover 28 DI nodes – makerspaces and resource laboratories across the university
•    Participate in the Design Innovation Challenge and win a DI T-shirt
•    Visit various food stations and sample free food
•    Get giveaways and more!

The Design Innovation Hub is an open access, collaborative, co-working, idea-generating and innovative environment connecting students, faculty and the community to a network of existing spaces, makerspaces and resource laboratories across the university.

In addition, the building will include a large dining venue that will seat approximately 350 people and serve unique offerings.


Spring Brings Annual Plant Exchange

Are you ready to beautify your yard? The Spring Plant Exchange gives you a chance to dig up perennials that may be taking over your flower beds and swap them for other plants.

Flower bulbs, houseplants, veggie and flower seedlings can also be shared. If you do not have plants to share you can still participate. The exchange is free and there are usually plenty of plants to go around.

Interested? Please e-mail hr-ksuplantexchange@kent.edu by May 8 to be added to the Spring Plant Exchange Google doc. You will receive a link to a document where you can select which plants you would like from the other participants, and list any plants you may have to exchange. If you are interested in taking part, send your email asap. The earlier the Google sheet can be shared with you the better. When new plants are added they are quickly claimed by other participants.

The exchange will take place outside of Heer Hall (Human Resources Department) on Loop Road, Thursday, May 16, and is open to all faculty and staff who sign up ahead of time for plants via the Google doc. All participants in the Plant Exchange will be entered into a drawing to win a beautiful hanging basket!
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AAA Roadside Assistance Discount Offer

KSU faculty, staff, students and alumni are eligible for AAA Roadside Assistance. Purchase a Plus Membership for $56 for 14 months, a savings of $51 with two additional months. Contact Cindy Piascik, Group Member Sales Agent at 216-644-2988.


Dates to Remember:

April 21
Easter Sunday

April 22
Earth Day

April 24
Office Support Staff Recognition Luncheon (Administrative Professionals Day, invitation only)

April 27
Arbor Day

POSTED: Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 9:23am
UPDATED: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 1:19pm