Faculty/Staff News Now: Kent State Grad Gives Trumbull Commencement Speech; Matt Crawford Awarded Science History Institute Fellowship; Adjunct Professor Brings ASL Lessons to CPM Students

Dante Capers Named Spring 2022 Trumbull Commencement Speaker

With more than 20 years of giving back to the Warren community, Dante Capers will share his inspiration with Kent State University at Trumbull's graduating class at this year's spring commencement. Capers, a Warren High School graduate and Kent State Alumnus, will deliver the commencement speech during Kent State University at Trumbull’s May 13 ceremony at Packard Music Hall.

Capers is in his fifteenth year as an administrator in the Warren City School District and last year was named Associate Superintendent of Student Service, Student Wellness, and Success. Prior to that, he spent 14 years as an administrator at Warren G. Harding High School, nine as building principal and five as an assistant principal. Capers graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University and was awarded a Master of Education also from Kent State in 2006.

“Dante makes a tremendous impact in this community and is a great asset to the students and parents within Warren City Schools," said Bill Ayres, Ph.D., dean and chief administrative officer, Kent State University at Trumbull. “His accomplishments and dedication are a true reflection of our mission to transform lives and communities through education."

Last year, Capers joined Kent State Trumbull's Advisory Board. He is an Associate Minister at Monument of Faith Church of God in Christ in Warren, and has also served on Trumbull County United Way Board of Directors (2014), First Energy Educational Advisory Council (2015), Trumbull Memorial Hospital Trustee (2015), City of Warren Police-Community Trust Initiative, Member (2020), and Board of Directors, Raymond John Wean Foundation (2022).

--Bill Burgess

Arts and Sciences Professor Awarded Fellowship

Associate Professor of History Matt Crawford, Ph.D., was recently awarded a short-term Beckman Center Fellowship by the Philadelphia-based Science History Institute.

The fellowship includes a stipend that will allow Matt to continue work as a researcher in residence on his second book - a study of metallurgy and mining in late colonial Peru - in the institute's archives for one month.

An expert on the Spanish Empire in Latin America, Matt's work connects the History of Science with the history of Latin America and the Atlantic World.

This latest award follows on the heels of Matt receiving an Ohio History Grant in March that will fund his continuing work on an oral history of the university's Liquid Crystal Institute.

Adjunct Professor Brings ASL Lessons to CPM Students

If you catch the last few minutes of class with Joel Peerless, MD, you might be lucky enough to learn a bit of American Sign Language (ASL). Peerless, who serves CPM as Adjunct Faculty teaching Medicine to third year students, started adding ASL to the end of his lessons this year as an extracurricular, albeit beneficial activity for the future doctors. As for Peerless himself, ASL began as a retirement hobby just four years ago following more than 30 years in the medical field.

“My intention was to become a sign language interpreter as a retiree profession…however, once I got into the courses, I realized how difficult and lengthy a process it would be to become proficient in ASL,” he said, reflecting on his time at Cuyahoga Community College in 2018. “I stopped taking the classes but still tried to keep up with books and internet videos.”

Peerless brought his ASL experience to CPM to shake up class and introduce the practical skill to prepare students for an encounter with a deaf patient in the clinic or hospital.

“A mission of caring for patients includes those with communication challenges, and knowing some basic signs certainly ties into that,” he says.

Peerless began by introducing word building blocks like "no," "deaf," "help," "me," and "you," followed by integrated medical terms such as "sick," "doctor," "pain," and "medicine" to craft short phrases. At the end of most classes, he reviews previous lessons, and leaves the class with new signs to add into their ASL vocabulary.

“The students have responded positively, and one student actually had a deaf patient in clinic, and was able to use what she had learned,” he said.

Peerless says his favorite aspect of bringing ASL instruction to CPM is the students themselves. As the year progress, they present challenges and bring joy to his work while learning and growing in medicine and ASL .

“I don’t know how many signs the students will retain,” he said. “But knowing a few signs can instill extra trust in a deaf patient who must negotiate the hearing world in what can be a stressful environment.”

--Madalynne Stanic Fitzgerald

Benefits Tip of the Week

How often should I submit a tuition waiver and when will it be approved?

Before submitting a Tuition waiver, employees should review University Policy 3342-6-09.1 and the Tuition Waiver information page online. Once all prerequisites are met, employees should submit a Tuition Waiver workflow doing the following:

  • Log into FlashLine
  • Select Employee / Workflow / HR & Employee Workflows

A tuition workflow should be completed once for each eligible dependent child taking coursework. However, if the employee is applying for a waiver for their own tuition or that of their spouse/domestic partner, a new tuition waiver request should be submitted for each semester wherein coursework is being taken.

Once submitted, waivers are approved beginning in June for Fall semester, October for Spring semester, and April for Summer semester.

Opportunities to Earn Tier 2 Points, Don't Leave $200 on the Table!

Full-time, benefits-eligible faculty and staff who completed Tier 1 and are working toward Tier 2 of the Wellness Your Way Rewards Program have until October 15, 2022, to rack up 350 Tier 2 points and qualify for their $200 wellness reward. How you earn your points is up to you, and Employee Wellness provides a variety of opportunities to ensure your success. 

Read below for highlights of ongoing points-eligible wellness offerings, as well as self-paced activities you can complete at any time. Please note that this is just a snapshot of Tier 2 options. You can find the full menu of eligible activities listed within your Be Well Solutions portal. Once logged in, select "My Wellness" then "Wellness Rewards Program" and click the box for Tier 2.
Ongoing Offerings & Self-Paced Activities

  • Hybrid Faculty/Staff Group Exercise Classes - Visit the Employee Wellness Calendar to register for Total Body Toning (Monday/Wednesday), Yoga (Tuesday) and Cardio Kickboxing (Friday). You can choose to participate virtually or in-person. All fitness levels are welcome, and participants earn 10 Tier 2 points for each session.
  •  Employee Wellness Webinars - Visit the Employee Wellness Calendar to register for upcoming webinars. Financial wellness webinars can also be found on the Financial Wellness page. Most webinars are worth 10 Tier 2 points.
  •  Challenges - Visit the Employee Wellness Challenges page to explore and register for upcoming challenges. All challenges are completed online. Duration, expectations, and Tier 2 points vary by challenge.
  •  Self-Paced Activities - Visit the Be Well portal  to explore activities you can complete on your own time from any location, including complimentary health coaching and nutrition counseling, Impact and Be Well web scavenger hunts, small group book discussions, the 3/3/30 Exercise Tracker, blood donation, CPR training, and more!

Wellness Your Way is on Canvas
Were there any recent webinars you were hoping to attend but had to miss? If so, you can view recorded webinars on Canvas (and still earn Tier 2 points for select sessions). Access Canvas from FlashLine or login here with your FlashLine credentials, then select the Wellness Your Way course to view available recordings.

For questions related to wellness offerings for Kent State faculty and staff, please contact the Employee Wellness office at 330-672-0392 or wellness@kent.edu.

Important Information about Final Grading of Spring 2022 Full Term (POT 1), Third 5 Weeks (F3), Second 7 Weeks (W2) Classes

Online final grading for Spring 2022 Full Term (POT 1), Third 5 Weeks (F3), Second 7 Weeks (W2) began Monday, May 2, via FlashFAST. Grading is also now available for any spring 2022 course section that was flexibly scheduled. The deadline for grading submission is midnight Sunday, May 15. Any final grades for spring 2022 courses not reported in FlashFAST by the grades processing deadline will have to be submitted using the Grade Change Workflow. These spring 2022 courses will be available in the workflow on Tuesday, May 17.
Submit Final Grades Using Final Grades Roster
To submit final grades via the Final Grades roster, login to FlashLine, then click Faculty & Advisors/Faculty Dashboard/Grading Resources. Locate Final Grades to submit grades.

Submit Final Grades Using Grade Push (Canvas/Blackboard Users)
If you use either Blackboard Learn or Canvas, there is a tool to make reporting your final grades easier—with a push of the button! The process is called Grade Push and it will allow you to “push” the final grades recorded in Blackboard or Canvas into our KSU Final Grade Roster, thus eliminating the time and effort spent manually entering them.

To access the Grade Push application, login to FlashLine, then click Faculty & Advisors/Faculty Dashboard/Grading Resources.
   • Canvas users will select Canvas Final Grade Push to submit grades.
   • Blackboard users will select Blackboard Final Grade Push to submit grades.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the Grade Push applications, please direct them to support.kent.edu. Please note: The Grade Push applications have been developed as an option to assist in streamlining the university grading process. The use of these applications is not mandatory, though it is encouraged.

Incomplete Mark Workflow:
The instructor must create and submit an Incomplete Mark contract via the 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.

NF/SF Administrative Marks:
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.
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.

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 on submitting their grades via FlashFAST should contact their campus Registrar's Office during normal business hours for assistance.

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

POSTED: Monday, May 9, 2022 - 10:26am
UPDATED: Friday, May 6, 2022 - 1:40pm