Faculty/Staff News Now: Week 1 Vaccination Winners; Jeff Brewster Takes a Seat in the 20-Year Club; Bill Hess Takes Huntington's Disease in Stride; Julius Payne Participates in Higher Ed Podcasts; Title IX Advisors Sought; Flu Vaccines; Mobile Mamograms

The Employee Vaccination Drawing Week 1 Winners are:

Name Award Tile
Chris Dorsten $100 University Registrar
Jameka Wilson $100 Dir, One Stop Student Svcs
Kristina Racher $100 Payroll Specialist
Laine Seliga $100 Faculty Part-Time -Semester
Christopher O'Daniel $100 Sr Applications Developer
Andrew Watkins $100 Emergency Services Dispatcher
Jean Day $100 Custodial Worker
Karen Martinez $100 Faculty Part-Time -Semester
Michael Bourne $100 Faculty Part-Time -Semester
Bobbi Groves $100 Administrative Clerk
Betsy Tierney $100 Mgr, Bursar's Office
Keiran Dunne $100 Chairperson, Academic Dept
Scott Watkins $100 Mgr, Power Plant
Melissa Kuneli $100 Admissions Counselor
Benjamin Stenson $100 Dir, Academic Advising
Christa Ord $100 Administrative Secretary
Seth Finlayson $100 IT User Support Analyst
Rebecca Rempe $100 Associate Lecturer
Mary Scott-Toepfer $100 Academic Advisor II-NE
Chia-Ling Kuo $100 Associate Professor
Marissa Gaster $250 PT Faculty Term
Daniel Holm $250 Chairperson, Academic Dept
Scott Crawford $250 Asst Dir, Ctr Adlt & Vet Svcs
James Taylor $250 Facility Mgr, Sr
Sarah Malcolm $250 Exec Director, OGE
Joanna Liedel $250 Dir, Enroll Mgmt Acad Partner
Deanna Spencer $250 Program Assistant 8
Valerie Purdy $250 Asst Dir, Residential Comm
Ran Li $500 Associate Professor
Pam Lieske $500 Professor
Kathleen Baer $500 Instructional Designer
Beth Smerchansky $500 Custodial Worker
Freeland Southard $1,000 Mgr, Fabrication Lab
Robin Shura $1,000 Assistant Professor


Employees still have plenty of chances to win.  Please visit the Corona Virus Updates website to register your vaccine information and be eligible for the drawings.

At last, UFM Supervisor Gets to Take a Seat

For 20 years, Jeff Brewster has secured service award gifts in the form of chairs and lamps and benches for inductees into the University’s 20-Year Club.

This year, Brewster, a receiving and distribution supervisor at University Facilities Management (UFM), will celebrate 20 years at Kent State himself, an accolade that allows him to finally oversee the construction of his very own seat, an all-cherry rocking chair.

Most chairs are painted black and gold but Brewster’s gift will go unpainted to show the natural color of the wood. And he won’t build it himself.

“I’ve joked with my employees that I was going to inspect their work,” he said. “I teased them that I wanted my chair delivered at 8 o’clock at night. I’ll have one of my employees build it, but I’ll take it home in my own truck.”

Brewster said the cherry rocker is most popular with employees. He estimates that he’s either built or supervised the assembly of some 600 chairs over the years. The gifts arrive mostly assembled, then Brewster and his crew take about 30 minutes to complete the assembly and attach personalized labels.

“When I started as a delivery worker that was one of our tasks, to assemble the chairs and attach the name plates and deliver them,” said Brewster. “My supervisor felt that was a way to honor our fellow employees and do our part to congratulate them. He took great pride in it, and he taught me to have great pride in putting these awards together and deliver them to peoples’ homes.”

The manufacturer considers certain types of chairs family heirlooms. Those come with an envelope affixed beneath the seat that is stuffed with a large form to be completed with the family’s genealogy if the gift is to be passed down through generations.

While the chairs are far and away the most popular gift, other items are getting more recognition.

“The lamps are new, but I expect those to pick up in popularity,” he said. “They're really nice and they don't take up so much room like a rocker does.”

Brewster admits that sorting and distributing the 20-Year Club service award gifts can be a logistical nightmare. Some years the shop has been jammed with as many as 40 or more boxes filled with gifts.

“The hardest part is the inventorying and making sure everybody gets the correct chair, and then trying to get them delivered to people’s homes during our regular work hours is not easy,” he said.

One delivery in particular held a special meaning. Joe Kovacs was a fellow maintenance worker at UFM who had reached the 20-year milestone. Brewster was more than happy to deliver that gift.

“To deliver a chair to someone that I've worked with for years…gave me a special feeling,” said Brewster. “That was fun. We got to sit together and talk about old times. He was very appreciative so that was probably my favorite delivery of all time.”

Years ago, employees could choose to have a tree planted in their name on their campus of choice but not anymore.

“I'm really into trees and that was my profession before I came to Kent State,” said Brewster. “I was a certified arborist and I love trees and I would have loved to have a tree planted.”

Although he won’t have a tree to visit on the Kent Campus, Brewster and his wife have always known the exact location for his chair.

“In my living room, right in front of my fireplace,” he said. “We've always talked about that. She has a rocker herself and we've always talked about when I would have one too and we could sit by the fire and rock in the winter. So now I can join her.”

Kent State Trumbull Cross Country Coach Runs for His Life

Dealing with uncertainty is tough, especially when it deals with your health. Many have come to grips with this struggle over the last 18 months as surges of COVID-19 have come and gone. Cross-country coach Bill Hess takes uncertainty in stride, moving forward with a positive attitude and a smile. He was already running the race of his life.

In 2008 at the age of 44, Hess was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease a degenerative disease that eventually breaks down the nerves in the brain, causing physical and cognitive disorders.

“It’s a genetic disease,” Hess said in a recent interview. “My mother had it and when I noticed myself losing my temper at work, I got tested.”

According to Hess, medications have helped him and slowed the progression. But he also relies on strenuous exercise: running.

Hess did not begin running until he was a freshman at Youngstown State University.

“I had a buddy who ran, and he asked me to go with him,” he said. “It came to me naturally and I started doing it every day.”

By his sophomore year, he tried out for and made the Youngstown State cross-country team. After three years, he was one of the top runners on the team. He picked up a side job coaching at Ursuline High School in Youngstown.

Today Hess coaches at Kent State University’s Trumbull Campus in Warren, Ohio.

“When I received my diagnosis, I was working at the Youngstown Development Center and coaching at Niles-McKinley High School,” Hess reminisced. “It was such a blow. I leaned on running and coaching to keep me going.”

Huntington’s causes involuntary jerking movements, balance issues, and sometimes muscle rigidity, according to Mayo Clinic. Functional abilities diminish as the disease progresses. Sufferers can live with the disease anywhere from ten to 30 years after onset.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is another side effect.

“It takes me about 20 minutes to leave the house,” Hess said. “I check and recheck the oven, windows, and faucets. Then I am checking my car tires and walking around the car a few times to make sure everything looks okay.” 

Hess uses his energy and attention to encourage his runners. Briana Ellwood has run for Hess at the high school and college levels.

“Coach Hess is one of the most caring people I have ever known,” Ellwood said. “He pays as much attention to seasoned runners as those who are running for the first time.”

Ellwood continues to schedule time to run with Hess. “He will run five miles before I call him and then run another five with me,” she said. “He’s like that Energizer rabbit. He keeps going and going and going.”

After spending last fall without a competitive season, Hess looks forward to this fall. Until then, he laces up his shoes, puts one foot in front of the other, and enjoys his body’s resilience each time a foot hits the pavement.

“Running is the one thing that gives me power over the disease,” Hess said with a smile. “I can end up flailing around or stiff like a board. Until then, I am going to keep moving.” 

SRVSS Coordinator Participates in State's Higher Ed Podcasts

When Julius Payne, Program Coordinator for the Center for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS), was recently approached to participate in a series of Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) podcasts focusing on changing campus culture, it turned out to be a perfect match.

Payne, who had worked previously at the Rape Crisis Center and on the University of Akron campus, had the opportunity to attend many conferences and committee meetings. Along the way, he had meticulously expanded his social network to include those in similar positions, one of which happened to be Kerry Soller, Project Manager for Campus Safety and Sexual Violence Prevention at ODHE. Read the full story.

University Advisors Sought for Title IX Proceedings

The Office of Gender Equity and Title IX is recruiting and training a new pool of University Appointed Advisors to serve in Title IX Live Hearings. 

Existing University Appointed Advisors are encouraged to sign-up since there is new content and this will be a great refresher for continuing professional development. 

Training will also include a future dated session to participate in a mock hearing to provide more opportunities to engage and practice.

Bonus: The University Appointed Advisor Training counts as one hour toward the annually required two hours of Beyond Compliance training for staff.

Training will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of policy 5-16.2; The investigation process and appeals
  • Role of investigators and decision-makers
  • Role of University-appointed advisor; What to expect; Preparation and limitations
  • Pre-Hearing conference
  • FAQ’s for advisors

Qualifications: No prior experience necessary. Anyone can serve in this capacity; however, prior experience in student conduct hearings, faculty/staff grievance processes, informal resolutions, exposure to investigation reports, serving as a union steward/rep, or hearing officer is helpful, but not required.

For questions, please contact titleix@kent.edu. Registration is open for each training session and you may register up until the day before the event:

For more information, contact the Title IX office at 672-7535, or email titleix@kent.edu.

Know Your Numbers Health Screenings & Flu Vaccine Clinics This Fall

Know Your Numbers Health Screenings & Flu Vaccine Clinics This Fall 

As part of the Employee Wellness program, all full-time, benefits-eligible staff and faculty are invited to attend an onsite Know Your Numbers health screening this fall. Flu vaccines are also available to all full- and part-time employees, spouses/partners, and dependent children aged 18 and older.  

What Happens at the Know Your Numbers Screening? 

Our wellness partner, Be Well Solutions, will be onsite conducting the screenings, which include a finger stick blood draw, blood pressure measurement, height and weight. Within a few short minutes, Be Well will provide you with a personalized profile with the following information: total cholesterol (HDL and LDL), triglycerides, blood pressure, glucose, and body mass index. This service has been provided to full-time, benefits eligible employees for nearly eight years with excellent service ratings from employees. 

For your convenience, Employee Wellness has arranged flu vaccine clinics to align with all upcoming health screening dates through December 2021 for all campuses. In addition, we will host a standalone flu vaccine clinic on September 30 at the Kent campus.  

The following onsite dates are now available for scheduling your Know Your Numbers health screening and/or flu vaccine. Follow the "How to schedule" instructions below, as registration is required for these services.  




September 20 

Ashtabula, Blue and Gold Room 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

September 30 

Flu vaccine-only clinic, Kent, Heer Hall 

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

October 13 

Salem, Main Building, Room 209 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

October 14 

Kent, Heer Hall 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

October 19 

East Liverpool, Blair Memorial Library, Purinton Hall 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

October 21 

Tuscarawas, Sci & Adv Tech Bldg., Room 208 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

October 27 

Kent, Heer Hall 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 
Flu vaccines available until 1:30 p.m. 

October 27 

Special p.m. event for shift workers, Kent, Heer Hall  

10 - 11:45 p.m.(evening) 

November 9 

Kent, Heer Hall 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

November 10 

Stark, Recreation and Wellness Center 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

November 16 

Trumbull, Classroom Bldg., Room 233 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

November 17 

Geauga, Gallery (103) 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

December 7 

Twinsburg Academic Center, Room 115 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

December 15 

College of Podiatric Medicine, PodMed Classroom 1 

7:30 - 10:30 a.m. 

*Please note there will only be one health screening and flu vaccine clinic date at each regional campus per reward program cycle. Employees are welcome to attend any clinic that best fits their schedule, and keep in mind screenings can be completed with your primary care physician in lieu of onsite with Be Well.  

How to Schedule Your Appointment 

  1. Login to your private and secure Be Well portal. If you have never accessed the portal, follow these first-time login instructions
  2. Once logged in, select "Worksite Screening/Flu Vaccine" under "My Appointments". Choose the date and location that best fits your schedule. Keep in mind that you will need to fast for 8 to 10 hours prior to your health screening. 
  3. You will be able to schedule your screening, flu vaccine, and dependent flu vaccines all within the same registration. If you are only interested in receiving a flu vaccine, make sure to select the "Flu shot only" link. 

Part-time employees can schedule a flu vaccine by calling Be Well Solutions directly at 1-888-WEL-SERV (935-7378). For more information, visit the health screening/flu vaccine web pages. With questions, you may contact the Employee Wellness office at 330-672-0392 or wellness@kent.edu.  

Mobile Mammograms at the Kent Campus

Employee Wellness is pleased to sponsor onsite 3D mammography screenings at the Kent campus. The Women's Diagnostic Center will offer annual routine digital mammograms October 4 - 8, in the Heer Hall parking lot at 635 Loop Road (near the ice arena). The mobile coach contains a check-in desk and private changing area. Results are available within 3 - 4 business days. 

Visit the registration page to schedule your appointment as well as download required forms. Schedule early, as these appointments fill quickly. Visit the Mobile Mammograms web page for more information about the Women's Diagnostic Center and their services, including FAQs and COVID-19 procedures. 

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

Tier 2 Wellness Your Way Deadline Approaching

Full-time, benefits-eligible faculty and staff who have completed Tier 1 and are working toward Tier 2 of the Wellness Your Way Rewards Program have until October 15, 2021, to rack up 350 Tier 2 points and qualify for the $200 wellness reward.  

As a reminder, you do not have to be enrolled in the university health plan to participate in the rewards program, but you must have completed Tier 1 to be eligible for the Tier 2 reward. Final Tier 2 paperwork must be completed and submitted to Be Well no later than Oct. 30, 2021

If you need inspiration for earning your remaining points, view this handout, which highlights ongoing points-eligible offerings, as well as self-paced activities you can complete anytime, anywhere. 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 portal. Once logged in, select "My Wellness" then "Wellness Rewards Program" and click the box for Tier 2. Be Well Solutions tracks your progress along the way, so you’ll also be able to view your points earned to date within this section of the portal.  

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

Webinar: Promoting Optimal Aging, September 23, noon – 1 p.m.

What is normal aging? All too often our older loved ones believe their health problems are typical for an aging adult. Join Kelsey Loushin, LICDC-CS, CDP, as she explores the aging processes and provides insight to assist you and your family with improving quality of life. 

Register for this webinar, which is open to all full- and part-time employees. For full-time, benefits-eligible employees participating in the Wellness Your Way rewards program, this session will be worth 10 points toward your Tier 2 total. 

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

Labor Condition Application Notice

In accordance with 20 CFR § 655.734, Kent State University is required to provide notice that a Labor Condition Application (LCA) for H-1B Nonimmigrant Alien Worker has been led by Kent State University with the United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, United States Employment Service Certifying Officer. All LCA postings are provided for at the university's Legal Notices website.

Important Information about Final Grading of Fall 2021 First 5 Weeks Classes

Online final grading for Fall 2021 First 5 Weeks (POT F1) begins Thursday, September 23, via FlashFAST. Grading is also now available for any Fall 2021 course section that was flexibly scheduled. The deadline for grading submission is midnight on Wednesday, September 29. Any final grades for Fall 2021 courses not reported in FlashFAST by the grades processing deadline will have to be submitted using the Grade Change Workflow. These Fall 2021 courses will be available in the Workflow on Friday, October 1.

To access Final Grades via FlashFAST, log into FlashLine and click on the Faculty & Advisors Category/Faculty Dashboard/Grading Resources Section.

Blackboard Grading Process:   
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, though it is encouraged. Grade Push will allow 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 Grade Push, log into FlashLine and click on the Faculty & Advisors/Faculty Dashboard/Grading Resources. If you have questions or concerns, please go to support.kent.edu and search “Grade Push.”

Incomplete Mark Workflow:
The instructor must create and submit an Incomplete Mark contract via the workflow. Instructors can no longer 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 help with these issues. Please contact them at 330-672-HELP (4357) for one-on-one assistance and technical issues.

POSTED: Monday, September 20, 2021 - 11:21am
UPDATED: Friday, October 8, 2021 - 3:13pm