HR Faculty/Staff News Now - June 24, 2019, Vol. 1, Issue 11

Veronica Cook Euell Receives Communicator Award

Veronica Cook Euell, supplier diversity program manager, has received the Neil D. Markee Communicator of the Year Award from the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP).

Presented at a ceremony held during the association’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Kanas City, Missouri, the award recognizes a member for outstanding performance in representing the purchasing profession through the written or spoken word by teaching, speaking or publishing.

Euell has become known at Kent State and throughout the region as an individual who is passionate, dedicated and committed to the engagement, development and pursuance of opportunities for minority and diverse firms to enhance participation not only within her institution, but across the region as a whole.

She was nominated by a colleague at the University of Cincinnati who noted that “she often reaches out to collaborate with her peers to see what other opportunities may be available for minority/diverse firms, and is zealous in her contributions in this field.”

Founded in 1921, NAEP’s mission is to facilitate the development, exchange and practice of effective and ethical procurement principles and techniques within higher education and associated communities, through continuing education, networking, public information and advocacy. NAEP strives to be recognized as the Association dedicated to the advancement of excellence in the purchasing profession serving higher education and associated communities. More information on NAEP may be found at

Haithem Zourrig Participates in Teaching Scholars Program

Haithem Zourrig, Ph.D., assistant professor of Marketing at the Stark Campus, participated in the Teaching Scholars Program at Kent State University’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

Zourrig presented the results of his study, “Effectiveness of Smartphone-Based Virtual Reality (VR) on Students’ Learning Outcomes” at the Teaching Scholars Colloquium.

The study investigates the effects of virtual reality (VR) immersion on learning effectiveness and students’ interest and ability to apply concepts. Findings from the study suggest that compared to conventional learning activities, the use of VR would result in a better understanding of concepts and would motivate students to learn more about the topic. However, the use of VR may not lead to an enhanced ability to apply concepts. 

“Being a part of this program means embracing innovative teaching models, being able to design and implement creative methods, new tools and content that could benefit our students and boost their creative potential,” said Zourrig. 

Next year, the Teaching Scholars Program will have two new participants from Kent State University at Stark: Younghun Chae, Ph.D., assistant professor of Computer Science; and Amy Damrow, Ph.D., assistant professor of Education. 

The Teaching Scholars Program promotes shared scholarly inquiry into teaching and learning. The program is built around collaborative relationships with interdisciplinary faculty colleagues engaging in the scholarly examination of learning. The primary goal supports faculty in the design, implementation and assessment of scholarly projects that identify and create significant learning environments.

President’s Award of Distinction Announced

Kent State University President Beverly J. Warren recently presented seven Kent State staffers with the President’s Award of Distinction. As in years past, President Warren made surprise visits to each recipient’s office with sincere congratulations and a check for $1,500. Learn more.

College of Public Health Employs Kognito At-Risk for Faculty/Staff

Kent State University employees can now participate in a free, online interactive role-play simulation to build awareness, knowledge and skills about mental health and suicide prevention.

The More Aware Initiative, funded by Kent State and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – through its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – is offering Kognito At-Risk for university faculty, staff and administrators.

This free, online interactive role-play simulation builds awareness, knowledge and skills about mental health and suicide prevention, and prepares users to lead students in real-life conversations that build resilience, strengthen relationships and connect them with support.

Through the use of avatars, trainees engage in conversations with virtual people who can respond realistically with memory and emotion. These simulated conversations allow trainees to have conversations with those in need, and increase their confidence in recognizing symptoms of distress and making referrals to the appropriate services.

The training lasts approximately 45 minutes and can be completed at your own pace. Faculty and staff who complete the training will receive one hour of Beyond Compliance credit. To register, please visit the Mental Health Awareness Trainings website.

WKSU Presents Watershed Series on Ohio Rivers

Fifty years ago this June, Cleveland was forever tied to the U.S. environmental crisis when national media reported on a fire burning in the Cuyahoga River. Because of pervasive industrial pollution, the 1969 fire was in fact not the first time that the Cuyahoga River had burned.

But, this moment - thanks in part to a Time magazine story - caught the nation’s attention and became a landmark in the American environmental movement, proving to be a turning point in an ongoing conversation surrounding the country’s ecological health.

To mark this important anniversary, WKSU News presents Watershed, a multi-part series telling the stories of the past, present and future of Northeast Ohio’s vital waterways. Reports begin airing the week after June 22 (the 50th anniversary of the “Burning River”) and continue throughout July. Staff journalists examine the current health of area rivers and Lake Erie, look at today’s environmental activism and governmental influence, and see how one single image launched a movement. 

The series is not an historical documentary, but an account of where we are now and the challenges that lie ahead. Along with long-form reporting, a group of interview “vignettes” will air before the central series. These interviews are the result of a call-out to WKSU listeners who had personal stories about the Cuyahoga River, and the other waterways featured in the project, the Ashtabula and Black rivers.

Watershed reporting includes:

State of the Rivers (week of June 24)

A look at the current condition of the Cuyahoga, Ashtabula and the Black rivers, the mindset toward their use and the stakeholders who will influence what happens next. Reporters: Kabir Bhatia and Mark Arehart – Cuyahoga; Jeff St. Clair – Ashtabula and Black.

Where It All Ends Up (week of July 1)

The Cuyahoga, Ashtabula and the Black rivers all empty into Lake Erie, which has been impacted by their industrial legacies. More recently, the lake has been hampered by newer issues ranging from toxic algal blooms to invasive species. Governor Mike DeWine has appointed Joy Mulinex, someone with extensive environmental credentials, as director of the Lake Erie Commission. WKSU will talk with Mulinex about addressing the challenges facing Lake Erie. Reporter: Sarah Taylor.

One River, Competing Interests (week of July 8)

With the waterways’ recovery, there are competing demands for its use. Can industrial and recreational uses coexist? Is there enough river for both? Reporter: Kabir Bhatia. 

The Photo that Sparked a Movement (week of July 15)

Art is typically a reaction to events in the world around us. In the case of the burning river, it was a photo that helped spark a popular movement. WKSU will look back at that photo, its connection with that moment in history, its legacy and how photographers today have been inspired by the river’s restoration over the past 50 years. Reporter: Mark Arehart.    

Environmental Leadership and the Future of the Watershed (week of July 22)

The story of the “Burning River” ultimately led to a generation of environmental activism and the passage of the Clean Water Act. Fifty years later, is there still a fervor among the next generation to pick up the charge? And, how does current activism match the mindset and current efforts by government from the federal to the local level? Reporters: Jeff St. Clair, Jennifer Conn.

KSU’s Women’s Center Recognized at Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Awards

Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio recently presented the Kent State University Women’s Center with the 2019 Advancing Women Award.

The award was presented to a company or organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the workplace. The Kent State University Women’s Center believes in supporting women through advocacy and education about women, gender and diversity. The center offers a variety of resources for students, faculty, and staff at the university. Some of these resources include crisis intervention, food pantry, pregnancy and parenting campus resources, a career closet, and scholarships.

Last Chance to Register for the Simply Strength 28-Day Challenge 

Did you know lean muscle mass naturally diminishes with age?

As the muscle diminishes, fat takes its place. Regular strength training is critical to help preserve the muscle mass you have now. Strength training can also help maintain your bone density, manage your weight, improve your ability to perform everyday tasks, and even improve cognition. 

This 28-day program, July 1 – 28, is open to all full-time employees across all campuses. During this challenge, participants will:

  • Assess your current strength training habits.
  • Establish a S.M.A.R.T. goal related to your strength training for the next four weeks.
  • Learn about simple strength exercises to perform each week.
  • Plan your exercise each week.
  • Record and keep track of your progress.
  • Reward yourself for your success.

Participants will receive educational materials, weekly emails and have access to unlimited telephonic health coaching through Be Well Solutions, Kent State’s employee wellness partner. In addition, participants will be eligible for weekly random prize drawings to keep you motivated and support your wellness goals. 

For employees participating in the Wellness Your Way incentive program, this challenge is worth 20 reward points towards Tier 2. You must participate in all four weeks of this challenge to qualify for these wellness incentive points. 

Find out more and register by June 25, at 5 p.m. to participate.

Walk and Talk – Annuals in Bloom  

Join the Employee Wellness team on Tues., July 9, from noon to 1 p.m. when the University Facilities Management Grounds Department’s annual garden horticulturalists shepherd us through some of their favorite areas that are full of vibrant colors and textures on the Kent Campus.
Our meeting location to start our walk will take place at the Black Squirrel Statue between the Library and the Student Center (Kent Campus). Meet at noon with a departure time of 12:10 and returning just before 1 pm. 

All full- and part-time employees are invited to join us for the walk. Please register for the Annual in Bloom Walk and Talk

Employees participating in the Wellness Your Way wellness program will receive 10 Tier Two points for participating in the walk. For questions you may contact the Employee Wellness Office at 330-672-0392 or

Lunch and Learn: Office Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.

On Tues., July 16, from noon - 1 p.m. in Heer Hall, Donald Head, Kent State University’s Occupational Health & Safety Coordinator, will discuss how to make the work station fit you, not the other way around, through proper seating, computer monitor positioning and other factors you experience throughout the day. A light lunch will be provided to attendees. Space is limited and registration is required.

This lunch and learn is open to all full and part-time employees. Employees participating in the Wellness Your Way wellness program will receive 10 Tier Two points for attending the office ergonomics session. For questions you may contact the Employee Wellness Office at 330-672-0392 or

Dates to Remember 

July 1 
Canada Day 

July 4  
Independence Day (university closed)

POSTED: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 2:52pm