Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services Announces 2013 Hall of Fame Winners

Seven alumni recognized at fourth annual awards ceremony

Kent State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Services will honor seven distinguished alumni at its fourth annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony on Friday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Tickets for the event are $35 per person and include hors d’oeuvres, followed by a sit-down meal.

The fourth class in the 2013 College of Education, Health and Human Services Hall of Fame includes:

Centennial Alumni Award: Dean Hummel, Ph.D.

Dean HummelCounselor Education Professor Dean Hummel, Ph.D., received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State. He had a long and illustrious career in counselor education at Ohio University and Virginia Tech. He chaired the counselor education programs at both universities for many years while being an outstanding teacher, mentor, author and national leader in counseling. His peers previously recognized Hummel’s fine work by awarding him several national awards, including the National Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the PDK National Educator Award, the National Professional Development Award from the American Counseling Association and the Fellow Award from the American Psychological Association. Hummel also served as national president of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

Distinguished Alumni Award: John Hall, Ph.D.

John HallJohn Hall, Ph.D., an Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair of Physiology and Biophysics, and director of the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, received a bachelor’s degree in education from Kent State. Hall’s major research interests include cardiovascular and renal physiology, mechanisms of hypertension, obesity and metabolic disorders. His research has been funded continuously from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute since 1975, and he has been director of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Program Project grant since 1988. He has authored or co-authored more than 530 publications and has written or edited 18 books, including the Textbook of Medical Physiology, which is the leading medical physiology textbook.

Recent Alumni Award: Andrea Simms

Andrea SimmsAndrea Simms, a former intervention specialist in the Bahamian public school system, received her master’s degree in special education from Kent State in 2008. Currently, Simms is working on her Ph.D. in special education at Kent State. She recently joined the faculty at SUNY Plattsburgh in New York. As a teaching consultant, Simms facilitated numerous face-to-face and online trainings for teachers and administrators throughout the Bahama Islands. In doing so, she addressed topics related to implementation of academic interventions for struggling students and employment of positive behavior interventions and supports for students who exhibited challenging behavior. She also worked with the Bahamas Ministry of Education’s Language Arts curriculum team to revamp the curriculum. For the first time, adaptations and modifications for students with disabilities were incorporated.

Diversity Alumni Award: Tameka Taylor, Ph.D.

Tameka TaylorTameka Taylor, president of Compass Consulting Services, LLC, received her Ph.D. in counseling and human development services from Kent State. She worked at the Diversity Center, where she served the organization for 14 years; in her last years, she served as vice president and director of leadership development. Taylor counsels through the Shaker Youth Center. In addition, she has taught graduate-level courses at Kent State and Walsh University. Currently, she is teaching a Managing Urban Diversity course at Cleveland State University. She is involved with the Commission on Economic Inclusion, Cultural Links, President Councils’ Foundation, COSE and Northern Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council. She is the co-chair for the Diversity Alumni Network for Baldwin-Wallace, and serves on the boards of Friendly Inn Settlement and WomenSafe Inc.

International Alumni Award: Anush Shahverdyan, Ph.D.

Anush ShahverdyanAnush Shahverdyan, Ph.D., an education-human development specialist at the World Bank Armenia, received her master’s degree in educational administration and organizational development from Kent State. In her current position at the World Bank Armenia, she provides project supervision and support into project management and implementation of the World Bank-funded project — the Armenia Education Quality and Relevance Project, which develops policy and analytical papers on education sector issues and contributes to human development-related analytical work. She also is involved in Special Olympics Armenia, which aims at the social inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Distinguished Service to EHHS Award: Rebecca Zurava, Ph.D.

Rebecca ZuravaRebecca Zurava received her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Kent State. She devoted her 30-plus-year career to being a teacher, mentor and advocate for inner-city and Appalachian students. She taught French and English at Claymont City Schools and Akron Public Schools, and she also was a middle and high school librarian at Akron Public Schools. She is a member of the College of Education, Health and Human Services Advisory Council, and was the first to volunteer to be a part of the council because she saw the need for reaching out to alumni from the college. In addition, she has assisted with planning homecoming events and participates in Welcome Weekend, Common Reading Program, and the School of Library and Information Sciences Alumni and Friends Council.

Alumni Leadership Award: Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Ph.D.

Brandi Hephner LaBancBrandi Hephner LaBanc, Ph.D., vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Mississippi, received her master’s degree in higher education from Kent State. Her research focuses on preparation of student affairs’ professionals and transition issues for graduate students. She has published work related to campus crisis management and victim support during and after mass tragedy. She is highly committed to the holistic development of all students and strives to nurture a scholar-practitioner culture in her work environment.

To purchase tickets to the ceremony, visit For more information, please contact Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services at

For more information about Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, visit

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Media Contacts:

Beth Thomas,, 330-672-7838
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Monday, September 30, 2013 12:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2022 01:02 AM
University Communications and Marketing