Kent State Holds Spring Commencement Ceremonies on May 8, 9 and 15

Kent State Holds Spring Commencement Ceremonies

Kent State University congratulates its new graduates. The university held its Spring Commencement ceremonies for the Kent Campus on May 8 and May 9 at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (MAC Center). This spring, Kent State conferred 3,883 degrees, including 2,864 bachelor’s degrees, 874 master’s degrees, 142 doctoral degrees and three educational specialist degrees at the Kent Campus. Across the university’s eight-campus system, 4,512 students graduated from Kent State this spring, including those receiving associate degrees.

The 6 p.m. ceremony on May 8 was for those receiving their master’s and doctoral degrees. The speaker for this ceremony was Daniel Mahony, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services and a professor of sport management since 2008. Prior to coming to Kent State, he spent 13 years as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Louisville. His administrative positions included program director, department chair, associate dean, assistant provost and associate provost. He has a B.S. in accounting from Virginia Tech, a M.S. in sport management from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in sport management from Ohio State University. Mahony is an active researcher on topics such as organizational justice, sport consumer behavior and intercollegiate athletics. On July 1, 2015, Mahony will be moving to Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to become its 11th president.

Three baccalaureate ceremonies took place on May 9.

The 9 a.m. ceremony was for those receiving their bachelor’s degrees from the College of Education, Health and Human Services; the College of Nursing and the College of Public Health. The speaker for this ceremony was John Begala, adjunct professor and executive-in-residence in the Division of Business Administration at Baldwin Wallace University. In his long, professional career, he served in leadership positions in healthcare, politics and higher education. Begala earned his B.S. degree from Kent State and graduated magna cum laude. He went on to earn his master’s degree in history and political science at Kent State. He served as a councilman-at-large for Kent City Council and was part of a coalition that successfully campaigned to amend the city charter to create a council-manager form of government. In 1977, Begala was elected as a state representative in the 62nd District. During his three terms as a state legislator, he worked primarily on health and social legislation, as well as oversight, authoring laws on social service planning and nursing home reform. Begala has a prestigious list of publications, papers and speeches, and he has been recognized with a number of awards and honors for public and community service.

The 1:30 p.m. ceremony was for those receiving their bachelor’s degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of the Arts. The speaker for this ceremony was Jane M. Timken, J.D., former chair of the Kent State Board of Trustees. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Timken holds an A.B. from Harvard College, cum laude, and a J.D., summa cum laude, from Washington College of Law of The American University in Washington, D.C.  She practiced law, focusing on litigation and employment law, with the firms Black McCuskey and the Soles Law Offices in Canton, Ohio. Timken also served as a magistrate judge and staff attorney to Honorable Sara Lioi of the Court of Common Pleas, Stark County, Ohio. She currently serves as the vice-chair of the Stark County Republican Party, as a member of the Board of Community Services of Stark County and the Archangel Committee for St. Michael Parish. 

The 5:30 p.m. ceremony was for those receiving their bachelor’s degrees from the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology; the College of Architecture and Environmental Design; the College of Business Administration; the College of Communication and Information; and the School of Digital Sciences. The speaker for the evening ceremony was Sharlene Ramos Chesnes, chief executive officer of the InterChez family of companies, based in Stow, Ohio. She received her B.A. from Kent State and has continued her professional training with the successful completion of the Leadership Cleveland program, the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management’s “Advanced Management Education Program” and the Dartmouth College “Building a High-Performance Minority Business” Tuck Executive Education program. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Summit Magazine and Summit County Minority Health Department. She also is a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C., on Customs Matters and Trade Facilitation. In addition to running the InterChez family of companies, Chesnes is involved in many organizations and activities that advance children gaining greater access to exceptional education and healthcare, including starting the Chesnes Family Endowment at Kent State.

The ceremony on May 15 at 1 p.m. is for those receiving their doctoral degrees from the College of Podiatric Medicine. The speaker for the afternoon ceremony is Jordan Grossman, D.P.M. Grossman graduated from Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, Pennsylvania, and received a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in 1993. He is part of the faculty for the HealthSpan/CCF Podiatric Foot and Ankle surgical residency program and also is one of the core teaching faculty for the Orthopaedic Surgery residency program at Akron General Medical Center in Akron, Ohio. Grossman has published several peer-reviewed articles and contributed to many textbook chapters throughout his career. He is a nationally recognized, accomplished lecturer, speaking on several topics, including foot and ankle trauma, adult and adolescent reconstructive foot and ankle surgery and sports medicine. He serves on the peer review committee for the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery and is active with the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Grossman is a diplomat and board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery in both Foot Surgery and Reconstructive Rearfoot and Ankle Surgery. He is a member of the Ohio Foot and Ankle Medical Association and the American Podiatric Medical Association. 

For more information about Kent State’s Commencement, visit

POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 3:21pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 4:23pm
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