Kent State Panel Discussion Brings Together Leaders Who Were Impacted by Campus Violence

UPDATE: Please note that this event originally scheduled for March 12 has been canceled.

On Thursday, March 12, Kent State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Services will host “Leading Through Tragedy,” an event that brings together a panel of leaders who were impacted by campus violence from institutions such as Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and Chardon High School in Ohio. This panel discussion will focus on how to effectively lead through the tragedy of school and campus violence. The event is part of the university’s May 4 50th Commemoration programming to help students, the community and national audiences learn about the history and legacy of May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard fired on students during an anti-war protest, killing four and wounding nine.

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Panelists will bring their own unique perspectives and experiences and reflect on what we can do to help our communities when impacted by these tragic events.

“It is truly an honor to bring these extraordinary leaders to our campus who have lived and led through tragedy,” said James Hannon, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services. “It is a sad truth that these events continue to occur on our K through higher education campuses, however, how we respond as leaders has a lasting impact on all those involved. I hope that we learn from this discussion and become better informed on how to serve those in need should the situation ever arise.”

Panelists for the event include:

  • Andy Fetchik III – Former principal of Chardon High School where on Feb. 27, 2012, a shooting occurred that left three students dead and three others injured.
  • Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. – Current president of Radford University and published author of writings covering topics related to gun violence and threat preparedness on college campuses.
  • Mark McNamee, Ph.D. – Former senior vice president and provost at Virginia Tech from 2001-2015 who chaired a committee that planned memorial events in the years after the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech to honor the 32 people killed.
  • John Peters, Ph.D. – Former president of Northern Illinois University (NIU) and nationally recognized for his leadership in the face of crisis, having led NIU’s response and recovery following a tragic Feb. 14, 2008, shooting on campus.

Kent State President Emeritus Beverly J. Warren will be returning to campus to serve as moderator of this panel.

The event takes place 6 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in the Kent Student Center Kiva. Attendees will hear from education leaders sharing their first-hand experiences of campus tragedy and the pathway forward.

“Leading Through Tragedy” is a free event. To learn more about the event and register, visit

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

For more information about the 50th Commemoration of May 4, visit

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Media Contacts:
Kedron Trapp,, 330-672-3697
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Friday, March 6, 2020 - 4:06pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 3:32pm
Kedron Trapp