Along the Esplanade | Spring 2015

Hanging Out

Coco and her partner, Officer Anne Spahr
Photo by Bob Christy '95

Kent State police dog Coco and her partner, Officer Anne Spahr, recently participated in a specialized training exercise at the climbing wall in Kent State’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center, along with K-9 dogs from around the state—including Kent State’s other police dog, Dexter, and his handler, Officer Miguel Witt. 

The dogs were practicing in case they ever need to be flown by helicopter to an incident as part of a statewide response to a bomb threat. “It’s unlikely but possible, so we have to get the dogs ready,” says Spahr. “In addition, it builds trust and bonding between the dog and its handler. Coco did very well; she’s a confident dog.”

On a normal day, Coco—a three-year-old German Shepherd—is on patrol with Spahr around Kent State, and they’re on call in case she’s needed anywhere in the state to sniff out explosives, search for evidence or track a missing person. It’s an active life, and Coco thrives on doing her job.

“She doesn’t enjoy her time off quite as much as I do,” laughs Spahr. “I usually have to take her out several times a day to play because she’s very energetic and high drive. These K-9 dogs don’t make good house pets because they bore easily and are always on the go. Coco loves to play ball; she’s absolutely ball obsessed. And she harasses our pet German shepherd, who likes to chill by the fire and sleep in. He’s trying to teach her to relax, but she’s not picking it up!”


Campus QuoteJulian Bond

Photo by Jeff Gliden '87

"Jim Crow may be dead, but racism is alive and well. That’s a central fact of life for every nonwhite American, including the president of the United States. It eclipses income, position, education—race trumps them all. So we have work to do, none of it easy, but we never wished our way to freedom. Instead we’ve always worked our way."

Julian Bond, civil rights leader, “Crossing the Color Line,” keynote address at Kent State’s 13th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, January 22, 2014


Hat Tip

Hat Tip at MuseLab
Photo by Bob Christy '95

What do Willy Wonka, Fred Astaire and Mr. Peanut have in common? They all wear top hats—and they all were represented in a recent exhibit, What’s Real? Investigating Multimodality, which was created, designed and installed by a group of 40 students from the School of Visual Communication Design and the School of Library and Information Science in spring 2014.

Installed in the MuseLab, a 20-by-20-foot space on the third floor of the University Library where museum studies students can get hands-on experience, the collaborative exhibit focused on using four modes of interaction—sound, movement, touch and text—to explore the topic of a top hat. 

Why a top hat? “It’s just one example of how an ordinary object can take on multiple new meanings when displayed in a museum context,” says Kiersten Latham, Ph.D., assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Science and curator of the MuseLab. “A top hat is more complex than you’d think!”

The exhibit ran from May to December; a new MuseLab exhibit, created by nine graduate students in a spring semester museum studies course, opens April 15. It’s related to The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts that supports community reading programs and is based on characters in the novel Old School by Tobias Wolff.



Learn more about MuseLab


Old School

1934 diploma from Kent State College

Photo by Bob Christy '95
Kent State College diploma, 1934, Blue flocked cover, 8 x 10 in.

When integrated social studies major Elijah Baker ’16 tweeted a photo of his great-grandmother’s 1934 diploma from Kent State College, we asked for a closer look. 

“I had no idea any of my relatives had gone to Kent State,” says Baker, whose grandmother recently found the diploma and gave it to him. “I learned my great-grandmother was a teacher, and I’m training to be one. What stands out to me, though, are the signatures.” 

The diploma is signed by J.O. Engleman, the third president of Kent State College (1928 to 1938) and Engleman Hall’s namesake, and C.W. Seiberling, president of the board of trustees and vice president of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, which he founded with his brother F.A. Seiberling in 1898. The company made Akron the “Rubber Capital of the World” and financed F.A.’s family estate, Stan Hywet Hall, Akron’s first and largest National Historic Landmark. 

As for his piece of history, Baker plans to keep it. “When I get my diploma, I’ll put it next to this one,” he says. “That would be cool.”