Flash Forward




iPromise Scholarship winners


Team LeBron had a big win in the NBA All-Star Game in February 2022—and an enormous win for Kent State’s I Promise Scholars, a program that provides higher education opportunities for underserved students in Northeast Ohio. The competition among the NBA’s top players raised more than $550,000 for the I Promise Scholars program, which will help support current and future Kent State University I Promise students. The funds raised by Team LeBron will help with important educational expenses such as books, supplies, and room and board that are critical to the success of I Promise students residing on the Kent Campus.

In 2020, Kent State University began this program to provide the opportunity for a college education to all eligible students in the LeBron James Family Foundation’s oldest I Promise Network class by guaranteeing four years of tuition, and one year of room and meal plan. LeBron’s foundation supports more than 1,400 Akron students in grades three through 10 with mentoring, college and career preparation, and wrap-around family support.




Earl K. Miller, BA ’85, PhD, and his wife, Marlene M. Wicherski,


Neuroscientist Earl K. Miller, BA ’85, PhD, and his wife, Marlene M. Wicherski, have pledged $2 million to support research programs and students in Kent State University’s Brain Health Research Institute. The BHRI focuses on cross-disciplinary research and education to understand the influences that impact brain health across the lifespan, using the knowledge gained as a window into the prevention and treatment of brain disease. 

The gift will help create an endowed directorship to accelerate BHRI’s effort to recruit and retain top leadership and support an undergraduate fellows program for first-and-second-year students interested in pursuing careers in neuroscience research, education, healthcare or related areas.

Miller, who received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Kent State in 2020, was the keynote presenter during the Brain Health Research Institute grand opening lecture in November 2021.


Faculty and staff from Kent State University at Geauga applied for and will administer a USDA grant.


Kent State University’s Geauga and Ashtabula Regional Campuses were awarded a $585,046 joint grant from the US Department of Agriculture in January 2022 for a distance learning project to help rural communities connect to each other—and to the world. It promises to help bring Geauga and Ashtabula counties on par with the latest technological advancements in education, medicine and workforce development. 

For example, connectivity enhancements can link teachers and medical service providers located in one area to students and patients in another. Locally, this project will expand educational opportunities for middle and high school students who take college-level courses that count toward their high school diploma and college degree. It will also enable adult residents to enroll in degree programs aligned to regional employer needs.

Kent State University at Geauga also received a $2,500 grant from the Geauga Hunger Task Force as part of a new partnership to help local students in need. This grant complements a Geauga Campus-sponsored fundraiser that generated more than $780 for students. More than 80% of its 2,200+ students receive Pell grants or some form of scholarship or grant aid. The new grant funds have been used to purchase gift cards to ALDI grocery stores.



Mary Ann Raghanti, PhD,


Mary Ann Raghanti, PhD, professor of biological anthropology and chair of Kent State’s Department of Anthropology, has been elected a 2021 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Raghanti also serves as a faculty member in Kent State’s School of Biomedical Sciences and a member of the executive committee of the Brain Health Research Institute. She was recognized for her unique and distinguished contributions to biological anthropology and the knowledge and understanding of the origin and evolution of human and primate behavior.



International Award


Kent State University received the 2022 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization from NAFSA: Association of International Educators (formerly called National Association of Foreign Student Advisers). Named after the late Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois, the honor recognizes Kent State for overall excellence in integrating international education throughout all facets of the university and its campuses. Kent State’s global reach has been expansive, with educational centers in Florence, Italy, and Curitiba, Brazil, and outreach centers in China and India. It also boasts more than 200 education-abroad programs. 

The university’s commitment to internationalization is embedded in its mission and strategic plan and is entrenched in the university’s identity through competitive research, comprehensive education-abroad programs, international curriculum and robust international student and scholar programs. Kent State was the only US university to receive this award in 2022.



Kent State University received R1 status for research


Kent State University received R1 status for research from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in February 2022. The highest recognition that doctoral universities can receive, the prestigious designation affirms Kent State’s place as an elite research institution and puts the university in the company of universities such as Yale, Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley.

Kent State became one of five universities in Ohio to be designated R1, joining The Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, Case Western Reserve University and Ohio University. Institutions with the R1 designation are considered to have “very high research activity.” Only 146 universities in the nation have R1 status. Kent State, Ohio University and the University at Buffalo are the only Mid-American Conference schools to carry this esteemed designation.




POSTED: Tuesday, May 3, 2022 11:21 AM
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 10:52 PM