Readers Respond

At Work and Play

Carolyn Hogue Florence Duomo

My son [Joshua Hogue, BBA ’23] spent the 2023 Spring Semester in Florence, Italy, with the study abroad program [“Fifty Years of Florence,” fall/winter 2022-23]. He had such a great experience; we highly recommend it for any student considering it! He explored different areas of Italy and was able to travel to a few other countries as well. I went for two weeks when his semester finished, and we traveled all over Italy. What a wonderful experience! This is a picture of us at the top of the Duomo in Florence.  

I am also a computer programmer for Progressive (“Kent State Works at Progressive Insurance,” spring/summer 2023). I majored in business/computer science and Kent State had a recruiting event early in the spring of 1989. I got an interview [with Progressive] and was hired before I even graduated. I’ve been here ever since!

Carolyn Hogue, BBA ’89
Grafton, OH


Every Picture Tells a Story

Graduate Dante Minniti, MS ’22

I graduated in December with my master’s degree and I noticed that a picture of me and President Diacon was used in the spring/summer 2023 issue [President’s Perspective, “Working It.”] I really like the photo and was wondering if there was any way that I can get a copy! It would be greatly appreciated; looking forward to hearing from you soon. . . .

As I continue to search for a job in the sports world that I enjoy most, I decided in the meantime to continue my education through the Cleveland Clinic to become a cardiac sonographer. Getting my master’s [in sport administration] at Kent State was a life-changing experience to say the very least. I’ve got extraordinary experience at the highest levels—three of which were the NFL, NHL and NASCAR. Having this opportunity nearly doubled my personal and professional network through various organizations. Walking across that stage in December 2022 was truly the biggest accomplishment in my life thus far.

Dante Minniti, MS ’22
Girard, OH

Editor’s Note: We were happy to learn the name of the graduate in the photo and sent him a copy of the photo. We also asked what it meant for him to earn a master’s degree from Kent State, and we included his response above.

Think You’re a Citizen of the World?

Congratulations and thank you for an excellent issue, Growing Global, [fall/winter 2022-23]. However, I must point out one egregious error—NO ONE is a “citizen of the world.” That phrase, popularized by the late Arthur Ashe, may sound admirable, but try this test—next time a problem is encountered while abroad, seek assistance from an embassy other than that of your nation of citizenship (in my case, American). I submit that, with rare exceptions (such as the Canadians helping Americans in Iran in 1979), other embassies or consulates would not be of any help.

S. Jeffrey Ali, DPM ’98
Broadview Heights, OH

Editor’s Note: “Global citizen” and “citizen of the world” are terms often used these days, as in this statement from “A global citizen is someone who is aware of and understands the wider world—and their place in it. They are a citizen of the world. They take an active role in their community and work with others to make our planet more peaceful, sustainable and fairer.” However, we see your point!

Civil Rights Pioneer

I was sorry to learn of the passing of Dr. Clarence Mixon, a 1961 graduate of Kent State University [“In Memory,” spring/summer 2023], whose long educational career included teaching and administrative positions in Cleveland’s public schools and later at Cuyahoga Community College. For over two decades he served as executive director of Cleveland Scholarship Programs, Inc. For his work, the US Department of Education recognized him at a White House Rose Garden reception in 1988, and his initiative became a model for other such programs across the country.

Few knew of his pioneering civil rights work at Kent State and in the city of Kent in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when he served as vice president of the Council on Human Affairs. The group organized local pickets in Kent in support of the now historic sit-ins held in Greensboro, North Carolina, in February 1960. Later, they held one at the Corner Bar (now the Loft) in October that same year in protest over the tavern’s refusal to serve African American students. 

Together with his friend and then graduate student mentor, Dr. Kenneth Cooley, BA ’57, Dr. Mixon helped bring about vital changes in Kent’s racial climate that have benefitted the community ever since. Both men also served in the US Army and, like other African American veterans, sought to achieve and expand democracy at home.

Thomas M. Grace, BA ’72
Buffalo, NY

Keeping an Open Mind

There are some “fashionating” stories, biographies and data in this spring/summer 2023 issue. It’s about time that New York recognizes those from the fashion school! Would love to see Sukeina, the global fashion house. I have page 7 circled in this issue!

“Just the Facts” is not for Joe Friday of Dragnet alone. The teamwork concept of developing and implementing a real public relations campaign, “Defeat the Deception,” helping a target audience spot false and misleading information, is both timely and necessary. Once again, I can “flash” a smile at being a Kent State graduate. Kudos to journalists in the Bateman Case Study Competition. Great picture, too.

A shout-out to Cassidy Grentz for highlighting the five factors to evaluate credibility. Page 11 is dog-eared and, in my opinion, applies to all who use Instagram or Facebook. Keep learning and growing.

And thanks, Kent State, for teaching me how to read, write and reflect . . . sometimes. I cannot tell you how much your philosophy of education means to me! See it, say it, review it, question it, reflect, think, repeat it, synthesize it (Dr. Horvath ☺). Relate it and rethink it if your views change with life experience.

Questions keep the doors of the mind open. We must earnestly listen to others without judgment. Inquire, reflect . . . and, if we don’t know, say, “I do not know. Let me research this more.” I think this is a hallmark of Kent State education, nursing, and journalism or English grads!

Daryl A. Calhoun, BS ’93
Canton, OH

Life-Changing Education Abroad

A friend of mine sent me a copy of the fall/winter 2022-23 issue, because he knew it would be interesting to me for two reasons. The articles were about foreign students attending Kent State and Kent State students studying overseas, and both of these apply to me! I was a foreign student at Kent State, albeit only from Canada. I attended on a football scholarship from 1967 to 1971, and I really enjoyed my time at Kent State. I grew as a person in so many ways.

I also had a chance to study overseas on a program that was mentioned in one of the articles. I was part of the group of about 26 students who went to study at Pahlavi University in Shiraz, Iran [now known as Shiraz University]. It was organized by a Kent State professor, Dr. Abbas Amirie (who, as of a couple years ago, was alive and living well in California).

I was not in any way a key part of the football program, and the coaches allowed me to go to Iran to study from January to June of 1970. The experience was an absolutely incredible opportunity to live, study and travel in a completely different and remarkable foreign country.

It only increased my desire, as a geography student, to travel and see and experience other countries, cultures, religions, etc. And I have been extremely fortunate to travel quite a bit with my wife and family to many parts of the world. My three daughters have also picked up the “travel bug.”

That experience in Iran, although a bit frustrating at times, opened my eyes to so many possibilities and was life-changing for me. I was truly blessed to have attended Kent State. I got a great education and went on to be a high school teacher in Ontario for 31 years.

Although I have forgotten most of the Farsi (the official language of Iran) that I learned, when travelling in Canada, the United States, or overseas, many times I have overheard a conversation and recognized either Farsi or an Iranian accent. I often take the chance to ask them if they are from Iran, and they are always shocked and want to know why I would think that. When I explain about my time in Iran, it always leads to a great conversation.

So thank you for the articles, and thank you, Kent State, for the incredible opportunities that you have given me.

Steve Waller, BA ’71, MA ’95 
Belleville, Ontario

Squirrel Search Surprise

Squirrel Search Oliver Wendell Holmes O’Ryan

Well, I’ll be uh well . . . dog gone! My dad said early on, “Oh Ollie, don’t even think those sneaky peeps at Kent State Magazine would do the obvious thing and hide that conniving squirrel in plain sight! Like in YOUR photo! So why even look?!” But noooo . . . I said,  “Dear old Dad,  remember when in school Dr. Beaird mentioned Occam's razor when you had a phone tutorial on odds ratio in your biostatistics class?”

I like to subtly steer him in the right direction, but you gotta go easy with the guy who has the keys to the kibble.

Thank goodness for Kent State Magazine stepping in and redirecting our efforts, and I’ll probably get extra kibble tonight.

Your friend, Ollie, and my dad,
Jerry A. O’Ryan, MPH ’17
Adjunct Instructor, Public Health
Centerville, OH


David (BSEd ’64, MA ’66, PhD ’72) and Louise (BSEd ’63, MEd ’67) Koch

Congratulations to David (BSEd ’64, MA ’66, PhD ’72) and Louise (BSEd ’63, MEd ’67) Koch, Plano, Texas, the winners of the random drawing from correct submissions to the Squirrel Search contest. They received a box of squirrel-themed swag from McKay Bricker Framing & Black Squirrel Gifts in downtown Kent, as well as from Kent State University—and sent in a photo of them posing with their prizes.

The black squirrels can be found in the spring/summer 2023 issue on page 2 (in the photo of squirrel sniffer Oliver Wendell Holmes, hiding near his right leg), page 25 (top photo, left side, looking at the ice skaters), and page 34 (photo 6, underneath the stool, listening to a story being read). Thanks to all who entered!

Correction: Regarding the story “Kent State’s School of Fashion Turns 40!,” spring/summer 2023, a previous PDF of the timeline (which appeared in print) incorrectly listed the year of Jean Lawrence Druesedow’s appointment as director of the Kent State University Museum. She started on July 1, 1993 (not 1998), and she worked for Kent State for 25 years before retiring on June 30, 2018. Also, the museum celebrated its 25th anniversary (1985–2010) with the exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen in 2010 (not 2018). The exhibition was brought back to Kent State for a second showing in February 2018. These corrections were made in the digital edition and PDF. For more information, check out the Museum of Arts & Sciences’ 2018 interview with Jean Druesedow about her career and the Hepburn exhibition.


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 3, 2023 02:08 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2023 03:56 PM