May 4 Experts

Kent State has numerous experts, including witnesses, historians and other members of the university community, who are available for media interviews about the history and impact of May 4.



Jerry M. Lewis, Ph.D
Jerry M. Lewis, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Kent State University. Serving as a faculty marshal in 1970, he witnessed the 1970 events firsthand. He has devoted his time to researching, memorializing and lecturing since the events took place. Dr. Lewis co-authored an analysis of the May 4 shootings with Thomas R. Hensley, Professor Emeritus of Political Science. Dr. Lewis was one of the four co-authors of the application to add the May 4 site to the National Register of Historic Places, which was approved in February 2010.


Dr. Mindy Farmer
Dr. Mindy Farmer is the director of the May 4th Visitors Center and an assistant professor in the History Department at Kent State University where she oversees all aspects of the Center’s educational programming and academic outreach.  During her tenure, the Center has doubled in size to include a new Reflection Gallery which hosts new, original exhibitions.  Farmer was also a coauthor of the successful application to make the May 4 Shootings Site a National Historic Landmark. 


Rod Flauhaus
Rod Flauhaus has been involved with the legacy of May 4, 1970, since the early 1980s when, as student president of the May 4 Task Force, he led the 15th commemoration. He was also key in working with the Kent State University Board of Trustees on the original memorial proposal and was a consultant for the 30th commemoration. His current role is leading the university-wide strategy and planning efforts for the 50th commemoration in 2020. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts from Kent State, he holds a Master of Arts from the University of Akron.



Alan Canfora
Alan Canfora was a leading Kent State University anti-war student protester when he was shot and wounded on May 4, 1970. While earning his bachelor's and master's degrees at Kent State, Mr. Canfora emerged as the leader of the ongoing May 4 movement for truth and justice – and he remains recognized as a top expert regarding the 1970 tragedy at Kent State and the history of American student activism. Today, he continues as director of the nonprofit, educational Kent May 4 Center as well as library director at the Akron Law Library and chairperson of the Barberton Democratic Party in nearby Barberton, Ohio.


Roseann Chic Canfora
Chic Canfora was an eyewitness and survivor of the shootings at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. A Kent 25 defendant, she was one of 24 students indicted by the Ohio Grand Jury, and later exonerated, for activism during a weekend of protests against the Vietnam War. She earned three degrees, including a Ph.D. at Kent State, where she teaches in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication today. She is a stalwart advocate for May 4 remembrance and for the importance of connecting the lessons of the anti-war movement to emerging movements today, including Black Lives Matter and March for Our Lives. 


Thomas M. Grace, Ph.D
Thomas M. Grace is one of nine former students who survived wounds inflicted by Ohio National Guard gunfire on May 4, 1970, at Kent State University. He is a scholar and adjunct professor of American history. He specializes in both the protest movement in the 1960s and the American Civil War. His published work includes “Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016); “Kent State and Historical Memory” in “Democratic Narrative, History & Memory,” edited by Carole A. Barbato and Laura L. Davis (Kent State University Press, 2012); as well as scholarly and popular format articles about the Civil War, for which he is a regular contributor to America’s Civil War.


Laura Davis, Ph.D
Laura Davis, Ph.D., was a freshman at Kent State University when she witnessed the shootings on May 4, 1970. She became a faculty member at Kent State, team teaching “May 4, 1970 & Its Aftermath” with Carole Barbato, Ph.D. With Dr. Barbato, she co-created the May 4 Walking Tour and May 4 Visitors Center, through consultation with hundreds of members of the campus, public, scholars and design professionals and supported by funding from the Ohio Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.