The School of Media and Journalism’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) is strong and well documented.  The School’s efforts on this front are bolstered by the College of Communication and Information’s strong, multi-faceted support as well as the University’s many initiatives. MDJ faculty and staff are engaged in a range of efforts across the School, College, and University and are focused on expanding diversity, inclusiveness and cultural literacy and competency. 

We work to serve the entire college community to ensure that everyone feels welcome, has support that fosters success, and is able to develop a strong sense of belonging. We are committed to addressing instances of bias, dismantling structures of oppression, and combating systemic discrimination that disproportionately impacts marginalized communities.

Kent State University defines bias as

A discriminatory or hurtful act that appears to be motivated, or is perceived by the individual to be motivated all or in part by race, ethnicity, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation. To be considered an incident, the act is not required to be a crime under any federal, state or local statutes."

To report concerns about bias at the School of Media and Journalism please contact cci@kent.edu. Your report will be confidentially reviewed by a trained official.


The Kent State University School of Media and Journalism (MDJ) recognizes the importance of a diverse faculty, staff and student body and embraces the concept that diversity will foster the acknowledgement, empowerment and inclusion of any person.

MDJ teaches the history, culture, values and notable achievement of persons who represent the world’s diverse community. The mission of the School is to offer a strong curriculum, enriched by a legal and ethical foundation, which recruits, retains, promotes and hires from this diverse community.

MDJ believes that the highest levels of success, knowledge and progress arise when we learn from others who are not of our own national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, gender expression, physical and mental ability and social class. We welcome the many opportunities to examine challenges that may arise from differences.


Kent State University defines diversity as “the presence of difference.” The College of Communication and Information (CCI) affirms that diversity enriches the teaching, study, research and criticism of the principles and practices of communication and information. Further, the faculty, staff and students maintain that communication and information can be understood fully and practiced effectively only when ideas from all people and perspectives are voiced and valued. CCI’s culture intentionally fosters an inclusive environment, and CCI commits itself to being an academic unit in which all individuals feel empowered to participate fully.

Learn more about CCI’s diversity initiatives.


The School of Media and Journalism maintains its commitment to diversity and inclusion, in part, through the leadership of the School’s Diversity and Globalization Committee and the support of all MDJ faculty and staff in creating, supporting and executing strategic diversity-related initiatives within the School. MDJ’s strong and ongoing collaboration with the CCI Diversity Team and CCI’s Office of Diversity and its director helps support diversity programs and actions throughout the entire College. Read more about MDJ’s Diversity Plan.

Download the MDJ Diversity Plan 2020 Progress Report.


MDJ’s Diversity and Globalization (D&G) Committee works with the School’s faculty, students and staff, alongside the CCI Diversity Committee, to organize diversity-related events and awards. Here are some highlights:

  • Robert McGruder Guest Lecture and Award Series is MDJ’s signature diversity-related event open to the university. Robert McGruder, a School alumnus, was the first African-American editor of the Daily Kent Stater, the first African-American reporter at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the first African-American president of Associated Press Media Editors. His legacy lives on through a scholarship in his name and the annual award series.  

  • Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Awards, offered in conjunction with the annual Robert G. McGruder Distinguished Guest Lecture, honors one individual who has demonstrated excellence in diversity and media on a local level.

  • MDJ Student Award for Diversity recognizes student work published or broadcast in a Student Media outlet, other professional media outlets such as an internship or a classroom assignment. The Diversity and Globalization committee led MDJ in establishment of the Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity in 2017. With the continued support of Annette McGruder, the School offers two $500 student diversity awards each year.

Learn more about MDJ diversity awards. 


One of the biggest barriers to the persistence of underrepresented students throughout their college career is lack of financial resources. The School offers financial assistance and incentives geared toward underrepresented populations in order to help them succeed throughout their college careers including the following five scholarships:

  • The Roger & Ada Fidler Scholarship in Journalism and Mass Communication Endowed Scholarship is awarded to a full-time Latin American student studying in the School with financial need and who shows demonstrated leadership on campus and in the community.

  • The Albert E. Fitzpatrick Endowed Scholarship is awarded to a minority student studying in MDJ with financial need and a GPA of 2.75 or higher.

  • The Frances B. Murphey Scholarship is awarded to a female MDJ student who is a resident of Stark, Lucas or Carroll County and intends to pursue a career in news. Recipients must have a GPA of 2.75 of higher.

  • The Paula Slimak Scholarship in Journalism and Mass Communication is awarded to a non-traditional MDJ student with financial need.

  • In 2018, the Devin C. G. Moore Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of Moore, a broadcast journalism major who passed away while playing basketball on campus. The annual scholarship goes to an underrepresented minority student pursuing a degree in journalism, with first preference to a student interested in broadcast journalism.

 Learn more about MDJ scholarships.


Additional scholarships opportunities are available in the College of Communication and Information, at Kent State University and outside organizations. Students with diverse identities and backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply for all scholarships available to them.

Learn more about diversity scholarships.