The Effects of Heroin: A JMC Conversation

Oct. 20, 2016 / 6-8 p.m.

Join Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) and the JMC Student Voice Team for an open panel discussion Thursday, Oct. 20 on the heroin epidemic and its relevancy to Kent State and Northeast Ohio.

“The Effects of Heroin: A JMC Conversation” is free and open to the public and will be held from 6-8 p.m. in the FirstEnergy Auditorium (Room 340 Franklin Hall). The conversation will be streamed live at Stephanie Smith, a JMC assistant professor and previous Senior Intelligence Service executive in the CIA, will moderate the discussion. Panelists will be representatives from the university, as well as parents and students in the community who have personally felt the effects of heroin, either through overdose, addiction or the loss of a loved one. Panelists include:

  • Greg McNeil, a father who lost his son to a heroin overdose and founder of Cover2 Resources, an educational foundation that provides alternative options to opioid pain relievers
  • Jennifer Kulics, dean of students for the Division of Student Affairs
  • Maureen Keating, chemical dependency counselor, University Health Services
  • Jarrod Pyle, a young adult in recovery from heroin addiction and Treatment Counselor for Oriana House 

Representatives from the Kent State Police Department, Oriana House in Akron and experts in drug research will also attend.

During the discussion, panelists and attendees will explore the relevancy of the heroin epidemic, the ethics of media coverage and how Kent State and the surrounding community can help with the epidemic. In hosting the conversation, JMC can prepare future journalists to report accurately and ethically on the heroin epidemic and other sensitive issues, as well as equip future advertising and public relations professionals to advocate for solutions to our community’s most crippling issues.

Our hope is that this event will equip Kent State students and the community with information and understanding to navigate the heroin epidemic and begin building solutions.

About the Panelists

Greg McNiel founded Cover2 Resources after his son, Sam, passed away in October 2015. He and his family are the directors of the nonprofit. Cover2 Resources focuses on an educating the public about alternative options to opioids, which have addictive qualities and are often prescribed for pain treatment.

Jennifer Kulics began working at Kent State in 2000 and has earned a master's degree in Exercise Physiology and a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration. In addition to serving as the dean of students, Kulics is also an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

Maureen Keating has more than 900 hours of continued education in counseling and chemical dependency and for 16 years, served as the director for the Women's Recovery Program at the Community Health Center. Today, she is a part-time trainer for the Northeast Ohio Regional Training Center and trains people on the issues of women’s recovery, trauma informed care and treatment, substance abuse and medication assisted therapy.

Jarrod Pyle is an opiate specific Treatment Counselor for Oriana House, a private, nonprofit, community corrections and chemical dependency treatment agency. He has received press coverage for his presentations, efforts and personal story of hope in recovery in Northeast Ohio and was recognized by Senator Rob Portman at a round table discussion on heroin this year. Additionally, Pyle is studying Behavioral Science with an addiction certificate at the University of Arizona Online and plans to apply to graduate school to earn his master's degree in Clinical Addictions Counseling. 

Moderator Stephanie Smith worked for the the United States Federal Government for 27 years, 25 of them with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). She has earned numerous awards and recognitions including the Distinguished Intelligence Medal which is awarded exclusively for performance of outstanding services which constitute a major contribution to the mission of the CIA. Today, Smith teaches both graduate and undergraduate public relations courses at Kent State and is passionate about organizational communication, leadership, organizational culture, globalism and trend forecasting. 

POSTED: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 12:17 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 07:43 PM
Haley Keding, '17