Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Winners

Kent State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Services will honor seven distinguished alumni at its fifth annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony on Friday, Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Tickets for the event are $35 per person and include hors d’oeuvres, followed by a sit-down meal.

The fifth class in the 2014 College of Education, Health and Human Services Hall of Fame includes:

Centennial Alumni Award: Pat Camerino, Ph.D.
Pat Camerino, Ph.D., graduated from Kent State in 1957 with bachelor’s degrees in education and chemistry. He then pursued advanced work at Cornell University where he received his Ph.D. in biochemistry. His doctoral research was published in the Journal of Lipid Research. In 1965, Camerino entered the Research Grants Associates program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, where he became a scientist-administrator. During the next five years, he served with increasing responsibility as director of the endocrinology program of the (then) National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases and later as chief of the analysis and evaluation branch of this institute’s extramural programs. His career in medical and higher education administration continued with his move in 1977 to Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas, where he served as administrator for the department of medicine, deputy director for administration of the National Heart and Blood Vessel Research Center (now the DeBakey Heart Center), as well as director for faculty and research resources, an oversight position for faculty appointments and the administration of the medical school’s multimillion-dollar research grant program. He retired from BCM in 1999 as an associate professor emeritus of biochemistry.

Distinguished Alumni Award: William Speer, Ph.D.
William Renwick Speer earned a Ph.D. in 1976 and is currently the director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Mathematics Learning Center. Previously, he served as interim dean of the College of Education, a professor of mathematics education, director of the Center for Mathematics, Science and Engineering Education and director of International Student Teaching at UNLV. He also holds the title of professor emeritus of mathematics and computer education from Bowling Green State University. Speer has been a Fulbright senior lecturer to the Bahamas, a Fulbright scholar to England, a USAID fellow to Malawi and a visiting professor at Northern Arizona University’s Science and Mathematics Learning Center. Speer is the primary author of the Wiley text, TODAY'S MATHEMATICS: Concepts, Classroom Methods and Instructional Activities, 12th edition, focusing on content/teaching methods for the elementary and middle grades. His service has been recognized by his selection for the Christofferson-Fawcett Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mathematics Education and the Mallinson Award for Distinguished Contributions to Mathematics and Science Education.

Recent Alumni Award: Dave Strukel
Dave Strukel, a full-time lecturer at the University of Toledo, received his master’s degree in 2004 from Kent State through the Career Technical Education Department. He also is currently co-teaching a College Credit Plus course, which has students from Toledo Public Schools and University of Toledo undergraduates. Last year, he co-designed a flipped Public Presentations class for the honors college through the support of Apple Higher Education using the iPad and MacBook Air. Because of his work on the Apple project, he along with several others were given Shining Star Awards for being student-centered by (then) Provost Scott Scarborough. In addition, Strukel is a doctoral candidate in the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University, where he successfully defended his dissertation research proposal this past January titled “Teen pregnancy and media engagement:  A uses and gratifications study.” 

Diversity Alumni Award: Sharyl Trail, Psy.D.
Sharyl M. Trail received her bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from Kent State in 1997. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Trail worked in case management roles assisting people with developmental disabilities and was an AmeriCorps volunteer in Eastern Kentucky. In addition, Trail’s scholarly publications, book chapters and presentations focus on the mental health and overall well-being of individuals and families that are systematically disenfranchised from the dominant society. She is committed in her clinical work and roles as administrator and public health officer to work toward health equity for all citizens. As a result of her commitment to her work and her patients, she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in psychopharmacology at New Mexico State University, which will enable her to have prescription rights as a psychologist and serve in designated Federal Health Professional Shortage Areas. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She currently serves as the director of the Klamath Tribal Youth and Family Guidance Center, which provides mental health, substance abuse and prevention services to the Klamath Tribes. 

International Alumni Award: Sabina Uzakova
Sabina Uzakova received her master’s degree in higher education administration and student personnel from Kent State. She comes from the small, mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan, and is currently working as a student services professional at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar. Uzakova’s work includes many responsibilities, such as administering international student exchanges, rule of law programs and community development initiatives in Kyrgyzstan assisting university faculty with education research in the U.S. and conducting student services work in Afghanistan and Japan. She also is involved in raising awareness about human rights issues, human trafficking, girls’ education, women’s advancement and sustainable development in Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and the U.S.

Distinguished Service to EHHS Award: Richard Vacca, Ph.D., and JoAnne Vacca Ph.D.
Rich Vacca, Ph.D., and JoAnne Vacca, Ph.D., are professors emeriti in the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies at Kent State. Rich taught high school English and earned his doctorate at Syracuse University. From 1980-2003, he was a professor of education at Kent State, where he directed the Reading and Writing Center and coordinated the Master’s of Arts in Teaching program. He also served as chair of the faculty senate. He is a past president of the International Reading Association (IRA) and is a member of IRA’s Reading Hall of Fame. JoAnne received her doctorate from Boston University, and at Kent State, she taught courses in literacy and research, directed more than 20 doctoral dissertations, served as an assistant to the president in 1985-86, as department chair of Teaching, Leadership and Curriculum Studies from 1986-97, and as a member of the University Foundation Board. The Vaccas are co-authors of Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum, first published in 1981 and currently in its 12th edition, and Reading and Learning to Read, now in its 9th edition. In 2001, JoAnne and Rich endowed the Vacca Fellowship for Teachers of Literacy, which continues to fund graduate coursework in literacy education.

Alumni Leadership Award: Jack Lengyel 
Jack Lengyel received his master’s degree in education from Kent State and has had a long and distinguished career in collegiate athletics. As a coach, Lengyel served as assistant football coach at the University of Akron (1959), Heidelberg College (1961-62) and Cornell University (1963-65).  He was named head football and lacrosse coach at the College of Wooster in 1966 and remained there for five years. However, his greatest task and achievement as a coach was rebuilding the football program and community at Marshall University after the tragic airline crash involving the entire team. Lengyel was head football coach at Marshall from 1971-74. Warner Brothers produced the movie “We Are Marshall,” starring Matthew McConaughey as Lengyel. In addition, he was named as the director of athletics at the U.S. Naval Academy. He remained at Navy for 13 years from 1988–2001 where he oversaw a 30-sport athletic department and was responsible for major sports facility new construction and renovations. Following his retirement from Navy, he has been active as a consultant and serving in leadership positions in various community and professional organizations.  

 To purchase tickets to the ceremony, visit

For more information about the Hall of Fame winners and awards ceremony, please contact the College of Education, Health and Human Services at

For more information about Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, visit

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Media Note:
Photos of the Hall of Fame winners are available upon request.

Media Contacts:
Beth Thomas,, 330-672-7838
Bob Burford,, 330-672-8516



POSTED: Thursday, September 11, 2014 04:33 PM
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2022 01:02 AM
Elizabeth Thomas