Four Kent State University Alums Join College of Nursing Staff
The next time you visit Henderson Hall, you may notice some new faces around the building! Our staff has been joined by two College of Nursing Information Technology Support Services personnel, as well as two academic advisors.
Chris Dipadova, Lead IT User Support Analyst, is a 2016 graduate of Kent State University, having earned his Bachelor of Business with a concentration of Computer Information Systems. Surrounded by a community of supportive people as a student worker, along with the added benefit of the tuition waiver, Dipadova was inspired to seek out full-time employment at the university. He has been with Kent State for six years, starting in the College of Education, Health and Human Services, before joining the College of Nursing in November 2021.
In his current role, Dipadova is always on the move and can be found in multiple locations around Henderson Hall.
“Every day is different,” he exclaimed. “I could be assisting with exams, starting simulations, installing equipment within our classrooms and conference rooms, repairing faculty or staff computers, planning technology upgrades for the college and more.”
Dipadova shared it’s the people at the College of Nursing who continuously make it a wonderful place to work.
In his free time, Dipadova enjoys staying current on new technology within computing and testing newly released hardware. He explained growing up he would play many computer games and that created a need to upgrade his computer so it could run better games. Tinkering over time led to interest, which evolved into a life-long passion and ultimately a career.
In addition to being a whiz with computers, Dipadova has a few other tricks up his sleeve.
“I have always enjoyed playing cards and even collect various kinds. I have great memories playing poker with my grandfather at a young age, for fun of course, but I could never win,” remembered Dipadova. “So, I taught myself a few card tricks hoping to give myself an advantage. Of course, at the time, I performed them poorly, but over the years my slight-of-hand has gotten sneaky. If you have a deck of cards, stop by for a trick or two!”
Ean Hudspeth, Technology Support Analyst/Specialist, is a 2021 alum of Kent State University and began his role at the college during the Fall 2022 semester. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Applied Security and Forensics. Hudspeth’s joy of learning and working on computers, along with educating technology users when he can, confirmed to Hudspeth this was the right career path for him.
“I enjoy the constant changes and research and development of new technology,” shared Hudspeth. “It is fascinating to discover how mankind, as the users, can use technology to its maximum potential.”
In his day-to-day work, Hudspeth helps to support the college’s simulation and skills labs, but he can also be found supporting exams and helping faculty and staff troubleshoot computer issues. Hudspeth’s long-term goal is to teach Information Technology at the Kent State University. He is grateful this position at the college allows him the opportunity to acquire new knowledge in his field while working with a wonderful group of colleagues.
Outside of work, Hudspeth is a team mentor for the Kent State Golden Flashes Rocketry team.
“The Kent State team is a high-power rocket team that builds a rocket and competes at competitions to achieve various altitude levels such as 10,000 and 30,000 feet,” explained Hudspeth. “Last year I was honored to lead my team to winning our category out of 16 schools. We placed 8th overall out of 110 international schools.”
In addition to working with the rocketry team, Hudspeth enjoys RC car racing and spending time outdoors when possible.
Two-time alumna Taylor Livengood, M.Ed. ’22, academic advisor II, has been at the university for five years. She loved her time at Kent State University as a student so much that when the opportunity to work here full-time came up, she couldn’t say no.
Livengood began her Kent State career in the Undergraduate Admissions Office as a Senior Admissions Counselor. Two years ago, she joined the Office of Student Services at the College of Nursing, where she advises first-year students prior to the professional nursing sequence, as well as in-sequence students at the Stark and Geauga campuses. No two days are ever the same for Livengood. She may have back-to-back appointments one day, while other days she is teaching the First-Year Experience course and replying to emails, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Having worked in Admissions, I love talking with first-year students,” shared Livengood. “Being able to share in their excitement about coming to college is so rewarding.”
Livengood’s favorite aspect about Kent State is the people.
“During my freshman orientation, the Flashguide told us that some of the people we meet during college may end up being in our weddings,” gushed Livengood. “It turned out to be true! Some of my bridesmaids are people I met as a student at Kent State.”
That feeling of closeness has extended to her colleagues as well.
“I love the people with whom I work. We spend more time together during the week than we spend with our families, so they quickly became like a second family to me.”
One of Livengood’s favorite spots on campus is the view from her office window. She loves looking out to see students walking with their friends enjoying time outside of class. On occasion, she’s even lucky enough to spot some deer, black squirrels and even some groundhogs roaming about.
Livengood holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs.
Michelle Whittlesey, M.Ed. ’22, is a two-time alumna of Kent State University, holding a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Education in education administration and student affairs. As a student, she enjoyed the opportunities she had to grow personally and professionally through her involvement in student organizations, student worker positions, on-campus events and more.
“Kent State is truly my home away from home. I have always felt welcome here. People pushed me to become my best self and supported me through everything I experienced in my six years as a student,” remarked Whittlesey. “To me, Kent State is synonymous with comfort and confidence. With such an optimistic background, I could not see myself leaving the place I ‘grew up’ when I entered the job market.”
Whittlesey has been with the College of Nursing for three years. She began as a graduate assistant and is now an Academic Advisor II, advising first-year students out of high school, transfer students from other institutions, students changing their major to nursing at the Kent campus, in addition to in-sequence nursing sophomores through seniors at the Salem and Trumbull campuses.
Some of Whittlesey’s other responsibilities include connecting with prospective accelerated BSN and LPN & Allied Health BSN students to answer questions and guide them through the admission process; assisting with Destination Kent State and Transfer Kent State events; working with Salem and Trumbull BSN coordinators on student concerns and semester course-building and teaching First Year Experience (FYE) to new students in the Fall.
“The students I work with each have the drive to reach their goals, along with the passion, commitment, and confidence required to work hard and know their worth,” observed Whittlesey. “They are not afraid to ask questions, connect with faculty and staff, and take risks that will set them up for success.”
Through her work with the students, Whittlesey has noticed many have difficulties with time management and study skills. She uses this as an opportunity to provide resources to address those concerns.
“I offer my students calendar sheets to help them visualize their day by planning priority commitments and obligations while still making time for self-care and relaxation,” shared Whittlesey. “I also help them schedule appointments with tutors, career coaches and others for additional personalized academic assistance. As a prior Kent State student, occasionally I share a few tips and tricks I used to personally. I’ve found this helps to form a better connection to the student as I’m someone whose been there before.”
Kent State University College of Nursing is a place where Whittlesey says she can be her true self while excelling at her job.
“My supervisors trust me with my skills and my knowledge, while also supporting my personal endeavors. My coworkers are amazing, fun and educated people,” declared Whittlesey. “As an extroverted individual, talking to my students and hearing their stories and dreams fuels me every day. It is especially rewarding to see transform from nervous, first-year students into juniors and seniors confident in their clinical rotations and securing job placements.”