President's Ambassadorship

The President’s Ambassadorship is a vehicle for securing the services of a local, high-level person of color who will serve as a catalyst for change, promoting pluralistic understanding and mutual respect among diverse constituencies of students, staff, faculty and administrators at Kent State University.

2020 President's Ambassador

Patricia A. Ackerman, Ph.D.

Patricia AckermanPatricia Ackerman, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Chalkdust Education Foundation (CEF), who is also a retired public school educator that served as a teacher, principal and K-12 curriculum administrator. CEF, a non-profit organization, was created to offer enrichment opportunities, training programs and related resources to students, parents, education professionals and faith leaders in urban communities. A champion of education for underachievers, Patricia designed several innovative programs to address their unique needs, including Taylor Academy, an alternative high school that served 9th and 10th graders in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights [Ohio] City School district for 15 years (1987-2003). Dr. Ackerman was a co-author of the Legacy of Literacy (2001) reading program for grades K-6 published by Houghton Mifflin. Patricia is the founder and managing director of IndeedWeCode, a computer coding program for African American girls in northeastern Ohio established in 2015. Dr. Ackerman is a past president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). Patricia served a 9-year term on the Ohio University Board of Trustees (1995-2004), a 2-year term on the Board of Directors of Lake Erie College (2005-2007), and a 4-year term on the Ohio Board of Regents (2010-2014). A life member of the Kent State Alumni Association, Patricia served one term on its Board of Directors and was honored to be the morning speaker for the Kent State commencement in spring of 1997.


Description of the Ambassadorship

The President's Ambassadorship is designed to bring distinguished local (to include Akron and Cleveland) minority professionals to the Kent campus to share their professional knowledge and experience with Kent's students and faculty for one academic year. This is a part-time appointment which assumes that the appointee will retain his or her existing employment and community responsibilities.


The appointee is expected to share insight in an area appropriate to the appointee's expertise. Other projects, i.e., seminar speaker, engaging students, work on advisory committees, addressing diversity challenges and implementing diversity initiatives may be part of the agreed-upon responsibilities.

Eligibility for the Appointment

  • Must be a distinguished leader and professional in the community;
  • Must be African American, Latino American or Native American, possessing both excellent communication skills and demonstrable expertise in a particular subject area; and
  • Cannot be considered for a second term until after five years

Criteria for Nomination

Nominated candidates are ones who:

  • are recognized in the community for their outstanding professional contributions;
  • have clearly demonstrated the ability to communicate their expertise to adult students;
  • have demonstrated professional knowledge and accomplishments, and provide evidence of continuing professional development; as well as
  • have expertise in an area in which Kent State University offers or can offer instruction.

Application Process

Application process begins in the spring of each year. Decisions will be made before the end of the spring year with an appointment which begins the following fall. The successful candidate will serve from September through June of the academic year. Candidates must be nominated by letters of reference. Each candidate must have at least three letters of recommendation that will address each criterion as noted above. Decision will be made by an ad hoc committee. Recommendation will be provided to the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


Appointees are paid $13,000 for services rendered throughout the academic year.