Kent State University is deeply grateful to the many foundations that have generously supported the work of our faculty, staff and students. With these foundations’ support, we are able to continue to help our students understand and develop their sense of purpose, which supports their transition from students of life to persons of impact on campus, across the nation and around the globe.

We are proud to highlight the following foundations that have recently funded projects to accelerate vital research, programming and student success initiatives at Kent State. Through their generosity, they are helping advance the university’s mission to transform lives and communities through the power of discovery, learning and creative expression in an inclusive environment.


Akron Community Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Justin Hilton in University Outreach & Engagement to secure a $10,627 grant from Akron Community Foundation to support the Akron Public Schools College & Career Academies of Akron through the offering of an eight-week virtual design innovation summer program for students at Firestone CLC, of which Kent State is a named academy partner for college and career pathways in design, the arts and technology. 

  • ACF Gay Community Endowment Fund - Foundation Relations worked with Andrew Snyder in the College of Public Health to secure a $10,000 grant from the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. This grant will fund a partnership effort with community organizations in Greater Akron to conduct the first comprehensive and specific LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessment (CNA) for the region.

  • ACF – Women’s Endowment Fund - Foundation Relations worked with Angela Neal Barnett in the Department of Psychological Sciences to secure a $9,000 grant from the Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation for “virtual SOS Sister Circles: stress interventions for expectant & postpartum Black Mothers.”

American Psychological Association Division 45’s Community Partnership Grants Program

  • Foundation Relations worked with Angela Neal Barnett and Keaton Somerville in the Department of Psychological Sciences to secure a $15,000 grant from the American Psychological Association Division 45’s Community Partnership Grants Program, which awards funding to research projects that engage in collaborative and participatory partnerships between psychologists and community partners to benefit Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

Burton D. Morgan Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Kristenne Robison of Salem-Sociology and Zach Mikrut of LaunchNET to secure a $132,150 grant from Burton D. Morgan Foundation for Developing Entrepreneurship in Postsecondary Education for Justice-involved Learners, a three-year project which will provide a pathway to entrepreneurship in the form of teaching and developing skills, earned educational credentials, as well as mentorship and support to justice-involved individuals who encounter barriers to employment upon release from prison.

  • Foundation Relations worked with Zach Mikrut of LaunchNET to secure a $350,000 grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to support LaunchNET KSU programming in academic years 2021-22 and 2022-23.

  • Foundation Relations worked with Zach Mikrut in LaunchNET, Margarita Benitez in the Fashion School and J.R. Campbell in the Design Innovation Initiative to secure a grant of $48,200 from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to support SkyHack 2021 ($35,000) and the 2021 Fashion/Tech Hackathon ($13,200). SkyHack, scheduled for fall 2021, is a hackathon-style event that will invite students from the U.S. and Canada to participate in team-based challenges over a 36-hour period to innovate critical needs related to air travel.

Charles E. Schell Foundation 

  • Foundation Relations worked with Enrollment Management to secure a $100,000 grant towards the Charles E. Schell Foundation (Fifth Third Bank, Trustee) grant that will be used as an interest-free revolving loan fund for qualified students from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia or adjoining states. The Charles E. Schell Foundation support helps to bridge the gap in low-interest loan funding for our students created by the elimination of the Federal Perkins Loan program in 2017.

Cleveland Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Susan Zake in the School of Media and Journalism to secure a $10,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s Environmental Justice Journalism Collaborative to support Ask The Land Environmental Reporting Initiative, a collaboration between the Collaborative NewsLab @ Kent State University, The Land, and other local media partners, for an innovative program that uses two-way texting to empower underrepresented communities to shape local news coverage.

  • Foundation Relations worked with Terry Schwarz and Katie Slusher of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative to secure a $75,000 grant from Cleveland Foundation to support the Making Our Own Space Rapid Response Team (MOOS-RRT).

  • CF - Medical Mutual Fund: Foundation Relations worked with Lynette Phillips in the College of Public Health to secure a $23,332 grant from the Medical Mutual Fund of the Cleveland Foundation to support “Graphic Medicine Comic to Increase HPV Vaccine Uptake in Cleveland-area High School Students.” 

Dominion Charitable Foundation

  • Kent State received a $14,190 grant from the Dominion Charitable Foundation for Kent State Stark’s Water Resource Initiative: STEMM and Environmental Education and Outreach on Water Resources. This funding will support the establishment of water monitoring wells and research suitable for workforce training and educational purposes.

  • Foundation Relations worked with Marty Ropog and Alexa Sandmann in the College of Education, Health and Human Services to secure a $7,500 grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. These funds will support Kent State’s GED Program: Bridging the Path to Higher Education in 2020-2021. The program provides a supportive atmosphere and specialty educational support services to help GED graduates succeed in college.

Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with the College of Public Health to secure a $100,000 two-year grant from the Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation to support the expansion of Kent State’s Interprofessional Education Program (IPE), which brings together teams of interdisciplinary Kent State students and faculty to address local health care needs.

Herbert W Hoover Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Joseph Ortiz in the Department of Geology to secure a $100,000 grant from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation to further develop a near real-time harmful algal bloom monitoring system for the Indian River Lagoon and benthic mapping program for Biscayne National Park in Florida by automating the existing KSU spectral decomposition method using Google Earth Engine and Google Cloud Platform.

  • Foundation Relations worked with Danial Holm in the Department of Geology to secure a $30,000 grant from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation to be utilized for the purchase of a dual spectrometer system for measurement of irradiance, radiance, and surface reflectance.

  • Foundation Relations worked with Dr. Joseph Ortiz in the Department of Geology to secure a $175,000 grant from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation for the project, “Field-Scale Estimates of Soil Carbon Based on Modeling and Soil Optical Properties. To accomplish the goals of this research project, Dr. Ortiz will work with Dr. Rattan Lal of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at the Ohio State University.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to receive a $25,000 endowed gift in honor of Carol Cartwright, Kent State President 1991-2006, and her years of service to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. The gift is to the Carol Cartwright Fund, which funds scholarships for underrepresented students in the College of the Arts.

John P. Murphy Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Sarah Rogers of the Kent State University Museum to secure a $250,000 grant over 5 years from the John P. Murphy Foundation to support Phases 2 and 3 of the KSU Museum’s storage area upgrades. This is part of a multi-year commitment to modernize all collections storage in four phases, which will facilitate the protection, preservation, and increased access to its world-renowned historic costume collection.

Kulas Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Ricardo Sepulveda in the School of Music to secure a $15,000 grant from the Kulas Foundation to support the Kent Blossom Music Festival Kulas Visiting Artists during Summer 2021.

Martha Holden Jennings Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Bridget Mulvey in the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies and David Singer in the Department of Geology to secure a $24,108 grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to support the second year of Science for Community Change, a project that engages middle school students from Akron Public Schools and Painesville Schools in a long-term authentic science investigate of soil lead (Pb) contamination, a largely overlooked source of human Pb exposure, at a neighborhood scale.

  • Foundation Relations worked with Cassie Storlie and Bridget Mulvey in the College of Education, Health and Human Services to secure a $22,000 grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to support the Educating Learners & Leaders for Occupations in Science (ELLOS) project for middle school Latinx and underrepresented students interested in science in partnership with Painesville City School District.

  • Foundation Relations worked with Annette Kratcoski and Karl Kosko of the College of Education, Health and Human Services, J.R. Campbell of the Design Innovation Initiative and Tabitha Messmore of LaunchNET to secure a $20,239 grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to support Immersed in Deep Learning with XR, a project which will explore the use of extended reality (XR) tools to promote creativity, making and innovation across the curriculum in partnership with K-12 public school districts in Northeast Ohio

  • Foundation Relations worked with N.J. Akbar, Amoaba Gooden and Gina Campana in the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to secure a $15,000 grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to support the “Racial Equity for Teachers Institute,” an anti-bias and anti-racism institute for K-12 educators. Sessions will offer guidance on tools to identify and disrupt bias in the classroom and build an inclusive curriculum which can be applied to any K-12 subject.

Mozilla Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Drs. Christine Bahlai, Rebecca Catto, and Bridget Mulvey to secure a $12,000 grant from the Mozilla Foundation to support their podcast project called: “How do you know?”, which explores the process of how data becomes information, knowledge and ultimately informs how we solve problems.

Peg’s Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with the College of Nursing to secure a $165,000 grant to expand the base of PMH APRNs in Northeast Ohio from 2019-2022. The grant will provide $105,000 over three years to continue the Peg’s Foundation traineeship program for graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in nursing as a Psychiatric Mental Health (PMH) advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and $60,000 over three years to support two Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholars.

PNC Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Amanda Woodyard, Eboni Pringle, and Miles McDaniel in University College to secure a $75,000 grant over three years from PNC Foundation to support the launch of CommUNITY Lab.  Welcoming the first cohort of approximately 40 students in Fall 2021, CommUNITY Lab aims to remove barriers to success through intentional support and programming. 

Raymond John Wean Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Kristenne Robison at the Salem Campus and Dave Smith at the Trumbull Campus to secure a $55,000 grant from the Raymond John Wean Foundation to support the new Prison Education Program, a partnership between Kent State University and Sinclair Community College at the Trumbull Correctional Facility.

Saint Luke’s Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Terry Schwartz to secure a $78,819 grant to support the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s award-winning Making Our Own Space initiative. Making Our Own Space engages middle and high school students in designing and implementing their own public space improvements and amenities for commercial corridors in the Buckeye-Shaker, Mt. Pleasant and Woodland Hills neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio.

Samantha Harber Fund

  • Foundation Relations worked with for Dr. Angela Ridgel and Ms. Kristin Noll in EHHS to secure a $13,000 grant from the Samantha Harber Fund for their research study titled “Effects of manual vagus nerve stimulation on CRPS inflammatory symptoms.”

Sisler McFawn Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Joanne Caniglia and Davison Mupinga in EHHS to secure a $7,500 grant from the Sisler McFawn Foundation to support “Virtual Family Math Nights,” an ongoing collaboration with Akron Public Schools and Proyecto RAICES throughout 2021.

Synthomer Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Anissa Strickland in Student Financial Aid to secure a $10,000 grant from Synthomer (formerly OMNOVA Solutions) Foundation to support Last-dollar Scholarships for students at Kent State who are graduates of Akron Public Schools or Warrensville Heights City School District. This continued support of Last-dollar Scholarships from Synthomer Foundation will help vulnerable students from Akron and Warrensville Heights stay on track toward graduation and personal success.

Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. Foundation

  • A new scholarship fund has been created in honor of Rev. Dr. Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. This fund will provide scholarships to full-time, undergraduate student(s) from Summit County pursuing a degree in a liberal arts discipline, particularly education or political science. Rev. Dr. Thaddeus A. Garrett Jr. was a member of the Kent State University Board of Trustees from 1982 – 1991.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Drs. Mary Beth Spitznagel and Alanna Updegraff, both in the Department of Psychological Sciences, to secure a three-year, $432,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s highly competitive Clinical Scholars Program to support their project, “Addressing the Veterinarian Mental Health Crisis through an ACT-Based Program.”

The Youngstown Foundation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Daniel Palmer of Kent State Trumbull and Kristenne Robison of Kent State Salem to secure a $46,407 grant from The Youngstown Foundation to support Postsecondary Education Success for Justice-Involved Learners, a pilot program with a goal of expanding high-quality learning opportunities by developing the only postsecondary education pathway in the form of an associate + bachelor’s degree (2+2) in Ohio prisons for justice-involved learners in partnership with Sinclair Community College.

Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation

  • Foundation Relations worked with Kristenne Robison at the Salem Campus to secure a $2,500 grant from the Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation to support the new Prison Education Program, a Partnership between Kent State University and Sinclair Community College at the Trumbull Correctional Facility.