Regional Campus System celebrates 1,700 graduates with Spring Commencement Ceremonies

Students say supportive campuses help them succeed

Student speakers shared a common theme during Kent State University’s Regional Campus commencement ceremonies this spring: Support. The Ashtabula, Columbiana County (East Liverpool and Salem), Geauga (along with Twinsburg Academic Center), Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas campuses held commencement ceremonies earlier this month for close to 1,700 graduates.

The eight locations in Northeast Ohio stretch from the shores of Lake Erie to the banks of the Ohio River and offer an array of master’s, bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs that can be completed entirely at a Kent State Regional Campus or location.  

“Our Regional Campuses pride themselves on providing the power of Kent State University to learners of all ages, in their own communities,” said Peggy Shadduck, Ph.D., vice president for Regional Campuses and dean of the College of Applied and Technical Studies (CATS). “Even though each journey is unique, each learner’s story radiates resilience, perseverance and inspiration.”

Courtney Johnson spoke at Ashtabula’s spring commencement and will begin her master’s in information and knowledge strategy (IKNS) at Columbia University this fall. She lauded the regional system’s versatility and openness to non-traditional learners.

“I had classes through (almost) every campus,” she said. “Coming back to school later in life, when you have a family, can be intimidating. I worked with an advisor, created a plan and here I am.”

Johnson earned a Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies (BTAS) degree, designed for learners like her who have previous college credits and want to finish a bachelor’s degree with a versatile schedule and course options.

Essence Edmonds, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, addressed her class during the Trumbull commencement ceremonies, noting the quick drive to campus and the support system each campus offers.

“I leaned on the campus’ Learning Center for some of my early prerequisites, especially advanced math,” she said with a smile. “It’s difficult to go through this without support.”

Edmonds recently accepted a full-time position at Mercy Health Warren on the medical-surgical floor. She plans to work, grow in her craft and obtain a Master of Science in Nursing one day.

View photos from the Regional Campus commencement ceremonies:

For more information about Kent State University’s Regional Campuses, visit

POSTED: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 11:35 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2023 05:17 PM
Bill Burgess, Marketing Coordinator, Strategic Communications & Marketing Regional Campuses