Newsletter, May 2020

Special Greeting from Research Vice President Paul DiCorleto
Paul DiCorleto

Our newsletter always highlights some of Kent State’s most recent notable accomplishments in research and creative activities, but much has changed since our last newsletter.
I first want to wish you and your loved ones health and security during this difficult time. 
Like other universities, COVID19 has forced Kent State to change its approach, but we’re proud of the way our faculty and student researchers have adjusted. While we have worked to keep them safe, they have worked to show that Kent State’s dedication to top-tier research has not waivered. 
Though our campus was closed mid March with only essential research activities permitted, we saw leadership and devotion that kept our Environmental Science and Design Symposium alive with well-attended on-line conference activities in place of the conventional format. Our annual Undergraduate Research Symposium was held with on-line posters prepared and posted by students and then judged by faculty for awards. Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Program attracted our largest ever cohort with students and faculty defining projects that could be pursued remotely. I want to personally thank every member of the Kent State community for displaying such perseverance and composure in these unprecedented circumstances. This is what it means to be a Golden Flash.
I hope the stories in this newsletter will emphasize how Kent State University, already a national innovator in many fields, is committed to expanding its research culture and engaging an ever-increasing number of students in generating knowledge to better the world — no matter what the world throws at us.
To learn more about our research, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Kent State Biologist Secures NIH Support to Expand Study into Muscle Thermogenesis

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Colleen Novak works in her lab.

Scientists have long since established that the effects of stress on our bodies are largely negative. But understanding stress as a trigger for using calories and burning fat also could lead us to better mechanisms for healthier behaviors.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently funded a Kent State University researcher to continue her efforts toward that goal.

Kent State Aviation Professor I. Richmond Nettey Chairs National Academy Research Committee

An airport staff member guides an incoming aircraft into position during a past Aviation Heritage Fair at the Kent State University Airport.

I. Richmond Nettey, Ph.D., professor of aeronautics in Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering, has been appointed the new chair of the Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on Airport Terminals and Ground Access at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Environmental Science and Design 2020 Symposium Lives on Online

Torrance Gaskins and Kaitlin Shvach, first place winners of 2020 ESDRI Symposium Poster session

The COVID-19 pandemic halted Kent State University’s plans for the 2020 Environmental Science and Design Symposium, but it hasn’t impeded the spirit of the conference.

In late April, Environmental Science and Design Research Initiative (ESDRI) leadership, in collaboration with representatives from the university’s Design Innovation (DI) Initiative, hosted virtual events to keep symposium registrants engaged, and celebrate students’ research projects.

Kent State Biologist Joins Tennessee, Toledo Colleagues to Study Arctic Climate Change Effects

Lauren Kinsman-Costello, assistant professor of biological sciences at Kent State, stands in a field in the arctic circle, in Sweden.

In early February, scientists reported the hottest temperature on record in Antarctica: 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Studies show climate change is disproportionately affecting the poles, warming them faster than anywhere else on Earth, and raising questions about what kinds of changes we can expect in arctic ecosystems as temperatures rise. 
A Kent State University biologist has teamed up with some colleagues in an inter-institutional effort to answer some of those questions.

Kent State Biology Lab Publishes Paper Describing Potential for New Male Contraceptives

A free stock image depicting sperm approaching an egg for fertilization
The first rubber condoms were manufactured in 1838. Along with abstinence, they would remain the only effective and widely available means of male contraception until the vasectomy became a common procedure in the mid 20th century.

NSF Grant Supports Kent State Researchers’ Plan to Help Students Improve Study Habits

Students studying in a classroom

The “C” in “college” might as well stand for “cramming.”
Studies show students are notoriously bad at adopting and adhering consistently to high-impact study habits that help them retain knowledge long-term.
Researchers and faculty at Kent State University, however, are collaborating on a new project to put a modern technological twist on a tried-and-true study tactic.