Joseph French Named 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

In 1996, Kent State University at Stark began recognizing distinguished alumni who attended Kent State Stark. Award recipients are recognized for excellence in a profession, service to the community and service to Kent State Stark.

This summer, Kent State Stark proudly named Joseph French as the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

Joseph French has chosen to make his life’s mission to help children understand that their today does not dictate their tomorrow. French said he believes that you must do everything you can to make the world a better place — especially for children.

Throughout his career, French has lived by this motto, serving the community in several roles from classroom teacher to leading an early childhood nonprofit that provided educational support to the Alliance community. In his current role as chief executive officer of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health, French oversees the full service, trauma-informed mental health organization that specializes in the emotional and behavioral needs of children, adolescents, young adults and their families.

“Joe is a lifelong advocate for children and strives to help children discover and reach their full potential,” said Denise A. Seachrist, Ph.D., dean of Kent State Stark. “He is an outstanding example of our Kent State University at Stark alumni serving their community and making Stark County a better place to live. We are honored to award Joe with the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award.”

A graduate of Leadership Stark County, French also serves on numerous boards, including Gov. Mike DeWine's Early Childhood Advisory Council. French was instrumental in bringing the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Stark County. An elected Meyers Lake Village Councilman, he is a 2023 Leadership Ohio Fellow.

This community advocate also has received numerous awards of distinction, including Leadership Stark County’s 30 Faces of Leadership and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce ystark! Twenty Under 40! award, among others.

French attended Kent State Stark from 1986 to 1989 and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kent State University.

Kent State Stark accepts nominations for our Distinguished Alumni Award. If you know of a deserving Kent State Stark alumna or alumnus, let us know by submitting a nomination.

Questions about the Distinguished Alumni Awards can be directed to Beth Fuciu at or 330-244-3225.

POSTED: Monday, July 17, 2023 07:25 AM
Updated: Friday, July 21, 2023 01:27 PM
Kent State University at Stark