Daniels among 2023 “30 for the Future” Honorees
Michael Daniels, Ph.D., director of the E. Timothy Moore Student Multicultural Center at Kent State University, has been recognized among the 2023 “30 for the Future” award recipients by the Greater Akron Chamber.
The celebration occurred on September 14, 2023, and honored individuals aged 25-39 who impacted the Greater Akron region through leadership in their industry and active community engagement.
“[The Greater Akron Chamber] did a really good job of making sure we felt celebrated,” Daniels said. “The group was a dynamic group of leaders. I’m glad I got a chance to meet them and be a part of it.”
Daniels mentioned it was humbling to know other people are recognizing his work, giving him a moment of reflection.
“You can do really great work, and people notice to take a minute just to give you your flowers,” he said. “It makes me think about how I can do that for others, recognize them, give them their flowers, and celebrate them.”
He added that his team at the center was a big part of why he received this award.
“I think the work that my team did for the past year has stood out,” Daniels said. “Also, finishing my dissertation, getting my doctorate degree in the past year, and winning the NASPA Melvene D. Hardee Dissertation of the Year.”
The MPower Men of Color Summit on October 14, 2023, led out of Daniels’ dissertation and his work with the Male Empowerment Network.
Taléa Drummer-Ferrell, Ph.D., associate vice president and dean of students in the Division of Student Life, nominated Daniels for the award.
“He embodies what the award represents,” Drummer-Ferrell said. “Dr. Daniels not only utilizes his research and his position in the Student Multicultural Center to make change, but he also gets students out in the community to give back.”
Drummer-Ferrell mentioned that Daniels has been known to go with students to juvenile centers and speak to the young men about making positive changes and believing in second chances. She added that Daniels hosted many students from local schools, including Akron, to show them college life at Kent State and how the Student Multicultural Center can significantly impact that.
“I have noticed an impact on the community not just because of his work but also his passion and how genuine he is,” Drummer-Ferrell said. “Many of us have work that we enjoy, but it is beautiful to see when someone is called to the work, and they are truly invested in the students and colleagues who will be impacted by their efforts.”
Daniels mentioned that Drummer-Ferrell was his past supervisor and has been his mentor since 2016.
He became the interim director of the Student Multicultural Center in October of 2019. Within a few months, in June 2020, he was appointed to the permanent position. Daniels oversees the staff and makes connections to campus partners and potential external partners.
“[Making sure] that we have good people in the place, that our good people are doing great things, and that they have the resources necessary to do the great things they’re doing,” Daniels said. “That way, everyone in our team can do the best work for the students.”
For more information about the “30 for the Future” award, and a complete list of the 2023 recipients, visit the Greater Akron Chamber website.